RationalWiki talk:Proposed Constitution, May 2011

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No, yes, no, yes, no, no, yes. Better that this is kept in user space I think.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:15, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

That's why it is proposed. Javasca₧ don't cast the first stone, and I won't throw it back 17:18, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Does everything have to be in terms of articles? Can't they just be numbered? The constitution-speak is too much, IMHO. steriletalk 17:20, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Agree about the constitution-speak, it's carrying an in-joke way too far. I'd like to see something about not having a million sysops. Not sure if quotas would be appropriate, but meh. As far as the LJ goes, would they even be necessary after this? The whole point of the LJ was to help deal with HCM. --Kels (talk) 17:36, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

I will vigorously oppose such a sweeping attempt to competely rewrite our policies because I believe the more prudent approach is to address the specific issues that led to our recent troubles and then explore the will of the community issue by issue one we have a process for doing so.  Also, given the predilection of this community to pretend it has authority to simply vote on shit at random without any rules governing the vote I also think this should go into userspace. Nutty Roux (talk) 17:39, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Treat the symptoms but not the disease, then? I'm sure the concern trolls would approve. Agree about the voting, though. --Kels (talk) 17:43, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
No, and don't be so cynical. The disease, as you call it, is so advanced that some profound change is going to be necessary. My objection is to cramming it through all at once without adequate consideration since the community at large handles multiple issues poorly and in any event has ADD. i also think that modifying the rules that have caused problems isn't just treating the symptoms. Get those problems solved and then address others. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater only invites more problems than it solves IMO because we already know we absolutely suck at drafting rules and guidelines. Baby steps. Nutty Roux (talk) 17:51, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
What would be adequate in your mind? I see the step by step point you're making, although fresh after an HCM of that size, the community should be most open to changes. --ǓḤṂ³ 17:59, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)Given my druthers (I want my druthers, dammit!) I'd want to see the sysop/bureaucrat thing dealt with pretty much immediately, and the rest dealt with later. Once that's in place, I'd much rather see bureaucrats set the rules themselves, with input from the whole community. As it is, we've got too many Indians, and nothing gets done. From what I can see, I'm not the only one who thinks that. --Kels (talk) 18:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
After reformatting this, it does seem a little much. We have a sysop guide and crat guide after all. steriletalk 18:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

This can't stay in mainspace. Javascap, do you want it in your userspace? Or should it go to essay space or project space? Seme Blue 19:13, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Put it project space with the rest of them. ТyTalk. 19:14, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I am kinda confused. "Lets hand all power to TMT" stays in the mainspace, but "Lets build a formal system to resolve issues" goes to userspace? Javasca₧ the most colourful sig on RationalWiki! 19:27, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
No, that one is in project space. Seme Blue 20:19, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

An actual proposal how to deal with this[edit]

Step 1: Dissolution of the power structure that exists at this moment. Move power to Trent who can then give the power to the Board of Trustees.
Step 2: Make an actual constitution (mission statement, user groups a.s.o.) that will be set in power by Trent (giving his okay, basically like a president simply sining a law), after the constitution is agreed upon by the makers (the people currently discussing it).
Step 3: Make laws or turn guidelines into laws. For example we could have one making it clear who is allowed to vote and who isn't.
Step 4: Get the constitution voted for after the "right to vote" situation is through.
Step 5: Get the laws agreed upon.
Step 6: Edit together in peace.
Does that sound acceptable? --ǓḤṂ³ 18:24, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

