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RationalWiki talk:2011 board of trustees election/Election booth

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Someone want to translate approval voting into a brief instruction guide for this page? I don't feel like it right now. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:17, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Going to bed now, but will happily do it tomorrow. DalekEXTERMINATE 22:20, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Time constraints[edit]

Dang, one week? We just found out who the candidates are. ~ Lumenos (talk) 02:09, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

All of the candidates had accepted their nominations weeks ago. Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:42, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
There's an election? Really? Doctor Dark (talk) 02:56, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Point taken. I'm not sure if there was something about the total time limit, written in one of these guides, but no time to look now. ~ Lumenos (talk) 09:56, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Questions for the candidates[edit]

RationalWikiWiki's restriction on editing one's own article[edit]

The article about me at RationalWikiWiki completely misrepresents me. Do you believe that editors should be "forbidden" from editing articles about them there, using their regular username, when they could just edit them anonymously? ~ Lumenos (talk) 02:09, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

In my opinion: Go there and bring it up. While the Board owns RWW, it is a separate entity entirely from RationalWiki, and editorial control of content over there, like content over here, is in the hands of that website's users (or lack thereof). The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 02:17, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I think you mean the Foundation owns RWW, but maybe that means practically the same thing... but what does it mean exactly? If you own something can't you control it? Doesn't the Foundation have the authority/ability to decide who are the bureaucrats, for example? ~ Lumenos (talk) 03:58, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
No the users over there decide how the place is run and the procedure for choosing crats. The Board manages The Foundation, which provides the funding to keep the site operational, they don't run the site itself. - π 04:21, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
But couldn't they if they wanted to? ~ Lumenos (talk) 05:06, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, by a vote of 3-2 RWW could be turned into a website dedicated to multiply toilet paper. Tmtoulouse (talk) 05:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
One man's multiply is another's... that's why I'm asking ~ Lumenos (talk) 07:01, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Eira's response: My understanding is that the RationalWiki Foundation has no roll in RationalWikiWiki policy. RWF has been generous enough to host RWW along with RW, but this is just an arrangement of convenience. So my answer is: this is like complaining that CP blocked you, and you'd like me to change their policies. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 07:26, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I was just wondering whether you agreed with me. It seems it would be political suicide to suggest that RWW should be taking orders from the Board. (I just checked and the domain for RW[1] and RWW[2] both seem to be in Trent's name, so I suppose these both may be transfered to the Foundation someday.) I'm using this more as a litmus test to see if any candidate would be inclined to represent my interests. ~ Lumenos (talk) 08:20, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Regardless of any willingness I have to "represent [your] interests", the RWF does not operate RWW. If it seems like I'm entirely dodging the question, it's because you're making an analogy similar to "If you were elected to the US Senate, what would be your position on allowing me to drive my car on the right side of the road in Great Britain?" The answer is irrelevant to RW, and entirely outside of what my scope would be. If you would like to add a question here about RW policy rather than policies of matters outside of RW, then I'd be happy to actually consider and answer the question. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 09:52, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I didn't ask about allowing me to do anything. I'll try a different question. I think it is unfair that that WP forbids companies from editing (or hiring people to edit) their articles when they allow religious people to edit their articles like it aint no thang. Do you agree?
It is merely an example of a value of mine that I wish to know if you share. You have already got my vote for your responses below, but maybe, just maybe, it will help someone else decide at this pivotal moment in our micronations' histories. ~ Lumenos (talk) 12:24, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Hey Lumpy, you do know that RWW is for sale, right? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:57, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

No I didn't. But, it's scope is too limited for me. I like superwikis that include all lumenotable content/conversation. Increases their networking effects. ~ Lumenos (talk) 03:03, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I think Goonie had said something at RWW about wanting to purchase it after January. But that was months ago, and who knows if he's still interested. ConfickerInternational womon of mystery 03:27, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Is Trent selling just the domain name? Unicow (talk) 16:15, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
It wouldn't be so much selling as not renewing it. When RWW looked to have an uncertain "ownership" a few months ago, Trent bought and renewed the domain name with RW funds and it's sort-of owned by the foundation. From the last discussion with the board that mentioned it, no one was keen to keep hold of it longer than necessary. This includes domain name and hosting. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 16:41, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Copyright and attribution[edit]

I have some questions regarding your interpretation of the Creative Commons license in relation to creating forks/copies of RationalWiki articles or talk pages (Nx has not yet answered these questions[3]) For your convenience these questions are numbered so that you may number your answers:

1) The Creative Commons license states "You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor"[4]. Does the current RationalWiki copyright notice specify how copied work should be attributed?

