Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/January 2010

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Happy New Year

I want to wish everyone and their families, friends, and associates an excellent new year. I am speaking from the North Eastern US, but I assume that the new year is very much the same around the world; it is a time of renewal, reinforcement, commitment, and, well, improved navigation.

The last decade, the beginning of the new millennium, was an extremely difficult time for the Information Society, at least in my region. In September of 2001, our Information Society "head quarters," so to speak, was struck by the most concentrated violence in human history, essentially ending, at least for us, the most incredible growth spurt of the Information Society: the development of the Internet as the core of human communication with the invention of the WWW.

The last decade has been introspective; most people I know have been searching for answers, wondering what went wrong when things seemed so right. Now, exactly ten years out of synchronicity, we are finally empowered with the properly constructed knowledge that will enable us to help adjust humanity's future history for its journey through the Twenty-First Century.

Unquestionably, completely open and freely available information systems are key to us, as the words free and open describe this very system that we work and live in. I believe that they will be key to humanity's path into the future, and that the work we are doing here is blazing that path.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 14:32, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Happy New Year to all Wikiversitians! Historybuff 20:27, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Happy New Year to all! One of my (many) New Year's resolutions: Let's continue to improve Wikiversity and make it an exciting and useful community for learners! :) --Trinity507 05:36, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Testing Memorize extension

Hi to all,

I would like to announce you that Czech Wikiversity community is testing extension Memorize. It is good for students, who need to memorize vocabulary or images of plants/seeds/animals whatever.

I have prepared also a short page in English, where other members of the Wikiversity community can test it: [1]. Please feel free to register and experiment. You can also write more English documentation there or create versions in other languages. Do not forget to leave your impressions and advices in the appropriate discussion page, that we'll have some feedback.

The schedule for the Czech community is as follows:

  • collect comments and advices from students using it (we can compare it cross different languages)
  • extension modification and possible spin offs/extension versions (JavaScript expert needed - can you help us?)
  • translation (now the extension is in English, once it will be agreed by community and adjusted by JavaScript expert it can be translated to other languages)
  • license guidance and possible negotiations (the copy I had is released under GNU, unfortunately recently it become unstable one wikimedia.org, because of its release status. see: mw:Extension:Memorize)
  • open a bug in bugzilla to enable Memorize on cs.wikiversity.org

I think, we can do this in one month.

On the end I would like to say, that I am not happy, I should control whats going on on my wiki. Even this wiki is not designed to test wikiversity extensions. So I would like to ask you to support our efforts to refresh Sandbox Server, where this development can be also done as other useful things: Sandbox Server. --Juan de Vojníkov 19:15, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Juan,
One of the motivations for the Sandbox Server was to find ways to "try stuff" that wasn't allowed under the current setup.
While I do understand that the community that is adding content to a wiki doesn't have final say in how it is administered ("I should control [...] my wiki"), we have to understand too that the resources are shared and that because there are quite a number of wikis, it makes it unfeasible to allow any semi-tested software on which could cause issues with other wikis.
I've expressed my support for the Sandbox server before, and I will continue to do so. I originally thought that showing it was useful would be motivation to have Wikimedia take it over -- but it looks like there is more political wrangling that needs to be done to accomplish this.
Do you have a list of "things the Sandbox server will do" that we could lobby with? Historybuff 00:03, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure, if I understand you well, but the needs are listed at Wikiversity Beta. I thought that there could be both projects. Those, where more users will use one MediaWiki and Moodle, but also those, where one participant, will have an access to a part of the server, where he/she/it could experiment with software.--Juan de Vojníkov 10:15, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Blog/Newsletter?

