Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/January 2011

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Hi, I switched from twitter to Mainly because in one can licence her posts with Creative Commons by 3.0 - in twitter I can't. If someone is there also, please add yourself. Thanks, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 10:06, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Organizational Structure of Pages

I guess I don't understand the structure of Wikiversity. For example, I don't get what the difference is between Topic: and Category:. The best example of the confusion I have is the subject of Fourier analysis. Check out the topic page and the category page. Is that organized right? Let me know so I can contribute well. --Capoeirista.muralha 07:05, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

"Is that organized right?" As with everything: There is no right or wrong. Both have (dis)advantages.
My experience from when I started: Topic/school confused me more than helped me (see also Wikiversity:Vision/2010#Merge_School_and_Topic_namespaces). Category usage was familiar since this was done also on Wikipedia (so other users acting so from Wikipedia or other sister projects could be familiar with that easier).
In the end it is all about: how fast you want others to find the learning resource you created. If something makes for you trouble, what makes you think it won't create trouble also for others? Other hint: using both increases chances that someone may find it :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 09:07, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I guess I was just trying to see if there was a clear organizational structure, like Category > Schools > Topics > ... etc. About the "how fast you want others to find the learning resource you created" thing, creating information on a category and then new information on a topic seems like a great way to confuse general users just browsing. There is also the possibility that some information could be doubled, increasing the chances of confusion. Just my thoughts on the matter. Capoeirista.muralha 14:20, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

courses running/starting in January 2011

Mentorship RfC

An RfC on amending the mentorship process has been proposed. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:24, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

--Minsun 23:19, 15 January 2011 (UTC) interested


Singly the most important thing on the WV is freedom of speech, and this is what distinguishes the WV from the WP. In the WV, it is encased in the concept of original research, or OR. In this context, I am referring to cold fusion (CF, it seems reasonable to assume that energy-hungry humanity would have implemented it decades ago!), but I also want to point to my own research on the WP that has allowed me to provide real insight into the underlying mechanisms of humanity's big problem of hate. Comment added by John Bessa 23:39, 9 January 2011, also the "strategy" below. Note by Abd 16:38, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Strategy for a Contemporary Wikiversity

Having said that, the successful anti-free speech strategy has been to utilize free speech itself as the vehicle for limiting it; this strategy is not only universal, it is so successful that it has consistently installed the non-productive in positions of control over normal productive populations to operate them un-empathically as a single organic mass in every single case--even in revolution! (In keeping with free speech, it is necessary at this point to overtly state that free speech does not include the right to censorship. This has to be stated in this way because censors are unable to view omnidirectionally; they are defective in this way, and, as a result, are pathologically biased and, hence, undesirable here--or anywhere else. If there is information removal, it has to be done by consensus; three un-consensual removals lead to a lifetime ban, with previous bad-will being the enforcer.)

A concrete example

I cannot go forward without a concrete relevant example; I am forced to be critical to be logical. Slogging through the mess of CF, I came across what I have recently identified as the reactionary rebellion within the open forum to dominate the open form (Lewis Mumford's Democratic Technic)for the benefit of elite (Mumford's Authoritarian Technic) or the oligarchy to everyone else: Several of the cold fusion supporters compare themselves to Socrates. Socrates is inseparable from Plato, and Aristotle spills the beans by taking credit for others' work, especially Hippocrates, and then convinces Alexander that non-Greeks are objects like "plants to be cut down." It is impossible to be a humanist and a genocidal racist simultaneously as each requires radically different neural constructs; Aristotle was faking; he was as mentally isolated as Plato was. While their self-comparisons with Socrates and the Platonics may seem narcissistic, it is far more than that, it is clever. By playing the outsider or underdog, they can follow the path of those who established Western Civilization; he is attempting to take the well-trodden revolutionary path to domination. It does not matter if he, himself, believes in CF; his absurdity is his power; if he is challenged he will behave absurdly, precisely as Ayn Rand's characters do in the Fountainhead: her rebel oligarchs who seek to crush the unfeeling, corrupt mass of humanity.

That this strategy should actually work comes as a surprise to the average person as it is so counter-intuitive. Key to understanding this strategy is perceiving of it is a picture within a picture. Athens used a "naval tax" (based on its successful naval defense of Greece) to build the Parthenon, its democratic forum. It implemented (Mumford's) diffuse tribute collection system that Rome would later use to build its Empire. In other words, to build its democracy, Athens had to rip-off Sparta using tribute collection, or taxes, giving the Socratic-Platonic school (or the Academy from which all education descends) the rationale for treachery against the democracy of Athens (that unruly mass!) to, quite significantly and ultimately, create our Western oligarchy on behalf of the Spartan aristocracy. The Confucian structure of Asia must be the same; we specifically know from the Vietnamese revolutions that the exam-filtered Mandarins viewed the normal, productive population as a nameless organic mass to be exploited; normal minds don't think this way, but will have to soon, as time is running out for humanity.

Restoration of humanity

Because Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle gave us such simple structures, each of us intuitively knows what to dismantle. We also know that we as normal people can provide for ourselves all the basics (good-tasting food, attractive clothes, comfortable dwellings, and stimulating entertainment) except one: medicine (or perhaps, Medicine). Socrates' oligarchy has successfully created a monopoly from this, the very thing we need for life, even though the majority of medicines come from the shamans of the forests. Another related important monopoly is Education, which is of course, closely related to Medicine as it controls not only the factual information, but, more importantly, the certification system.

To be able to move past the misnamed "modern" but wholly ancient system, to our also misnamed "post-modern" contemporary system, we have half of what we need: an Education system! From this we can build a Medicine system specifically targeted at the oligarch's core medical monopoly. Also keeping the basics of food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment moving forward in the fashionable post-modern mode of "DIY."

To succeed we have to assure that we do not fall into Socrate's or Rand's "picture within a picture." We need to assure that our rebellion is not an oligarchy in the making bringing us full circle back into the present state of disaster. The solution therefore is not retaliation for all the evils of oligarchy and aristocracy (collectively the elite), but, as we showed this summer at the Rainbow Gathering, to find level-appropriate highly-productive niches for all--especially the mentally ill. This applies especially for the overly intelligent (executive functioning) obsessively-compulsively driven (with broken brain networks), so that they don't attempt to succeed where they cannot by grabbing power because they cannot collaborate and hence be normally productive.


This therapeutic solution has a problem; because available production positions are diminishing as a result of oligarchic expansion, there are fewer and fewer available productive niches for the defective oligarchs. Such positions were increasing through the 1950s and 60s, but the growth of the elite and guardian structures has shrunk the productive layer until finally it was shipped out of the country. We though we had a solution by implementing (this) information technology; but the oligarchy cleverly reversed this effort to create productive positions in the US, the "new economy," by handing information technology over to an especially hateful uber cast on the opposite side of the planet--possibly deliberately to halt this path to productivity for the defective oligarchs. They, the oligarchs, understand their minds far better than we, the mass of normal people, ever will; they will always be a step ahead of our normal attempts at therapy, as it is their disease that we seek to cure, and especially because we are forced to practice within their maze-like structure.

What we have to understand is that people don't deliberately do bad things, they lack the ability to function at the top levels that wholly natural organisms do. They synthesize as Plato did rather than organize as normal people do. Evolution shows us that each organism operates at its full capacity; any mutations will result in an inability to pass along mutant genes, and also probably death. We in society can prevent these unfortunate deaths, typically from starvation, but we tend to allow the mutations to reproduce, creating a humanity that may be as much as 20 or 30 percent defective, especially in terms of emotional communication and brain networks. This kindness has to continue and increase, but the mutant reproduction must stop. As Jon Scot showed us, "evil" is not so much evil as an absence of "good." People can only function within the scope of their abilities; the high-intelligent whose executive are cut off from their lower ancient empathic constructs because of damaged neural pathways really need to live within their emotionally limited scope, as otherwise they will hurt the normally functioning majority.

In other words, the therapeutic strategy is that nobody gets hurt. But finding productive niches for the compulsively-driven will prove problematic as production in the West has been halted and handed over to ill-prepared agrarians in Asia (who don't as of yet understand the concepts of critical inquiry into the morality of production) by the compulsively-driven. This creates a possibly insurmountable problem that reminds me of violent revolution: struggle for the means of production. I cannot imagine a solution that is non-violent as every attempt at non-violence in the global arena has met with violence from the globalist guardians through swat teams, billy clubs, arrests, and tear gas; and reverse violence from the rear by violent so-called anarchists who are merely terrorist egotists, and in my experience, fascistic themselves.The above added by John Bessa 23:39, 9 January 2011. Note by Abd 16:36, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Allow/encourage use of Talk pages for non-maintenance discussion?

I posted this proposal on Wikipedia's Village Pump, and was told it may be of merit here. I've linked instead of copying the content to prevent fracturing the discussion. You can find it here: Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Allow/encourage use of Talk pages for non-maintenance discussion? 00:20, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

