RationalWiki talk:What is going on at Citizendium?

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:::::Word on the streets I walk (parents of middle- and high-school kids, and the kids themselves) is that WP is a good start for exploring any topic you like, but kids don't dare cite it in their papers. So? When I was a kid, citing an encyclopedia was considered lazy scholarship. Didn't stop us from using them. __ [[User:Sprocket J Cogswell|Sprocket J Cogswell]] ([[User talk:Sprocket J Cogswell|talk]]) 01:17, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
:::::Word on the streets I walk (parents of middle- and high-school kids, and the kids themselves) is that WP is a good start for exploring any topic you like, but kids don't dare cite it in their papers. So? When I was a kid, citing an encyclopedia was considered lazy scholarship. Didn't stop us from using them. __ [[User:Sprocket J Cogswell|Sprocket J Cogswell]] ([[User talk:Sprocket J Cogswell|talk]]) 01:17, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
::::::I think wikipedia is amazing.  Don't know what all the whining is about, other than perhaps reporters who do their job badly casting the entire site as potentially full of vandalism? [[User:Burlap bags|Burlap bags]] ([[User talk:Burlap bags|talk]]) 05:05, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
::::::I think wikipedia is amazing.  Don't know what all the whining is about, other than perhaps reporters who do their job badly casting the entire site as potentially full of vandalism? [[User:Burlap bags|Burlap bags]] ([[User talk:Burlap bags|talk]]) 05:05, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
:::::::A friend put it well: "Wikipedia is good for things that nobody cares about." What he meant was that it's fine for uncontroversial topics where no one has a personal investment.  But I work in an area of science that is subject to certain public controversies that have no scientific basis, the kind of twaddle that we cover here at RW.  Having to compromise with fringe theorists and wackos (as the WP admins demanded) would lead to the type of articles that I described above: something that looks reasonably credible, but seriously misrepresents the state of the science. [[User:Doctor Dark|Doctor Dark]] ([[User talk:Doctor Dark|talk]]) 05:48, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
== CZ approved articles vs. Wikipedia ==
== CZ approved articles vs. Wikipedia ==

Revision as of 05:48, 17 December 2010

What is going on?

(talk) (talk) (talk) (talk) (hic)

As a point of etiquette, please use the [add section] tab above, or the "Add new section" link below, when adding a new topic, and the appropriate [edit] tab when commenting on existing topics. This will lessen the incidence of edit conflicts. Thank you.

When adding a link to Citizendium, putting <capture></capture> around the link will cause a permanent backup in case the page is deleted or oversighted.

For non CZ-related talk, please mosey on over to the saloon bar.

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2007 all over again

"I asked Andy through private mail, and he told me to rule over you as I see fit. --TKSenior AdministratorHahaha, suckers"img --Sid (talk) 17:19, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Potentially related, though filed after the announcement: An "anonymous proposal"img to give the Ombudsman more power. Maybe I'm just too pessimistic from my years of watching CP, but this looks a little... weird to me... Can I get a few extra eyes here to maybe explain things? --Sid (talk) 17:45, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
It seems to be a proposal to sack Daniel by transferring his powers to Gareth. Probably unconstitutional. Peter Jackson 11:40, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Why would they want to sack Daniel? From what I've seen he's a sensible and agreeable fellow. Doctor Dark (talk) 13:54, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that is nonsense. The proposal merely tries to make the Ombudsman's decisions binding, rather than merely guidance that certain %^&*$$# can choose to ignore... (talk) 15:21, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
But the Managing Editor already has that power. Peter Jackson 10:28, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Martin... resigns?