I feel like a bit of an idiot not knowing this, but does Wikiversity have any kind of regularly updated blog or newsletter involving articles about learning projects, ways to get involved, etc.? This would be one of my realms of expertise. I think it would be a lot of fun to put together if none exists and a way to both allow the existing WV community to interact with other members more, and to bring new visitors to the site into the fold more quickly and more painlessly, so that they could get a better intro to what our site is about. Trinity507 05:46, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

If you will study Czech, you can read my block than: cs:Uživatel:Juan de Vojníkov/Blog. There are many Wikiversity related topics. Topics from Czech Wikiversity. Time by time we write a report in English: betawikiversity:Wikiversity:Reports/En. But in general as I know nothing like that. There were some blogs of different users as I know, but I would say they are out of date. Do you want links instead?--Juan de Vojníkov 23:06, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
I like to volunteer for that.Daanschr 18:01, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think there is anything too formal right now -- featured items and such are the main ways of knowing what's great, and "recent changes" can tell you what new or exciting. I know there was a Wikipedia newsletter which was somewhat regular -- if we do get something going, it might be good to have one of the columns sent over there too. Historybuff 23:57, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think that there will be a very few people at the time, who know what is inside the Wikiversity and what is going on. Before, I found cs.wv, I knew, but now - pfff!--Juan de Vojníkov 23:06, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Sandboxes

Is there a type of page that is not "crawled" by search engines through, say, entries in robots.txt? I might (or probably will) do critical writing that I don't want the world to see until I have fully edited it. My option is to install a wiki on my web site with a password, but that would discourage critical inquiry into my critical inquiry... --JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 15:31, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

You can add __NOINDEX__ to any page to make search engines like Google not index the page. -- darklama  16:48, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
ty--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 16:55, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Other option is to install Wiki to a USB sitck, so you can edit it in very similar environment, but offline. --Gbaor 17:50, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
"...that I don't want the world to see until I have fully edited it." <- publishing some text and releasing it under the GFDL is mutually incompatible with this statement. If you really don't want the world to see (and edit) the text you should think twice about hosting it on a public server that is open to all. WMF projects are built on the founding principle of collaborative editing and sharing contributions so that they may be reused. That is the reason why the statement "If you do not want your writing to be edited and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here." appears every time you click an edit tab. -mikeu

strategy.wikimedia.org

I wanted to ask for members of Wikiversity to take a look at strategy.wikimedia.org. Right now, there are many plans and discussions that involve academia, academics, and the university environment. Our project at Wikiversity caters to various academics and teachers and tries to support them in their use of Wikis to further their role as educators. I was hoping that many here could contribute and share their experiences (pros and cons) to help with development of the various projects as a whole. I believe the future of the WMF projects is in the education environment and we are definitely key to achieving that goal. If anyone wants to individually contact the various teachers using our project, that would be helpful. :) An example of topics at strategy.wikimedia.org to pay attention to are [2] or [3]. Ottava Rima (talk) 00:37, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2010: Call for Proposals

~~ Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2010: Call for Proposals ~~

* where: London, UK
* when: Saturday 24th April, 2010
* www: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/
* last year: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/2009/
* cfp: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/cfp/ (deadline: Jan 31st 2010)
* hashtag: #okcon2010
    • Introduction

OKCon, now in its fifth year, is the interdisciplinary conference that brings together individuals from across the open knowledge spectrum for a day of presentations and workshops.

      • Culture and Education
* Open educational tools and resources
* Business models for open content
* Incentive and rewards open-knowledge contributors
* Open textbooks
* Public domain digitisation initiatives

This is just a snippet -- I thought this might be of interest to some. Historybuff 19:20, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Might be interesting, hope next year will have some investments to travel more. Thanks Histo:-)--Juan de Vojníkov 21:55, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

"Ali" in Iraq

--213.89.224.57 20:13, 25 January 2010 (UTC) Does anyone know how many percent is called Ali in Iraq? Please if u know the answer, write it, because I REALLY want to know...

This isn't the right place for this kind of general knowledge question. The Help Desk is the right place. However, in this case, I doubt if they will be able to answer. I looked for an Iraq phone book, but couldn't find one. You might want to ask an Iraqi, if you know one. Just off the top of my head, though, I can only name one, W:Chemical Ali, so it's not likely to be all that high of a percentage. W:Ali_(name) lists many famous people named Ali, but only Chemical Ali is Iraqi, as far as I can tell. StuRat 01:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Redirect WV to Wikiversity space

I propose that the WV prefix redirect to the Wikiversity namespace. This will help in navigation and creation of redirects (if required). Regards, Pmlineditor 11:32, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Support. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:54, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Seeing that no one else commented and that one week has gone, bug filed. Pmlineditor  14:14, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

iPad -- does it have any upside to education?