You are welcome to create a discussion of a wikipedia article here at wikiversity and invite anyone to participate. If you would like help starting this, just ask. --mikeu talk 00:45, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Is there a particular namespace/organisational structure/policy for this? I feel it would be better organised if it was at Wikipedia (and so could be `attached' to an article in the same way Talk pages are), but it makes more sense to have it on Wikiversity (as it has significant teaching potential, especially for philosophy). 01:07, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
You may be interested also in: Portal:Reading groups, Category:Wikipedia, Category:Wikimedia (see also WM/WP Studies in there). In regards to policies: depends what you actually do then, see more at Wikiversity:Policies.
I'd forget the concept of talk pages then actually. You can reference the content or copy paste the section you are talking to here (since you need it for discussion). I'm not sure how much pages you are going to "talk" about, but I'd start slow + see how it develops. Page titles can always be moved to another name. You could make a general page where you detail first what you are planning to do (e.g. in Portal:Reading groups). And then there list the specific page of interest for the moment. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 09:05, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Discussions aimed at teaching and learning about a topic can happen in talk pages AND in resource space ("article" space in WP terms). There is no specific structure or policy for this that I can think of. Seminars, lectures, speeches, learning through interaction, etc. are just part of Wikiversity's scope. -- darklama  11:05, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
You might want to look at the Village Pump again for my latest reply. Basically, this fixes one half of the problem (and is a good idea which I look forward to contributing to, thank you). We have a link allowing knowledge from Wikipedia to filter down to Wikiversity, where it can be discussed and expanded upon, but we have no link back up, where this new knowledge can be put back into Wikipedia articles. 12:50, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
We have no "knowledge-vetting" process. We can create resources that explore a topic, that collect and organize evidence, etc., and so we can develop, here, in theory, deep consensus. But this isn't and can't be a source for Wikipedia unless we develop some peer-review process equivalent to what is done with academic publishers, or at least some process that takes equivalent care to ordinary reliable source publishers. However, we can, also in theory, link to Wikiversity resources from Wikipedia articles, there is a template for that, and a guideline. It should be okay whenever the resource might be of interest to readers. In fact, I've seen the templates removed on the arguments that the resources aren't reliable, or are "self-published," or the like. Wikiversitans should resist this. Wikiversity is covered by WMF neutrality policy, and it's an open wiki. This is precisely a place where topics can be discussed, and connecting this discussions with the Wikipedia articles that they relate to is precisely the solution to the issue raised here, where to discuss topics. The only caveat is that our discussions should be aimed toward developing educational resources, and we should put increasing effort into organizing discussions so that they do that. This will require a lot of work.... but it is where I see Wikiversity going, as to large-scale activity. --Abd 15:09, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
see also Wikiversity:Review board + Wikiversity:Peer review, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat 15:35, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
See w:Template:Wikiversity, which you can add to the article under "external links", "see also", or wherever the other interwiki templates are slapped in. --SB_Johnny talk 15:11, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
(adding after edit conflict:) The interwiki (aka "sister project") templates don't follow the same rules as other external links, so if they're being removed as self-published or unreliable, they should be put back in. --SB_Johnny talk 15:14, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the guidelines for other external links are similar, the basic rule is usefulness to the reader, but these are frequently removed on the claim that a web site is "biased." Biased against the point of view of the one removing, of course. It's preposterous, an article on a political party would surely give a link to an official web site for the party, which will surely be biased, and if there is some significant critical site, that should be there too. Where there is a controversy, there should be a few links to the best web sites exposing, collectively, the dimensions and details of the controversy. Of course, in my case, I was talking about w:Cold fusion, though I've seen similar action with other articles (but not about interwiki links, just about external ones). I'm COI on cold fusion, and I was following COI rules, which would ordinarily prohibit me from making a controversial edit. I didn't expect it to be controversial!
In this situation, I went through a whole successful ArbComm case to establish the right to link to, the best "library" of papers on cold fusion, and the most complete bibliography, run by experts, and, in fact, neutral as to inclusion in the bibliography, as to inclusion policy, and only "biased," perhaps, in some site commentary. But that site had been abusively blacklisted, and it took until a few months ago to get the last trace of this, the global blacklisting at meta, removed, and I was again topic-banned on Wikipedia on the basis of that (successful!) delisting request. On meta. Too many words for the admin, apparently, blew his fuses. Citations and links are still being removed from w:Cold fusion on the basis of some alleged site bias, see this, accompanied with an argument that has been rejected every time it was considered, by consensus, and this (for a site that was hosting a copy of the Houston Chronicle article under "fair use." But the fair use rationale wasn't cited, and the citation wasn't edited to point to the original.) The reference to a statement in the article was mangled by this, still is. In spite of not making any controversial edits to Cold fusion for much more than a year, I'm still being blamed for any alleged defects in the article. This is the same stuff that I took to ArbComm, and the same admin, but, without going through a whole pile of nuisance to appeal to ArbComm, I can't personally do anything about it, not even to point it out on-wiki, due to the renewed topic ban.... In any case, the WV interwiki link is of specific interest here, and Barry's participation in Cold fusion is, hopefully, providing some balance, and I'm seeking more participation, including from other skeptics. There is a lot of work to do, and I find the WV environment far more congenial and ultimately more efficient. Work isn't wasted here, it builds resources, it doesn't just push the boulder up the hill so that we can watch it roll back down. Wikiversity resources could, in general, become deep resources, taking encyclopedic entries into full coverage, in an environment free of arbitrary restrictions that may be appropriate for an encyclopedia, but no university professor -- or student -- would consider himself or herself restricted in that way. Controversial positions can be presented and argued in detail, in a university environment. And expertise is respected, even if the views held by the expert are idiosyncratic, "fringe," or alleged to be so. --Abd 17:39, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

So, just to be clear, it would be OK for me to start a page here for a free academic discussion about, say, The effect of stress on oligodendrocyte myelin production? It wouldn't need to be oriented toward constructing a course module, article or the like? Anthonyhcole 01:08, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Sure, give it a shot. --SB_Johnny talk 12:30, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, it's just my model, but you might look at what I'm doing with Cold fusion. There is a top-level resource page which organizes and links to various resources. Part of that page is an article, but the article might become a very brief summary at the top, with more detailed subpages covering various topics in detail. These might be like lectures in a course series. Then there are seminars, which are discussion groups (or maybe just one person writing something on the specific seminar topic, which is then open for discussion, subpage research papers and reports, etc.) If you want to have an academic discussion, it could be organized as a seminar. My goal with the cold fusion resources is to create educational resources from discussion and subpages, refactoring it all. Raw discussion tends to produce a lot of noise (right now, discussion is hot on cold fusion with myself and another here, so it's quite a mess, but it shouldn't stay that way). Discussion, as such, can take place on Talk pages attached to resource pages, and as you find consensus, you can put that on the resource page, or, at least, document various points of view.
We are quite unlike Wikipedia. We can discuss the subject, just as students in a seminar can discuss the subject, or experts (and students) may hold a colloquium or produce a conference report, etc. I suggest aiming for more than simple discussion; the raw discussion can be preserved at a lower level: think of future generations and build something. Use subpages liberally, it keeps the work connected. However, my standard for a top-level resource would be whether or not a university would have a course with that topic. But, then, we can break courses down into seminars that can get very, very specific.
To be very specific myself, if all you do is just start discussing, it may not be thought of as an educational resource. But it only takes some sketchy superstructure to place a page like you describe into an oeverall educational context. And building that, for those who are interested in "oligodencrocyte myelin production", can build community, should be very simple for those who know the topic (sourcing is not necessarily required!) and should bring, possibly, more focus to the discussion. The discussion can, indeed, be of the topic, rather than just about the content to go in an "article." We are about research and study here, in my opinion, not about creating articles, though we may create articles as part of our process. --Abd 05:18, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with Caprice. Mining the educational material will take work, but the results will be, I believe, worthy of the effort. These discussions get hot because the real-world conflicts are hot, with sometimes bitterly divided factions. At least we are talking! And the discussions delve into evidence and sometimes subtle and difficult-to-follow arguments, or arguments that require an established body of knowledge to understand, but, believe it or not, there are agreements appearing along the way. Besides, we are getting some Moar Atrocious Song Parodies. --Abd 20:57, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I reckon we are in for a long spell of Moar Atrocious Song Parodies in the days ahead. One doesn't need a Ph.D. in Electrochemistry to understand the hydrodynamics of pee, sweat, and effervescence. Finding the next round of metaphors will not be quite so easy. The next round will depend on incredulous stories told by bards who neither sing nor dance. Detecting the emotional modulation in their narratives will be harder than measuring the mass of Phlogiston. —Caprice 08:25, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. Anthonyhcole 10:09, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
  • You are more than welcome, Anthony. I hope you learned what you were questing for. —Caprice 19:19, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikimedia penetration

Some figure on penetration (mainly Wikipedia, but also sister projects e.g. Wikiversity are mentioned at bottom), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat 18:44, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

  • I'll just point out that, here in the US, today is Martin Luther King Day. Let us solemnly recall his greatest speech. —Caprice 01:09, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Stewards and Global Sysops

Because of a lack of activity in patrolling vandalism, global sysops and stewards have been doing quite a bit of that lately. As such, those like Wutsje, Mercy, and the rest are making good reverts or tagging pages, but the tagged pages just clog the CSD as we have many admin on file but very few are willing to devote the time to regularly monitoring such.

I think we should allow the global sysops and stewards to be able to process the CSDs themselves. Global sysops are normally automatically part of a community if there are fewer than 3 admin making admin logged actions, which we are borderline. They are also extremely easy to remove. You will recognize that one of them, Pmlineditor, is an admin here already. They are also provided a bot that gives them what edits are potential vandalism and should be dealt with, and they normally only work on such items. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:14, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

I'd prefer to see this request come from a global sysop! It's not an issue with pmlineditor, of course. I've been working on CSD, and there are problems in allowing global sysops who may not be familiar with our policies to process them. They will get it right most of the time, though, it is the exceptions that worry me. With clear vandalism, and clear spam -- much clearer than passes for spam detection on Wikipedia -- it should be fine. Otherwise, a global sysop may tag a page with CSD. And when there is a serious backlog, it can be mentioned at Wikiversity:Request custodian action.
So I'd like to discuss this with any global sysop who wants to help.
I probably also need some help in detecting vandalism, it's not that I haven't been looking. On Wikipedia, I had the user tools installed that made it easy to see vandalism with pop-ups, but that isn't working here. So I have to actually load the edits, which takes far, far longer, so, I'm sure, I miss a lot of vandalism. --Abd 19:24, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
It is laziness to think that people shouldn't do CSD until there is a backlog. The Custodian policy makes it clear that Custodianship is a job, not a right or a privilege. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:29, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
"Laziness." Hey, is that uncivil? I've been doing CSD work. I consider it important. There is a backlog, in my opinion, and the reason is that the decisions are not necessarily easy. Sometimes they are, sometimes not. When they are truly difficult, removing the CSD is what I'll do, often, since a difficult deletion decision should be made by the community. Then, if someone still wants the page deleted, it can go to Wikiversity:Requests for deletion. Sometimes I might take it there, but I think we have other priorities than, say, marginal categories.
To give an example, though, there was an empty category, still is, Category:Cognitive neuroscience. Looking at this, I found a can of worms. Probably there should be pages in the category, instead of deleting the category! And I fixed one resource, as to formatting, but there are still problems. With a series of Bloom clock pages, I wanted to consult with SB_Johnny first, before deleting a whole slew of empty categories and the like. So it takes a little time.
We had an admin here who simply deleted according to his own opinion. Usually he was right, but the exceptions were killers.
For reference, Category:Candidates for speedy deletion
I'll also be suggesting a way to mobilize more community labor for speedy deletion. Actually pushing the button is easy. Identifying the pages to delete, while still considering how to grow the community, respect users, etc., is more difficult. --Abd 19:43, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
None of those pages apply to this situation. The edits they are given is provided by a bot that monitors IP edits cross wiki and recent changes that post up gibberish, cussed word based things, and other pre-set common vandalism and nonsense entries. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:00, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Here are some examples of the bot hits in #cvn-sw where the global sysops and stewards sit and see what vandalism needs to be addressed:

<+CVNBot6> �03�IP��14 m:User: �03�edited��14 m:User talk:Wutsje (+9)�14 �10Diff:�12�14 "/* Pokémon */ "
<+CVNBot9> �03�IP��14 �03�edited��14 (-1110)�14 �10Diff:�14 "/* ÕŽÕ«Ö„Õ«ÖƒÕ¥Õ¤m=-= ;,.lm uyd iuiuf ,ewvkiiqwj kjijvnmnj jioui men uiyu8 hjiuy8esv m 5478.-7 'klihesj Õ«Õ¡ -> ÕŽÕ«Õ¯Õ«ÕºÕ¥Õ¤Õ«Õ¡ (ÕŽÕ«Ö„Õ«ÕºÕ¥Õ¤Õ«Õ¡) */ "
<+CVNBot7> �03�IP��14 �03�edited��14 (+22)�14 �10Diff:�12�14 ""
<+CVNBot9> �14New user created. Block:
<+CVNBot8> �03�IP��14 �03�edited��14 (+53)�14 �10Diff:�12�14 ""
<+CVNBot8> �03�IP��14 �03�Possible gibberish?��14 ��07(+62171)��14 �10Diff:�12�14 ""
<+CVNBot7> �03�IP��14 �03�edited��14 (-2)�14 �10Diff:�12�14 ""

