Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-23 Thread Samuel Klein
An element of our community which gives me hope, is that we are ready to
earnestly engage with any input, even the tendentious.  This is getting a
bit repetitive, however, and as Martijn notes is not the best use of this
list.



On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 6:06 PM Martijn Hoekstra 
wrote:

> Wikipedia itself can never be more reliable than the sources it cites. If
> it's allowed to cite itself, then there is no "bottom" to lean on, and its
> quality would quickly drop.
>
> That you conclude from that that wikipedia is unreliable and therefore
> failed is IMO such a silly proposition, that I dont know whether you
> seriously think this, in which case we should probably take this off list,
> or that you're engaging in sophistry and using arguments you don't think
> are reasonable in the first place.
>
> On Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 19:56 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Dennis,
> >
> > I started this thread to discuss both conduct and content policies on
> > Wikipedia, and indeed how the two interact.  Wikipedia is a project to
> > build an encyclopaedia.  By its own criteria, encyclopaedias are reliable
> > sources and Wikipedia is not a reliable source; hence by its own
> criteria,
> > Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia.  That is, it is currently in a state
> of
> > failure with respect to its own mission.
> >
> > One of the reasons for that state of failure is indeed the failure to
> > provide a collegial working atmosphere.
> >
> > Thrapostibongles
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 2:19 PM Dennis During 
> wrote:
> >
> > > "One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for Wikipedia
> being
> > in
> > > a failed state is precisely that
> > > it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> > source
> > > "
> > >
> > > You have made this argument more than once. That might be a piece of
> > > evidence seems both wrong and not relevant to the sense in which people
> > > here as saying WP has failed, which is as a welcoming, "safe"
> environment
> > > for contributors and would-be contributors.
> > >
> > > It is good policy to make sure that contributors reach out to other
> > > sources, even when one believes that Wikipedia is as reliable as the
> > > average tertiary source we allow as a reference. It prevents us from
> > > relying exclusively on what can easily turn out to be a very narrow set
> > of
> > > points of view.  Does/did the Encyclopedia Britanica cite other EB
> > articles
> > > as references rather than include them as "see alsos"?
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 8:27 AM Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Vito
> > > >
> > > > This rather tends to support my point.  One (and not the most
> > important)
> > > > pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in a failed state is precisely
> > > that
> > > > it does not , by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> > > > source:whereas "Reputable tertiary sources
> > > > , such as
> > > > introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias,
> > may
> > > > be cited".  So Wikipedia fails in its aim of being an encyclopaedia
> on
> > > one
> > > > of the most important tests one could imagine, namely reliability.
> > And a
> > > > reason for that is its lack of effective content management policies
> > and
> > > > mechanisms to put them into effect (in the old days we called that
> > being
> > > an
> > > > editor, but that word on Wikipedia now is more or less a redundant
> > > synonym
> > > > for contributor).
> > > >
> > > > Now suppose that Wikipedia had effective editorial policies and
> > processes
> > > > that allowed it to assume the status of a reliable source, just like
> > the
> > > > encyclopaedia it aims to be.  You say that even in that situation, it
> > > would
> > > > be easy to manipulate.  On that assumption, how much easier it must
> be
> > to
> > > > "trick" it today when it has no such effective policies and processes
> > in
> > > > place!
> > > >
> > > > Thrapostibongles
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Dennis C. During
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > 
> > ___
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> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-23 Thread Mister Thrapostibongles
Martijn

>
> I'm under no such obligation,


Indeed, none of us is under any such obligation, which is why it is
somewhat pointless for one list member to issue orders to another, such as
"Don't do that."


> I do want to call out when something so egregiously
> off base is put forward as the assertion that wikipedia is unreliable
> *because* it has a policy that prevents it from citing itself,
>

And if anyone were to put forward that assertion, by all means call it
out.  You will have noticed, I'm sure that the initial post on this thread
asserted that Wikipedia has a policy that prevents it from citing itself
*because* it is unreliable.  Quite a different thing.

Thrapostibongles
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-21 Thread Martijn Hoekstra
On Fri, Jun 21, 2019, 07:43 Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Martin
>
>
> > No, I'm saying that it's ridiculous to judge wikipedia on its policy that
> > citing itself is disallowed.
> >
>
> Perhaps, then, rather than telling us what it is that you don't agree with,
> you would like to propound your own position, and in your own words.


I'm under no such obligation, and I'm not much inclined to argue with you
on the details - but I do want to call out when something so egregiously
off base is put forward as the assertion that wikipedia is unreliable
*because* it has a policy that prevents it from citing itself, while the
very opposite is true: that any source would completely destroy its
credibility if it would cite itself and claim that is a sign of reliability.

That's the topic at hand here. My views on the reliability on wikipedia are
off topic for that discussion. But I'll  humor you and answer it anyway.


Do
> you believe that Wikipedia is a success?


It accomplishes bringing true information to many people, which I'd a
succes. It very occasionally brings false information to people, which is a
problem.

Improvements to reach, localization, and reliably are all important.


That it merits the description
> of "encyclopaedia"?


Yes, that's a reasonable description  though it is broader in scope.


In particular that it is reliable?
>


Reliable is not a yes/no answer, but you can rely on wikipedia to be likely
correct, much like more traditional encyclopedias. In addition, you can
often rely on it to cite its sources, though not always, and arguably not
often enough. You cant trust its editorial board though, as it has none, in
stark contrast to traditional encyclopedias.


> Thrapostibongles
> ___
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> 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-20 Thread Mister Thrapostibongles
Martin


> No, I'm saying that it's ridiculous to judge wikipedia on its policy that
> citing itself is disallowed.
>

Perhaps, then, rather than telling us what it is that you don't agree with,
you would like to propound your own position, and in your own words.  Do
you believe that Wikipedia is a success?  That it merits the description
of "encyclopaedia"?  In particular that it is reliable?

Thrapostibongles
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-20 Thread Martijn Hoekstra
On Thu, Jun 20, 2019, 13:16 Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Martin
>
> You really think that it is ridiculous that encyclopaedias in general and
> Wikipedia in particular should be judged, among other criteria, on their
> reliability?  If so, I disagree.
>


No, I'm saying that it's ridiculous to judge wikipedia on its policy that
citing itself is disallowed.

You keep rephrasing what I say in order to disagree with something I dont
say. Stop doing that.




