Wiki Stroke

The term WikiMindWipe, though no doubt sincerely felt at the time (and the Hal paraphrase was ideally suited to the circumstances), in the cold light of the following week seems too emotional, indeed prejudicial.

Here's an alternative: what happened to Wiki was a stroke. The VB discussion, to take the most obvious cause, caused a clot, and pressure built up around it until an infarct formed. This spread into a penumbra of damaged pages, as listed on WikiMindWipeRepair.

Many stroke patients do recover, but they do so as the result of a long, slow, mostly natural process of rehabilitation. In the mean time, they tend to be very confused about their place in the world. My own paternal grandfather would shave several times a day after his stroke, convinced that each time he slept and awoke it was a new day.

We applaud JeffGrigg's efforts in WikiMindWipeRepair, because we believe all efforts to refactor Wiki should be applauded and encouraged. The main risk for Jeff is being made to look foolish by old fashioned WikiApathy?. There have been many opinions, many commentators around here but fewer HumbleRefactorer's. And in some cases this is particularly difficult refactoring.

But, in the spirit of WabiSabi, is repair really the right word?

What wiki needs is to slowly, naturally, with love and care, return to its normal state. The scars will remain, of course. Wiki cannot, and perhaps, should not return to its undamaged state. But normal functioning can be regained, within the limits of what remains.

--KeithBraithwaite (with RichardDrake - see also RefactorFasterDeleteMore)


In the WikiMindWipeRepair work, we're not doing a blanket restore of Sam's withdrawn work. I agree that he's free to withdraw his name, opinion and experience. Many publicly available facts and knowledge that he wiped have been restored. But the biggest part of the repair is fixing the damage to surrounding tissue that was caused by Sam's hurried surgery.

For a really horrible analogy... One doctor removed what he considered to be a tumor. Another doctor stepped in and said "we really need to close the hole in the patient's face now." The second doctor closed the hole, and also did "plastic surgery" to reduce the visible damage. The second doctor did not put the tumor back in.

-- JeffGrigg

where the "tumor" was in fact Sam's perception that everything he had written had become an unwelcome foreign body within Wiki? That's both sad and probably quite accurate. --rd


Keith, I think the stroke analogy is a great one, alongside WikiFire and WikiMindWipe. I for one feel some empathy with your paternal grandfather right now. Now why aren't my cornflakes where they should be at this time of the morning? --RichardDrake

I see Sam's final edits as, well, just edits. In time people would come accross pages that didn't seem to make much sense (I mean, less than usual;), and refactor or not as they saw fit (modulo WikiApathy?). To extend this metaphor, that would be like the stroke victim's own repair systems fixing the damage around the infarct spontaneously. --Keith

My more general point is: if someone is doing and encouraging refactoring of any sort, for any reason, let's honour and encourage that. Lack of refactoring led to the build up of the tension that led to the ... pages that would benefit from skilful refactoring (if we object to the term damaged). Let's RefactorFasterDeleteMore in the future. --Richard

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