- Ottava Rima (talk) 20:07, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
mmm.... I looked at Special:Contributions/Wutsje and picked up his CSD tags and handled them quickly. I looked at Special:Contributions/Mercy and there were no CSD tags, and saw nothing to do. Wutsje's one local block might be problematic, but not a terribly big deal if the global admin doesn't make a habit out of it. I'll discuss it with Wutsje, but, bottom line, we are not Wikipedia, nor are we like almost all the other WMF wikis, so the problems with the block wouldn't necessarily be obvious to someone from outside our community. Meanwhile, what is the problem here? --Abd 20:36, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Did you look at their deleted contribs and compare the date of tagging with date of deletion? o.O If you bothered to read the RC feed like I do you will see these things. They are people willing to patrol, something that we don't have anymore. Why would you not want them? Ottava Rima (talk) 23:43, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Ottava, the tone ("if you bothered") is not helpful. Yes, I looked. Patrolling for vandalism is commonly done by non-admins, and these people are welcome to do it. They are also welcome to tag pages for speedy deletion, and I'm seeing that those pages are being reviewed, though not quite as quickly as I'd like to see. We can fix that, easily. In an emergency, with someone on a vandalism spree, I'd have no problem with them blocking, but I'd not want this done with, for example, a limited amount of "nonsense," and certainly not for "out of scope," or the like. --Abd 02:53, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any problem with them deleting pure nonsense pages. OTOH, Moulton is on IRC far more than any of us, so perhaps he'd be willing to patrol for such things? --SB_Johnny talk 00:25, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Are you out of your freakin' mind? —Caprice 00:48, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
  • As you can see, the feed is global so they are busy working on all of the different projects at once. We would need to come up with a consensus to allow them to CSD items related to the CVN-bot feeds before they can be "officially" allowed to do this, as we have more than 10 admin as the inactive admin count towards that total. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:56, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Looking over what has been speedied by one of the two global sysops mentioned, most of it's fine as deleted, but a little isn't. I'm not ready to approve this, I don't see sufficient problem to justify it. However, I do think that it's possible to arrange for a way to do it, and also to encourage more local support for vandalism patrol. I'm just thinking about how to do it efficiently and safely. A single problem deletion can do a lot of damage to a user's relationship with the community. But there is absolutely no problem with tagging pages, and setting up more reliably ways to get a quicker response to tags makes sense to me. I've got some RL emergencies, so I'm not doing it immediately, but I intend to set up some ways to make this work better, more reliably.
  • If there is going to be deletion here, or blocking, by global sysops, I'd want much clearer guidelines and procedures, because, my guess, most global sysops don't have a clue about our special policies and qualities. I don't think that we actually need more admins, we need more structural support, more general community involvement. --Abd 02:49, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
We don't have "special policies and qualities". The only policies that got passed were those passed in spite of your actions. Most global sysops have more experience on these wikis and keeping them working than you ever will. After all, they were actually put into a position of trust by consensus. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:28, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Abd's first point. Global sysops should IMHO not be deleting or blocking, unless there's an emergency. Regards, Guido den Broeder 12:17, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Guido. "Unless there is an emergency." Yes. Wikiversity is a very special place, and we saw what happened when a super steward decided to clean it up. One steward's factional action even resulted in the effective block of a Wikiversitan, last year, though the global lock facility, intended for spam, but abused, and it took long-term effort to repair that. The global sysops are welcome to help, and I see their work as useful. But. We need to make sure that what they do is consistent with our local traditions and guidelines, and our inclusivity is far higher than on other wikis. I don't see any global sysops even commenting here, yet, but they are welcome. --Abd 12:42, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
A very simple criteria for the absolute silliest page creations would do the trick, I suspect. I went through the cat this morning and there wasn't a huge backlog. --SB_Johnny talk 16:17, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikibib[liography] concept Proposal

I would like to see a wikipage that answers the question "What books/articles should one read and in what order shoud one read them in order to become familiar with a subject?" I guess this can be a kind of the wikilibrary for wikiversity or the way to study your subject for the wikischolar journal. (so to speak in wiki-terms)

It’s simple as it gets:

  1. People share impressions of books
  2. and their contents in a subject
  3. organize these books together,
  4. not only to cover the subject, but
  5. to create a kind of hierarchy
  6. of the very way you have to go through
  7. if you really want to get to know the subject.

For instance, lets say one would like to understand the concept of Modernism. In order to do so, one goes to the wikibooks page of Modernism. One finds there relevant reference books concerning epochs, which precede the epoch of Modernism (eg. Craske, M. (1997) Art in Europe 1700-1830: A History of the Visual Arts in an Era of Unprecedented Urban Economic Growth, Oxford Paperbacks.) This might serve as a recommended preliminary reading, that prepares one to grasp the concept of Modernism in a particular context, which, in this case, is Modernism of art. That book is followed by another one (eg. Brettel, R. (1999) Modern Art 1851-1929: Capitalism and Representation, Oxford Paperbacks ). Note that these are only examples! The whole referencing system should not be that linear. These books cover Modernism only in terms of visual arts, which is essential, but still not that comprehensive.

Moreover, this page should provide one with the best resources. For instance, given that Craske’s book is thorough enough so that one could get the necessary preparation for their study on Modernism of Visual Arts, there should be no need to flood the page with hunderts of other references. If that is not the case, then other more exhaustive books should be recommended.( Of course, such referencing hierarchy should be organized according to different levels of interest. In this way separate sub-hierachies are formed, which might be labelled “easy, medium and hard”. That is how the referencing system would be appropriate for deeply interested as well as for people who need just a quick dive in the subject. Note that it is important where these books are available! Everyone knows that a good study will often send you miles away from home just to get to read some 20 pages from a book only available in some National Library for instance.)

To get back on the track: My idea is to have books and articles classified according to their main subject and a recommended order to read them.

In other words, my idea is to link the knowledge of world with the right approach to it. (offer an inovative strategy for efficient and independent acquirement of knowledge) Since this literary means to create an information stream, which does not exist in the digital world yet, it still remains to be discussed, which is the best possible way to sort out that information.

A comment next to books "what is this book to cover from the subject", “this book will give you a view of...” should make it easy to exclude the less needed books for understanding Modernism.

It is important, that the project covers subjects in as many as possible different languages, so that as many as possible users can take advantage of it. That is how the multilingual way of studying a subject is presented.Note that studies are made in different languages, so this project might also need a way to present the "multi-lungial" way of studying a subject, because not all studies can be made only in english or in german or in french, most of the good studies include multi-lingual sources. That is not to say that it is needed to sepparate these wikipage's like in wikipedias way in different languages, but to create as I said the multy-lingual/babylonian page which contents all the suggested works in original(german, russian, ect)and then to separate page’s so that for instance the "german way" of studying the subject(for people who speak only german) is shown, which way suggests not the originals of the books(lets say originals that are in Russian), but the translations of these originals(if they exist) concerning the subject. So to speak there is no german equivalent of Modern Art 1851-1929 Capitalism and Representation, so you should either read it in english or suggest a german book that covers some or most of the content.

To generalize: The multy-lingual/babylonian page shows you all the books in different languages. The german page shows you the books in german and the translations in german from the other languages. There also may be a german/russian/hindu page, that is to say an option to exclude all books which are in languages you can not read. Next, one must be provided with information where to find the needed book. For that purpose, a link to a online resourse/a bookshop/ a library must be presented. One more thing: This linkage system can be a good adviser for fiction. For instance: If you want to actualy read Modernism try Thomas Mann, if you liked him than read Hermann Hesse as well. If you want to get serious about them you can try reading C.G. Jung or a lecture about Hermann Hesse and Religion, ect ect.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Ivan Gospodinov (discusscontribs) 17:30, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion! words like "link the knowledge of world", babylonian sound like a huge task. But nothing is impossible, given enough time. How about setting up a learning resource for the concept for this? Be bold! Let's work out the details and see how to approach this. btw: you know any other initiative attempting such a (similar) task?
  • One could on that page also detail:
    • libraries + their classification: why don't they offer such a system (already)? It seems to me since they have classification for many books, could be an easier step? (Reasons) why does it not exist yet?
    • comparison with other recommendation systems: Amazon just shortly flashed before my imaginary eye, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 14:54, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
There are initiative's who come close to this concept but none are as accurate(so to say). For instance some library unions or the Open Library project. The thing is it's not enough to collect all this information, the point is to sort it. I'm suggesting this will(if its not already)be one of the biggest problems of the internet information flood. Visualizing and arranging information has been an issue for some time now in other spheres also.12
Even Wolframalpha is a good example if we say that we aim to "calculate" the knowledge needed for a subject. The reason why libraries don't offer this information is because(I suppose) we all have our professors and teachers who should care about presenting us with the right resources of information, so we never really needed such an initiative nor did we really had the opportunity to develop it. BUT as education systems continue to fail and there hasn't really been a better alternative this far I consider that we must "set education free" and give better opportunities for self-education. Libraries simply have the books and not the educational approach.
In the case of amazon's recommendations: they are just too personalized, and the point here is not to give someone a recommendation what he may read next, but to give recommendations for the subject so that then everyone can choose.
I think the main question is how should we create these tree's of knowledge? How should we connect the branches?
Lets take an example with the german wikipedia Portal for society.
We have three branches on the top:
  • Politics and Education|Everyday|Communications(roughly)
Lets imagine that instead of Geselschaft(Society) it was a Wikibib portal for Modernism(as in the first example). We can as easily separate such branches with books in different spheres lets say:
  • Political History| Life in general| Art (this is just a quick example.. not to be taken seriously)
Then at the bottom we see some icons who set the articles in the order: Super article, articles who should be read in german and informative articles. Actually those icons seem pretty awesome: We can set the book list according to similar rules. For instance the idea that you can just put an icon "this book should be read in spanish" I think solves the whole complexity of the "babylonian page". The Idea that some books should not be simply excluded but taged "informative" is also pretty good.
So now that we have these three branches we need the lists of books, which can be arranged the german way of listing
Exuse me for giving only german examples, but they sure are in many ways better than the english ones(you can see for yourself; and im not a german)
Lets image now the row: Priority(maybe thats what we need to sort out books, a priority system) Name of Book, Name of Author, Year ect.
Then you can easily arrange them by clicking on the arrows.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Ivan Gospodinov (discusscontribs) 17:30, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

User page with content categories

This seems a bit odd to me, a user page with some content categories. Is it in any way customary? Regards, Guido den Broeder 14:11, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps customary for user? One needs to ask that specific user, why this was edited - perhaps he comes from a wiki where this is done so? Userboxes could also be used probably. Would you mind asking him? Thanks, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 14:28, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Maybe start by taking a quiz

Posted in Wikiversity talk: chat

I posted in Wikiversity talk:Chat#Policy Change about making this a policy as it had a tag and no one was discussing. Could we discuss this IDangerMouse 20:02, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Seems like a good idea.... --Anonymous Uploader 21:33, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Help Desk Has Stuff From Early 2010

Wikiversity:Help desk has stuff from early 2010 ,and it should be archived. IDangerMouse 15:47, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Or maybe answered!--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 18:01, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
I responded to your question, but it doesn't seem like there is a good answer for you. Many of the others have been answered. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:52, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Magic formula 5:1