[This article] argues that the iPad has dissapointed the eLearning industry. This is a commercial perspective, but would such a device have any worth in Learning?

One interesting point that they make is that the iPad has no Flash support, and that makes it less attractive. Personally, while I've seen some well executed Flash, there is lots of flash that is poorly done or just fluff. Does eLearning really need Flash to reach it's goals? Historybuff 18:04, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, if textbooks and literature can be displayed on it, that would make it of some value. Printed textbooks are a problem due to their expense and weight. The iPad, like the Kindle, could certainly help with the weight issue and perhaps reduce the expense a bit. A bonus is that it's good for the environment to toss out one iPad every few years instead of a few dozen books. Of course, eventually students may all just carry a notebook computer, or at least a netbook, which would make the iPad redundant. Thus it's only advantage would be in having a price point below those items. StuRat 14:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Its just a tablet, so I don't really see what is so big or new (we've had them for many, many years). By the way, books tend not to strain the eyes as much as computers do, and computers have been known to have ill effects on the brain, so the old fashion way is always superior. :) Ottava Rima (talk) 16:18, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm not particularly informed about the iPad, but since/if (?) it has internet access, we might want to be aware how WV pages will appear on the iPad...though on devices like the iTouch and iPhone it's probably more important, since there's more reformatting involved. Just a thought. --Trinity507 21:46, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikiversity:Original research

Dear all! As we all know, one of the "advantages" on WV is, that it accepts original research - as we keep saying all the time. The other fact is, that the policy itself is not official! I think it is about time to change it. After the rollback policy discussion some time ago nothing happened in this field... Please read through the proposed policy, and discuss/vote on its talk page. Any suggestions welcomed! --Gbaor 09:07, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I think there are several problems with this.
  1. English Wikiversity has several overlapping proposals that I think should be merged
  2. Some English Wikiversity's proposals are intended as a guideline and others as a policy. So to what extent any statements should/must be followed seems undecided
  3. These English Wikiversity proposals seem to be dated and as is might be of historical value so should be preserved yet need to be updated as well.
  4. Research guidelines that are suppose to apply to all Wikiversity projects, including English Wikiversity, already exists at Beta Wikiversity.
-- darklama  14:22, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Some good points!
1+2 This needs to be clarified. Which overlapping proposals you have in mind?
3 I am not sure about the historical value of a page in this particular case, because this can be traced down via page history itself (for example this was the first edit on the Colloquium). The pages has to be up to date for policies and guidelines, according to me.
4 Now this is interesting, we can definitely use it. Just don't know if we have to transwiki it, or a copy paste is sufficient? --Gbaor 16:09, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I started Wikiversity:Research process yesterday to address the overlapping proposals, and to provide a fresh start. You can find some of the proposals in Category:Research policy proposals and others in Category:Research. There may be even more uncategorized.
I don't think there is a need to transwiki the research guidelines from Beta Wikiversity. Links to the guidelines as is already done should be sufficient. -- darklama  17:03, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
OK then... First I thought that it could be confusing for the reader, when reading about the original research at WV and to have the research guidelines on an another site (BetaWV in this case). But if we clarify this, as you said above ("that are suppose to apply to all Wikiversity projects, including English Wikiversity") it should be sufficient. --Gbaor 12:40, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Original research: Where to start?

