From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Icon internet.svg

This Internet related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


"Knowino?" No offence, but that sounds like a Sesame Street character. Or the heroine from a bad Hong Kong movie. --Ψ GremlinTal! 12:29, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

From a Web 2.0 Pokemon sex toy name generator - David Gerard (talk) 12:39, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd have called it WikiTotalFacts. You can work out your own shorthand. Oompa loompa (talk) 13:03, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure why some of us seem to be a bit hostile to this site. After all, it seems to me that we were partly responsible for pointing out some of the CZ failings which let to the creation of Kn. But I've not really been following it that much so I may have misunderstood something.--BobSpring is sprung! 08:52, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't get it either. While I'm not a fan of the whole "expert" thing, I understand where they're coming from, and they seem much more reasonable than CZ. -- Nx / talk 13:47, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Also in comparison with CP or ASK they are not (as far as I am aware) actually spreading anti-knowledge. People may have differing ideas about their objectives, name or structure - but the internet is a vast and diverse place. If they make their project work without endorsing pseudoscience then the best of luck to them.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:10, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Knowino discussion from "What is going on at CZ"[edit]

Copied from (talk) 13:38, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

No one has asked why I left Knowino/Tendrl but for starters:

  • Developing a similar system of experts to approve articles. The process is heading in the direction of CZ
  • The "outing" of an anonymous user

I learned about wikis at wikiHow where any article was accepted. Along the way the article could be deleted on the spot if it was considered "adult" aka sexually charged and not kid friendly. Most articles went through a Nomination For Deletion (NFD) process based on community voting. I like this system as it allows input from all rather than a select few. Admins were the ones who removed articles based on community census. New Article Boosters (NAB) also checked article for facts, style and writing errors. I was and am an NABer who still improves submitted articles. I really like this system of encouraging and empowering authors. wikiHow is one of the most successful hybrid wikis online. All of this is probably because Jack Herrick designed the wiki to encourage rather than discourage. Truth be told Herrick is one of the finest people I've had the pleasure of getting to know online. For example when my mother died, Herrick and wikiHow sent me flowers. There is a lot to be said for organizations that believe in the best and not the worst in people. Anonymity was respected at wikiHow too. Not everyone wants to have their name plastered across the web. So dear friends I wish Knowino/Tendrl the best but I suspect they are already going down the wrong path. LittleRedWriter (talk) 21:32, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Allowing experts to review articles has been our goal from the start. However, the system has been implemented in such a way that it does not limit collaboration. We're using the Flagged Revisions extension to allow "reviewers" to certify article revisions. The most recent version of an article is always displayed by default to the public; a prominent link to the latest certified revision, if there is one, is displayed at the top of the article. How's that like Citizendium? How does it limit contributors?
No anonymous user was "outed"—at least not in the sense of "outing" I'm familiar with. See [1] if you're interested.
Cheers! Thomas Larsen (talk) 23:22, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I am sorry Thomas when you privately asked me to write for Knowino there was no mention of reviewers approving an article. Here's the link to your new rule: [2]

Sounds suspiciously like CZ with a slight modification. While I do believe someone should be reviewing articles, I do believe that someone should be selected based on their knowledge of the wiki. I was selected to do NAB at wikiHow based on my knowledge of style and wiki guidelines for example.

Perhaps I'll feel better about this later but for now it reminds me too much of CZ.LittleRedWriter (talk) 02:05, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

That's quite all right, Little Red. I'm now more willing to consider Knowino if Ino that you are not there. You see, I recognize that you and I have totally different concepts of what we want to see in a Wiki in which we participate -- but I recognize that there is no general rule on how all wikis should operate. From my experience of you at another wiki, you want all wikis to be like your model of them. CZ certainly has its problems, but if it became what you want, I definitely would go elsewhere. Thank you for letting me know, for some time, that I don't even want to look at wikiHow. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 02:22, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Just to clarify... From Knowino:Reviewers:

To become a reviewer, you need to demonstrate:

  • a deep understanding of the subject matter in which you claim expertise
  • a capacity to work productively with other editors
  • the ability to resolve disputes in an amicable and fair way.
Now, "a capacity to work productively with other editors" implies wiki experience—in my mind, at least. The idea is to give expert editors who work well in a wiki environment the ability to "certify" article revisions. That's reasonable, and more sensible than Citizendium's current approach. Our aim is not to introduce differences from projects like Citizendium and Wikipedia merely for the sake of being different. Thomas Larsen (talk) 02:30, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but in order to demonstrate "the ability to resolve disputes in an amicable and fair way", you need disputes to resolve so contributors can prove themselves. Interesting quandary, really. Especially since it requires an indefinite series of disputes in order for people to earn their "reviewer" stripes. Sort of like the reason there is almost always a war on - the Lt. Colonels need the career ladder of the heat of battle. September Storm (talk) 04:43, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Disputes arise all the time on any wiki worth mentioning. 99.9% of them aren't bitter or unhelpful. If an editor has never needed to sort out some disagreement over phrasing or structure, they probably don't have enough experience working on a wiki to become a reviewer. Thomas Larsen (talk) 07:43, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
And if they insist on editing a page that mentions them, in order to pursue their alleged agenda of outing another wiki-friend, I doubt they have the skills to do more than fix footnotes. For Becathly (talk) 08:01, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
LRW, if wikiHow is that great, why don't you just stay there rather than attacking a project that's less than a month old? FreeThought (talk) 04:46, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I love it when you folks come here to bitch at each other! PS, "Knowino" is a really lame site name. It's not phonetically sharable. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:50, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Knowino is lame for a name but it's still early days for them and they can still change it without too many hassles. FreeThought (talk) 04:53, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
The Knowino is clearly the fundamental particle of knowledge. Stupid stupid Hoover! 17:33, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Maybe Knowino would be able to improve if they were aware of problems, but instead things about issues on Knowino keep getting deleted on this article for BS reasons.[3] (talk) 05:38, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm probably alone but I thought "Tendrl" was a better name than "Knowino," which seems stilted and contrived. Doctor Dark (talk) 06:46, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

See the section above. If they start to promote anti-science or homoeopathy that would be of interest. The fact that one editor had a dispute there has nothing to do with the RW missions.--BobSpring is sprung! 06:49, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I like the name "Tendrl" too.
Tendrl worked for me, in an odd way. NoIKnow is pathetic. September Storm (talk) 04:51, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Heh, well we've got about a month or so in which to change the name if necessary. (The plan is to start doing bigger public announcements around mid-January, and it'll be harder to change the name once it's fixed in people's minds.) Thomas Larsen (talk) 05:43, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

An important thing to note in all of this is how Wikis respond to complainants. Know-a-wino is only new, yes, but that means it is only small, so you only have Cinderella Larsen and the two ugly sisters to deal with really. One of the ugly sisters responds to a question by going off-wiki to find out who this "anonymous" user might be. Cinderella ignores the complaint with crys of "Why are you asking me?" and the other ugly sister chimes in at the end with a facetious comment. It doesn't take a month to work out how to deal with complaints - which makes it all the more obvious that none of the three have any actual experience of wikis, just adding articles to them. Building a wiki takes more than computer savvy, and it looks like Cinderella is going to find out the hard way when midnight strikes. At least it is a step above Citizendium, who would also have not cared but would have deleted evidence that there ever was a complaint, before acting on it anyway and pretending it was their idea all along. D.T.F. (talk) 08:38, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Not that I agree with what Paul Wormer did (nor do I understand what his point was with that quote...), but why should we care, especially if you don't care what the other side says. -- Nx / talk 16:13, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Wait a minute - you said in one of your edit summarys that we have no notability requirements - Knowino is non-notable and only has an article because members of Rationalwiki have discussed it and bothered writing it up. Similarly 4 editors, including Knowinos founder, have let the information about their first complaint (a milestone if ever I saw one) stay in this article. Yet you consistently remove it saying it is non-notable?!
Let me guess... do you work for Knowino? Anyway, I'm putting it back in and you want to not be so arrogant. You are being contradictory to the point of farce, so please don't waste our time any more with your crusade. Non-notability means just what it says - if everyone else but you wants it in, then maybe you are the one who should adjust their attitude. D.T.F. (talk) 05:04, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
D.T.F., I left the complaint in the article when I edited it because it would be very inappropriate for me, as Knowino's founder, to remove it. I'm obviously biased. Thomas Larsen (talk) 05:36, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
It's not about "notability", it's about "who cares?". And until there is a trend, I don't think we do. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:20, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually there is a RW mission question associated with the whole article. But I'd suggest that we provisionally let it stay up until we see how things are going woo-wise.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:05, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Heh, I suppose I could always have a pseudoscience piece in user-space to make Knowino worthy of inclusion in RationalWiki... ;-) Thomas Larsen (talk) 09:34, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
So some people wanna put an edit on this article and some people don't. But if one of the last someone group can ban people, then the edit gets taken out and the opponent gets banned. Nice, tolerant attitude you guys have. (talk) 09:59, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually I did not ban you rather I put you in the vandal bin which reduces your edit rate. That means that your can still make your little edit once every twenty minutes or so if you want to.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:10, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
So that is not one ban but one every time I edit. That sounds like a ban and one made by a Knowino user who doesn't want negatives about this project. But if you really want to see woo then I think you should stay alert because there is nothing on Knowino that stops it. 03:18, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Problems with the project.[edit]

