User:Kafziel/philosophies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The following are some slightly more in-depth explanations of my Wikipedia editing philosophies as listed on my userpage.

My philosophies

1 - Side projects

Third Opinion, Articles for Deletion, Featured Article Candidates, Main Page maintenance, Good Article Candidates, and Requested Moves, although they are all important to Wikipedia, should each be taken in small doses. Wikipedians who spend all their time lurking around AfD, or just waiting to pounce on the newest FAC, are bound to become embittered by the process, self-important, and uncivil. Everyone needs an outlet for peaceful creativity, not just criticism, destruction, and arguing. Roam Wikipedia. See the sights. There are some cool people and some cool pages out there, and it doesn't always have to be a battle. I am willing to participate in policy discussion from time to time, but my main focus is on writing the encyclopedia.

2 - Assuming good faith

There's a difference between assuming good faith and ignoring bad actions. Although I believe in assuming good intentions, it may become clear to me that a user's intentions are not good. As the guideline says, I don't need to "assume" anything if I have facts to the contrary right in front of me. Unlike a lot of vandalism patrollers, though, I always try to take the time to leave warnings on talk pages and/or explain what the issue is. Don't get defensive and don't try to turn it around by calling it uncivil or a personal attack. Those warning templates are there for a reason. If you've received one from me (or any other editor), chances are you deserve it.

3 - Wikiprojects

There is a cabal. Many of them, in fact, and I myself am a member of several. We call them Wikiprojects, and they mostly serve as central meeting places for like-minded members to violate WP:OWN in a more organized way. From there, those members can be directed to every current deletion discussion, featured article candidate, merge proposal, or move request, and make sure that the will of the Wikiproject is upheld. People have joked about cabals for so long that, now that they exist, anyone who dares to notice them will be automatically written off as paranoid. But they're out there. It's important for cabal members to remember that being part of a WikiProject doesn't impart any special rights, and our guidelines should do more to discourage vote stacking, meatpuppetry, bullying, and article ownership.

4 - Voting

They say voting is evil but unfortunately, in practice, it's all that seems to matter. "Support per nom" is a vote. It adds nothing new to the discussion except an "aye". So if voting is evil, they shouldn't even count. But get enough "support per nom" votes and your proposal will fly. Three "support" votes (or keep votes, or oppose votes, or what have you) will overrule almost any well-reasoned argument to the contrary when the final determination is made. If you want an article to avoid deletion, just get a couple of friends to say "keep per nom" and harrass any dissention until they either give up and leave or the discussion is closed. You don't need to win; you just need a stalemate to maintain the status quo. If someone opposes your FAC nomination, just keep arguing and arguing and arguing until their objection is assumed to be unreasonable. The "support" votes (maybe from your cabal; see above) will pull you through. If Wikipedia isn't a democracy, one perfectly reasoned argument should be able to counteract 100 pile-ons to the contrary. But it doesn't. Sad but true. For my part, as an administrator, I strive to follow policy-based reason rather than vote tallies.

5 - Article protection

The Featured Article of the Day should be semi-protected. Featured Articles of the Day become Featured Articles of the Day because they are Featured Articles. A brand new editor has never shown up, made a major improvement, cited his sources in the proper format, and made everyone say, "Wow. That contribution was so awesome, it made the past five hundred vandalism reversions worth it." Never happened, never will. The main page links to a lot of articles. New users should be free to edit any of them except the Featured Article of the Day. If not being able to edit one article for one day is enough to discourage a person from ever using Wikipedia again, then chances are they weren't cut out for it anyway. Think about it: when people tell you they don't like Wikipedia, do they say, "There was one time I couldn't edit an article so I never used it again"? Of course not. They say, "Any idiot can edit it so I don't trust it." Because, on their first visit to Wikipedia, they clicked on the featured article and saw nothing but a page full of "suck my dick" or "Jimbo is a pedophile" written a thousand times. We lose more potential editors when that happens than we ever will by semi-protecting an article for a day. No anonymous contribution can ever make up for that. But just like "there is no cabal" and "voting is evil", people will tell you that the Featured Article of the Day should never be protected even though they can't back it up with any concrete reasons. For similar reasons, I would also support any proposal to semi-protect articles on letters of the alphabet, numerals, dates, and first names. Childish vandalism and vanity posts are absolutely out of control on those pages, and I can't remember the last time anything of value was added to them. What new and wonderful thing is going to be added to our article on the letter "E" that isn't there already and can't possibly wait? Nothing.

6 - Fair Use images

Deleting Fair Use images has its merits. You know, in a way I kind of like how our Fair Use policy is being interpreted as of late. It's going to force Wikipedians to stalk celebrities, sneak cameras into concerts, and run around like tourists in their own towns, snapping photos of the most inane bits of art and architecture. It's like a worldwide scavenger hunt. (Plus, the publicity will be excellent the first time a Wikipedian kills a celebrity Princess Diana-style. Or the first time one of us is killed trying to take photos of genocide victims in Darfur or something. Don't worry, though: we'll award you a posthumous Photographer's Barnstar. But I digress...) It's a major pain in the ass right now, but I do think this change will, in the long run, be good for Wikipedia. The best articles and projects I've seen are the ones whose editors are dedicated enough to take their own photos. It fosters team work, real-life interaction, creativity, improvisation, and a stronger community spirit. The deletions themselves could be handled with a lot more tact and consideration than they have been, but the end result will be a Wikipedia that is more able to stand on its own.