Thisimg somehow completely flew under my radar (and seems to be very recent), could somebody bring me up to speed or at least voice a theory? --Sid (talk) 21:56, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

He announced his resignation in the forumimg, too. larronsicut fur in nocte 21:59, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The rat leaves the sinking ship, but it might just be what the ship needs to survive. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 22:17, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
There'll always be a home for him at Tendrl - David Gerard (talk) 22:20, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I thought I saw some talk in the forums that suggested that he left and never came back during the charter drafting phase too. Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:24, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I believe there are new elections coming up soon for Citizendium. Martin has probably resigned to run again for a new council. FreeThought (talk) 23:39, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I think he also retired back in the Larry days. Everybody sing... Doctor Dark (talk) 23:41, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm in China & Youtube is blocked here. What's the song? Pashley (talk) 02:03, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm in Germany and Youtube is blocking the song (...XD), but googling the URL tells me that it's "Dan Hicks and his Hot licks - How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away". --Sid (talk) 02:16, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
There'll always be a home for him at Tendrl... Please have mercy with the fledgling.--P. Wormer (talk) 06:30, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Dieses Video enthält Content von Sony Music Entertainment. Es ist in deinem Land nicht verfügbar. So annoying... larronsicut fur in nocte 07:49, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

And the tech side of it

From the EC wiki.img My first comment would have been about them changing Martin's password, thus completely locking him out of even changing his preferences or anything and forcing him to be a guest forever, but then I saw the post about the IP ban... and... could our techies translate this to me? (Here is the entire block log, just to show that Peter didn't explicitly block the IP, just to avoid the potentially obvious question.) Because to me this sounds like a VERY odd wiki setup. --Sid (talk) 00:36, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

They have a separate wiki for the Editorial Council. He's not blocked from the main site. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, but that doesn't explain why Peter's ban of Martin apparently banned instead of Martin's IP, does it? It seems to me that Peter did the reasonable thing that also would work as a long-term solution (as opposed to making the sysop basically hack every account that is not part of the current EC - which may be needed a lot since the EC elections are coming up), but that it didn't work because... well... it apparently kinda breaks the wiki? I'm no luddite, but I'm also no expert in wiki IP blocking and caching setups, so I need somebody to tell me if I'm reading this right. --Sid (talk) 02:12, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

"Martin...resigns?" My work here is done! Fricassée (talk) 07:27, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Is that you Howie? FreeThought (talk) 08:57, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Not me -- I'm borrowing computer access until I get a new power supply, hopefully tomorrow -- very little access. I don't really have details on what happened. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:03, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Power supply back in, and working this time...when my business partner told me he had a wire left over when he installed it, somehow, I was not surprised when the OS didn't come all the way up.
I don't really see value in refighting battles with Martin, but I do see some indications that people are now working on fresh starts that don't involve personalities. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 17:06, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
As far as I am concerned, Berkowitz has fucked CZ. I want no more to do with an 'encyclopedia' where the personal opinions of unqualified people are taken seriously. The place for that is Wikipedia. (talk) 19:51, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Gee, I must be so powerful. Do I get the privileges of a Bond villain? Oh please...have no more to do with CZ. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:53, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Hey 85, why not just put a sock in it you obnoxious cowardly failure. D.T.F. (talk) 07:19, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Hey, DTF, don't be an asshole to the BoNs. As if you are one level above them? Everybody say what they want to! Marble-headed poop skater (talk) 08:33, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Omg DTF you swine, how dare you tell anyone to shut up. Why don't YOU shut up. I shall away to thine talkpage to put you down. You aren't a level above anyone! In fact you are a level below me. And I'm not a level above you either, that would be wrong. And anyway just shut up! That's censorship what you did to that poor 85 because he might listen and think he really had to shut up because you said so. D.T.F. (talk) 11:19, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Dana Ullman is back!

