RationalWiki talk:Community Standards/Archive3

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This is an archive page, last updated 14 April 2010. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Strange Names[edit]

I propose that all names longer than 24 characters (for example) be truncated without warning.--Bobbing up 15:05, 9 December 2007 (EST)

Seconded! (But 20 letters like racehorses?) Susanpurrrrr ... 15:13, 9 December 2007 (EST)

27. --Signed by Elassint the Great Hi!

I suggest 21, since it's a Fibonacci number. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 15:21, 9 December 2007 (EST)
I don't think it should go any less then 21. --Signed by Elassint the Great Hi! 15:22, 9 December 2007 (EST)
If that's too low, maybe 23, a prime number? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 15:26, 9 December 2007 (EST)
That would work i guess. --Signed by Elassint the Great Hi! 15:28, 9 December 2007 (EST)

User:kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk actually, thats still a bit to short.

I agree as long as it's enforced by software, not by hand. I suggest 26 characters. 26 is a theologically significant number, the number of dimensions required to satisfy bosonic string theory. --JeєvsYour signature gave me epilepsy... 15:47, 9 December 2007 (EST)
I propose that we require user names to have a minimum of 17 characters. humanUser talk:Human 16:27, 9 December 2007 (EST)
I propose that usernames should not be allowed if they do not interfere with the wiki-markup in some way. -- מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!

Shootings on WIGO[edit]

It is a fact that CP is going to make hay over any school (or out of school) shootings that are going to happen from time to time. Harping on this fact in WIGO, I sense, is liable to be counter-productive to RW in the long haul. So, I'd like to propose that reaction of CP reaction of such stories be limited in WIGO. CЯacke® 16:17, 10 December 2007

Please Discuss[edit]

I basically agree. It's hard to make any comment on these things without virtually doing the same thing - trying to make political hay, even if second hand. humanUser talk:Human 18:04, 10 December 2007 (EST)

I agree that continued posting in WIGO is unnecessary, but I think there's value in keeping track of the CP reaction to those events, if nothing else to document the sheer number of times that the political cheap shot card is played. Maybe they could go on their own special cheap shot page separate from WIGO. I guess it could be argued that RW would be playing the second-hand cheap shot card too by just having that page, but it'd do a better job of showing CP's mentality about this sort of thing than a bunch of WIGO posts.--Bayesupdate 16:25, 7 January 2008 (EST)
How about a classy article on the topic, written when there are none of these killings in the news? humanUser talk:Human 16:48, 7 January 2008 (EST)
That would increase our total number of classy articles to 1, up from the current total of zero. I don't know if I'm prepared for that yet.--Bayesupdate 16:56, 7 January 2008 (EST)

Another bit about online communities[edit]

Meatball Wiki [1]. Right now, its downish (can still poke about it in google cache [2] [3] etc... ah ha! the one I was looking for [4] given the retirement template). Googlecache is rather inelegant, but it works. Once its up again I strongly recommend people to browse it - there are many gems hidden in there that are useful to read in understanding what is going on here and there. --Shagie 18:08, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Was downish when I looked then. Is nice and happy now. Here are the refs I linked to above - http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?GodKing http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?WikiLifeCycle and for those putting retired on their page http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?GoodBye --Shagie 04:48, 15 December 2007 (EST)

New sysop guide[edit]

I just started a rough version of RationalWiki:Sysop_guide. Please to all and sundry to make it a mob project and not just "my" ideas. humanUser talk:Human 18:21, 20 December 2007 (EST)

Added some at my user page for discussion[edit]

Please discuss there, since they're a couple different guidelines, and then if any one seems workable we'll move them over here. The link is user:AmesG/wikilawyering.-αmεσ (tailor) 02:00, 23 December 2007 (EST)

Premature archiving? Naw, no one but me does that, right? --TK/MyTalk 02:13, 23 December 2007 (EST)
See? THIS is trolling. I archived everything OLDER THAN 19 NOVEMBER. Chill. Do you remember the conditions of your ban being lifted? I think another 1 day may be in order soon... technically you've already used your second 1-day fibonnaci block, but, maybe we should have mercy.-αmεσ (tailor) 02:16, 23 December 2007 (EST)
Since the earlier ban (thanks for using the right term, instead of block) wasn't legal under RW Community Standards, your attached conditions have no weight or value. You, like Andy, another Lawyer, just like to intimidate. Some of those discussions, like the ones about check user, shouldn't be pushed aside, without good reason, is what I was saying, and some, I am sure, have been gone, or missed the later November discussions. Think of this as me trying to point out, when to archive is subjective, so bashing people for it, really isn't living up to the spirit here, eh? Pity you consider any disagreement from anyone you hate, to be trolling. Human, as a Bureaucrat, isn't trolling posting on my page, about something there is ample proof to support, his mis-stating my intentions, eh? You just go ahead and block away, Ames. Keep calling me names. Every time you do that, it only diminishes you (and RW), not me. --TK/MyTalk 02:25, 23 December 2007 (EST)

Still going at it, eh guys...

Premature archiving? Naw, no one but me does that, right? TK, that is sort of similar to the snarky comments that you often receive and are irritated by. It could be interpreted as an unhelpful comment and a veiled accusation. Now I don't think it was, and I'm not accusing you of such! Personally I think AmesG overreacted a bit, there wasn't really a reason to accuse you of trolling. But on the other hand, TK you also seem to... overreact a bit to these sort of commments sometimes. It's understandable due to bad past experiences with editors here, you feel a lot of comments are made out of spite... but you take a lot of things as insults that might normally be brushed off. Not that you should have to, but these things really don't matter all that much, and for the sake of moving on...

And I know everyone can point to a previous edit or comment and say "There, look what they did, I was justified". Or they can say "I know from emails and past discussions that they are really like this". And I know that this stance seems infinitely reasonable and rational to the person doing so, considering the circumstances, the history, emails, discussions, etc, etc... but none of that is helping!

I'll be blunt - but I'll also assume the benefit of the doubt.

TK, please stop acting like a martyr. Not everyone likes you, but that doesn't mean they don't want to move on as well. AmesG, Human, whoever else... please stop treating TK like a prisoner on parole. Not everyone doesn't like him, and he wants to move on as much as you do.

Does everybody hate me yet? UchihaKATON! 03:20, 23 December 2007 (EST)

Thanks for the effort, Uchiha, I over-reacted, as you said. Sometimes it's hard to discern the innocent from the nefarious. I am totally okay with the above being nuked. --TK/MyTalk 03:44, 23 December 2007 (EST)

Mainspace articles[edit]

I have changed our mainspace article description from "any topic" to the mission statement. Please revert me if you think this is a mistake.--Bobbing up 14:37, 7 January 2008 (EST)

Looked good to me, so I whitewashed it for ya. humanUser talk:Human 15:46, 7 January 2008 (EST)

Additions without community discussion......[edit]

I noticed that the following changes have been made without discussion, by administrative fiat:

"In egregious cases, some users may be subjected to an accelerated block policy, but only upon agreement of most of the sysops." was added here by AmesG, apparently in a bid to silence anyone some admins do not like.