2) Does the Board (or anyone else) have the authority to amend the RW copyright in order to specify how copied work should be attributed?

3) With the current license, how must copies be attributed in the following scenarios; for example, is it sufficient to put the attribution in the copyright-page of the new wiki, or do they need to place an attribution notice at the top of each page? Secondly, must they import the entire edit history?:

3-1) A supermajority of RationalWikians decide to "move" the wiki to a new domain, so they create a fork.
3-2) Someone copies all content from RW (including talkpages), but they import it into another wiki that already has a lot of content.
3-3a) Someone makes a wiki that only has content from RW, but it is only a small part of RW...
3-3b) ...then they add a bunch of content that is not from the original location of "RW".
3-4) A copy of only one RW article.
3-5) A copy of only one RW talkpage.

~ Lumenos (talk) 02:09, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Answered in the order in which they are asked:
  1. Yes.
  2. Yes, the board does have that right.
  3. 3-1 would depend on what this "supermajority" decision consisted of. If it was a decision made on behalf of RationalWiki, then I would assume the Board would have some input before the content was moved. 3-2 would depend on the motives for copying the content. Would this copy qualify as "fair use?" If not, then they first get permission to copy the content. In any case, a proper citation to us should be used. Section 3-3, 3-4, and 3-5 would be the same answer I gave for section 3-2. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 02:35, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Can you handle a crises? Please assume that the copying is being done at the behest of the Board in a worst case headless-chickens-foaming-at-the-mouth-situation. ~ Lumenos (talk) 02:51, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
All things considered, I think I do fairly well under crises. This alleged and theoretical "crisis" would be no worse than any other crises I've ever dealt with and, comparatively, would be miniscule compared to some of the crises I've dealt with in my own personal life. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 03:05, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Burn it to the ground and collect the insurance. Tmtoulouse (talk) 03:07, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't see your point. Can the data be destroyed? ~ Lumenos (talk) 03:53, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
That's all well and good but I'm asking about the legal aspects of the "crisis" I described. In your reply you said, "If it was a decision made on behalf of RationalWiki, then I would assume the Board would have some input before the content was moved." I'm asking about a situation where no one requests input from the Board, they create a fork because they are dissatified with the way the Board is running the wiki. I wish we don't have to get all caught up in questions like, "Who would do such a thing?" I just think these are the sorts of things a Board member should know before a crisis happens. ~ Lumenos (talk) 03:53, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Eira's response: I actually have some good understanding of copyright law, and IP law. I am however not a lawyer, and none of this should be interpreted as legal advice.
1) My understanding is that RW does not have any specific or explicit method of attribution. As such, my understanding is that one need only give what they understand to be adequate attribution. If such attribution is in fact actually insufficient, then the RWF would notify that individual about the inadequate attribution, and state any necessary remedy.
2) It is difficult to change the copyright license of any content that has already been released under a "copyleft". However, the RWF board theoretically would have the authority to change the copyright licenses in accordance with all proper laws. (This would be the US District Court of New Mexico, and the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.) My understand is also that there need be no alteration to the copyright license, but rather simply an explicit statement about what the RWF would find to be sufficient attribution.
3) I think that the copyright notice on any page that inherited rationalwiki content would require a copyright notice, which should indicate attribution. I do not think such a copyright need be at the top of the page. As per the grounds of the Creative Commons, one may take and transform the content in any way that they see fit. Therefore, there is no reason why the entire history should need to be imported.
3-1) This question shows a misunderstanding of how the Creative Common's copyright works. Each individual RWian is free to fork at any time, and no such supermajority is required to do so. They simply need attribute RW as a source.
3-2) One may import and integrate all of RW's content into another wiki, there is no problem so long as they give proper attribution.
3-3a) Attribution is required for all derivative use of RW content, regardless of how small. If this is done as a "small part of RW", then I misunderstand why there is necessity to do such a project outside of RW.
3-3b) Attribution is required so long as the content is a derivative work of RW, regardless of if additional content independent of RW has been added.
