Template talk:RationalWiki

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I don't think this template is necessary, alternative language versions of RationalWiki should be in the native language of the article. Elassint 7 March 2014

Sounds like a good idea, in theory; I think the idea behind the template was that people wouldn't bother to maintain some of the different language pages. However, if people are going to maintain them, then it's beneficial to let the content of the pages diverge, given the differences among the different language wikis. Leucosticte (talk) 00:54, 7 March 2014 (UTC)


With regard to this edit, RW is definitely leftist. No less an authority than ED says, "they spend all day being angry and find the best use of their time is to create barely comprehensible, raging anti-Conservative/Religion manifestos in the guise of wiki articles", "Criticizing Conservative Christian sites is one of the RationalWiki users' favorite pastimes", "RationalWiki can also be quite heavy-handed in opposing what it considers to be "authoritarianism", which is the quality they apply to American conservatism. Although conservatives seek to shrink the size of the government and the amount of money people are forced to pay into it, RationalWiki users somehow believe that conservatives are seeking to have the government control everything". Metapedia says "The first members of the website were leftist editors that trolled on Conservapedia" and "You only have to click on the peoples userpages who edited the entry entitled 'racial realism' at Rationalwiki to see Liberal, or other left-wing political stances listed in userboxes." LessWrong says "Basically the material presented is what a slightly left of centre atheist needs to win an internet debate."

RationalBlogs says, "One only needs to make a casual trawl through some BoN (bunch-of-numbers, aka, anonymous IP edits) to the wiki, or the occasional randomer coming into the Facebook group, or any of the myriad comments on external sites to come to a simple conclusion: RationalWiki gets a ton of flak for being outstandingly liberal. There are then a few questions we can ask. The trivial: Is this even true? The interesting: Why is this the case? And the difficult: Is it a justifiable position? The first question is almost certainly 'yes'. Subjects such as abortion, universal healthcare and separation of church and state get pretty liberal treatments (or, as we might prefer to say, don’t suffer right-wing distortions) in their respective articles. The editorship is also largely liberal leaning in the behind-the-scenes discussions."

Since they're anti-conservative, they must be libertarian, centrist, or leftist. Would anyone care to argue that they're libertarian or centrist? Leucosticte (talk) 21:35, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

It is not the job of WikiIndex to judge their politics. But, yes, I disagree with the rigid classification of RationalWiki, and human beings in general, into being only "conservative, libertarian, centrist, or leftist." There is much in the listing, placed there by Leucosticte, who was banned from RationalWiki. It's his opinion, but it is not attributed. I'm politically "progressive," with some libertarian positions, which is a fairly common position. I would be offended at being called "leftist." RationalWiki tends to be atheist, pro-"science" even when common scientific positions are not leftist, and most of all, it tends to be adolescent, with gross humor and the kind of flaming common among smart adolescents.

Leucosticte should not be editing that listing with anything smelling of bias. They don't call themselves "leftist," and, above, Leucosticte seems to be claiming that it must be "leftist" because it gets "flak for being outstandingly liberal." They are not liberal, as I'd use the word. However, it's a wiki. I edit it once in a while, I'm not banned, and I have sysop tools there. Mostly, it's not worth it, like a lot of wikis, it's pushing a boulder up the mountain, with cliques and the usual: wiki users who do not want to take any time to research a subject, but just want to say something funny or witty or what they imagine is so. They would definitely make a judgment like this about another wiki. WikiIndex, my opinion, should resist this kind of abuse. Sites should be listed by site owners as how they would like to be described. If something more is needed, to prevent harm, that can be added.

RationalWiki is easily described as anti-Conservative, being founded for refugees from Conservapdia. Conservapedia is a major focus of derision for RationalWikians.

Lecuosticte reverted, I'm reverting back, and will probably take more out.. --Abd (talk) 02:11, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Dramatica is an authority? That's truly funny. As well, "liberal-leaning" is not a synonym for "leftist." --Abd (talk) 02:14, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