Here's a 2 minute video clip of John Gottman explaining his magic 5:1 (positive:negative) formula for sustainable relationships: How do you think this idea might apply in wiki settings? What's your ratio? How might we get to 5:1 and beyond? -- Jtneill - Talk - c 06:38, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Gottman lists three examples of positive and negative transactions in a relationship: Positive Things
  • Showing interest
  • Asking questions
  • Being nice (kindness, affection, empathy)
Negative Things
  • Hostility
  • Anger
  • Hurt feelings
In failed relationships the ratio of positive things to negative things is 4:5. In stable relationships, the ratio of positive things to negative things is 5:1. In WikiPolitics, there is substantial evidence that rivals are frequently in a protracted state of apoplectic umbrage, seeking revenge or payback for prior slights, both on-wiki and off. Moulton 16:14, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Recent Changes Camp 2011 Canberra + Wikiversity

From the current RCC Canberra 2011 (see here) there is also one video about Wikiversity: [1] (3 mins), ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 23:16, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

SPIR608 Evaluation

SPIR608 is a course being run at the University of Westminster. The first cohort will being doing the course Jan- April 2011. At the beginning of the course a survey has been carried out amongst the students as regards how much the use Wikimedia sites. The results are quite interesting. From a survey of 17

  • All had visited Wikipedia
  • 3 (18%) had edited wikipedia. None had a user account. None had edited any of the other wikis.
  • 4 (24%) had visited wikipedia, 2 (12%) had visited Wikitionary, Wikiquotes, Wikibooks or Wiki Commons, 1 (6%) had visited wikispecies or another mediawiki, and none had visited wikinews or wikisource.

I would be interested to know if any other people on wikiversity are gathering this sort of information? I would be interested in developing a way of collecting shared date (or sharing collected date!). Also there are probably ways in which the evaluation and guidance used on this occasion can be improved. I intend to re-survey the students at the end of the course to see to what extenttheir use of wikimedia sites has changed.Leutha 17:57, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Would be great to add this also at Wikiversity:School and university projects, so future learners can integrate this before a course starts, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 02:29, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Topic ban proposal - Abd

Abd has shown for the past 6 months that he is unable to do anything with Wikiversity name space besides disrupt, act incivility, make up claims about our policies and procedures that are just not true. He also hides this under a wall of text. I propose that he is topic banned for 6 months from any Wikiversity namespace page. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:04, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Support as proposer and support emergency desysop Ottava Rima (talk) 19:04, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I'm feel disappointed of Abd. The SB Johnny confirmation discussion should have not been closed. Diego Grez 19:09, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. Given that I've invited custodial review of my intentions, that I consider the situation highly disruptive, I will be going ahead to block Ottava, per what I've stated, since he is escalating, not slowing down. This block may be reversed without consultation, by any custodian, now or later, but, I'll add, I'll expect that custodian to then monitor and deal with the developing situation, not just drive-by unblock.
Diego, are you suggesting that I be topic-banned because I closed a discussion, a decision that could easily be reversed if there were sufficient support for that? I will explain the block of Ottava on his Talk page. This is not a normal action, it is being taken under color of emergency, and I can, and, I assume, will be, judged on the propriety of this. This has gone far enough. Ottava has been pretending for a long time that he represents the community, when it is obvious that he does not. He informed me that I'd be blocked as soon as "two custodians" came back on-line. If they haven't done this, it must mean that they are not following the discussions and don't have a clue. You've backed a dead horse, here, Diego, and given how much I supported your candidacy, I'm, indeed, disappointed. Ottava wasn't being harassed. He was free to work as usual on Wikiversity. Nobody undid his last block by SBJ, which means to me that he doesn't have, at all, the support he's loudly proclaiming. Perhaps his friends will unblock him. That's fine with me. I just want this to be simple and clear. --Abd 19:52, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, as well as emergency desysop of Abd. Guido den Broeder 19:55, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support the ban and emegency desysop. This is kinda scary. Abd has demonstrated just in this thread that he shouldn't be editing here and is threats to block for nothing is really bad." IDangerMouse 20:04, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Note that Abd has now blocked Ottava Rima. Guido den Broeder 20:14, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support The fact that you have blocked someone who is initiating proceedings against you is completely unacceptable. You don't block people just because they don't agree with you! Kevin Rutherford (talk) 20:17, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
    • Just so people know, I too support an emergency removal of the tools. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 20:20, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Notice. Ottava blocked. Any custodian invited to take responsibility and unblock. Ottava was warned about blocking before the filing of this proposal by him. Such proposals cannot be used to prevent action. My intention to act, as needed, was also presented to the community for prior, and/or prompt review, and that review is still open. Please do review Ottava block log, if tempted to think I'm off the wall here. Notice blocks by, first, me, for two hours, for blatant incivility, later confirmed as such (and Ottava lost his bit over incivility). Then Darklama, Adambro, and SB_Johnny. Notice the unblocks, by Geoff Plourde, and Ottava himself. Notice that Plourde did not actually state that the block was undeserved, but that he believed there was inadequate warning. This community is ordinarily very, very slow to block. I'm saying, Enough. This block is not a ban. Any custodian may reverse, though I'm urging caution.
Note, as well, that any custodian could have simply asked me to not act. I also permitted that I be blocked, in case someone was worried about me doing some serious harm before seeing a request to stop. So there are two possibilities: no custodian is watching, in which case I'm It. I'm the only representative of the community here (indirectly, through my mentor Jtneill's trust), or any custodians watching are indifferent and willing to allow my action. I don't know which is the case, but Ottava claimed two custodians ready to block me, already, before this confrontation. We get to see. --Abd 20:19, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not a Wikiversity user, so please don't take my opinion as important - I'm an arb on enwp, but I have very little cross-project work. Things are a little different on this project, I understand, but seems a little improper to me that you're blocking Ottava so quickly after he's put forward a request for your emergency desyssoping that has received (so far) unanimous support. Surely the appropriate thing to do would be to step back and let proceedings go forth unhindered? Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry 20:32, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Chase me. I've discussed recusal policy at length on Wikipedia, and the common objection made was "but users will protest and then the only admin who knows what's going on can't act." In response to that, I proposed Wikiversity:Recusal. Note that Ottava opposed that, and claimed that, when he was still a sysop, there was no recusal policy, and he used tools many times when very involved, without the kind of consultation that I've proposed and followed. In this case, I warned Ottava, expressed my intention to act if he continued, and then he filed this. Whether or not I continue as a sysop is not important to me, I offered to serve, but as long as I'm serving, I'll do what I see necessary. This was done very carefully. Did you read the Request custodian action filing? This could not only be undone in a flash, there was decent prior opportunity to stop it. All it would have taken was a request from a custodian. Arb on Wikipedia? I hope you are more careful there! --Abd 20:51, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment we've never had a "topic ban" on WV before, and I'd rather we didn't go proposing them without discussing the possibility first. OTOH, I absolutely support an emergency desyssop. --SB_Johnny talk 20:29, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
    Strike the emergency desyssop thing... more than enough drama going on this week. --SB_Johnny talk 20:42, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I consent to emergency desysop, on SBJ's discretion, during my probationary custodianship, if he can undo it, also at his discretion. However, SBJ, you had the opportunity to stop me from acting and did not take it. Situations like this call for more than subtle hints. I laid out the process to stop me, up to and including consenting to being blocked if that was thought needed. See the Request custodian action filing, and, this, time, please read it carefully. You could also simply ask me to not take any action with respect to Ottava. Or any other request. And I'd take it to the community if I disagreed, I wouldn't defy you. --Abd 20:51, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Abd, I'd rather not take on the mantle of being the "official in charge of your fate". You already have my opinion, and if you think my opinion is that important, just go to meta and ask them to remove your buttons. This has all become very silly. --SB_Johnny talk 00:02, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
    • Why can't this be the first time? w:logical fallacy. I know, Abd, that you supported my candidacy, but firstly, I don't care about Wikiversity anymore, as this was just the place where I had planned to learn how to use the sysop tools, nothing else, but closing the confirmation discussion was unacceptable in my opinion. Agree with Kevin above. Sorry. Diego Grez 20:32, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
      • No, it's not a logical fallacy. I just don't think we should be creating "precedents" when the atmosphere is as overheated as it is today.
      • BTW, I unblocked Ottava, and I'm not too happy about having to override the irresponsible (and big-time consequential) action of someone who is (theoretically) supposed to be showing us that he's responsible and trustworthy. --SB_Johnny talk 20:38, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. SBJ. You now own the problem. What you did, you may undo, it's an important loophole in recusal policy. No matter how involved you are. Enjoy. --Abd 20:51, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Abd, can you lay out a coherent and concise statement of "the problem"? —Caprice 01:05, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't "own" anything. This is a wiki, after all :-). --SB_Johnny talk 00:02, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support the what the fuck is going on? Support topic ban and desysop... Just do it. --Anonymous Uploader 21:35, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