And here Point number three was "amended" and the new text I have put in italics: "Personal information about other users that is not volunteered by that user should not be posted on this site. This includes IP addresses, and even where an IP address is volunteered, discussion of the user's geographical location, place of employment, or other private information (even if publicly available) is frowned upon."'

While I agree with the addition about personal information, I do not agree that it is in the best interests of RW to allow major changes to blocking policy to be made without community discussion, which seems to me to be the hallmark of RW from the very start. Many of us who can never agree on anything political do agree that this blocking business is getting more and more punitive and subjective. Others, members of the administrators seem to be moving more and more toward a totalitarian outlook to silence anyone they don't agree with. I wonder if all the members of this community really want to cede that much authority to the janitors? And don't our rules demand changes in community standards at least be discussed before major changes are made? Are we going to be told no major changes have been made? Shouldn't the revised passages at least be removed pending discussion? --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 22:15, 14 January 2008 (EST)

Perhaps the first new edit should be removed pending discussion, however I feel that the second is just making things a bit more specific and not actually adding anything new, and therefore should stay. Just my 2 cents. Pinto's5150 Talk 22:19, 14 January 2008 (EST)
I totally agree with adding the more detailed information about personal information, Locke. However, policy should be adhered to in all cases, no? Without a proposal to change, discussion and community agreement, doesn't that bring Rational Wiki down to being like Conservapedia? I have said mostly in jest that some Admins are beginning to act more and more like Andy, but things done like this make it seem like its coming true. What is so different about here if we allow administrators to change the rules to make it easier for them to block members of the community? Isn't this place supposed to be about being tolerant? Tolerant even when we 100% disagree and hate what is being said? If this is where things are going, and Bureaucrats are fine with acting like Andy, they might as well shut this place done, IMO. --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 22:26, 14 January 2008 (EST)

So Vote![edit]

Apologies, I considered the first (no private information) to be agreed upon; I also considered the second (special block sequence) de facto agreed upon, and a mere codification of what you're already subjected to, TK, but it might be best to leave that unwritten. The diff is this, I'll remove until discussion is complete.-αmεσ (tailor) 23:55, 14 January 2008 (EST)

What I am already subjected to was implemented, like these changes, AmesG, by you. Not by the Community. I am not the Community. You are not the Community. Everyone together, deciding is. The whole point, if one reads the history of RW, was to avoid the crazy-ass blocking and arbitrary running off of people. Supposedly this was of great importance, and debated at great length when RW 2.0 came along. Supposedly the users here wanted absolutely no blocking that even smacked at how they do at CP. I can understand draconian blocking for outright vandals, but to block a user simply because some hate them, is really anti-intellectual bullshit. --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 01:41, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Nice, I am now prevented from editing or voting. Good work! --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 00:21, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Uh... I don't follow.-αmεσ (tailor)
Read the history...I detect some wiki glitch. --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 00:26, 15 January 2008 (EST)
That was weird to say the least. Pinto's5150 Talk 00:28, 15 January 2008 (EST)
o_0 This is fucking bizarre...!! UchihaKATON! 00:33, 15 January 2008 (EST) (P.S. I reverted myself to avoid totally wamboozling the page)
TK, it's sweet of you to blame us, but it's not our fault. I've added your votes as I saw them in wikihistory. Try restarting your computer...-αmεσ (tailor) 00:36, 15 January 2008 (EST)
It's not just TK having problems, look at what happened when Uchiha tried to edit the page. Pinto's5150 Talk 00:38, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Ames, btw, reading from the page history TK attempting to add an "Aye" vote (correct me if I'm wrong though). UchihaKATON! 00:44, 15 January 2008 (EST)
But only "aye" to privacy.-αmεσ (tailor) 00:45, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Ah, ok... So... I'll put that one back then? UchihaKATON! 00:47, 15 January 2008 (EST)
My votes have been added correctly, thanks for doing it! AmesG--can you at least admit your own bias? I never blamed "anyone", and in point of fact said I detected some unknown wiki glitch. "Good work" was only me alluding to stupid wikimedia....sorry my comment was taken for something it wasn't, all. --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 01:39, 15 January 2008 (EST)

I added the privacy issue; I consider the blocking policy addition DOA.-αmεσ (tailor) 12:27, 15 January 2008 (EST)


Aye αmεσ (tailor)
Aye Pinto's5150 Talk
Aye --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 03:34, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Aye Jollyfish.gifGenghis Does this really need to be voted on? 02:23, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Aye --Bobbing up 03:16, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Aye --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:56, 15 January 2008 (EST)
No/nay (unanimity is boring, isn't it?) Ed @but not the Poor one! 06:10, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Aye --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 06:16, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Yarr --NightFlareSpeak, mortal 06:52, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Aye -- Edgerunner76
Aye -- People don't necessarily know their IP tells where they live. humanUser talk:Human

Block Sequence[edit]

Aye αmεσ (tailor)
Undecided Pinto's5150 Talk
Nay --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor
Aye Jollyfish.gifGenghis De facto policy 02:24, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Nay should be: "In egregious cases, some users may be subjected to an accelerated block policy at sysop discretion." If people feel they are being badly treated they can complain publicly at at RationalWiki:Administrative Abuse--Bobbing up 04:50, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Neigh Hark! I hear horses approaching! --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:57, 15 January 2008 (EST)
No (sorry I don't understand this ayenay archaic english). We are RW after all. Ed @but not the Poor one! 06:09, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Nay, prefer Bob_M's version. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 06:17, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Nay --NightFlareSpeak, mortal 06:53, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Aye -- Edgerunner76
Neutral for now. We already leap from hours to days if we feel it is justified, and at the day rate, blocks get long fast. If this "policy" is not clear, then I vote Aye to make it clear. humanUser talk:Human

Apathetic Voters[edit]

Meh Voting is just so very hard. — Unsigned, by: Radioactive afikomen / talk / contribs
Me too - living in two countries, haven't voted in either since 2002 or 2003. Ed @but not the Poor one! 06:12, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Goat --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 06:17, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Diebold stole my vote and fed it to the goat.humanUser talk:Human
Indifferently apathetic on block issue as it doesn't really seem to add anything.--Bobbing up 12:14, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Death of TK[edit]

Moved to RationalWiki talk:Community Standards/TK.-αmεσ (tailor) 12:34, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Don't forget to go there and click on "observe" if you want to continue to follow the discussion. humanUser talk:Human 12:41, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Indeed! Further discussion of the action should be had on that page; however, I anticipate that we should probably refine our bannination standards, in the wake of that massive failure, on this page-αmεσ (tailor) 12:42, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Learning from our Mistakes[edit]

First, this is an extremely important landmark for us. TK is the first real dissent or user problem that this Wiki has ever had, and it's very important that we manage this well, and enunciate our principles clearly and strongly, balancing our own protection against our commitment to tolerance, equality, and other good liberal virtues. Currently, I believe we've reached the right decision, but we need to all agree, and we need to know why we agree.

