RationalWiki talk:Nothing is going on at Citizendium/Archive3

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Most of this page is a rerun of this article & its comments. Even to the participants. 18:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Hey, why are the Citizens allowed to slag on people they kicked out on other forums, but no one can call a spade a spade at CZ without, um, getting kicked out? Example is Hayseed Penis saying "The reason he briefly joined Citizendium was that he was no longer welcome at Wikipedia and thought, mistakenly, that his idiosyncratic and disruptive behavior would be tolerated at Citizendium." That's pretty nasty for a bunch of sweet-as-candy collegial collaborators. Asterisk (talk) 06:28, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Have you seen Hayseed's edit comments on wikipedia? He was nasty back then. Hasn't changed. FreeThought (talk) 12:40, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Um, guys? Is the name calling really necessary? Doctor Dark (talk) 13:36, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
All those commenters are actually me. Just ask Larry - David Gerard (talk) 13:28, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I couldn't have two clipboards, so I chose the quotation to get it right, and followed FF's spellchecker to get close to whatever I remembered of the poster's name. Asterisk (talk) 21:16, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Where to put this?[edit]

We have Conservapedia:Active users and RationalWiki:Active users. So, where should we place the charts for Citizendium? At the moment, they are at Citizendium/Active users. Of course, Citizendium doesn't need a namespace on its own, but it shouldn't be a subpage, IMO. So, what do you think of Active users at Citizendium? Or are there better proposals? Thanks, larronsicut fur in nocte 13:21, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

At the risk of being called an ignorant bitch again, why not create a CZ namespace? At least way, active users, WIGO and whatever follows can be lumped in there. --Ψ GremlinHable! 13:43, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
RW space, I suspect, would be the way to go (RationalWiki:Citizendium active users). Asterisk (talk) 05:58, 2 December 2010 (UTC)


Hello all! On the Citizendium forums, I posted a link to "Tendrl". (Sadly, that's the best name I've been able to come up with so far; I'm really bad at naming things. It's probably a good thing I don't have any kids. Suggestions for other names are welcome.) ;-) I've called it a fork of the Citizendium, but at this stage I don't intend for it to be a content fork in the traditional sense—more a "principles" fork, if you know what I mean. Rather than try to explain all my ideas here, I'll invite you to check out the site itself: I've created a number of pages there so far with ideas and notes, and I'm still trying to work out the fine details. Any and all suggestions are welcome. And, if you feel inclined, please do feel welcome to create an account there and edit—don't worry about breaking anything, we can fix things up later! :-) Thomas Larsen (talk) 10:33, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

New article on Tendrl started. FreeThought (talk) 10:55, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! And I appreciate your support above. We should have a logo competition, we just need a few contributors first. ;-) Thomas Larsen (talk) 11:03, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
More educational free content is good for everyone. First thing you need to do is work out how not to be just a copy of Wikipedia. e.g. I was most intrigued by suggestions to use Semantic MediaWiki - though you need to be an ontology geek to get started, I've seen from an internal SMW at work that the ontology geeks can set up their complicated systems and others can in fact work inside them. e.g. If you had a university sponsorship, you could have a much more credible "academics' Wikipedia" that would keep idiots out of experts' faces. Just make it CC by-sa and the world will benefit. There's any number of ways to differentiate oneself. That sort of thing - David Gerard (talk) 11:09, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
If free content means publishers Alphascript and Betascript are allowed to copy wikipedia content into books and charge for it, I would sooner opt for a different model. Advocating people work for free but let others earn money from their toils is clearly not fair or equitable. FreeThought (talk) 02:10, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Hopefully that'll be a quite temporary market inequity. Most of the people tricked into buying those things seem to be Wikipedia editors looking for more print sources for articles ... The trouble is that "free content" includes "for any purpose", and restricting commercial use is a usage restriction. Erik Moeller argues that attempting to force "noncommercial" is a First World conceit: a charity selling books Alphascript-style is "noncommercial", someone in a poor country selling a DVD of Wikipedia is "commercial". It's actually a tricky one - David Gerard (talk) 12:49, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
o_Oimg Martin does hate your guts, doesn't he? Forking is a serious business, indeed. Doesn't he realise that the same metaphor can be applied to Citizendium?--ZooGuard (talk) 20:14, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
NO, ITS DIFRINT WHEN TEH CO-FOUNDER DOS IT!!!111img (Silliness aside, yeah, wow, that reply is headdesk-inducing. Though at least they apparently moved away from "TREASON!!!") --Sid (talk) 20:17, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't hate anyone's guts. This is your Frat style thinking. Basically, you here on RW just mock everyone who is not part of your group. OK, you have some knowledge of technical things: so fucking what? Who do you think you are to pass judgement like that? I respect your skills in certain areas, but you have no respect at all for others. Juvenile. (talk) 03:34, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
"No respect at all for others" is of course prima facie wrong. We as a site hold strong respect for individuals and communities that represent strong rational, scientific points of view. We are highly critical of communities, individuals and view points that reject critical and scientific thinking, or that embrace overtly authoritarian practices. CZ has coddled pseudoscience and quack medicine, and has had a rather authoritarian political zeitgeist both now and in the past. You are a vocal supporter and instigator of strong authoritarian tactics and have been the focus of many discussion because of this. Tmtoulouse (talk) 03:55, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I am slowly beginning to be disgusted with both Howie and Marty. Howie first, because he is an egomaniac, but Marty second because he only feeds the fire. Luckily, there are some sane people who actually care more about CZ than themselves over there, who might be able to save it. That said, Marty, best of luck with your "fork". ħumanUser talk:Human 04:20, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I think your mixing up people. Tmtoulouse (talk) 04:23, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I started the fork, not Martin. :-) Thomas Larsen (talk) 04:42, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
But Citizendium is a fork too so Human is right in that regard. FreeThought (talk) 04:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
They are all just completely clueless about anything. I started reading here, because (unlike RW) I do pay attention to my critics. What I find is that they just leap to conclusions, show no understanding of why people are doing or saying certain things (and we all know that there are serious problem on CZ), and all the time make offensive remarks about people who have never said anything bad to them. As I stated above, it is juvenile. Delinquent too. (talk) 04:51, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you have set up your psychological barriers to maintain contentment in your little insular echo chamber. Beside Larry Sanger himself you appear to be the biggest anchor dragging things down into oblivion so I suppose to makes since that your approach is to lash out in this fashion. Tmtoulouse (talk) 05:19, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
So what's wrong with Tom setting up a fork? Knowledge is free, that's why we have public libraries. Seems some people on Citizendium want to hold a monopoly on it. If Citizendium want to hold on to their work they should have chosen a different licence. FreeThought (talk) 05:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Since you ask, what people object to is not making the fork (which is perfectly legal) but using our forums to talk about it and complaining about everything -- even when they have been told privately what is really happening and why. Solving problems is rarely easy, and people just get pissed off with this "you are useless idiots and I am making my own wiki" mentality. Just go and do it, don't bleat about it for years. (talk) 05:36, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Tom hasn't been bleating about it for years though. He made a suggestion in two posts he was setting up a fork and people are welcome to join it. I don't see how that is offensive. FreeThought (talk) 05:43, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Please forgive us if we cannot report on such things that are "even when they have been told privately what is really happening". Ain't part of the public record, didn't happen. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:32, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I think he has, FT. But he hasn't been told any secrets, that remark did not refer to him. Yes, Human, I know (sigh). Not my fault, though. I have stated a lot of things openly. (talk) 11:06, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Once the management of the community has gone behind closed doors its done. The project relies on motivating a group of people to provide significant effort on a volunteer basis. The more you keep your base community in the dark and out of the loop, the less enfranchised they feel, the less motivated they are to do anything. And that's talking about your core contributors, its nothing compared to the massive repulsion field it creates for recruitment and new users. Flexibility, openness, and direct engagement and enfranchisement of the community are keys. I just think they are stuck in models of community management that have significant barriers to exit that don't exist online. Tmtoulouse (talk) 06:36, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Exactly correct, Tmtoulouse! Pashley (talk) 08:03, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Martin a.k.a. 85.*, I really don't understand your comments.
  1. Where would you recommend discussing the fork initially if not on the Citizendium forums? I could have made the announcement here, and Citizens could have read about it on RationalWiki before hearing about it on their own forums. But I don't think that would be fair on people at the Citizendium.
  2. For the record, I have not been told privately by you what is "really happening" at the Citizendium. If I knew, it wouldn't affect my decision to create Tendrl.
  3. I haven't stated anywhere that any Citizen is a "useless idiot", and I hope that is not the "mentality" that has come through in my communications either. Rather, I have quite openly stated my support for the Citizendium (exampleimg). I have criticised the project, too—particularly its bureaucracy and endless sniping—but I wish it well.
  4. I realise that I'm part of the free software culture, and principles like forking that I find perfectly acceptable may be offensive to you. As I see it, creating a fork moves towards a goal, improving upon an older project and providing it with valuable competition. I don't see forking as an antagonistic move.
  5. At this stage, I don't plan to encourage people to fork much content from the Citizendium—if people want to copy articles they wrote themselves, that's fine, but I don't want widespread copying from any other project without at least substantial revision (and, of course, appropriate attribution). Also, of course, I have no interest in taking articles like Homeopathy on board from the Citizendium.
  6. Anyone is welcome to contribute to Tendrl.
If you have other concerns, feel free to e-mail me. I want to be as reasonable as possible. Thomas Larsen (talk) 06:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
CC-BY 3.0 license makes this fork Citizendium/Wikipedia-incompatible, so it's impossible to import content from these projects. Trycatch (talk) 11:26, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Oops, an oversight on my part! I'll fix that tomorrow. I think pretty much all our content so far is CC-BY-SA, so it should be fine. Thomas Larsen (talk) 11:58, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Fixed. "Tendrl" is now a CC-BY-SA project. :-) Thomas Larsen (talk) 00:10, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, Martin really doesn't seem to understand why calling a fork "treason" is a fundamentally inappropriate response. May I suggest Wikipedia:Fork (software engineering), which I wrote large chunks of years ago, and the essays linked at the bottom, to understand where people come from on this. The Citizendium fork involved a great deal of ill will on Dr Sanger's part (though not the other way), but forks don't have to be like that and forking is not in general an expression of "fuck you." Indeed, ill will the other way - from the forked entity - is (as I note) a danger sign for the viability of said forked entity - David Gerard (talk) 14:27, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Tendrl link does not seem to be working. Started last night and is continuing this morning.LittleRedWriter (talk) 16:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
It's working for me at the moment—were you receiving a timeout? Thomas Larsen (talk) 00:10, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

You now have a WikiIndex entry. Good luck in your efforts to come up with a better name, which you desperately need. Onion Hi! :) 17:42, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Point of order[edit]

"Martin a.k.a. 85.*"

Please don't do that here. Call them BoN, Anon, 85..., etc., but you are claiming to know who the user of an anonymous IP account is, and we simply don't do that here, unless they sign "joe" after posting as a BoN. And what is the asterisk all about? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:20, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Sanger and Wikileaks[edit]

Btw, Larry Sanger is going ape shit over WikiLeaks. It is hard to take him seriously, I see this as "any wiki that's more popular than mine sucks." Tmtoulouse (talk) 07:25, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Which is funny, because WikiLeaks is not a wiki. Also: "I'll go ahead and say the obvious: Wikileaks is an enemy of the U.S.--and not just the government. Deal with them accordingly." How? Nuke the servers? Chikenhawk.--ZooGuard (talk) 07:45, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
He is still going at it, all those tweets just start reading like "look at me! look at me!" but then I guess that's what twitter is all about. Do you think he ever gets as tired as the rest of with beating the wikipedia co-founder drum? Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:41, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
So someone expressed an opinion and they are now an "enemy of the US". Doesn't Sanger believe in the First Amendment? Given the censoring of posts on the citizendium forums, I'm not surprised. FreeThought (talk) 03:56, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
That Twitter stream is remarkable. Well worth saving - David Gerard (talk) 11:39, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
"Speaking as Citizendium's founder, I consider you enemies of the U.S.--not just the government, but the people." Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it - David Gerard (talk) 11:41, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I was thinking the same thing, he certainly doesn't trumpet his role in CZ like he does his "role" at WP. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:25, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Probably because the general populace doesn't even know that CZ exists. --Sid (talk) 17:26, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Or maybe he made those tweets outrageous so that people would attack wikipedia? I'm now inclined to believe this was his motive. It certainly caused a few unwary people to put down wikipedia in reaction. Well played Larry, Goebbels would be impressed. FreeThought (talk) 23:02, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Ugh - did you really make a Nazi reference when talking about Sanger tweeting about Wikileaks? --Leotardo (talk) 19:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I doubt it's that well thought out. I suspect it's more that WatchKnow's out of money and he's seeking a new patron, and "Wikipedia co-founder" is still more bankable than "Citizendium founder" - David Gerard (talk) 13:25, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Odd way to garner financial support by attacking a group. I'm also puzzled by some of Sanger's tweets that border into homophobia - that "gay shoes" put-down. It's one side of Sanger I haven't seen before. FreeThought (talk) 17:02, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
That's because Sanger is basically losing it. The combativeness is because the one trick that worked to get publicity for Citizendium was trying to start public fights with Wikipedia. so of course it's the first thing to try - David Gerard (talk) 12:44, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

