Forum:RW's direction and revisiting editorial policy

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Introduction/Caveats[edit]

I'd like to start a dialog about how we as a "community" wish for RW to be regarded as a resource to the skeptical community and public at large. I think it's time to grow up and very seriously examine what SPOV means, what tone we wish to convey, what quality of material we want to present, and how we wish to treat new editors. We've only had short discussions of these topics that have gone nowhere over the last few years. We are failing our mission if we're neglecting our core material. Agree with me or not, RW increasingly strikes me as a haven for groupthink and increasingly off-mission material.

As a caveat, I'm not writing this in any official capacity because I'm not entitled to take an official position on editorial matters. I would if I could. My personal opinion is that RW is getting so far from what I still believe is its core mission that it's on the verge of requiring an itervention.

If you want to tu quoke or attack me (as has actually happened in the last several days - fucking pathetic - "I thought this was RationalWiki), go somewhere else. I fully admit I'm to blame for inserting ridiculously intemperate and unhelpful edits into articles here and there.

If you want to pop in with a "yep," "sounds good," or "me too," get back to templating and catting.

New editors[edit]

I've seen new editors attempt to add good material only to be reflexively rolled back without consideration of preserving good parts of edits and a message on their talk page referring to How to Write a RationalWiki Article and SPOV. It works when any of us do it, but I've seen editors actually tell people to put their proposed edits on the talk page and then mock me for pointing out our open editing policy. Try it. Start a sock puppet account and go attempt to flesh out a creationist or christian apologist's argument before we try cutting it apart. You'll fail. I could comment on why I think it happens, but the only real question is whether anyone else sees it as a problem, and if so, wants to do something about it. If not, I'm just a dick with too many opinions.

Core mission material, what we're presenting to the world, and snark[edit]

My particular interests are creationism and counter-apologetics. In my opinion, some of our creationism material isn't very good. It's also woefully out of date. As an example, we're a year and a half late responding to CMI's last round of "rebuttals" to various answers to the 15 questions, including some of ours. I spent hours formatting 3 pages full of their responses into side-by-sides that I, at least, think turned out nicely. I think something like 2 people took interest. Maybe 1 or 2 more. This is disappointing.

Putting aside solid scientific research for more complex topics, which is outside most people's ability, we ought to be able to give good responses to issues within our grasp. Some of our material is written with pointless "snark", which, whatever "snark" is, can be an excuse to be nasty and not cite critical truth claims. It seems to me that truth claims on this wiki end up being memetic to the point that people forget they do need to be adequately backed up (falsification, facile claims that ___ is pseudoscience).

I could have never imagined that templates and portals could have affected our public face so very much, but they have. Brainstars and article importance ratings on talk pages make me cringe. Portals that randomize within a category are pulling up articles I wouldn't want anyone to think is what we want to present as something we're proud of. We've got portals for everything. Portals that sometimes lead to shit.

SPOV is not an excuse to totally abdicate responsibility for asking the simple question: is this something I'd want to see pop to the top of Google results for a search for "rationalwiki"?

The skeptical community, RWF and $$, prestige, credibility, reputation, etc.[edit]

I'm deeply concerned about RW's critical reception in the skeptical community, and by extension our ability to consistently draw attention from notable skeptics (and obviously for the RWF to make $$ and move beyond RW). Sure, we occasionally get cited by prominent skeptics here and there, but we're not a go-to resource. We're not even attempting to engage the full range of participants in the pro-science and skeptical dialog.

I want the RWF to eventually stand shoulder to shoulder with and participate in events with the James Randi Foundation, RDF, New England Skeptical Society, Center for Skeptical Inquiry, etc. So far, RW is its only truly going concern so this is naturally where we're going to draw a lot of our energy. I want prominent RW editors and RWF officers or delegates on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe. We've got real scientists with graduate degrees and real research or professional interests directly relevant to important skeptical issues. We're not going to get there if some of our articles here look like they were written by children or people with serious personal grudges to pick (fine, I've been part of that problem at times as well). And we're going to alienate donors if we don't recognize that skepticism is a bigger tent than atheism and anti-theism. We've got christian editors here, but they're not particularly open about it. They are RationalWikians. The point is to consider who we want to embrace and how we're going to do it.