> However, if you really believe that an encyclopadia does not ned to be
> reliable, then it seems that on this specific point we may need to agree to
> disagree.  How about the other points I adduce, such as the millions of
> unreferenced or inadeqautely referenced articles discovered at
>
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/2019/04/03/can-machine-learning-uncover-wikipedias-missing-citation-needed-tags/
> --
> is that evidence of success?  The thousands of articles in
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Unreferenced_BLPs -- is that
> evidence of success?
>
> Thrapostibongles
>
> On Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 1:44 PM Martijn Hoekstra <
> martijnhoeks...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > No.
> >
> > What I'm saying is this: setting meeting the reliable sources policy of
> > wikipedia as a condition for success, or not meeting that policy as
> > evidence of failure is ridiculous.
> >
> > On Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 14:29 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Martin, Dennis
> > >
> > > The tenor of your arguments appears to be that Wikipedia is in fact
> > > reliable, because it uses reliable sources, but that it pretends not to
> > be
> > > because it's too hard to prevent people writing article based on other
> > > articles.  This is not in accord with the facts.  As I pointed out, and
> > as
> > > Foundation research has shown, millions -- literally millions, and
> when I
> > > say "literally" I literally mean "literally" -- of articles, about one
> in
> > > five, are not founded on reliable sources, and some thousands of those,
> > > being biographies of living people, should have been instantly deleted.
> > So
> > > we cannot rely on any of those millions of articles, by your own
> > > reasoning.  The reason why Wikipedia deems itself unreliable is that it
> > is
> > > an open wiki, and all such sources are forbidden, because anyone can
> > write
> > > anything on them: "Content from websites whose content is largely
> > > user-generated
> > > is also generally unacceptable."  Wikipedia is cited in the policy as
> > > merely another example of such unreliable sources.
> > >
> > > The way forward, however unpalatable this may be to people who would
> like
> > > to believe that this is somehow silly or sophistry, is to look the
> facts
> > in
> > > the face and accept that some form of editorial policy, content
> workflow
> > > management and supervision of the volunteer effort is necessary to make
> > > Wikipedia what aspires to be, but is not currently, namely an
> > > encyclopaedia.
> > >
> > > Thrapostibongles
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 11:06 PM Martijn Hoekstra <
> > > martijnhoeks...@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Wikipedia itself can never be more reliable than the sources it
> cites.
> > If
> > > > it's allowed to cite itself, then there is no "bottom" to lean on,
> and
> > > its
> > > > quality would quickly drop.
> > > >
> > > > That you conclude from that that wikipedia is unreliable and
> therefore
> > > > failed is IMO such a silly proposition, that I dont know whether you
> > > > seriously think this, in which case we should probably take this off
> > > list,
> > > > or that you're engaging in sophistry and using arguments you don't
> > think
> > > > are reasonable in the first place.
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 19:56 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > > > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Dennis,
> > > > >
> > > > > I started this thread to discuss both conduct and content policies
> on
> > > > > Wikipedia, and indeed how the two interact.  Wikipedia is a project
> > to
> > > > > build an encyclopaedia.  By its own criteria, encyclopaedias are
> > > reliable
> > > > > sources and Wikipedia is not a reliable source; hence by its own
> > > > criteria,
> > > > > Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia.  That is, it is currently in a
> > state
> > > > of
> > > > > failure with respect to its own mission.
> > > > >
> > > > > One of the reasons for that state of failure is indeed the failure
> to
> > > > > provide a collegial working atmosphere.
> > > > >
> > > > > Thrapostibongles
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 2:19 PM Dennis During 
> > > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > "One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for
> Wikipedia
> > > > being
> > > > > in
> > > > > > a failed state is precisely that
> > > > > > it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a
> > reliable
> > > > > source
> > > > > > "
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-20 Thread Mister Thrapostibongles
Martin

You really think that it is ridiculous that encyclopaedias in general and
Wikipedia in particular should be judged, among other criteria, on their
reliability?  If so, I disagree.

However, if you really believe that an encyclopadia does not ned to be
reliable, then it seems that on this specific point we may need to agree to
disagree.  How about the other points I adduce, such as the millions of
unreferenced or inadeqautely referenced articles discovered at
https://wikimediafoundation.org/2019/04/03/can-machine-learning-uncover-wikipedias-missing-citation-needed-tags/
--
is that evidence of success?  The thousands of articles in
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Unreferenced_BLPs -- is that
evidence of success?

Thrapostibongles

On Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 1:44 PM Martijn Hoekstra 
wrote:

> No.
>
> What I'm saying is this: setting meeting the reliable sources policy of
> wikipedia as a condition for success, or not meeting that policy as
> evidence of failure is ridiculous.
>
> On Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 14:29 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Martin, Dennis
> >
> > The tenor of your arguments appears to be that Wikipedia is in fact
> > reliable, because it uses reliable sources, but that it pretends not to
> be
> > because it's too hard to prevent people writing article based on other
> > articles.  This is not in accord with the facts.  As I pointed out, and
> as
> > Foundation research has shown, millions -- literally millions, and when I
> > say "literally" I literally mean "literally" -- of articles, about one in
> > five, are not founded on reliable sources, and some thousands of those,
> > being biographies of living people, should have been instantly deleted.
> So
> > we cannot rely on any of those millions of articles, by your own
> > reasoning.  The reason why Wikipedia deems itself unreliable is that it
> is
> > an open wiki, and all such sources are forbidden, because anyone can
> write
> > anything on them: "Content from websites whose content is largely
> > user-generated
> > is also generally unacceptable."  Wikipedia is cited in the policy as
> > merely another example of such unreliable sources.
> >
> > The way forward, however unpalatable this may be to people who would like
> > to believe that this is somehow silly or sophistry, is to look the facts
> in
> > the face and accept that some form of editorial policy, content workflow
> > management and supervision of the volunteer effort is necessary to make
> > Wikipedia what aspires to be, but is not currently, namely an
> > encyclopaedia.
> >
> > Thrapostibongles
> >
> > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 11:06 PM Martijn Hoekstra <
> > martijnhoeks...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Wikipedia itself can never be more reliable than the sources it cites.
> If
> > > it's allowed to cite itself, then there is no "bottom" to lean on, and
> > its
> > > quality would quickly drop.
> > >
> > > That you conclude from that that wikipedia is unreliable and therefore
> > > failed is IMO such a silly proposition, that I dont know whether you
> > > seriously think this, in which case we should probably take this off
> > list,
> > > or that you're engaging in sophistry and using arguments you don't
> think
> > > are reasonable in the first place.
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 19:56 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Dennis,
> > > >
> > > > I started this thread to discuss both conduct and content policies on
> > > > Wikipedia, and indeed how the two interact.  Wikipedia is a project
> to
> > > > build an encyclopaedia.  By its own criteria, encyclopaedias are
> > reliable
> > > > sources and Wikipedia is not a reliable source; hence by its own
> > > criteria,
> > > > Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia.  That is, it is currently in a
> state
> > > of
> > > > failure with respect to its own mission.
> > > >
> > > > One of the reasons for that state of failure is indeed the failure to
> > > > provide a collegial working atmosphere.
> > > >
> > > > Thrapostibongles
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 2:19 PM Dennis During 
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > "One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for Wikipedia
> > > being
> > > > in
> > > > > a failed state is precisely that
> > > > > it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a
> reliable
> > > > source
> > > > > "
> > > > >
> > > > > You have made this argument more than once. That might be a piece
> of
> > > > > evidence seems both wrong and not relevant to the sense in which
> > people
> > > > > here as saying WP has failed, which is as a welcoming, "safe"
> > > environment
> > > > > for contributors and would-be contributors.
> > > > >
> > > > > It is good policy to make sure that contributors reach out to other
> > > > > sources, even when one believes that Wikipedia is as reliable as
> the
> > > > > average tertiary source we allow as a reference. It prevents us
> from
> > > > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-18 Thread Martijn Hoekstra
No.