"Sites should be listed by site owners as how they would like to be described." Why would we do that? Then we would just become a mirror of their "about" page, basically, rather than exercising any independent journalism. Leucosticte (talk) 02:33, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
WikiIndex is not a site for journalism about and criticism of wikis. It's an *index.* If I want to find criticism of RationalWiki, it's easy. Just google "RationalWiki criticism." I get a bunch of hits. What I expect to see on WikiIndex is a listing, and some information perhaps about site history and status. I definitely don't expect to see the site described and characterized by someone banned there. And I don't think we want to ride herd on activity like this. --Abd (talk) 02:50, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
It's a proud tradition in the wikisphere that people get banned from wikis and then go to other wikis to describe the wikis they got banned from. That's what RationalWiki was originally all about. Usually by the time you have enough experience on a wiki to fully discern its flaws, you've either drank deeply enough of its Kool-Aid to become the Establishment there, or you're banned. The people who are still editors on a wiki are usually too busy editing it to criticize it elsewhere.
Some pages on WikiIndex are largely attack pages. See, e.g., Loopa23, Ben Weiss, Billy Arrowsmith, etc. Leucosticte (talk) 02:59, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Leucosticte is using WikiIndex as a platform from which to get back at RationalWiki. If Wikipedia has attack pages, that's completely irrelevant to what is done here?, we should deal with them. Yes, that [the description of going to other wikis to "describe"] is what RationalWiki was, and our listing describes the origin. [However, RW was founded for that. WikiIndex was not.] So? RatWikians came here to attack him, and we stopped that. However, will WikiIndex allow him to attack RatWiki? I hope not. (Leucosticte's story about RationalWiki and Kool-Aid is crazy. He is practically the only person really banned there. I am certainly not the Establishment there, but I'm not banned.) --Abd (talk) 03:13, 24 December 2014 (UTC) modified Abd (talk) 14:13, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Why do you have such a habit of attacking users and their motives, in conversations that started out being about content? Leucosticte (talk) 03:46, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Leucosticte, your post, just above this, justified your practice as a "proud tradition." I'm not proud of it, *except where I create the wiki.* You are disrupting this wiki, and attracting disruption. I don't know your motive, and I'm not sure you do, either. "Get back" can describe motive or action; it's action in this case. The comment is on your behavior here, and that includes the tendentious and fabricated arguments that completely ignore the point, the function of WikiIndex. --Abd (talk) 14:09, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Loopa23 may have the consent of the subject and is not an attack, as such.
  • Ben Weiss I have blanked, this is not Encyclopedia Dramatica in spite of some efforts in that direction
  • Billy Arrowsmith ditto, and going back and doing the same with Loopa23, and will look at the contributions of that user, who may have come here just for this. --Abd (talk) 14:23, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Can of worms. Personal data of users, posted with no sign of permission, some underage. --Abd (talk) 14:33, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
(ec) I don't think the function of WikiIndex has been entirely figured out. Individual sysops seem to react to situations with little community oversight, and users don't seem to have much interest in codifying practices into policies that can be applied consistently. Maybe the reason is that there aren't consistent practices around here.
I can think of at least a few examples. The Research Psychologist article got deleted as a personal attack, but many other similar pages are kept, and no policy about attack pages was created. There still is no consensus about what to do about Manorainjan's incivility (he was blocked but kept coming back, and Sean seemed to be the only one trying to stop his block evasion; eventually he gave up), and no policy about civility was created. The BoyWiki article was deleted, but no policy on inclusion criteria has been established.
You've set forth a vision of what WikiIndex should and shouldn't be, but I don't see that being proposed as policy either. WikiIndex:About contains no such restrictions as what you set forth above. Also, theoretically, instead of deleting the content a second time, you were supposed to do a strikethrough, but I don't see people do that anywhere else in the wikisphere, and I've never seen that policy followed on this wiki either. See WikiIndex:Editing etiquette. Leucosticte (talk) 14:37, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Wiki policy[edit]

Above, Leucosticte is correct about lack of clear policy and practice. WikiIndex was started to be something simple, it appears, and who needs a pile of policy and practice if everyone knows what is to be done? This is a classic wiki problem. When policy and practice are not set at the beginning, it grows like topsy, as actual practice, and it can be unpredictable, and then much time is wasted, users leave in disgust, etc., etc. It's happened to many wikis without strong leadership, and, my opinion, this happened with Wikipedia, though it's not so obvious, because they have *tons* of policies and guidelines that aren't worth the paper they are not written on, except they can be used to attack the weak. (And then it also works in certain ways, but it's *highly inefficient,* so it bleeds users who burn out.)

However, I'm assuming that WikiIndex is intended to be what the name says, and what is shown to unregistered users. What is being shown is that there are users who want it to be a less obvious version of Encyclopedia Dramatica, where anything goes. Or does it? Right now, there is material on WikiIndex that creates a legal hazard for the owner. Does he realize this? Does he care? Does he mind the real names and birth dates of minors (one is 13 that I just saw) being on WikiIndex? Such information is enshrined in edit history, even if blanked, and the same for the real name of a user where the page was deleted and yet the name is blatant in deletion history.

The founder noticed revert warring by a user creating this mess and said "enough," but then let the user make one more edit. (Which was okay, but was also the last edit the user made.) What I see is not uncommon in on-line fora. A founder becomes disinterested, but maintains weak control, and occasionally intervenes while being clueless, wreaking havoc with other functionaries. My training in project creation emphasizes the importance of *turning it over.* Otherwise it is basically ego, individual identity. Nothing wrong with that, per se, except it is obviously limited. --Abd (talk) 15:13, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

You have to have someone to turn it over to, before you can relinquish ownership. Often, there is no one who wants that job; it doesn't pay well, and there are financial, technical, and other responsibilities involved in keeping the site running, as well as a time commitment. A lot of people just aren't up to it. During the April 2010 dispute on Libertapedia, when people were threatening to walk out, I offered to turn over the reins to any willing party, and none were interested.
If there's nothing backing up a wiki but an individual, then it dies as soon as he stops paying the bills. If there's an organization backing the wiki, then they may keep paying the bills, but leave the wiki without anyone at the helm. VjWiki might be an example of that. Leucosticte (talk) 15:32, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
If there is nobody to turn it over to, and if the goal was to build a community project, it failed. It may have been useful for a while. But useful for what? Some wikis became highly useful for wasting time battling spam, with owners not knowing how to handle it, or not having adequate support. See MeatballWiki, a major example. Apparently domain registration and hosting is still being paid. Then it won't be, and what people built may disappear. Ultimately, that happens to all we do; however.... --Abd (talk) 15:42, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
A lot of organizations are the same way. How many rely on a key person, such as an indefatigable activist-spokesperson-organizer, and will fold if he gets hit by a bus? They may have a lot of people willing to serve in minor roles, but none are able and willing to step up to the top post and devote themselves to it the way he did. Those organizers succeeded in building a community of people involved in small ways, but did not succeed in grooming successors for themselves, and so when they died, so did the organization. WikiIndex doesn't even have a successor to Sean, in terms of someone willing to be such an active sysop; and that's an easier job than site owner. Leucosticte (talk) 15:51, 24 December 2014 (UTC)