I personally support whatever it takes to bring the level of discourse on this wiki to a professional level. That may entail removing tools. It may even involve indefinitely blocking those people fond of drama, who decide it's fun to continually butt heads and create countless "community reviews", "requests for custodian action", and Colloquium threads. All this chaos apparently extends to another website, IRC chats, and backroom discussions. Wikiversity has the lowest participation and total content pages of all the English-language Wikimedia projects. It's therefore fighting for relevance. These situations that I see coming up over and over again trash its reputation amongst the projects and participants. If it can't be brought under control, someone might just file a request for closure at Meta. If you're not dedicated to its success, you need not be here. Adrignola 01:13, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Don't worry, I am sure someone will probably beat you to the filing. There has been an annual request for closure and a board discussion on the matter. I have some WMF people who are watching this and eager for the people involved to be de-fanged and de-clawed all the way around so that they can come and help the community work on passing basic things like a blocking policy or a deletion policy. We've also had stewards and global sysops helping out here in the past two months as they have recognized the failure for us to handle vandalism on our own. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:57, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Does it seem a bit unseemly to have users being threatened with anonymous 'WMF people'? It certainly seems like a poor way to have a discussion. Dinsdale 04:52, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Threatened with what? o.O Ottava Rima (talk) 13:58, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict with below) Being "defanged and declawed," though the use of fangs and claws hasn't been shown. Above is an example:
  • I have some WMF people who are watching this and eager for the people involved to be de-fanged and de-clawed all the way around so that they can come and help the community work on passing basic things like a blocking policy or a deletion policy. In other words, people not a part of the active community here who are going to "help." Now, help is fine, we need good ideas, but when it comes to !voting, it's iffy, Wikiversity is unique among the WMF wikis, in a number of ways. And we've sure had a bunch of people, not seen before, showing up to comment and !vote on the immediate situations, showing no understanding of our traditions.
Before, we had:
  • Threat of block by Ottava, I have notified both of the two admin who are watching the page that you are trying to disrupt and you will most likely be blocked when they log in. And this was followed by, You will be removed from this community following SB Johnny.
  • Ottava claims that 2 neutral custodians are already watching it, and you will be blocked when they come on. Your actions and conduct are unacceptable. If SB Johnny, Jtneill, or the rest try to aid your disruption, I have guarantees that they too will be blocked. If they try to override it, then then that is cause enough to have Meta involvement here to strip them until the proceeding is ended, and if Jtneill tries then he will be put up next. No such admin appeared to block me. If one had, I would not have unblocked myself, since I'd have accomplished my purpose of blowing the whistle.
  • Ottava threatens SBJ: Any attempts to disrupt will result in you being blocked, as two admin have promised to watch over the hearing to ensure that consensus is respected and this policy measure is completed without distraction. Such a promise is not unreasonable, by the way, an admin may well have written that. But Ottava read it as a promise to block, and he interpreted "disruption" to include simple comments that he disagreed with. An admin, making such a promise, would properly show up and, if needed, warn. Not block, not as a first step, unless the offense were egregious and a continuing emergency.
  • Ottava threatens me (and others are implied) with block for an alleged incorrect interpretation of policy and practice, in a comment. Making things up is incivil. Now, you were warned about such statements in the top of this page and if you continue you will be blocked. Your disruption of this community, as well as SB Johnny's, Mu301's, and anyone else who wants to encourage you, is officially over.
  • Ottava's threat continues. Evidence has been provided in the previous sections. If you keep this up, you will be blocked. Again, this is a threat to block because of my interpretation of the filing and the character of the evidence provided.
  • Ottava threatens Stanistani with loss of cooperation: I also find it strange how you can defend a user who has proven to stalk multiple users at Wikiversity irl and do such over a 3 year period. If you honestly feel that such behavior is acceptable, then you can be certain that I could never work with you, and most people could not as that is one of those bright lines that a lot of people are completely uncomfortable with. Ottava is stating something correct, it has been demonstrated, and not only here: he cannot work with people who disagree with him. He assumes that his judgment of the user's behavior is correct, and that anyone who opposes the "kangaroo court" is therefore accepting the unacceptable, and to be shunned.
  • Ottava displays intention to take issues here to meta; he has already tried that and has failed, several times. But it causes disruption at meta (I'd say Ottava is close to being banned there) and creates an impression of a dysfunctional Wikiversity community, increasing the likelihood of support for closure, if that comes up.)
I won't present the links here, but Ottava has, in recent months, twice tried, on meta, to urge Jimbo to intervene here, by pointing out to Jimbo what Ottava thought might "interest" him. Jimbo did not bite. He's tried to get stewards there, to desysop SBJ, arguing tendentiously even when it became obvious (as would be completely expected) that stewards were not about to intervene, they respect local policies and local consensus.
Is that enough of an answer? --Abd 17:09, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Does with what matter? Suggestions that another person or group of people may take any kind of action is a poor way to have any discussion. -- darklama  16:41, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
True, if understated! --Abd 17:11, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
As I pointed out, they are waiting until the community takes action to address the problem before they are willing to come in and help out with things, like vandalism patrolling or the such. Before they assumed that this project would be dead if things like Abd's actions became the dominant action here. So, they were unwilling to do what they would figure is wasting time. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:26, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
That applies to the "two custodians" who will block me any moment now? Given that my admin actions are mostly harmless at worst -- the community may well examine yesterday's transient block of Ottava -- it seems preposterous to me that stewards or "WMF people" are waiting for me to be Gone before helping out, and this has nothing to do with my admin status. Rather, a Community Review is normal process for any kind of ban, not a Colloquium discussion, and Ottava knows it, he's filed a pile of CRs.
Banning an active admin from Wikiversity space is obviously a Bad Idea. Desysop process, however, could be combined with a ban, but if there were going to be a ban from WV space here, it wouldn't be me, I suspect. Any admin, however, may declare a ban in lieu of block, it's an available remedy, in theory, and could then be discussed just like any other admin action. That's part of how wikis increase efficiency. Indeed, my current topic ban on Wikipedia was declared by a single admin, and it stands -- and is technically legitimate -- because I have not appealed it, out of lack of GAS. --Abd 17:58, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, if my actions become the "dominant actions" here, this place would be as dead as a doornail. Wikis require communities, and what I've seen is higher rate of page changes since I started looking last March or so. But that's subjective, I haven't looked at statistics. --Abd 17:58, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
"who will block me any moment now" - I notified both. Both are involved with school and did not get around. The community, however, has pretty much agreed to remove your Custodianship, so you are no longer a problem. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:15, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
The proof is in the pudding. Ottava is confusing two issues. Topic ban or desysop? There is specified desysop process, and this isn't it. There is specified, or strongly customary, ban process, and this isn't it. The promises that I'd be blocked didn't have to do with use of tools, I only used tools one time in this whole sequence, after this was started. The community has not "pretty much agreed," but I'll not waste time at this point with analysis, I'll just mention that the fact that, in one day, one can get several apparent off-wiki cronies, not active here, to show up and vote on a misleading proposal, doesn't cut demonstrate. If there was no support for my work, I'd have been history long ago. Ottava was desysopped for gross incivility, and he's simply continued it without the sysop bit, and perhaps without the use of the word "liar," but really implying quite the same thing (and that's not just about me, it's about many). What does that suggest? --Abd 19:26, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose topic ban. The issue of a user's participation being disruptive or not can be complex ("whistleblowers" are disruptive), and that's why we normally require a Community Review for this. We are not Wikipedia and don't ban based on a quick noticeboard discussion. Obviously, if I'm a sysop, I should be allowed to comment in WV space! So first things first. If my behavior is improper as a custodian, that should be addressed, and since the first stage is Wikiversity:Custodian feedback that would be the place to start, as provided in custodianship policy. There is no emergency, I'm highly unlikely to engage in controversial tool use in the immediate future, and the worst I'd do is what I did here: take a possibly controversial action but in a way that it would receive immediate review and correction if needed. I actually asked first, before taking the action. If there is an emergency, though, I gave SBJ consent, above, to request removal at meta, and JtNeill, my mentor, likewise has the right. If I'm abusing the tools, wouldn't discussing it with my mentor be the first step, rather than starting disruptive process like this, out of sequence and really in the wrong place? --Abd 18:12, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose ban - there are others in particular that have caused far more disruption than anything one might try to pin on Abd through countless creation of new pages in Wikiversity space criticizing the contributors to this project. I've had no problems with my reading comprehension of Abd's comments. If it's too long, don't read it, but then don't complain that he's not tried to justify his actions sufficiently. Adrignola 17:21, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Serious concern about "two custodians"

Above, I point to many posts where Ottava has claimed there were two administrators who had promised to block. My conclusion from the evidence, at this point, is that Ottava has misrepresented what was said to him, probably in IRC or by email. I request two pieces of information:

  • Who were the administrators? If any custodian is making improper promises of action off-wiki, we should know. This would not be covered by privacy policy. Wikipedia has desysopped merely for an administrator privately discussing action. I think that was extreme, but the point is that ArbComm was willing to divulge, on-wiki, material from an archive of a mailing list that was apparently illegally obtained and that was certainly illegally published. Because they considered off-wiki coordination such a potential hazard.
  • What was actually promised? From one statement, I suspect that nothing improper was promised, and that Ottava has, as he has often done, misinterpreted the statements of others. But we should know. Will the missing administrators please stand up? Thanks. --Abd 19:40, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Could you folks maybe move this whole mess to CR or somewhere else? I'd rather see the Colloquium focused on actual constructive discussion. I suppose I might be alone in that though :-(. --SB_Johnny talk 20:42, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Mmmm... this was inappropriate for the Colloquium, I agree. I suggest moving it to Talk here, and if someone wants to start up a process in the right place, reference can be made to this discussion. The right place to start a desysop discussion is Wikiversity:Custodian feedback, and the right place to start a ban of any kind is Wikiversity:Community Review. Thanks. I think maybe I won't do this move to Talk! :-). --Abd 21:06, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Community Review

I copied most of the topic ban and desysop stuff over to Wikiversity:Community Review/Abd. Since it was called as an emergency desysop and Abd is under mentorship, I believe it is fitting to ask Jtneill to terminate the mentorship now and save the effort of going through Meta in 6 days. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:11, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Out of process filing and procedure. Process would be to ask my mentor to instruct me first, discussing it on his Talk page. Further, if that failed, process would be to file Wikiversity:Custodian feedback before attempting removal of the bit. That's policy.
Note the lack of any discussion on my Talk page attempting to resolve controversies. No warnings, except the block threat from Ottava.
Ottava has a strange concept of how timing works here. Process times are minimums, not deadlines. That came up before in the abrupt, out-of-process termination of my previous probationary custodianship, where Ottava went to meta and misled them about our process, which specifically provided me with a 48-hour period to find another mentor if the original mentor withdrew support. I elected not to challenge it, not worth the disruption. --Abd 04:29, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
People have been trying to resolve matters with you for 4 months and you refuse to see anything beyond your own fantastical reinterpretation of everything. The community ended your mentorship. It is over. The topic ban will ensure that you can't apply for another one for at least 6 months. Ottava Rima (talk) 04:38, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  • "The time has come," the Walrus said, "to speak of many things. Abuse, and snits, and searing whacks, and cabbaged drama queens." —Moulton 10:44, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Moulton. @Ottava, if there has been this attempt for "4 months," where is the evidence of it on my Talk page? The community has not "ended my mentorship." Where? How? I've a mentor, I have the tools. The topic ban is not in effect, and the purpose of it, Ottava has just acknowledged, is an attempt to bypass normal WV procedure. Ottava is assuming that a couple of inactive editors showing up constitutes a binding consensus. No, we don't make decisions by vote. We make decisions by the action of a closing sysop capable of enforcing the decision, that's standard on all WMF wikis, the only exception is WP ArbComm, which does, indeed, decide by internal vote after deliberation, not by "community consensus." If a custodian says "No editing of WV space," then, until that's resolved, I don't edit WV space. If a custodian blocks me, I don't unblock myself, same principle, absent emergency, and I damn well better be able to justify it, or my bit would be toast, immediately, remove first and ask questions later. (It's easy to restore a bit, all it takes is a 'crat.) It's simple. Ottava claimed that there were two custodians ready to block me for disruption. Who were they? Where are they? --Abd 19:44, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Note that I suggested moving all this to Talk. I might as well have suggested that people write backwards.... if anyone doesn't want this here on the Colloquium, please move it to Talk or some place better. --Abd 19:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
"nonsense, oft-repeated, does not become cogent argument" the problem is that consensus is that your quote applies to you. And an emergency will not allow you to get around your ban. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:48, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not under any ban. However, were I under a ban, and I saw an emergency, threatening the welfare of the community, I'd act. It's called w:WP:IAR and it is a fundamental wiki (common law) policy everywhere. (It's the common law principle of "public policy.") However, once it's clear to me that a community doesn't want my participation, I've, historically, abandoned projects, letting them fall (or fly) where they may. Historically, most such communities have failed. Not Wikipedia yet, it's pretty big! (I've technically violated bans there, always because of some higher purpose, always respecting the true needs of the community, but I've never socked. I haven't needed to. I'm not blocked there.) But it's happened to a series of nonprofits in the past. Apparently, there is something about communities that don't want me around. It does not bode well for them. I've felt very welcome here, though, and still do, that's not changed by Ottava and a couple of his friends. --Abd 03:02, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
"I'm not under any ban." only you believe that, just like the majority of your statements. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:26, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
  • The proof. The edits above, no block. Therefore no ban. A ban has been proposed. It's not effective till an administrative close and notice. Seems very unlikely. There is a fantasy involved here, and it's not mine. Remember, Ottava, days ago, promised and threatened that, as soon as one of the two custodians he'd talked with off-wiki "came on," I'd be blocked. Now, if I try to save this, and get a "blocked" message. I'd be forced to revise my opinion. Why am I not expecting to see that message? The power of my "belief"? Wow! I didn't think I was that powerful. Let's see! I believe that Ottava has been suffering from some kind of stress, and he's, any day now, going to wake up and slap his forehead and say, "What was I thinking?" Let's see what this belief accomplishes! --Abd 18:59, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
"It's not effective till an administrative close and notice. Seems very unlikely. " Administrators don't have the ability to arbitrary make community will or ignore it. This is something you fail to understand. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:08, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
There is a fundamental misunderstanding of how wikis work expressed and promoted here. A "community" has no block button. Individuals do. The "community" could want one thing and if no individual is willing to push the button, it's meaningless. Ad hoc decisions are made by individual users and administrators, all the time. However, when a matter becomes contentious, there may be a discussion. Generally, a discussion may be closed by any user, but tradition is that if a close requires admin tools, the close must be by an admin, and even if there were a close by a non-admin, the non-admin would then have to solicit an admin to do the deed, and admins are not required to do anything, they can sit on their hands if they like. They cannot be coerced into action. At least not properly! So, bottom line:
  • Admins may "ignore" community will. That is, they can take a wikibreak, simply do something else, or whatever. No admin is ever forced to block a user, as an example, and I've frequently argued that it's an important safeguard that no admin should be coerced. If they actually act contrary to expressed community will, they can be in trouble, or not. It depends. Frequently admins on Wikipedia close discussions contrary to the preponderance of the !votes, and this frequently stands, if it was based on sound arguments. I've even seen closes where the !vote was massively on one side and the closing was the other way, and it stood, in the end. In a case I have in mind, a non-administrative close of Keep, there was a DRV that re-opened the discussion, it went on another week, and then was closed by an admin with the exact same conclusion. The majority wasn't thrilled, but they were arguing, shallowly, against widely-accepted policy and practice. They just happened to be a minority of the community that was exercised on the question and so piled in.
  • Admins are charged with the task, as well, of determining community will. "Arbitrary" is a subjective judgment. Who makes it? On wikis, where tool use is involved, admins do. Individual admins may err, and often do, which is why we dislike a single admin repeatedly making the same decision, we expect consultation and wider participation, and we prohibit "wheel-warring." If an admin makes an error, it is always possible to appeal, that's how wikis work. Discussion is expanded until, hopefully, enough arguments have been compiled and there has been enough careful thought that true consensus becomes obvious. And any admin who willfully disregards such consensus will not last long. Ottava has mistaken transient appearance, including what seems to be canvassed participation or something like it, for community consensus. --Abd 20:43, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Upload Pdfs