3-4) Attribution is required for all derivative use of RW content, regardless of how small.
3-5) Attribution is required for all derivative use of RW content, regardless of how small.
--Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 07:56, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
"Therefore, there is no reason why the entire history should need to be imported." That's because the authors of our articles still own their contributions, and under the terms of CC-BY-SA they must be attributed. One way of attributing them is to link to the fossil record of the original page on RW, if you don't import the history. I think it is also sufficient to just list all the editors that have edited the article. However, if forking the entire wiki, it would be ideal to do it with the full history intact. -- Nx / talk 08:23, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Section 4(c)(i): "the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied, and/or if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g., a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice, terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party or parties;" As the Licensor, RationalWiki Foundation could designate that attribution need only be given to "the community of RationalWiki". I don't really see the benefit of requiring a fork to copy the entire history, because the Creative Commons gives them the right to adapt the work as they see fit. Insisting on copying the entire history places limitations on that ability to readapt, remix, or alter the work. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 09:21, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say it was required to copy the history, but you are right that the RWF could simplify the attribution. What I said is that for a forked wiki it would be nice to be able to save the history. -- Nx / talk 12:59, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I believe what Nx means is that if you "adapt the work" by removing the edit history, you have removed the attribution. (Very interesting all these new interpretations I wouldn't have imagined.) ~ Lumenos (talk) 09:40, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Note this would appear to preclude making print-outs (unless you include "edit history"). Just saying. ~ Lumenos (talk) 12:26, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Print-outs are not a derivative work, thus no attribution for the work is required. Rather it is simply a form of reproduction, and thus is subject to the terms of normal copyright. CC-SA provides a full license grant to reproduce the work in any medium known or to be known. Thus, printouts of any page so long as they are not modified need no other action than being a faithful reproduction including copyright. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 13:23, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
It would be nice if people wouldn't second-guess my questions, but you are correct that I don't know how CC license is supposed to work only because the RW license does not state how the work must be attributed (as would seem to be a requirement IMHO). Four people have given their interpretations so far, and they are all quite different. I do understand that anyone can copy/fork and that it always requires attribution. That wasn't the question. The main question is, "When must attribution appear on every page?" The reason I ask is that it seems reasonable to have attribution on a page if that is the only page copied. It does not seem reasonable to have attribution on every page if the whole wiki is copied. So my questions are aimed at gradients between those two "extremes".
You have provided a very interesting new clue; that maybe the Board can make it up as they go! If they approve of a fork they can allow them to put attribution only on the copyright notice page; if they disapprove of a fork they can make them put attribution at the top of every article and talk page in great big red letters. It seems that it is your position that even if the vast majority of editors copy the wiki to a new domain, they would be required to put attribution on every single article and talkpage. If this is not what you meant (at position 3) please elaborate. ~ Lumenos (talk) 09:32, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
The actual legal text covers the default attribution method. RW need not actually define it separately.
To clarify my statement, RW doesn't put a full copyright notice on every page. It does however contain a link on every page to the copyright notice. I don't see why it would be unreasonable for someone to simply include the attributions in a link upon every page. After all, for that forks own personal interests, they would want to place a copyright notice on every page already. Extending that with an attribution is not something unreasonable to ask.
The board could potentially make any number of requests that it is not actually permitted to make. There is nothing in the creative commons that says that the board would have any right to dictate that attribution need be in big red letters at the top of every page. That could actually be considered as a violation of the derivative author's right to adapt and remix. The plain English version of the terms is not the legally enforceable terms of the distribution contract.