King Martin's caninisation (yes, that is spelt correctly) of those who disagree with him[edit]

H.R.H. King Martin-Hyphen-Martin, G.P.C., MEMBER OF YE OLDE ROYAL EDITORIAL COUNCIL AND DON'T YOU FUCKIN' FORGET IT, Citiz. Def., etc. etc., hath declared that anyone who disagreeth with him is a "dog." Hie thee to http://locke.citizendium.org/cz_ec/PR-2010-005, and search thou down for ye olde aforementioned three-letter canid quadruped, an thou believest not thine obd't svt., OHai. ((Um, did I leave out a pretentious hyphen somewhere?)) OHai (talk) 03:57, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Making fun of how someone's name is spelled isn't a high-class maneuver. Just saying. Doctor Dark (talk) 05:12, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't really get the dog angle here, but the comments are really telling. The EC just spent days bickering among itself about Howard, trampling straight over all suggestions or requests for details by the general community, only to suddenly decide that it's all fine after all... but how DARE the Managing Editor request details about their priorities? I mean, it's not like CZ is in some sort of existential crisis where it needs the support of the general community, which in turn demands greater transparency and is criticalimg of the way the EC is drifting off into Lala Land... --Sid (talk) 11:17, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, it's not like the Managing Editor now has the job at the top of the place that Larry previously had. What does a Managing Editor have to do with editorial direction, anyway? The nerve! - David Gerard (talk) 11:32, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
"Every man and his dog" - it's a very common idiom, meaning everyone (emphatically & indiscriminately), not calling anybody a dog. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:52, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. However, the Editorial Council regards the Managing Editor as no-one in particular, and emphatically not as anyone who has any business asking about editorial matters - David Gerard (talk) 12:18, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Which is doubly unfortunate because the Managing Editor (Daniel Mietchen) is one of the really good guys over there, sensible and non-egocentric. Wonder how long before he throws in the towel. Doctor Dark (talk) 14:42, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
If you quarter-wits could read properly, you would see that the Charter states specifically that the managing editor is not a replacement for Larry, and that s/he makes provisional decisions which are ranked below the authority of the two councils (Article 36). Considering that you on RW are always bleating about accountability, opennness and democracy, you should be pleased that an elected body has more power than one individual. But wait, I forgot, you're really just trying to find fault, not be rational... (talk) 15:02, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Maybe it's that us quarter-wits believe fixing obvious problems is more important than adhering to the bureaucratic strictures of charters and committees and such. Why don't you guys just roll up your sleeves and get to work instead of endless arguing and insistence on properly following proper protocols? Many of us on the outside get the impression that you enjoy all the arguing and bureaucracy, preferring it to something dull and pedestrian like, say, writing encyclopedia articles. Doctor Dark (talk) 15:38, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, we do "bleat" about accountability, openness and democracy because they're important. That's why the way you dismiss a perfectly reasonable request to be more accountable and open is of concern to us. Instead, you accuse Daniel of interfering. And heaven forbid that you should set priorities! Much better to thrash around at random because after all, if you don't know where you're going, you don't need a map. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 15:42, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Since you clearly don't get it (along with Daniel), I shall remind you that the aborted action taken against one member was taken precisely because the EC could not get beyond stupid bureaucracy. Most of us want no bureaucracy at all, yet are forced into it reluctantly in order to get anything done at all. Indeed, it would be a glorious day when we could actually sit down and discuss priorities, but it is not going to happen -- for the reasons already stated. (talk) 16:13, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
It is literally the case that Martin prefers bureaucracy to writing stuff, as he has expressly declared his return was for. Though he does actually edit in main space on occasion - David Gerard (talk) 17:29, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
(e/c) I get it perfectly: you're a power-crazed little man who doesn't realise that his site is founded in bureaucracy and is incapable of operating because of the egos involved. It should be quite clear that your current structure doesn't work, but instead of frankly admitting the problem and inviting suggestions from the "experts" on your site, you retreat into your little castle and insult people instead. Even from the small amount of information you let out of the citadel, it's pretty clear that you are one of the major problems. The best thing you could do for CZ is resign. You won't, though, because you're more interested in maintaining your position than fixing the problem. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 17:32, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
(also e/c) I like how a CZ member freely bleats about how the ME "doesn't get it". I really do. But the thing is that one of Daniel's duties is "to represent the Citizendium in its relations with external bodies, such as the mass media, and academic or non-academic institutions." Meaning that it's his job to, oh, I don't know, try convincing a university or so to host a great project such as CZ for free. Because, y'know, you're rapdidly running out of money. Or hey, how about contacting the press to get some good publicity after the whole funding issue news broke? Yeah, his job.
And right now, the random antics of the EC are making even CZ regulars go "Guys, WTH are you doing?". If somebody from outside looks beyond the pretty face of the wiki mainpage, he won't see a Project Of Experts, he'll just see a community trying to get some council to stop behaving like asshats. So yeah, Daniel DOES GET IT. He gets that he needs the EC to stop being morons who operate in secret and out of reach of the mere mortals because the resulting negative vibes make his job infinitely harder in a time of crisis.
But hey, why think things through when it's much easier to pat yourself on the back for having such a powerful council that doesn't have to take shit from the ME? --Sid (talk) 17:42, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Looking at the recent comments on the proposal page, the discussion (check the comments by Howard and Hayford) seems to shift towards how much power the Secretary has and whether the discussion time frames are fixed or minimum values. I'd have thought that, given the amount of chartering, proposing and motioning, both of these questions would have gotten obvious answers ages ago.
In other news, Hayford's still busy rubbing in the absolute power of the EC: "WE were elected to the EC, not them, and we will do things OUR way, in the priority that WE judge is correct." Repeat after me, guys: "SIR, YES SIR!" --Sid (talk) 21:17, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
I like the refusal to address major issues until all the details are cleared. Details have an amazing ability to multiply uncontrollably. You never finish all the details, ever. If you refuse to spend any time or energy on big picture issues until all the little stuff is done, well suddenly its 2 years later and the only people left are the 5 EC members still working on those pesky details. Details are important but its the big stuff that will make or break your site. You gotta be able to multitask, to address both kinds of issues at once.
Group think is also a powerful dynamic, refusal to actually listen to the rest of community not only pisses them off but removes the single best pressure valve to break out of tunnel visioning governance bodies tend to get into. Nope, this is not the way to go about things. At best you just pissed off your whole user base (a volunteer user base, that can jump ship at anytime), more likely it just dragged the EC down to a completely ineffectual circle jerk. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:16, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
If I read it correctly (sorry, brain's currently fried), Howard's (currently) last comment echoes what I'm thinking: Small details that aren't vital are exactly the type of thing the Managing Editor can decide on the fly until the EC properly decides on them. You know, so that the EC can focus on the big stuff. --Sid (talk) 22:37, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Yep, right, you know better... NOT. You should call yourselves Irrational Wiki -- as we call you anyway -- because your inflated egos are all that you comprehend. Even when people leak things that they shouldn't, you still persist with your "own interpretations" of reality. Ignoring evidence (and insisting on your own view of things) is exactly what science does not permit, although very many second-rate practitioners do this. (talk) 22:46, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Hm, indeed. Your well-formulated arguments, presented in this calm and mature way, convinced me, and I have seen the error of my ways. *nods* In less sarcastic news, I've read more creative smack talk from Rob, TK and even Ken - and all of those were even man enough to create accounts, too. --Sid (talk) 22:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
You've had comments, observations, criticism and suggestions from RW and all you can do is insult us. You, Martin, are a perfect example of what's wrong with Citizendium. On RW, I've met a lot of people who are more knowledgeable than me on various topics, and the reason I know that is because they've made good edits or cogent comments. You're just a blowhard with a power fixation who, as has been mentioned above, doesn't actually do very much useful work on the site itself. You might dislike Wikipedia, but I suggest you read this page because it describes your condition precisely. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 22:59, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
In other news: Saved by the bell. --Sid (talk) 23:03, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Irrational wiki, wow, no one has ever came up with that insult before, with such originality and creativity I am surprised CZ is failing. You know there is a few of you from CZ that like to harp on this wagon that we are pushing points that you guys have all ready refuted, or that we are out right lying. I would absolutely love if for the first time you managed to come up with a specific example. So far whenever I ask I am ignored. Please show us something we have continued to say despite evidence to the contrary. Tmtoulouse (talk) 00:42, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

I think it's unfair to criticize Martin for not doing much. Remember the CZ distinction between editors & authors. Authors are supposed to write things & editors are supposed to guide & approve. Of course it doesn't work like that a lot of the time, but Martin shouldn't be criticized for sticking to his official job description.

As to the last remark, I seem to remember making this point before too. Nobody's ever going to admit to continuing to say something despite evidence to the contrary. What makes you any different in that respect? That you're right? But everyone says that too. Peter Jackson 11:43, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

If it were true that "Authors write things & editors guide & approve", CZ would not have more than a few hundred articles. Editors would be unemployed (or would be forced to amuse themselves on the forum). The bulk of the existing CZ articles are written by editors, not by authors. Even most of the 150 or so approved articles were written by an editor and approved by another editor (or by three editors among whom the major contributing editor). --P. Wormer (talk) 16:07, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
As for saying stuff, contrary evidence and all that, I am just asking for some specifics. We can't have an opportunity to change what we are saying when no one actually address specific points with specific evidence. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:31, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, you know the Wiki system: it is quite a job to figure out who wrote what. But Howard Berkowitz, Milton Beychok, Nick Gardner, Anthony Sebastian, Gareth Leng, Richard Jensen, and myself are editors who contributed a significant number of new articles. --P. Wormer (talk) 17:18, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Jensen no longer edits citizendium. He's now an admin on Conservapedia. FreeThought (talk) 06:04, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I am really confused.....Tmtoulouse (talk) 17:51, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
PWormer: "Well, you know the Wiki system: it is quite a job to figure out who wrote what." - but the system makes it completely possible due to edit histories. I wish I had the wiki software when I was editing and "improving" my poems and essays published on line, to keep track of the changes. Asterisk (talk) 04:50, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • That IP comes across as a really nasty person. (talk) 20:10, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Said IP is Martin Baldwin-Edwards himself, so the antagonism is not fully unjustified since many of us have been highly critical of his actions. That said him seems to be a bit of an asshole not only here but to everyone at CZ as well. Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:13, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Toulouse: you do not even make sense any more. What is the point of commenting on things, when you have no interest in hearing the facts, but instead prefer your own fantasies as explanations. That is delusional. And you continue with the personal insults, in the juvenile delinquent fashion. Insofar as managing CZ is concerned, it is absurd to think that a few people can construct an encyclopedia. What is required is to set up a functioning structure that attracts a whole range of people, including experts. Those on CZ who have chosen to redefine the expert role in some self-centred way as writing their own little contributions have just missed the point about collaboration. (talk) 00:06, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
So as expected you come back with nothing but invective and vague complaints. The fact is that no one at CZ has come forward with specific information that countermands our analysis. Since the whole management of CZ is done behind lock and key everyone (us and your loyal contributors) are left to try and piece together the issues with what little dribbles of information you let out on purpose or accident. Sure we are likely to get things wrong now and then, but we have no way of knowing because anyone that could correct us stays locked up in their little cave peeking out just long enough to hurl some insults our way.
In the end though what matters is the success or lack thereof that you guys have in producing a healthy, functioning and productive community. Larry Sanger left you hanging, bad, his management was incompetent at all levels. There is a grace period that you are in now to see if your management councils can do better. The results are, spotty, at best. Tmtoulouse (talk) 00:45, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Edit break[edit]

To be fair to M B-E, he seems to have spent his entire life being listened to either as an academic, a lecturer, an author or an "expert" reporting to governmental organisations. As a perpetual number one, he's probably not accustomed to people disagreeing with his proclamations from the throne ex cathedra. 07:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

