User:Skomorokh/Jumping the Gun

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We seem to have adopted the Red Queen's Rule:
whoever executes someone first settles the case.

David Goodman[1]

In situations which can be resolved immediately by the taking of affirmative action [i.e. block, delete, protect, alter user rights] but not by the declining to, a resolution is more likely to arise from the decision of an impulsive administrator than from that of a meditative one or from a community discussion. As a result, such resolutions will disproportionately consist of affirmative administrative actions rather than lenient or time-intensive [i.e. exoneration, warnings, sanctions, private mediation, waiting periods, wider discussion] outcomes, and as a consequence have a predilection to being poorly thought out and unduly harsh.

Moral of the story: don't jump to conclusions, or allow others to, lest premature and unduly harsh outcomes prevail. Caveat: this analysis is less applicable in situations which are clear-cut or time-sensitive.

Mitigation[edit]

Shortcut:
  • Decision process made public and open to review.
  • Set time periods for discussion prior to decision.
  • Routine post-facto ratification discussion, with no prejudice towards upholding the initial decision.
  • Recrimination for impulsive action.
  • Cultural prejudice towards holding a meditative, even-handed nature as virtuous, and towards requiring editors in positions of responsibility to be of such disposition
    • Corollary: Cultural prejudice against editors displaying a tendency towards impulsive action assuming positions of responsibility.

Instances[edit]

  • ANI reports: the archetypal instance of this phenomenon
  • Requests for resysop; resolutions biased towards impulsive action, often followed by new information and disputes over time period
  • Oversight requests; resolutions biased towards impulsive action, presumption in favour of both quick and affirmative action
  • Edit-warring reports: resolutions biased towards impulsive action, spurred by effective time limit [before deemed stale]
Lesser
  • CSD patrol: resolutions biased towards impulsive action, and narrowly towards delete rather than decline/cleanup [effort differential]
  • Requests for protection: as above [swap delete for protect]
  • Deletion discussions: as above – despite bright-line set period for discussion, resolutions biased towards impulsive action by administrators who ignore it without penalty
  • Administrative enforcement: ostensible bias towards impulsive action, often mitigated by the experienced and meditative nature of

Counterexamples[edit]

  • Arbitration: decisions taken by default by a plurality of a set group, often after a set period
  • Requests for Comment: typically no direct resolution, process used as context for future decisions
  • Requested moves; set period for discussion, typically overrun despite ostensible bias towards impulsive action

Related issues[edit]