Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
On 14 April 2013 12:24, Charles Matthews
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Mmm, I remember that mail and whom I suggested ...


I didn't see you in that thread ... who were you thinking of?


> I'm still quite deletionist on BLPs because of examples where our
> "rules" are too easy to game. I'm certainly not an anti-stub
> deletionist because that I see as destructive of future growth, and I
> improve many stubs these days. If "passionate" means "nuance-free",
> which is a fair cop much of the time, then I agree with you.


I favour James Forrester and Thomas Dalton's arguments here:

http://www.mail-archive.com/wikimediauk-l@.../msg01454.html

- that Wikipedia started as anything-goes, this was severely cut back
and we're now closer to a nuanced equilibrium.

- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 8:34 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 14 April 2013 01:29, Gwern Branwen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 7:54 PM, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> >> Jimbo and Angela did not play a significant role in debates over
> >> inclusion and deletion
>
> > Indeed, that was my point. I don't think they did anything, or
> > intended anything of the kind, but they chose not to intervene back
> > when the gradual slide could have been stopped and so the ultimate
> > effect was much the same. (Amusingly eventually leading to a nasty
> > surprise for Jimbo with Mzoli's.)
>
>
> You're assuming they could have



He certainly could have intervened in the arb com cases where I was
vilified for my VfD comments, which I guess would be characterized as
"inclusionist".
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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Gwern Branwen-2
On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 7:35 PM, Gwern Branwen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> My own
> impression was that the debates were never resolved so much as the
> inclusionists driven out. Just look at the editor population numbers
> from the last 9 years, since 2006, or look at the article growth
> rates. Has the Foundation succeeded in keeping the editor population
> from dropping (never mind growing, or growing as fast as the
> Internet)? I've tracked some of the public goals and they've failed
> entirely.
>


IIRC, some key inflection points on the "oh shit graph" match up fairly
closely with the elimination of article creation by "anonymous" users.
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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On 14 April 2013 13:41, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> He certainly could have intervened in the arb com cases where I was
> vilified for my VfD comments, which I guess would be characterized as
> "inclusionist".


I think the overarching problem was that you spent several years being
an unproductive pain in the backside. This tends to leave people less
inspired to generosity.


- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Anthony-73
On Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 8:59 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 14 April 2013 13:41, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > He certainly could have intervened in the arb com cases where I was
> > vilified for my VfD comments, which I guess would be characterized as
> > "inclusionist".
>
>
> I think the overarching problem was that you spent several years being
> an unproductive pain in the backside. This tends to leave people less
> inspired to generosity.


Granted.  If I knew now what I knew then...  Well, I probably just would
have left sooner.  But the overarching focus of both arb com cases was
surrounding VfD.

As for the correlation of the "oh shit graph" to inclusionism/deletionism:

A restriction of new article creation to registered users only was put in
place in December 2005." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Wikipedia
)

In December 2005, there is a sharp spike in "active editors", and a sharp
decline in 1-year retention.  I would say that is at least partially a
direct result.
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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
On 14 April 2013 14:04, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> As for the correlation of the "oh shit graph" to inclusionism/deletionism:
> A restriction of new article creation to registered users only was put in
> place in December 2005." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Wikipedia
> )
> In December 2005, there is a sharp spike in "active editors", and a sharp
> decline in 1-year retention.  I would say that is at least partially a
> direct result.


This is an interesting observation I haven't seen before. How's our
new pages handling these days? How are the patrollers coping with the
firehose of shit?


- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
Looking more at this, it seems that Wales has been given "credit" for
exactly this intervention:

"Wales has, in the past, instructed Wikimedia's system administrators to
implement software changes that constitute de facto Wikipedia policy
changes. For instance, in December 2005, in response to the Seigenthaler
incident, Wales removed the ability of unregistered users to create new
pages on the English-language Wikipedia. This change was proposed as an
"experiment", but has been in place ever since."

We have Wales to "thank" for the absurd "Articles for Creation" process (Is
that still around?  I haven't checked in a long time.).  Seems to me that
constitutes a "significant role in debates over inclusion deletion".
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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 14 April 2013 13:28, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 14 April 2013 12:24, Charles Matthews
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Mmm, I remember that mail and whom I suggested ...
>
>
> I didn't see you in that thread ... who were you thinking of?

It was a private reply and explanation about a well-known critic of
our BLPs. Water under the bridge.

