Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
> Is this true? I thought the primary way Wikipedia dealt with vandalism
> is by treating it as just another edit, the bad ones of which are more
> likely to be nixed by subsequent edits.
>
> My personal experience is that a tiny percentage of vandalism requires
> more power to solve. Is that not the case?

That is exactly the case, however a tiny percentage of a very large
number is still quite a large number. Most vandalism doesn't require
admin intervention, there is still quite a lot (often the worst kinds)
that do need blocking or protection to stop them.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Steve Bennett-8
> > Wikipedia is not an experiment - the scientific method does not apply.
>
> This is a bizzarre statement. Wikipedia may not "be" an experiment,
> but it can certainly conduct experiments to find out the best way of
> operating.

If Wikipedia were a type of science then experiments would be the only
way to find out the best way of operating. However, we are not a type
of science, our aim is to operate as well as possible, not just to
find out what the best way is. That means doing the experiment could
be extremely damaging - this isn't the kind of proposal that can be
tested on a test wiki, it must be tested on the real thing, and it
could be horribly wrong. In situations were it isn't practical to test
a proposition, we have to use logical arguments to work out which is
best without actually doing it. It's not ideal, but in some cases it's
the only way of finding out without the risk of it going wrong - I
feel this is one of those cases.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
Timwi wrote:

>Thomas Dalton wrote:
>  
>
>>Wikipedia is not an experiment - the scientific method does not apply.
>>    
>>
>This is just plain wrong.
>
>It is true that Wikipedia is not an experiment in a lot of things (incl.
>online democracy, anarchy, etc.), but Wikipedia *is* and has always been
>an experiment to create an encyclopedia using a wiki. A lot of things
>have changed in Wikipedia because people realised at some point that
>certain aspects didn't work very well (e.g. the CamcelCase convention
>was removed because people eventually realised that having articles
>titled "DemocracY" and "TelephonE" is stupid). There is no reason to
>believe that Wikipedia has now reached a perfect state and requires no
>further changes to the way it works.
>
Absolutely.  In relation to scientific method, it is not something that
you turn on and off as you go through the laboratory door.  We do well
to alternate bouts of empirical observation and logical reasoning in
everything that we do.

Ec


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
> Absolutely.  In relation to scientific method, it is not something that
> you turn on and off as you go through the laboratory door.  We do well
> to alternate bouts of empirical observation and logical reasoning in
> everything that we do.

Observation is not the same as experimentation. Experimenting requires
doing something and then observing the results. Observing what happens
in the real world and using that as a basis for out decisions is
always a good idea, I agree, but experimenting can do more harm than
good.

In science, experimenting is always the best way to reach a decision,
since the purpose is simply to gain knowledge. We are not here to
learn how to run Wikipedia, we're here to actually run it, which means
we have to accept that we can't always learn everything we want to.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by geni
geni wrote:
> On 2/15/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>Not sure what you're talking about there, "without admin backup"?
>
> What I say. do you want to go up against 30+ socks without an admin to
> be able to throw around protection and blocking?

Why are you talking about a situation without admins? I don't know where
you got this from.

>>>Wouldn't bother with resysopping. Just keep up the attack with the
>>>next sock. or wait a few days and use that one. either way by the time
>>>all the sock are blocked it is too too late.
>>
>>Too late for what?
>
> To prevent the damage.

OK, maybe you don't know this yet, but all changes in MediaWiki can be
undone. There is no such thing as permanent damage.

>>>Because that has been what has happened with 100% of our vandals so far.
>>Yes, precisely.
> [[Irony]]

The irony lies in the fact that your ironically-meant statement is
actually true. (Well, almost. Of course there are negligible numbers of
people who are truly persistent. But on the whole, very close to 100% of
all vandals give up.)

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
> Why are you talking about a situation without admins? I don't know where
> you got this from.

Your proposal to make almost everyone admins is effectively a proposal
to remove admins.

