Talk:Wikimedia Ethics/Suggested essays

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Not to start a controversy[edit]

...But to start a controversy: is the question of "who founded Wikipedia" that important? How does that change the ethical processes in place now? I personally feel that this is an question which is not central to this discussion, although I may be overlooking something. The Fieryangel 22:32, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

You are overlooking the ethical issues uncovered by anyone who investigates this issue. It's an essay problem. Don't ask me to write the essay for you! The usefulness of investigating this issue is made apparent by the act of investigating it. The point of this exercise is to teach by asking the student dig deep and think deeper. WAS 4.250 05:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I personally have already examined this question and the answers I have found are rather...provocative. I'm all for this remaining, but since I'm playing devil's advocate here and know that this isn't seen as a kosher line of inquiry in certain circles in WP, I thought I'd ask the question. Your response is exactly what mine would have been. Thank you. The Fieryangel 08:25, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
There are a number of delicate ethical issues we need to touch on and methods like this can be useful. I thought about two additional essay questions: 1) how would you change this project? and 2) what is a good way to balance ethics and pragmatism? What do you think? If you like the questions, could you add them please? Thanks. WAS 4.250 08:36, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I do like the questions, but would like to think about and (hopefully) find some source materials which fit into this line of reasoning. I'll put this into the hopper and see what I come up with. The Fieryangel 14:28, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Synthesis of different essays as a means of building "consensus"?[edit]

I am wondering if the different essays might be combined to created a kind of synthesis of expressed ideas, which may or may not express consensus? Would this be useful? This would require different viewpoints, to allow different perspectives, but the process of synthesis might be very interesting.

Another idea that I had was to ask the same people to write the same essay from two different viewpoints, regardless of what one personally believes, to try to see what a NPOV version of such ideas might express.

I'm just brainstorming here. The Fieryangel 12:32, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

A good way to write about some issue from multiple perspectives is to write a dialogue, like the famous one Galileo wrote to compare and contrast two dissimilar world views. Philosopher/Logician Raymond Smullyan does this brilliantly. Daniel Quinn is another exemplary author of the dialogue motif. —Moulton 20:29, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I've been thinking that maybe the subpage listing the essays should say something along those lines. That while others may edit an essay, don't change the viewpoint of an essay too much - if you want a very different POV, just write a different essay. Why don't you come up the actual words to some such effect and add them to the second paragraph of the main essay page? WAS 4.250 19:20, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I've started this. Perhaps others could refine this thinking? The Fieryangel 20:13, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Done. WAS 4.250 20:38, 17 July 2008 (UTC)