What is required is to set up a functioning structure that attracts a whole range of people, including experts. Those on CZ who have chosen to redefine the expert role in some self-centred way as writing their own little contributions have just missed the point about collaboration. Thus spoke anonymous
This quotation summarizes neatly all that makes me puke on the manner that CZ is governed these days. In exact contrast, I recognize the importance of authors that write "little contributions" in a "self-centered way", who don't want to be part of a "functioning structure" heeling—as canines—Mr. Baldwin-Edwards.
--P. Wormer (talk) 08:59, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
If the goal is to attract "a whole range of people, including experts" then one of the first questions should be what it would take to get back the experts that have left. Pashley (talk) 09:34, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Let me just clarify "Authors are supposed to write things & editors are supposed to guide & approve.". That is true, but the important thing to remember is that everyone on CZ is an author, including Editors. Being an Editor is an additional role to being an author, not a replacement. The problem comes with the fact that you cannot approve an article on your own if you have performed any author work on it. If you have done any author work on an article, you then need three Editors in agreement to get the article approved. Due to the lack of Editors in some workgroups, this has made some Editors reluctant to act as an author in fear of being unable to ever get articles approved. --Chris Key (talk) 10:24, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
While you're around to clarify stuff (which I do appreciate), could you elaborate a bit on "if you have performed any author work on it"? Does this only mean non-trivial changes like adding new content and such, or does it also include spellcheck, stylistic changes, etc.?
And on a more fundamental level, I think a system counts as broken if it actively discourages making improvements to articles like that (at least while you only have a few people to work with). --Sid (talk) 11:44, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Edit: It's possible that the above sounds like a terribly retarded question, of course, but I learned not to take too much for granted with CZ, especially since I find it counter-intuitive to make a difference between "author" and "editor" work in the first place on a wiki system where technically, anybody can do either/both. So I'm somewhat puzzled by what counts as what. (Plus, my brain is still fried and I don't have time to read up through The Charter or whatever other super-formal document you guys have to specify what does what. =P) --Sid 11:57, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The policy states that "Editors may approve articles if they have not contributed significantly to the article as an author". Spellchecking and other edits that do not really alter the content don't count as 'significant', so Editors may still do this kind of work and then approve the article.
I agree that the system causes issues. When it was designed I think it was assumed that we wouldn't have problems getting three Editors working on a single article - and therefore single-Editor approval was to be the exception rather than the rule. This policy is something that the EC have control over, and it may change if they see fit. --Chris Key (talk) 13:37, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Regardless of some other comments here, CZ was originally conceived as "expert-led" rather than expert-written. In other words, the idea was to take some of the more positive aspects of WP and overlay them with expert guidance -- either literally as guidance (such as where to start, what literature exists, &c) or in terms of dispute resolution by people who have some idea of what they are talking about (unlike WP). The problem that has arisen is the mutation of the project, which arose spontaneously owing to a general lack of authors as well as editors. The single-editor approval was definitely envisaged as the norm -- and the three editor solution posited as an exceptional case to allow editors' articles to get approval. Now, we have the case that there are too many chiefs and almost no Indians: I do not see the solution as being to discourage newcomers by acting as an elite club. Sadly, some CZ editors have had that attitude and failed to realise that there is a world of difference between an expert-guided project and an expert-exclusive project. Some of those people left CZ "in disgust" and may be heard spouting off from time to time. Our task is to get in more people, of all sorts, so that CZ does not look like an exclusive little club for retired academics. (talk) 15:32, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
That's a sensible analysis and consistent with my own CZ experience. I found CZ a lonely place -- no one showed up for me to "gently guide." Eventually I got tired of putting up with Sanger's micromanaging and the other nonsense for no reward in terms of cooperative work or intellectual stimulation. (The Homeopathy debacle sure didn't help.) Doctor Dark (talk) 15:49, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
@ How many retired academics are still contributing to CZ? Off-hand I would not know any. So this is a good time to take preventive action and add to CZ's charter (Article 121 sub 3A): Registration by retired academics is not acceptable, because, before you know it, CZ becomes infested and "will look like an exclusive little club for retired academics". --P. Wormer (talk) 16:17, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
"too many chiefs and almost no Indians"? Depends where you are. Quite a few workgroups have no editors at all. Peter Jackson 11:46, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Very true. I meant, the ratio of chiefs to Indians is too high; but there is a population shortage of both. (talk) 14:30, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Critical acclaim![edit]

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 18:09:46 -0500
Message-ID: <AANLkTim8+5eXZE-bXwRhDyg_+cr1n1Pz0iNw4-u1HbCh@mail.gmail.com>
Subject: Your work
From: Gregory Kohs <thekohser@gmail.com>
To: David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=0015174789948f299004967584c1

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1


I sure your live-in mistress can't wait to see what I write about next on

You're so full of yourself on that Alexa 100,000 irrational wiki.


- David Gerard (talk) 23:16, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

You can feel the love. We should write an article on Alexa one day, it is such a shit metric. - π 23:18, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Some day I hope we could have the same alexa ranking as Wikipedia Review, the sky is the limit! And threatening someone with examiner articles? Really? Really? The examiner is hardcore! Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:34, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Not to mention the fact that Greg will be lining his pockets a bit as we all (or rather our mistresses) go to his Examiner page to see what he's written. Then again, it's the Examiner. Any publication that let's Hurlbut publish his stuff has less than zero credibility anyway. --Ψ GremlinHable! 09:29, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
How the Examiner works. It's a commercial blogging host that pays you 0.5 to 1 cent per page view, more or less. It in no way constitutes media, it just somewhat pretends to. "OOH YOU JUST WAIT TILL YOU SEE WHAT I WRITE ABOUT YOU IN MY ONLINE JOURNAL" - David Gerard (talk) 12:37, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmmmmmmmmmmm... You know, Rob Smith recently said he was a "professional paid pundit". Makes you wonder, don't it? --Kels (talk) 21:38, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Boing Boing[edit]

Should Wikimedia Foundation host Citizendium? --I'm bored (talk) 18:50, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Lol, even the pointy-headed academic turned up, touting their credentials and vocabulary. But not actually saying anything. (this was funnier following the comment above this section...) Asterisk (talk) 06:06, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Even funnier is how CZ being owned by Wikimedia would be such a slap in the face to Larry "the cry baby" Sanger's "Jimbo Wales screwed me" sob story. Scotch (talk) 07:46, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I swear that the prospect of watching Larry absolutely shit was only a slight motivation. As it is, I understand the WMF techies are OK with CZ camping out on Wikimedia if there's a box available (as they know the CZ techies are competent), but the organisational problems (CZ has no existence as an entity) would absolutely need to be sorted. In any case, CZ is sorted for hosting for the next couple of months, which is quite long enough to see if it can keep its shit together - David Gerard (talk) 14:05, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

"Your opinion counts for very little here."[edit]

In response to a postimg in which Martin Baldwin-Edwards directed a threat against Howard Berkowitz, I askedimg that he not make threats on Citizendium's forums. (I believe there are very clear rules about such conduct in Citizendium's new charter.) Baldwin-Edwards then respondedimg with the following:

Tom: you do not tell members of the CZ councils how to behave on their own Forum board. if [sic] you don't like CZ, then kindly just quit it. Your opinion counts for very little here.

And that, folks, is why Citizendium will fail.

I was tempted to ask Baldwin-Edwards if he is familiar with the following articles in the charter:

  • "Citizens shall act responsibly and in a civil manner: derogatory or offensive language or behavior will not be tolerated."
  • "All Citizens shall be equal and no special privileges shall be granted except those granted in this charter to Editors and Officers."
  • "All Citizens shall be treated fairly and respectfully by other Citizens, Editors, and Officers of the Citizendium."
  • "Citizens should expect Officers and Editors to be fair and impartial. Biased Officers and Editors shall recuse themselves from their official positions in any dispute resolution process."
  • "All Citizens, regardless of position or status, shall be bound by this Charter including its amendments, and no referendum or decision of any council or official shall contravene it."

So much for goodwill. I'm now tempted to write letters to any organisations that consider sponsoring Citizendium, recommending that they leave the project well alone. Let it die.—Thomas Larsen (talk) 10:42, 4 December 2010 (UTC)72

The more I follow the goings on on CZ, the more I'm reminded of the behaviour of the Fab Five over at CP. There might not be the general nuttiness, but the swaggering arrogance is there for all to see. And yes, that is exactly the reason by CZ will fail. --Ψ GremlinПоговорите! 10:48, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to defend Martin but Berkowitz's constant whining on the Talk pages and forum when he doesn't get what he wants, grates people. I don't blame editors wanting to remove him. Martin was correct over the Wikileaks article - its was being written in a biased way with a pro-US point of view, with little regard for neutrality. FreeThought (talk) 10:56, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
What frustrates me most about Citizendium is that discussions always boil down to interpersonal disputes, never actually to questions about the neutrality of content. Thomas Larsen (talk) 11:31, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
That is a lie. Attempts to deal with neutrality have been systematically blocked by one person (and one person only), who will shortly answer to the EC for his behaviour in the past. The case with wikileaks is a repetition of past patterns. (talk) 11:37, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone else find the tone of the anonymous post above somehow chilling? --BobSpring is sprung! 13:41, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the comments of are obnoxious, but are part of the Spiel to get rid of Mr. Baldwin-Edwards' opposition at CZ.--P. Wormer (talk) 14:06, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I regret to say that Mr Wormer has some expertise in being obnoxious. The tone of my last post was factual, since the matter of editorial conduct has been sent to the EC for dispute resolution. (talk) 14:48, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
That's right, Martin. Someone has disagreed with you, which obviously can't be tolerated. All dissent much be crushed! Purge the undesirable elements from your site then sit back in satisfaction at your supreme power, admiring the beautiful way in which the tumbleweed blows through the deserted pages. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 15:25, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Apparently it's against RW house rules to name anonymous IPs *shrug*, that's what Human said above in the "Point of Order" comment above. Just sayin' FreeThought (talk) 16:05, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
It's been done several times already, and the IP essentially outed himself anyway: see these two posts. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 16:21, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
My general impression was that he wasn't exactly trying to hide his identity and posting as an IP was more about not deigning to even bother with making an account here. If, however, I am mistaken and said IP really is trying to stay "pseudonymous" then yes we need to stop outing him. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:47, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with being referred to here as Martin, but prefer the surname be omitted. The only issue is that my ip might change (it is semi-fixed lol) and there could be fraudulent posters... (talk) 17:30, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Ummmmm. I may be missing some grand political point here, but wouldn't the simplest thing be to create an account? Our registration process is most simple and quick.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:41, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
It's oddly similar to Bradley/LowKey's equally silly insistence on using IP. --Kels (talk) 18:56, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

(undent) I might note that I am more than open to specific suggestions in making the Wikileaks article more neutral, at least when it's unlocked. Before that happened, I tried to respond. At least two of the other commenters on the talk page are not from the U.S. and didn't see huge problems in the evolving article. More and more information was going in, and hopefully better balancing, until the deletion got so bad I couldn't keep track of the edits. My email here is enabled, so if someone has a specific comment (not "this is from a US standpoint", but something I can fix), it's welcome. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 20:20, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

I share Tom's concerns; Martin's threat was entirely out of line. I don't think Howard is entirely guiltless either, though I do think his behaviour has been mostly reasonable. Back when there were elections for the Editorial Council, I voted for both these guys; both are intelligent and knowledgeable, and both do contribute substantially to the wiki. I might vote differently next time.
As for CZ dying, it is not clear to me that it either will or should. Certainly there are problems to be solved and it is not clear either that they will be or, for that matter, whether the structure itself -- charter, constables, councils, ... -- creates more problems than it solves. There is a risk the whole thing will go belly up.
Anyway, I do not think that the key point is that this particular site and structure survive -- it is an interesting experiment, worth investing some time in and hoping for the success of, but no more. The vital thing is that some of us are writing good material there, and that will likely survive on other sites even if CZ itself fails. Possibly Tendril, though it is not yet clear to me that that will work either. Certainly Wikipedia; already two approved articles I wrote (cypherpunk and Kerchkoff's principle) have been copied almost entirely to WP. RW or Wikitravel or a dozen other sites could take anything they find useful; the license is designed for that. So if you think, as I do, of contributing to an overall "Creative Commons" rather than worrying too much about a particular project's borders, CZ provides an attractive mechanism for that. The notion of expert oversight is basically sound, whether or not all the details have been or will be correctly worked out. Pashley (talk) 22:52, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
"The notion of expert oversight is basically sound"—I agree. The key is, as you say, "whether or not all the details have been or will be correctly worked out". Thomas Larsen (talk) 01:09, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Some of us are more expert than others, but don't like to push ourselves forward: For example, nobody has ever suggested that I should write a signed article on topics for which I have an international reputation.img Guess who, without looking. Fricassée (talk) 13:22, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Re survival on other sites, just to mention that all CZ material is welcome on Wikinfo. Peter Jackson 15:21, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
"Attempts to deal with neutrality have been systematically blocked by one person" Hm. As far as I can tell, it's Howard who's been trying to get the Editorial Council to work on general policies, including presumably neutrality or whatever, and the rest of the members who seem to think that sounds too much like hard work and prefer to wait for individual disputes to be referred to them and then see whether a pattern emerges in the decisions they find themselves making. Peter Jackson 15:25, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I suggest that you ask the other members of the EC, rather than taking my word for it, Peter. (talk) 17:11, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Disappearing references[edit]

On Wikipedia has been emptied of all posts, so thisimg struck me as worth saving while it's in cache - David Gerard (talk) 13:45, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Quite an interesting read. Especially the part where they talk about the connotations of Citizendiums failures for the internet as a whole. Thanks for sharing, David. Audi (talk) 16:50, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Incompetent ramblings - and a few diagrams[edit]

As some of our readers from Citizendium know, I like to manipulate data and fabricate diagrams. So, let's see what November 2010 has in sleeve for us...