> OK, maybe you don't know this yet, but all changes in MediaWiki can be
> undone. There is no such thing as permanent damage.

You can't revert bad press, or hurting someone's feelings, or someone
leaving Wikipedia because of stress, etc. There is definitely such a
thing as permanent damage.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>Why are you talking about a situation without admins? I don't know where
>>you got this from.
>
> Your proposal to make almost everyone admins is effectively a proposal
> to remove admins.

So the wiki idea is effectively an idea to remove editors?

>>OK, maybe you don't know this yet, but all changes in MediaWiki can be
>>undone. There is no such thing as permanent damage.
>
> You can't revert bad press, or hurting someone's feelings, or someone
> leaving Wikipedia because of stress, etc. There is definitely such a
> thing as permanent damage.

Your creativity is taking wings! No-one so far has talked about bad
press or hurt feelings. In particular, no-one so far has suggested that
my proposal would increase the incidence of such. Much less has anyone
provided any *actual evidence* that it would -- it might just as well
reduce it (and I have already provided arguments why it might). But your
innovative invention of specious arguments is truly remarkable, I must say!

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
> So the wiki idea is effectively an idea to remove editors?

Yes. Wikis make no distinction between editors and readers. Just as
your proposal would make no distinction between editors/readers and
admins.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>So the wiki idea is effectively an idea to remove editors?
>
> Yes. Wikis make no distinction between editors and readers. Just as
> your proposal would make no distinction between editors/readers and
> admins.

That is correct. That is very different, however, from saying "There are
[effectively] no admins". That would be like saying "On a wiki, there
are [effectively] no editors". That's just absurd.

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
> That is correct. That is very different, however, from saying "There are
> [effectively] no admins". That would be like saying "On a wiki, there
> are [effectively] no editors". That's just absurd.

It's just a difference in the definition of admin. Is an admin a
person with access to what we call "admin tools", or is it a person
with access to tools not available to everyone else? When we say we
need admins to deal with major vandalism, we are using the 2nd
definition. You are using the first.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

geni
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
On 2/16/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Why are you talking about a situation without admins? I don't know where
> you got this from.
>

It's the closest analogue of an admin vs admin conflict available that
you could really understand.

> OK, maybe you don't know this yet, but all changes in MediaWiki can be
> undone.

There are attacks that would take a lot more effort to undo than to do.

>There is no such thing as permanent damage.

I could put the goatse on every page tubgirl on every watch list and
lemon part on the main page. Throw in some stuff from the pain series
on the block page as a little surprise for whoever tried to stop me.



> The irony lies in the fact that your ironically-meant statement is
> actually true. (Well, almost. Of course there are negligible numbers of
> people who are truly persistent. But on the whole, very close to 100% of
> all vandals give up.)
>

WOW? Communism Vandal? Mr treason? General Tojo? Squidwad? how many of
these would you be happy to have their hands on admin powers?

--
geni

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
Timwi wrote:

>Luna wrote:
>  
>
>>>There is no reason to
>>>believe that Wikipedia has now reached a perfect state and requires no
>>>further changes to the way it works.
>>>      
>>>
>>True, but that doesn't even come close to implying that this particular
>>crazy idea should be implemented.
>>    
>>
>You are right; however, it *does* refute the previous argument that
>tried to justify that it "should not" be implemented.
>
>The reason it should be implemented is because nobody can currently know
>whether it will work better than the current situation or not because
>no-one's tried it before. If it doesn't work out, we can still go back
>to the old system, but then we'll at least *know* that it didn't work
>and can address whatever problems came up. I have given several ideas
>why I think it might work, and why the proposal addresses existing problems.
>
That's why I suggested a random sample of 100 - subject only to some
fairly low level conditions that indicate a willingness to stick around,
and no obvious signs of dementia.  Track that 100 for three months to
see what happens.  Also track the 100 most recent RfA appointments and
compare the statistics for the two groups.  Why should anybody object to
controlled results?