I recently spoke a few older editors who are widely respected by nearly all on the site. One stated the problem as he sees it very elegantly in a way that I think answers a number of questions about how RW ought to move forward:

We're making far too many assumptions about who our readership is. The fact of the matter is that RW readers outnumber editors by orders of magnitude. They don't look at Recent Changes. They don't look at talk pages.They come here from Facebook or specific Google searches, or wherever looking for information. So we're not an encyclopedia. We are a resource people do and should turn to. They're not all liberals. They're not all atheists. Etc. Some of the assumptions RW makes and biases we express really do look like groupthink to (some of us and) outsiders. The criticism seems to get mocked, which is disappointing.

In closing[edit]

I'm not going to cite a bunch of examples to support the claims I'm making here, not just because I'm lazy. Likewise, I'm not going to make very many assumptions about where this discussion ought to go other than to predict that it will be nowhere. Older editors, who I reckon are the only ones with sufficient experience to comment, either agree that these are issues that need to be addressed or they don't. This is either obvious to people paying attention or I'm just wrong and I'll go on my way.

Is there a dialog to be had here? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg (formerly Ghostface Editah) 16:42, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

____________________

Initial comments[edit]

I agree with a lot of the above, & have a few things to add.

As a starting point, I'd suggest taking fun, recipe & Conservapedia space articles off the map - i.e. out of the public-facing parts of the site: remove links to them from any portal/navigation pages, and as far as possible remove links to them from mainspace content. A few CP-space articles with broader appeal (e.g. the Conservative Bible Project) could be tidied up & moved to mainspace, & WIGO:CP should be in RW space with the other WIGOs. Most of the rest of CP space isn't really worthy of public attention.

There are some major holes in our coverage, e.g. our articles on some key scientists (Darwin or Einstein as obvious examples) are so weak they're almost deletable. Arguably, these should be core articles for our missions. But on the other hand, we're unlikely to ever be a go-to source for such well known subjects, so it's a matter of deciding what approach we want to take to subjects like this.

We also need to think about notability. While we certainly don't want to tie ourselves to Wikipedia-style sourcing/notability policies, the longstanding meme that "we have no notability criteria" is misleading and allows people to write articles on obscure blogs, terms they made up (aliensdidit, falldidit, flooddidit, satandidit) or self-promoting "internet laws" based on something somebody said somewhere at a forum sometime earlier that day.

Connected to notability is the level of attention we give to subjects and how we balance this. E.g. one of our longest articles is about YouTube user VenomFangX. Compared to the scant coverage of many major influential figures and movements in science, politics & religious, the detailed coverage of YouTube (& Conservapedia, LessWrong, Citizendium, etc.) seems somewhat amiss. But again, it's an issue over what people want to write about & read about.

Regarding rollbacks of edits to articles, this isn't a problem purely with new editors. When somebody makes major changes to an established article, not all of which are desirable, it can be exhausting to have to pick through it to separate the gold from the shit. In these situations, I do think suggesting that they discuss their proposed changes on the talkpage first is appropriate. That said, we don't seem very welcoming of new editors, and especially bad at engaging in constructive dialogue (part of our mission statement) with those who disagree with our articles' POV. Far too often, all they get is the {{RATIONALWiki}} template, which stopped being funny a long time ago and is really just shorthand for "fuck off", or else they just get told to fuck off. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:33, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

I've been looking through Wikipedia's Guidelines recently, and I know we're not WP, but we definitely assume bad faith more often than good faith -any suppositions why this is so should be put elsewhere. Since we're so bad at discerning good faith edits, perhaps our default position should be "assume clueless". --TheLateGatsby (talk) 13:26, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Wow, nice to see some of the best work on here get trashed so easily. Goddidit, Flooddidit, etc are excellent articles which neatly encapsulate positions widely held by various crowds of people. Sure, they don't refer to them as such, but these articles (and their titles) beautifully encapsulate the irrational thinking that goes on. Goddidit was the article which made me a fan of this site in the first place. VOXHUMANA 22:32, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
And I didn't say anything about it. "Goddidit" is a well recognised phrase & concept within religious apologetics & counter-apologetics, and I have no problem with RW having an article on it. But I don't like seeing it being used as an excuse for a bunch of copycat x-didit articles. If we embrace this sort of thing, where do we draw the line? It's not like there are a finite number of words you can shove in front of "didit". Angelsdidit, ghostsdidit, quantumdidit, thetansdidit, redsdidit, Jewsdidit, Popedidit, Obamadidit, etc ad infinitum. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:12, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps a didit fallacy article to cover the whole lot :) But yes (and speaking as someone who invented one of them) there are too many spurious Laws, Fallacies and Argumentums. Perhaps we should munge the smaller ones onto lists. Lists are cool. SophieWilder 10:50, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Doing stuff[edit]

Our good stuff is great. I've been picking over it for the blog, and don't think I'll be running out any time soon. But I usually have to do a slight rewrite and definitely a references update.