Every now and then I find myself become sympathetic to CZ, but then pseudoscientific obscenities like thisimg pop up and I remember that this place is a cesspit for this kind of negligent quack medicine. As long as this kind of thing is tolerated, and frauds and quacks like Ullman are given positions of power and respect CZ deserves to rot. Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:38, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Trent here, though I think I might make some popcorn and watch Dana Ullman spew his nonsense so that I can add it to our article here. Audi (talk) 02:48, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
She can't even write well. Lithograph (talk) 05:34, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Although many high quality studies have been published in leading conventional medical journals and have shown that homeopathic remedies might be effective in particular conditions, there are not enough replication of this research to establish a strong evidence base for homeopathy. One, two, three, many?
In the past, a remedy diluted to more than 12C was assumed to all probability to contain not a single molecule of the original substance. However, new research has confirmed that even extremely diluted homeopathic medicines contain ponderal doses of the original substance.<*ref*>Chikramane PS, Suresh AK, Bellare JR, Kane SG. Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective. Homeopathy. 2010 Oct;99(4):231-42.</*ref*> The abstract states:
Homeopathy is controversial because medicines in high potencies such as 30c and 200c involve huge dilution factors (10⁶⁰ and 10⁴⁰⁰ respectively) which are many orders of magnitude greater than Avogadro's number, so that theoretically there should be no measurable remnants of the starting materials. No hypothesis which predicts the retention of properties of starting materials has been proposed nor has any physical entity been shown to exist in these high potency medicines. Using market samples of metal-derived medicines from reputable manufacturers, we have demonstrated for the first time by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction and chemical analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), the presence of physical entities in these extreme dilutions, in the form of nanoparticles of the starting metals and their aggregates.
So, the homeopath making these market samples haven't worked carefully - or did the scientist use large quantities of the remedies - like an ocean?
larronsicut fur in nocte 08:04, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
@Lithograph - Dana Ullman is a boy, not a girl. I was confused by his girl's name at first too.
The diff Trent provided is bad enough, but the then follows a Ken-like series of edits that systematically remove all remaining objectivity from the article, until rather hilariously, thisimg edit attempts to "res[t]ore...objectivity". I know this is only a draft, but even so it makes me wonder why anybody gives a damn whether CZ lives or dies. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 08:17, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
The kendollingimg is amusing, but the following edit it hilarious. Also, why do these people allow such a non-expert in anything to write all over their nice expert wiki? Palindrome (talk) 08:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Ask Larry Sanger, he invited Ullman to come to Citizendium. No-one else did. FreeThought (talk) 08:45, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Ullman is an expert in homeopathy, & may well be a respected authority within that field, regardless of what mainstream opinion says. This is one of the major flaws of having an expert-centric wiki set-up: it places specialised knowledge, even in quack subjects, above wider credibility & lets those recognised as experts put across their own interpretations of their subject. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:09, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm an expert in the field of what my feet smell after 3 hours of football. Nutty Rouxnever mind 05:36, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
The result of this is that CZ, even if working as intended, isn't as good as WP for general users because it won't end up properly wiki-linked. The person who believes ghosts are real will be Editor for the Ghost article and won't want to link "biased" work by people who don't believe because they aren't experts. Imagine if any of the web's rabbit warrens was done this way: TV Tropes pages that just say {favourite show} did the trope first and best, and don't link other examples. Wowhead Alliance quests not linking the equivalent Horde quest because "Horde suck". ED's 4chan page refusing to even mention 2ch. The hours of time-wasting eliminated would not make up for the loss of context. (talk) 12:51, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
See also [1]img. Pashley (talk) 03:28, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Looks like Dana may be run over by the EC: Specific request to approve the Dec 5 version - the one just before the recent edit spree. --Sid (talk) 18:52, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
We can hope. That version is not perfect, but it is significantly better than either the current approved version or the current draft with Ullman's recent edits. Pashley (talk) 03:28, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Does it have any good stuff we can use to make our article even better? Equestrian (talk) 04:53, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

By unanimous Editorial Council decision, there's now a new approved version, much better than the old version and without Ullman's recent edits. Pashley (talk) 03:30, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

