Wiki Constructionists

An alternative view to WikiReductionists that says that the primary way to increase the quality of Wiki is to add good content. Deleting noise can certainly help (although it's hard to do without causing damage), but it's no replacement for working hard to write valuable material.

Note on the title of this page: the opposite of Reductionist is not Constructionist but Holist. -- StephanHouben

But this isn't a opposing view, it's an alternative, and as Richard notes below, not mutually exclusive either. Thanks for the new word though. -- PhilGoodwin

We just want to hug you both for being so polite. -- some HumanBeings (just passing)

Am I allowed to be both? If you look carefully the WikiReductionists have never said that reduction is the primary way to increase quality, but a necessary part of the long term project. -- RichardDrake

It seems like there is a fairly strong tension between creating and editing on this wiki. From what I've seen most of the deletions of the past week or so have been of the healthier sort. I know that for a while I was more than happy to delete anything that said PleaseDelete. And self-important fatuousness should always be deleted. However, I can understand wanting to make off the cuff remarks that don't become permanent part of the conversation, but that are seen by most of the participants in a given thread, but that's not how wiki works. It's well worth it to take your time and choose your words. Also, archive writing you like, wiki is deliberately insecure,it's like writing on the sand, and that may be its secret strength. -- LarryPrice

I believe the four original WikiReductionists have acted as you imply here, Larry. But we now also seem to be dealing with one or more anonymous people whose deletions have been of the much less healthy sort. See my own page for one example, but by no means the cleverest. -- RichardDrake

[There were FourAnonymousContributions? here that complained about deletions but gave no examples]

The insults in FourAnonymousContributions? are aimed at four people who from the start have signalled their intentions and signed their work, thus taking responsibility for their "crimes", however heinous. They also accepted the almost instantaneous judgment of a single person who reversed most of their much debated and thought through, proposed deletes - at least until more opinions came along. And the FourAnonymousContributions? certainly are more opinions, though it's not yet clear from how many people and on what hard evidence. I would appreciate it if our trenchant critics sign to say who they are and give examples of what they're talking about. -- RichardDrake

Someone wiped out GodVsStalin?.

Yeah, God and Stalin met up with MartinNoutch and came off much the worse, but after the FourAnonymousContributions?. I'm still astounded by the claim there that almost everything I've added since I discovered Wiki has been deleted. How can anyone think that such an accusation is better made anonymously, without a scrap of evidence? -- RichardDrake

JohnRepici: Richard, I would have to say from experience that most of the commenting here is from people who've had their posts deleted, insulted, or obfuscated by anonymous WikiCreeps.

RichardDrake: A number of us now think that the anonymous WikiCreep(s) has being playing both sides of the argument. Clever, and a monumental waste of time.

JohnRepici: I'm basing this on how often it has been done to me personally, and on the assumption that these people must be doing it to a lot of others since posts to that effect are popping up faster than the WikiReductionists can delete and/or alter them. As for examples, they abound, they're almost unavoidable.

RichardDrake: We assume that you've been a specific target John. I wasn't responsible for removing a single word of yours and I'm really sorry for you.

JohnRepici: Though every sane guideline I've ever seen on Wiki says "Don't touch active discussions", this one is being butchered on an hourly basis, in some very creative ways. Do you know who these anonymous people are who are tearing this page to shreds?

RichardDrake: No I don't know John. But I take the question very seriously.

JohnRepici: I'm not one of the people behind FourAnonymousContributions? who legitimately fear reprisal from these out of control creeps, but one of a growing number of very fed up GoodWikiCitizens

RichardDrake: Maybe they "fear" reprisals from themselves. The question is now: what can people of goodwill on Wiki do against such an attack?

Do you know who these anonymous people are who are tearing this page to shreds?

How can we be sure they are people? How will it help to know their names? Lets hope that somewhere inside wiki there is some protection against programmed malice. -- RichardCollins

I don't believe that it matters. The question wasn't really "who are they", but rather "how can their mind be so twisted as to harm this useful page". -- AmirLivne

Also, archive writing you like, wiki is deliberately insecure, it's like writing on the sand, and that may be it's secret strength.

This is a key point. It reminds of the times when hard drives, and small computer systems generally, were a lot more dodgy and less reliable than they are now.

Maxims like "You Can Never Have Enough Backups" or "If Its Important, Make Sure You Have Another Copy" maybe not so important these days. Always having another copy of something important makes things a lot easier when little disasters occur. In the same way that graffiti can be seen to stop recurring if it is consistently being removed, maybe the 'auto deletes' will stop if they are consistently put back!

It's not the point though, people should not have to bother about stuff like this. It's good to have backups though. -- RichardCollins

re Reductionists vs Constructionists: I think there will always be large differences of opinion about how to edit differences of opinion. I think the variation and selection evolutionary concepts, embodied, for example, in EveryThing as (implicit) "voting" on two or more variants covering a single topic, are powerful. That was part of my rationale for exploring an OrSee concept; it could plausibly be a way to reduce the problems associated with some hard Wiki editing conundrums. -- RalphMellor

I've eliminated OrSee as a concept and page separate from SeeAlso. -- RalphMellor


View edit of December 6, 2004 or FindPage with title or text search