I wouldn't go feral on the long tail of crusty articles. It's a wiki, it's going to have a long tail of articles. No-one will see this stuff unless they go looking. (This is the "inclusionist/deletionist" argument on Wikipedia.)

In general, the way to make RW better is to write better stuff, and visibly. Make our good stuff better, make it the go-to article on whatever it is. We do this alarmingly well in many cases (and NaturalNews is now almost-fully cited).

Volunteer effort is not fungible. Volunteers are here to do what they want, not what you want; you cannot direct volunteers to do things. (You can at best suggest.) If you go through with an axe deleting people's work, they won't go and do things you think are more productive - they will leave and not come back. And other people will see this and leave with them, which is probably not what you want.

I concur on being nicer to new contributors. Until proven utter wastes of space. Worst is an enthusiastic waste of space, which is actively damaging to the content. (Yes, after a contribution history consisting almost entirely of bad logic, bad references and bad English, I will happily tell Proxima to edit somewhere other than the article itself.) Beware the geek social fallacies.

It's all a tricky one because people are often fuckwits and nobody knows how the fuck this wiki shit works, but all think they do - David Gerard (talk) 12:51, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

BTW, I increasingly see people casually referring to our good stuff, e.g. we appear to be the go-to article on woo. I am quite comfortable to say to people "yeah, it's a wiki, so lots of it sucks, but our good stuff is great, look for the silver or gold." I need to do the awstats charts to work out what our most popular 100 or so articles are, so we have targets for improvement - David Gerard (talk) 21:11, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
That! Can you do that please? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 13:28, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I've got anonymous Squid logs here (which is a quite temporary location, I need to set up a better URL or probably a subdomain for them) - these contain only a timestamp and a requested URL, no IP/location/browser data - if anyone more bored than I am wants to analyse them. The November ones are only from the 20somethingth - David Gerard (talk) 15:15, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Cool. I'll mess around with this. Do you still want that dump of dead links? It's sort of hit or miss because of timeouts but yeah. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:26, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I would love it!
(This is my idea of how to improve RW: individuals bothering to do shit) - David Gerard (talk) 20:06, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok even with a multithreaded program, it's going to take hours just to pull headers on all these pages. I'll put the file up in text format on my dev server when this beast finishes. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:37, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Seriously. There are 52,000 links in mainspace. I refactored a bit and restarted the app this afternoon. It's up to i. And those server logs are insane. Don't you have AWstats? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 03:07, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
We have the logs for awstats - Squid's synthetic Apache-style logs - but obviously those aren't public (they have full IP and user agent data) and so Trent or I, or someone cleared by the board (did Larron send back the NDA?), would be the ones allowed to look at them. So blame us - David Gerard (talk) 07:15, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Outside of summary statistics the awstats reports aren't that much cleaner. For example, I can say that we had 956,880 unique visitors last month in 1,424,150 visits. And our last redit hit brought us over 180,000 visits in a 12 hours span of time etc. But for reports on more specific details such as pages visited, referrals, and the like its still a cluster fuck of data. Tmtoulouse (talk) 17:28, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Those logs are a major pain in the ass to parse. I guess I can like learn more regex or something so I don't have to hold on to 3 gb of favicon hits. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:42, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I have done a lot of parcing of log files in my time, what exactly are you looking for? Tmtoulouse (talk) 17:51, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm grossly overstating how big a pain they're turning out to be. If you can't pull the report for trending hits per page from AWstats... Also the date format sucks badly. I have to regex it. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 18:34, 2 April 2013 (UTC) There are a few interesting looking squid log analyzers on sourceforge and github. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 18:34, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

SPOV[edit]

Regarding SPOV, I agree that it's often used as an excuse for shitty writing. The problem is keeping that balance between an over-reliance on humor (or "humor," as the case may be) and being overly dry. Getting rid of SPOV would lead to many of our articles being too much like carbon copies of The Skeptic's Dictionary. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:09, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