In passing

Moved from Saloon Bar: [2] No-One (talk) 12:39, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Is there a world bureaucracy shortage? By the way some at cz are behaving you'd think that they were trying to corner the market. No-One (talk) 14:28, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Cheezits.... so now they're going to have both an Editorial Council and a Committee of Editors? For an active community of what, maybe a couple dozen people? Incredible. Doctor Dark (talk) 15:05, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
It's unlikely that will pass; it was introduced through a mandatory suggestion mechanism. My hope is that sense is breaking out on the Editorial Council, even if I'm Dr. No or Ernst Blofeld but without the Bond Girls. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 18:49, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
You're not in the same league as Dr. No or Blofeld - they could act and got well paid to do it. The shambolic ramblings at citizendium has shown the organisation to be more akin to that of KAOS than SPECTRE.FreeThought (talk) 06:07, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
You misunderstand. I don't claim to be such a villain, but one departed seeker of power seems to believe that I, by myself, am the Antichrist...or something like that. Nostradamus' guy in the Blue Turban? Would you believe he wanted to be the Chief? Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 08:44, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Simular structurs have been suggested from time to time on wikipedia. They tend to die out because in a wiki enviroment there is nothing for them to do.Geni (talk) 19:13, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Building a walled garden

This proposal recently passed by CZ's Editorial Council makes me go "huh?", or as the young people say, "WTF?" It puts CZ in the bizarre position of forbidding its users from importing free content, while at the same time producing content that others (such as WP) are free to import. I'd be interested to hear Howard Berkowitz explain why he voted for this strange proposal. Doctor Dark (talk) 04:37, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