>> I'm still quite deletionist on BLPs because of examples where our
>> "rules" are too easy to game. I'm certainly not an anti-stub
>> deletionist because that I see as destructive of future growth, and I
>> improve many stubs these days. If "passionate" means "nuance-free",
>> which is a fair cop much of the time, then I agree with you.
>
>
> I favour James Forrester and Thomas Dalton's arguments here:
>
> http://www.mail-archive.com/wikimediauk-l@.../msg01454.html
>
> - that Wikipedia started as anything-goes, this was severely cut back
> and we're now closer to a nuanced equilibrium.

Almost all attempts at writing enWP's history are good (I except the
one at Wikimania in DC which was a multi-dimensional trainwreck).

I had my pet theory for a few years, that there was too little
disruption - which I kept quiet about for several reasons, not the
least of which was that I'm unsure of the spelling of Nietzsche at the
best of times, but am sure I don't want to be associated with him.
Also from a wonkish point of view saying that makes for no useful
policy point arising. It mostly harks back to good old days that are
really very fictional.

We're not yet at a healthy equilibrium. I've used the history in a
workshop once, and the editor retention graph shows the need to be
thoughtful.

It is clear that we moved away from the old-style "What I Know Is"
criterion for inclusion quite sharply in 2007. What needs to be
explained more clearly is what took its place. I remember saying to
Brianna Laugher at the time - she raised the point in Taipei, so was
ahead of many of us - that "people who like rules" were displacing the
old-school guys. Five years on I'm still hoping for the one-liner that
says it better. I produced one for JISC when I was talking to them
with Martin Poulter. Either it wasn't really memorable, or I'm having
a senior moment and it'll come back to me.

Charles

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
On 14 April 2013 14:24, Charles Matthews
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> What needs to be
> explained more clearly is what took its place. I remember saying to
> Brianna Laugher at the time - she raised the point in Taipei, so was
> ahead of many of us - that "people who like rules" were displacing the
> old-school guys.


There's something about the whole process that's catnip for people who
desperately want nothing more from life than a real-world game of
Nomic. This was obvious by 2004, when we were still in many ways
working out from first principles how to write an encyclopedia.


- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On 14 April 2013 14:21, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> We have Wales to "thank" for the absurd "Articles for Creation" process (Is
> that still around?  I haven't checked in a long time.).  Seems to me that
> constitutes a "significant role in debates over inclusion deletion".


Only by a stretch. I'd call it an argument against top-down
intervention. There is no such thing as rescue by magic, and berating
someone for failing to do the impossible strikes me as pointless.
Pretty much everything that's fucked up about Wikipedia is emergent
behaviour of people being a problem, and top-down magic can't possibly
scale to fix that. It can cripple it, though.


- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
On 14 April 2013 14:29, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 14 April 2013 14:21, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> We have Wales to "thank" for the absurd "Articles for Creation" process (Is
>> that still around?  I haven't checked in a long time.).  Seems to me that
>> constitutes a "significant role in debates over inclusion deletion".

> Only by a stretch. I'd call it an argument against top-down
> intervention. There is no such thing as rescue by magic, and berating
> someone for failing to do the impossible strikes me as pointless.
> Pretty much everything that's fucked up about Wikipedia is emergent
> behaviour of people being a problem, and top-down magic can't possibly
> scale to fix that. It can cripple it, though.


I'll also note that I suspect opening up article creation to anons
again will be impossible within the community - because they actually
wanted to lock it down even further, and the Foundation stepped in and
said "no, keep it open".


- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Anthony-73
On Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 9:31 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 14 April 2013 14:29, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 14 April 2013 14:21, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >> We have Wales to "thank" for the absurd "Articles for Creation" process
> (Is
> >> that still around?  I haven't checked in a long time.).  Seems to me
> that
> >> constitutes a "significant role in debates over inclusion deletion".
>
> > Only by a stretch. I'd call it an argument against top-down
> > intervention. There is no such thing as rescue by magic, and berating
> > someone for failing to do the impossible strikes me as pointless.
> > Pretty much everything that's fucked up about Wikipedia is emergent
> > behaviour of people being a problem, and top-down magic can't possibly
> > scale to fix that. It can cripple it, though.
>
>
> I'll also note that I suspect opening up article creation to anons
> again will be impossible within the community - because they actually
> wanted to lock it down even further, and the Foundation stepped in and
> said "no, keep it open".


I don't see what the stretch is.  Wales made it much more difficult for
Wikipedia neophytes to create new articles.  That's pretty clearly relevant
to the inclusion/deletion debate.

As far as what is possible/impossible, I think you're largely correct.  As
was suggested by Gwern, the "inclusionists" were largely driven out, and
the 2005/2006 time frame was probably the peak of that.