Editors at CZ
Citizendium is dominated by a couple of editors: Just ten contributes make two thirds of all edits. As Citizendium does not only have one hierarchy, but a couple, the membership in wiki-groups isn't that telling on its own, e.g., H. C. Berkowitz is just a commoner on this wiki, but he was secretary of the central committee Editorial Council - and is elected to stay a member of this august body.
Editors at CZ
The last couple of months attracted a couple of new editors (or authors, or whatever), while the bulk of contributors signed up in the first fifteen month of the wiki.
Editors at CZ
The page cz:Special:Statistics doesn't state a number of active users (those who contributed over the last 91 - or 30 - or 7 days), as most wikis do (cp:Special:Statistics, ask:Special:Statistics, wp:Special:Statistics or Special:Statistics). But the number wouldn't be so flattering: Citizendium's nemesis wikipedia (it works only this way round, sorry) has ≈ 136,000 "users who have performed an action in the last 30 days", RationalWiki roughly 300, while Citizendium has half as many: ≈ 150.
The new wikimedia software allows for setting the period of activity to 91 days: this gives you a tally of 200.
Editors at CZ
These 200 editors show various degrees of activity. It's surprising that so many editors (or authors) have finalized the arcane process of creating an account, but chose to make only the odd comment over the time...
Edits at CZ
...indeed, the contributions of these are dwarfed by the vast amount of edits made by the hyper-actives (or Übermenschen).
Edits at CZ
It's the merit of these few that the level of edits has been relatively stable over the last year.

(To compare these numbers with those of RationalWiki and Conservapedia, have a look here.) larronsicut fur in nocte 20:28, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Seems an accurate presentation to me. The problems are with the message (ie CZ) not with the messenger. Thanks for these. (talk) 05:12, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, it is an accurate presentation. Alexander Stos looks after the statistics at cz:CZ:statistics. His updates of the existing diagrams are prompt and regular, but he hasn't done anything new for quite a while. And sadly, I don't see him getting involved in the discussion of the google-metrics. Anyway, his numbers seem to be quite comparable to mine:
Monthly editors at CZ
Monthly editors at CZ
(Alexander Stos)
larronsicut fur in nocte 15:04, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

CZ's failure is all wikipedia's fault![edit]

I found this comment amusing. If Wikipedia hadn't driven away all those experts biting at the bit to edit free encyclopedia's Citizendium would be a thriving community. Way to own up to the failure of your community model there. Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:49, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I liked the earlier comment, regarding the fork, "splitting of the limited resources of a relatively small group of contributors", emphasis added. IE, CZ is so small they can't afford some members leaving for elsewhere. Asterisk (talk) 07:17, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Ande by page 5, Milton chimes in to discuss how many citizens can dance on the head of a pin, if they are, indeed, still citizens. Sorry, Milton, 'til now, I liked you. Asterisk (talk) 07:25, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Innes' other comment that wikipedia is blocked in colleges while citizendium isnt isn't strictly true. Here in Toronto, the university library and computer labs allow access to wikipedia, while citizendium is unreachable. FreeThought (talk) 11:47, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
And I thought these people were smart. They can't even spell... "When trying to reign the project in...". I'd accept that mistake from the hoi polloi, and always have, but from a bunch of self-appointed PhD "experts"? Pomegranate (talk) 08:22, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
You express your own misconceptions. Many experts are not PhDs or academics, although the majority are. CZ is not an exclusive club, we all have different abilities (and defects) and it is true that I spend a certain amount of time asking people to correct their spelling errors. They also spend time asking me to correct my mistakes, of various sorts. (talk) 10:05, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I think there is some stuff above about what CZ considers and "expert" that is probably what the Pommy is basing their analysis on. That is, to be an "expert" on CZ, one must have academic credentials. Cummerbund (talk) 02:28, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
No, this is not the case. Berkowitz has none, for example (and it shows). Most without academic training are in specialised areas where this is not needed or even useful, but have proved their expertise. (talk) 09:47, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Neither has Aleta Curry, and it shows, the gaffe about the United States being the world's largest democracy, and British English spellings for example. FreeThought (talk) 10:35, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Aleta does not claim expertise in areas where she has none. We all make gaffes (note spelling). (talk) 11:29, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
There's a difference between spelling errors and factual ones, not to mention the false claims made against LArron. FreeThought (talk) 12:12, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, your spelling [gaff] is an uncommon variant: I meant more that there are different ways of looking at things, sometimes -- just as there are diffent spellings (even within British English). For me, that is a world apart from insisting on your own expertise. Concerning LArron, I have made my own opinion (with some expertise in using statistics) fairly clear. (talk) 12:25, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh wow! Please, please say that you've taken more statistics classes than LArron and then I'll be able to state with 95% certainty that you are a clone of Andy Schlafly. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 12:59, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

@85.xx.xxx.xx: Concerning LArron, I have made my own opinion (with some expertise in using statistics) fairly clear. Where? I only remember the line: It also has Larry as a bot (the pink colour) so I wouldnt pay too much attention to their competence in these things, which raises more questions about your colour-blindness than my competence... larronsicut fur in nocte 13:49, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Sorry LArron, that was more of a joke anyway. I thanked you under the last contribution... (talk) 15:24, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Silly me, couldn't spot the joke - ah, us bloody foreigners, lacking the necessary sophistication to spot irony... larronsicut fur in nocte 15:06, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
You've got to admit that confusing the Editor-in-Chief with a bot is an amusing thought (even if you didn't really)... (talk) 15:24, 6 December 2010 (UTC)


Tom Larsen's recent comments seem to have been moved to the non-citizens' section of the forum & references to Tendrl removed as "self-promotion". Peter Jackson 15:18, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Oh surely you're kidding here. They wouldn't do such a th-FFFFFFFFUUUUU-img --Sid (talk) 15:47, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
And I see that the entire thread referenced in the section above has been nuked. Good one. --Sid (talk) 15:50, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
And hereimg seems to be the discussion about terminating Citizenship. Oddly, there seems to be little obvious consensus, especially not towards revoking it. Milton seems to assert non-Citizenship, Matt and Martin have doubts. So what happened? --Sid (talk) 15:58, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
There is little consensus on anything in CZ, and far too much not done as a consequence. (talk) 20:10, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, in their defence, I did say I no longer considered myself an active "Citizen" and wanted to disassociate myself from the project. Thomas Larsen (talk) 21:38, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Self promotion is it? I wonder if they will ask King 85 to stop promoting his realm on this wiki. D.T.F. (talk) 05:48, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Roll up, roll up, get your bach flower remedies here. You want past life regressions? No problem sir, happy to oblige, how about a side order of ESP or remote viewing (etc.)? Check out Ramanandadingdong, now taking orders through Citizendium (discounts apply).
Want to hire a repressed control-freak with no personal skills to write you an essay on what humans do? Well, you could try the Yellow Pages of wikis, Citizendium where you might get lucky.
Want a fully qualified chiropractor in a boyscout uniform to take your kids into the woods unsupervised? Look no further.
I think that maybe, just maybe, their views of self-promotion are slightly skewed. D.T.F. (talk) 06:09, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Lol. Purple (talk) 06:37, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Google Analytics[edit]

So they have gone ahead with installing Google Analytics regardless of any privacy concerns and now are starting to get the results. Over on this threadimg the discussion begins. Its vaguely interesting, but my point is a broader one. I personally think that while these kinds of statistics can be interesting, they should not be taken that seriously, and certainly not used as the guide on how to build your website. While certainly an improvement over alexa (god we need a good article about that place) anything beyond the number of times a page is served up is inferential and conjecture.

Unique IPs do not translate into unique users, the same users will go through multiple IPs, or even multiple users with the same IP. Unique visits is a strange stat that is built around an ip showing up at the site then leaving the site for a certain amount of time before coming back. Installed log report generating software can often let you tweak the definitions of a visit but I don't know if google does and I find the default options are usually sub-optimal, and even the whole concept murky. The same thing with length of time on the page. Frankly, with the use of tabbed browsing it just seems impossible to get anything very meaningful from these kinds of inferences of the log data.

It just seems that people that would never allow for this shotty and murky of an analysis in a professional setting just swallow the likes of alexa whole. Again, it is interesting and might hint at trends but do not try and adjust and build your content around the results. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:38, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

The trouble with metrics is that you start working to the metric, even if you know that's not necessarily a good idea - David Gerard (talk) 18:01, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Try telling that to the Provost and the Dean for me, please. :-P Doctor Dark (talk) 19:27, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I guess they don't trust their server logs to tell them what is going on on their website? Blancmange (talk) 02:37, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The important difference between the server logs and the analytics report is that the analytics ignores logged-in users. --Chris Key (talk) 05:26, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
And the analytics ignore everything that doesn't pass through google? Like links from external sites that lead to the site? I think that's how we/they do the "entry point" thing here - Trent looks at the logs and if some page is a big draw (not just from google), he tells us/them. Blancmange (talk) 06:43, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
No, Google Analytics doesn't just analyze which traffic goes to the site from Google. It's a full web analytics tool. Article also offers info on how to opt out of Google tracking you all across the net. --Sid (talk) 00:58, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah, ok. Blancmange (talk) 02:33, 7 December 2010 (UTC)


I'd always thought that it was from Norfolk, Somerset or Ireland but apparently it's from Maine. Whatever, the predicament of Citizendium is easily encapsulated in the phrase: "You can't get there from here". It's in a swampy hollow created by Larry and wants to get to the clear mountaintop that can be seen in the distance.

Sadly they need a whole new set of rules and contributors. The present mob are so counterproductive that it's hard to see how they got this far. (Because the only had to do what Larry told them)

  1. Get rid of the "constables".
  2. Stop multiplying tasks - with the number of people available two "councils" is one too many - let them do the job of the "constables"
  3. Allow non-expert[sic] members - they can and probably will do your proof reading and reference finding (think undergrad assistants) Give 'em a new designation: "students" "sophomores"? (Eduzendiam students aren't enough)
  4. Revert to standard wiki formatting until there's enough material to warrant all the various pages that exist. Like it or not, people are familiar with references and see alsos at the foot of the page - if you want readers encourage them by familiarity.
  1. Council members = Bureaucrats
  2. Regular members (citizens) = sysops
  3. Students = The rest
Fricassée (talk) 18:08, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
This will never happen - David Gerard (talk) 18:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
As I said: you can't get there from here! Fricassée (talk) 18:58, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
It won't happen because the editors currently in power are quite happy to let the status quo remain. Any editors they had with radical ideas on changing on the system were forced/chased out months ago. FreeThought (talk) 23:47, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Here's another idea that will never happen. Get rid of the Charter and all the Constables and Councils and the rest of the bureaucratic overhead. Replace it all with two rules: (1) Write good stuff, in particular articles that accurately summarize the academic literature on topics where such exists. (2) If you act like a jerk we'll kick you out. As the project goes on develop remaining necessary policies as common law, i.e., make policies descriptive rather than prescriptive. Doctor Dark (talk) 18:38, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Tendrl:Rules. Just sayin'... ;-)
To its credit, Citizendium does allow non-experts to sign up and contribute; they're called "authors". (An expert can become an "editor", but remains an "author" as well.) It seems the nature of the system wasn't explained well when it was being advertised, because there are a lot of people who think Citizendium is expert-only. Thomas Larsen (talk) 21:33, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Lol, I followed the link to Tendrl. I haz orange box! Oh, some fascist blocked me for not responding to the request to use my real name. A request I, of course, read for the first time today. Nice work. My email was enabled, you idiots. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:08, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, sorry about that. I suppose Boris assumed you were checking the site on a more regular basis. :-) You should still be able to create an account with a different name, or I'd be happy to rename your existing account if you'd prefer that. Thomas Larsen (talk) 03:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
(It raises some questions about real names, too. I mean, I personally prefer to know who I'm working with, but perhaps enforcing a real-names policy is too high a barrier to participation? A compromise solution would be just to encourage real names, but require them for people in administrative positions—I don't know, and I'm open to suggestions.) Thomas Larsen (talk) 03:41, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
At least don't block people until you know they've seen the warning on their talk page. And enable mediawikiwiki:Manual:$wgBlockAllowsUTEdit. Personally, I think you should drop the real name policy, in fact I think you should allow IP editing - I see you have flagged revisions installed, so you can still control what regular readers see. There are plenty of wikis that have failed because of this siege mentality, Conservapedia, A Storehouse of Knowledge, Citizendium. If one of your readers wants to fix a simple typo, let them, don't make them jump through hoops, because they just won't bother. And the real name policy is pointless unless you require proof that the name is actually real and not made up. -- Nx / talk 06:58, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
That would make it too much like Wikipedia, and then people would be asking "why bother?" What Tendrl need to do is quickly settle on a name and a logo. The site as is may turn away potential contributors on first look. Tendrl also needs to find a niche in what they want to do, and do it well. You will attract contributors in that area, then expand out when you have the manpower and resources to do so. FreeThought (talk) 08:56, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I see some editor was blocked at Tendril for being called George Bush. OK, so it's the name of an ex-president - but it can't be that uncommon.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:47, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, there were at least two of them with that name. FreeThought (talk) 09:55, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

