RationalWiki talk:Constitutional Convention, April 2008

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Hallo? Is there anybody here?

I auto-invited myself, fully knowing that RA would never have, not only invited, but even thought of me.

Not that I want to do any work. But I feel that I passively care about Rationalwiki very much, and am worried of the recent trends.

Hehe, Superstitious animistEd at CP 17:56, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

I'm sorry. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:20, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
If it's any consolation, I feel really guilty now for forgetting you. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:20, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Hmm, before believing you I have to ask Herr Schlafly (no, better:) PJR if evil Liberals are really able to feel guilty. I don't think so: if they can't love or know right from wrong, how can they feel guilty? Superstitious animistEd at CP 12:13, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
I'm Jewish, and I have a mother. Isn't that enough?  : ) --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 14:39, 1 April 2008 (EDT)

Move from AKjeldsen's talk page[edit]

...[Within any community] there is some group of users that cares more than average about the integrity and success of the group as a whole. And that becomes your core group... ... [in] all successful online communities..., a core group arises that cares about and gardens effectively. Gardens the environment, to keep it growing, to keep it healthy. —Clay Shirky[1]

Instead of waiting around for people to respond at talk:Community Standards, why don't we just invite those who, to reference the quote above, care more than average about the integrity and success of the group as a whole? Invite them directly into a work group, where we can work out a sort of constitution? At, say, RationalWiki:Constitutional Convention? --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:15, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

Aaagh! As usual, I latch onto something and want to go with it, generally farther than anyone else wants to. I already have the list of "core members" in my head, and a bunch of ideas for how to run the work group/convention. It's taking everything I have not to shout them out. Restraint, RA, restraint. Restrain thyself... --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:34, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

Like AK, I have tried to get some proper organisation here without success. However, this wiki does not run by itself, it has to be financed. While I give my monthly pi-pledge it would appear that most of the costs are born by TMToulouse, unfortunately we don't appear to have a detailed financial report but ultimately he has the ultimate control of the site. During previous discussions he has sided with the mobocracy approach. If anything is to be done it has to be with his blessing. Jollyfish.gifGenghis Marauding 18:16, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Who's "we"? And who invites the invitees? And what about the 'exclusion' of those not invited? (Seems as if RA's pretty sure he'd be among the choosers and/or the chosen) Why not just leave it to the cabal (which does not exist) to decide in "secret conclave". They started it so must have cared @ one time. (SusanG) - sorry anonymity can be a blessing & a curse 82.132.136.202 18:19, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
These are all good questions which will need to be discussed before this process can get underway. The reason why it shouldn't just be the Cabal deciding things is that A) this would reduce the perceived legitimacy of the result for those not part of the Cabal; B) contrary to what some believe, the Cabal is pretty crappy at actually deciding things, rather than just sitting around and talking about goatsex important stuff; and C) the Cabal would have no means of actually enforcing any policies that the community doesn't agree with anyway. However, please let's not have this discussion here but keep it in one place, rather than spreading things all over the place, ok? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 18:30, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
You're right, 82.132.136.202. I like to think I am part of the "core group". I may not write or improve articles all that much, but I care very much for this community, and with what little influence I have, I have generally tried to nudge it in what I feel is the best direction for the sake of the community. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:45, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Actually, Genghis, I have been wondering if would be best to transfer ownership, and the costs along with it, to Human. I mean, Tmtoulouse himself has said he can barely afford it, whereas Human probably can, and Tmtoulouse is often unavailable for days at a time, whereas Human is here practically every day for several hours. Although, it would only work if Human were willing to take the burden. But this may be an awful time to open up that can of worms. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:51, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Why not transfer ownership to you? Or TK? TmtamesP 18:54, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Because (1) I couldn't handle the more technical aspects of of MediaWiki, (2) I have no money, and, most importantly, (3) I am not exactly an exemplary person; I have my moments of poor judgment. Also, TK doesn't care at all about this community. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:02, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
TMT is the only person who can keep Bohdan under control through regular schoolings. I shudder to think what would happen if he were to give up the reins. Now, back to the subject at hand, please.  :-) --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 18:58, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Can Human afford it? He obviously doesn't have a proper job. So either he's immensely rich and has nothing better to do, or he's virtually unemployed. Jollyfish.gifGenghis Marauding 19:02, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
He has a nice car. I think he is rich. TmtamesP 19:03, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
He's self-employed. Haven't you visited his business' website, humanspeakers.com? (Ignore the awful choice in color scheme) --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:05, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
95% of the time, being self-employed means being poor, not rich. ;-) --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 19:18, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Or a different way of interpreting wealth. PS, RA, it's your monitor ;) humanUser talk:Human 21:13, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