For the love of god we don't need a constitution. We already have guidelines that, with a few obvious examples, work just fine and are 100% better than the calamity proposed on the other side of this page. And how in the world do you propose getting this ass backwards list of aspirations accomplished if we don't know a thing about how to even get a fair vote accomplished? Nutty Roux (talk) 18:31, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
This does seem excessive. It does not fix the zillion sysop problem, it adds too much procedure to everything. The upper and lower loya Jirga seems silly. We already have an election process for the board. ТyTalk. 18:37, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Ty I think your post is in the wrong corner. --ǓḤṂ³ 18:45, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The question for a constitution or nothing is unanswerable for me. Other question: Why not? If the "constitution" just says this is who are, this is how our system works and these instutions exists there's no harm to it. If we allready have everything we need in other pages, what's so bad about compiling them in one thing, so we that can clearly point to it if soething comes up. What we have at the moment is bitching contest which rules/guidelines are valid to which extent. This way we can have it handy and clearly. If you say now "we allready have it handy and clearly" may I point you to the Chicken coop? --ǓḤṂ³ 18:44, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That is what I am getting at. What I am proposing is that using the existing community standards, and the two guides, that we make an official Jirga tasked with being the group that deals with problems, with the consent of another group, based on elections by the community It is not an oligarchy so much as a way to solve problems without I-Don't-Know-How-Many angry people piss-potting. The community standards do work, as Nutty painted out, but what I am trying to propose is a factual way to deal with issues that do happen. We need a conflict resolution system, and unless we can agree to give some people the ability to solve conflicts, the same dame blame issues are going to come up. Javasca₧ I know Anonymous user bakes next to anythings. 19:22, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That's not the worst thought. Have the bureaucrats be in charge of who's a sysop or not, and general maintenance that sysop level can't do. Stick the LJ in place of the chicken coop, they're in charge of handling disputes and that's pretty much it. Sysops are the mop 'n' bukkit level, while the remainder are the standard editors, like over at WP or whatever. No secret decisions, it's all up front, everyone can make suggestions and raise concerns, but it's the appropriate group that actually makes the decisions based on that. Most of the rules themselves (outside of defining what each level means) can stand as they are for now, most of it likely needs no change. How's that sound? --Kels (talk) 19:34, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC) It's useless to have rules on a wiki. The rules cannot answer everything and there will be a huge and useless debate of wikidrama. Instead we should have a guide and at most five supreme leaders uber-bureaucrats. Each of these can shoot first and vote about it later if the other uber-bureaucrats disagree or users raise complaints. Have the foundation elect them, and move any meta-discussion to a meta-site. The important thing is to get conflicts resolved fast, so that the wiki can direct more of its energy at trying things and being useful. -- (talk) 18:57, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't like Oligarchies. --ǓḤṂ³ 19:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
First of all, this is a website not a country. Second, "distinguished by wealth or dominant hegemony" doesn't seem to apply here. Thus, your dislike of oligarchies is not incompatable with a smaller group handling conflict resolution and who's a sysop or not. --Kels (talk) 19:29, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
A few people have the power and rule with a stick. Call it whatever you wan't, I still don't like it. --ǓḤṂ³ 20:08, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
It's more like a gerontocracy. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:31, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
a couple of things: 1. what legal issues does this site need to be in compliance with, if any. 2. I doubt a vote for supreme bureaucrats is feasible, the first unpopular ruling and a revolt for their termination ? the top 5 or so need to be self-policing or by the Board (if the board is to have operational control) 3.Sysops seem irrelevant to any structure, unless they are vastly reduced and with specific duties, that they should perform or lose that status. Hamster (talk) 19:52, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I think your point 3 is what a number of us are after, take away the "everyone's a sysop" and make it a job that needs doing, like at most sites that use them (message boards, WP and so forth). --Kels (talk) 20:17, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
2: Resistance is futile, besides it's only a website. The wiki lets you reverse anything. If there is a majority of good faith it can't be a huge disaster. 3: An authority that would respond to concerns more or less immediately would eliminate the current problems. -- (talk) 20:59, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The "Head Goat" doesn't have any real powers over any other Bureaucrat, but has more of taken the responsibility of leading the Loya Jirga. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ the most colourful sig on RationalWiki! 21:12, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Namespace, cruft[edit]

Why is this in the main space? And can we please not have 40 articles about the same thing? It is now impossible to follow this conversation. Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

4 by my count, but moving to project space. ТyTalk. 20:28, 11 May 2011 (UTC)


We can discuss proposed changes here: I have included the first "article" since we're don't seem to be going with consitutionspeak i.e. Article I section I and like that. C®ackeЯ

User privileges[edit]

There shall be five sets of privileges available to users of RationalWiki.

