Talk:Aesthetic Realism

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Draft references[edit]


I have reverted changes to the lead Trouver made here. There were two main problems with Trouver's edit. It was not in accord with WP:LEAD, which dictates that the lead is meant to summarize the article. Simply removing material from the main body of the article and placing it in the lead instead is thus inappropriate. In addition, the wording "discontinued presentations and consultations on this change" appears to imply that Aesthetic Realism successfully changed people's sexual orientations, which is unacceptable, per WP:NPOV. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:26, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Of course you're right; there's no reason for the AR boilerplate position on their gay-change doctrine to be in the article in three places. It's still in there in two places—the text, and in a footnote. I think it ought by rights to be quoted in the footnote only, which should be place after "In 1990 the Aesthetic Realism Foundation discontinued its presentations and consultations on the subject of homosexuality", with the rest of that paragraph deleted from the article body. - Outerlimits (talk) 00:50, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
The controversy about changing homosexuality does not have to be present in the lead (I agree with TeeVeed here), particularly since this has not been taught for nearly a quarter of a century, and giving it such prominence is misleading to the public, yet if it remains here, the official statement of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation as to why it discontinued this subject must be presented. This is in accord with WP:LEAD because, unfortunately, this particular aspect of the philosophy, which is not central to it, has been "unduly weighted" in this article. The statement appears only once, and in the footnote, which, like all the footnotes in this article, is quoted in full. The statement is phrased in a way that is in keeping with WP:NPOV and it should not be reverted.Trouver (talk) 03:02, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the controversy about Aesthetic Realism's attempts to change people's sexual orientation does have to be present in the lead. It's true that the Foundation hasn't promoted change attempts for a long time, but the controversy has permanently affected the image of Aesthetic Realism. Placing the Foundation's full statement about the issue in the lead is clearly undue. The full statement belongs only in the main body of the article. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:57, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with having the Foundation's position stated in the lead.Trouver (talk) 12:06, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
It's overly long, tendentious special pleading, that is more appropriately covered in the body of the article. The lead is a summary of the article. It can't be more detailed than the article is, or it ceases to be a lead. It can't contain items that are not covered in the body of the article. You want to make it into a billboard for points you want to emphasize; that's not what a lead is meant to do. - Outerlimits (talk) 20:30, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Please review WP:LEAD and WP:NPOV. If you are going to mention in the lead the controversy the Foundation faced over the change from homosexuality, NPOV requires the Foundation's official explanation as to why this was discontinued. If you prefer, we can omit the entire controversy in the lead, since (a) it is not central to the philosophy being described, and (b) it has not been taught for more than 20 years.Trouver (talk) 02:51, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

I understand WP:LEAD and WP:NPOV. Perhaps you should actually review them. The lead is a summary; the lead is concise. The lead should be written in a clear accessible style. The wording you propose fulfills none of those requirements. As to WP:NPOV: it is silent on the issue of "official" explanations. If you want to contend that NPOV has any applicability to your preferred version, you're going to have to actually outline a logical argument supporting your contention. Providing a link to WP:NPOV and waving your hands doesn't cut it. The version you are repeatedly reverting from already states that AR stopped publicly stating its position on homosexuality in 1990. So your version can't be preferred on that basis. In your version the AR position statement appears in the article four times. (the lead, the section on homosexuality, footnote 1, footnote 91.) That's not NPOV, that's an attempt to overwhelm by sheer repetition. Three times is more than enough.
You must stop simply reverting. You can try and make a logical case for your preferred wording on the talk page; you have failed to do so thus far. Or you can initiate a getting a third opinion, initiate another discussion at the Wikipedia:dispute resolution noticeboard or begin a Wikipedia:request for comment. - Outerlimits (talk) 03:50, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Third opinion is not the best option here. It's really only for situations in which two editors disagree, and no one else has commented; in this case, more than two editors have expressed a view on the issue. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:38, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
You certainly have a right to strong opinions and a political agenda, but I am afraid they are clouding your ability to be fair and impartial about this article. I have removed the Foundation's explanation from the article itself, but insist on its presence in the lead IF the controversy about homosexuality is mentioned there. Please do not revert this change, as it would show a sense of ownership (which has already been criticized) and an unwillingness to allow an accurate and fair presentation of the subject of this article.Trouver (talk) 13:36, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
FreeKnowledgeCreator, please note that the Aesthetic Realists are just trying to wear you down. Their strategy is to just object, object, object, until you give up. They can't prevail on the merits of their arguments, but they keep arguing anyway, at length, so that you waste your time here on the Talk page rather than editing the article. They've learned enough of the WP lingo so they bandy policy names about, as though they were anywhere close to adhering to them, in an effort to seem legitimate, but their goal, as always, is to keep the article free of criticism (or perceived criticism) of AR. If you make a change, they complain bitterly that you didn't get consensus first, and you'll never get consensus because they won't give it to you. If they make a ridiculous edit and you revert it, they complain (as Trouver did) that you're asserting "ownership" of the article. If you try to remove their POV to make the article neutral, they'll claim (as Trouver did) that you have a "political agenda". (These guys really should really win some kind of award for irony.)
The question to me is, are we really required to keep "discussing" edits with editors whose agenda is clear and who consistently edit (and discuss) in bad faith? WP rightly stopped accepting similar edits from Scientologists, for similar reasons. Fruitless discussion with agenda-driven people who don't respect Wikipedia policies and won't give an inch is just a waste of time, IMHO, and unbiased editors ought to just write a good article. Let's remember, this is an encyclopedia.
For my part, I'd be happy to agree to cease editing the article, if the Aesthetic Realists will do the same, and leave all the editing to independent editors who have no experience with the organization.
As for specific edits, of course the lede is supposed to be a summary. And of course the thing that AR is most-known for (its efforts to turn gays straight) means that a link to Conversion Therapy is not only appropriate but necessary. Etc. And duh.MichaelBluejay (talk) 03:07, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Trouver, you're in no position to "insist" on anything. Wikipedia is a collaborative project. To remove the Foundation's explanation from the article itself, and place it in the lead instead, violates WP:LEAD, as has been pointed out several times now. Your comments about me are irrelevant and don't address the point. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:40, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