Can we upload pdfs? or other files. That's one of the things I liked about wikieducator. i.e. have handouts ready to print.Leutha 23:21, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

According to Special:Upload, you can upload png, gif, jpg, jpeg, xcf, pdf, mid, ogg, ogv, svg, djvu, tiff, tif, and oga files. -- darklama  23:27, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Please upload them at commons, so more people can access them. Also chose a (good/open?) licence if you are the creator of the material and have the rights. :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 00:05, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Have you uploaded any handouts yet? Wikiversity makes PDFs look really slick, like this one I uploaded, just go to "Upload file" in the toolbox. --Charles Jeffrey Danoff 06:40, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Bureaucratship policy

We lack a Bureaucratship policy. I believe this is one of the causes in disruption by Bureaucrats over the past 3 years. Without a policy, technically we do not even have the right to have Bureaucrats as there is no community support for them. Since we have three active Crats involved in recent problems regarding giving ops without consensus, and the two previous ones and two current ones were involved in removing ops without consensus, it would seem that we would have to start over from scratch and then find new Bureaucrats that can be trusted to follow new community standards regarding what they can and can't do, including requiring consensus for all of their actions and not allowing Bureaucrats to just make up rules as they go along. Ottava Rima (talk) 00:10, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict with below.) There is a some disagreement about whether or not those actions enjoyed consensus! However, certainly, no harm in having a decent policy or guidelines. What Ottava refers to is mostly what, however, remains as a judgment call on all the wikis. "Giving ops without consensus" referred to following policy we do have, i.e., the procedure for mentored custodianship, which requires no discussion, only a mentor acceptance, and which instructs the 'crat to then assign the bit, with one thing not covered: return of ops after a request from a sysop who voluntarily resigned, and "removing ops without consensus" refers, obviously, to the desysopping of Ottava, as the recent example, which was, in fact, based on a discussion and a close, and "without consensus" is simply Ottava's opinion, not matched by the bulk of the ocmmunity, not matched by what the discussion and evidence actually showed. The only other example I know was in 2008, the emergency desysopping of JWSchmidt, which was done with the apparent concurrence of three 'crats. That could easily have been remedied at any time, if it was an error, by any 'crat, and the community could have held a discussion to undo it, if that's what the community had wanted.
(I wonder myself about that JWS desysopping, but JWS' response was so long so unbalanced about it, that I don't wonder that the tools were not returned. It's a shame, but it's a situation that JWS could fix in a flash, I'm sure. Or at least within a few months.)
Ottava has long experience with the wikis, and it's puzzling that he seems to not understand how WMF traditions operate, while he headlong attacks them and those who work with them. We may certainly create our own traditions here, and have, and it's best to do that through formal policy and guidelines, because otherwise people will expect what is standard. I'll look at the 'cratship policies of other wikis, but, I can say, the same things that Ottava is talking about happen on other wikis which have policies. Return of ops on request after return, having resigned "not under a cloud," which means immanent process, not just that someone said "Phooey on you, I don't like you!," is standard. And 'crats always exercise discretion in closes and thus their actions. --Abd 01:33, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
We have Wikiversity:Bureaucratship. The main problem is that after Jimbo came to Wikiversity in 2008 assorted Wikipedia polices and unwritten "wiki common law" was imposed on the Wikiversity community by a gang of abusive sysops and other misguided Wikimedia functionaries. Until that disruptive influence is removed from this community the policy pages have little or no importance. --JWSchmidt 00:38, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, it is important if people are declaring "Bureaucrats need to do ____" before things can be processed. Ottava Rima (talk) 00:43, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
"before things can be processed" <-- What sorts "things"? --JWSchmidt 00:57, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure he's unhappy with the responses here. (And don't blame me, I sure as heck didn't write that policy). --SB_Johnny talk 01:24, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

As JWS points out, we do have a [proposed] Wikiversity:Bureaucratship policy, and Ottava has been ignoring it. He's been ignoring Wikiversity:Custodianship. He's been ignoring ordinary Civility, it was my warning and blocking him for that originally (2 hour block) that set him off; before that, my extended probationary custodianship was just fine, no problems noted. Suddenly, he was a meta asking for desysop, clearly contrary to our own policy, which provided for a 48 hour period for me to find a new mentor. And, particularly for JWS, he's been soliciting, for months, Jimbo and Stewards to intervene again at Wikiversity. I see that Ottava did not accept the No he got from stewards. They've asked him again and again to stop that. Stewards don't take on local controversies, unless a situation has totally broken down.
I think what Ottava wants is for the policy to tell 'crats what to do, to deprive them of discretion. That doesn't fly on wikis. Clearer guidelines, yes, but if we didn't need discretion, we could use a 'bot. We'd need a manual that was truly a tome. And just how long would it take us to write this?
"Wiki common law" just means what people with experience with wikis and what works have developed and understand. Local policy always supersedes common law; common law simply applies where specific local policy has not been developed. JWS, you confuses this with what happened when we had an influx of "visitors" who were pursuing an external agenda, plus we were functioning as a safe harbor for personal criticism of uses at other wikis. We were not prepared for that, and, my opinion, we still aren't.
We need to develop structures that can readily handle such things as pile-in of !votes from "visitors." I've seen a number of processes here either damaged or possibly warped by that, including some present discussions. There was an obvious problem with the vote on Diego Grez, for example. The old Wikiversity simply didn't have the sophistication to address it. We need to build that, and it will take a community, I certainly cannot do it by myself, though I have lots of ideas. (Hint: the solution does not involve suppression of comment. It also doesn't involve bans.)
JWS, I invite you again to be a part of building the new Wikiversity, better than the old. How about it? How about realizing that you aren't locked in the hall closet any more, you have been free to speak for a long time. The only people inclined to block you have gone, and even if Adambro, say, comes back, I seriously doubt he would harass you. Why not? Because I confronted him on his recusal failure, repeatedly, that's why, and that may be why he resigned. (Adambro is not like Ottava!) Please take a fresh look at all this. You've been shooting yourself and your true friends in the foot.
By the way, I don't need sysop tools to work on improving our process, I was offered the tools and accepted only to do the boring work of dealing with, yes, vandalism and nonsense and obsolete redirects and unneeded pages. I've made one controversial action this time. It happens to be basically the same as my sole truly controversial action before. The previous action was confirmed as reasonable, and, indeed, had there been follow-up then, a great deal of later nonsense might have been avoided. I could, and can, only do so much, I can only press the block button once for a user, basically, under ordinary circumstances. There is no way to dominate Wikiversity with sysop tools except by violating Wikiversity:Recusal. Others may not be bound by that proposed policy, but I am, since -- I wrote it. How about helping formalize that policy. Fix it if it needs fixing! But, please, don't attack those who are trying to make this a safe place, to avoid the very situations that caused you such pain. --Abd 02:04, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Am I the only one confused as to how Abd can say "we do have a Wikiversity:Bureaucratship policy" when it is still "proposed" and was never passed through consensus? Is it another one of his imaginary fiat declarations? By the way, if we take the Bureaucrat policy as right, Bureaucrats are really easy to remove and if need be, that can happen - after all all 5 made serious errors of judgment and abused their status. Ottava Rima (talk) 02:30, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Slip of the keyboard. I added [proposed] to my comment. --Abd 09:21, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Bureaucrat confirmation hearings for Mu301 and Jtneill

See Wikiversity:Community Review/Jtneill 2 and Wikiversity:Community Review/Mikeu 2 for recall discussions related to long patterns of abuse and their participation in the abuse of SB Johnny and Abd. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:02, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