If you have any confusion in this regard, I recommend that you speak with a lawyer. I cannot provide legal advice about what is permissible and what is not. I'm giving my best interpretation of the law, which has absolutely no legal force, even if I were elected to the board, and had authority to speak on behalf of the RWF. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 09:46, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying. So you are saying the opposite of what I thought as far as requiring the full attribution/copyright message on each page. I see how my questions may have been ambiguous since we could be talking about links to attribution.
I'm not so worried about this to talk to a lawyer. If I did, would they all tell me the same thing? I don't know that there is much legal precedent for them to go on anyway. I wasn't able to find anything about CC being tested in court. I'm really asking to evaluate your fitness as potential Board member. You have impressed me and that part of your interpretation seems reasonable.
I've read the legalcode, but I am perplexed that people keep telling me there are some default attribution instructions in there. Where? Section 4 c seems relevant to attribution. I will reproduce this section here:
If You Distribute, or Publicly Perform the Work or any Adaptations or Collections, You must, unless a request has been made pursuant to Section 4(a), keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing: (i) the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied, and/or if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g., a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice, terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party or parties; (ii) the title of the Work if supplied; (iii) to the extent reasonably practicable, the URI, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not refer to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work; and (iv) , consistent with Ssection 3(b), in the case of an Adaptation, a credit identifying the use of the Work in the Adaptation (e.g., "French translation of the Work by Original Author," or "Screenplay based on original Work by Original Author"). The credit required by this Section 4(c) may be implemented in any reasonable manner; provided, however, that in the case of a Adaptation or Collection, at a minimum such credit will appear, if a credit for all contributing authors of the Adaptation or Collection appears, then as part of these credits and in a manner at least as prominent as the credits for the other contributing authors. For the avoidance of doubt, You may only use the credit required by this Section for the purpose of attribution in the manner set out above and, by exercising Your rights under this License, You may not implicitly or explicitly assert or imply any connection with, sponsorship or endorsement by the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties, as appropriate, of You or Your use of the Work, without the separate, express prior written permission of the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties.
Take this statement for example, "if a credit for all contributing authors of the Adaptation or Collection appears, then as part of these credits and in a manner at least as prominent as the credits for the other contributing authors". Would the edit history be considered "credit"? Or take this, "the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied". Are the authors' "names" "supplied" by edit histories? I bet if/when Nx read those they would be proof positive that we must include the edit history for attribution.
Or how about this, "the URI, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not refer to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work". Hugh?
Eira writes, "The plain English version of the terms is not the legally enforceable terms of the distribution contract." Well the plain English seems more convincing than people saying we should ignore it. How else can you interpret this: "You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor"[5]? This seems to be the only clear statement and it seems to imply that the licensor should specify how to attribute the work. How else is the copier supposed to attribute the work in the manner specified?
~ Lumenos (talk) 11:23, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I do not say that the "plain English" version should be ignored. I said that it is not legally enforceable. One cannot take that version into court and say "there was no specification of how to give proper attribution as required in this plain English summary." As the summary, again, holds no legal force. As you seem to have already found, the default is to provide attribution for each Original Author, and every effort should be taken to ensure that such attribution is given full and equal display as all other contributors. And yes, a full copy of the history would be entirely sufficient for attribution, and arguing for "insufficient attribution" in such a case would be extremely difficult in court. However, obtaining and committing the full history to a fork is a little more difficult than simply forking content without the edit history. It either requires excessive screen scraping, or a backup of whatever database such changes are held on. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 13:18, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Quoted reply to Eira 13:18, 11 January 2011[edit]