  1. BoN: Potential users, can make limited edits to the wiki. No real privileges except to further our Glorious Cause! (whatever the hell we decide it will be).
  2. User: The position of user shall be made available to any individual who chooses to create an account on RationalWiki. A User has the ability to edit once every 30 seconds, and create user pages an talk pages.
  3. Autoconfirmed: The position of autoconfirmed shall be made available to any individual who has made contributions and has been on the site for 24 hours. An autoconfirmed user shall be able to edit freely, with no time restrictions on their edit rate.
  4. Sysop: The position of Sysop shall be made available to any user with a history of good-faith edits after three days from account creation. In addition to the above powers, a Sysop shall be given the ability to patrol recent changes, delete pages, block users, and protect pages.
  5. Bureaucrat: The position of Bureaucrat shall be made available to any user who has been an active contributor for at least one year. In addition to the above, a Bureaucrat is given the ability to rename users and manage user rights.


Good change, can't believe I didn't think of that. ĴαʊΆʃÇä₰ wasn't me! 21:06, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with that list of user rights, although I would add that the number of crats should be fixed at an arbitrary number (about 8-12) and people who have been inactive for some period shall be replaced. The crats would be the only ones who voted/adjudicated in chicken coop proceedings, although any sysop can present their opinions on any dispute. That way we preserve our traditions and keep disputes tidy without the issues we have every time something happens. --DamoHi 22:17, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I should make my implicit point, explict: I don't think we need 3 layers of bureaucracy, just 2 - ie no LJ required. --DamoHi 22:29, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Demotion to Sysop[edit]

  1. Any Bureaucrat may demote any good-faith user after three days since account creation.
  2. Failure of a Bureaucrat wait three days will result in action at the discretion of the Loya Jirga.


the second point should say "may result" instead of "will result". Otherwise I am ok with this. DamoHi 23:21, 12 May 2011 (UTC) Putting any mandatory action on a crat for "failure to demote someone" means that all the crats that don't demote someone can then be held responsible for failure to demote... the rule as written creates an unenforceable rule... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 13:08, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Election to Bureaucrat[edit]

  1. Nomination to Bureaucrat shall be instigated on the RationalWiki:Bureaucrat nominations page. It is the responsibility of the nominator to utilise the Intercom system to notify the public of a Bureaucrat nomination.
  2. Users can vote "Aye" if in favor of further demotion, "Nay" if against further demotion, or "goat" if they wish to abstain.
  3. Voting shall remain open for a period of 72 hours.
  4. At the end of 72 hours, the voting shall close. If the user has achieved a simple majority, any Bureaucrat may demote the nominee to Bureaucrat. Should there be more nays than ayes, the user shall not be demoted, and shall not be nominated again for a period of 60 days.
  5. Failure of a Bureaucrat to use the above procedures will result in action at the discretion of the Loya Jirga.


Sounds good, with the same change of will to may as above. I think we should explicitly put a cap on the number of crats, but I know that will be hard to get a consensus on. DamoHi 23:21, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Voting will never work[edit]