The walled garden is withering and dying. Plenty of manure, but not enough plants or gardeners. FreeThought (talk) 06:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The EC wiki appears to have done a runner. Oompa loompa (talk) 10:00, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
locke appears down in toto - David Gerard (talk) 10:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Wow, that's absolutely fucking bonkers. –Tom Morris (talk) 17:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Their $700/month web hosting is back up now. Doctor Dark (talk) 17:15, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm told Locke just needed a restart to unlocke the EC.
Why did I vote for that? There's no simple, single answer. We had people who would import large numbers of WP articles that needed at least reformatting, and sometimes corrections -- for example, someone did a slight reformat of over 100 cargo ship entries from the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, put them in WP, copied them to CZ, and then left. In other cases, someone would decide a WP article looked good, not always with expertise on the subject, import it, and essentially leave it for someone else to clean up.
You should note that people may import articles that they primarily wrote at WP, on the theory that they can intelligently restructure them. I've done this, in part taking advantage of different CZ rules on sourcing, original synthesis, etc.
I have not been impressed by WP articles rewritten anew for CZ, outside specific types. For example, it's not unreasonable to import short articles on chemicals, especially if the structural formula is importable -- there's not much else to add. Political, military and historical articles have been much less successful. Yes, there have been times I have taken a WP article into a word processor, color-coded it, and used it as a reminder when writing my own from scratch (i.e., until there is no color left).
We aren't trying to match WP for number of articles. I would rather see, not walled gardens, but rational groups of articles, highly linked directly and via related articles. While not all agree with me, I personally like to develop top-down, in a way that is the antithesis of walled garden. Take Wars of Vietnam, for example: Sanger and Jensen argued with me about it being the Vietnam War, and essentially an American activity. I rather thought the Vietnamese had a bit to do with it, and finally got the American involvement under a broader context. Even there, Wars of Vietnam are primarily beginning with 19th century Western involvement; Dai Viet and the Trung Sisters aren't quite in the same hierarchy. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 22:10, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you have any weed to sell? Occasionaluse (talk) 22:14, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
My two cents, mostly to defuse OU's comment a bit:
Au contraire, OU's comment was spot on :) FreeThought (talk) 00:26, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I found the import suggestion (the one that talked about importing an insane number of "good" articles from WP as a basis to improve) ridiculous, too. Pretty sure that I also said so when it came up initially. It's mostly a question of manpower: CZ barely has enough manpower to even write their own crap and get it approved - but it's more work (and more tedious) to take a long and fleshed-out article, verify every tiny claim with the sources, and then improve it substantially so that it's more than just a simple copy.
So yeah, I would've said "This is a ridiculous idea because of X" in the forum thread, too. Buuuut... reacting to such a suggestion by banning ALL imports except for stuff you wrote yourself anyway and some cases where you beg Hayford The Great and the EC to greenlight it... yeah, no. That's equally ridiculous. This is a classic case where new regulation was simply not necessary. The existing mechanisms were good enough to handle it:
  1. Most cases would simply solve themselves as people would try to import something and then realize that they bit off more than they can chew.
  2. If people just import crap and don't do anything with it, it can be deleted.
  3. If people import something and work on it, but not enough, it can be deleted/rejected/whatever.
But hey, what if somebody managed it? What if somebody imported one of WP's good articles and improved it in a meaningful way? Yeah, well, tough luck. Have fun begging or simply working on the WP article on WP.
See, the only thing that is actually new is that you made a rule against succeeding. Everything else could've been handled informally. And even if there was a pressing need for rules, why not just introduce something like "Imports will be accepted if the imported article (which will be kept in userspace or a subpage for the time being) is substantially improved within 7/14/30 days"? That would work, and you still would allow people to prove themselves as well as getting good articles to CZ.
Long story short, I see a sledgehammer being used to deal with a speck of dust on a window. --Sid (talk) 00:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
There are plenty of decent WP articles in my field that could serve as a starting point for expansion, clarification and so on. I did a bit of that during my time at CZ, and I think it was worthwhile. But if I'm forced to start from a blank screen I'll put all that effort into writing a review article for a journal. Doctor Dark (talk) 00:16, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there are plenty of decent articles on WP, not all of it is crap. The same can be said for citizendium - some good some bad. To suggest that citizendium is always better than X is bullshit. There are some classic howlers on that site. If citizendium proposed to publish them, good luck - they'll need it. Why any academic would want anything citizendium is offering is another matter entirely. FreeThought (talk) 00:26, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Sid, those are some reasonable thoughts. Still, as you suggest there's a manpower problem. This could be an interim rule, but there were continuing problems of people bringing in WP articles on subjects where they had no particular competence, announcing they thought the article was pretty good, and they then suggested others could collaborate to clean it up. One example caused a hell-freezing-over event: Martin and I agreed it was a poor article and should not be imported.
No one is suggesting CZ is always better or vice versa. What is being suggested is that CZ is trying to constrain the problem, at least in the moderate term. FreeThought, not all my writing is for CZ; there are things I'd send to journals or other venues, especially if they are more opinion pieces. There are areas, in which I consult, where I've been asked by my client not to give away certain details of analysis.
In this case, I defend the decision as a way to deal with specific problems. Now, some of the problems had been, if you will, competing bureaucracies. There had been a rule in place very much like what you suggested, but the Constables didn't want to enforce what they considered a matter of content. The dynamics between the EC and Constabulary, which you may laugh at but is real in the situation, needed a stronger policy. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 01:23, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
What have constables got to do with content? Content is under the proviso of the editorial council, as I understand it. The role of the constable concerns users not content. If the role of the constable is broader than that, then citizendium really is a "police state". FreeThought (talk) 01:43, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

(undent) Editors/Editorial Council are not themselves authorized to delete or blank articles; that's purely the role of the Constabulary. Some Constables were resisting Editor orders to delete a badly imported article because they didn't see a rule for it, and they saw their role as check-and-balance. Now, there should be no problem. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 01:58, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Funny, you just defined the problem (overarching bureaucracy), and claim it is solved by yet another restraint on adding content? Nice work. Blancmange (talk) 04:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Ever had to deal with a fishhook caught in a person? You have to push it in further, until the point comes out, then clip off the barb and remove the hook. In many venues, there are complaints that solutions should be one-step and simplistic. Sometimes, you have to aggravate something before you can cure it.
On the other hand, I'm not convinced that all adding of content is good. We aren't trying to compete on number of articles. There have been some awful articles either imported or started by advocates, and there's been no way to get rid of them -- or sometimes a process that takes months.
Things swung too far in the other direction, when an individual essentially throw a substance-free tantrum and get an article locked, often an article that was under serious development. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 04:12, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I tear it out and bandaid it. Aggravating this just, well, aggravates the mess that is CZ and its overwhelming pile of laws and regulations. It takes CZ several months to get rid of unwanted articles? It takes RW 3-7 days, with no rules whatsoever. I'd respond to your third paragraph if it made any sense, sorry, desperately needs copyediting and at least one reference. Blancmange (talk) 04:18, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Note that many of CZ's "approved" articles began as WP imports. A few were written by people who now are CZ contributors and thus are acceptable under the new policy but a good number were not. Given the new policy, will CZ delete these? Doctor Dark (talk) 07:06, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