"the summary, again, holds no legal force." --Eira 13:18, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't see how it is much of a "summary" then. That is why I asked how you would interpret it. ~ Lumenos (talk) 15:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


"obtaining and committing the full history to a fork is a little more difficult than simply forking content without the edit history. It either requires excessive screen scraping, or a backup of whatever database such changes are held on." --Eira 13:18, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Do you know about Special:Export? I just got a "copy" of this page and imported the full history to Lumeniki. Seems the only major problem is that it didn't end up on a "talkpage" (apparently due to different naming conventions on the two wikis). ~ Lumenos (talk) 15:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


"As you seem to have already found, the default is to provide attribution for each Original Author, and every effort should be taken to ensure that such attribution is given full and equal display as all other contributors." --Eira 13:18, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I haven't "found this out". It sounds like you are saying the same thing Nx sounded like he was saying before he said he wasn't. Aren't you saying the default attribution would require the full edit history or perhaps a list of all editors?
What about this part:
and/or if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g., a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice, terms of service or by other reasonable means,
Are we instead designating RationalWiki (Foundation) as the publisher and "Attribution Party"?
~ Lumenos (talk) 15:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


So now it appears you are saying that the default attribution requirement, is that a copy/fork must attribute every author. And that while one may theoretically have the "right to fork", they don't have the right to export the full edit history and therefor anyone without some special software or great programming expertise, could be prevented from actually creating a legal fork unless perhaps they make a text copy of all the "past revisions" pages. Is this a correct summary? ~ Lumenos (talk) 15:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


However, it would seem that this would mean that the licensor is not RationalWiki (Foundation) but the individual authors and therefore perhaps RW would be legally obligated to comply with the requirements for the "Distributers", that is, they can not introduce new "technological restrictions" on the work:

when You Distribute or Publicly Perform the Adaptation, You may not impose any effective technological measures on the Adaptation that restrict the ability of a recipient of the Adaptation from You to exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the Applicable License.

Would it be stretching the law to say that RW may violate the CC license if it forbids Special:Export of full edit histories because RationalWiki is the "Distributer" and the previous editors published their work without restrictions on page exports?

~ Lumenos (talk) 15:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


It is all so ambiguous to me except the plain English summary. I don't see why we wouldn't just specify attribution in the RW copyright page, unless we prefer this to be a legal gray area requiring expensive lawyers to settle a dispute.

~ Lumenos (talk) 15:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

"I don't see how it is much of a "summary" then." Summaries are common in law. They carry no legal force, they are simply just a simplification of what is said so that an cursory understanding may be gained by reading them. They have never been considered to have legal force.
"That is why I asked how you would interpret it." My interpretation has no legal weight, and I would side with any interpretation given by a lawyer that the RWF has retained to represent itself in any legal matter such as this.
"I don't see why we wouldn't just specify attribution in the RW copyright page" Because a default attribution is specified in the legal code. "unless we prefer this to be a legal gray area requiring expensive lawyers to settle a dispute." The truth is that legal disputes nearly always need to be handled by expensive lawyers. It sucks, but that is how the law works.
Now, beyond these few points, this is getting off-topic, and tangential to the election process. The full legal text of the CC-SA is not ambiguous, however it can be difficult to grok, because it is dense legal speak. Be aware that "ambiguous" means "having two or more meanings", not difficult to understand or vague, or anything like that.
As noted, the Truth is that if you want to ensure that you produce a legal fork of anything then you need to get legal advice—which I am not allowed to give—from a lawyer, which I am not. I could sit down and explain all these issues to you in exhaustive detail, but it would start to encroach upon providing legal advice. In addition, you are starting to ask specifics about a particular set of circumstances, which definitively encroaches on providing legal advice.
No board member would ever be able to provide such advice to a fork unless they were a lawyer, and even then, they would be ethically bound to refrain from doing so because of a Conflict of Interest (as they do not represent any particular fork's interests, but rather represent the interests of the RWF).
So, in summary, I am prohibited by law from explaining all this in detail until you understand it, and from providing any clarity as to your specific situation. If you have any remaining questions, I can only advise you to speak to a lawyer. This is how the US legal system works. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:33, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Jeez, serious bizness. I wasn't asking about making a fork, I was asking about interpreting the license. I suppose it is clear to whomever wrote it and maybe some lawyers but it didn't seem that everyone here could reach a consensus on what it says/means. That's what I call "ambiguity". I mean, if agreements are clear to those who make them, I think they are unlikely to have a dispute.
Now that I think about it, Trent updated his lawsuit threat count recently. Maybe that has something to do with this FUDy atmosphere?
Well we tried and I think we got half way there. You were incredibly gracious, particularly given my apparently inappropriate questioning (judging from Bob M/NuttyRoux evaluation below). I learned a few more things from your insights and our discussion. Muchas gracias. I'll see if I can't sneak out of here without letting the door hit me. :D ~ Lumenos (talk) 19:41, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Linking to Wikipedia from articles[edit]