I'm certainly not suggesting that article creation be reopened to anons and
that this is going to solve anything.  Actually I'm not suggesting anything
at all as far as what should be done.  I make an occasional edit, usually
with a throwaway account or under an IP address, but I don't follow this
stuff that much any more.

I'm not even saying very much about whether or not the right choices were
made back in the 2003/2004/2005/2006 time-frame that I'm familiar with.  I
do think "Articles for Creation" is absurd, though even that is more a
comment on the technology/interface than on the idea (if you want to make
new articles go through a review process, there are much better ways to
design the interface).  But for the most part what caused me to comment was
to point out facts in the history which are relevant to others who wish to
make those evaluations.
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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
> Looking more at this, it seems that Wales has been given "credit" for
> exactly this intervention:
>
> "Wales has, in the past, instructed Wikimedia's system administrators to
> implement software changes that constitute de facto Wikipedia policy
> changes. For instance, in December 2005, in response to the Seigenthaler
> incident, Wales removed the ability of unregistered users to create new
> pages on the English-language Wikipedia. This change was proposed as an
> "experiment", but has been in place ever since."
>
> We have Wales to "thank" for the absurd "Articles for Creation" process
> (Is
> that still around?  I haven't checked in a long time.).  Seems to me that
> constitutes a "significant role in debates over inclusion deletion".

Together with the Arbitration Committee Jimbo initiated the Biographies
of living persons policy. His involvement in deletion was with respect to
pseudo-scientific physics theories.

Fred



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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Hex .
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 14 April 2013 14:29, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Pretty much everything that's fucked up about Wikipedia is emergent
> behaviour of people being a problem


I think you mean "failure of management".
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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Fred Bauder-2
> On 14 April 2013 14:29, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Pretty much everything that's fucked up about Wikipedia is emergent
>> behaviour of people being a problem
>
>
> I think you mean "failure of management".
> _______________________________________________

When we had a manager, Larry Sanger, he was both unconscious of and
unable to deal with the natural dynamics of people as they grappled with
an evolving situation. A system of self-management continues to evolve.

Fred



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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Hex .
On 15 April 2013 16:43, Hex . <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 14 April 2013 14:29, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> Pretty much everything that's fucked up about Wikipedia is emergent
>> behaviour of people being a problem

> I think you mean "failure of management".


No, I think I mean what I wrote, which in the version of the email
you're responding to that *isn't* quote-mined reads:

There is no such thing as rescue by magic, and berating
someone for failing to do the impossible strikes me as pointless.
Pretty much everything that's fucked up about Wikipedia is emergent
behaviour of people being a problem, and top-down magic can't possibly
scale to fix that. It can cripple it, though.

Quote-mining is odious. Don't do it.


- d.

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Hex .
Don't get your panties in a bunch, David. "Quote-mining"? What is this,
Usenet?
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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Scott Martin
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder-2
On 15 April 2013 16:49, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:

> When we had a manager, Larry Sanger, he was both unconscious of and
> unable to deal with the natural dynamics of people as they grappled with
> an evolving situation. A system of self-management continues to evolve.


Ergo, better management was required. Describing the current mess that is
the English Wikipedia as having "a system of self-management" is generous.
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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Hex .
On 15 April 2013 16:43, Hex . <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 14 April 2013 14:29, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Pretty much everything that's fucked up about Wikipedia is emergent
>> behaviour of people being a problem
>
>
> I think you mean "failure of management".

Well, it is an unsolved problem how to assign anyone to do anything in
a system where everyone self-assigns their tasks. If there were any
management, it would be unfair to label this "failure", I think. It is
a bit like dividing 0 by 0 and announcing the answer: not easy to
argue with, but the problem is rather with the question.

Actually a more accurate answer might be that WP clearly needs a
measure of contrarianism in its workforce, because otherwise everyone
would be working on the same, overmanned tasks. It would be remarkably
good luck if we just happened to have exactly the right amount of
contrariness.

To get back on topic, maybe, if one has a single-person writing
project, the psychological correlate of inclusionism is a complete
lack of self-criticism, and of deletionism is a kind of writer's
block. Which is sort of why the question is a crock. Any competent
writer avoids both: bins some stuff and gets on with something else if
a particular bit is being awkward.

Charles

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Re: Psychological correlates of deletionism/inclusionism?

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Hex .
> Don't get your panties in a bunch, David. "Quote-mining"? What is this,
> Usenet?

He was probably there... He's an old coon dog and won't chase a rabbit.

Fred


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