What I'm saying is this: setting meeting the reliable sources policy of
wikipedia as a condition for success, or not meeting that policy as
evidence of failure is ridiculous.

On Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 14:29 Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Martin, Dennis
>
> The tenor of your arguments appears to be that Wikipedia is in fact
> reliable, because it uses reliable sources, but that it pretends not to be
> because it's too hard to prevent people writing article based on other
> articles.  This is not in accord with the facts.  As I pointed out, and as
> Foundation research has shown, millions -- literally millions, and when I
> say "literally" I literally mean "literally" -- of articles, about one in
> five, are not founded on reliable sources, and some thousands of those,
> being biographies of living people, should have been instantly deleted.  So
> we cannot rely on any of those millions of articles, by your own
> reasoning.  The reason why Wikipedia deems itself unreliable is that it is
> an open wiki, and all such sources are forbidden, because anyone can write
> anything on them: "Content from websites whose content is largely
> user-generated
> is also generally unacceptable."  Wikipedia is cited in the policy as
> merely another example of such unreliable sources.
>
> The way forward, however unpalatable this may be to people who would like
> to believe that this is somehow silly or sophistry, is to look the facts in
> the face and accept that some form of editorial policy, content workflow
> management and supervision of the volunteer effort is necessary to make
> Wikipedia what aspires to be, but is not currently, namely an
> encyclopaedia.
>
> Thrapostibongles
>
> On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 11:06 PM Martijn Hoekstra <
> martijnhoeks...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Wikipedia itself can never be more reliable than the sources it cites. If
> > it's allowed to cite itself, then there is no "bottom" to lean on, and
> its
> > quality would quickly drop.
> >
> > That you conclude from that that wikipedia is unreliable and therefore
> > failed is IMO such a silly proposition, that I dont know whether you
> > seriously think this, in which case we should probably take this off
> list,
> > or that you're engaging in sophistry and using arguments you don't think
> > are reasonable in the first place.
> >
> > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 19:56 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Dennis,
> > >
> > > I started this thread to discuss both conduct and content policies on
> > > Wikipedia, and indeed how the two interact.  Wikipedia is a project to
> > > build an encyclopaedia.  By its own criteria, encyclopaedias are
> reliable
> > > sources and Wikipedia is not a reliable source; hence by its own
> > criteria,
> > > Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia.  That is, it is currently in a state
> > of
> > > failure with respect to its own mission.
> > >
> > > One of the reasons for that state of failure is indeed the failure to
> > > provide a collegial working atmosphere.
> > >
> > > Thrapostibongles
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 2:19 PM Dennis During 
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > "One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for Wikipedia
> > being
> > > in
> > > > a failed state is precisely that
> > > > it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> > > source
> > > > "
> > > >
> > > > You have made this argument more than once. That might be a piece of
> > > > evidence seems both wrong and not relevant to the sense in which
> people
> > > > here as saying WP has failed, which is as a welcoming, "safe"
> > environment
> > > > for contributors and would-be contributors.
> > > >
> > > > It is good policy to make sure that contributors reach out to other
> > > > sources, even when one believes that Wikipedia is as reliable as the
> > > > average tertiary source we allow as a reference. It prevents us from
> > > > relying exclusively on what can easily turn out to be a very narrow
> set
> > > of
> > > > points of view.  Does/did the Encyclopedia Britanica cite other EB
> > > articles
> > > > as references rather than include them as "see alsos"?
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 8:27 AM Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > > > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Vito
> > > > >
> > > > > This rather tends to support my point.  One (and not the most
> > > important)
> > > > > pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in a failed state is
> precisely
> > > > that
> > > > > it does not , by the community's own admission, constitute a
> reliable
> > > > > source:whereas "Reputable tertiary sources
> > > > > , such as
> > > > > introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and
> encyclopedias,
> > > may
> > > > > be cited".  So Wikipedia fails in its aim of being an encyclopaedia
> > on
> > > > one
> > > > > of the most important tests one could imagine, 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-18 Thread Vi to
I've never seen a self-citing encyclopedia.

Given its open editing structure it would be so easy to game the system by
creating a series of cross-references. In short forbidding citing Wikipedia
on Wikipedia avoids such short-circuits.

No text is 100% accurate, Wikipedia relies upon the bet that by widening
the editorial community accuracy will asymptotically converge. Traditional
textbooks, scholarly articles, any different knowledge aggregation system
is characterized by a different funding premise.

In my opinion the "no autocitation" principle is a direct consequence of
our fundamental principles, therefore a self-citing Wikipedia is possible,
but it wouldn't longer be Wikipedia.

Vito

Il giorno lun 17 giu 2019 alle ore 19:55 Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> ha scritto:

> Dennis,
>
> I started this thread to discuss both conduct and content policies on
> Wikipedia, and indeed how the two interact.  Wikipedia is a project to
> build an encyclopaedia.  By its own criteria, encyclopaedias are reliable
> sources and Wikipedia is not a reliable source; hence by its own criteria,
> Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia.  That is, it is currently in a state of
> failure with respect to its own mission.
>
> One of the reasons for that state of failure is indeed the failure to
> provide a collegial working atmosphere.
>
> Thrapostibongles
>
>
>
> On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 2:19 PM Dennis During  wrote:
>
> > "One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being
> in
> > a failed state is precisely that
> > it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> source
> > "
> >
> > You have made this argument more than once. That might be a piece of
> > evidence seems both wrong and not relevant to the sense in which people
> > here as saying WP has failed, which is as a welcoming, "safe" environment
> > for contributors and would-be contributors.
> >
> > It is good policy to make sure that contributors reach out to other
> > sources, even when one believes that Wikipedia is as reliable as the
> > average tertiary source we allow as a reference. It prevents us from
> > relying exclusively on what can easily turn out to be a very narrow set
> of
> > points of view.  Does/did the Encyclopedia Britanica cite other EB
> articles
> > as references rather than include them as "see alsos"?
> >
> > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 8:27 AM Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Vito
> > >
> > > This rather tends to support my point.  One (and not the most
> important)
> > > pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in a failed state is precisely
> > that
> > > it does not , by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> > > source:whereas "Reputable tertiary sources
> > > , such as
> > > introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias,
> may
> > > be cited".  So Wikipedia fails in its aim of being an encyclopaedia on
> > one
> > > of the most important tests one could imagine, namely reliability.
> And a
> > > reason for that is its lack of effective content management policies
> and
> > > mechanisms to put them into effect (in the old days we called that
> being
> > an
> > > editor, but that word on Wikipedia now is more or less a redundant
> > synonym
> > > for contributor).
> > >
> > > Now suppose that Wikipedia had effective editorial policies and
> processes
> > > that allowed it to assume the status of a reliable source, just like
> the
> > > encyclopaedia it aims to be.  You say that even in that situation, it
> > would
> > > be easy to manipulate.  On that assumption, how much easier it must be
> to
> > > "trick" it today when it has no such effective policies and processes
> in
> > > place!
> > >
> > > Thrapostibongles
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> > --
> > Dennis C. During
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-18 Thread Mister Thrapostibongles
Martin, Dennis

