Talk:Wikimedia Ethics/Introduction

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Sign comments?[edit source]

I'm not sure who's saying what on the content page, and I think it might be better to keep it as a "discussion" for now rather than content, because there are PPOVs (Personal Points Of View) involved.

Response to a comment on my part:

It's not effective in the enforcement of NPOV or civility. Enforcement of civility is seen, paradoxically, is inherently uncivil itself. "How dare you tell me to stop being uncivil?! Who do you think you are?" The consensus (expressed by User:Carcharoth) is to expect that any effort to squelch hurtful words directed at one's peers is likely to provoke more such words directed at the enforcing admin. The current arbcom case involving William Connolley is an example.

I've been involved with moderating civility problems on both Commons and Wikibooks, neither of which has much in the way of a dispute resolution process. I got plenty of arrows in the back, but also support, and in any case they ended well.

Is the problem with how ARBCOM members are chosen? Is it fair to give them so much power? Are their "activity requirements" fair to them? Would it be better to create ad hoc committees for each case? I can't answer any of those questions. --SB_Johnny | talk 17:18, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

The problem is that Wikipedia and ArbCom are operating at Stage 4 of the Kohlberg Ladder, rather than the more functional Stage 5. By adopting the Law and Order Sanctions Regime rather than the Social Contract Model, Wikipedia reprises the dysfunctionality caricatured in Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. René Girard's literary analysis of Dostoevsky's caricature yields this adaptation of Girard's Model to the case of Wikipedia. —Moulton 04:16, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
The rules as written are not at Stage 4 of the Kohlberg Ladder; but it can certainly be argued that the rules as experienced by Moulton are. The implementation of the rules are up to the admins who wish to implement them and we lack an effective way to de-admin admins who misuse their admin powers. WAS 4.250 01:31, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
The rules, as I observed the adversarial editors use them, were invoked as nuclear weapons, in the spirit of Wizard Chess. —Moulton 05:07, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

You can see who said what by using history and diff, but I have no objection to signing.

On another note, Moulton wrote:

  • In the projects that I found most successful, consensus meant no one seriously objected. If there was an objection, the terms of the agreement were tweaked until everyone was nearly equally in favor and no one expressed strong reservations.

At Wikipedia, "consensus" means that a supermajority is empowered to overrule the objections of the minority. For example, in the flagship "evolution" and "intelligent design" articles, POV pushers clearly have control. They make evolution seem unquestionably correct in the eyes of scientists, and even assert that most Americans believe in it (actually, 85% disagree: YEC = 40% and OEC = 45%, only 15% think evolution occurs without God's specific intervention). The position that ID *is* Creationism is likewise endorsed. Even the reason ID theorists say that ID isn't Creationism is suppressed - one editor told me, "If we include his statement, it makes ID look too good."

So the end result is that whatever 15 or 20 guys (and a gal or two) decide to have the encyclopedia say, it's going to say. The dispute resolution process is a joke. I tried it, and it got me put on probation for POV-pushing! This is ironic, as all I wanted is an article that refuses to endorse or condemn any POV. --Ed Poor 20:48, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, consensus has a very different meaning on WM projects (I'm a Quaker, so I'm familiar with it from other contexts). The problem is that it would be very hard to use true consensus in this kind of atmosphere, because all too often neither side is willing to concede, which should be the final step in consensus (i.e., the people on one side simply concede their objections and help the group move forward on whatever was decided). It's definitely an ethical issue, but it's a poser: the kind of connections you have between members of an internet-based community are far different from those found in real world communities (let alone the mystical connection Quakers use). --SB_Johnny | talk 14:41, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I live just a few miles from Walden Pond, where Henry David Thoreau did some serious thinking. One of the things he thought about was something we today call Civil Rights. That's a concept that recognizes that the majority does not have an unalienable right to oppress the minority. One of Thoreau's better known essays is entitled "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience." Even a 13-year old can reason deeply about that idea. —Moulton 21:52, 24 July 2008 (UTC)