As I understand, there are socks everywhere (I should know) and I believe IP's are too easy to come by. Without getting super creepy or dropping POWERWORDs, we have no assurance that any vote will be fair. Occasionaluse (talk) 21:14, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Unless we set up a secure vote like we did for the RWF elections, of course. The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 22:31, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm listening. Occasionaluse (talk) 00:22, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Yep, just set up a criterion like the one for the board elections (75 edits/3 months) and have a script compile a voter list. It would be great if one of our tech wizards could set up a system with automatic eligibility checks and vote tallying that could be used for each important vote. If that can't be done, the votes would have to be checked manually - most likely, in practice that would concern only a tiny minority of them, because most will come from established editors that are known to fulfil the requirements anyway. Röstigraben (talk) 05:48, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Or, even easier - if we establish a new not-quite-sysop rank for the majority of users, make the right to vote a part of the package that comes with it, and set some edit count and time requirements for it. 3 months would be too long, but that could be shortened to one and the edit count raised to around 100. Users who don't fulfil these requirements can be presumed not to be terribly interested in the site anyway. Röstigraben (talk) 06:05, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd make that criterion edits in mainspace to bypass the trolls who mostly only visit talk pages.  Lily Inspirate me. 07:08, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, maybe something like 100 edits total, 50 in main or at least project space. And maybe excluding minor ones like correcting typos or adding categories if we want to go into details. Röstigraben (talk) 07:59, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Um would Psy keep his vote if we take out the talk pages? (from where I stand he mostly writes on CP:WIGO talk, so...) --ǓḤṂ³ 23:19, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes I think so. RW is not an encyclopedia. Who is to say that mainspace edits are more important than CP talk pages. They all contribute to the site. DamoHi 23:25, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
50 edits is a rather low number, and project space would even include the Saloon bar. Off the top of my head, I couldn't come up with any established editor who'd fall short of these criteria (Psy has more than 500 mainspace edits, BTW). I see this as an additional measure to keep socks from voting - making 50 constructive edits to articles requires much more effort than making 50 "OMG Andy's so dumb" posts on TWIGO:CP. Anyway, those are details that can always be discussed, my point is simply that there are ways to make elections and votes meaningful without resorting to checkuser and the like. Röstigraben (talk) 06:23, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Community Standards[edit]

The Community Standards are guidelines, not rules. It appears that most of the activity of the Loya Jirga will be in response to HCM caused by violations of the CS, so are you proposing enforcing the CS as more like rules? If so, I wholeheartedly agree. Uke Blue 23:18, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

So, you're saying that "rules are good"..."strong fences/good neighbors" sort of thing? I dunno, what happens if there are no rules and only guidelines? HCM all the time? No. Some but not all of the time, why is that a "bad Thing? 00:04, 12 May 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
More like, we need enforceable rules, rather than more rules. ТyTalk. 00:21, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
We need enforceable rules, yes. And personally, I'm not a fan of HCM, dunno about you, Cracker. Uke Blue 00:26, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
HCM at any time means things aren't working right. It tends to be hard on us chickens, y'know. --Kels (talk) 02:21, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

The Board of Trustees[edit]

The duties and authorities of the Board of Trustees are actually determined by the corporate charter established through US law in the jurisdiction of the state of New Mexico. Any "constitution" of the wiki cannot override the charter, nor limit or expand the authority, duties, or responsibilities of a member of the board outside of pure wiki-space.

As such:

  • No constitution can run contrary to the Charter, as the Charter has real legal force, therefore anything that is "purview of the Charter" can only be either moot (it is identical to the Charter) or preempted by the charter (if it is contradictory with the Charter)
  • The composition of the board is the purview of the Charter.
  • The position of Trent within the board is explicitly defined by the Charter already.
  • All election process of the board is the purview of the Charter.
  • Board members being required to be at least 18 years of age is the jurisdiction of New Mexico Contract law.
  • All duties and authority of the board are the purview of the Charter, and the jurisdiction of New Mexico law.