The tenor of your arguments appears to be that Wikipedia is in fact
reliable, because it uses reliable sources, but that it pretends not to be
because it's too hard to prevent people writing article based on other
articles.  This is not in accord with the facts.  As I pointed out, and as
Foundation research has shown, millions -- literally millions, and when I
say "literally" I literally mean "literally" -- of articles, about one in
five, are not founded on reliable sources, and some thousands of those,
being biographies of living people, should have been instantly deleted.  So
we cannot rely on any of those millions of articles, by your own
reasoning.  The reason why Wikipedia deems itself unreliable is that it is
an open wiki, and all such sources are forbidden, because anyone can write
anything on them: "Content from websites whose content is largely
user-generated
is also generally unacceptable."  Wikipedia is cited in the policy as
merely another example of such unreliable sources.

The way forward, however unpalatable this may be to people who would like
to believe that this is somehow silly or sophistry, is to look the facts in
the face and accept that some form of editorial policy, content workflow
management and supervision of the volunteer effort is necessary to make
Wikipedia what aspires to be, but is not currently, namely an encyclopaedia.

Thrapostibongles

On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 11:06 PM Martijn Hoekstra 
wrote:

> Wikipedia itself can never be more reliable than the sources it cites. If
> it's allowed to cite itself, then there is no "bottom" to lean on, and its
> quality would quickly drop.
>
> That you conclude from that that wikipedia is unreliable and therefore
> failed is IMO such a silly proposition, that I dont know whether you
> seriously think this, in which case we should probably take this off list,
> or that you're engaging in sophistry and using arguments you don't think
> are reasonable in the first place.
>
> On Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 19:56 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Dennis,
> >
> > I started this thread to discuss both conduct and content policies on
> > Wikipedia, and indeed how the two interact.  Wikipedia is a project to
> > build an encyclopaedia.  By its own criteria, encyclopaedias are reliable
> > sources and Wikipedia is not a reliable source; hence by its own
> criteria,
> > Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia.  That is, it is currently in a state
> of
> > failure with respect to its own mission.
> >
> > One of the reasons for that state of failure is indeed the failure to
> > provide a collegial working atmosphere.
> >
> > Thrapostibongles
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 2:19 PM Dennis During 
> wrote:
> >
> > > "One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for Wikipedia
> being
> > in
> > > a failed state is precisely that
> > > it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> > source
> > > "
> > >
> > > You have made this argument more than once. That might be a piece of
> > > evidence seems both wrong and not relevant to the sense in which people
> > > here as saying WP has failed, which is as a welcoming, "safe"
> environment
> > > for contributors and would-be contributors.
> > >
> > > It is good policy to make sure that contributors reach out to other
> > > sources, even when one believes that Wikipedia is as reliable as the
> > > average tertiary source we allow as a reference. It prevents us from
> > > relying exclusively on what can easily turn out to be a very narrow set
> > of
> > > points of view.  Does/did the Encyclopedia Britanica cite other EB
> > articles
> > > as references rather than include them as "see alsos"?
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 8:27 AM Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Vito
> > > >
> > > > This rather tends to support my point.  One (and not the most
> > important)
> > > > pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in a failed state is precisely
> > > that
> > > > it does not , by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> > > > source:whereas "Reputable tertiary sources
> > > > , such as
> > > > introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias,
> > may
> > > > be cited".  So Wikipedia fails in its aim of being an encyclopaedia
> on
> > > one
> > > > of the most important tests one could imagine, namely reliability.
> > And a
> > > > reason for that is its lack of effective content management policies
> > and
> > > > mechanisms to put them into effect (in the old days we called that
> > being
> > > an
> > > > editor, but that word on Wikipedia now is more or less a redundant
> > > synonym
> > > > for contributor).
> > > >
> > > > Now suppose that Wikipedia had effective editorial policies and
> > processes
> > > > that allowed it to assume the status of a reliable source, just like
> > the
> > > > encyclopaedia 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-17 Thread Martijn Hoekstra
Wikipedia itself can never be more reliable than the sources it cites. If
it's allowed to cite itself, then there is no "bottom" to lean on, and its
quality would quickly drop.

That you conclude from that that wikipedia is unreliable and therefore
failed is IMO such a silly proposition, that I dont know whether you
seriously think this, in which case we should probably take this off list,
or that you're engaging in sophistry and using arguments you don't think
are reasonable in the first place.

On Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 19:56 Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dennis,
>
> I started this thread to discuss both conduct and content policies on
> Wikipedia, and indeed how the two interact.  Wikipedia is a project to
> build an encyclopaedia.  By its own criteria, encyclopaedias are reliable
> sources and Wikipedia is not a reliable source; hence by its own criteria,
> Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia.  That is, it is currently in a state of
> failure with respect to its own mission.
>
> One of the reasons for that state of failure is indeed the failure to
> provide a collegial working atmosphere.
>
> Thrapostibongles
>
>
>
> On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 2:19 PM Dennis During  wrote:
>
> > "One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being
> in
> > a failed state is precisely that
> > it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> source
> > "
> >
> > You have made this argument more than once. That might be a piece of
> > evidence seems both wrong and not relevant to the sense in which people
> > here as saying WP has failed, which is as a welcoming, "safe" environment
> > for contributors and would-be contributors.
> >
> > It is good policy to make sure that contributors reach out to other
> > sources, even when one believes that Wikipedia is as reliable as the
> > average tertiary source we allow as a reference. It prevents us from
> > relying exclusively on what can easily turn out to be a very narrow set
> of
> > points of view.  Does/did the Encyclopedia Britanica cite other EB
> articles
> > as references rather than include them as "see alsos"?
> >
> > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 8:27 AM Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Vito
> > >
> > > This rather tends to support my point.  One (and not the most
> important)
> > > pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in a failed state is precisely
> > that
> > > it does not , by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> > > source:whereas "Reputable tertiary sources
> > > , such as
> > > introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias,
> may
> > > be cited".  So Wikipedia fails in its aim of being an encyclopaedia on
> > one
> > > of the most important tests one could imagine, namely reliability.
> And a
> > > reason for that is its lack of effective content management policies
> and
> > > mechanisms to put them into effect (in the old days we called that
> being
> > an
> > > editor, but that word on Wikipedia now is more or less a redundant
> > synonym
> > > for contributor).
> > >
> > > Now suppose that Wikipedia had effective editorial policies and
> processes
> > > that allowed it to assume the status of a reliable source, just like
> the
> > > encyclopaedia it aims to be.  You say that even in that situation, it
> > would
> > > be easy to manipulate.  On that assumption, how much easier it must be
> to
> > > "trick" it today when it has no such effective policies and processes
> in
> > > place!
> > >
> > > Thrapostibongles
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> > --
> > Dennis C. During
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-17 Thread Dennis During
It might be a good thread were it based on a better line of argument.

You are making too much of an artifact of the drafting of a Wikipedia
policy.  The intent was clearly to prevent 1., bootstrapping, ie, writing
an article and using it as a 'reliable source' for another article, and 2.,
reliance on content of a wiki article which is subject to change.  There
might also have been other ways to manipulate the software and policies to
the detriment of the project.

The main thrust of the policy was to compel the use of reliable sources.
Rather than make a policy specific to WP or other project wikis, it was
much simpler to simply declare that WP was not a reliable source.

On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 1:55 PM Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dennis,
>
> I started this thread to discuss both conduct and content policies on
> Wikipedia, and indeed how the two interact.  Wikipedia is a project to
> build an encyclopaedia.  By its own criteria, encyclopaedias are reliable
> sources and Wikipedia is not a reliable source; hence by its own criteria,
> Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia.  That is, it is currently in a state of
> failure with respect to its own mission.
>
> One of the reasons for that state of failure is indeed the failure to
> provide a collegial working atmosphere.
>
> Thrapostibongles
>
>
>
> On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 2:19 PM Dennis During  wrote:
>
> > "One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being
> in
> > a failed state is precisely that
> > it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> source
> > "
> >
> > You have made this argument more than once. That might be a piece of
> > evidence seems both wrong and not relevant to the sense in which people
> > here as saying WP has failed, which is as a welcoming, "safe" environment
> > for contributors and would-be contributors.
> >
> > It is good policy to make sure that contributors reach out to other
> > sources, even when one believes that Wikipedia is as reliable as the
> > average tertiary source we allow as a reference. It prevents us from
> > relying exclusively on what can easily turn out to be a very narrow set
> of
> > points of view.  Does/did the Encyclopedia Britanica cite other EB
> articles
> > as references rather than include them as "see alsos"?
> >
> > On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 8:27 AM Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Vito
> > >
> > > This rather tends to support my point.  One (and not the most
> important)
> > > pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in a failed state is precisely
> > that
> > > it does not , by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> > > source:whereas "Reputable tertiary sources
> > > , such as
> > > introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias,
> may
> > > be cited".  So Wikipedia fails in its aim of being an encyclopaedia on
> > one
> > > of the most important tests one could imagine, namely reliability.
> And a
> > > reason for that is its lack of effective content management policies
> and
> > > mechanisms to put them into effect (in the old days we called that
> being
> > an
> > > editor, but that word on Wikipedia now is more or less a redundant
> > synonym
> > > for contributor).
> > >
> > > Now suppose that Wikipedia had effective editorial policies and
> processes
> > > that allowed it to assume the status of a reliable source, just like
> the
> > > encyclopaedia it aims to be.  You say that even in that situation, it
> > would
> > > be easy to manipulate.  On that assumption, how much easier it must be
> to
> > > "trick" it today when it has no such effective policies and processes
> in
> > > place!
> > >
> > > Thrapostibongles
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> > --
> > Dennis C. During
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-17 Thread Mister Thrapostibongles
Dennis,

I started this thread to discuss both conduct and content policies on
Wikipedia, and indeed how the two interact.  Wikipedia is a project to
build an encyclopaedia.  By its own criteria, encyclopaedias are reliable
sources and Wikipedia is not a reliable source; hence by its own criteria,
Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia.  That is, it is currently in a state of
failure with respect to its own mission.

One of the reasons for that state of failure is indeed the failure to
provide a collegial working atmosphere.

Thrapostibongles



On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 2:19 PM Dennis During  wrote:

> "One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in
> a failed state is precisely that
> it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable source
> "
>
> You have made this argument more than once. That might be a piece of
> evidence seems both wrong and not relevant to the sense in which people
> here as saying WP has failed, which is as a welcoming, "safe" environment
> for contributors and would-be contributors.
>
> It is good policy to make sure that contributors reach out to other
> sources, even when one believes that Wikipedia is as reliable as the
> average tertiary source we allow as a reference. It prevents us from
> relying exclusively on what can easily turn out to be a very narrow set of
> points of view.  Does/did the Encyclopedia Britanica cite other EB articles
> as references rather than include them as "see alsos"?
>
> On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 8:27 AM Mister Thrapostibongles <
> thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Vito
> >
> > This rather tends to support my point.  One (and not the most important)
> > pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in a failed state is precisely
> that
> > it does not , by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> > source:whereas "Reputable tertiary sources
> > , such as
> > introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias, may
> > be cited".  So Wikipedia fails in its aim of being an encyclopaedia on
> one
> > of the most important tests one could imagine, namely reliability.  And a
> > reason for that is its lack of effective content management policies and
> > mechanisms to put them into effect (in the old days we called that being
> an
> > editor, but that word on Wikipedia now is more or less a redundant
> synonym
> > for contributor).
> >
> > Now suppose that Wikipedia had effective editorial policies and processes
> > that allowed it to assume the status of a reliable source, just like the
> > encyclopaedia it aims to be.  You say that even in that situation, it
> would
> > be easy to manipulate.  On that assumption, how much easier it must be to
> > "trick" it today when it has no such effective policies and processes in
> > place!
> >
> > Thrapostibongles
> >
> >
> >
>
> --
> Dennis C. During
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-17 Thread Dennis During
"One (and not the most important) pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in
a failed state is precisely that
it does not, by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable source
"

You have made this argument more than once. That might be a piece of
evidence seems both wrong and not relevant to the sense in which people
here as saying WP has failed, which is as a welcoming, "safe" environment
for contributors and would-be contributors.