>>What's the line of defense when somebody lines up 20-30 admin socks,
>>blocking and desysopping everyone in sight, resysopping each other and
>>retaliating when anyone tries to stop them?
>>    
>>
>Surely this is the same old argument that also says that wikis can't
>work because anyone could rack up 20-30 socks and keep reverting their
>favourite articles to their favourite biased version.
>
>If you let more people be admins, there *will be* enough admins around
>to block 20-30 misbehaving accounts. Notice that if one of them gets
>blocked (desysopped) for good reason, one of the socks resysopping him
>would also qualify as misbehaving; eventually all of the socks will be
>blocked (desysopped). Vandals will soon realise that it is not worth it,
>and after a short initial rage, people will stop even attempting to
>create 30 sockpuppet accounts.
>
The idea that there could be 30 sockpuppets in a random sample of 100
users is out of touch with reality.

Ec


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>>So the wiki idea is effectively an idea to remove editors?
>>    
>>
>Yes. Wikis make no distinction between editors and readers. Just as
>your proposal would make no distinction between editors/readers and
>admins.
>
If you're so hostile to wikis why do you waste your time with them?

Ec


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
Ray Saintonge wrote:
>
> That's why I suggested a random sample of 100 - subject only to some
> fairly low level conditions that indicate a willingness to stick around,
> and no obvious signs of dementia.

But that way you are already skewing the statistics. Someone who is
*not* intending to stick around, but would still end up sticking around,
would fall through your sieve.

Timwi


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
Timwi wrote:

>geni wrote:
>  
>
>>>>Because that has been what has happened with 100% of our vandals so far.
>>>>        
>>>>
>>>Yes, precisely.
>>>      
>>>
>>[[Irony]]
>>    
>>
>The irony lies in the fact that your ironically-meant statement is
>actually true. (Well, almost. Of course there are negligible numbers of
>people who are truly persistent. But on the whole, very close to 100% of
>all vandals give up.)
>
Most vandals have one character trait that works in our favour - their
short attention span.

Ec


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
Timwi wrote:

>Ray Saintonge wrote:
>  
>
>>That's why I suggested a random sample of 100 - subject only to some
>>fairly low level conditions that indicate a willingness to stick around,
>>and no obvious signs of dementia.
>>    
>>
>But that way you are already skewing the statistics. Someone who is
>*not* intending to stick around, but would still end up sticking around,
>would fall through your sieve.
>
Are you suggesting no conditions at all?  What I'm suggesting is really
low level stuff.  If somebody stuck around for 2 or 3 daya a month ago,
and maybe put together a good series of edits, but we haven't seen him
since what's the point of making him an admin if we're not going to see
him around again.

I'd like to see the whole system liberalized so that it works.  I'm sure
willing to allow a few easy conditions for the sake of having it
happen.  That's a lot more important than making some ideological point.

Ec


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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
> >Yes. Wikis make no distinction between editors and readers. Just as
> >your proposal would make no distinction between editors/readers and
> >admins.
> >
> If you're so hostile to wikis why do you waste your time with them?

Who said I'm hostile to wikis? I never said that making no distinction
between editors and readers is a bad thing, I just said that it's what
wikis did.

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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

Habj
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
2007/2/9, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:

> The system we use for editing pages (the one you think should be
> extended to admin powers) results in an enormous amount of vandalism,
> which takes a lot of effort to clean up. It's considered worth it, so
> we just shut up and get on with it. Using the same system with admin
> powers would result in an equal amount of admin vandalism, which takes
> more effort to clean up, does more damage, and is not at all worth it.


Can wrongly merged page histories be demerged?

/habj
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Re: Your comments on wikien-l regarding adminship

geni
On 2/19/07, habj <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Can wrongly merged page histories be demerged?

Yes. Would take hours/days of solid work in the case of long histories.

--
geni

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