Forum:Outline articles

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Personally, I'd like to call into question the missionality of "outline articles". By, this, I am referring to articles that use {`{sci-outline}}, and are typically just brief descriptions of the subject matter without having the slightest thing to do with any of the four points of the mission. As a typical example of these articles, we'll use meiosis.

  1. Documenting pseudoscience ~ Let's see, these are science, not pseudoscience, so no.
  2. Documenting crank ideas (any real difference between this and #1?) ~ Not a crank idea, and I really don't see any difference between Items 1 and 2.
  3. Documenting authoritarianism and fundamentalism ~ Neither of the two.
  4. Documenting the media on items 1-3 ~ This one should be immediately obvious to anyone with two neurons to rub together.

I know the mission guidelines are just that: guidelines, but seriously: do we really need these short articles, especially in the case of the meiosis one, where I can find literally everything in some high school biology textbook? If I wanted general information, I would've gone to the big wiki. These articles aren't on-mission, and they aren't snarky. There's literally nothing in them that really says "there's a reason to use this one instead of Wikipedia". Of course, going through to find and delete each article with {`{sci-outline}} would be painstakingly tedious, but we could just delete them or modify them to meet the mission or be snarky.

Hence, I would like to propose a plan of action, called Operation Silhouette just because it sounds cool:

  1. Any RationalWikian who wants to join can do so.
  2. If a member of Operation Silhouette comes across an article with the {`{sci-outline}} tag, they will consider if there is any pseudoscience based off of it.
  3. If that user can think of some pseudoscience online relevant to the article, then the user will add information about the pseudoscience, add a redirect if necessary (for instance the article on the 5.9 kiloyear event was redirected to the article on the pseudoscientific book based off of it).
  4. If the user can't think of any relevant pseudoscience but can think of some snark, then the snark should just be added and the article moved to funspace until it's removed in a cleanup project or something.
  5. If neither Items 3 nor 4, then the article is simply to be deleted, because seriously: why do we need these short boring irrelevant synopses? If I need info on meiosis, I'd go to Wikipedia, not RationalWiki.

Comments, questions, suggestions, voices of support, constructive criticisms, etc., are welcome. Ad hominiems about me wanting to delete articles are not. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 05:43, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

No thanks. Wiki articles on science tend to be totally impenetrable to a casual reader. Basic outlines of science subjects are interesting and relevant to what we do here. As for your claim I can look up meiosis in a biology text book; no doubt this is true, except I don't have a biology text book, nor have I ever heard of meiosis, so how could I look it up? I would, and I presume, others too, would quite like to stumble upon it one day whilst browsing recent changes or random page, and learn something about it. You want to deny me this opportunity because it doesn't fit in with your narrow view of what RW is. I think you need to hang out here for a little while longer before you start formulating site policy. --DamoHi 09:36, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Relevant? How? Tell me, which of the four mission points does it relate to, and how does it? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 17:52, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
As has been pointed out to you before (several times I might add), the Community Standards make it clear that these type of articles are permitted.
"RationalWiki is not a general encyclopedia; it does not require articles on every known subject. However, the wiki's mainspace welcomes many articles that do not relate to the primary missions of RationalWiki providing that they are factually accurate and of interest to the community at large. These include articles on general science, historical events and important individuals throughout the world."
You can find the relevant page reference here.
Please stop your campaigns. You are a newcomer to the site, appear to have no idea what the site is about, and as such should take some time to get the lay of the place before demanding it conform to your ideas. --DamoHi 21:16, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Responses to Criticism[edit]

Sometimes, people critique my idea. Like I said above, constructive criticism is welcomed, so I'd simply like to deal with it right here, right now. I'll add more to this as more people add to it.

Problem: Wikipedia's articles tend to be very complex and "impenetrable to a casual reader". Solution: This has occurred a lot of times over the years regardless of subject or wiki. Hence why they made something called the Simple English Wikipedia, which intends to be understandable by children and the ESL community, and would probably be understandable by an adult casual reader with English as his first language. RationalWiki is not an encyclopedia, as our guide to writing new articles spells out quite explicitly in its first item.