[unindent] Human and George Bush we reinstated at Tendrl. Before you laugh: Tendrl is new and its participants have to grope for rules. Personally I'm against a "Charter" chiseled in stone, at least in the beginning of such undertaking. Let rules grow by trial and error. --P. Wormer (talk) 11:43, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

OK - but it would seem reasonable to allow people to use whatever name they like. Given that it is not possible to realistically enforce "real names" any attempt to do so is simply invitation for people to point out the absurdity of the "rule" by registering improbable names and insisting they are real.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:54, 6 December 2010 (UTC)


Do you really think that WP would want such a quarrelsome mob?img Fricassée (talk) 21:08, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Hmmmmmm... I was about to go all "Wow, this is a RETARDED idea!" here, but I changed my mind. Make no mistake, the proposal at face value IS silly - it boils down to making CZ a WP component, but without any sign of compromise. Sorry, but the WP/CZ rules and core policies are radically different, so if you wanted to actually mesh things together even a little bit, CZ would have to agree to compromises that would end up in crippling the status quo.
Buuuuuuut... when you look at the gist of it, you will recognize another proposal that was sadly neglected early on: WMF hosting.
If you simply leave out the parts where WP and CZ would interact directly or indirectly, you end up with "WMF hosts CZ, CZ gets to keep its rules and stays alive". Which is a great suggestion, and it's amazing that somebody openly picked up the old "Should WMF host CZ?" idea beyond "Well, we'll think about it once the WMF bows down and asks us nicely". WMF hosting would be an insane stroke of luck when it comes to the finances, and hey, it may even be possible if the MC asks nicely. --Sid (talk) 21:51, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Wikimedia hosting is plausible, but there's no way Wikipedia would agree to hosting any kind of a semi-autonomous wiki with its own policies within WP itself. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:07, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I think its a bad idea for both projects. There are plenty of cheap hosting solutions. They have now over +$2000 in donations. They could easily set up with one of those hosts as well as establish an independent Citizendium Foundation. FreeThought (talk) 23:17, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, the MC is apparently about to finalize the "near term hosting"img deal, so it's likely a moot point for the moment. Right now, it all depends on how much better the new deal will be and on how well the MC will communicate with the mortals. Two thousand bucks don't mean a thing unless you know how much hosting will cost per month. --Sid (talk) 00:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

2007 all over again[edit]

"I asked Andy through private mail, and he told me to rule over you as I see fit. --TKSenior AdministratorHahaha, suckers"img --Sid (talk) 17:19, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Potentially related, though filed after the announcement: An "anonymous proposal"img to give the Ombudsman more power. Maybe I'm just too pessimistic from my years of watching CP, but this looks a little... weird to me... Can I get a few extra eyes here to maybe explain things? --Sid (talk) 17:45, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
It seems to be a proposal to sack Daniel by transferring his powers to Gareth. Probably unconstitutional. Peter Jackson 11:40, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Why would they want to sack Daniel? From what I've seen he's a sensible and agreeable fellow. Doctor Dark (talk) 13:54, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that is nonsense. The proposal merely tries to make the Ombudsman's decisions binding, rather than merely guidance that certain %^&*$$# can choose to ignore... (talk) 15:21, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
But the Managing Editor already has that power. Peter Jackson 10:28, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Martin... resigns?[edit]

Thisimg somehow completely flew under my radar (and seems to be very recent), could somebody bring me up to speed or at least voice a theory? --Sid (talk) 21:56, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

He announced his resignation in the forumimg, too. larronsicut fur in nocte 21:59, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The rat leaves the sinking ship, but it might just be what the ship needs to survive. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 22:17, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
There'll always be a home for him at Tendrl - David Gerard (talk) 22:20, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I thought I saw some talk in the forums that suggested that he left and never came back during the charter drafting phase too. Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:24, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I believe there are new elections coming up soon for Citizendium. Martin has probably resigned to run again for a new council. FreeThought (talk) 23:39, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I think he also retired back in the Larry days. Everybody sing... Doctor Dark (talk) 23:41, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm in China & Youtube is blocked here. What's the song? Pashley (talk) 02:03, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm in Germany and Youtube is blocking the song (...XD), but googling the URL tells me that it's "Dan Hicks and his Hot licks - How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away". --Sid (talk) 02:16, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
There'll always be a home for him at Tendrl... Please have mercy with the fledgling.--P. Wormer (talk) 06:30, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Dieses Video enthält Content von Sony Music Entertainment. Es ist in deinem Land nicht verfügbar. So annoying... larronsicut fur in nocte 07:49, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

And the tech side of it[edit]

From the EC wiki.img My first comment would have been about them changing Martin's password, thus completely locking him out of even changing his preferences or anything and forcing him to be a guest forever, but then I saw the post about the IP ban... and... could our techies translate this to me? (Here is the entire block log, just to show that Peter didn't explicitly block the IP, just to avoid the potentially obvious question.) Because to me this sounds like a VERY odd wiki setup. --Sid (talk) 00:36, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

They have a separate wiki for the Editorial Council. He's not blocked from the main site. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, but that doesn't explain why Peter's ban of Martin apparently banned instead of Martin's IP, does it? It seems to me that Peter did the reasonable thing that also would work as a long-term solution (as opposed to making the sysop basically hack every account that is not part of the current EC - which may be needed a lot since the EC elections are coming up), but that it didn't work because... well... it apparently kinda breaks the wiki? I'm no luddite, but I'm also no expert in wiki IP blocking and caching setups, so I need somebody to tell me if I'm reading this right. --Sid (talk) 02:12, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

"Martin...resigns?" My work here is done! Fricassée (talk) 07:27, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Is that you Howie? FreeThought (talk) 08:57, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Not me -- I'm borrowing computer access until I get a new power supply, hopefully tomorrow -- very little access. I don't really have details on what happened. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:03, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Power supply back in, and working this time...when my business partner told me he had a wire left over when he installed it, somehow, I was not surprised when the OS didn't come all the way up.
I don't really see value in refighting battles with Martin, but I do see some indications that people are now working on fresh starts that don't involve personalities. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 17:06, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
As far as I am concerned, Berkowitz has fucked CZ. I want no more to do with an 'encyclopedia' where the personal opinions of unqualified people are taken seriously. The place for that is Wikipedia. (talk) 19:51, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Gee, I must be so powerful. Do I get the privileges of a Bond villain? Oh please...have no more to do with CZ. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:53, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Hey 85, why not just put a sock in it you obnoxious cowardly failure. D.T.F. (talk) 07:19, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Hey, DTF, don't be an asshole to the BoNs. As if you are one level above them? Everybody say what they want to! Marble-headed poop skater (talk) 08:33, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Omg DTF you swine, how dare you tell anyone to shut up. Why don't YOU shut up. I shall away to thine talkpage to put you down. You aren't a level above anyone! In fact you are a level below me. And I'm not a level above you either, that would be wrong. And anyway just shut up! That's censorship what you did to that poor 85 because he might listen and think he really had to shut up because you said so. D.T.F. (talk) 11:19, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

In passing[edit]

Moved from Saloon Bar: [3] No-One (talk) 12:39, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Is there a world bureaucracy shortage? By the way some at cz are behaving you'd think that they were trying to corner the market. No-One (talk) 14:28, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Cheezits.... so now they're going to have both an Editorial Council and a Committee of Editors? For an active community of what, maybe a couple dozen people? Incredible. Doctor Dark (talk) 15:05, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
It's unlikely that will pass; it was introduced through a mandatory suggestion mechanism. My hope is that sense is breaking out on the Editorial Council, even if I'm Dr. No or Ernst Blofeld but without the Bond Girls. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 18:49, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
You're not in the same league as Dr. No or Blofeld - they could act and got well paid to do it. The shambolic ramblings at citizendium has shown the organisation to be more akin to that of KAOS than SPECTRE.FreeThought (talk) 06:07, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
You misunderstand. I don't claim to be such a villain, but one departed seeker of power seems to believe that I, by myself, am the Antichrist...or something like that. Nostradamus' guy in the Blue Turban? Would you believe he wanted to be the Chief? Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 08:44, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Simular structurs have been suggested from time to time on wikipedia. They tend to die out because in a wiki enviroment there is nothing for them to do.Geni (talk) 19:13, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Re: Ha![edit]

(From the archives): Well, the MC is apparently about to finalize the "near term hosting"img deal, so it's likely a moot point for the moment. Right now, it all depends on how much better the new deal will be and on how well the MC will communicate with the mortals. Two thousand bucks don't mean a thing unless you know how much hosting will cost per month. --Sid (talk) 00:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Well, it's been over a week, where is their big announcement?? FreeThought (talk) 08:16, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Dana Ullman is back![edit]

Every now and then I find myself become sympathetic to CZ, but then pseudoscientific obscenities like thisimg pop up and I remember that this place is a cesspit for this kind of negligent quack medicine. As long as this kind of thing is tolerated, and frauds and quacks like Ullman are given positions of power and respect CZ deserves to rot. Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:38, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Trent here, though I think I might make some popcorn and watch Dana Ullman spew his nonsense so that I can add it to our article here. Audi (talk) 02:48, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
She can't even write well. Lithograph (talk) 05:34, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Although many high quality studies have been published in leading conventional medical journals and have shown that homeopathic remedies might be effective in particular conditions, there are not enough replication of this research to establish a strong evidence base for homeopathy. One, two, three, many?
In the past, a remedy diluted to more than 12C was assumed to all probability to contain not a single molecule of the original substance. However, new research has confirmed that even extremely diluted homeopathic medicines contain ponderal doses of the original substance.<*ref*>Chikramane PS, Suresh AK, Bellare JR, Kane SG. Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective. Homeopathy. 2010 Oct;99(4):231-42.</*ref*> The abstract states:
Homeopathy is controversial because medicines in high potencies such as 30c and 200c involve huge dilution factors (10⁶⁰ and 10⁴⁰⁰ respectively) which are many orders of magnitude greater than Avogadro's number, so that theoretically there should be no measurable remnants of the starting materials. No hypothesis which predicts the retention of properties of starting materials has been proposed nor has any physical entity been shown to exist in these high potency medicines. Using market samples of metal-derived medicines from reputable manufacturers, we have demonstrated for the first time by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction and chemical analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), the presence of physical entities in these extreme dilutions, in the form of nanoparticles of the starting metals and their aggregates.
So, the homeopath making these market samples haven't worked carefully - or did the scientist use large quantities of the remedies - like an ocean?
larronsicut fur in nocte 08:04, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
@Lithograph - Dana Ullman is a boy, not a girl. I was confused by his girl's name at first too.
The diff Trent provided is bad enough, but the then follows a Ken-like series of edits that systematically remove all remaining objectivity from the article, until rather hilariously, thisimg edit attempts to "res[t]ore...objectivity". I know this is only a draft, but even so it makes me wonder why anybody gives a damn whether CZ lives or dies. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 08:17, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
The kendollingimg is amusing, but the following edit it hilarious. Also, why do these people allow such a non-expert in anything to write all over their nice expert wiki? Palindrome (talk) 08:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Ask Larry Sanger, he invited Ullman to come to Citizendium. No-one else did. FreeThought (talk) 08:45, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Ullman is an expert in homeopathy, & may well be a respected authority within that field, regardless of what mainstream opinion says. This is one of the major flaws of having an expert-centric wiki set-up: it places specialised knowledge, even in quack subjects, above wider credibility & lets those recognised as experts put across their own interpretations of their subject. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:09, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm an expert in the field of what my feet smell after 3 hours of football. Nutty Rouxnever mind 05:36, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
The result of this is that CZ, even if working as intended, isn't as good as WP for general users because it won't end up properly wiki-linked. The person who believes ghosts are real will be Editor for the Ghost article and won't want to link "biased" work by people who don't believe because they aren't experts. Imagine if any of the web's rabbit warrens was done this way: TV Tropes pages that just say {favourite show} did the trope first and best, and don't link other examples. Wowhead Alliance quests not linking the equivalent Horde quest because "Horde suck". ED's 4chan page refusing to even mention 2ch. The hours of time-wasting eliminated would not make up for the loss of context. (talk) 12:51, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
See also [1]img. Pashley (talk) 03:28, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Looks like Dana may be run over by the EC: Specific request to approve the Dec 5 version - the one just before the recent edit spree. --Sid (talk) 18:52, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
We can hope. That version is not perfect, but it is significantly better than either the current approved version or the current draft with Ullman's recent edits. Pashley (talk) 03:28, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Does it have any good stuff we can use to make our article even better? Equestrian (talk) 04:53, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