It's important to remember that this Constitution is not sitting in a vacuum of law. RationalWiki Foundation and the RationalWiki webpage itself are subject to New Mexico jurisdiction and US law, and you can't just go and define things contrary to any of that. While this isn't on the same level of crazy as "A majority vote of the Loya Jirga can establish the death penalty for a user" the principle of law that preempts the constitution on that is shared by anything attempting to establish how the Board of Trustees works on anything but the most pure-wiki-space of jurisdictions. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 13:38, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

That was confusing me, thank you for clearing that up :) ТyTalk. 13:40, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

RW sucks[edit]

Fuck you— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Don't you realise how absurd this is?[edit]

Why can't you just enjoy the site for what it is rather than indulge in this self important charade that make you look utterly ridiculous? Why can't you ignore what you dislike and enjoy what you like? Why can't you get on with your lives and not feel the need to impose constraints and restrictions on absolutely everything you encounter? Every day I grow more misanthropic, I really do. (talk) 22:43, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Goodpost.gif Or something.... Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 22:45, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Following your advice, I'm going to ignore you. --ǓḤṂ³ 22:55, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah, but isn't telling someone your ignoring them antithetical to the cause? Gooniepunk2010 Oi! Oi! Oi! 23:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
"Why can't you ignore what you dislike and enjoy what you like?" Wow, you must really love HCM! Seme Blue 23:12, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
No, I was simply agreeing with the philosophical points. After all, my personal philosophy is similar, "Quit what you don't love. We are all free." I have no love for the troll otherwise. The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 23:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC) I know, but how could I make my point without it? On the other hand:
22:55, 11 May 2011 Ullhateme (Talk | contribs | block) (14,874 bytes) (→Don't you realise how absurd this is?: except this of course) (undo)
could have told you something… stop postmodernism-ing me! --ǓḤṂ³ 23:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Look, look! We found a troll! ĴάΛäšςǍ₰ Banhammer, Renamer, and Goat 23:17, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
MC's campaign for the right to be ignored is very noble and very much misunderstood. Occasionaluse (talk) 00:23, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

America's Superwiki[edit]

Take me to the vandal bin, RatWiki vandal bin! — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

The way forward: Constitutional monarchy[edit]

I would like to suggest an alternate arrangement which I think can satisfy all interested parties, and be silly enough for RW. There are basically two factions at work here (obviously this isn't strict, and there is much common ground). The cabalists and other Old Guard members, together with some socks and newbies, oppose any attempt to add extra structure to RW. They cling to their joke blocks, and don't want to be mass promoted in a reform. On the other hand are users who want a major reform of user rights, possibly with new enforcement mechanisms as well. Many European countries found themselves in similar situations in the last couple centuries, and they seem to have arrived at a workable solution:

My proposition is to form a constitutional monarchy for RationalWiki. King Human can viscount and de-viscount whoever he wants, whenever he wants, and nobody gives him any trouble. Those entrenched members of RW who oppose all reform will become noble(wo)men, which is hardly something to scoff at. Members of the court (and whatever new members they decide to promote, which could be anyone or everyone), will continue to enjoy most of the rights they had under the old system. They can keep giving joke blocks, retain the ability to delete articles given the consent of three editors or whatever the guideline is, etc. In most regards, the site would continue to function as before.

However, ultimate power will reside with the civilian government, which can overturn any move made by the monarchy, with absolute authority. This will be organized as on any other wiki, with a sensible number number of crats, sysops, etc. The organization proposed by Javascap would be fine here. The civilian government can overturn any deletions, moves, blocks, binnigs, etc. which were made under the auspices of the monarchy. They can set up a page for deletion discussions and other policy pages as needed. Only a small number of deletions are really contested, so this might not be all that active. They will maintain control over policy-making, and have control of the more serious user rights like oversight. New crats and sysops will be chosen by election of qualified users, with the same voting restrictions as for the foundation. The government will generally conform to the will of the mob. There is no reason that someone could not both be a high-ranking nobleman and a crat.