Whether and how we deal with persistent abuse and trolling goes to our most basic principles. We've committed ourselves to tolerance and courtesty, as a result of our negative experience at Conservapedia, and vowed not to make their mistakes. One of our early statements of these principles was to disavow permanent bans, since we view these actions, in general, as manifestations of everything wrong with Conservapedia. In dealing with TK, we have to come to terms with both our general princple of tolerance, and the outgrowth of that principle, the injunction against permabans.

Clearly, infinite-banning TK goes against our "no permanent ban" idea, but I don't think that's the end of the inquiry. If we adhere blindly to "no permanent ban," I think we tie our hands. Clearly there are times when a permanent ban would be justified; persistent, non-funny vandalism (say, by a neo-Nazi, as we've had beffore), would be cause enough, since the only reason our "no permanent ban" idea works lately is that vandals go away. But suppose they didn't; I doubt many would disagree with a permanent ban in that case. To force ourselves to turn the other cheek, would be to let our reason for being eviscerate our... being. I don't think we can blindly follow "no permanent ban."

But, I do think it's acceptable and reconcilable with the spirit of the Wiki to allow permanent bans in exceedingly rare circumstances. I see "no permanent bans" as an iteration of the deeply-rooted RationalWiki policy of courtesy, respect, and second chances. So, let's look higher up the funnel of abstraction: will there ever be cases where a permanent ban will not violate our principles of respect?

I think the answer is yes, although the examples will be rare. Assume a neo-Nazi who, banned for days and days at a time, keeps coming back. He has to be done away with permanently. Assume a user who harrasses and threatens users in public and privately, seeking to divide the Wiki against itself, who, after repeated warnings, keeps coming back. I think that's justified, and in fact mandated. This is to say, in short, that tolerance and courtesy only mean tolerance and courtesy so long as no objective cause to the contrary exists: if there's an objective reason for kicking a user, for endangering our ethics and mission, and the mob rallies around it, I think a permaban is fine.-αmεσ (tailor) 13:26, 16 January 2008 (EST)

I think it's moot - a one year block, say, is almost the same as "permanent". Especially since that is longer than the wiki has even existed. Heck, even a one month block creates a lot of breathing room. So "no permanent bans" is a fig leaf if we do occasionally resort to very long blocks. So to me, the question is more like "How long and for what might we permit "long" block periods?". Alternatively, "What are the criteria for shifting up time periods in the Fibonacci sequence? (IE, hours to days, days to months, months to years)" Just my .02 humanUser talk:Human 14:08, 16 January 2008 (EST)
That is correct; however, there is a significant symbolic difference between even a maximum-length temporary ban (however long that is) and a permanent one. Even though functionally they may be the same, the latter sends a much stronger message. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 14:18, 16 January 2008 (EST)
I've been looking over TK's contributions and he definately comes off as the (not so)master manipulator. I, however, had been having the "we're as bad as CP" feeling, but just looking at how much more discussion we've put into this than the CPers ever would makes me feel that we have done the right thing. --PROMHQEUS - FORETHOUGHT 14:18, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Crisis of the Mobocracy[edit]

Are we having one? What should be done to fix it?-αmεσ (tailor) 13:35, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Are we having one? Yes. TK's banning - which seemed to be justified in the most part to things going on "behind the scenes" that the rest of us had to take others at their word at speaks to a new phase in RW's evolution and a definite shift in the way things are done around here. I still maintain the TK being difficult of the talk pages is less of an issue than the Metapedia crowd - or people who keep coming back to the libertarian and NWO pages to fuck with our content. What should be done to fix it? I dunno - admit we're fucking up and find a way to make this place fun again. I know that aside from this, I'm staying away from RW's internal politics and trying to concentrate on what brought me here in the first place; goats and making fun of Schlafly. PFoster 13:41, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Actually, the nazi and GW and NWO vandals are easy to deal with - about four clicks and the junk is gone, along with whatever rude user name they rode in on. A divisive editor rucking up things on talk pages is more difficult. The "fun quotient" here has almost paralleled TK's activity level for ages - at least, from how I see it. That might be a made up "Human Statistic" so take it with a grain of salt! humanUser talk:Human 14:11, 16 January 2008 (EST)
The mobocracy most certainly has a crisis. As I see it, it has revealed itself to be an anarchy - and I'm not talking about the cool and revolutionary type, or even the nice and cuddly peaceful and utopian type, but just the embarrasingly inefficient and indecisive kind. Basically, we've been pussyfooting around the TK issue on and off for over six months, and then when things finally come to a head, the best thing we can do is run the most chaotic voting process I've ever seen. Clearly, none of this is ideal, so I think it's obvious that we need to drop the mobocracy in favour of clearly documented and legitimized rules and processes for handling these matters. I also think it's important that we don't just rush into this, but rather take the time necessary to discuss and work these things out. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 14:27, 16 January 2008 (EST)
I agree. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 14:54, 16 January 2008 (EST)
I agree with AKj. I've written my idea of a couple of rules at user:AmesG/Command-Mints; if we'd like to consider something like it, I'd appreciate suggestions. Regardless of what IP users think, I think my suggestions are pretty fair.-αmεσ (tailor) 14:55, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Standards of Behavior additions[edit]

Due to recent complaints, I would suggest the following additions to the Standards of Behavior section:

  1. Speculations on sockpuppeteering are strongly discouraged.
  2. When discussing the content of an article, stick to the content of the article and discussion of sources; avoid commenting on the actions of a particular editor unless it is particularly disruptive to the wiki or the community.
  3. Language that is insulting to fellow editors is discouraged as it may be construed as a personal attack.

Just a thought.