It would be lucky if we can reach event that level of quality. A more realistic result would be pages looking like bad Wikipedia articles.--ZooGuard (talk) 21:21, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
This is what I tried to convey in a recent partial rewrite of RationalWiki:What is a RationalWiki article?. Snark should be humour which helps to support points made by our articles, relating to the site missions, not humour which gets in the way of the missions by being used as a lazy alternative to analysing and refuting. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:41, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
A big problem with SPOV is that our guide to SPOV is really relative. We don't tell have any guides to tell people what defines "Snarky Point Of View" from "Crappy And Stupid Point Of View." As a result, what I view as "SPOV" is certainly different from what Blue views as SPOV, and both our opinions are 100% different from what Proxima Centauri views as SPOV. What we really need to do is have good side-by-side examples somewhere to show people what the difference is between good, snarky writing and terrible, shitty jokes. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 07:19, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
No, we really don't. The trouble is that anyone who needs it will not read it and will not understand it. Uncyclopedia's How To Be Funny And Not Just Stupid was put in place for similar reasons, and works just about as well because no-one who needs it will take it in - David Gerard (talk) 08:37, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Point taken. For the record, I wasn't aware any other projects had tried similar things, but that's because I usually avoid things like Uncyclopedia or ED. Still, the biggest problem is how liberally the term "snarky" can be used. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 08:48, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
In addition, I often find that SPOV can become very over-saturated, by which I mean going from snarky, to absolutely smug, obnoxious and arrogant. This is also prevalent in Talk Pages, et cetera. I mean, if a person just appears to be ignorant, rather than maliciously trying to spread bigotry, cast doubt on evidence, etc., then I personally think that it is better to educate them, by pointing them to evidence, data, and other things, rather than just going "lol ur fukin' returdid". To use a personal example, before I came to the Wiki, I was a srs bsnss MRA. When I first read the creep shaming article, which was a victim of the previously described phenomena, I was like "These people can go fuck themselves", without actually listening to the good points the article made. However, when I read the Men's rights activism and feminism articles, both of which were snarky, but not arrogant/smug/obnoxious, I was like "well, when you put it that way…"- and they actually succeeded in changing my opinion. So yeah. Impurity is the secret Unite with thy oracle Dolan.png 06:21, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Seconded. New users feel like they're reading something overly hostile, thus making us look like everything the unreasonable say about us. We must do better if our goals are to be accomplished. No cultural posturing and no insults meant merely for denigration. If we are to be skeptical, we must not stereotype from the beginning. We must present those who have a combination of multiple objectionable viewpoints.--The Madman (talk) 22:20, 12 January 2014 (UTC)MadmanJohnson

agree with all of this[edit]

I agree with this. We really need to think about our core articles, particularly evolution vs. creationism, global warming denialism, vaccine denialism and perhaps homeopathy. What do we want from the articles? Both the pro side and the anti side? In the same article or different article? Are all the key players represented? Are all the key concepts dealt with? We haven't done that for ages.

I also agree about snark. There's a difference between humor an obnoxiousness. It's better from a rhetorical perspective not to be obnoxious. A little humor is apporpriate (especially as a rebuttal to reductio ad absurdum but whole articles are hard to take seriously. (Anyone who hasn't seen Phil Plait's "Don't be a Dick" video needs to go watch it.)

We have an audience, and we need to attend to it if we want to remain fo the long haul. Many wikis die over time. Sterilesig.svgtalk 12:09, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Groupthink[edit]

Groupthink and "being part of the cool gang" are RW's worst vices, and can be damaging to the site. There was an incident recently where I got into an argument somewhere, and another user took my side - because I am a major site user. See what happened there? SophieWilder 22:07, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree 100% with Sophie on the above. Truth be told, it's the groupthink and the fact that everybody seems sooo entrenched in their own little clique here that they reject good, creative idea about RationalWiki and related projects that have driven me far away from RationalWiki lately. Far too often have I observed how RationalWiki handled a dissenting editor, and noticed that the overwhelming arguments put forth were ones that assumed the editor already agreed with the POV of the people arguing with them (said editor did not) and the way that people were either mocking them for dissenting from the mob's opinion or telling them that, for example, "God is just silly" is quite an embarrassment to us all. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 07:10, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Seconded.--The Madman (talk) 18:12, 12 January 2014 (UTC)The Madman

Article improvement[edit]