No! No! Human already has the de facto leadership! Formalise it and it'd ruin him. SusanG 19:03, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

What happened to ColinR? Wasn't he the actual owner? TmtamesP 19:05, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
FBI shipped him to Gitmo, remember? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 19:11, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
I found this discussion delightful, by the way. My idea of "rich" is scoring a nice double well porcelain enamel cast iron sink at the dump, with nice hardware, which I will be installing in the kitchen of my shed over the next day or so. humanUser talk:Human 19:07, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
I didn't call you rich. I merely said you don't have to dig through the $2 bargain bin at the market like TMT does. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:10, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
I don't buy this Gitmo crap. ColinR is the real owner of the site, not Tmtouwoose. TmtamesP 19:17, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

<--Getting back to the subject at hand... Like it or not, we do need his blessing for this, whether or not he partakes in it. He does own the site. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:09, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

Want me to call him? humanUser talk:Human 21:13, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes. He needs to be informed of this. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:06, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

Move from RationalWiki talk:Community Standards[edit]

This discussion seems to be slowing down a bit, as they tend to do. Let's try to keep the steam up, since there are some quite important issues involved here.

Personally, I more or less agree with Shagie's comments above at RationalWiki_talk:Community_Standards#A_group_again, as well as with most of the points in Shirky's text. I don't think most of us have much experience with building an online community up from scratch, which is what we're doing here, so it's important to learn from the experiences of others who have gone through the same process in the past. Shirky's conclusions may not necessarily turn out to be right for us, but we don't really have anything else to go from at the moment, so I suggest that we adopt it as a sort of informal working paper for the future discussions.

As for the content of those discussions, after doing a bit of brainstorming, I think that these are at least some of the issues that need to be addressed:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Ways to reduce the number of conflicts in the first place
  • Making rules and processes
  • Rules and processes for making rules and processes
  • The position and role of sysops
  • A better way of presenting multiple points of view on contentious issues
  • The future of the Mobocracy

It's not that we haven't discussed these and other issues in the past - we have. Several times, in fact. However, the problem is that these big Wiki-wide debates have a tendency to produce a lot of activity and good ideas at first, but then they sort of slow down and peter out until they get resparked by the next crisis. Obviously, this is too unstructured and not getting us anywhere.

For that reason, I suggest that we set up a smaller working group for the purpose of working out a more formal and comprehensive "discussion paper" that can serve as a basis for further debate in the community. I realize that this is pretty far from the way that RW has done things so far, but as far as I'm concerned, (M/m)obocracy and anarchy have had their opportunities to show what they could bring to the table, and that hasn't really been very convincing. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 12:06, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

I agree wholeheartedly. I had been wondering how to keep attention focused on these issues, and I support the idea of a working group. In fact, I will be the first to volunteer to participate. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:37, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

Three kinds of people are needed to make anything work[edit]

(I read this on the Infamous Brad's blog, but I can't find the post.)

There's three kinds of people needed to make ANYTHING work right: Fun Mavens, Authenticity Police, and Dream Nazis. The Fun Mavens do most fo the heavy lifting, but are just there to hang out with folks they like and have fun, the Authenticity Police want every little detail to be right but can be total pains for everyone else, and the Dream Nazis try keep the group moving in the right direction, but annoy everyone who's not as Committed as they are. (Despite the names, none of these terms seems to be especially derogatory. I think they're SCA slang.)