Sterilexx 17:22, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

Also, I would encourage all to keep this at a community-wide level. I think personal back and forth accusations are just going to fall apart into another epic debate. Sterilexx 17:25, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
Would comments such as added [here] for merely welcoming a supposedly new user fall under this? --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 18:03, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

After spending most of the morning arguing my case, I've given up. I've said all I can say about it and am moving on. MarcusCicero 18:06, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

(Sigh.) Suggestions for the entire community looking toward the future are what I have in mind. Looking at specific edits and personal gripes is going to divulge into a blame game. Sterilexx 18:10, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
What exactly can you solve though? Make a statement that its wrong to call people names? That'll happen no matter what. In articles and in the front page, standards should be kept when writing about 'the other side'. Thats my stance, at least. This is no-ones personal blog. MarcusCicero 18:13, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I can agree, Marcus, and understand your point. Sterile, sorry, but sometimes one needs to get on record, and not only here at RW, what the spirit of a proposal is, right? Examples are oftentimes better, and easier to understand. Name calling can and will happen in the heat of discussion and debate, and I agree no rule, or rules can really stop that, but "time outs" can. Seconds, not days or months. Having said that, RW needs to do better at stopping pack mentality and piling on, which was supposedly one of the founding tenets here, marking it as different and more tolerant than some other wikis, no? I think Sterile has made a sincere and good effort to begin this with his idea. --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 18:21, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
So you want the community to divulge into a morass? Some of us are trying to be forward looking. Those three items address a subset of your complaints, I think. Can anyone "enforce" good behavior in the lack of an arbitration process? No, of course not. But some of us would like to get back to the good faith editing that we had before instead of these heated he-said-she-said debates. The last two weeks have been horribly disruptive, and some of us want to move beyond that. I was trying to include you in that, but perhaps you aren't interested. Sterilexx 18:20, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I understand the point, but again, in the absence of a policy, I guarantee this will divulge into he-said-she-said. Telling me that accusations of puppeteering are good because it makes people honest I think is a productive discussion. Telling me that you were offended because on paragraph 33 on some talk page, I guess can be productive, if it is evidence of your point, but in isolation, is unproductive. And I agree, maybe it's unrealistic, but tell me why it's unrealistic then. Sterilexx 18:28, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

OK Sterile, have you ever considered that the articles running about 'before' were just damn wrong? Perhaps Ratwiki needs a change in its sails. Some of the front page news stories can be cringy. Some articles are biased to the point of no return, and throw in vague fringe stories too. This is the real issue.

With regards to supposed namecalling, what is your solution? My problem is that saying 'don't call people names' won't work unless 90% of the users here are banned. Its not good or bad but a lot of people swear, its natural. The key is trying to come up with a resolution, man to man rather than ignoring or running away from the problem. I'm skeptical whether an arbcom would work in a community this small anyway. Please don't offense to anything I have just said either. MarcusCicero 18:29, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

I thought that I was trying to brainstorm for a solution. Thanks for encouraging the idea. Unfortunately, I don't have all the answers, and hence the discussion. I admit most of my suggestions are just suggestions, good faith suggestions. Perhaps "Escalation of a debate by repeated namecalling is discouraged." Weak, I know. But perhaps someone could word it stronger. Sterilexx 18:41, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
Swearing may come naturally (to some) in conversation when there is little time to deliberate over the effect of your outpouring, but there is ample time to reconsider what you have written before clicking the submit button. Swearing in text appears borish and gives the appearance of being ill-educated. A bit like being the only drunk in the room.  Lily Ta, wack! 18:43, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
And I say, keep up the good fight on the offensive articles. There are things here that offend me as well. Discussion is a good thing, but I say keep it to content, not actions of editors. Sterilexx 18:45, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
Part of the problem with conflicts, unkind remarks, personal offenses is too often due to talking past one another, rather than to. Arbcom's often elevate the trivial (except to the people directly involved/offended) to a status above and beyond the disputes actual worth. IMO, oftentimes a one on one chat with Admin, or a conference between those in a dispute, allow for more productive resolution and face saving. Saving face is often what many disputes evolve around, and should not be discounted. Yes, some will say that isn't exactly being transparent. I agree. But not everything should be, so long as the parties involved agree, and are proceeding in good faith, willing to both give and take. --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 18:46, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
Actually, we already have a standard that says something like "Personal attacks are strongly frowned upon." The problem is that we can write community standards from now until Judgement Day, but it won't solve anything unless we also have some way of enforcing those stardards. That way is sysop action, but that leads to another issue, specifically that our policies on sysops are more or less non-existent, barring a vague and pretty naïve notion that sysopship isn't really anything special at all. There's a whole range of issues that need to be addressed here. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 18:47, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I agree with AKjeldsen. The hardest thing in running a site or business, big or small, is getting uniformity of action by management. Another hard-to-do thing for many of us is enforcing rules or guidelines against friends and people we have come to know....--TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 18:51, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

IMO, oftentimes a one on one chat with Admin, or a conference between those in a dispute, allow for more productive resolution and face saving.

That sums up everything I was trying to say. Maybe if there was a way to talk solely to the people involved, off wiki, when there's a problem it could save everyone a good deal of face. I admit I can appear abrasive, but the thing is my intentions are good and when I was been labelled a troll I didn't take kindly to it. There's give and take in these situations. I just feel that sorting things out, man to man, is how any dispute should be solved. Unless of course there's a genuine crime involved. MarcusCicero 18:53, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

There seems to be a real conflict among board/wiki/site users about instant messaging, etc. I have always felt it was more direct, time-saving and helpful to just yank the disputed parties into a chat with a couple of admins, and hammer out a resolution than having hundreds of flaming posts whipping up the situation as can be plainly seen in things that have happened here while I was banned, and not a party to. I think Sterile, AKjeldsen and you, Marcus, all see the problem. This wiki is evolving, as it has to do, as those directly involved in the disputes with CP long ago fade away and/or evolve as well. All communities, online and off, suffer at the hands of those who love disputes and chaos. Some view making such mischief as "lulz". Most of us view it for what it is: manipulation of an entire community for personal yucks or retribution against someone. --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 19:02, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I think "Obvious personal attacks are grounds for a block." is a start to a policy, but there is AKj's problems that there are sysops here who can lay a bomb and just unblock themselves. Conundrum... Sterilexx 18:55, 25 March 2008 (EDT) (gotta run... Sterilexx 18:57, 25 March 2008 (EDT))
I think it is possible to demote a person on a temporary basis while blocked, so that would not be a problem. Problem is, many sysops and bureaucrats have sock accounts, which IMO, should no longer be allowed. RW has grown beyond that sort of thing, I think. --TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 19:02, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I strongly agree. TmtamesP 19:39, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I can't associate myself with that interpretation, TK. I don't think anyone here, or at least very few, actively "love disputes and chaos" as you put it. Rather, I think a very fundamental issue here is that RW has become a marketplace, or perhaps more like a battlefield of ideas wihtout at the same time developing structures that are able to handle the conflicts that will inevitably occur under such circumstances. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 19:15, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I love them. TmtamesP 19:35, 25 March 2008 (EDT)


In the case of a conflict, such as what recently happened:

  1. All participants in the conflict will be blocked for twenty minutes. And that means all, even the drive-by commenters. This is to prevent accusations of favoritism (i.e. "He was fighting, and you didn't block him!").