In order to avoid appearing to criticize the project from afar I signed up to make a few suggestions. Some of them were well received but it still seems to me the project needs considerable sharpening up.

Why does it exist?[edit]

In order to prosper it needs to explain exactly why it exists and what it will be able to offer editors and readers which is not available at other projects. References are made to problems with WP and CZ but these are not explicitly described. These problems (assuming they exist) way be well known and understood by the existing community at KN but they will probably not be known to an existing WP user. Alternatively such a hypothetical WP user may think that a different set of problems are being referred to.
If the problems which the project is trying to resolve are not stated the solutions are presently even harder to find. What a casual visitor will expect is to be told what is wrong with the existing projects and how this new project will fix those problems. If this information is lacking then why should people join?


What is the scope of the project? WP uses the yardstick of notability. RW uses a reference to the mission statement. I have no idea what CZ uses.

But it is necessary to define some sort of scope to prevent, for example, people writing articles about their pet cat.

What if the cat is "notable"? Wikipedia's notability policy allows articles like these: Sockington. Personally I think its articles wikipedia can do without, but I believe my view would be in the minority on this issue. FreeThought (talk) 04:43, 13 January 2011 (UTC)


WP uses NPOV, RW uses SPOV (where the S is scientific), CP and ASK use a Biblical (or possibly insane) Point of View. What would be the POV of an expert-edited encyclopaedia. Presumably the POV of whatever expert is responsible for a particular article.
But here you run into a problem - and I suspect that this was the CZ problem. You may find somebody who is undoubtedly an expert but who may have a POV which does not mesh with reality. This, presumably, is how CZ ended up with its homoeopathy article. It is easy to imagine an expert on the Second World War who is also a holocaust denier.
Indeed, it is highly likely that an on-line encyclopaedia would attract such experts as it would give them an agreeable platform for their views which their status as "resident expert" would make immune from criticism.


KN's states that information should be presented in an "accurate, balanced, and readable way". But "accurate, balanced, and readable" are not defined. WP fixes this by reference to its POV (or rather NPOV) and RW by referring to the scientific method.

But in an "expert-edited" encyclopaedia? Presumably the "accuracy, balance and readability" are all determined by what the resident expert decides. Or not. Without some more info by what is intended (beyond mere pretty words) it's difficult to say.