Hellow. I've heard (from Bob M) that there is a sort of informal "policy"/"tradition" here forbidding us from linking articles to Wikipedia (or possibly other websites) except in reference footnotes. But there is also a handy "tag" that lets us do this ("wp:rational"). I often find that WP has more developed articles on some subjects, although many of these might be called "bloated" in that there is more information that doesn't relate to "refuting psuedo-science" and whatnot. (It must be easy to make a bot that could do a find-and-replace for all "wp:rational" whenever a decent article RW article is made, so I don't think we would be absolutely committed to one "policy" or another.) Is it alright with you if we link to WP articles when they seem to be more informative or relevant to the subject? :(sic): (talk) 05:25, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Spoiled Papers[edit]

Can I just say that when you get my vote, it's not an error: I deliberately spoiled the paper. I don't care about this election but didn't want to go down in the "didn't bother to vote" column, so I voted for nobody. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:32, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Cool story bro. Oded Borstein (talk) 18:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
That's the spirit. Just out of interest, if you don't care, why are you making such a big deal about not caring? The easiest thing to do would be not to even come to the page, there is no requirement to take interest in the affairs of our pay masters. - π 10:46, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm voting because one should always use one's vote. I'm mentioning it so whoever counts the votes doesn't think there's been an error. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:59, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. I live were voting is compulsory, so we get a lot of silly things on ballot papers when people can't be arsed. - π 11:24, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Bob's response[edit]

Bob's response to Lumenos: Hi Lumenos. Thank you for all your questions. Frankly I feel disinclined to debate them with you at this moment. You my assume that this is also my follow-up response to any additional/other questions of yours. I fully understand that this may make you vote for another candidate.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:47, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

???? Answering the questions does not require debate. If I disagree with something you claim, at this time you would have the opportunity to "debate" or not. ~ Lumenos (talk) 13:01, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
In the unlikely event that you will post a brief answer, under the condition that I not reply to it, I will agree to that. I need to have some way to narrow down these candidates and it is difficult to judge Board qualification, from unrelated contribution history. ~ Lumenos (talk) 13:46, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
In other words I take it he finds you as tedious and irrelevant as all the other people who couldn't be arsed to respond to your attention whoring antics. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 15:45, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
They are just honest questions. One would think you could ignore them if they don't interest you. ~ Lumenos (talk) 16:45, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I was trying to help you. Bob's response did not invite yours and I was trying to explain why that might be, though of course I can't speak for Bob and I'm only guessing his intentions. You my assume that this is also my follow-up response to any additional/other comment of yours. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 17:02, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Creative use of the term "shoring", BTW. : ) Well I pretty much get that Bob thinks that. I just thought I'd pull a Jesus maneuver and turn the other ass cheek. Does it make me look like the humble conceited beggar? I don't exactly mind not getting replies. I think it could be because he doesn't understand what I'm saying, and future problems that I could be preventing, if anyone would see the problems with the copyright. What do you do when it seems like you are the only person who sees something? Assume it isn't real? Being that you have legal expertise, I'd be interested in your feedback if you want to "help". Maybe it would become a "debate" because "conversation" and "debate" seem to be one in the same for me. ~ Lumenos (talk) 18:21, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I think it makes you look like a concern troll. Fuck off. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 18:45, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
<sigh> Apparently I'm just so irresistible and of course I am to blame for how others react. Nevermind if I happen to be correct in my perception. I don't see what the big problem is. If you don't want our conversations on your talkpage, why don't we move it elsewhere or something? ~ Lumenos (talk) 18:59, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Nutty is right. STFU. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 19:24, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Reason please! Whadido? ~ Lumenos (talk)