After the block expires...

  1. User A feels persecuted/harassed/oppressed/belittled by user B. Someone needs to start an "official discussion page" (in the RationalWiki namespace; talk pages keep things too personal).
  2. Users A and B enter a one-on-one dialogue/debate/argument/discussion (however you want to put it). NO OTHER USERS MAY PARTICIPATE, EVEN IF INVITED. Non-participants may only comment on the talk page.
  3. Once one special discussion is opened, NO OTHER SPECIAL DISCUSSIONS MAY BE STARTED. This is to prevent any one user from having to participate in multiple special discussions, and prioritizes everyone's attention on a single discussion, rather than thinning our focus across several.
  4. Participants must focus on the discussion at hand, not wander around editing other articles or commenting on other talk pages. Exceptions will be made if the edit or comment is to rectify a mistake relevant to the discussion. If participants wander anyways, they may find those pages they are editing to be locked. (Yes, this will piss other users off. But the only alternative is to block the wandering participant, which would unfairly serve the purposes of the other discussion participants; it is too similar to Conservapedia's modus operandi).
  5. Other users, those not participating in the special discussion, will be strongly discouraged from continuing to fight across the wiki's talk pages, in order to avoid perpetuating the conflict between other users. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:20, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

So many rules would make all of our heads hurt, I think. Maybe what is simplest is best? Simply create a debate page where arguments are had and try to prevent the ganging up mentality that goes on here sometimes. MarcusCicero 19:36, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

I think your proposal has merit, but possibly imposes too big a burden on the sysops for enforcement. How about the first step being a chat conference with the members having issues, with two or more sysops/bureaucrats, working to hammer out a resolution, and if they do, the opponents will post where the dispute cropped up, making nice and thus signaling their various supporters or detractors that there is nothing more to see, move along? If they refuse that path, implement your suggestion above. Past problem being that even sysops and bureaucrats will proceed with making nasty remarks and comments on other pages.......--TK/MyTalk"Lowly" editor 19:39, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
Well, it started out as loose template for what to do... but I feared that others would raise a bunch of "what if..." objections. My approach is to account for every conceivable contingency. So, how about the basic idea, of a "special discussion page"? --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:51, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I think RA's proposal has merit. It affords the disputants a place of their own to discuss their issues, but maintains a record of how any resolution was achieved, as a lesson for us all. humanUser talk:Human 19:55, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

PalMD's recent one day block of TK, with no reason, highlights the most serious problem on this wiki. TmtamesP 20:00, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

What, PalMD's alchoholism? We tried to keep that a secret, but... --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 20:01, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

While the suggestion seems better than others, it sounds a bit too complicated/not fun. Maybe simply encourage solving personal disputes through e-mail? NightFlareSpeak, mortal 20:09, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

No. That way there's no record of the resolution. Email elevates it to the personal. We should keep these conflicts on-site. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:11, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I know that I'm totally new here and completely unestablished, but I have been lurking for a good while. While I've not participated, I have seen the arguments and problems that have led to this point. I think RA's proposal is great. It provides the "time-out" block that so often seems needed. I know it sounds unfun and complex, but I don't think the arguments seem that much fun either. A complex process might even deter this problem in the future, with editors knowing they will be held to this process. The only criticism I would make is that there's no set finish to the process (i.e., do both parties have to agree that a settlement is made? what happens in a stalemate?). Still, I think this is a fair rational way to avoid Headless Chicken Mode. Arcan 21:34, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
Not a bad idea, but one concern that I have is that narrowing conflicts to the two most outspoken users might be counterproductive if more than two people are involved. What happens if, say, 4 users have one opinion and 3 others oppose it? Does each side select a champion to go fight by proxy for all of them in the Thunderdome? And if so, what if the resolution is unsatisfying to those "left out"? Seems like it could lead to an endless series of Thunderdome challenges. (BTW if you haven't noticed, I've adopted the name Thunderdome for RA's proposal. TWO MAN ENTER!!!! ONE MAN LEAVE!!!!)--Bayesyikes 21:48, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I think it would be preferable to minimize the number of conflicts in the first place. Personally, I think many of the conflicts we have had can be traced back to the fact that we have a number of editors who are, to put it delicately, rather convinced both of the validity of their own point of view on certain issues and of the necessity of stating that view as strongly as possible. It would be a tremendous improvement if we could work out a method for dealing with several points of view at once on the more contentious issues. As one possibility, I suggets taking a look at MetaWiki's article on Multiple point of view and its related articles. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 21:55, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

A group again[edit]

There were some people who were not around the last time there was a significant policy debate on this wiki and Google tells me the last time I searched for this was January 15th, which is about right. Go read A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy. It is probably the most useful thing to understand when talking about site politics, what failed where, and things that you cannot ignore.

In this case, the things that must be accepted is that there are some people who have a say as to what the mission of this community is. The rest of us (myself included) are here following that vision. In the link above, its the "Three Things to Accept" section points 2 and 3.

Whatever policies are developed it should be with the intent to keep the site in line with this vision. Additionally, people who are attempting to disrupt the group should not be made welcome. This disruption can come in many flavors. My personal opinion is that those who can do something about it have put up with far too much for too long.

I believe that stepping back a few points we need to have a clear community goal drawn up (and ultimately its that core group that is going to say what it is). Then, sit down and figure

As it is, the "we are not CP" philosophy allows many things (from chronic annoyances to major pains) to escalate until it bothers someone enough that they leave. Unfortunately, the annoyance often stays and the core member leaves. This is ultimately a bad thing for the community.

The other thing that needs to be done is that whatever rules do come out, they need to be consistent. We mock CP for having rules after the fact and then punishing the person. It is a small step from some of the arbitrariness that exists here to CP's standards. Unfortunately, this also means much less tolerance for resident trolls.