It is good policy to make sure that contributors reach out to other
sources, even when one believes that Wikipedia is as reliable as the
average tertiary source we allow as a reference. It prevents us from
relying exclusively on what can easily turn out to be a very narrow set of
points of view.  Does/did the Encyclopedia Britanica cite other EB articles
as references rather than include them as "see alsos"?

On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 8:27 AM Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Vito
>
> This rather tends to support my point.  One (and not the most important)
> pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in a failed state is precisely that
> it does not , by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
> source:whereas "Reputable tertiary sources
> , such as
> introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias, may
> be cited".  So Wikipedia fails in its aim of being an encyclopaedia on one
> of the most important tests one could imagine, namely reliability.  And a
> reason for that is its lack of effective content management policies and
> mechanisms to put them into effect (in the old days we called that being an
> editor, but that word on Wikipedia now is more or less a redundant synonym
> for contributor).
>
> Now suppose that Wikipedia had effective editorial policies and processes
> that allowed it to assume the status of a reliable source, just like the
> encyclopaedia it aims to be.  You say that even in that situation, it would
> be easy to manipulate.  On that assumption, how much easier it must be to
> "trick" it today when it has no such effective policies and processes in
> place!
>
> Thrapostibongles
>
>
>

-- 
Dennis C. During
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-17 Thread Mister Thrapostibongles
Vito

This rather tends to support my point.  One (and not the most important)
pieces of evidence for Wikipedia being in a failed state is precisely that
it does not , by the community's own admission, constitute a reliable
source:whereas "Reputable tertiary sources
, such as
introductory-level university textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias, may
be cited".  So Wikipedia fails in its aim of being an encyclopaedia on one
of the most important tests one could imagine, namely reliability.  And a
reason for that is its lack of effective content management policies and
mechanisms to put them into effect (in the old days we called that being an
editor, but that word on Wikipedia now is more or less a redundant synonym
for contributor).

Now suppose that Wikipedia had effective editorial policies and processes
that allowed it to assume the status of a reliable source, just like the
encyclopaedia it aims to be.  You say that even in that situation, it would
be easy to manipulate.  On that assumption, how much easier it must be to
"trick" it today when it has no such effective policies and processes in
place!

Thrapostibongles

On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 6:46 PM Vi to  wrote:

> Honestly I cannot imagine a functional Wikipedia citing itself.
> Such Wikipedia would be so easy to trick.
>
> Vito
>
> Il giorno dom 16 giu 2019 alle ore 16:54 Martijn Hoekstra <
> martijnhoeks...@gmail.com> ha scritto:
>
> > I disagree that Wikipedia not considering Wikipedia as an admissible
> source
> > is indicative of Wikipedia being a failure.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 14:18 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> > thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Dear all,
> > > The discussion triggered by recent WMF T actions has tended to focus
> on
> > > the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
> > > pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t
> > talk
> > > and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try
> > and
> > > abstract some more general points for discussion.
> > >
> > > The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
> > > Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
> > > structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It
> > would
> > > not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.
> > But
> > > in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
> > > Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of
> > the
> > > various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.
> > >
> > > It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works
> > in
> > > practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What
> > the
> > > experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct --
> Wikipedia,
> > > as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
> > > aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
> > > project founded on crowd-sourcing.
> > >
> > > Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> > > failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable
> sources,
> > > and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> > > bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that
> > compares
> > > itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation
> research
> > > has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> > > references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> > > there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger
> Wikpedias.
> > > Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of
> > the
> > > risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> > > There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright
> > violations:
> > > again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not",
> I
> > > mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer
> community
> > > itself.
> > >
> > > This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
> > > "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
> > > hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
> > > informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This
> > creates
> > > an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it
> all
> > > but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the
> > major
> > > violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct
> > policy
> > > makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
> > > witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
> > > copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were written by
> a
> > > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-17 Thread Benjamin Lees
On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 8:18 AM Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
> and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that compares
> itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
> has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
> Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of the
> risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright violations:
> again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
> mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
> itself.
>

The WMF has multiple, conflicting goals, just like the community.  I don't
think you should take it as a given that the WMF will take a position that
aligns perfectly with what you want.  In terms of unverified articles,
consider ACTRIAL.[1]  The community approved it in in 2011, but the WMF
vetoed it for 6 years.  Eventually, the trial was allowed to proceed; most
of the feared negative effects did not materialize, and the WMF made the
change permanent in response to overwhelming community support for it.

The community has been working on copyright violation issues for a long
time.[2]  There are probably ways the WMF could support improvements in
this area.  Maybe the WMF could even design some system that would
magically solve the problem.  But it's certainly not the community standing
in the way.

[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Autoconfirmed_article_creation_trial
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyright_violations#Resources
Also consider
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2013-November/128777.html
back in 2013.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Vi to
Honestly I cannot imagine a functional Wikipedia citing itself.
Such Wikipedia would be so easy to trick.

Vito

Il giorno dom 16 giu 2019 alle ore 16:54 Martijn Hoekstra <
martijnhoeks...@gmail.com> ha scritto:

> I disagree that Wikipedia not considering Wikipedia as an admissible source
> is indicative of Wikipedia being a failure.
>
>
>
> On Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 14:18 Mister Thrapostibongles <
> thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Dear all,
> > The discussion triggered by recent WMF T actions has tended to focus on
> > the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
> > pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t
> talk
> > and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try
> and
> > abstract some more general points for discussion.
> >
> > The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
> > Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
> > structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It
> would
> > not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.
> But
> > in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
> > Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of
> the
> > various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.
> >
> > It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works
> in
> > practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What
> the
> > experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
> > as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
> > aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
> > project founded on crowd-sourcing.
> >
> > Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> > failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
> > and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> > bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that
> compares
> > itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
> > has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> > references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> > there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
> > Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of
> the
> > risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> > There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright
> violations:
> > again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
> > mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
> > itself.
> >
> > This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
> > "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
> > hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
> > informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This
> creates
> > an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
> > but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the
> major
> > violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct
> policy
> > makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
> > witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
> > copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were written by a
> > volunteer who was unable or unwilling to comply with the copyright
> > requirements applicable to their contributions   There is simply no
> > mechanism that allows for contributions to be effectively checked either
> > when contributed or subsequently, bcause there is no mechanism that makes
> > it possible to manage or organise the work of the volunteers, and
> existing
> > community norms will not accept such a degree of organisation.
> >
> > These mutually reinforcing failures make to necessary for some degree of
> > organisation and management of content and conduct to be imposed from
> > outside the volunteer community.  The Foundation has the resources and is
> > the only entity that can acquire and deploy the expertise required to do
> > so.  No doubt this is unpalatable to some of the more vociferous members
> of
> > the community -- those who stand highest in the reputation economy and
> have
> > most to lose by it being replaced by an effective management policy.  But
> > the fact remains -- Wikipedia is failing, and in its present form will
> > inevitably continue to do so.
> >
> > Foundation or failure -- which is it to be?
> >
> > Thrapostibongles
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
There is a picture of Jimmy Wales giving a talk at a Wikimania explicitly
talking about the situation that is here being considered. A person can be
a wonderful editor and a toxic personality. What is happening is not new,
it is coming to a head. When you, the English Wikipedia "community" has not
seen this coming, where have you been.

