Conservative in the sense that it contains significant information limited to 
that derived from reliable sources.

Progressive, to the extent we can include information that is not that well 
sourced but is derived from traditional sources or personal experience. For 
example the Hopi creation story, or a person's knowledge about their home town. 
With respect to medicine, I like to see information included that goes beyond 
the standard of care, but not with some aura of reliability attached to it, 
just the facts surrounding it, such as it being recent research or anecdotal 
reports of practitioners.

Wikipedia long ago lost the battle with respect to inclusion of some 
information which in only included due to the persistence of biased editors who 
have acquired skill in manipulating our guidelines. Generally, that tends to 
the authoritarian left. 

Fred Bauder

----- Original Message -----
From: Ziko van Dijk <>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <>
Sent: Wed, 27 May 2020 09:36:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] An encyclopedia must be conservative (?)

Dear fellows,

Some time ago, Joseph Reagle wrote that an encyclopedia must be
progressive. In my personal view, something "progressive" sounds to me
intuitively more sympathetic than something "conservative". But of course,
these are only two words loaden with meaning, and reality is always more

It seems to me that many Wikipedians or Wikimedians think of themselves as
being progressive and modern. Our wikis are a tribute to science and
enlightenment. Spontaneity and a laissez-faire-attitude are held in high
regard; "productive chaos" and "anarchy" are typical for wikis.

When I had a closer look at our values and ideas, I got the impression that
the opposite is true. Many attitudes and ideals sound to me more like
bureaucracy and traditionalism:
* being thorough, with regard to content and writing about it
* community spirit
* treating everyone equally without regard of the person (the highest ideal
of the Prussian civil servant)
* individual initiative
* reliability

What do you think? Is this just my personal or national background, or has
Wikipedia been build up on a different basis than we usually tell ourselves
and others?

Kind regards
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