WP once did had WP:ACID, where users could nominate articles for improvement. Perhaps something along those lines might help? SophieWilder 22:07, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Once upon a time RW had the unfortunately-named Project Whitewash. There've been various other well-meant but half-arsed article creation/improvement drives since. Try launching another one, but I can't see it catching on beyond a few dedicated editors. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:21, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Bloody hell, ye olde project whitewash! You're probably right though... maybe I should follow my own dictum of "if you want anything done on a wiki, do it yourself." SophieWilder 22:25, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
That's basically it. It's easy to nominate articles that need work (& we already have various categories for this) but much more effort to actually do it, and most users would rather put the effort into subjects they choose to edit than working through a list of nominated content. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:33, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
That would be great, Sophie. I want to warn warn warn warn against this starting (and ending) with another namespace purge. They end being nothing but divisive wankery. We need updated core articles. Purging garbage is a priority but it's way behind making sure there's cream to rise to the top. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:45, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I think we've had enough purges now. What's a good way of identifying articles that need improvement, ie, are central to the mission but actually a bit crap? SophieWilder 22:50, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
High importance, low barnstar? What's that turn up? - David Gerard (talk) 23:17, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Almost all of our Gold articles are about concepts, and only one is about an individual. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people" (and chumps like me quote great minds, I suppose). If there are articles that need improvement, we should probably start with the articles about people that will likely need a lot of sourcing. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 14:44, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Two weeks ago -- or so -- we got a threat of a "cease and desist" from some woo-meister we cover (can't remember her name, she sells some sort of electronic apparatus and claims to be a consultant to the President). I think a good sign that we are doing our job would be to get one of those threats every week or so, with the caveat that our reply would be "all of the claims in that article are suitably documented. Have a nice day." People who use pseudoscience/woo to separate folks from their cash, or who tell cancer patients to eat more greens and forego chemotherapy are an important part of our mandate, and we could do a better job on those articles, and getting those articles into the public eye. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 15:14, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Some pages are probably not needed -I realized after working recently on the Scott Brown page that our coverage of him isn't necessary -it's no hit piece, but there are far more deserving targets of RW's scrutiny. We do need to cover people when the message of the article is "Listening to this person will land you in Jail, the Hospital, or the Morgue". Which is what you had with that C&D. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 15:24, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
would there be any value in listing the top say 50 articles each month as the "to do" list for improvements ? Hamster (talk) 17:31, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Top 50 by hits, you mean? That would give us a good idea of what readers are searching for. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 20:28, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Top 50 articles by hits would be really useful. Is there a way for us to do this? I'm not good at wiki-ing, so I have no idea if I could check the hits by myself. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 21:38, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Respect and agreement (with a caveat...)[edit]

First off, all respect to you Nutty. Me and you have, at various times, discussed this issue in private and I am glad to see this up for discussion. Secondly I agree with you in totality....thought not without a caveat. CP space and fun space are important for historical reasons. While weasel states the should be taken of the public face of RW (agree) I am concerned that dicks like Ty (who seems to think that if he and 2 other people don't like something it should be deleted) will use a new editorial policy to mark a wholesale deletion. This I would vehemently oppose. That said however, kudos to you. I would like to comment further but I am on my phone somewhere near the base of Mt Fuji and reception isn't great. I'll leave you with one final thought - I am in bed in my hotel room and not wearing any pants. Think about it...Acei9 22:57, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

80% chance this ends in frottage. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 23:01, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Ace makes a good point, and one that I've been thinking about more and more. That being that we should avoid massive deletion orgies like we had with Conservapedia-space and Fun-space. If people really think a page should be deleted, we should leave them the burden of having to go to the talkpage and nominate it for deletion. That way, at least, those who bother to vote for/against deletion will have to go and actually read the page. When we did the CP-space and Fun-space mass deletions, there were far too many people with a stake in one side or the other who voted accordingly all the way down the page, without even having lifted a finger to read any of the articles. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 07:31, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Bump Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 13:27, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

My Thanks For Being Pointed In This General Direction[edit]