What really needs to happen is for whoever owns the project to sit down and clarify these issues himself now. There is no greater community to consult. Potential contradictions need to be removed and the purpose of the site needs to be made plain.
In response to one of my posts on the "About KN" page I was told: Anyone is welcome to aggressively rewrite the page. This doesn't sound very sensible. Anyone from the great wide internet can simply waltz in and change the fundamentals of the project? (OK it's a wiki so it can be adjusted.) But is seems to me that a more authoritarian approach would more appropriate at first.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:40, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

CZ is dying. Wikipedia needs competition. Knowino IMO is the logical step to fill in CZ's shoes. So does the internet need Knowino? My answer would be yes. FreeThought (talk) 14:06, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
And that is enough to answer the above issues?--BobSpring is sprung! 14:17, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
I'll let Thomas answer that. I'm not involved in the set-up or policy decisions of Knowino. I think the statement "RW uses SPOV (where the S is scientific)" is spurious - there are many articles on RW written tongue-in-cheek with no science involved. FreeThought (talk) 15:48, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
In that case "S" stands for "snarky" - but that's really a RW debate not a Knowino one.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:33, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Has anybody seen a glass slipper? I seem to have lost one... Cinderella (talk) 06:23, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

CZ has much the same neutrality policy as WP. The difference is in who decides hat's neutral. In WP it's the "community", i.e. the handful of people who can be bothered, which for some articles means a cabal. In CZ it's subject editors and/or the Editorial Council, i.e. a different sort of cabal.

I agree there should be clarification. If you look through Citizendium's home page you'll fairly easily find a link to a page describing the differences from Wikipedia. Similarly, the Wikinfo home page links to a page explaining some problems with Wikipedia and how they're dealt with.

I also agree Wikipedia needs competition. I don't know whether Citizendium's dying. I hope not. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is dying. Extremely slowly, but dying nonetheless. The amount of editing going on there hasn't increased since 2007. As the number of articles continues to increase, the average quality they can be kept up to necessarily deteriorates. Peter Jackson 12:12, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I wrote a long answer to this post and then read your comments again. Are you writing about Citizendium or Knowino? If it's about CZ then your comment is on the wrong page or you have misunderstood the points being made. If it's about Knowino then it doesn't make a lot of sense to reference everything to Citizendium.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:32, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
If you read carefully through this whole Problems section you'll find that everything I said was a response to something somebody else had already said here. Peter Jackson 12:17, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid that I remain confused. The problems and the issues are all about Knowino. Is your response about those problems? If so I can't see how it fits.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:40, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
If you can't see the usefulness of comparisons then I'm not going to bother trying to explain. You're free to ignore my comments.
I will, however, add another illustration I noticed yesterday. When I looked in before Christmas, the dispute resolution procedure was by community vote. When I looked in again yesterday, this had been replaced by something completely different: forking, as in Wikinfo, but supposedly "temporary". Quotes because there's no procedure to ensure it is. I think both Citizendium and Wikinfo started with a definite idea of how they were going to work and stuck to it for better or worse. But this one just can't settle down. Peter Jackson 11:06, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Your comments have a certain interest as non sequiturs, but OK Ill ignore them.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:49, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
And I'll return the compliment. Peter Jackson 11:40, 8 January 2011 (UTC)


Indeed. Those who are interested can check out Knowino:Dispute resolution (permalink to current revision). The page isn't finished yet, and the process hasn't been fully nutted out. (At any rate, we don't have any way of testing the process until a content dispute actually arises, so we're stuck theorising for the time being.)

But—and I've emphasised this from the beginning, or at least I hope so—a lot of things are subject to change while the project is still in this "pilot phase" (or whatever you want to call it). The project's name could change. The dispute resolution process could change. We're still figuring out how a lot of things are going to work. If better systems than the ones we're currently using come up, we'll use them. That's the beauty of a stage like this—you can actually be imperfect. ;-) Of course, once we leave the pilot stage and drop into the real world, we'll have to stick to some procedures or risk being reduced to chaos. A few thoughts. Thomas Larsen (talk) 12:42, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

And are you going to announce when things settle down so people like me can then make an assessment? Peter Jackson 11:40, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Definitely! :-) Thomas Larsen (talk) 12:40, 8 January 2011 (UTC)


