Debate:The divide between RationalWikians

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A certain comment by Susan ("there is a childish element among some of the younger editors (aided and abetted by some of the older ones) that waste time and detract from the purpose of the wiki") got me thinking... is there a divide between RationalWikians?

Please avoid turning this into a hatefest or letting Bohdan/Oscar/DoggedamesP in. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:15, 18 February 2008 (EST)

RW1.0ians and RW2.0ians[edit]

I think the most immediately noticeable divide between RWians is that between the original participants in RationalWiki 1.0 and the users who didn't join until RationalWiki 2.0. One could argue that RW1.0ians all braved the fire together, forging strong bonds with each other, but to the newer members (and I count myself among them) it sometimes comes across as exclusionist. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:15, 18 February 2008 (EST)

I would say that that's accurate, which is part of the reason why I think we should try to use non-wiki communications more frequently… there's nothing quite like (more) real-time discussion to forge interpersonal bonds. --Linus(plot evil tech) 20:21, 18 February 2008 (EST)
Many of the best articles and wiki improvements have been by n00bs, er, i mean 2.0ers...--PalMD --You don't know harsh! 20:26, 18 February 2008 (EST)
As a 2.0er, what about us makes us n00bs? Or is it just for LuLz? Colbert|FanHomophobia is so GAY. 00:23, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
The circle is now complete. When I left RatWiki 1.0 I was a master, now I am but a learner. Teresita 10:50, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

Definitely possible[edit]

It wouldn't really surprise me if that was the case. It would be quite natural for a group with origins and growth patterns such as ours. And if that is the case, it's certainly something that needs to be addressed soon. However, the only ones who can really answer the question are you yourself and other "newer" members. Do you feel excluded, and if so, in what way, and what do you think could be done to rectify the situation? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 20:39, 18 February 2008 (EST)

I think we should promote all of us and demote all of them to sysop.--PalMD --You don't know harsh! 20:47, 18 February 2008 (EST)
 :D Ehehehe... heh? Eh, I need to do more maintenance work here though. UchihaKATON! 00:04, 20 February 2008 (EST)
Complimentary beverages?--Bayesyikes 20:54, 18 February 2008 (EST)
Scotch.jpg

So what?[edit]

Yes, I realize that the "goals" are succinctly stated on the front page, and yes, I know that we have all sorts of nifty tools that we can use to pretend that we have a mission (The "Mission Statement Doubt" template and such), but we aren't clearly defined as a Wiki.

We have tons of content. All sorts of articles on evolution v. creationism, sexuality, politics, etc. have a happy home at RW. But like it or not, The Great Satan still exerts a huge influence over what we do. Perhaps we should be trying harder to diversify.

Furthermore, what does it matter if there's a childish element that "wastes time and detracts from the purpose of the wiki"? I'd argue that meta-time can't be wasted - better somebody provides comic relief than not contribute at all. The humorous and childish element (which I pride myself in being part of) is part of what makes RW so much fun. Hell, I wouldn't be here if we were a dry, boring wasteland of fact without fun, and I doubt there are many here who would remain here if that were the case. The silliness and humor is what makes RationalWiki RationalWiki. Let's make a list of things we want done, or start a project (like Project Whitewash) to collaborate on content articles. Let's get some cohesion for those who want it.

--Hojidie! 21:01, 18 February 2008 (EST)

He's a wise one, that Hoji. --מְתֻרְגְּמָן שְׁלֹום
He's a wise one, and still I, less wise, disagree. There is wikipedia - which is more rational than us, can you deny. There is Uncyclopedia, and all the clones, which are funnier than us, aren't they? The Rationalwiki niche, and the unwritten goal in my quite humble opinion, is to oppose/ridicule/have fun at/dequalify(?) that Great Satan. The building block of RW is CP esulees (?). Whatever the written goals and missions, RW lives in symbiosis with CP. There obviously is place for essays on rational matters not directly involving CP, and there definitely is place for Uncyclopedia kind of fun, but CP is our unwritten core business. At least according to me, Editor at RWwas rooting for HD DVD 05:02, 19 February 2008 (EST)

I think there is a place for fun and the odd bit of vandalism here, BUT some people have taken that to an extreme that is downright tiresome, particularly where pages have been moved en masse. I believe that the "wasting time" quote refers to the time taken to tidy up some of these jolly japes. Jollyfish.gifGenghis Marauding 05:19, 19 February 2008 (EST)


Which divide? - or - Divide or continuum?[edit]

Do we had divides or do we have continuums? Lets think of a few.