Tyop[edit]

Surely it needs to say "already voted" not "all ready" voted, unless there's some gag that I'm missing. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 18:40, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I wrote the extension. Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:42, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Ergo it was rendered in phonetics a million miles an hour. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 18:44, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Voting Verification[edit]

I'm wondering what form of verification can or will be done on the votes. Will the raw anonymized voting data be made available in some way shape or form to someone so that double checking may be done? I don't mean to imply any fraud, or intent of fraud with the voting system, I'm just skeptical by default. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 20:02, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I have no problem making the ballot file public once the official count is completed. Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:23, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't think any members of the board are intelligent enough to commit fraud here. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 20:25, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah yes... all is going according to plan... just need keep the ruse of this stupidity up for another week and... hey, wait, stop typing what I'm saying. Computer, stop dictating me. Computer I said stop. Computer off. shit... fine, just send... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 22:30, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
<stary eyed> (isn't she wonderful?) Gawd it will be a miracle if you can win with all your "troll feeding" and saying things that I agree with. ~ Lumenos (talk) 05:14, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
If I may pose the most obvious of questions, "How will we know that it is the real ballot file?" I've posted a technical solution to this already. ~ Lumenos (talk) 05:14, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Because I have nothing better to do with my time than forge 100 odd STV style votes? Tmtoulouse (talk) 05:20, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The pseudonymous public ballot will also detect computer failures such as votes that don't get counted. I would think most problems with recording the votes would be replicated in the ballot file. What is the point of making that public? (BTW, I've apparently found FOUR bugs so far in LQT, merely by being inquisitive and experimental.)
(Minor issue: Are you the only possible person with potential access to the votes? Are computers not hacked all the time? Lots of brainiacs and clowns around these parts.)
When do you imagine RationalWiki will shut down? I don't see why it should shut down for millions of years; long after you are gone. In that time there is bound to be "corruption" (that you may find appalling). Right now you could demonstrate to all the world that there is no corruption. You wouldn't expect even your political rivals to trust you, would you? You could PROVE the system is open, perhaps more open than any project before, because even with a "paper trail" it is very difficult to count votes, but not with a spreadsheet. If you poopoo the idea now, it may never be used on this "wiki"/website because of the great "respect" everyone has for you. (I only put "respect" in quotes because I don't consider arguing to be disrespectful.)
If a RW programmer develops the pseudonymous public ballot, perhaps you could share it with other online services, such as Wikipedia. If WP will not use it, RW will have that advantage over WP. ($16 million bucks, Man, with a staff of like 50 people. Wikis can be extremely profitable AFAICT.) ~ Lumenos (talk) 09:30, 12 January 2011 (UTC)


Lumenos: there is no way for tmtoulouse to remove all doubt of any fraud in this election. The voting system is not unassailable, and all the wonderful anti-fraud acts that can be taken in "real" elections cannot be taken here. (Note: we could do this, but only if ballots were kept secret only during the election itself, not post-election. I would not advocate for this.) My concern for validation was merely for mechanical validation, not to protect from fraud. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 20:22, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
What type of "fraud" could not be prevented by the pseudonymous public ballot? If we say that "sock puppetry" is allowed, this wouldn't be fraud. I suppose I could claim that I was Pi and had my password stolen, but who would do such a thing? ~ Lumenos (talk) 13:31, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Not everybody sees edit comments, BTW. Here is Eira's for the above post, " securing against all fraud is impossible. But I wanted mechanical validation, not validation against voter fraud." I thought I addressed that also. The first paragraph I wrote above is about "mechanical validation". Having the ballots file might detect if a computer/person miscounted the ballots and announced the winners, but I think there is more likely to be an error with writing the votes into the file. I suppose writing a file is not so much harder than reading one, so it does provide more assurance. ~ Lumenos (talk) 15:23, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Can we change our vote?[edit]