While I agree with Godot's philosophy that any page can be mission, in many cases you may find that the mission topic is covered by another article, and that the outline is merely important supporting material that shouldn't clutter the main article. Or that the material would otherwise have to be duplicated between several psuedosciences on the same science.

Additionally, this would not be a good use of funspace. Whatever it is, whatever it was intended to be, I highly doubt that that's it.

As for wikipedia, if I honestly didn't know what meiosis was but I needed to to get the gist of the article, I would rather the link here than to TOW. You just need to know the outline, and that's not something wikipedia can be relied on for. And we have a wp: link in the template, if it comes down to it. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 08:40, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Agree. ТySerious Business Guy 14:35, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
So, tell me, how does our article on meiosis meet with any of the four points of the mission? I went through them one-by-one in the OP. Also, I highly doubt not anything can be on-mission. I've heard of a preschool called "Clover Patch". I've heard of no wingnuts or fundies there, it's just an obscure preschool. Someone please make an on-mission article about Clover Patch preschool and prove me wrong. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 17:52, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Who cares? Honestly?--il'Dictator Mikal 17:55, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
You do: otherwise, you wouldn't have replied, and you would've just told me to go ahead if it made me happy, because you wouldn't care either way. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 19:15, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I care that you think you know what does and doesn't belong on the site, that you barely ever listen to ANY advice we've tried to give you and that every time you decide to do something like this i have to see it on RC. I dont give a damn about our outline articles, let em stay, are they causing you pain by being there? You didn't even know they existed until you went on a wiki walk.--il'Dictator Mikal 21:34, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
wiki walk. ohhh i like that!Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:36, 25 February 2012 (UTC)


If you are really the teen you claim to be (and I still find it hard to buy some of you are teens, heh, but that just might mean you'll take over the world) then you probably have never worked a "real job" before. And that may make you unaware of what a "mission statement" is or where it comes from. A mission statement is about a goal, a guiding direction, a place we want to focus on. but it's not some kind of hard/fast rule. "the only thing allowed here are things that are on mission". hell, if you were literal about that, all of CP would be gone, all the personal talk pages would be gone, adn essay space would be gone. Mission is a good guidline, but you really need to get off the idea that you can hold a give article up to the light and say "is this mission or not", when other editors are saying "seems good to keep". sometimes, mob is what mob is, regardless of how missionable the mob is. --Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:40, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Bring on referencespace, please! Sophiebecause liberals 21:43, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
(EC: here we go again) Jobs have "mission statements"? You mean I could potentially encounter this kind of argument in the workplace?Francis.gif Peter Monomorium antarcticum 21:44, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
No, cause here mission statements are somewhat useful. in the job market your "mission statement" is fucking obsurd. our mission statement is something like "We seek to provide a legal atmostphere where local governments and native tribes can address their legal concerns while being legitimized as indpendant, isolate entities. we belive that each client is an individual and not just a representative of his larger goverment. We seek to make a working environment where each employee has his best chance self actualization, and personal and professinal improvement". it's complete BS. And since 84ish, when it got popular, i've yet to have a job that didn't make us "revisit" our "mission" each year. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:49, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Very absurd... Do we have a whole page for "Job woo/BS"? Peter Monomorium antarcticum 21:51, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
my god, you could have a whole wiki on it. Pay checks being the first woo! ;-)Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:56, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
We have barely anything about work (management speak and trade union are all I can think of) but most workplaces are authoritarian in practice, and management is a world of woo. It's something that RW really needs to cover, and yet we hardly even notice the gap. Sophiebecause liberals 22:42, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
The problem may lie in the number of people editing from work, and whose bosses wouldn't let them if they spent all their time effectively complaining. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 22:44, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
My world mostly resembles 'dilbert', so it's been done. :-) but you're right, tere's probably lots of stuff...Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 23:27, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Bring on referencespace, please! I hope that's not sarcasm. Smiley.gif Blue (is useful) 22:36, 25 February 2012 (UTC)