Now, there will no doubt arise disputes between the two power structures. For this, the Loya Jirga will continue to exist, essentially as a religious power. They have the power to resolve all disputes, as under the existing system. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Nobody will go for this, and I'm not entirely sure what function the "monarchy" would serve, but I kind of like it. Seme Blue 02:08, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I am confused. ТyTalk. 02:09, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
The only real purpose is to let the old-timers keep some special status so that something can actually get done around here. And let them keep having their fun, as long as they don't mess with the serious user rights. -- (talk) 02:11, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Ok... I'm a little drained right now, but I think I get it. ТyTalk. 02:12, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Lets get going[edit]

We need to set some sort of time limit on this discussion, otherwise it will end up going on and on and then it will peter out with no changes made until the next massive HCM when we then complain that we still have no dispute resolution. I don't think we need all that much change, but those who think we do need to start talking about it before everyone loses interest. DamoHi 23:10, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

The man's right (I'm guessing the sex here). The first thing we need to clear up is the voting system/rights, as we allready have one from the election to the Board of Trustees can we just use that one in the interim period and move on? How long can it take to get this thing together, 1 month, 2 months? --ǓḤṂ³ 23:17, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree. I, for one, am sick to death of having bloody HCM every time there's something that almost every other site out there deals with easily. We've got proposals in place to hopefully start dealing with that, so let's get on with it. --Kels (talk) 15:54, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Finally caught on to their plan, eh? </sarcasm> Agree. ТyTalk. 15:56, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Whaddaya mean, finally? I've been on about this crap for two years now, easy. Conflict resolution around here has been dysfunctional all along, but it wasn't so noticeable when there were only a few users. Now it's friggin' neon. --Kels (talk) 15:59, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I was being sarcastic. :P ТyTalk. 16:01, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Whaddaya mean, sarcastic? Why, I blah blah blah... --Kels (talk) 16:02, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
ТyTalk. 16:05, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I actually don't notice any of this HCM or any of this drama until someone points it out to me. Hell, this "HCM DefCon 0" that is talked about on RWW, I didn't notice until LX posted an announcement. Seriously, all this drama bitching and butt hurt doesn't extend beyond the people experiencing it until they drag everyone else into their drama... so, I'm left thinking that the only people who are hearing about all this drama and making a big deal about it are people sticking their nose in other people's issues and blowing it out of the original proportions. Let's look at what would have happened if no one had started HCM about this "Trial of Human"... Blue would have been re-cratted 1 hour after Human did it, and everyone would get on with their life with Blue feeling a little butt hurt. Nothing else happens... this is wiki drama, it's not like this has real world consequences or real meaningful injuries and harm are being done here. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 16:49, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Let the butt hurt be butt hurt and the non-butt hurt keep their noses out of it. sPaRkYGodspeed! 16:57, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I have to say though, that having a "Final Arbiter between Butt Hurt and Victimization" would allow people to bring up their drama before someone and settle who was wrong in what way. It would settle the issue with as few people involved as possible, and thus remove most of the fall out from people poking their nose into other people's business. In fact, we need'nt even declare one single arbiter, but rather each person can bring in their own arbiter to hear both sides if they want. Really, if we just have a person listen to both sides, then the person who felt slighted has an opportunity to have their grievance heard, and if the arbiter deems it necessary, an apology rendered. No need to bring this crap before a lynch mob every single time... and best of all? This requires no rules changes... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 17:24, 13 May 2011 (UTC)



The 3-day rule is bullshit. In the past it was ok, and fun to do so. Now RW has become too big, too impersonal and too much of a troll magnet for random promotions after only 3 days. I suggest 6 months, and then only after the crats agree to promote the user.

It's stupid to promote so easily, when demoting causes so much hand-wringing.

Well, if we're actually serious about the oft-repeated claim that sysop = janitor, then yeah. I personally should have only as many sysops as are necessary to do housekeeping duties and that's it, so the requirements should be less trivial than they are now. --Kels (talk) 16:15, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Election to crat[edit]

Only crats should vote. Otherwise it becomes a popularity contest.