Now go back and read A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy again, hopefully consider what I've written here and then start at the rules. I believe it would be best if the old time sysops came up with a set of policies in private and then handed them down allowing some discussion, but ultimately being the ones to say "this is how it will be." What we have at the moment is somewhat in lines with the LambdaMOO story. We need a government, and as much as we like libertarians, anarchy, or a true democracy - that doesn't work too well. --Shagie 20:27, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

I read the whole thing. And... I'm not sure what to say, beyond the fact that we need to radically reorganize things around here. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:10, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
I've always been in favor of more rules (being a law talkin guy). I'd love to help draft them, but I'm really busy lately... and I'm glad we're having this discussion. Hopefully, if it's a productive resolution, we'll lure some old users back.-αmεσ (tailor) 23:29, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
"Re"-organize? How about organize to start with? Honestly, the project really just grew, and was never subject to much organization to start with, more like a group blog than anything. So maybe we should look at stuff like organization in the first place and how to apply it without taking away the fun parts. Or at least not all of them. --Kels 23:33, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
Well, we've sure pretended to be organized all this time... --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:38, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
We have? We don't even have a style guide - it's more like "whatever Human and Radioactive afikomen agree not to revert each other over"! humanUser talk:Human 13:57, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
I suggest we radically unorganize things around here. Or leave them the way they are, which might amount to the same thing. Rational Ed5 or 6 edits 14:44, 26 March 2008 (EDT)

Continuing the discussion[edit]

Moved to RationalWiki_talk:Constitutional_Convention to keep the discussion in one place.

NOMA standards[edit]

I propose that all religious articles on the site be reviewed so as to ensure that they comply with Noma standards - that is to say that they do not attempt to sue scientific reasoning to attack any religious viewpoint. Alternatively that all "religious" articles have the two valid viewpoints NOMA and non NOma.Tolerance 13:09, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

You keep using that word (Term?). I don't think it means what you think it means. NightFlareSpeak, mortal 13:31, 11 April 2008 (EDT)
Convince me that NOMA is a valid epistemological framework first...Debate:Is Non-overlapping magisteria merely political correctness?. tmtoulouse frustrate 13:41, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

Protecting talk pages?[edit]

What's the policy regarding sysops protecting the talk pages of non sysops? I was recently threatened. --SHahB 23:00, 19 May 2008 (EDT)

Yes, we don't do it, but it's also against community standards to delete content from talk pages as seen here. ThunderkatzHo! 23:05, 19 May 2008 (EDT)
Read the edit summary. I see no mention in the standards of a time limit for archiving. Besides, its against community standards to be a JERK as seen HERE. SHahB 23:08, 19 May 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, Thunderkatz. And, on an unrelated note, what's the policy on people deliberately misinterpreting jokes with the intention of stirring up trouble? <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!I laugh until my head comes off. I swallow until I burst. 23:07, 19 May 2008 (EDT)
Well seeing as it's only really been done by two people..... Pinto's5150 Talk 23:13, 19 May 2008 (EDT)
Two? Really? Who's the second one? <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!I laugh until my head comes off. I swallow until I burst. 23:14, 19 May 2008 (EDT)
Glad to see this has all been resolved. See you in the funny papers! humanUser talk:Human 23:16, 19 May 2008 (EDT)

Essay Namespace[edit]

The existing description is:

  • Essay namespace - used for original works by a particular editor. The article will be well marked as an original piece with the name of the submitting user and direct readers to the talk page for community reaction and discussion. The actual articles under Essay should only be edited by the original author.

Should we add a note saying that opinions or articles not liked by the mob will be censored? Tolerance 15:39, 25 May 2008 (EDT)

Define censored first. As we are under no obligation to host other people's incoherent rants (see Time Cube, for instance), why should we be compelled to host whatever they toss into the namespace? Now if you mean censoring as in editing someone's essay in order to remove content or change intent, then I can agree it shouldn't be done. --Kels 15:44, 25 May 2008 (EDT)

(EC) In the case we're discussing, it's not a question of "not liked by the mob" Don't build straw men like that. People's objections, or at least mine and Kels (it's a Canadian thing, you wouldn't understand...) is that this blog shouldn't be a place where people can do just anything. That "essay," and I use the terms with some reservation, is not objectionable because it expresses ideas that some don't like, but because it has no ideas, full stop. It's the ramblings of crazy guy outside the subway. It has no basis in reality, no intellectual depth, nothing. It's a bunch of words strung together with little rhyme and no reason. Why should we keep that and not a string of random characters? PFoster 15:47, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
The essay in question presents an idea (an illogical and inflammatory one, but an idea nonetheless), it is more than a simple string of random characters.
Though this sections' initial comment really needs a neutral wording. NightFlareSpeak, mortal 15:56, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Now you're overreacting, PF. The essay is not well written by any standard, and its contents are not exactly pleasant or agreeable, but it does contain coherent ideas and arguments. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:55, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Also, should we allow libel? Hate speech? Neo-Nazi fascist rants? On another note, should we allow essays on how cute kittens are, how awesome unicorns are, or how delicious cookies are? I'd say no on all counts. But wouldn't all of those count as censorship? ThunderkatzHo! 15:51, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
If that is the case we need to redefine what is an acceptable essay.Tolerance 15:53, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
No, no we don't. It happens pretty rarely - case by case basis will be fine. Why do I get the feeling you're trying to provoke Headless Chicken Mode? PFoster 16:41, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
That's really out of line, PFoster. We're trying to have a civil discussion here.--AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:58, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
@AKJ. You're right. Apologies to Tolerance and the Mob writ large.
@TKatz, no, we don't... and the neo-Nazi rant problem is not really comparable to the essay that provoked this discussion. It discusses a topic we have articles related to. ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 15:59, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
But we do have articles related to Neo-Naziism as well. If we don't allow Neo-Nazis calling all Jews hell-bound heathens, why should we allow fundamentalist christians claiming all atheists are hell-bound heathens? ThunderkatzHo! 16:06, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Did someone mention Headless Chicken Mode? SHahB 15:59, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
I have no wish for conflict. If that is the feeling I shall withdraw from the debate.Tolerance 16:00, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Re: Nazis. Because none of us support Nazism in any way, shape or form. Some/many of us are believers of one sort or another. Anyway, that atheism essay is teh hilarious. ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 22:04, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Alright then, can we at least add a template to the top of the essay (and others like it that have yet to be created) that says the mob uses it purely for goats and giggles? ThunderkatzHo! 22:27, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
I'm with TKatz on that. A sort of "disavowing" template, one that says "we think we got spammed with garbage, but we couldn't decide whether to delete it or not"? ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 00:53, 26 May 2008 (EDT)
I "third" this idea, for what it's worth --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 01:19, 26 May 2008 (EDT)



Tolerance 15:39, 25 May 2008 (EDT)

That's not the question, dammit[edit]

What the heck is going on?[edit]

You need to go here and read the talk.--Bobbing up 16:46, 25 May 2008 (EDT)


Discussion has emerged on the WIGO talk page about our use of oversight. It was added as part of the TK era of RW and used once to remove supposedly private information about him. It was then used one time to cover of a "sock" of an RW user on CP that outed themselves or something. And once more as a failed joke. Other than that it has never been used. Should it go the way of Checkuser? tmtoulouse frustrate 00:44, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