Hi all, is there any page (that I would have then missed unfortunately) playing the 'role' of Postgraduate Coordinator of the Faculty of Research?
To answer questions like: I have a project of research (cross-diciplinary in my case) and I already hold a reasonnable level/experience in research (as well as using Wiki editors), where (which school, etc) do I start? -- Silwilhith 23:54, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Hi! Feel free to contribute any kind of original research to WV. The best is to place it to the main namespace (without any prefix), and link it to WV pages and external sites. Don't forget to categorize it as well, even with multiple categories - as you see fit. The details around original research are under discussion, you are welcomed there as well. --Gbaor 12:09, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Major issues with all of this

I might want to express here that because I am largely inline with humanists such Carl Rogers, Ruth Benedict, Bucky Fuller, and Joel Spring, I see the majority of what is written about socio- and psychology on the WP to be nearly purely dominated by the "other team" which includes Ann Rand, BF Skinner, and even Aaron Beck.

Beck, for instance, admits in his writing that he creates in his patients false cognitions that he believes will benefit them--in other words, he lies to his patients. Well, if someone admits to lying, I just won't believe them, their data, their meta-data, or their conclusions even if their name is Aaron Beck. And I will doubt information presented that extends their information. (As it happens, I do use Beck's material often, but not always in ways he meant it to be used!)

Just as an example concerning psychology, with the discovery of the empathic neurons in 1999-2000, nearly all of previously held psychology can be tossed into the trash, yet it survives in the wikimedia.

So, rather than attempt to set the WP straight, I work here where I so far have been able to implement models that are in many ways no different than business models. In a model (as opposed to a hypothesis) there is only one question concerning the contributing information: "is the model on the money; does the model's use produce benefits?" If the model is not producing beneficial results, then it gets adjusted until it does. Or it gets scrapped (when the investors have had enough).

There are people in the wikimedia empire, which includes the wv, that are so NOT "on the money" that I have to question their mental health. Some editors so obviously have thinking disorders that there is absolutely no way they can model everyday life, let alone Science! I definitely don't want people who are so clueless touching my material. If they do, I am gone; I don't see how I construct genuine critical knowledge if I am being attacked with misconceptions, citable or not.

Focusing on the guidelines themselves, two very wiki words come to mind: stink and creep. It is nascent yet already bloated; and it has so many caveats that I believe it has creeped, or crept, to the point where it already can be used as a weapon to attack OR.

In other writing, I have suggested two levels of standards: one for research, and one for dissemination. These standards may apply to dissemination, or publishing, as a form of certification, especially if wv material is cited by the WP. In other words, in my idea, a document's editors, or "owners" (to borrow from open source), would determine when they think peer review should be applied to certify the material for citation by the WV. But until that time, freedom of expressive thought, be it right or wrong, is protected. It is hands-off for the sharks.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 00:13, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

In order to "protect" the pages you create, you can use the Page protection templates or write a similar note to the top of the page. This way everybody will know, that you don't want anybody else to change anything there. --Gbaor 17:07, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, that solves part of the problem, but it also discorages people who might make contributions in line with my research. I have been avoiding the issue because it appears that I will be in opposition to the majority, but I will be brave!--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 22:25, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Biblical Studies and bias

