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RationalWiki:2023 board of trustees election/Campaigning

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Make RationalWiki Goat again!

Three trustees will be elected to serve 2023-2025.

"Campaigning" is for candidate promises & arguments in favor of their trustee-ship.

"Question time" is to ask candidates about their scandalous, hypocritical, and generally shitty behavior -- or anything at all you'd like to know their thoughts on.

"Endorsement sheet" is to endorse candidates.



Vita nostra brevis est dunc gaudate.

So here we are again. I guess you all know me by now. I've been a RationalWiki editor for very nearly twelve years. I created my account on 10 September 2011 and, although I haven't always been able to edit it every day, I must have made the equivalent of at least one edit to RW every single day since I first came here.

RationalWiki continues to be something in which I truly believe. Its mission is something I fully support and I try, to the best of my limited abilities, to keep RW true to that mission. I have no doubt at all that RationalWiki has helped shape me into the person I am today. I probably would have become the woke lefty liberal I am eventually, but RationalWiki definitely gave me more than a little push into that direction. In my previous job, it was thanks to RationalWiki that I was able to call out my rotten bosses when they tried to gaslight me, used logical fallacies and generally talked bollocks. In my current job, it was thanks to RationalWiki that I was determined to keep the woo and all references to things that can't be scientifically proven to exist out of the one academic journal article that bears my name.

And I will never forget how the RationalWiki community was there for me when when I need support. When I've needed a shoulder to cry on, the good people here have never failed to come through for me.

Like back in 2021, the reason I'm saying all this is not because it especially qualifies me for a position on the Board. It doesn't. I'm saying this again because I want to make it clear just how important RationalWiki is to me. That's why I want to do my little bit to make sure that it stays around for as long as possible. So I want to see to it that RationalWiki fulfills its legal obligations by actually having a Board of Trustees. Attending meetings, even if they don't finish until it's 2 o'clock in the morning where I am, is no problem and I will continue to try to the best of my abilities to carry out whatever duties might be thrown at me this time.

So again, I'm volunteering for a job hardly anybody else wants to do in the hope that RationalWiki will continue to be here and help to shape a more tolerant, accepting, politically, philosophically and scientifically literate and (dare I say it) rational world.

Don't forget to ensure my coronation. Spud (talk) 06:38, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

Question time[edit]

Questions for Candidates[edit]

  • Why is rationalwiki software so outdated, and will you get an bot that helps rescue sources? as many articles are experiencing 50%+ linkrot. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
I don't know how it was before the last years (but I think it used to be better some years before my time here), but lately, some people who did technical work have been less active without new people stepping up. Tim Starling (MediaWiki and WikiMedia developer) who did the last upgrade is too busy and doesn't want to bother much with RW, except that he may step in to keep it all from falling apart if it gets really bad. Then there's the old RW server admins, David Gerard (who messes with the server when he really needs to) and Trent Toulouse (I don't know if he's been involved at all this decade).
As for bots and stuff outside messing with the server, Techpriest runs an archiving bot and sometimes does more with it, but more people could get involved. I played briefly with wikibots a decade ago elsewhere, but never really did anything with them then. Others have also recently mentioned using bots to deal with Twitter/X links archiving before they rot away. I plan to discuss with them and maybe run bot(s) myself if others don't.
Anyway, for some time I've been thinking about possibly tweaking the wiki installation if I get access. One small annoyance is, hovering over references only shows tooltips on mainspace pages, not in e.g. funspace and essays; this can be changed with a small config tweak. And I remember someone posted earlier that they'd noticed a few user permissions misconfigurings that may be bad in a minor way for safety, but no public details. Also, the Google CAPTCHA for anonymous and new users has been noted by others to suck and I'd test disabling it and keeping it gone if spam doesn't increase. That's low-hanging fruit. However, another software version upgrade is a different scale of changing things, I'd consider that too but for that I'd really need to familiarize myself fully with how things are set up, and maybe ask some advice from Tim, if I am to get into that role too. It may go beyond my old experience messing with wiki software (I've dabbled in such development, but never been a real server admin). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 15:34, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
  • Rabbitseatcarrots: Bi-monthly recipe magazine: Will you work for RationalWiki to continue existing, or will you get rid of the website to start publishing a bi-monthly recipe magazine? Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 20:23, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
I'd rather publish a bi-monthly magazine about Beatrix Potter. Spud (talk) 05:50, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
  • Like most past elections for the board, there is no competition (3 seats, 3 candidates). Also, I will ask again that minutes of the meetings of the board be posted on RW. This hasn't been done for years despite promises by some candidates in the past. An alternative would be to conduct meetings by text, then post the resultant transcript. Bongolian (talk) 01:32, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
@Bongolian That's a good idea. Spud (talk) 05:50, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
I think the main reason why there are so few candidates is because most ppl want to stay anonymous. Monet Ye 07:58, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
We haven't had a Board meeting in a long time due to conflicting schedules, so that's why there haven't been minutes. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:54, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
I'd support having text-based meetings, whether or not that's the only form of meeting. I think such may also be simpler to have, since it could be left open for a longer time and people could drop in messages when they can. That could work around some having issues with schedules, if that remains tricky. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 21:13, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
The last record of minutes was 9 years ago in 2014 (RationalWiki:RationalMedia Foundation#Meetings). Was that the last meeting? We don't know because there are no minutes since then. Meeting minutes seems to be a legal duty for board meetings in New Mexico (where RMF is incorporated).[1][2] Bongolian (talk) 21:36, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
  • Is there any plans to bring back some method of counting basic stats like pagehits, referrer, national origin etc? I find it a bit odd that we don't have something that any basic blog host would get as standard in their dashboard. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:31, 5 August 2023 (UTC)
    I haven't looked into that yet, but I'd look at what Wikimedia uses and if it's simple enough to do and/or if there's any more suitable alternatives for MediaWiki. I think fixing issues and upgrading the wiki installation again are higher priority, but there'll be time to look further at it in the next 2 years. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 00:18, 14 August 2023 (UTC)
  • Can y'all finally get around to making a mobile-friendly version of this site? Carthage (talk) 19:09, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
    It was an old to-do item on RW:TECHSUPPORT to install MobileFrontend, it seems like it almost got included at the time of the last upgrade, but was skipped. Something to look into again together with looking into upgrading the wiki installation once more, or making larger changes. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 00:18, 14 August 2023 (UTC)

Candidate endorsement sheet[edit]

1. Spud (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · block user · vandal log · block log)

  1. Endorsements
  1. Bongolian (talk) 19:16, 4 August 2023 (UTC)
  2. ShabiDOO 22:09, 19 August 2023 (UTC)
  1. Anti-endorsements

2. DuceMoosolini (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · block user · vandal log · block log)

  1. Endorsements
  1. We're really going to need him because he actually could organize a booze up in a brewery. Spud (talk) 08:32, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
  2. Bongolian (talk) 19:16, 4 August 2023 (UTC)
  3. ShabiDOO 22:09, 19 August 2023 (UTC)
  1. Anti-endorsements
  1. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 23:09, 19 August 2023 (UTC)

3. ApooftGnegiol (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · block user · vandal log · block log)

  1. Endorsements
  1. Does good work here. I'm looking forward to finding out how to pronounce his user name. Spud (talk) 08:32, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
  2. Bongolian (talk) 19:16, 4 August 2023 (UTC)
  3. ShabiDOO 22:09, 19 August 2023 (UTC)
  1. Anti-endorsements