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Forum:Long term goals

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The long term goals of RationalWiki are:


3 year plan

  • Develop financial, technical, and management independence from the founder
  • Start engaging the media on issues of promoting science and critical thinking

5 year plan

  • Become a major player within communities and between other organizations with similar values
  • Promote policy and rational discourse on a wider level

10 year plan
(Let's dream big!)

  • Become the single largest provider of free content from a scientific and rational perspective
  • Develop global contacts and support to become a major player in policy initiatives related to our mission
  • Be able to help direct the discourse on topics of science and critical thinking around the world

These goals were written around 6½ years ago, on 19 November 2010; they also appear on the official RMF website. Presumably, this means that the 3-year and 5-year goals should have already been achieved, and that RationalWiki should be well on its way working to fulfill its 10-year objectives. On a scale of 0 to 10, to what extent do you agree that this is true, for each of the goals listed?
t 07:47, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Wigovoteup.png RationalWiki is doing just fine[edit]

Our Alexa rank is like, in the 7000s. That's pretty good. We do need to work on ways to increase that Alexa rank though to hit goal #3. Vive Liberté! 10:34, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Wigovotedown.png RationalWiki, more like TrashionalWiki[edit]

  1. 1: Independence: No. Trent alone pays the bills and knows the passwords. The current board might finally be able to fix this.
    2: Engage the media: No. Nobody has mentioned RationalWiki in an interview with any journalist ever.
    3: Major Player / Wider Level: Maybe. Alexa rank is a poor measure of visibility; our [www.alexa.com/siteinfo/rationalwiki.org rank is also ~19,000]. Despite that, we do appear to be one of the top anti-conspiracy-theory websites worldwide, up there with Snopes and friends.
    4: Single Largest Provider of Rationality: Hell no.
    5: Global contacts: Hell no. RationalWiki representatives have attended 0 conferences on public discourse, science education, or anything at all.
    6: Help discourse: Yeah, absolutely. It's the best place to link people about the fallacy they're making and then fail to explain why they're making that fallacy.
    </discussion> The above may seem very negative, but that's because these long term goals are very tough (perhaps impossible). To be honest, I think RationalWiki is doing fine in terms of promoting rationality among those who are skeptics. The two biggest issues are [1] decreasing editor contributions (which prevents more thorough debunks or debunks of new events) and [2] a stain of political bias (to wit, "TrashionalWiki", which prevents broader acceptance of RW). Both of these are also very difficult issues. FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 05:29, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
    Goodpost.gif Great to see a dose of reality here.t 08:25, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
    2: Engage the media: difficult to do when nearly everyone on RW is anonymous.
    3: Major Player / Wider Level: Some of the domains within RW are excellent (fallacies, conspiracies, pseudoscience, creationism/evolution), others less so. Generally, quality content should be able attract more of the same. General science pages are rarely as good as what's on WP, so they will be hard to compete with as far as getting knowledgeable editors.
    5: Global contacts: Anonymity is again a hindrance, as is funding. …
    Regarding the so called political bias, I've come to the conclusion that this has become necessary with the rise of Trump and fake news. We can't not cover the bullshit factory that is Trumposphere, and therefore we need to include all the other political bullshitters. If this is really a problem with credibility of other articles, perhaps politics could be loosely walled off in their own space like most of the Conservapedia articles? Bongolian (talk) 06:21, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
    Indeed, bullshit is often political and politics is often bullshit. Both deserve coverage. The problem is mostly that RW is seen as partisan, not that it covers political topics at all. (Snopes also covers political topics, which has also led many conservatives to think it's full of shit.) Snopes seems to do better when it can "show" that something is bullshit -- think video or images. We also do better if we can "show" why someone is stupid -- think racist quotes, "worst of X" videos -- instead of using references and our own interpretations. FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 22:31, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
    While we are on the subject of political bias and accuracy, my my. I probably agree more with this essay than the writer themself.
    I understand that many editors of this site have their political leanings. That's fine. But they should understand that every terrible article that purports to supports their respective ideologies actually undermines them. They will have on-the-fence readers think to themselves, are these the best arguments that people on this side of the political spectrum have to offer? That in order to promote this ideology, it becomes necessarily to brush inconvenient facts and arguments under the carpet? Or worse still, resort to alternative facts? If so, you'd soon find the fence-sitters on the other side. I hope people have this mentality while they edit RW.