I came across Biblical Studies (NT)/I. AUTHORSHIP AND HISTORICAL SETTING, and was shocked to see it representative of a very conservative Christian POV (i.e. the majority of mainstream scholars date the gospels to 70-100, while this 'course' dates them all pre-70, and states traditional apostolic authorship, where most scholars do not believe the gospels were written by apostles or eyewitnesses to Jesus' ministry, etc). I've done a lot of work on the wikipedia gospel articles in the past, and am quite familiar with the literature, so it was surprising to see these views here that are basically only found in conservative bible commentaries, not college level text-books. So is this normal for Wikiversity, or is it problematic (excuse me for being a newbie), and is there anything I can do to help? Oddly enough, the header at Biblical Studies reads Due to the diverse nature of Wikiversity's participants, these lessons should remain free of personal or sectarian bias, and be as objective as humanly possible., yet this simply is not the case for the subpage content. -Andrew c 01:05, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually, mainstream scholars date Mark to the 40s, Matthew and Luke to 50-60, and John to around 70. This isn't a conservative estimate, but based on information that would have come directly from Paul and tracing his availability and influence in various areas. There are other historical factors that allowed for the dating. This dates have been unchallenged for quite a long time in mainstream theological and archaeological circles. Your challenge to them is rather strange. Ottava Rima (talk) 04:06, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I see the problem now. The Wiki articles do not use authority and mainstream academic publications. I guess its a bias of our times to go after slick published works and flimsy websites instead of works by people with strong backgrounds and reputations. Its a shame that the page is filled with pseudo-speculation on "secret" interpretations of words from bad translations. Ottava Rima (talk) 04:11, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I am really confused by your comments (ha, it makes me question everything I've read and learned on this topic). What are you sources? I thought I was quite familiar with the mainstream literature. The likes of Raymond E. Brown, Bart D. Ehrman, Stephen Harris, you know people that write college textbooks on the New Testament. Raymond Brown is on the conservative side of things, and a Catholic priest, while Bart D. Ehrman is a bit more liberal and was the Chair of the Religious Studies department at UNC. And these are the guys writing stuff like "Therefore, there is wide scholarly agreement that Mark was written in the late 60s or just after 70." So with my sources in my hand, you telling me "your challenge to them is rather strange", I have to say the exact same thing to you, ha! I must disagree with your assessment, The Wiki articles do not use authority and mainstream academic publications. -Andrew c 19:31, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
My sources were various works I read when studying the Bible as part of my classics degree. I also read it in both Greek and Latin, and how it was interpreted in early Christian works. The school I received my MA in classics was not religious nor affiliated with any religion, and was one of the oldest secular schools in the US. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:38, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
By the way "college text books on the new testament" - textbooks are not authoritative, and rarely do they have any in-depth information. Most of them also tend to have major problems. A textbook on the New Testament would be in such a low, non-in-demand area that it would be even more prone to problems. There are many, many major journals that deal with the issue. That is where the real information is. By the way, your statement about Ehrman about a book like The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture is rather silly, especially how it has been condemned as academically corrupt by many people. Now, lets look at the Brown claim. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary has, on page 164, the end of Carroll Stuhlmueller's essay "The Gospel According to Luke". So, we already have one factual inaccuracy. The essay on Mark is by Edward Mally. It is, unsurprisingly, at the beginning of the volume starting with page 21. The essay uses biblical evidence to state defend the early Church's attribution of the work to John Mark, of Acts of the Apostles and friend of Paul as mentioned in Col 4:10. The work then says tradition attributed the publishing of the work to just after Peter's death in 64 AD. It then says "Accordingly, Mk is commonly dated between AD 65 and 70". This would mean that the Wiki citation is a direct fraud. As a furthernote, the section tries to claim it was based on Matthew, whereas the Jerome makes it clear Matthew was based on it. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:02, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
"textbooks are not authoritative". Excuse my ignorance. I though college level texts would go hand in hand with "Wikiversity". But I guess I have a lot to learn. It sounds like you are trying to pick a fight or something. Not a great introduction to Wikiversity for sure. If you have issues with the Wikipedia articles, I encourage you to post come criticisms on the corresponding talk pages, or jump right in with your apparent expertise. The last half of your post doesn't make sense to me, and I don't want to engage you further in that capacity. I bid you well. -Andrew c 23:23, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
A textbook tends to be a summation of thousands of different topics. It would be impossible for the editors of a textbook to be an expert on every little matter and know ever major theory and thought in them. They are not to be used for expertise and cannot replace critical books and critical articles on the matter. And the last half of my post doesn't make sense? I quoted directly proof that the Wikipedia article is factually incorrect and uses a reference that doesn't even come close to saying what the article claims. You are here bashing one of our authors based on a source of information that isn't even close to academic. That is extremely rude and improper. Ottava Rima (talk) 00:35, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