SBJ, having enough fun yet? --Abd 09:05, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Ottava's strategy is plain, he already used it with me, as he was using it with you, SBJ. I warned him for disruption, specifically for threatening users, including me and all three 'crats, with being blocked by "two custodians" who, as soon as they could "come on," block me for *commenting* in his "confirmation hearing" on you, and for threatening that stewards were going to intervene. He then filed his proposed topic ban, so, when I blocked him for continuing the disruption, he could scream, "See how out of control he is! Blocks people for disagreeing with him," and some users fall for it, even a WP arb fell for it.
So, now that he's filed process to remove the other two active 'crats, he will claim that all the 'crats are required to abstain from closing the processes, so that he can then, having canvassed his friends to !vote, go to meta and ask stewards unfamiliar with the situation to close. He might get lucky. Probably not, but .... there have been a few stewards who have been anti-Wikiversity and might take the opportunity.
I have not communicated off-wiki on this, I'm openly and publicly advising you that you can, without violating recusal policy, undo any action of your own, restoring status quo ante. So you have an opportunity to end this immediately, as I tried to end it. Not to end community discussion, just threats and disruption. I know that there is at least one custodian watching this who has been perplexed about what to do. How much time should we spend, as a community, raking every one of our 'crats over the coals? Ottava is trying to wreck Wikiversity. If it can't be his, it can't be anyone's. It's obvious. --Abd 09:21, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
You are banned from all Wikiversity space. As such, your posting here, closing places, etc, is all done in violation of that ban. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:49, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Since Abd decided to violate his ban, a proposal to remove all current Crats for extreme abuse of community trust, sysopping and desysopping without consensus or policy being followed, and other disruption based problems, has been proposed. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:48, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

The ban discussion was never concluded above and includes several people whose only contributions here were to that discussion. Obviously canvassed supporters. Others whose opinions I personally would see as necessary to confirm such a ban have not participated, likely because they are ignoring all of the drama being perpetuated here. Adrignola 15:52, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
"several people whose only contributions here were to that discussion" I checked every single editor there and not one represents what you claim of them. Removing your "hot cat" and other tools of mass editing, many of them have more contributions than you do. In the past 2 months, you only have 14 real edits after all. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:58, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Guido den Broeder has far more than 14 edits in 2 months. JWSchmidt has far more than 14 edits in 2 months. Diego Grez only has 13 in the past month but he was a Custodian here and an active participant. IDangerMouse, a new user, has more than 14 edits in the past week with many additional IP edits (as shown by him having to re-sign over his IP signature). Bduke is someone I don't know much about but he seems to have been active going back many years. Ktr101 has also been a member here for a few months and has more edits than you in the past two months. Then Darklama, Moulton, and others participated in discussion and acknowledged what has been said so far. Everyone involved has a history here, which goes against your statements. Now, perhaps they all need to use hot cats or scripts to work up a flurry of mass edits to suit your ideas of activity? Ottava Rima (talk) 16:05, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I found one user, Stanistani who has a Wikipedia Review account, very few edits and less recent edits than you, and also a supporter of SB Johnny. Did you mean him by chance? Ottava Rima (talk) 16:14, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not throwing around names but there are three whose edits involve only user space or project space edits. Regarding the rest of it, I've done categorization without scripts as well at other projects. They're a tool. Deciding what to put where takes far more time than applying the category, even when doing it by hand. My contributions have been limited because I become demotivated when every time I come around people are bickering and bitching at each other. The fact that you don't consider them real edits is another demotivating factor. Well, maybe I won't bother. The "us" versus "them" mentality is very offputting. "We" all need to get along and trying to mobilize support, fictional, fabricated, canvassed, to fight on one side of a debate over issues imagined, assumed, or exacerbated defeats the purpose. You're going around and treating everyone like an enemy, including myself, and wikilawyering at every turn. There's no policy needed to justify basic human decency and measured communication with one another. Adrignola 20:25, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
"edits involve only user space or project space edits" And that is common. We've had admin who've never edited article space or added real content. My point was that you may see a "problem" now, but you didn't mention anything when Abd blatantly canvassed 6 people to vote against me, and the people who are involved now have more activity than you do for the most part. Consistency is important. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:57, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Ottava, I deleted all the political drivel off my page from all sides, and then stayed out of the discussions, to get back to what I want to do - create a learning resource about the relationship between a writer and their audience. So I go do my own thing for a few days, come back and you are dragging my name into this discussion. Stop it. Stop all of it, the witch hunts, tossing anyone who disagrees with you into made-up investigations and recalls, and provoking people. If you stop for one week, even, I'll come back and create some content. Yes, I'm a WR member. Yes, I disagree with you there. Here, on Wikiversity, the vast majority of my few dozen edits have been on my talk page, trying to figure out how to set up a learning resource. JWS has been helpful. You have not been helpful. Want me to create content? Post on my talk page a link to a simple tutorial on how to create a resource here. StaniStani  08:41, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I mentioned all who voted because Adrignola had concerns about who voted. That isn't a "witch hunt". Ottava Rima (talk) 15:06, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
  • That's just stupid; why would you plan to rid Wikiversity of all the bureaucrats it has? It has more than enough problems keeping up without the proper of numbers present and now you want to take out the ones that can actually make them? TeleComNasSprVen 09:13, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Liquid Threads

I propose that we enable Liquid Threads at English Wikiversity to make discussions more manageable. There has been a lot of lengthy discussions of late where liquid threads could of come in handy, and I believe the Colloquium and other discussion areas could benefit from it. -- darklama  19:47, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Is this basically a discussion forum model similar to those found on sites like W-R and NetKnowledge? —Moulton 20:46, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
    Yes and no. What I believe to be similar to some forum models is that discussions are split into threads, all discussions and responses are not necessarily shown at once, and discussions can be searched and sorted. Threads can be watched, moved, edited, and they still have a revision history which I believe to be unlike any forum models I know of. -- darklama  21:32, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Never Liquid Threads are atrocious. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:54, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The problem is caused by a single user, Abd. I'm thinking of a more efficient solution. Guido den Broeder 22:01, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Never Liquid Threads are atrocious. One of the reasons I migrated from Wikieducator.Leutha 23:19, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Limited use only While I generally dislike the LiquidThreads system of talkpages, and I just think it adds a lot of bureaucracy and the potential for movethread vandalism, I find that others actually prefer having it and they think that it makes discussions go smoother. For example, there is already in effect a LiquidThreads system in action on Wiktionary, but it is not enabled by default, however the users there could simply flip a switch with the magic word {{#useliquidthreads:yes}} and it would be enabled on their usertalkpages. We could set up a similar system here, I find that it might help on smaller wikis like this one than maybe Wikipedia or Wiktionary. TeleComNasSprVen 09:09, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Should Wikiversity Evolve to a Social Contract Governance Model?

Two years ago, I proposed that Wikiversity upgrade its governance model to one based on the concept of a Community Agreement or Social Contract.

Is it timely now to reconsider that idea?

Moulton 00:21, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

  • On IRC, Mike asked for other examples of a Social Contract besides the one that Geoff Plourde drafted as his model. Here is another one that was in actual use in a community in the 1990s. —Moulton 00:46, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I suppose pretty much anything is worth a try at this point, and Moulton and I have talked about this more than a bit over the past couple years. Presumably we could at least add this to the editpage text, and perhaps have some sort of "formal" handshaking as a prerequisite to "enfranchisement". I say yes, let's try to move in that direction. --SB_Johnny talk 00:58, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Note that this also means moving in the direction of a higher level of ethics than we have seen here in the past few years. Basically, the Community Agreement is a reciprocal commitment among the signatories to strive for the highest possible level of scholarly ethics that we are individually and collectively able to muster. —Moulton 01:24, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
  • This sounds like an excellent idea. Thanks, Moulton! Guido den Broeder 01:27, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I'll accept any contract where I am paid over 15 dollars per hour. Ottava Rima (talk) 02:10, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately these Social Contracts and the current situation at Wikiversity have the same problem. Ideals are described and no practical guidance is provided for real collaboration when conflicts in the community arise which does occasionally happen. As can already be seen, without practical guidance conflicts can last a long time perhaps even indefinitely, which is far from ideal. -- darklama  02:26, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

  • You will note that the second example I gave spells out a conflict resolution process. —Moulton 04:14, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
    Unfortunately the Conflict Resolution Processes section of the second example also only describes ideals with no practical guidance, and in fact does not actually describe any process. I believe that section can be summed up as be nice, be fair, and be consistent when conflicts arise. That section refers to external sources instead of providing practical guidance itself like what steps to take to ensure consistency and fairness, what to do when people believe they have been treated unfairly within a conflict resolution process, what steps if any are required to initiate conflict resolution, when and how can a conflict resolution end, what is the minimum and maximum lengths that a conflict resolution can run for, what steps happen next when conflict resolution fails to resolve a conflict or people want conflict to end immediately because they are sick of it, how many issues if any limit can be brought up at one time, can people repeatedly bring up the same issues indefinite and if not what are the limits and what happens when those limits are reached, what happens when people are not interested in a person's personal disputes, and I could keep on going with many unanswered questions, but that could feel a page and I think that is enough for you and anyone else to hopefully understand my perspective. -- darklama  12:51, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Why not give it a go - e.g., start drafting Wikiversity:Social contract? I would be interested to learn more. On the one hand perhaps a better governance model is possible (much of the example contract seems already similar to existing policy); on the other hand, I wonder, if such a social contract will work well for many people (as does existing policy and procedure) but still not work so well for a few. To date, it seems the approach has been to iteratively try to improve local policy. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 10:19, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the additional link, Moulton. I certainly think that this is worth giving a try, though I do share some of Darklama's concerns. I understand that the community at wikiversity would develop a unique social contract based on local needs and community values. But I'm not so sure that I understand how this would aide in conflict resolution. --mikeu talk 14:51, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

On one of the pioneering learning communities that I helped organize in the early 1990s, we had on hand a person who was a professional in conflict resolution. She taught us the principles of conflict resolution and applied them in her role as mediator and arbitrator when conflicts arose. She wrote a chapter in a book about her work on that project. Here is the reference:
Moulton 17:32, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Is it possible to have objective evidence that Wikiversity's governance model is or is not one based on the concept of a Community Agreement or Social Contract? If not, then how can we know if any specific proposed change would turn Wikiversity into such a thing or does the opposite? If Wikiversity is in fact now based on such a governance model, and the proposed change designates some one person as sole authority as to what behavior is or is not consistent with the concept of a Community Agreement; then Wikiversity will have moved from a Community Agreement to a dictatorship. - WAS 4.250 19:12, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

WAS, do you reckon that a dictatorship represents mutually agreeable terms of engagement? It doesn't seem to be the case in Egypt. —Moulton 00:52, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I have two ways of saying the same thing: one too serious, one too joking; together perhaps they will successfully communicate.
A) History shows that theory and justification are often used to achieve the exact opposite of what is claimed to be the goal.
1) Declare mutually agreeable terms of engagement.
2) ?
3) Wikiversity now has better governance.
Are you related to Underpants Gnomes ? - WAS 4.250 19:41, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
You can't just up and declare "mutually agreeable terms of engagement." You actually have to negotiate them. Not that I expect the motley crew here ever to arrive at a mutually agreeable consensus, but some people might learn something useful while failing. —Moulton 20:27, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
That's a distinction that doesn't make a difference. You still wind up with:
1) Negotiate mutually agreeable terms of engagement.
2) ?
3) Wikiversity now has better governance.
- WAS 4.250 20:57, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

WAS, it works either way. Either you end up with an authentic learning community operating with a functional Community Agreement under the Social Contract Model, or you end up with something even better. —Moulton 12:53, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Is it possible to have objective evidence that "negotiation of mutually agreeable terms of engagement" is or is not taking place? (Your digging deep is very Socratic while mine is strongly influenced by logical positivism. We are making progress. Don't confuse my style with obstructionism; because from my point of view, the objective test defines the meaning of what is being said.) - WAS 4.250 09:28, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
  • It's possible to have a mix of subjective and objective evidence that incremental progress in a negotiation process is gaining net ground. Two and a half years ago, you and I didn't get very far in our ill-fated project to craft a course on the fundamentals of managerial ethics. Two years ago, Jimbo unilaterally dictated that a course on managerial ethics was "beyond the scope" of WMF-sponsored projects, thereby illustrating the power of prevailing corrupt managerial practices to stem the tide of education in ethical best practices. Today the outlook is a tad brighter, and there is some evidence (both subjective and objective) that Wikiversity is intellectually ready, emotionally willing, and politically able to give it another go. So, how can we measure this progress objectively? For starters, SBJ recently smashed Jimbo's Global Site Lock against the likes of me, and the world didn't come to an end. Laura has added her voice to the call for recrafting the Charter, Mission Statement, Community Agreement, and Code of Ethics of Wikiversity in the direction suggested by the Social Contract Model of Self-Governance. Do you agree that the tide is turning since last we visited this issue back in 2008? —Moulton 12:58, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

No governance

All parties ranging from the neo-libertarians to the social anarchists and everybody in between are calling for less governance, usually through less government. I find it ironic from my experience at WP that the Wv would be moving towards more governance, even so far as to call it a model, as it clearly does not work.