I'd say yes, as transparency IMO is one of our most vital elements.
If for whatever reason we should keep the feature availible, we could do so but not give the user right to anybody until it needs to be used, this way everyone would know that it has happened (which is, IMO, the scariest part). NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 01:19, 20 June 2008 (EDT)
I say kill it. And that's speaking as one of the two (?) people who theoretically have access to it right now. We don't need it, don't want it, won't use it. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:48, 20 June 2008 (EDT)
Agreed; we should remove oversight entirely. The very nature of oversight violates the spirit of openness and trust on RationalWiki. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:45, 20 June 2008 (EDT)
But its it my favorite pass time!!!! Oh wait, I don't even have it.........actually come to think of it no one does................or more succinctly "it is gone." tmtoulouse frustrate 20:45, 20 June 2008 (EDT)
You mean you removed it, like checkuser? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:08, 20 June 2008 (EDT)
Yes, it is gone, the only one that make things magically disappear from the wiki is me. tmtoulouse frustrate 22:10, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

Do you mind if I ask (and for the sake of everyone else who's not sure) - what exactly does/did Oversight do? What's its function? UchihaKATON! 22:15, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

Hides a revision, so lets say I put something horrible and libelous and evil on a page, and someone comes by and deletes it. But it is easy to find it in the page histories and diffs, oversight can "hide" the revision so that only those with oversight can see it. tmtoulouse frustrate 22:18, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

Discussing long term blocks[edit]

Highly Selective Quote Mining of Recent Arguments![edit]

I provide this section only to give a quick reference to what everyone has been arguing in the recent discussion.

We have had the discussion many times, and the evidence is also obvious. I unblocked user names that were blocked for a year, after they were a few days old. Most of these editors don't return anyway, and if they want, they just create new editor names (Hence the Jezuz crew). No need for lengthy blocks, just revert wandalism and block for a day or so. They come back, we do again. It's easier to revert than it is to do what they are doing, so they waste their energy. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:14, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
  • "Most of these editors don't return anyway" -- Then what possible reason could you have for unblocking them? Is it symbolic, perhaps?
  • "If they want, they just create new editor names" -- No, as I explained above, many vandals cannot do this, so a single block is effective. Your explanation of this is a bit of an oversimplification.
  • ""No need for lengthy blocks, just revert wandalism and block for a day or so" -- Why block at all? Why don't we tell our editors to just revert constantly until they get bored and wander off? You are assuming that all vandalism is noticed immediately (it plainly isn't), and that devoting time to clearing up unnecessary mess doesn't have any impact on the running of the wiki (it does). <blink></blink> 01:29, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
A review of the block logs will show that this person/these people do in fact reuse old accounts, so I can't at all see why we should make it easier for them by unblocking them. That seems to send a ver strange message for no purpose at all. Let's at least let them go through the minimal amount of trouble to make new accounts when they want to vandalize us. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 18:02, 26 June 2008 (EDT)


Chaos, you should go read our block policy. The blocks I undid were in clear violation of the fibonacci sequence. Also, you should, please, get a grip. Tehn rollbacks a day ain;t exactly destroying the site. It takes about 30 seconds to undo a wandal's work and send them packing for the day. Long ago, I found myself in the middle of the night confronting our first real wandal, armed only with the fibonacci sequence in minutes to slow them down. We agreed to allow using hours for real vandals, or days if they were hard core. I have now spent more time typing this comment than has been needed to "fend off" wandals over the least several days. And, please, if you really have an issue with this, user talk pages are not the place to discuss it, it should be at talk:guidelines, wherever that is, so people interested in policy will notice it. I am also changing the section header so people can see what the heck is being discussed here on RC. Thanks. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:22, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
May I suggest that you copy everything from the various places we were discussing this? Otherwise, you are asking us to duplicate our comments out of context. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:48, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Huh? Most of these are given fairly good context, or are self-explanatory. There are all from here, if anyone wants to see what I left out. <blink></blink> 00:53, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, you cherry picked, and you also made a header that does not describe the topic. It is a formal issue to copy all discussion to the appropriate page. You copied random chunks. I ask, what is your issue here? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:27, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

My actual proposals[edit]

Our current policy of blocking vandals leaves much to be desired. In particular, the Fibonacci sequence guidelines are extremely unhelpful -- they are essentially arbitrary, and most of the time only seem to make it unclear how long vandals are expected to be blocked for, making such block lengths a matter of personal judgement for the sysop concerned. I hereby propose we come up with a set of clear and specific rules that address block lengths -- ideally, ones that remove personal judgement from the equation. I'm also in favour of longer/indefinite blocks for outright vandals (Grawp, etc) on the basis that it is pointless to make it so easy for them. I agree that the work of tidying up after them is minimal, but I also think it is bizarre to create this work for no reason -- such as when Human recently unblocked the original Jezuz, and he quickly took advantage of the new account to begin his next spree.
And I agree with AK (he says most of this better).
And I'm not ranting. <blink></blink> 00:35, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

First, in order to alter what we do, I think it is incumbent on the discursee to present a problem that needs to be solved. Data, please? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:46, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Don't be obtuse. The problem is that our guidelines are arbitrary and do not give sysops enough specific information about block decisions. <blink></blink> 00:53, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
I am sorry, I am not being obtuse. YOU are. You created this section with a non-intuitive header. You copied some parts of the discussions you started elsewhere here. You have not even started the section with a clear statement as to what you want to change.
Furthermore since you are not a sysop, this work does even devolve upon you, so I ask again: What is your issue here? Please start a clearly labelled section and state your case, your desire, to change our Community Standards, and argue it. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:27, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Seriously, that's enough. Lets all calm down and relax for moment

I think it's true to say that the Fibonacci sequence, while very elegant in principle, is almost never observed. --Bobbing up 10:21, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

I'd say that is indeed true. I also think that while Fibonacci does have a certain point behind it, it may not be the best policy towards people who are demonstrably here only for unfunny wandalism, such as the "Jezuz X" or the "My password is..." people. In those cases, a more appropriate policy might be something along the lines of "Kill it with fire!!!" or "Blood for the blood god!" or somesuch. If you know what I mean. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 11:10, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