Without the Fun Mavens, the boring stuff never gets done. Without the Authenticity Police, nothing looks or works right. Without the Dream Nazis, everything stagnates, people get bored and wander off.

Just a thought. Let's not drive any of the above away, OK? --Gulik 21:40, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

Who should be involved in this project?[edit]

To answer Susan's question above, regarding who this mystical "core group" is, I have drawn up a proposed roster of those who most care about the success and integrity of the site and its community. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:26, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

...[Within any community] there is some group of users that cares more than average about the integrity and success of the group as a whole. And that becomes your core group...
... [in] all successful online communities..., a core group arises that cares about and gardens effectively. Gardens the environment, to keep it growing, to keep it healthy.
—Clay Shirky[2]

We cannot even begin to work on a constitution until we decide who is entrusted to work on it. In that spirit, this list has been drawn up.

Who should and why[edit]

Users listed in alphabetical order.

  • AKjeldsen — Respected member; has participated in numerous discussions regarding the direction of the community; long been trying to nudge the site in the best direction.
  • AmesG — Respected member; major influence on site.
  • Bob M — Respected member; has worked on improving the site in general.
  • Doggedpersistence — Long-time member; involved in discussions over format.
  • Genghis Khant — Long-time member; has participated in past and current efforts to improve the site; skilled with the technical side of things.
  • Human — Respected member; has participated in everything; major influence on the community.
  • Interpreted — Respected member; moderating influence on the site.
  • Kels — Respected member; kibitzes generally but does not cause active harm;
  • Linus — Long-time member; handles many technical aspects of the site.
  • PalMD — Respected member; major participant across the site; medical expertise.
  • Radioactive afikomen — Established member; involved in discussions over format and site policy.
  • Sid — Long-time member; highly devoted to WIGO.
  • Sterile — Long-time member; has taken the lead on several notable productions; attempted to moderate the community after the most recent conflict.
  • Tmtoulouse — Long-time member; owner of site.
Please fill in missing qualifications. I you feel someone is missing, please include support for their inclusion.

Are all of those above either Sysops or Admins or Bureaucrats or Founding Fathers/Mothers or Cabalists? Normal users, who only have editing rights, need a representative too.  :-D Superstitious animistEd at CP 06:36, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

It's the cabal (which doesn't exist) plus RA! 217.171.129.68 07:09, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
My $0.02... remember that RationalWiki is nothing if not a mobocracy. Yes, rules and standards will be a wonderful new step for the Wiki, and are needed to progress to the next level of wikicoolness (a quasi-serious resource rather than a soapbox like we have now). BUT, we still have to be, at our core, a mobocracy. I'm not quite sure what exactly that means... I certainly think that cabalists should have a bit "more" of a vote than less-active editors (not sure which group I fit into at this point), but we can't completely disregard the opinions of crackjobs like TK, HoG, and Lurker. Destroy, ridicule, and tear apart, yes, but not completely ignore. We want to be a legitimate resource on the issues we focus on, not a Conservapedia of the left, and groupthink - which, though we despise, we sometimes revert to - won't help that. Again, just my opinion. --Hojidie! 11:26, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Ok, I know that homogeny among the pretend cabal doesn't exist, but maybe adding someone like MarcusCicero? Outspoken, blunt, but concerned about RW (as far as I can tell), he avoids the traditional "crackjob" mentality and label, but does seem to represent a sort of opposition to the status quo. I'm not saying he's John Adams, but you get the point. Note: this comment was not meant to reignite any old issues. If it is a bad (or in any way offensive) suggestion, just ignore it. I'll understand. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 11:59, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
As to the next step on the wikicoolness level - http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?WikiLifeCycle . --Shagie 14:55, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Don't put Lurker in that company of "crackjobs"! His positive contributions far outweigh his sometimes ironic or devilsadvocatesque comments. Superstitious animistEd at CP 12:09, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
I would just like to point out that it is perfectly acceptable under any and every circumstances to call me by the name 'John Adams'. MC 134.226.1.229 12:24, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

I somehow disappeared between that lists conception and it's porting to here. Pinto's5150 Talk 13:34, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

I also would like to point out that Hoji has been here more than long enough to be added to any discussion. Pinto's5150 Talk 13:35, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

I'm glad this list stimulated discussion. I was afraid the interest in this would peter out, so I made something provocative. It seems to have worked.