When we click the vote button is that the end of our vote, or can we add to it or change it? ~ Lumenos (talk) 09:55, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Once you vote you vote. The only way to add or change would be if we linked your actual vote to your user ID. Which we do not. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:22, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

ListenerX's response[edit]

All the questions that have been asked of the candidates so far seem to have the same answer: "That is a matter for the mob, not the board of trustees." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:35, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

(Already voted Thurs because knowing me I'd forget on Fri.) I've been having second thoughts about not including you. I guess I should have started researching you earlier. Nx, would you be a dear and add ListenerX for third on my ballot? ~ Lumenos (talk) 12:30, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah there is usually "virtual concensus" on that issue (before further inspections have been done). We have had this conversation many times. Usually that is true, but what if the "mob" does not march in perfect lockstep? Your statement is like saying, "Slavery is a matter of State rights. The Present has nothing to do with it." The Fed could take over that role and it tends to concentrate power with time. One might also consider the possibly that the "mob" hears the words of the "mob boss" and falls right in line. ~ Lumenos (talk) 15:03, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Forging votes[edit]

I just voted in Lumenos's name. Election.php does no checking on the username, so I can claim to be someone else and vote in their name. -- Nx / talk 06:23, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I assume you have done something about this, now that this is no longer a "zero-day" attack strategy? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:41, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Not yet. But it would mean resetting all the votes. -- Nx / talk 06:48, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Then why did you reveal it? We do not, to the best of my knowledge, have any hardcore hackers who are interested enough in the results of this election to pull off electoral fraud. "Security through obscurity" was quite a good defense in this case. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:53, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I did not reveal how to do it, but security through obscurity is a pretty weak defense; anyone who knows a bit of html can figure it out. -- Nx / talk 06:56, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but that would involve looking at the HTML source for the voting form, which fewer people would have thought to do without this handy hint here. Besides, for all anyone knew, the form could have been relying on MediaWiki session-cookies for authentication. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:00, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Ok, it's done. It's up to Trent to reopen the polls and decide what he wants to do with the existing votes. It is possible to save the existing votes, if it doesn't bother you that there may be forged votes. I've undone my vote as Lumenos. -- Nx / talk 12:32, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

IMO, it's not a proper election without accusations of fraud. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:48, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I thank nx for finding and fixing the security flaw. I think it is important that such issues be addressed when they are found and that he did the right thing. That said I see no evidence that any fraud has taken place in the votes so far. Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:35, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I have reopend the election with the new extension but have decided to keep the existing votes, so those that have all ready voted won't have/need to vote again. Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:55, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I see it's been changed to completely remove the voting process if you've voted or ineligible. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 16:25, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I would redo the "election" and send notices to everyone (via talkpage and email if available). That would be a good time to ask them if they want to op out/(in) of the vote notification mailing lists, forevar. ~ Lumenos (talk) 12:25, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Waaaadiditellyou?!?! Goblins GOBLINS in these parts! Nothings is sacred to them. Why did my electric toothbrush JUST NOW start to malfunction?!?!? Oh wait, wrong button. But there have been other evidences... ~ Lumenos (talk) 20:51, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

But SRSLY, Nx you are best big br/o in the hole world! ~ Lumenos (talk) 12:25, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

How do we vote[edit]

there's a list of names, but that's it. Nothing else to click on. Do we add our names under each candidate or what? please don't say the actual voting is on another page, the intercom link is to here. Rrose selavy (talk) 15:13, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Polls are closed for now. See the previous section. -- Nx / talk 15:16, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
intercom says open, comment the top of the page says open. looks pretty open to me. Rrose selavy (talk) 15:26, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Polls close 23:59 January 17th, 2011 - still four days to go. Rrose selavy (talk) 15:29, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but the extension that does the actual voting says closed. -- Nx / talk 15:31, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
If you haven't logged in for a few days or weeks then intercom messages may well be out of date. They can be set to expire but it's not particularly possible to retract them. As always, the most up-to-date information is right. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 15:42, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Per above its open again. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:10, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

@Rrose selavy - You may not be eligible to vote as you have made fewer than 75 edits. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 15:14, 14 January 2011 (UTC)