By unanimous Editorial Council decision, there's now a new approved version, much better than the old version and without Ullman's recent edits. Pashley (talk) 03:30, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Also, the draft has been archived and replaced with a lovely notice. Pashley (talk) 06:33, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Encyclopedia of Life[edit]

This is how you do an expert-guided compendium: http://www.eol.org/ They also review Wikipedia articles.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:45, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Encyclopedia of Life has a $50 million budget (with eventual plans for a further $60 million of spending). It's to be expected if it does better than Citizendium.Geni (talk) 21:49, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I wonder how their budget got so large... Occasionaluse (talk) 22:22, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Basicaly they managed to get a bunch of leading science institutions onboard[4]. Or rather a bunch of leading science institutions formed EOL.Geni (talk) 23:12, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
It seems this wiki runs on a hundred or so dollars a month. And it appears to be doing better than CZ. I don't think it's money, it's attitude, and its ramifications, that matters. Burlap bags (talk) 08:52, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
EOL is not even a wiki. They use modified Grid software for their webpages. FreeThought (talk) 09:21, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Building a walled garden[edit]

This proposal recently passed by CZ's Editorial Council makes me go "huh?", or as the young people say, "WTF?" It puts CZ in the bizarre position of forbidding its users from importing free content, while at the same time producing content that others (such as WP) are free to import. I'd be interested to hear Howard Berkowitz explain why he voted for this strange proposal. Doctor Dark (talk) 04:37, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

The walled garden is withering and dying. Plenty of manure, but not enough plants or gardeners. FreeThought (talk) 06:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The EC wiki appears to have done a runner. Oompa loompa (talk) 10:00, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
locke appears down in toto - David Gerard (talk) 10:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Wow, that's absolutely fucking bonkers. –Tom Morris (talk) 17:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Their $700/month web hosting is back up now. Doctor Dark (talk) 17:15, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm told Locke just needed a restart to unlocke the EC.
Why did I vote for that? There's no simple, single answer. We had people who would import large numbers of WP articles that needed at least reformatting, and sometimes corrections -- for example, someone did a slight reformat of over 100 cargo ship entries from the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, put them in WP, copied them to CZ, and then left. In other cases, someone would decide a WP article looked good, not always with expertise on the subject, import it, and essentially leave it for someone else to clean up.
You should note that people may import articles that they primarily wrote at WP, on the theory that they can intelligently restructure them. I've done this, in part taking advantage of different CZ rules on sourcing, original synthesis, etc.
I have not been impressed by WP articles rewritten anew for CZ, outside specific types. For example, it's not unreasonable to import short articles on chemicals, especially if the structural formula is importable -- there's not much else to add. Political, military and historical articles have been much less successful. Yes, there have been times I have taken a WP article into a word processor, color-coded it, and used it as a reminder when writing my own from scratch (i.e., until there is no color left).
We aren't trying to match WP for number of articles. I would rather see, not walled gardens, but rational groups of articles, highly linked directly and via related articles. While not all agree with me, I personally like to develop top-down, in a way that is the antithesis of walled garden. Take Wars of Vietnam, for example: Sanger and Jensen argued with me about it being the Vietnam War, and essentially an American activity. I rather thought the Vietnamese had a bit to do with it, and finally got the American involvement under a broader context. Even there, Wars of Vietnam are primarily beginning with 19th century Western involvement; Dai Viet and the Trung Sisters aren't quite in the same hierarchy. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 22:10, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you have any weed to sell? Occasionaluse (talk) 22:14, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
My two cents, mostly to defuse OU's comment a bit:
Au contraire, OU's comment was spot on :) FreeThought (talk) 00:26, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I found the import suggestion (the one that talked about importing an insane number of "good" articles from WP as a basis to improve) ridiculous, too. Pretty sure that I also said so when it came up initially. It's mostly a question of manpower: CZ barely has enough manpower to even write their own crap and get it approved - but it's more work (and more tedious) to take a long and fleshed-out article, verify every tiny claim with the sources, and then improve it substantially so that it's more than just a simple copy.
So yeah, I would've said "This is a ridiculous idea because of X" in the forum thread, too. Buuuut... reacting to such a suggestion by banning ALL imports except for stuff you wrote yourself anyway and some cases where you beg Hayford The Great and the EC to greenlight it... yeah, no. That's equally ridiculous. This is a classic case where new regulation was simply not necessary. The existing mechanisms were good enough to handle it:
  1. Most cases would simply solve themselves as people would try to import something and then realize that they bit off more than they can chew.
  2. If people just import crap and don't do anything with it, it can be deleted.
  3. If people import something and work on it, but not enough, it can be deleted/rejected/whatever.
But hey, what if somebody managed it? What if somebody imported one of WP's good articles and improved it in a meaningful way? Yeah, well, tough luck. Have fun begging or simply working on the WP article on WP.
See, the only thing that is actually new is that you made a rule against succeeding. Everything else could've been handled informally. And even if there was a pressing need for rules, why not just introduce something like "Imports will be accepted if the imported article (which will be kept in userspace or a subpage for the time being) is substantially improved within 7/14/30 days"? That would work, and you still would allow people to prove themselves as well as getting good articles to CZ.
Long story short, I see a sledgehammer being used to deal with a speck of dust on a window. --Sid (talk) 00:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
There are plenty of decent WP articles in my field that could serve as a starting point for expansion, clarification and so on. I did a bit of that during my time at CZ, and I think it was worthwhile. But if I'm forced to start from a blank screen I'll put all that effort into writing a review article for a journal. Doctor Dark (talk) 00:16, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there are plenty of decent articles on WP, not all of it is crap. The same can be said for citizendium - some good some bad. To suggest that citizendium is always better than X is bullshit. There are some classic howlers on that site. If citizendium proposed to publish them, good luck - they'll need it. Why any academic would want anything citizendium is offering is another matter entirely. FreeThought (talk) 00:26, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Sid, those are some reasonable thoughts. Still, as you suggest there's a manpower problem. This could be an interim rule, but there were continuing problems of people bringing in WP articles on subjects where they had no particular competence, announcing they thought the article was pretty good, and they then suggested others could collaborate to clean it up. One example caused a hell-freezing-over event: Martin and I agreed it was a poor article and should not be imported.
No one is suggesting CZ is always better or vice versa. What is being suggested is that CZ is trying to constrain the problem, at least in the moderate term. FreeThought, not all my writing is for CZ; there are things I'd send to journals or other venues, especially if they are more opinion pieces. There are areas, in which I consult, where I've been asked by my client not to give away certain details of analysis.
In this case, I defend the decision as a way to deal with specific problems. Now, some of the problems had been, if you will, competing bureaucracies. There had been a rule in place very much like what you suggested, but the Constables didn't want to enforce what they considered a matter of content. The dynamics between the EC and Constabulary, which you may laugh at but is real in the situation, needed a stronger policy. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 01:23, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
What have constables got to do with content? Content is under the proviso of the editorial council, as I understand it. The role of the constable concerns users not content. If the role of the constable is broader than that, then citizendium really is a "police state". FreeThought (talk) 01:43, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

(undent) Editors/Editorial Council are not themselves authorized to delete or blank articles; that's purely the role of the Constabulary. Some Constables were resisting Editor orders to delete a badly imported article because they didn't see a rule for it, and they saw their role as check-and-balance. Now, there should be no problem. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 01:58, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Funny, you just defined the problem (overarching bureaucracy), and claim it is solved by yet another restraint on adding content? Nice work. Blancmange (talk) 04:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Ever had to deal with a fishhook caught in a person? You have to push it in further, until the point comes out, then clip off the barb and remove the hook. In many venues, there are complaints that solutions should be one-step and simplistic. Sometimes, you have to aggravate something before you can cure it.
On the other hand, I'm not convinced that all adding of content is good. We aren't trying to compete on number of articles. There have been some awful articles either imported or started by advocates, and there's been no way to get rid of them -- or sometimes a process that takes months.
Things swung too far in the other direction, when an individual essentially throw a substance-free tantrum and get an article locked, often an article that was under serious development. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 04:12, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I tear it out and bandaid it. Aggravating this just, well, aggravates the mess that is CZ and its overwhelming pile of laws and regulations. It takes CZ several months to get rid of unwanted articles? It takes RW 3-7 days, with no rules whatsoever. I'd respond to your third paragraph if it made any sense, sorry, desperately needs copyediting and at least one reference. Blancmange (talk) 04:18, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
There may have been a small number of awful articles imported, not all of them were bad, but on the flipside starting Lemma articles that no-one is interested in expanding hasn't solved cz's problems. Not everyone on the planet has an obsessive interest in Nazis or Nazism either. FreeThought (talk) 01:45, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Obsessive? No, some are also concerned with remembering the past, while watching some Western politicians push their demagoguery against democracy and civil liberties. Some even believe that government secrecy was not discovered by Wikleaks in Rick's Cafe. A reasonable number of good people, however, like to dig into any subject on which they work, such as in the nicely collaborative social capital article, or Internet protocols, or any of a number of things.
Lemma articles are not necessarily intended to be expanded. Their major purpose is allowing work on Related Articles pages, and are more a tool for writing than for external use. Their use as pure definitions has gone down since a better metadata generator was implemented.
But, WTF. CZ's problems aren't going to be solved overnight, but at least I'm working on them. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 03:33, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
So the purpose of these Nazi articles is to draw a comparison with the present day Obama administration, you're running out of ideas Howie. FreeThought (talk) 05:06, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Note that many of CZ's "approved" articles began as WP imports. A few were written by people who now are CZ contributors and thus are acceptable under the new policy but a good number were not. Given the new policy, will CZ delete these? Doctor Dark (talk) 07:06, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

They seemed to be forgetting that a wiki is a collaborative writing effort. So what if the article is not 100T% perfect, you can worked on it and edit the article to meet standards. Notice I've not been contributing much at CZ and I have started an article at Tendrl. Hmmmmmmmmmmm....LittleRedWriter (talk) 06:18, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
And the garden walls continue to remain high and unwelcoming. FreeThought (talk) 23:56, 16 December 2010 (UTC)


Just to keep people up-to-date with the progress of Tendrl (a fork of Citizendium that I started about a month ago):

  • You no longer have to register with your own real name to contribute, although we do encourage that. Pseudonyms are acceptable, and even anonymous (logged-out) editing has been enabled. See [5].
  • A number of Citizendium articles—mostly about subjects in mathematics and physics—have been imported. However, our intention is to be a wholly separate and independent project.
  • We plan to acquire new VPS hosting sometime next week (see [6]). We need to decide on a project name so that we can register a dedicated domain; "Knowino" is one possibility right now. Feedback and suggestions are welcome—see Tendrl:Our name!