Not to say I didn't put serious thought into it when I was drawing it up. Do keep in mind that this list was made by me, and as such, it reflects my biases. Pinto may be a bureaucrat; which is why I initially included him, but my interaction with him has always been casual—that is, I haven't seen him involved in any (?) serious discussions. As for Hoji, I have had only one interaction with him to date, and that was the party on his talk page.

On another note, I really wanted to add SusanG, because she's just done so much to help RationalWiki, but she seems to be moving on from the site, so I refrained from doing so. If she chose to stick around (for real, not as an IP), then I would be the first to add her to it.

Also keep in mind, you can always add yourselves. I in no way imagined my list as the be-all and end-all list. I had hoped those who felt gypped would would add themselves. In fact, that is why I made sure to include an "absolutely not" list, because I was certain Bohdan would drive by and add himself and TK to the list. I apologize by anyone who felt left out (on either list : ) ). --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:11, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

Absolutely not[edit]

  • Secret Squirrel — consistent violation of the 90/10 rule (at least 90% edits must be on meta and talk pages and less than 10% should be actual content). That and it is much more fun spending his effort going after the likes of Scientology and he just plain doesn't want to get involved in site politics.
  • TK — magnet for destructive controversy; doesn't care for the site/community.
  • TmtamesP — purposefully sidetracking and disrupting productive discussions; general trolling; doesn't care for the site/community.

--Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:26, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

I wouldn't say that TK doesn't care! There are other good reasons to keep him out, and according to some his care is of destructive nature, but he cares. Superstitious animistEd at CP 06:39, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Don't be deceived Ed@CP. If TK really cared about this site s/he would contribute to the content. TK's posts are generally of a trolling nature.
Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group's common interests and concerns;...[3]
When TK returned after the block, did s/he start adding stuff to WIGO, poking fun at CP or debunking woo? No, s/he plays the court jester on talk pages and resumed his/her shit-stirring on the community standards pages. Although giving the appearance of wanting to help the site, Mr/Mrs TK's basic motives are to undermine the site-administration, particularly Trent, Human and AmesG. Unfortunately, AmesG cannot resist sticking his hand through the bars and feeding this particular troll. :(  Lily Ta, wack! 08:45, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
No, some of his comments were constructive. He has, ahem, experience in running an, ahem, wiki, and he has ideas for the future of RW. Even if his goal were our destruction, that doesn't mean that all his suggestions have to be ignored. And semantically, he cares about RW, as we care about CP or Joker cares about Batman. Not a native English speaker though, Superstitious animistEd at CP 09:53, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
For me "care" implies some sort of affection. I have not affection for CP, and I'm sure TK has no affection for RW (yes TK, I am a bloody mind reader). So although TK may have made some valid points about running a wiki, his (I've been reading up about him) track record does not give any special status. Consequently anyone wanting to be involved with improving this site should at least have its best interests at heart.  Lily Ta, wack! 10:25, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Lock him out. Being viciously persecuted will give TK the validation he so desperately craves, and will enable him to play the "Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!" card over at CP, and they might even be insane enough to make him a sysop again just to spite us. --Gulik 13:43, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
TK sysop at CP would be a bad thing, you say? Superstitious animistEd at CP 13:45, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

I demand inclusion in this. I am an active and experienced editor. As part of the mob, I demand a say. TmtamesP 20:56, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

But ...[edit]

Surely there can be no argument regarding the (lack of) future of Conservapedia. As CP is the main reason for RW's existence isn't this just "rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic"? ;p BostonTeaParty 10:38, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