Seems they've just made up a rule between the three of them that stubs should be deleted after a while. Someone drove by, created a stub on bioethics and disappeared. Now it's been deleted. I don't know if this is worth mentioning here. (talk) 14:20, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Surely, if you're on any collaborative wiki-based project like this then all articles are, to one degree or another, "incomplete". While it's nice to favour quality over quantity, being hostile to short and unfinished articles is surely counter-productive. Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:55, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I made a mistake by deleting "Bioethics" on Knowino. Before I could apologize it was restored. And after a short discussion "Bioethics" was moved to the user page of its author. To put this earth-shaking affair into perspective I reproduce the whole article here:
Bioethics is the field of moral philosophy that focuses on the implications of biological science, cybernetics and medical care.
--P. Wormer (talk) 15:09, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
We have an uber-stub category for that sort of thing :P Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:10, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
"moved to the user page" = deleted. Red link. One of the few completely original articles on Knowino. What could have been. Sad... (talk) 16:30, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
If the author wants to continue working on "bioethics", he/she can pick up the sentence and move it back to main space. Calling "Sad..." the fact that the world has to live on without the one-sentence definition of "bioethics", is a little hysterical exaggerated. --P. Wormer (talk) 17:01, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
"So, guys... what's the next stage in our plan to build the world's most reliable free encyclopedia?"
"Er... how 'bout we lose us all the newbie stubs?"
"Yah! That way, we get to replace 'em with Citizendium copies."
"So mote it be." told to (talk) 04:56, 15 January 2011 (UTC)


Y'know, maybe we should create every red-linked article with a simple ".". Now, that would be a great way to encourage people to write articles...

(Armondikov, I suppose RationalWiki has an uber-uber-stub category for that kind of thing?) ;-) Thomas Larsen (talk) 05:24, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Discussion of Knowino on Foundation-l[edit]

I find User:Fred Bauder's comments to be troubling: "There can be no viable alternative to Wikipedia.". Are wikipedians afraid of competition? FreeThought (talk) 13:50, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Seems a rather odd remark from someone who actually runs an alternative to Wikipedia. Peter Jackson 12:15, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Fred is a decent fellow but he can be a bit... odd. Doctor Dark (talk) 17:05, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I think in the sense that Wikipedia's network effect is presently unassailable. That we think this is true does not mean that we think it is good. - David Gerard (talk) 21:48, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I asked him. His reply: "but more a warning to not get so puffed up". Peter Jackson 15:43, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Everything changes[edit]

They're changing the URLs again. And the site might go back to 'Tendrl'. Possibly as a plot to make sure that no-one can find and laugh at it. Prepare to move this page back and update all your links. Or don't. (talk) 14:12, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Redirects. Thomas Larsen (talk) 23:52, 25 January 2011 (UTC)


Recent changes list seems pretty bare. (talk) 05:41, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I intend to do some work on it soon.--P. Wormer (talk) 12:58, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Contrasting with...[edit]

Can't help noticing that point 4 on the mistakes section appears to finish mid-sentence. It ends with the words 'contrasting with'. I would assume the author meant to write, contrasting with the initial aims of Citizendium, though I'm not going to touch it because I'm not sure. --Danfly (talk) 23:59, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Just read the next line. Ro Thorpe (talk) 13:33, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
It would be more obvious with a semicolon. Just sayin' --Danfly (talk) 15:15, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I've replaced the commas with semicolons, which should make the structure clearer. Doctor Dark (talk) 15:29, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Umm... What I actually meant was something more like this...
  • tolerance and protection of said cranks, leading to integration of pseudoscience and woo into the project, contrasting with;
  • browbeating and micromanagement toward those with genuine academic expertise.

Or even a "..." instead

  • tolerance and protection of said cranks, leading to integration of pseudoscience and woo into the project; contrasting with....
  • browbeating and micromanagement toward those with genuine academic expertise.

Just something to indicate the follow-on. It's a fairly standard way of linking bullet points (at least in Powerpoint presentations). --Danfly (talk) 15:40, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

The ellipsis is OK; the semicolon ("contrasting with;") is a grammatical atrocity. Doctor Dark (talk) 17:20, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
It's pretty normal actually. You don't treat it like it's the same sentence when it's a bullet point. It's more like when you're beginning a list. --Danfly (talk) 17:25, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead part 2[edit]

There have been 2 edits in the past 30 days, little more in the past 100, almost all by Paul Wormer and all pending. Winter Whisper (talk) 20:38, 13 July 2012 (UTC)