  • AGE - there is a wide age range which sometimes may cause friction between those at either end.
  • Religion - possibly the most obvious continuum, and the thing which we most obviously do not have in common.
  • Time of joining - Not as black and white as it looks. I can easily think of a couple of members who look like old hands but who were not, in fact, involved in the CP battles but joined up later.

It would be easy to think up other possible divides as well. GB/US, Heterosexual/homosexual/bisexual. But any of these only divide us if we let them.--Bobbing up 05:16, 19 February 2008 (EST)

I think we should concentrate on the effects, not the causes. People here are just users/editors. The divides in my opinion are:
  • what's the role of RW (a rational wiki? a fun place? or opposed to CP).
  • is RW to be secular, or atheist
(my ideas bolded) Editor at RWwas rooting for HD DVD 05:29, 19 February 2008 (EST)
RW is not supposed to be secular or atheist. It is supposed to be rational. However, many people here do have problems with seeing how unquestioning adherence to a religion is rational. That doesn't mean that people can't have a belief system or follow a religion. Although I would contend that most people actually adopt the "I don't like cucumber/anchovies" approach at the religion salad bar. The beauty of the bible is that you can "rationalize" your belief by finding some support for any idea and ignoring the bits that support an opposing stance. Jollyfish.gifGenghis Marauding 06:00, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Genghis: I don't know if I know what 'secular' means, but my interpretation of 'secular' in this context is what you say: not religious, not atheist, but rational. Editor at RWwas rooting for HD DVD 06:17, 19 February 2008 (EST)
There are two meanings to secular:
  1. Living in the world, not belonging to a religious order
  2. Occurring over a long period
While we may think it rational to be secular (1) it is not necessarily true that being secular is always rational. Jollyfish.gifGenghis Marauding 06:28, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Sure, but we are Rationalwiki, not the irrational one. It goes without saying that we strive to the rational. My distinction is between 'secular', 1. definition, as of "regardless of religion or lack of", and "atheist". Editor at RWwas rooting for HD DVD 06:40, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Secular does not mean atheist. Secular means apart from the clergy. It's the concern for roads, drains and building regs (amongst other things). The clergy concern themselves with people's beliefs and moral welfare. Secular things things can concern everybody whether they believe in God, Buddha, the Great White Ram or nothing at all. A washing machine is secular, a gas station is secular (except in Alabama), because they are independent of religious belief not because they reject religious belief. Jollyfish.gifGenghis Marauding 07:24, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Ok, my english is bad, I can't explain myself. Forgive me, not one of my three nationalities is english-speaking. I mean exactly what you mean. I'll desist. But do you agree with me, that there is a possible divide between those (me, perhaps you too) who say: "let's just be rational, regardless of religion, or lack of it; let's keep religion out of it") and the others who, in RW, explicitly or implicitly imply an "atheistic superiority": reading some contributions it looks as if for someone only atheism is compatible with 'rational'. Editor at RWwas rooting for HD DVD 07:46, 19 February 2008 (EST)
What you're talking about sounds close to the French concept of wp:laïcité - that the state (or the Wiki, in our case) is officially neutral in religious questions. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 07:55, 19 February 2008 (EST)
To be honest, 'secular' is my translation of that term, from an another romanic language, in adjective form. But since RW is not a State, my idea is nearer to 'secular' in the wikipedia sense, even towards 'secularism'. Editor at RWwas rooting for HD DVD 08:27, 19 February 2008 (EST)
And another one:
  • Should RW be rational or rationalist? (Yes, there's a difference)
--AKjeldsenGodspeed! 05:53, 19 February 2008 (EST)

Also, the anti-pseudo-science angle is somewhat lost on a lot of eds, new and old. Sterilexx 08:30, 19 February 2008 (EST)

Well, refuting pseudoscience requires more than a very basic understanding of science. I'm just a pseudo-intellectual layman, and have only the most minimal understanding of science (which is why I edit our science articles so little). Because I don't grasp many of the complexities of the sciences, I, perversely, trust scientists in much the same way a religious person trusts in a priest. I understand there are more than a few crackpots, but as a whole, I grant them my unconditional trust that they are telling the truth. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 13:13, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Well scientists are just people and can be just as guilty of deceit and conceit as anyone. However, most aren't and the beauty of the scientific method is that it requires peer review to become widely accepted. Of course some crackpot theories get well publicized but it is normally when gullible Joe Public fall for the woo. (Intelligent Design would be a good example of this). Just don't think that those people in white coats on cosmetic ads are scientists. Jollyfish.gifGenghis Marauding 13:50, 19 February 2008 (EST)
If I could weigh in on the meaning of secular as it applies to discussions at RW, it means not appealing to religious faith, dogma or texts as a source of evidence or proof of a statement. PoorEd 16:07, 19 February 2008 (EST)