Well, the question is whether that is still our reason for existence. Recently, we have been gradually expanding our horizons and objectives, as demonstrated by e.g. our Expelled:Leader's_Guide article. Naturally, Conservapedia still plays a large part, but it's not the only one anymore. Actually, I see this rules building thing as a part of that process - as we move away from our somewhat ironic dependence on Conservapedia, we need to figure out what exactly RationalWiki is and how it should operate in positive terms, rather than the negative "in opposition to CP." --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 10:57, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
I think RW has great potential for people who want to bitch and flee from some of the worst places the internet has to offer (e.g Stormfront, Metapedia etc.)
I'd be worried if we started doing a 'what is going on at Stormfront' though, those guys don't take ridicule easy and you have to consider most of them carry a piece, and anyone can be traced on in the internet... Just saying is all. MarcusCicero 11:10, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
We need a good HowTo article on proxies. :)  Lily Ta, wack! 11:38, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
I wouldn't dismiss our dependence on Conservapedia. The "Anti-CP" was a free niche which RW took, for others there is less space or more competition. That Expelled-article is a very good job, but if I were to inform myself on most of the other topics, WP would be the most rational (pun fully intended) choice. Superstitious animistEd at CP 12:06, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Just looking round,it appears that this wiki is an ad hoc assembly of netfriends who enjoy patting each other on the back (not a bad thing :) ) any formalisation of friendship will diminish it, IMHO. --BostonTeaParty 12:24, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
BostonTeaParty, the history of RW is quite complex. It started with, or better, inside CP. In the latest months an influx of Uncyclopedians has come to undermine it. :-D No, really: I'd suggest a reading of our articles on Conservapedia, not forgetting CP:Timeline, to understand the inner nature of RW. Superstitious animistEd at CP 12:53, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
I have read quite a bit: the talk pages are the most illuminating. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with the status quo - we all like friends - but you can't legislate for amicability. If you bring in rules or a defined hierarchy then you'll lose something. Will it be more of an offence to shout down a member of the ruling class or one of the plebs? Will ordinary member's views be accorded as much weight as the aristos? Am I, a new member, to be allowed the same weight as you? - should I be? The best way to organize would be to start a new wiki (copying the contents of course), with the organisation laid out from the start and copy the contents of RW to it. Then lock down the old RW. --BostonTeaParty 13:05, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Well this already is RW version 2.0. I personally am for the less rules possible. The problem, IMHO, is the purpose of RW. It started with a series of Conservapedia Editors who got banned more or less the same day. It was easy then, all friends as you say. Now that more and more editors come from UP or WP, and now that CP is going down like a stone in water, what and who does RW exist for? Bob M. will come and say that the purposes of RW are clearly written. I'd say let's review them instead. Superstitious animistEd at CP 13:44, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the mention, but I rather gave up my campaign for keeping us "on mission" some time ago.  :-) Reviewing things could well be a good idea. --Bobbing up 14:11, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
If that would be the case, it would still be RW, but with another name. The difference would only be symbolic. MarcusCicero 13:08, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Researching the site - back later :) --BostonTeaParty (Just realised MarcusCicero - you're the troll on Wikipedia! well done!!)13:22, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
I did make the Professor Values page, and then defended it with 'open your minds', yes! MarcusCicero 18:18, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

Let me rephrase that[edit]

I realize now that I phrased the list above in terms of "only these people; everyone else gets excluded". That was bad judgment on my part.

That list I posted above was meant to mean that, of all the users on this site, those are the ones who should be dropping everything else on RationalWiki and coming here to work on it. Everyone else can stick around to help, but those are the people who should be giving it their all.