I have an aversion to long blocks for various reasons. I am just not strong enough in my own self I guess to over come a reactionary element of my psyche(Dianetics is in the mail). But perhaps some kind of compromise can be reached. An inconveniently long block for the vandal but not so long it offends my senses. Something like 10 days, or whatever but in that range. If it really is a return vandal using a single IP or account 5 minutes of vandalism every 10 days is not very fulfilling and should lead them to giving up and minimizing the cleanup. But the blocks expire in reasonable time. tmtoulouse frustrate 13:00, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that block length was originally kept very short to somehow be "different" (read: better) than CP. Wasn't it that first RW didn't block at all, then only IP addresses, then only clear vandals, and so on? Now, I think things have changed much from those times. Do CP Sysops really care of the length of our blocks? Do they come here or veiledly say there: "Haha, you RW are no better than us, you block too!", and if they did, do we really care? There is no moral high ground in being "tolerant" to vandals, even if it were our friend (?) Icewedge. (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 13:10, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
That is part of it, the other part is that harsher we are on vandals the more we will attract. They are looking for a reaction, it is part of the game. If it was totally up to me we wouldn't block at all, just rollback their edits till they give up and go away. I am actually working on altering the mediawiki code to allow for a "vandal" user group that will limit their abilities including the rate at which they can edit. It could be dropped to one edit every minute or less. Those are the kinds of solutions I prefer. But for the time being I would like to arrive at a solution that doesn't lead to a page full of 1 year long blocks that just attract more vandals and more effort. tmtoulouse frustrate 13:16, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Do you think - just asking, you as site admin know better - that they first look our page on blocked users and get motivation from there? Isn't rollback already the reaction they look for? Is a 1 year ban more motivating to come back than a 1 day ban? I ask 'cause I never was a vandal, just a sock. (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 13:21, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
I think the idea of a "vandal brake" of the type TM mentions is a fantastic idea, but I'm also puzzled by the idea that they are attracted by a big block log.--Bobbing up 13:43, 27 June 2008 (EDT)


Sorry to go off topic for a bit, but I have to reply to Human.

  • "You created this section with a non-intuitive header" Not important. I explained my proposals in the text.
  • "You copied some parts of the discussions you started elsewhere" For convenience. I really don't see your issue with this.
  • "Furthermore since you are not a sysop, this work does even devolve upon you" You're suggesting only sysops are allowed to discuss policy? Clearly that is not the case.
  • "What is your issue here?" I've explained this several times now, but here goes again:
  1. I think the Fibonacci sequence is pointless and not specific enough.
  2. I think vandals should be blocked for longer. Ten days is fine by me.

I'm not sure why you keep insisting that I haven't explained myself -- it seems obvious that I have. Have I offended you some way? If so, I do apologise -- this is all just policy, after all, nothing personal. <blink></blink> 13:36, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

Seriously, that's enough. Lets all calm down and relax for moment

I hate to say it, but Human sounds like he's about to ask Jellyfish/Chaos for a writing plan... ThunderkatzHo! 13:39, 27 June 2008 (EDT)

Nah :D We jellyf Chaoses do not plan things. We just happen. <blink></blink> 13:45, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
One Two quick replies to Chaos - 1. no, no offense, sorry if it seemed like there was, and 2. Non-intuitive headers are not a good idea for "important" topics - (I realize this one is going to say "button", though! AT least it's RW talk CS that's being edited though.) people watching RC see something like "breaking news" and think, "eh, I don't care about that" but if they see "block policy" they may perk up and come see what's being discussed. ħumanUser talk:Human 16:07, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Oh right, I see now; I hadn't thought of that. I'll try and stick to more formal section titles when we discuss important stuff, then. <blink></blink> 16:10, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Actually, the correct plural of "chaos" - to the extent that it can be pluralized - would be "chaoi". --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 10:37, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
How would you pronounce that?--Bobbing up 10:39, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

I have attempted to implement a rube goldbergesque solution to this problem. I have created a vandal user group that should pretty much shut down a vandal with out the need block them permanently or for long periods of time. It still allows them 2 edits an hour if they want to plead a change of heart or whatever. My suggestion is for sysops to do a short term block on a vandal and ask a crate that they move them to the vandal group. Then just let it expire and move on. tmtoulouse frustrate 14:34, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

That's a neat solution indeed. But is there a way to set it up so that ordinary sysops can put people in the vandal group? There might not always be a crat on hand, after all, and it just seems more efficient that way. <blink></blink> 14:38, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
I am working on that now. tmtoulouse frustrate 14:43, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
I should've known you'd already be on it :) <blink></blink> 16:23, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
Actually, even if you can't "automate" it or make it so any sysop can move them in to the group, what any sysop can do is this: block for, say, 24 hours, then leave a note on a crat's page asking to add them to the vandal group and unblock them after they do it. That should avoid any accidental gap between the block for wandalism and the group change. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:22, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
It's lovely - it works. SusanG  ContribsTalk 19:09, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I noticed -- I wish I was a crat so I could play with it for a bit. And, more importantly, I think, if I'm not much mistaken, we just managed to come up with a compromise that satisfied both sides of the debate. Wikipedia has nothing on us :) <blink></blink> 19:11, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
Not "we" - TMT! SusanG  ContribsTalk 19:16, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
Well, yes, but I still think it reflects RW's niceness as well. <blink></blink> 19:18, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

"attempting to promote a radical agenda "[edit]

That means I have to leave the blog, according to some definitions of "radical." We need to refine this. PFoster 12:07, 2 December 2008 (EST)

I added to Javascap's new suggestion, so that it now defines radical as offensive to the vast majority of the RationalWiki community. Just my suggestion of what he means, and an attempt to distinguish our radicalism ("death to creationists!") from those radicalisms we want no part of.-caius (spy) 12:16, 2 December 2008 (EST)
"Please, don't be a dick. Even though we encourage those with alternative points of view to join this wiki and share their ideas with us, we ask and encourage you to consider how your actions look to other people. Hate speech or attempting to promote an agenda (for ANY group!), radical to the point of offending 99.9% of the community, will result in the article being deleted, and if you persist in recreating the article, you may be removed from this site for a period of time."

I have some comments about this as written - it starts off talking about general behavior, then tries to define "unacceptable", then suddenly shifts gear to talking about "articles."

My comments on each "section":

The "don't be a dick" section seems sensible, although perhaps the word "dick" could be sanitized a bit.

The "unacceptable" part, to me, drifts into weird - 99.9% = everyone here. If we're gonna Schlafly stat it, why not 80-90% or so? Also, there really isn't a way to define what constitutes a percentage of the "community". I would reword that section "Hate speech or attempting to promote an agenda that does not relate to RationalWiki's mission anywhere but on talk pages will almost certainly be removed or archived rapidly."

As far as "articles" - we don't need to "warn" people, just rewrite or delete them. That's what the "article", or main, space is all about. We're always changing things we have written and arguing about whether things "belong". The same would, of course, apply to spam, hate, or agenda-pushing. It's really not that hard to make trash into a decent article by overwriting it one way or another. (Feminism comes to mind, dig out the diffs to before my first edit...)

Just my .02 ħumanUser talk:Human 19:27, 2 December 2008 (EST)