The far right on the WP is attempting to annex the freedom fringe (if not Left itself) to achieve no-governance (and eliminate its critics). So, to differentiate the Wv from the WP, we need distance ourselves from annexation by stressing freedom of speech, where the only way to go wrong is censorship: the non-consensual deletion of material. This is not to say that material cannot be reorganized; this is what we do as knowledge constructors; in fact, if there is going to be friction, as there will be, it should with where and not what. If there is a fundamental difference of opinion in a lesson plan or research model, then do what the rest of the Information Society does: fork. It is that simple.

I got into it with a nutty professor because of my contemporary humanism, so I strategically segued to the imaging technology behind genetic psycho-neurology, and he gave me an A+ for the paper. Technology is neutral, so, despite the friction, I got an A- for the class. I think that we need to focus on information technology anyway, as it is what we do, creating a safe haven from conflict.

(The Democratic Technic (from Mumford) innovates only to have it's work absorbed by the Authoritarian Technic (Mumford's fascism) to make our mixed-synergy society (from Maslow), which has recently swung so far to the right that humanity may not survive!)

I ultimately resolved friction with the nutty professor by assisting his transition from Dawkins to Christ (God help me!) though Heine from Jung. While on the topic of Jung--and I know your interests in classicism--I think you will all enjoy my writing on Jung's approach as it tackles Jung's approach to the object. Now that I know that the object/subject relationship is about "attachment to the object," I am seeing the object everywhere, especially in writing about natural science; from Jung's perspective, we are mostly objectivist. Subjectiveness to Jung means introversion, which he supported, I believe, only because of Freud's mindwash. I also tackle Jung's racism, which, if repaired, triggers a recalculation of his psychological approach resulting in an " openness to new experience," what we would expect from Jung: Maslow's 60s revolution.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 20:48, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

"Less governance," taken mindlessly, is not viable, because it leads to the State of Nature, which leads to the establishment of ad hoc, defacto governance, which can easily become, and often becomes, more abusive than more sophisticated models. Rather, forms of governance -- which, in this context, simply means collective decision-making -- are needed which seek consensus, and which enable this by setting up process that protects minority opinion without allowing Endless Debate to overwhelm the majority. There are techniques that work. They do not ordinarily arise spontaneously, they are the product of centuries of experience, and this isn't necessarily taught in school! Wikis have generally imagined that they were immune to the Iron Law of Oligarchy. They are not. It takes conscious effort to set up true consensus process, and respect for what it takes, which is frequently deep discussion. That's why, in fact, many groups are intolerant of deep discussion, because it can take a lot of time to participate; and that is why classical organizations set up committee process, to prefilter what goes before the community as a whole. All of this can be done on-wiki, but it's not necessarily "natural," and it's not necessarily easy in practice. People resist it, each for their own reasons. --Abd 21:05, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Arguing against something even you call "State of Nature" is not the best strategy to convince me, because if you know anything about me I live for evolution, and, as such, believe that we evolved form Nature! Anyone who finds fault with Nature is obviously de-evolving and subject to Nature's harsher realities that keep that pack strong. Anyway, look at the classical writing as I think you will like it.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 21:18, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
John, you've misread what I wrote. The State of Nature is simply that. I'm not "arguing against" it, that would be silly, it would be like arguing against children, or against tribes. Wake up, John, the world is much larger than you think. --Abd 21:43, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
The oligarchic picture is a picture within a picture. I got this impression when I was dealing with the neo-libertarians but I didn't relate it to oligarchy until I started tracing back the meanings of reason and sense. Then I met Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and learned that they implemented Western Civilization by creating an information system called the Academy, or Lyceum, that survived intact to become our education system. Plato's Republic is the obvious corporate template, though he is more credited for the government template. I wondered "is this just a problem or a phenomena?" One look at the Asian Confucian structure answered that question very quickly, and added knowledge about the examination system that is used to stratify society (Mandarins, the masses). The Socratics worked to benefit a rebel military structure, that, despite being particularly, well, Spartan, was militarily inferior to the birth place of democracy that they kept attacking, Athens, where the Lyceum was--infiltrators. This learning answered a lot of questions, like where is the manual for this thing, its the Education system. But it presented another unexpected question. Just as I had reinforced my position against oligarchy last summer, I added a new friend to my social alliance--a philosophy professor who professes love for the Stoics and Cynics. He rationalizes that the Socratics were rebels within the structure of Athens, which had actually been collecting tribute under false pretenses to build the building picture in the upper left corner of this page. The only way I could reconcile this anomaly is that this intellectual rebellion is a picture within a picture, with the socialist Russian Revolution giving rise to the oligarchic Soviet Union as perfect example.
This learning presents a number of troubling realizations; there is no way to know were someone is at as they may be the picture within the picture--the rebels all now appear to be budding oligarchs, and that civilization is not society but the exploitation of society as a resource. Athens had a democratic society that was disrupted by the oligarchy of the Lyceum to create an exceedingly violent Western Civilization. Let me attempt to close this by going back to my original intent, to say that I was initially looking at the evolution of human thought through the evolution of the words "sense" and "reason." I have figured out that the best strategy is to ignore reason, as reason comes from Roman ratio-, or rationalization, a purely oligarchic synthesis (modernism). "Sense" is ancient (pre-modern), making sensible suggestions naturally preferable, and delicious too!
Think about it this way: the WP is in fact the peak of Civilization if you consider contemporary humanity to be the Information Society--since ancient Egypt (as Mumford taught). And we are considered, I think, to be the rebel and hence Socratic camp within that information system. It seems counter-intuitive that we should host an obsessive law-making group, but it should surprise no one! What seems like an experimental microcosm is not experimental because there nothing microcosmic about the WP. The only thing different about the WP, and hence Wv, is that we are online.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 02:26, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I love it. The Towering Wall of Text meets the Towering Extension Ladder of Reason. Moulton 11:25, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I am glad you "love it." But I am wondering if you actually read it! I am rejecting reason, not yours or abd's, all reason. And I am avoiding the post-modern argument by being pre-modern, but not Luddite. Just restore the "State of Nature" by eliminating the environmental tragedies (famine) and the spiritual paradoxes (killing to survive). Proof of the pre-modern technology is ten thousand year highly-empathic development of a plant, the soy, that substitutes for meat, and reinforces the soil. Proof of post-modern failure is that that plant now enforces tribal suffering in, for instance, of South American rainforests by implementing soy production as colonial exploitation necessitating the destruction of the State of Nature, and in so doing, proving Abd's point.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 16:25, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
  • OK, maybe I don't love it as much as I did at first. It feels like my brain is turning to tofu. —Moulton 16:33, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
  • OK, thanks for your honesty. The problem with reason is that (from recent observation and experiementation) rationalists have no sense of proportion (despite being named for it, Latin -ratio. In fact, rationalism is best defined in Freud's defenses, which to me are defenses implemented after endless failed offense because, basically, rationalists don't work well with others to create life's necessities. They steal, get busted, and then reconstitute the whole affair as an internal struggle--totally senseless, but completely in control at the WP.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 16:50, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

In summary: This is why I am proposing a technical fork for the Wp; technology, being neutral ground, is far less prone to conflict, and hence needs less governance. The WP does need a MW (mediawiki) school, and a development area for all the different levels of tech: Microkernel OS, Free communication via 802.11 (or other), modifying the MW for the sticky needs of student evaluation (replace Moodle), and other things such as the restoration of beneficial legacies: valves.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 16:57, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

  • John, the technical fork already exists. Go to NetKnowledge and register there. It's a Social Contract fork of WV that stands ready to host projects that are likely to be disrupted here by unrelenting political drama. —Moulton 07:49, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

No governance?

Simply, I live to govern or steer my way,

adapting to ever-changing contexts or situations.

Collectively, in analogy or in corollary,
we also live to govern or steer our way that way.

That is the very way
Egyptians go right away.

Never forget, however, that to govern your way is not to help govern other ways. American and Egyptian ways of governance should vary. Then, (even bilateral) free trade agreements may be too harmful for your self-governance of utmost vitality. -- KYPark [T] 08:14, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

This goes to the myth of global economy. Economies are local or regional, much past that is colonialism or an extension of it. Adam Smith helped ruin Scotland, causing mass migrations (50,000+ / year) from that rich and parsimonious land. So the issue is not just pan-regional, but pan-personal, which goes to the free speech that we need to support original research.-- 16:28, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

add cite this page?

I think we should add "cite this page" functionality to our toolbox, like Wikipedia has. The Mediawiki extension is "Cite". As an academic resource I think it makes sense for it to be as easy as possible for people to cite our resources. --Charles Jeffrey Danoff 23:06, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I couldn't find "cite this page" in my Wikipedia toolbar but I think it makes sense to have it. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:13, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
it's the last item in the toolbox, here's an example --Charles Jeffrey Danoff 06:35, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I see it now. It should be fine. I don't see what problems it would create. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:08, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I support enabling this feature, should make citing Wikiversity as a source easier for people. -- darklama  13:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support Richardofoakshire 15:24, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Filed: bugzilla:27896 -- darklama  17:29, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support (for the benefit of our friends at bz ;-). --SB_Johnny talk 17:49, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

People can now cite Wikiversity easily: Special:Cite/Wikiversity:Colloquium. -- darklama  21:45, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Add to Toolbox? The Jade Knight (d'viser) 19:34, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Is this a Spam?

Is this a spam? [2] IDangerMouse 15:59, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

It may be worse than spam. I haven't tried going to the website because I can be overly cautious. I think the website may be an attempt to spoof the national geographic website. Google shows only few results, which contain "National Geographic", but whois shows its not registered or administrated by the same people as the real website. -- darklama  16:40, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
I removed it to be safe. It didn't seem to belong there anyway. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:58, 27 January 2011 (UTC)