In addition[edit]

This still does not address the earlier issue regarding the massive imbalance of sysops and crats on this site. As has been suggested many times, but Lx wilfully ignores - that needs to be resolved FIRST. --PsyGremlinTala! 16:04, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I think all of you are behaving like self important tits who don't seem to realise how absurd and stupid all of this is. Get on with your lives and stop feeling the need to legislate for a community of at most 25 people. Stop attempting to engineer wiki laws and regulations and constitutions and all that blather. Seriously, you all look like idiots. MarcusCicero (talk) 16:10, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I think we should do it. If only to shut sad wankers like you and Lx up. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 16:15, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Straw poll[edit]

Lets see section by section what everyone thinks. Please read the constitution over, and provide your input on each section. The Straw Poll, to prevent this page from getting too massive, is being held at RationalWiki:Proposed Constitution, May 2011/poll ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ Over 2700 edits! Thats over 043! 17:44, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

What are you thinking, Javascap? There are no rules at RationalWiki, the mob does what it likes, and voting is oppressive and authoritarian. Seme Blue 17:48, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Voting isn't oppressive and authoritarian... it just lacks legitimacy... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 17:52, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC saying basically the same thing) Occasionaluse (talk) 17:53, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
If a vote is enforced in any way, it is authoritarian. Uke Blue 17:56, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
A vote can be acted upon without being authoritarian. But the very vote itself is not oppressive and/or authoritarian... it is simply advisory. It's like a non-binding resolution. Now, if someone acts upon the vote in the direction that the vote fell, then that person is also not being authoritarian, because the mob still remains able to undo the actions of the person. Requiring that all editors be beholden to a vote, even if they disagree, and that they cannot act against the vote... that is oppressive, but not authoritarian. If someone comes along and declares that the vote has a binding nature, and pulls a hissy fit any time someone acts against the non-binding vote, then they're attempting to be authoritarian... and then we just decrat them, and block them, and the authoritarian problem goes away... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:05, 13 May 2011 (UTC)


This is crap. It doesn't fix the problems RW has, in fact it's almost identical to the current system, and there's too much pretentious bullshit ("High Goat"? gimme a break). -- Nx / talk 17:54, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I've gotta agree. All this hoity-toity nonsense about constitutions and Loya Jirga or however you spell it and high goats is all just sideshow, and gets in the friggin' way. Seriously, it's a collaborative website, and we need rules for the website. Maybe about 10 bureaucrats to handle management type stuff, about double that or so sysops who are responsible for maintenance and resolving conflicts (i.e., stuff gets brought up in the Chicken Coop, everyone involved tosses in their $0.02, and the sysops decide based on that, easy!), everyone else is a regular user with short block functionality and stuff like page move and whatever else is necessary. Meanwhile everyone does WiGOs and chats in the Saloon Bar and makes/edits articles same as always. No fuss, no muss, no bi-weekly HCM. And certainly no self-important balderdash like this "High Goat" business. --Kels (talk) 18:13, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Soooo.... the community chooses 7 crats to manage resolving conflicts led by a secretary, and retains sysops and crats to perform maintenance. You were saying? ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ Banhammer, Renamer, and Goat 18:20, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
That wouldn't be an unacceptable way of looking at it. I was thinking maybe 20-25 sysops, so you're pretty much guaranteed 24 hour coverage, treated as basically the maintenance department. 7 wouldn't be a bad number for bureaucrats, but I'd be willing to go a little over that if necessary, since they're pretty much solely for bureaucratic uses that don't really come up too often, and maybe cover disputes too big for the sysops to handle. --Kels (talk) 18:26, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
How about, instead of fixing the number in a "constitution", we establish that the crats can establish their numbers by a vote, and they then also establish the number of sysops by vote. That way, they don't have to push a constitutional amendment every time they realize that more crats/sysops are needed. (Comeon, this is basic pedantic lawmaking people...) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:35, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I wasn't pushing a specific number, just more or less a reasonable guideline. A quota would just invite more wanking. Maybe a comment in the 'crat guide that 20-25 sysops is more or less a good number, but to use their judgement. My thing is it shouldn't be this hard to set up some simple roles on a bloody website. Just sit down and do it, for crying out loud, without a lot of pointless formalities and fancy titles. --Kels (talk) 18:42, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, we did... but then because we didn't have any rules or policies, some people shifted the roles, and suddenly everyone is now a sysop, and the crat count has reached towards the heavens. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:46, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
So what to do? More nonsense about LJ and Head Goats? There have already been good suggestions such as making bureaucrats requires a vote of the current 'crats and not just one, discussion before sysopping, etc. I'd like to see some of the BS stripped away and get on with it. --Kels (talk) 18:56, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I still don't understand...what exactly is the problem with the dysfunctional system we have now? How would another equally or potentially more dysfunctional system help anything? δij^{i.broke.it.} 19:05, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Proposition: Convening the Jirga[edit]