Once core pages are expanded a bit more and we've moved to VPS hosting, we'll start "advertising" the project actively. Thomas Larsen (talk) 02:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry... but there needs to be a major prize for the first person, your good self excepted, who is prepared, in public, to give a flying fuck. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 02:08, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm prepared to give Tendrl the benefit of the doubt. They appear sincere and they don't have the same loser admins that Citizendium have been left with. FreeThought (talk) 02:41, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Fine, but - and I mean this in the nicest possible way - why should anyone care what you think? What is it about Tendrl that distinguishes it from CZ?
Citizendium failed despite a blaze of media publicity. Tendrl, as far as I can see, is an attempt to do the same thing as CZ but without the publicity. You're already setting up your own bureaucracy, and justifying it in terms like "Well it's not as bad as CZ".
Good luck... but I still don't see why you're trying to exist. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 02:52, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Wow, you're nasty. Why is a fork such a bad idea, even if it turns into a failed experiment? At least they allow regular people to just sign up (or not) and edit. Blancmange (talk) 03:47, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not involved in setting up Tendrl. Publicity is meaningless unless you have something to sell. Posting the existence of Tendrl on two forums is not in the same league, because x number of websites get mentioned all the time on forums. Don't worry Blancmange, we'll wait for our friend to leave an origami unicorn behind. FreeThought (talk) 04:38, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Nasty and rather stupid. And unobservant - a cursory look at even just this page would have shown that FreeThought isn't the force behind Tendrl, so preaching at them was just a waste of everyones time. And don't you just love the sheer arrogance of someone who comes out with "Why should anyone care what you think?" - by that you mean that we ought to care what you think. But do we? Like hell, you are just another ass. Next time try not talking out of it. D.T.F. (talk) 08:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Neither actually, but at least I understand how talk pages work. I wasn't talking (in the first instance) to FreeThought, I was talking to Thomas. Now try answering my questions instead of spreading muck: why should anyone care about Tendrl? I didn't say that it was a bad idea, that was Blancmange putting words into my mouth. Neither do I expect anyone to care what I think, but that still doesn't answer anything. It's good to see the basic idiocy and arrogance of CZ are being included in the fork, though. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:11, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Dear SuspectedReplicant, could you please expand the previous msg a little? What exactly is the basic idiocy and arrogance of Tendrl that you refer to? I contributed a little to Tendrl and would like it not to make the mistakes of earlier Wikis. So, maybe you can help avoiding them by explaining what is done wrong by Tendrl. --P. Wormer (talk) 13:24, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
So, you understand how talkpages work... but not how to use indentation, obviously, since you replied to FreeThought rather than the person you meant to reply to. And since there isn't much to understand about talkpages except indentation that means that you don't - understand how they work that is. Good grief. D.T.F. (talk) 20:35, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I understand them perfectly. Being active on several wikis means I have plenty of experience with talk pages, and with the kind of unfathomable mess that results if you reply where you feel like it rather than in order. You, on the other hand, don't seem to have very much experience of the English language, judging from appalling word salads you've posted here so far. At least you're a perfect example of the basic idiocy to which I referred earlier. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 01:05, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Omg, I'm so injured. To have a self-important wanker that nobody likes criticise me is too much to bear. Goodbye cruel world. D.T.F. (talk) 05:55, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Remember to slice along the veins, not across. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 11:26, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

← SuspectedReplicant, do you have any specific criticisms of Tendrl? I'm very open to feedback, and you could probably suggest some good improvements. Cheers! Thomas Larsen (talk) 01:28, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

This section would be really interesting if it weren't for Suspected Replicant being a jackass and unclear about who they are responding to. Tendrl will probably die on the vine (unless it grows due to CZ evacuees?), but still, it's an interesting concept. Diamond (talk) 05:33, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Fuck you too, Diamond. Thomas, the problem is that you're a project waiting for an idea. You say you want a principles fork, but you don't know what these new principles are going to be. You're going to take the best of CZ and WP but you have no objective criteria to define this. It's all just so pointless. Using a half-dead wiki as a starting point was always a bad idea too. Why not just help Wikipedia? Anything else is just going to end up in another empty website and a waste of people's time. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 11:26, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
But can you help Wikipedia if it doesn't want to be helped, if it refuses to recognize it has a problem? You can improve some bits of it. But is that actually a good thing if it improves WP's reputation and thereby, indirectly, that of its biased, or just inaccurate, articles? Peter Jackson 17:03, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
That's why I quit contributing to WP in my field of expertise -- to avoid giving dodgy material a veneer of undeserved credibility. It's better for bad articles to be obviously bad. Doctor Dark (talk) 19:07, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
With respect, to me that smells like hubris. Is it your name that would add the veneer of credibility, or would that addition come from the "enhanced quality" of the article itself? Neither one of those strikes me as particularly praiseworthy motivation. There are times when I recuse myself, abstain from jumping into a Wikipedia discussion, but for me it is more like triage, applying my effort where I think it will help. Other times, I sit on my butt because I enjoy being lazy, no rationalization offered.
This is just as good a place as any to say that I consider WP to be a credible thing, on balance. I am reminded of the seeming chaos that forms a honeycomb. Individual workers bumble about, ripping here, pasting there, smoothing things out some other place, and what emerges is a structural marvel, able to contain significant weight of a dense liquid, but build of soft wax, kept soft at body heat. Sorry for the flowery metaphor, but I like that kind of thing.
Word on the streets I walk (parents of middle- and high-school kids, and the kids themselves) is that WP is a good start for exploring any topic you like, but kids don't dare cite it in their papers. So? When I was a kid, citing an encyclopedia was considered lazy scholarship. Didn't stop us from using them. __ Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:17, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I think wikipedia is amazing. Don't know what all the whining is about, other than perhaps reporters who do their job badly casting the entire site as potentially full of vandalism? Burlap bags (talk) 05:05, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
A friend put it well: "Wikipedia is good for things that nobody cares about." What he meant was that it's fine for uncontroversial topics where no one has a personal investment. But I work in an area of science that is subject to certain public controversies that have no scientific basis, the kind of twaddle that we cover here at RW. Having to compromise with fringe theorists and wackos (as the WP admins demanded) would lead to the type of articles that I described above: something that looks reasonably credible, but seriously misrepresents the state of the science. Doctor Dark (talk) 05:48, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I guess I meant the other 3 million articles. It does help that I am "old" and know where to expect controversy, I guess. Burlap bags (talk) 05:56, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Inn-teresting. My sense of NPOV is that whack jobs and fringists need not be given undue weight there. Care to point at any pages that deserve scrutiny? Naturally my WP watchlist includes some twaddle-sensitive scientific pages. Can't always lend expert weight to the voices of reason, but it is fun to watch. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 06:06, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Anything related to religion or politics, broadly conceived. E.g. history of science is bedevilled by extreme Indian nationalists claiming they invented everything, and citing "reliable sources" published by Indian universities (where you can get degrees in astrology). Peter Jackson 16:42, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
First you someone mentions "an area of science that is subject to certain public controversies that have no scientific basis" and then you point at "Anything related to religion or politics, broadly conceived." Sharper focus would be more useful here. I don't care about religion or politics. I find practical empirical matters more interesting. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:27, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
"compromise with fringe theorists and wackos (as the WP admins demanded)" I have yet to see an example of this. The meme, "example, or it didn't happen" applies here. Unless you show me something relevant, I call bullshit. Hot air. Blowhard. Nonsense. Clear enough? Show me. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 03:06, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Expert participation[edit]

Citizendium is currently trying to figure out why they aren't attracting and retaining expertsimg. Since the presence of expert editors was advertised as one of the main improvements of Citizendium over Wikipedia, that's understandably a big deal for them.

Now, if "an authority who is probably the world expert on implementation, running an open source lab outside academia" (according to Howard Berkowitzimg) was calledimg an "imbecile" because he "refused to join CZ because he regarded the questions as too intrusive", by the Secretary of the Editorial Council, what kind of self-respecting academic would want to join the project? The Secretary then goes on to presumeimg that the expert "thought our registration requirements were too onerous for his dainty sensibilities and lofty sense of self-esteem". I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

I suspect there are two main reasons why experts choose not to join Citizendium, and neither of them have anything to do with imbecility or cretinism:

  • Citizendium has very little readership outside of its own community
  • some of its leadership is arrogant, prejudiced, and unwilling to take advice.

Of course, the "imbeciles" and "cretins" of Citizendium are welcome to work on Tendrl. We'll probably be getting our own VPS hosting sometime next week, and we certainly won't be dismissing people because they are critical of the project. Thomas Larsen (talk) 04:08, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

The recent condescending forum comments on the citizendium website are a poor reflection of their project, and their editors. The walled garden is now an ivory tower replete with foul-smelling moat. FreeThought (talk) 05:13, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
OMG I'd thought I'd seen it all, but Haystack Penis (I know that's not original) goes completely over the top with:
"Your friend may be the world's leading expert on whatever subject you say he is, but he's also the world's leading imbecile. And you may tell him that I said so, and use my name as well. What a cretin! And if all the other myriad people you tell us about share his feelings (which I seriously doubt, by the way), then they are cretins too.
And we are better off without them."
I thought that kind of language was bannable on CZ? Who on earth would want to join after reading that comment by one of their most eminent experts? Wasn't he the guy who "hosted" the fundraiser? Burlap bags (talk) 05:34, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
No, he wasn't the guy who hosted the fundraiser. From memory, it was Milton. Thomas Larsen (talk) 07:00, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
My apologies. I'm new to this crowd of academic experts and their navel-gazing. Still, what that guy typed wasn't exactly "collegial", let alone polite, was it? Didn't he call someone an imbecile and a cretin for not wanting to join his private club? Burlap bags (talk) 08:50, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Can we stop with the idea that everyone on Citizendium is an "expert"? It's not Nupedia. Anyone can participate, if they are willing to go through the sign-up form. They just can't be editors. Unless they are homeopathic quacks. —Tom Morris (talk) 18:07, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Aren't they all supposed to be "polite" or something, at least? Sister golden hair (talk) 06:13, 19 December 2010 (UTC)


I copied this section to Talk:Knowino. (talk) 13:44, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

CZ approved articles vs. Wikipedia[edit]

Very much is said about the differences between CZ and WP, how only a few articles have been approved, but of these only Homeopathy has received much attention. Now, out of the 155 approved articles, how many are really better, more reliable and exhaustive than the corresponding ones at Wikipedia? In my brief random survey I found some similar and some clearly worse than Wikipedia's articles. Most were more "concise" (à la Schlafly). I stayed away from political or social articles though. Editor at CPmały książe 08:07, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

  • There is a comparison of approved Citizendium and corresponding English Wikipedia articles on w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Citizendium Porting#Articles. Approved Citizendium articles are quite good for a wiki-encyclopedia of that size, say, 20-40 thousands of articles, 0,5-2 millions of edits. I've randomly clicked on several mainpage-featured articles from Wikipedias of comparable size from List of Wikipedias, and most of them at first sight are not as good as an average approved Citizendium article or corresponding en-wiki article. Trycatch (talk) 10:52, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I went looking for articles on subjects that interest me, and found a lot of "lemmas." Where I did find an article of any length, it was still in draft. How long until CZ becomes a useful, truly compendious resource? What's the word I'm looking for...? Ah, yes, "weak." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:24, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
What on earth are "lemmas"? Aren't they bits of proofs that are on the other blackboard, or something like that? Burlap bags (talk) 08:54, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
The average article length for a CZ article is roughly three sentences long, and is declining. The presence of large numbers of lemma articles that users start but don't expand, doesn't improve that average. FreeThought (talk) 09:27, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
What sensible folk call stubs, over there they call "lemmas." Seems to me like precious obfuscation for the sake of feeling superior to the οἱ πολλοί. Not an appealing presentation in my view. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:29, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Oddly enough CZ has stubs too. During the time that I wrote regularly for CZ, lemmas were introduced (for me out of the blue) and I never quite understood them. It seems that they are a definition without a main article. CZ has the idea of a "cluster" consisting of a main article and some supporting articles, such as a definition, external links and so forth. As far as I understand it, lemmas have the purpose of easily getting rid of red links (links in other articles to articles not yet written). I disliked lemmas, first because they are organized with complicated templates, and second because I got much of my inspiration from red links. All of the sudden red links were gone in articles of interest to me. At the same time stubs and short articles were banned from the "Random Pages", which were another source of inspiration to me. --P. Wormer (talk) 15:59, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, at least I get to keep my "unappealing presentation" intact, and add "uninspiring, hence mildly dysfunctional." Thanks for the informed clarification. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:26, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Impressive, citing hoi polloi in Greek. Unfortunately for you, hoi is a definite article, so the hoi polloi is nonsense. Peter Jackson 16:45, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately for you, I speak plain English, where "the hoi polloi" makes perfect sense, spelt in Greek numbers/letters irregardless. Beyond critiquing style, do you have anything to say of substance? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:20, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
You speak plain English... except when you improperly use foreign words in replacement? Way to try and look cleverer than you are. Problem is, most people who try and look cleverer than they are fail. D.T.F. (talk) 16:04, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
O bugger, found out again. I admit that my Greek mostly covers things like wavelength and autocorrelation, one letter at a time. Once I've said καλημέρα, I have used up all my spoken Greek. Can do a bit better in Türkçe, and unlike at least one professor I had, I have never made the mistake of calling a lowercase η a "ν". In English, it is "the hoi polloi" and has been so for AFOAL time. There's an odd replacement for you to try and correct.
Thanks to that Jackson fellow, I now have another particle of familiarity with yet another idiom. No thanks to you, we are straying further from the topic of CZ sucking, and sucking mightily. All the ad hominem style over substance crap you fling will not change that. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:54, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
"'Twill fill with joy and madness stark the hoi polloi" - Iolanthe, Gilbert and Sullivan. In some of the Victorian scores, "hoi polloi" is even written in Greek letters. (talk) 19:05, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we're straying that far. CZ sucks, everyone knows that already. Noone, even from CZ, is going around saying CZ is great. It has problems. It isn't even very big, nor does it have many contributors. So why have this page at all? Considering this is about the only active discussion on the internet about CZ, isn't this page just drawing attention to something that could best be forgotten? Well, not really - if it is it is negative attention, and noone even cares enough about CZ to wish it dead, so that can't be it. Do we want to teach CZ how to do things better? Nope, that has been tried, they don't accept advice readily and when they do they try to make out it was their idea all along, and we all accept that CZ is a flawed concept so who here cares if they live anyways? No, the point is not to come here and wallow in CZs misery but to try and learn something from their mistakes, to have a record of what went wrong over there so that future encyclopedia builders may avoid the pitfalls CZ lumbered into, and pitfall #1 was them thinking they were cleverer than they were. D.T.F. (talk) 18:29, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Agreement, in general terms, is what you will get from me about that. In their case, it appears that the particular strain of "thinking they were cleverer than they were" most responsible for the sluggish performance is similar to what led to the downfall of the late unlamented CCCP (Ha! I was able to type that in all Roman characters, he said, smugly) which was the delusion that the (self-selected) central planners were cleverer than the populace.