They seemed to be forgetting that a wiki is a collaborative writing effort. So what if the article is not 100T% perfect, you can worked on it and edit the article to meet standards. Notice I've not been contributing much at CZ and I have started an article at Tendrl. Hmmmmmmmmmmm....LittleRedWriter (talk) 06:18, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
And the garden walls continue to remain high and unwelcoming. FreeThought (talk) 23:56, 16 December 2010 (UTC)


Just to keep people up-to-date with the progress of Tendrl (a fork of Citizendium that I started about a month ago):

  • You no longer have to register with your own real name to contribute, although we do encourage that. Pseudonyms are acceptable, and even anonymous (logged-out) editing has been enabled. See [3].
  • A number of Citizendium articles—mostly about subjects in mathematics and physics—have been imported. However, our intention is to be a wholly separate and independent project.
  • We plan to acquire new VPS hosting sometime next week (see [4]). We need to decide on a project name so that we can register a dedicated domain; "Knowino" is one possibility right now. Feedback and suggestions are welcome—see Tendrl:Our name!

Once core pages are expanded a bit more and we've moved to VPS hosting, we'll start "advertising" the project actively. Thomas Larsen (talk) 02:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry... but there needs to be a major prize for the first person, your good self excepted, who is prepared, in public, to give a flying fuck. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 02:08, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm prepared to give Tendrl the benefit of the doubt. They appear sincere and they don't have the same loser admins that Citizendium have been left with. FreeThought (talk) 02:41, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Fine, but - and I mean this in the nicest possible way - why should anyone care what you think? What is it about Tendrl that distinguishes it from CZ?
Citizendium failed despite a blaze of media publicity. Tendrl, as far as I can see, is an attempt to do the same thing as CZ but without the publicity. You're already setting up your own bureaucracy, and justifying it in terms like "Well it's not as bad as CZ".
Good luck... but I still don't see why you're trying to exist. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 02:52, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Wow, you're nasty. Why is a fork such a bad idea, even if it turns into a failed experiment? At least they allow regular people to just sign up (or not) and edit. Blancmange (talk) 03:47, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not involved in setting up Tendrl. Publicity is meaningless unless you have something to sell. Posting the existence of Tendrl on two forums is not in the same league, because x number of websites get mentioned all the time on forums. Don't worry Blancmange, we'll wait for our friend to leave an origami unicorn behind. FreeThought (talk) 04:38, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Nasty and rather stupid. And unobservant - a cursory look at even just this page would have shown that FreeThought isn't the force behind Tendrl, so preaching at them was just a waste of everyones time. And don't you just love the sheer arrogance of someone who comes out with "Why should anyone care what you think?" - by that you mean that we ought to care what you think. But do we? Like hell, you are just another ass. Next time try not talking out of it. D.T.F. (talk) 08:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Neither actually, but at least I understand how talk pages work. I wasn't talking (in the first instance) to FreeThought, I was talking to Thomas. Now try answering my questions instead of spreading muck: why should anyone care about Tendrl? I didn't say that it was a bad idea, that was Blancmange putting words into my mouth. Neither do I expect anyone to care what I think, but that still doesn't answer anything. It's good to see the basic idiocy and arrogance of CZ are being included in the fork, though. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:11, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Dear SuspectedReplicant, could you please expand the previous msg a little? What exactly is the basic idiocy and arrogance of Tendrl that you refer to? I contributed a little to Tendrl and would like it not to make the mistakes of earlier Wikis. So, maybe you can help avoiding them by explaining what is done wrong by Tendrl. --P. Wormer (talk) 13:24, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
So, you understand how talkpages work... but not how to use indentation, obviously, since you replied to FreeThought rather than the person you meant to reply to. And since there isn't much to understand about talkpages except indentation that means that you don't - understand how they work that is. Good grief. D.T.F. (talk) 20:35, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I understand them perfectly. Being active on several wikis means I have plenty of experience with talk pages, and with the kind of unfathomable mess that results if you reply where you feel like it rather than in order. You, on the other hand, don't seem to have very much experience of the English language, judging from appalling word salads you've posted here so far. At least you're a perfect example of the basic idiocy to which I referred earlier. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 01:05, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Omg, I'm so injured. To have a self-important wanker that nobody likes criticise me is too much to bear. Goodbye cruel world. D.T.F. (talk) 05:55, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Remember to slice along the veins, not across. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 11:26, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