My apologies for Ottava Rima, it sounds to me like he is trying to pick a fight, too (but, hopefully, this isn't actually the case). As for using textbooks as a source, I'd certainly have more faith in college-level texts than those for lower levels. However, good textbooks will list their sources, so I'd then track those down and use them as references here. StuRat 00:41, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Quite the opposite, StuRat. If you look at his global contribs, you will notice that he has come from Wikipedia after expressing a strong POV there. He has also made claims about works like the Jerome Biblical Commentary and referred to it as by "Raymond Brown", who is merely an editor. Those familiar with the work would know that it contains individual articles by individual authors and would have referred to each on their own. This is one of several problems. He has contributed nothing except this line of commentary. It is safe to say that of the work, Edward Mally (of Jerome) states that the work contains passages that would place it between 65-70, but this allows for it to be written and revised over many years. Likewise, it also places Matthew and Luke after (according to John McKenzie and Carroll Stuhlmueller of their individual sections) and allows for them to be pre-70 AD. This is not represented on Wikipedia, even though this same book is used to make a claim of post 70 AD and also that Matthew came before Mark. That would mean that the discussions, partly joined by Andrew c, are claiming to have authority with this volume yet do not say anything close to what the volume actually says. I find such matter distasteful. I will not pursue the matter any further. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:15, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Just to clear things up, as you apparently are confused, the quote in my post above, from Raymond Brown, regarding the wide scholarly agreement is on page 164 of An Introduction to the New Testament ISBN 0-385-24767-2. I can see how the footnote in the Wikipedia Gospel of Mark article was confusing, so I fixed that, but it took me a minute to figure out you were referencing that in the first place, as I was talking about the texts I have sitting on my desk (by Brown and Ehrman), not the Wikipedia articles, nor the Jerome Biblical Commentary, nor McKenzie, nor Stuhlmueller. You are going on and on nitpicking some text that I never brought up, nor own. I'm glad you take issues with it, and have associated it with me, but you are mistaken, and I will not be drawn into such a debate further (I just wanted to post to try to clear things up). -Andrew c 04:36, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
"The other end of the spectrum is more problematic, for there is no way of knowing with certainty how early Mark was written." p. 164 in An Introduction to the New Testament. "This remains true depsite the claim of J. O'Callaghan in 1972 to have found a few words of Mark 6:52-53 on a Qumran (DSS) Greek papyrus fragment (7Q5) that paleographically has been dated between 50 BC and AD 50 (give or take twenty-five years). Such identification might imply that the Gospel was in circulation a decade or more before the destruction of the Qumran community in 68. " Furthermore, the quote actually is "Therefore, there is wide scholarly agreement that Mark was written in the late 60s or just after 70."
What I need to know from you, Andrew, is if you are here to cause disruption (as you blatantly misconstrued the quote in a highly inappropriate manner to skew it towards your own POV) or if you are here to actually benefit the community. Since the above quote does not match what you claim the work actually said, and left a lot out, I will ask you to stop this immediately. If you want to put up your own project about the New Testament, you are welcome to do so. But I will not appreciate someone coming in here and only contributing attacks on one of our users based on half-truths about what a work does or does not say. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:27, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
You are drawing at straws, and I'll gladly leave you alone. -Andrew c 15:38, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
The page you mentioned seems to have been solely edited by User:Gmasterman (with the exception of someone who added a category to it), so will tend to reflect only his POV or the POV from which he derived his info. He does appear to have been a Wikiversity contributor for a long time, so I don't have any reason to think he's intentionally putting false information out. I suggest you talk with him on his talk page, provide references to support your POV, and hopefully you two can come to an agreement on what the article should say. One suggestion is to include both POVs. StuRat 04:17, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. Excuse my ignorance. I was just unsure of the workings of Wikiversity and basic policies and dispute resolution here and so forth. Still is a bit overwhelming, but contacting the contributor would be a good start, thanks! -Andrew c 19:33, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome. I'm also curious about your usage of the terms "conservative" and "liberal". In the US, they tend to mean Republican and Democrat, but I doubt if you are using them that way. There's also the meaning "sticking with the old ways (or interpretations, in this case)" for conservative and "choosing the new" for liberal. A third meaning could be that "conservative"=religious and "liberal" = secular. A fourth could be "conservative" = "literal interpretation of the Bible" and "liberal" = "purely symbolic interpretation". So, which defs are you using ? StuRat 20:31, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikiversity includes resources for people at any point of their education. Wikiversity is not limited to college or university level materials. Works are allowed to be biased. If works are intended to be biased they should clearly disclose the intended bias. Multiple works on the same subject can coexist on Wikiversity. I think what the views are, what is agreed on, what is disagreed on, and the fact there are agreements and disagreements should all be included in this work since the work clearly discloses the intent to be objective. That way people can independently come to their own conclusions without being lead. As for dispute resolution, I suggest looking for common ground and what you do agree with first, and work from there. If collaborations seem unlikely I suggest starting a separate learning project where your views can be nurtured and grow in peace. -- darklama  16:54, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Darklama says If works are intended to be biased they should clearly disclose the intended bias. People don't generally see their biases as being biased!--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 22:29, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Sometimes they do. For example, there could be a section written "from the biological perspective", and another "from the sociological perspective". StuRat 05:06, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
The WP handles that pretty well wrt Christian history vs belief. (My goal has been to attempt to mash the two within the scope of the early years and the "pre-years.")--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 17:43, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Wait!! I am being agreeable to the point of stupidity. Sociology and Biology are layers in the protocol stack we call the single phenomena of Science. Just as in the network stack, every event strikes on every layer, where every layer is an abstraction of a specific manifestation of the entire phenomena. That no layer resembles any other is not a problem; it is in fact the way a stack is supposed to look. Last year, CQ actually found my writing showing how the layered abstraction of the network model can be helpfully applied to the seemingly opposite science of therapy. He affirmed this graphically by putting Maslow's hierarchy of needs next to the OSI stack on my talk page, and commented "Nice!" It is an amazing comparison.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 14:50, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