Words fail to describe my disappointment at their resounding "meh" response to this project. Are half of them even aware it's going on? --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:54, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

I think it's less this project and more the drama and open trolling that's making people go "Meh!" here. That's also one of the main reasons why I chose to stay out of site politics issues in general: It's frustrating, it eats time (and I basically spend more time on RW than is healthy for my other projects already), people get wound up, drama is all over the place. And the trolls laugh.
So while I'm feeling honored that I'm considered to be a part of the Core Group, don't expect me to intervene too much. Nothing against this particular issue, but rather against all these issues and the drama surrounding them. --Sid 23:14, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
"Words fail to describe my disappointment at their resounding "meh" response to this project." I only found out about this by checking the Recent Changes page today. So, yeah, after reading the initial list at the top of the page I felt excluded. OK, so I'm not a massively prolific contributor/editor - fair comment, no argument here from me about that. But on the other hand, I can't contribute to something if I don't know about it. And I continue to believe that RW has a role on the innertubes as a counterweight to CP. How RW should be organised to become an effective counterweight to CP is another matter. Personally I'd prefer a command-control system, but, meh, that's just my personal preference. Spica the HiverThe Embassy Centre 07:11, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
OK, let's stick it on mainspace for a while. I'd also point out that the possibility of the mob actually agreeing on anything is rather remote. When was the last time that anything debated on community standards actually got accepted? Why? Conversations get hijacked, personalities get involved, those less interested in the project simply add lutz etc etc. My wholly nontransparent suggestion would be: 1. Create some sort of private forum where the issues would be discussed for a specific limited period by a group of wise people. 2. When conclusions were reached by that group present them at Community standards for agreement or not by the Mob. 3. If the mob says, "crap" then reiterate the process. 4. Explain on the Mainpage what is going on and for interested applicants. 5. Expression of interest will not be seen as necessarily qualification for membership. 6. Open up the discussion group to private viewing after the event so that people can see that nothing untoward went on.--Bobbing up 08:05, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, that sounds like a reasonable way of doing things. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 08:58, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
"a group of wise people" --217.171.129.68 09:05, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
What, would you prefer a group of unwise people? ;-) --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 09:17, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
define "wise" 217.171.129.68 09:34, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
My use of "wise" was a little tongue-in-cheek.--Bobbing up 09:39, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
"Wisdom is the ability to anticipate consequences." -Some guy whose name escapes me. Also, please register an account or log in if you wish to contribute further to the discussion. Makes things much easier for everyone. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 10:02, 30 March 2008 (EDT)

Its Susan. MarcusCicero 10:04, 30 March 2008 (EDT)

I'd say that every sensible AND/OR sarcastic bunch-of-numbers is Susan these days. Hi Susan, by the way! People are missing you! Superstitious animistEd at CP 12:24, 30 March 2008 (EDT)

I think it will look a little something like this[edit]

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States.png


In relative terms, the discussion happening here is just as important (For rationalwiki) as that which the picture depicts (for the United States) MarcusCicero 08:46, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

OK, thats 10,000% too dramatic, but you get the idea. MarcusCicero 08:55, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

Nationalversammlung.jpg
As long as it doesn't turn into this. ;-) However, I would really like to see a bit of discussion on whether this is really something the community as such supports, before we go too deep into the details of how to do it and who should be involved. This is quite important, so it's not something that should be rushed through. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 09:35, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

Hey AJ, I thought for a second that was a Nazi picture. Is it post WWI Germany? 134.226.1.229 09:56, 29 March 2008 (EDT) Bah, never mind, didn't read the link before posting that. MC 134.226.1.229 10:00, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

Oooo, can we wear wigs...? Sterilexx 14:34, 30 March 2008 (EDT)

What we ought to be[edit]

I've avoided site politics for the longest time, but I have a few thoughts. What should we be? Well, what is our title? I think that pretty much sums it up. The whole Conservapedia history is interesting, but I would like to point out that User:PalMD has been citing us from his new gig at ScienceBlogs. I really think that we do have a service to offer -- Wikipedia does not take explicit positions except for the most blatantly wrong problems, and both Randi and Robert Todd Carroll's encyclopedias are pretty much one-man operations. I think accurate debunking, education, and snark, all in equal measure are our raison d'être, and I think that's where we need to be. That's pretty much the beginning and the end of my thoughts on what RationalWiki should be. EVDebs 23:02, 1 April 2008 (EDT)