← SuspectedReplicant, do you have any specific criticisms of Tendrl? I'm very open to feedback, and you could probably suggest some good improvements. Cheers! Thomas Larsen (talk) 01:28, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

This section would be really interesting if it weren't for Suspected Replicant being a jackass and unclear about who they are responding to. Tendrl will probably die on the vine (unless it grows due to CZ evacuees?), but still, it's an interesting concept. Diamond (talk) 05:33, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Fuck you too, Diamond. Thomas, the problem is that you're a project waiting for an idea. You say you want a principles fork, but you don't know what these new principles are going to be. You're going to take the best of CZ and WP but you have no objective criteria to define this. It's all just so pointless. Using a half-dead wiki as a starting point was always a bad idea too. Why not just help Wikipedia? Anything else is just going to end up in another empty website and a waste of people's time. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 11:26, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
But can you help Wikipedia if it doesn't want to be helped, if it refuses to recognize it has a problem? You can improve some bits of it. But is that actually a good thing if it improves WP's reputation and thereby, indirectly, that of its biased, or just inaccurate, articles? Peter Jackson 17:03, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
That's why I quit contributing to WP in my field of expertise -- to avoid giving dodgy material a veneer of undeserved credibility. It's better for bad articles to be obviously bad. Doctor Dark (talk) 19:07, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
With respect, to me that smells like hubris. Is it your name that would add the veneer of credibility, or would that addition come from the "enhanced quality" of the article itself? Neither one of those strikes me as particularly praiseworthy motivation. There are times when I recuse myself, abstain from jumping into a Wikipedia discussion, but for me it is more like triage, applying my effort where I think it will help. Other times, I sit on my butt because I enjoy being lazy, no rationalization offered.
This is just as good a place as any to say that I consider WP to be a credible thing, on balance. I am reminded of the seeming chaos that forms a honeycomb. Individual workers bumble about, ripping here, pasting there, smoothing things out some other place, and what emerges is a structural marvel, able to contain significant weight of a dense liquid, but build of soft wax, kept soft at body heat. Sorry for the flowery metaphor, but I like that kind of thing.
Word on the streets I walk (parents of middle- and high-school kids, and the kids themselves) is that WP is a good start for exploring any topic you like, but kids don't dare cite it in their papers. So? When I was a kid, citing an encyclopedia was considered lazy scholarship. Didn't stop us from using them. __ Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:17, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I think wikipedia is amazing. Don't know what all the whining is about, other than perhaps reporters who do their job badly casting the entire site as potentially full of vandalism? Burlap bags (talk) 05:05, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
A friend put it well: "Wikipedia is good for things that nobody cares about." What he meant was that it's fine for uncontroversial topics where no one has a personal investment. But I work in an area of science that is subject to certain public controversies that have no scientific basis, the kind of twaddle that we cover here at RW. Having to compromise with fringe theorists and wackos (as the WP admins demanded) would lead to the type of articles that I described above: something that looks reasonably credible, but seriously misrepresents the state of the science. Doctor Dark (talk) 05:48, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