Personally I have lost faith in the English "community" for its insistence
on independence and thinking that it is the same as their way of doing
things. It sucks, it is largely a power play where the incumbents fight of
anything new, different because they consider themselves to be the
"community". Yes they may be but it is not the best for us. Get a grip,
consider this and do not think for a moment that it is not on you to allow
for the difference.
Thanks,
   GerardM

On Sun, 16 Jun 2019 at 17:09, Todd Allen  wrote:

> I think it's a good question.
>
> The first thing, I think, is to regain the community's trust, which has
> been very badly damaged at this point. I only see one way for them to do
> that, and that is to back off, sooner rather than later. Ensure the
> community that this will not happen again, at least not until a solution
> workable to all sides can be arrived at. (And while I shouldn't have to say
> it--honor that.) If the WMF carries on the way that it is now, that loss of
> trust may become irreparable. In 2006-2007, when the WMF was starting to
> expand its role, some community members expressed a fear of this very type
> of situation, that the WMF would consider itself "in charge" of the
> project. They were, of course, ensured that, no, WMF's just here to handle
> the clerical stuff and keep the servers ticking along, that'd never happen.
> Some of us were around long enough to remember when those things were said,
> and that makes it feel, not just like a power grab, but like a betrayal.
> Don't say one thing and do something else.
>
> From there, if you think there's a problem with the English Wikipedia,
> discuss it with the community there. Not in carefully parsed and polished
> corporatese, but in frank, direct language. If you think something's wrong,
> say so. Be aware that "I want to see your source for that" is almost
> second-nature on the project, as well it should be. Come prepared. If you
> just kind of have a hazy guess based on a couple anecdotes, that's not
> going to fly. (Note that this means a widely publicized discussion on ENWP.
> NOT meta.)
>
> From there, don't approach with the attitude of "Now, here is the solution
> that we will be imposing." Instead, have an attitude of "What can we do to
> fix this and make things work better?". Whatever "it" may be. If it's like
> the points in the earlier email, that there are copyright violations, well,
> the community doesn't want those either. If it's poor sourcing, we don't
> want that. Errors? Don't want 'em. So, if those problems exist, of course
> we'll want to fix them too. You will not get an argument over those
> principles.
>
> Once there actually is a consensus on a fix, then it can be proceeded with.
> There, the software fiascos are instructive. The first time around on them,
> WMF tried to use a "cram it down your throat" approach, with the
> predictable results since the software was not yet fit for purpose. After
> they withdrew it and fixed it, they came back and asked "Does this look
> alright to you now?". The result was overwhelming support to go forward
> with the deployments. Even those few people who still vehemently didn't
> want them didn't try to start a fight against it, or disable it by editing
> the MediaWiki namespace, because the community had come to a consensus on
> the matter and they weren't going to defy that.
>
> Basically, you cannot start shoving someone and then be amazed and
> surprised when they fight back. Talk instead. It is utterly stupid and
> counterproductive for the community and WMF to be in a fight. That should
> absolutely never happen, and this situation was entirely preventable. But
> the WMF must very clearly understand that the English Wikipedia community,
> at least (and I suspect many others as well) will not willingly give up
> their editorial independence to the Foundation. That portion, I'm afraid,
> is never going to be negotiable. But without doing that, I think the
> community and the WMF can collaborate to solve problems, if and only if
> that relationship can be one based upon trust. But the community didn't
> swing first on this one, and the Foundation has absolutely got to stop
> picking these fights if it wants any credibility at all. You do not get
> someone to trust you by trying to force them to do something they don't
> want to.
>
> Todd
>
> On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 8:21 AM Gerard Meijssen  >
> wrote:
>
> > Hoi,
> > It is not so much Wikipedia that is failing, it is the Wikipedia
> "business
> > as usual" attitude that is failing. The challenge we face is now that we
> > know and expect that things are to 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Todd Allen
I think it's a good question.

The first thing, I think, is to regain the community's trust, which has
been very badly damaged at this point. I only see one way for them to do
that, and that is to back off, sooner rather than later. Ensure the
community that this will not happen again, at least not until a solution
workable to all sides can be arrived at. (And while I shouldn't have to say
it--honor that.) If the WMF carries on the way that it is now, that loss of
trust may become irreparable. In 2006-2007, when the WMF was starting to
expand its role, some community members expressed a fear of this very type
of situation, that the WMF would consider itself "in charge" of the
project. They were, of course, ensured that, no, WMF's just here to handle
the clerical stuff and keep the servers ticking along, that'd never happen.
Some of us were around long enough to remember when those things were said,
and that makes it feel, not just like a power grab, but like a betrayal.
Don't say one thing and do something else.

From there, if you think there's a problem with the English Wikipedia,
discuss it with the community there. Not in carefully parsed and polished
corporatese, but in frank, direct language. If you think something's wrong,
say so. Be aware that "I want to see your source for that" is almost
second-nature on the project, as well it should be. Come prepared. If you
just kind of have a hazy guess based on a couple anecdotes, that's not
going to fly. (Note that this means a widely publicized discussion on ENWP.
NOT meta.)

From there, don't approach with the attitude of "Now, here is the solution
that we will be imposing." Instead, have an attitude of "What can we do to
fix this and make things work better?". Whatever "it" may be. If it's like
the points in the earlier email, that there are copyright violations, well,
the community doesn't want those either. If it's poor sourcing, we don't
want that. Errors? Don't want 'em. So, if those problems exist, of course
we'll want to fix them too. You will not get an argument over those
principles.

Once there actually is a consensus on a fix, then it can be proceeded with.
There, the software fiascos are instructive. The first time around on them,
WMF tried to use a "cram it down your throat" approach, with the
predictable results since the software was not yet fit for purpose. After
they withdrew it and fixed it, they came back and asked "Does this look
alright to you now?". The result was overwhelming support to go forward
with the deployments. Even those few people who still vehemently didn't
want them didn't try to start a fight against it, or disable it by editing
the MediaWiki namespace, because the community had come to a consensus on
the matter and they weren't going to defy that.