FKC, in addition to trying to wear you down, they're also just trying to waste your time fighting over small changes to the article. Even if you succeed in keeping the explanatory stuff out of the lede, and think you've won, they've really just tied up your time so much that you couldn't pursue other, more substantive changes. I'm not sure it's a good idea for any of us to spend so much time putting Band-Aids™ on the problem. As such, I'd like to discuss a ground-up rewrite. And before we do that, we should decide whether we should spin-off one or two other articles. For example, Scientology has at least three: one for the religion, one for the main organization, and one for controversies. What do you think about having at least two articles, one strictly devoted to the philosophy, and another devoted to the Foundation, its work, and its controversies? MichaelBluejay (talk) 17:04, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
You are more familiar with Aesthetic Realism than I am, so I would probably defer to your judgment. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 22:53, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Okay, then I'll suggest that we start a second article, and hold off on a third unless and until the second article grows unwieldy. I'd like to help with a ground-up rewrite of this article, and the creation of the second article, but I won't have any time until October at the earliest. Of course, I don't expect you to wait until then if you're eager to get started, though I'm not sure whether you and Outerlimits alone will be able to combat the Aesthetic Realists' efforts to block each and every improvement you try to make. MichaelBluejay (talk) 02:33, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The article is clearly unmanageable at this time. The best hope as this stage would be to bring the issue to the attention of the neutral point of view noticeboard. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:24, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Since the NPOV Noticeboard doesn't appear to have any enforcement powers, what would be the point of going that route? I checked it, and I see long-winded discussions with no resolution, same as here. By using the noticeboard, we'd simply be moving our fruitless discussions to a different page...unless I'm missing something. Am I missing something? MichaelBluejay (talk) 17:07, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The neutral point of view noticeboard is not a very good option. But poor option that it is, it's still probably the best option available in the circumstances. I doubt ANI would be better. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:59, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I think the only venue that might be able to exert enough power to enable the cleaning out of this Augean stable is the Arbitration committee. It would be an excruciatingly long procedure. - Outerlimits (talk) 02:06, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Feel free to try to get Arb Com to take an interest, if you think that's a better option. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:18, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry to say that at this point I don't think I have the patience required to do anything but play a supportive role in any such pursuit. I do think that extraordinary measures are needed, but it's very difficult to get such measures enacted. - Outerlimits (talk) 02:44, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
We have to go through a proper mediation first before we can apply to ArbCom. Here's my suggestion: When I have time (two months from now at the earliest), I'll post drafts of a rewrite of this article and a split-off article, inviting experienced and fair editors like FKC and Outerlimits to help me get it right. Once it's good, I'll post them as the new articles. The Aesthetic Realists will object immediately and unreasonably, reverting everything willy-nilly. After a few revert-restore-revert cycles, we'll apply for mediation. Mediation will fail because the Aesthetic Realists won't agree to a proper article and we won't agree to a ridiculous one. Then we apply to ArbCom, which can compare the new, proper articles to the travesty that's currently posted, and it should be pretty easy for them to make their decision. How's that? MichaelBluejay (talk) 19:57, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, you can take whatever approach you like to improving this article, obviously. I'm not sure whether your proposal above is a good one or not, but I'm glad you still think it's possible to do something. I haven't given up yet entirely either. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:08, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

NPOV noticeboard[edit]

Since all attempts to improve this article continue to be reverted, I have started a discussion about the article's problems at the Neutral point of view noticeboard. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 09:33, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

I am glad to hear that. I hold no view for or against Aesthetic Realism; indeed I came to this page to find out what it is after coming across a reference to it. Yet I was really put off by the way the piece appears to be written as a promotional brochure or press release for the philosophy. It is really very different from an encyclopedia article on a philosophical school of thought. It appears to go out of its way to spotlight alleged achievements, mention alleged mistreatment by the press, and rebut vaguely sketched criticisms. Indeed all the criticism even mentioned appears to concern homosexuality. Where is the scholarly debate about core approaches and concepts? Really weak as a wiki article - I learned very little.TheCormac (talk) 19:43, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
There's a good reason there is no scholarly debate here about core approaches and concepts, because the organization and "philosophy" is not considered important or serious enough to have generated any such scholarly debate. So there are no academic papers which can be cited; papers treating this organization aren't much more sophisticated than The New York Post. The group is known solely through their self-promotion and advertisement, and for the criticism that they provoked by their allegations about curing homosexuality. They became a local news story in New York City when featured on the David Suskind TV show, but that was the pinacle of their fame. There's a very good reason why the criticism centers around their "answer to homosexuality" claim: it's what got them their really only major media exposure, and it's what they are most known for. Note, TheCormac, that FreeKnowledgeCreator's comment is three years old, so there's no current attempt at improvement underway, largely because of rabid editors who will not permit points of view other than that of Aesthetic Realism's followers to receive due attention here. - Outerlimits (talk) 00:59, 1 June 2016 (UTC)