My personal experiences with Christianity and the WP

I started going to a small backwoods church three years ago as an offshoot of studying Constructivism; what I found there was a textbook example of exactly how sociologists say healthy human society works. I had previously never described myself as Christian, except in the broadest sense. Christianity as practiced in my church really does bring people together, make them feel good, and help them live longer, happier lives. All these benefits are easily explained in terms of neuroscience or sociology; take your pick.

I attempted to extend the efficacy of the church by researching the original ministry, which was Christ's family; I did this through the WP very quickly without taking notes, and developed a conception that supports the compassion of the church but does not necessarily support top-level conceptions, either religious or historically secular. Furthermore my reading suggests that Christ, a rabbi, may have been extending enlightened Jewish ideas developed shortly before his birth. The mass of WP information seems to support the idea of a family ministry that developed humanist ideas to an extreme using pure faith as a vehicle. I wrote an article from my reading that attempts to advance the hypothesis that early Christian forgiveness for the Roman Centurions may have been a brilliant stratagem that saved the then tiny Christianity to become the World's leading religion.

I found that just doing a high-level scan of generalized information, and absorbing the bits that seem to fit into a reasonable conception of how the early Christians may have lived, I gave myself enough background to be able to reject bits of information that simply did not fit. In time I am going to attempt to glean more bits from the various gospels, both "canonical" and "apocryphal," to show how congregations can succeed in compassionate action in the way that the original ministry did.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 23:05, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Also remember that early Judaism had the seed of "forgiving your oppressors", when the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, as attacking their oppressors would have gotten them all killed. However, once they escaped, they changed philosophy, and in many cases became the oppressors. So, in this sense early Christianity was just a restoration to the values of early Judaism. StuRat 05:03, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
You are quite right (I think), StuRat. The pastor, who is a protege' of Norman Vincent Peale, stresses the Christian modification of the 700+ Jewish laws into two or three Christian laws, or guidelines. Here I am trying to show that by using "the system" to absorb the "big picture," one can sail right past the kinds of misconceptions that have been bedeviling humanity longer than we can imagine. This is something new, what I call the "wiki phenomena." Likewise, I attempted to get a feel for the underlying reasons for the present Middle East conflicts; by following clues in the discussion pages on WP, I really did identify specific issues from thousands of years ago that are still with us--and it would be really nice if we could resolve them in our lifetimes!--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 17:32, 21 February 2010 (UTC)