Well, the best work here is the side-by-side work, I think, and it sets us apart stylistically from the others in the debunking field (that, and the lulz). So while it's not something I'm personally good at, I'd encourage those who are to keep at it, your work is appreciated. --Kels 23:15, 1 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes... the most credit goes to those who actually find something that can be done that way. The Behe thing was a trent idea, and was easy to structure. But the expelled LG that Sterile found, man, it must have taken him hours to copy that garbage into a reasonable text format so we could play monkeys at typewriters. We need to whore that one out as much as possible (spray paint urls on theater walls when it's in release?) humanUser talk:Human 23:28, 1 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes indeed. Thats the kind of stuff we should be doing more often, I thoroughly agree. As to whoring it out, there's two of us running Adwords campaigns for it as we speak. I've pulled in a whole five readers with those. Five! And I've hurled it into a few blogs too. DogP 01:10, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
EVDebs, we ought to be many things, but have we got the necessary skills and knowledge? And have we got the necessary motivation? It is easy for me to talk, since I contribute very little, not even many WIGO links anymore, but I fear that setting an unrealistic objective may be deletery. You say about Wikipedia. But can we honestly compete with it? Can we honestly write better articles than it? Does WP really avoid explicit positions too much? I think it does a quite good job, with some, but only some, tolerance for ir-rationality. If we want to evolve to something more substantial, we have to find our niche. Being CP's watchdog and "official laughing machine" is a good and rewarding niche for us. This "new" project of side-by-side works may be another. Superstitious animistEd at CP 05:51, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
We are certainly not Wikipedia although we use its platform. It's hard to maitain debunkery constantly; on the other hand the anti-CP stuff (and particularly the strongely anti-CP stuff) can get old at times on the other hand and makes us dependent on CP. No one will care about RW unless they care about CP by that model, and that makes us astonishingly irrelevant. (If only 40 people here and 40 people there care, why bother?) Sterilexx 10:11, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
The side-by-sides aren't exactly new, we've been doing them since at least last summer. As far as "wikipedia's platform", wikis were around before WP, but WP certainly gave the software development an awesome boost. One always has to remember that just because a site uses MediaWiki, it is not necessarily (at all!) an encyclopedia, and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with WP. I used to see arguing on CP that they were a wiki so they should allow anyone to edit whatever they wanted, or that they should follow rules people were used to from WP, but the argument does not follow. What we do offer that is "different" from WP is: our point of view, a sense of humor, original research, and drawing conclusions (same thing as OR?). WP lays out the "facts", we are happy to say "this is bullshit and here is why". CP is a longstanding monkey on our back - it brings in new editors directly and via the WP article, and many here still mainline it. I would hope, however, that we could survive and grow even if Andy packed in his bags, although the adjustment for some would be tough. One thing I would point to is the Expelled LG thing, which is totally independent of CP and might prove to be moderately popular, or even a common rallying point for those opposing the film's "message" as it hits the screens (if it ever goes "public"!). Just my 3 or 4 cents... humanUser talk:Human 13:42, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Apart from research skills, writing skills and a good bullshit filter, what skills do we need? The literature is out there. The experts are more than happy to share, and we've got some good stuff going here -- just to begin with, the side-by-side fiskings and a general Skepdic.com-meets-Annals of Improbable Research format. All we need to do is to keep going with that and encourage others to help out. If we base our entire mission around bashing religious right stupidity, we may find ourselves missing the boat on some very important issues. As a contributor that's always been my guiding philosophy here, and frankly I find the Conservapedia stuff a bit tedious and increasingly irrelevant. It was good for fun at the beginning, but as Aschlafly's little circle jerk remains a complete laughing stock, the joke has worn thin. EVDebs 14:30, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
EVDebs, you're clueless. DogP 14:39, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Excuse the hell out of me?! EVDebs 14:46, 2 April 2008 (EDT)