As it has been noted that the Board of Trustees cannot be modified by this Constitution, I propose changing the process of convening the Jirga such that the community may call the Jirga into action. Javasca₧ Banhammer, Renamer, and Goat 18:07, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, it's a bit weird... you can have the Board of Trustees have the responsibility for calling up the Jirga... although it ends up being a lot like a state declaring in state law that the federal government can perform some state function... it crosses tons of jurisdiction lines, and it can be done, it just has to be done carefully. Of course, the obvious question to "the community calls the Jirga up" is "how does the community call up the jirga? and if a hundred concern troll socks suddenly appear, what is to prevent them from calling them up?" --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:16, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Somebody calls the LJ to ban them. -- (talk) 18:31, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
The doublethink is delicious. The notion that "We're getting to big! We need rules!" combined with the paranoia "Anyone who is concerned is not only a troll, but a sock." Occasionaluse (talk) 18:36, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Not "anybody". You specifically. --Kels (talk) 18:43, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Imma call the LJ to ban the person who called the LJ to ban that other person. And I'll do it by hanging a vote section on the discussion. Because that's how it's done. Nutty Roux (talk) 18:45, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Once you have done that there's no one left wanting to call the LJ. -- (talk) 18:47, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
The Loya Jirga must be the most impotent, pathetic attempt at instilling order. The fact that it is even being considered in the NWO is absurd. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:02, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
In Marcus Cicero's fiefdom the Loya Jurga is called Marcus Cicero. Let's get on board with that. Nutty Roux (talk) 19:08, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Something contradictory in the wording[edit]


  1. User: The position of user shall be made available to any individual who chooses to create an account on RationalWiki. A User has the ability to edit once every 30 seconds, and create user pages and talk pages.
  2. Autoconfirmed: The position of autoconfirmed shall be made available to any individual who has made contributions and has been on the site for 24 hours. An autoconfirmed user shall be able to edit freely, with no time restrictions on their edit rate."

Autoconfirmed USERS are users too, so we should call them Simple Users or something like that to avoid any confusion. Leninist123 (talk) 21:17, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Presumably everyone's called user or editor or whatever in practice, autoconfirmed would just be something that shows up on the User Rights Log. --Kels (talk) 00:40, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Loya Jirga numbers[edit]

Why ten? Seven is fine. Also, "There shall be Ten positions on the Loya Jirga, 1 Head Speaker, 6 Upper members and 5 Lower members." I presume adding up is not a prerequisite for membership. Totnesmartin (talk) 21:28, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Personally, I think the number should be zero. If this site had any sort of sane structure, that would be the job of the 'Crats, who themselves would only be about 7-10 people. --Kels (talk) 00:08, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

7 people to take care of business, 5 to fill in should a handful not be able to participate. ĴαʊΆʃÇä₰ My computer has two mowses! 00:30, 14 May 2011 (UTC)