You say, "I think it's time to grow up and very seriously examine what SPOV means, what tone we wish to convey, what quality of material we want to present, and how we wish to treat new editors."
My response to that is to go piss up a rope. "Grow up?" Really? To hell with that noise; I did grow up and I ended up being snarkier and more cynical than I ever was in my youth. If I want to "grow up", as you put it, I would have joined Wikipedia. Or Citizendium.
You say, "Agree with me or not, RW increasingly strikes me as a haven for groupthink and increasingly off-mission material."
I disagree with you completely. Consensus is not group-think and a loose mission is preferable to a tightly bound one. It is a tightly bound mission that killed various wikis that could have been promising - Citizendium is a good example - and I have no interest becoming beholden to a bunch of numpties who wish to sit in their grey-bearded authority and pass judgment on this and that. Again, if I wanted stricture, I'd have joined Wikipedia.
You say, "In my opinion, some of our creationism material isn't very good. It's also woefully out of date."
Then update it.
You say, "I think something like 2 people took interest. Maybe 1 or 2 more. This is disappointing."
To you. I personally don't give a shit what you update. Why should anyone care about what you update? What, are you disappointed that you didn't receive accolades or something?
You say, "is this something I'd want to see pop to the top of Google results for a search for "rationalwiki"?"
Wrong question. We should not give two shits about what pops to the top of Google results for such a search. Argumentum ad populum.
You say, "I'm deeply concerned about RW's critical reception in the skeptical community,"
You shouldn't be. I'm concerned fuck-all about RW's critical reception anywhere. You're looking for SeriousSkepticWiki.
You say, "obviously for the RWF to make $$ and move beyond RW"
You asked the Foundation as to whether they want to do that or not? And furthermore, WHY should we?
You say, "I want the RWF to eventually stand shoulder to shoulder with and participate in events with the James Randi Foundation, RDF, New England Skeptical Society, Center for Skeptical Inquiry, etc."
I see no reason for this. Why do you want this? What's your agenda? Because it is clear that you have an agenda of some sort, a transforming crusader mission to turn RW into some...glorious something for the cause of skepticism.
Well, fuck that.
You say, "Is there a dialog to be had here?"
My answer is no, but I need to thank you for something. You have absolutely convinced me that my recent decision to join RW is the right thing. Even though this screed was produced back in March 2013, it confirms what I want to do here - snark the stupid and document it. So no, I think I will reject your mission entirely. I don't want it. --Castaigne (talk) 12:54, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'd actually quite like a lot of those things to happen - but they have to happen organically - David Gerard (talk) 15:13, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
And that's just it; it will never happen organically. For Nutty's vision to occur, it would require a legion of inquisitors enforcing Obedience to the Dictates of the New Mission. To that I say: Faugh. --Castaigne (talk) 02:31, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with David Gerad there. Nobody sane who starts something like this intends for their beliefs to be pushed upon people inorganically. Nor are the people who spout things like this are evil. They have become unquestioning to what they believe without thinking too far. We must have a neutral viewpoint. The statements like "The truth must be blind" have become forgotten in the haste to conform.--The Madman (talk) 20:19, 12 January 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Query: WHY must we have a neutral viewpoint? And wouldn't that just be Wikipedia all over again? --Castaigne (talk) 02:31, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm glad I've never seen a single person express a single of of the opinions Castaigne does. Dude, go join ED or LIberalpedia so you can snark it up as much as you want. No, I don't ask for accolades. I contribute where I can how I can. That said, you don't deserve it and, if I ever lift a finger to help RW again, it's going to partly be because I want you to fail at ruining RW. As to the foundation, I've told the board what my agenda is because I'm on it. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:33, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I accept your hate with pleasure, good sir. *bows*
I have never had an interest in ED, since I remember LJDrama quite fondly and ED is but a pale 4channer imitation of it. I have no interest in Liberalpedia, primarily because I am not liberal. But thank you kindly for your suggestions. I will treat them in the manner in which they were offered.
But let's examine your attitude. You are more doctrinaire then you admit; after all, if I snark that will RUIN RationalWiki. It will not be held with utmost and highest regard amongst the Skeptic Gods! People might actually LAUGH at the cranks! The Crusade will be ruined!
I respond with lines from Nicole Blackman's "Indictment": "...all we want is ahead rush all we want is to get our of our skin for a while we have nothing to lose because we don't have anything anything we want anyway we used to hate people now we just make fun of them it's more effective so let's stop arguing and start the car let's quite writing suicide notes on deposit slips..."
Perhaps that's too cynical for you, or you've never read Nicole Blackman, or you simply do not care. But I can assure you of this; I will not "ruin" RationalWiki. But you should be careful how you tread, Robespierre. ;) --Castaigne (talk) 02:31, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Nutty, you may not realize that when I was telling you I come from Alabama, I wasn't lying. Huntsville may not be the best place to live if you're like me but it is passable.--The Madman (talk) 22:42, 12 January 2014 (UTC)The Madman