In the corners of Wikipedia I inhabit, there seem to be enough knowledgeable level-headed contributors to keep the noise from the wandals and lunatics down to a level which does not corrupt the useful signal too badly. Some days it seems that most effort goes toward maintenance and counterwandalism, which can be discouraging. All the same, additions appear, and are hammered into shape. That site is growing rapidly enough, with no need to toot a horn about it.

Sorry for the rambling. What I mean to say is that it might be more fruitful to study what it is about Wikipedia that is being done right, that does in fact attract throngs of useful contributors. I'll start by suggesting that consensus, both as an ideal and as a messy practice, has a lot to do with it. I have not seen anything resembling admins demanding "compromise with fringe theorists and wackos" as described above. I believe such demands may often be met with vigorous resistance. Thanks for your thoughtful response, Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:57, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Likewise - you have made a very important point, a connection I didn't make. CZ is obsessed with what other wikis have done wrong yet does not take full account of what they have done right. Perhaps it is that fundamental negativity that has gotten them where they are. So, this page is not just to learn from their mistakes but to learn from their successes. Cheers for that. D.T.F. (talk) 06:09, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I think there has also been a fair amount of RW trying to help CZ right their boat, but many are now archives here, and in their forums, linked to from archives here. Suggestions for cheaper hosting, attracting editors, etc. Sister golden hair (talk) 06:26, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm the first to admit that all is not perfect at CZ. At times, it's damned aggravating, even if one sees some of the "internals".
My point in being here is not to defend CZ, but both to gain information -- some opinions are useful from my perspective while others are not -- and, occasionally, to share some information on things that CZ may have done right. Unfortunately, some of the things, still evolving, that are done well are not made obvious in a way that lets the general user exploit them, although they can be very useful to an author. Lemmas, for example, were conceived for some very specific reasons, one of which was making Related Articles pages more useful.
Really, I try not to take the fights with me. I'm human and don't always succeed. Equally, being human, it is sometimes useful to find others seeing as crap what I see as crap. Can it be fixed? Honestly, I don't know. If I didn't have some reason to believe that it might, I wouldn't be continuing to add content where some others are more concerned, it seems, with tangents or political gaming. In a case or two, I'm hoping that some people that might be jerks now could return to being the reasonable people they were when I first met them.
My ideal wiki, at this point, is more Damifino rather than Knowino (sorry, Tom -- couldn't resist). Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 08:21, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Haha! I don't mind, and I actually found that funny. :-) Thomas Larsen (talk) 08:26, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Homeopathy resurrected[edit]

It appears a previous version of the much disputed CZ Homeopathy article has been copied by CAM advocates to http://wiki4cam.org/wiki/Homeopathy .FreeThought (talk) 01:48, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm glad I swallowed a last bite before reading this. The link looked familiar, and then I recognized it. Ramanand created a Forum thread called "Appeal to Editorial Council", in which, when challenged, he gave a link to an article that established that homeopathy works. That's the link. So, he's suggesting that CZ use what it's already rejected as a source to tell it that it should accept what it's rejecting, or something like that.
Apropos of his whining on the Forum thread, I just asked him directly, rather than talking about it here, why don't you actually appeal to the EC whatever it is (I'm really not sure) that you want to appeal? It might be that he isn't being made a Health Sciences Editor, or something entirely different.
He was also telling us that homeopathic and osteopathic medical schools are identical in the US. Ummm...no. To some extent, true in the UK, where osteopaths (not osteopathic physicians) have a very limited curriculum. For most practical purposes, the difference between osteopathic and conventional schools (and residency programs) is historical only. Some of the best science-based physicians I know have DO, not MD degrees, although one put it is that the only difference is that the osteopathic schools teach the same curriculum as the MD schools, except they add a few good techniques they stole from the chiropractors. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 02:49, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
Just checked out the page views on both articles: Citizendium (3,857 views), Wiki 4 CAM (12,828 views). Not an isolated page by any means. FreeThought (talk) 03:20, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately neither CZ nor Wiki4Cam give the time period for which the pageview numbers apply. The past month? Past year? Since the article's existence? Doctor Dark (talk) 03:31, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
No, he's saying that (where he's from, presumably India) Homeopathy is treated as counted as medicine, and as a result Homeopaths get medical training, just as in the US (but not most countries) Osteopaths get medical training. The result will be that an Indian "homeopath" ends up acting a lot more like an MD. Without having attended an Indian medical school I can't say whether that's true, but it's plausible. Of course there'd still be crazy people, but that happens even with MDs, some of them start giving chelation to small children or zapping people with imaginary force fields. (talk) 15:09, 30 December 2010 (UTC)


A number of people here really don't seem to grasp the fact that writing an encyclopedia is essentially an "elitist" activity and cannot, by definition, be anything else. And, if you don't want constant disruption, then you're going to have to keep the "non-elite" out.

—Hayford Pierce, Secretary of Citizendium's Editorial Council ([2]img)

Now, I'm not sure how that really relates to Dan Nessett's post just prior to it: Dan was, essentially, saying that Citizendium needs to be nicer to contributors. But Hayford doesn't seem to grasp the fact that building a public wiki must be a non-elitist activity. I've got no objections to getting "elites" involved: indeed, experts will play a very important role in Knowino. But when you disenfranchise everyone else, when you get caught up in arguments over who is actually "elite", you miss the whole point of contributing to a wiki—in fact, I think you miss the whole point of a wiki encyclopedia.

Most people who contribute to wikis do so for fun. They do it because they enjoy writing, or because they like the company of other similarly-minded nerds. ;-) Why has Citizendium lost so many contributors? That is not a difficult question to answer. In some cases, it's been because they simply don't enjoy writing according to Citizendium's style. And, well, if people leave because they can't contribute journal articles, so be it. But the real tragedy is when a person is alienated from the project due to mistreatment, incivility, and a perception—however true—of endless infighting.

And the Secretary of the Editorial Council even goes so far as to call an expert an "imbecile" because he wouldn't sign up due to the registration questions. Not only is Citizendium becoming a top-down oligarchy, it's alienating experts as well as amateurs. Thomas Larsen (talk) 22:44, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

This is not exactly breaking news. I'm not one to say "I told you so" but... OK, I am. We've focused on alienation of experts in our Citizendium article for quite some time now. Doctor Dark (talk) 02:23, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I know. :-) I just find it interesting that, even now, as Citizendium begins to sink deeper into the Bog of Lost Sites, one or two people who happen to hold senior positions there think the solution is to alienate even more people. It's rather sad, really. Thomas Larsen (talk) 03:09, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it's sadder Peirce doesn't realise that many draftees deliberately failed that test so as to *not* get into the military - we are talking here the Vietnam War. I've mentioned this a number of times before, but there are some individuals on their councils who should never have been there in the first place. Their attitude is not suited for collaborative projects. FreeThought (talk) 03:25, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Tim Starling wrote about editors with a battlefront mentality. When I read Peirce's reaction to Tim's comment I was reminded of the Dutch Chapter of the Hell's Angels. A few years ago I saw a live talk show on Dutch national television in which somebody argued that the HA's are violent types. A few minutes later, still during the program, a few HA's forced their way in into the studio and hit the guy who said that, shouting that they were not violent.--P. Wormer (talk) 11:53, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
A rather more serious example is those Muslims who threaten to asassinate people who accuse Islam or Muhammad of violence. Peter Jackson 12:02, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

And the hits keep coming...[edit]

Have a look at CZ's latest gem, their article on Pranic Healing. Here we are helpfully informed of the "internationally acclaimed" book Pranic Psychic Self-Defense for Home and Office. Like the Bible and toilet paper, no family should be without it.

I love this stuff. No parody could come even close. Doctor Dark (talk) 04:33, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Wha-? Oh, Ramanand. /me nominates for speedy delete. —Tom Morris (talk) 12:13, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
As has Gareth. As soon as I saw it, I sent an email to the Managing Editor.
Again, though, the EC is voting against specific articles of mine, clearly a much greater threat. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:44, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
You and your articles are not special. FreeThought (talk) 04:22, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
This is great comedy material:
  • Master Choa Kok Sui developed Arhatic Yoga®, a system of practices to help seekers on the spiritual path expand their consciousness and work toward achieving soul-realization. Arhatic Yoga is a scientific synthesis of yogic practices to safely accelerate the spiritual development of practitioners. The practice of Arhatic Yoga is said to balance aspects of Universal Love, Intelligence and Will. Practitioners aim to develop higher intuition, advanced mental faculties, qualities of good character and progress towards realizing their true potential as Beings of Divine Love, Light and Power.
It really is magnificent first-order bullshit. It would almost be a shame to delete it.--BobSpring is sprung! 21:42, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
What is it with these people that they can't just stick with the spiritual aspects but have to go pretending it's "scientific"? You see this all the time with New Agers and similar folk. Doctor Dark (talk) 23:13, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
But even before they mention science we have: "to help seekers on the spiritual path expand their consciousness and work toward achieving soul-realization." It's gobbledygook isn't it? What the hell is "soul-realization"?--BobSpring is sprung! 23:53, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Realization you've been had? *lol* Just got to love the double-speak - like yogic flying is actually jumping up and down on your bum *lol*. FreeThought (talk) 09:06, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Freethought, you misconstrue that my articles or actions are the issue. The issue is that the EC should be focused on structural issues and general improvement rather than individuals. During the Charter process, I disagreed with creation of a Managing Editor position because it could repeat the problems of Sanger as arbitrary decider; Daniel has not abused his role. The Charter also says that disputes are to be settled at the lowest level possible, starting with discipline-specific Editors.
When the EC spends significant time policing individual work, early in the process, and not even calling for History Editors to determine if a Historiography section is or is not appropriate in a historical article, I suggest there is a problem of priorities. If EC members are upset about "article structure", is it not appropriate for them to be developing or approving general guidelines for such structure, rather than simply saying they don't like ill-defined problems in a specific article?
Incidentally, Pranic Healing has been deleted. The issues of neutrality and fringe policy won't be solved overnight, but that's something on which the EC should work. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 04:32, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Your complaints are misdirected. You're far better bringing this up on citizendium rather than here, as those involved on the council will misconstrue your intentions. RationalWiki advice to those on citizendium is I suspect as welcome as finding a turd in a punchbowl. FreeThought (talk) 09:06, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Looks like the homeopaths have moved to Memory of water, by the way. Ullman's active on the talk page there. Not much yet, but it's looking to start up as the same sort of thing - small, initial studies brought frth as proof science is wrong. Aconite (talk) 04:37, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I rewrote that article a few months back, shortened it about 50% [7]. It has been more-or-less all downhill from there. Pashley (talk) 12:05, 13 January 2011 (UTC)