[Wikipedia-l] pitching an idea

Jimmy Wales jwales at wikia.com
Sat Apr 23 15:22:52 UTC 2005

I'm still reading the entire thread, but I just wanted to throw in a
couple of hopefully useful comments.

First, there is always a great temptation by programmers and
technologists to use points systems and ratings systems as a replacement
for genuine community.  Steve asks the question "Who gets to decide what
is a credible view?" as if there is no possible answer to the question
other than voting or ratings.  But the answer is: "We do, the community,
through a process of kind and thoughtful reasoned discourse to attempt
to chart as neutral a summary of the issue as we can given our
limitations as human beings -- we try to help the reader understand not
just our own opinions, but also the full range of the subject, within
the limitations of time and the medium we are using."

Ratings can't replace reasoned discourse and thoughtful compromise and
it seems very very likely to me that for game theoretic reasons most
ratings systems would contain incentives very very different from the
"mutually assured destruction" of wiki editing.

Second, there's absolutely nothing wrong with passionate writing to
prove a point.  But, ahem, maybe I'm a fool and a hardass, but my
promise to the community from the very beginning, and one of the things
that holds us together as a passionate community of hard workers trying
to help the world is precisely that NPOV is non-negotiable.

Recently in Finland a reporter started bugging Anthere at a talk she was
giving to explain Jimbo's political views.  Now we all know as community
members why that's so funny.  No one needs to care about my political
views because even if I wanted to make Jimbopedia, I don't have the
means to do it... NPOV is that deeply ingrained here.


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