Basically, you cannot start shoving someone and then be amazed and
surprised when they fight back. Talk instead. It is utterly stupid and
counterproductive for the community and WMF to be in a fight. That should
absolutely never happen, and this situation was entirely preventable. But
the WMF must very clearly understand that the English Wikipedia community,
at least (and I suspect many others as well) will not willingly give up
their editorial independence to the Foundation. That portion, I'm afraid,
is never going to be negotiable. But without doing that, I think the
community and the WMF can collaborate to solve problems, if and only if
that relationship can be one based upon trust. But the community didn't
swing first on this one, and the Foundation has absolutely got to stop
picking these fights if it wants any credibility at all. You do not get
someone to trust you by trying to force them to do something they don't
want to.

Todd

On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 8:21 AM Gerard Meijssen 
wrote:

> Hoi,
> It is not so much Wikipedia that is failing, it is the Wikipedia "business
> as usual" attitude that is failing. The challenge we face is now that we
> know and expect that things are to change, how do we introduce change and
> steer it in a way where people feel less threatened by the usual suspects.
>
> What I have noticed is that there has been no room for real arguments,
> arguments where points of view are floated and considered for their merits.
> So what does it take for people to consider the merits of proposals without
> immediately reverting to "but that is not how I/we do things"?
>
> Important when you want to consider points of view is the way in which we
> converse. There is a huge difference between calling a point of view
> bullshit and calling the person a bullshit artist. Even so, calling a POV
> bullshit is acceptable when arguments are provided WHY you consider
> something bullshit.
>
> Technically many things have progressed to a point where Wikipedia could
> take them seriously. This does not happen even when it is all too obvious
> how our public would benefit. As our intention is to share in the sum of
> all knowledge, we do not need to have it all 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Martijn Hoekstra
I disagree that Wikipedia not considering Wikipedia as an admissible source
is indicative of Wikipedia being a failure.



On Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 14:18 Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> The discussion triggered by recent WMF T actions has tended to focus on
> the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
> pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t talk
> and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try and
> abstract some more general points for discussion.
>
> The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
> Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
> structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It would
> not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.  But
> in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
> Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of the
> various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.
>
> It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in
> practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What the
> experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
> as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
> aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
> project founded on crowd-sourcing.
>
> Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
> and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that compares
> itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
> has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
> Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of the
> risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright violations:
> again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
> mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
> itself.
>
> This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
> "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
> hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
> informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This creates
> an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
> but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the major
> violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct policy
> makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
> witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
> copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were written by a
> volunteer who was unable or unwilling to comply with the copyright
> requirements applicable to their contributions   There is simply no
> mechanism that allows for contributions to be effectively checked either
> when contributed or subsequently, bcause there is no mechanism that makes
> it possible to manage or organise the work of the volunteers, and existing
> community norms will not accept such a degree of organisation.
>
> These mutually reinforcing failures make to necessary for some degree of
> organisation and management of content and conduct to be imposed from
> outside the volunteer community.  The Foundation has the resources and is
> the only entity that can acquire and deploy the expertise required to do
> so.  No doubt this is unpalatable to some of the more vociferous members of
> the community -- those who stand highest in the reputation economy and have
> most to lose by it being replaced by an effective management policy.  But
> the fact remains -- Wikipedia is failing, and in its present form will
> inevitably continue to do so.
>
> Foundation or failure -- which is it to be?
>
> Thrapostibongles
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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New messages to: 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
It is not so much Wikipedia that is failing, it is the Wikipedia "business
as usual" attitude that is failing. The challenge we face is now that we
know and expect that things are to change, how do we introduce change and
steer it in a way where people feel less threatened by the usual suspects.

What I have noticed is that there has been no room for real arguments,
arguments where points of view are floated and considered for their merits.
So what does it take for people to consider the merits of proposals without
immediately reverting to "but that is not how I/we do things"?

Important when you want to consider points of view is the way in which we
converse. There is a huge difference between calling a point of view
bullshit and calling the person a bullshit artist. Even so, calling a POV
bullshit is acceptable when arguments are provided WHY you consider
something bullshit.

Technically many things have progressed to a point where Wikipedia could
take them seriously. This does not happen even when it is all too obvious
how our public would benefit. As our intention is to share in the sum of
all knowledge, we do not need to have it all available, we can point to
partners eg Open Library where publications are available written by the
subject of an article. We do have the data in Wikidata and we could
experiment by including Open Library in the {{authority control}}. Many
more practical opportunities exist where Wikipedia would objectively
benefit from a different modus operandi.

Given that as always, there are those who insist that Wikipedia has failed
let us prove them wrong. Let's consider what is needed to make Wikipedia
innovative again, what it takes for our community to be considered as not
toxic. We can and, as a community we will benefit but as important
Wikipedia, the project we all care for will turn a page.
Thanks,
GerardM

On Sun, 16 Jun 2019 at 14:18, Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> The discussion triggered by recent WMF T actions has tended to focus on
> the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
> pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t talk
> and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try and
> abstract some more general points for discussion.
>
> The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
> Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
> structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It would
> not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.  But
> in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
> Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of the
> various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.
>
> It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in
> practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What the
> experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
> as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
> aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
> project founded on crowd-sourcing.
>
> Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
> and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that compares
> itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
> has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
> Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of the
> risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright violations:
> again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
> mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
> itself.
>
> This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
> "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
> hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
> informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This creates
> an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
> but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the major
> violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct policy
> makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
> witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
> copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were 

[Wikimedia-l] Foundation management of volunteers

2019-06-16 Thread Mister Thrapostibongles
Dear all,
The discussion triggered by recent WMF T actions has tended to focus on
the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t talk
and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try and
abstract some more general points for discussion.

The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It would
not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.  But
in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of the
various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.

It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in
practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What the
experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
project founded on crowd-sourcing.

Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that compares
itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of the
risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright violations:
again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
itself.

This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
"encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This creates
an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the major
violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct policy
makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were written by a
volunteer who was unable or unwilling to comply with the copyright
requirements applicable to their contributions   There is simply no
mechanism that allows for contributions to be effectively checked either
when contributed or subsequently, bcause there is no mechanism that makes
it possible to manage or organise the work of the volunteers, and existing
community norms will not accept such a degree of organisation.

These mutually reinforcing failures make to necessary for some degree of
organisation and management of content and conduct to be imposed from
outside the volunteer community.  The Foundation has the resources and is
the only entity that can acquire and deploy the expertise required to do
so.  No doubt this is unpalatable to some of the more vociferous members of
the community -- those who stand highest in the reputation economy and have
most to lose by it being replaced by an effective management policy.  But
the fact remains -- Wikipedia is failing, and in its present form will
inevitably continue to do so.

Foundation or failure -- which is it to be?

Thrapostibongles
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