    I was drawn to this site not particularly because I happen to agree with what it says (to some extent), but because the sheer insanity of Conservapedia nudged me slightly to RW's side of the political spectrum. RW is simply less crazy than Conservapedia, though that's not saying much. (Side note: which means, I expect that I won't be here on RW for much longer, since I hang around the Conservapedia-space most of the time, but I've learned that few among the old guard are still around.)
    As an apolitical non-American (apolitical with respect to US politics as well as that of my own country), RW's politics-related articles look terrible to me. This is especially so for topics regarding non-Western countries -- I'm talking about this sort of “quality”.
    Never mind the bias, the article on my country is so riddled with factual inaccuracies it rivals this. Yes, I understand that my country is not always right, but I see little effort to give credit where it is due. And if this site's editors want to critique my country, they fail to do so -- there's so much more to be denounced and/or analyzed about my country (about politics, and also about mission-related topics like the state of fundamentalism and general superstition and woo). Instead the article only mentions the tired, cliché, stereotypical criticisms, now with 50% less factsTM.
    To be fair, I realize the contributors to the article are mostly inactive/dead, but I expect that more casual readers who don't check the fossil record would happily apply guilt by association and simply discredit RW in its entirety, and all its editors.
    (If you ask me, why don't I edit the said article myself, I have no intention of sparking an edit war. In its current state, the article doesn't need fixing, I think it's so terrible it needs to be vaporized, along with most of RW's politics-related articles. Furthermore, as I said, I'm quite apolitical. I don't pretend to fully understand the complexities of politics in my country, or in any other country, for that matter. I hope that certain high-fructose corn syrup-consuming editors of this wiki can similarly learn to be humble, lest they begin posting their pseudo-intellectual analyses of unfamiliar countries from an armchair.)
    If you want to know more, please message me personally. I have no idea how to send or receive private messages through a wiki yet. t 12:35, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
    You have some valid points, User:Joaquín Martínez. Bear in mind that not every edit sparks an edit war. Users come and go, and not everyone is strongly attached to their edits, nor should they be in all cases. In the case of the article you referred to, Dhirubhai Ambani, the primary content contributor hasn't contributed anything at all since December, so may not be around anymore anyway. If you think you can improve an article, by all means do so, your edits will have longer staying power if they have links to quality references. If you think an article is so bad or non-missional that should be deleted, just stick this at the top of the page: "{{afd|(reason)}}, where you fill in the "(reason)" part. That will initiate (hopefully) a discussion about whether it should be deleted. Bongolian (talk) 17:54, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
    As for 5. Global contacts, no I don't count as one. XD t 12:50, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Snopes is taking our place on the internet, and should be considered our main competition. If they started a wiki today, we'd become irrelevant tomorrow. More than ever, civilization needs a non-profit organization to combat cranks, if not to change minds then at least to embolden critical thinkers. Stop dicking around, fundraise 365 and hire some staff. Frybread (talk) 06:30, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

Wigovoteneutral.png Goat[edit]

  • Just to display my avoid any confusion: as a board member, it is my understanding that these "long term goals" are being discussed here as a mere point of novelty, dating back to a past era of unbridled optimism (and, perhaps, limited self-knowledge). While of apparent historical (and snarky) value, these goals should not be confused with any sort of explicit policy actively set in motion by the currently sitting RMF board. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:07, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
As Joaquín pointed out, they are on the rationalmedia website. That website really needs updating, it still contains a link to rationalblogs on the front page. Christopher (talk) 15:30, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
  • OK, so perhaps we're not doing as well as we want to. But hey, if we have helped even ONE person combat irrationality, then I believe that one person vindicates all of our efforts. RoninMacbeth (talk) 05:17, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
That one person could be me. Learning about how to think somewhat rationally thanks to this site has helped me spot the bias in some of its articles.t 09:46, 26 June 2017 (UTC)