CZ approved articles vs. Wikipedia

Very much is said about the differences between CZ and WP, how only a few articles have been approved, but of these only Homeopathy has received much attention. Now, out of the 155 approved articles, how many are really better, more reliable and exhaustive than the corresponding ones at Wikipedia? In my brief random survey I found some similar and some clearly worse than Wikipedia's articles. Most were more "concise" (à la Schlafly). I stayed away from political or social articles though. Editor at CPmały książe 08:07, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

  • There is a comparison of approved Citizendium and corresponding English Wikipedia articles on w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Citizendium Porting#Articles. Approved Citizendium articles are quite good for a wiki-encyclopedia of that size, say, 20-40 thousands of articles, 0,5-2 millions of edits. I've randomly clicked on several mainpage-featured articles from Wikipedias of comparable size from List of Wikipedias, and most of them at first sight are not as good as an average approved Citizendium article or corresponding en-wiki article. Trycatch (talk) 10:52, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I went looking for articles on subjects that interest me, and found a lot of "lemmas." Where I did find an article of any length, it was still in draft. How long until CZ becomes a useful, truly compendious resource? What's the word I'm looking for...? Ah, yes, "weak." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:24, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Re: Ha!

(From the archives): Well, the MC is apparently about to finalize the "near term hosting"img deal, so it's likely a moot point for the moment. Right now, it all depends on how much better the new deal will be and on how well the MC will communicate with the mortals. Two thousand bucks don't mean a thing unless you know how much hosting will cost per month. --Sid (talk) 00:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Well, it's been over a week, where is their big announcement?? FreeThought (talk) 08:16, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Encyclopedia of Life

This is how you do an expert-guided compendium: http://www.eol.org/ They also review Wikipedia articles.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:45, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Encyclopedia of Life has a $50 million budget (with eventual plans for a further $60 million of spending). It's to be expected if it does better than Citizendium.Geni (talk) 21:49, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I wonder how their budget got so large... Occasionaluse (talk) 22:22, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Basicaly they managed to get a bunch of leading science institutions onboard[5]. Or rather a bunch of leading science institutions formed EOL.Geni (talk) 23:12, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Expert participation

Citizendium is currently trying to figure out why they aren't attracting and retaining expertsimg. Since the presence of expert editors was advertised as one of the main improvements of Citizendium over Wikipedia, that's understandably a big deal for them.

Now, if "an authority who is probably the world expert on implementation, running an open source lab outside academia" (according to Howard Berkowitzimg) was calledimg an "imbecile" because he "refused to join CZ because he regarded the questions as too intrusive", by the Secretary of the Editorial Council, what kind of self-respecting academic would want to join the project? The Secretary then goes on to presumeimg that the expert "thought our registration requirements were too onerous for his dainty sensibilities and lofty sense of self-esteem". I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

I suspect there are two main reasons why experts choose not to join Citizendium, and neither of them have anything to do with imbecility or cretinism:

  • Citizendium has very little readership outside of its own community
  • some of its leadership is arrogant, prejudiced, and unwilling to take advice.

Of course, the "imbeciles" and "cretins" of Citizendium are welcome to work on Tendrl. We'll probably be getting our own VPS hosting sometime next week, and we certainly won't be dismissing people because they are critical of the project. Thomas Larsen (talk) 04:08, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

The recent condescending forum comments on the citizendium website are a poor reflection of their project, and their editors. The walled garden is now an ivory tower replete with foul-smelling moat. FreeThought (talk) 05:13, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
OMG I'd thought I'd seen it all, but Haystack Penis (I know that's not original) goes completely over the top with:
"Your friend may be the world's leading expert on whatever subject you say he is, but he's also the world's leading imbecile. And you may tell him that I said so, and use my name as well. What a cretin! And if all the other myriad people you tell us about share his feelings (which I seriously doubt, by the way), then they are cretins too.
And we are better off without them."
I thought that kind of language was bannable on CZ? Who on earth would want to join after reading that comment by one of their most eminent experts? Wasn't he the guy who "hosted" the fundraiser? Burlap bags (talk) 05:34, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
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