User:Redthoreau/Nuggets of Wiki Wisdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
There is no Cabal

Peter the Venerable.jpg      Redthoreau's Nuggets of Wiki Wisdom      Wiki OLD.jpg


First Rule

However ...

"Ignore all rules" unequivocally does not mean "ignore other editors". IAR is for: cases where there is not yet a "rule" but action is necessary, edge cases in which applying a rule exactly as written would lead to an absurd or counterproductive outcome and emergencies where immediate action is needed.

Introductory Videos   SMPlayer icon.png[edit]

Video #1 - Why editing Wikipedia is easy
Video #2 - Why Wikipedia works even though anyone can edit it

The 5 Pillars[edit]

The fundamental principles by which Wikipedia operates are summarized in the form of 5 "Pillars":

Blue pillar (1: Encyclopedia) Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. It incorporates elements of general and specialized encyclopedias, almanacs, and gazetteers. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, an advertising platform, a vanity press, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, an indiscriminate collection of information, or a web directory. It is not a dictionary, newspaper, or a collection of source documents; that kind of content should be contributed instead to the Wikimedia sister projects.
Green pillar (2: NPOV) Wikipedia has a neutral point of view. We strive for articles that advocate no single point of view. Sometimes this requires representing multiple points of view, presenting each point of view accurately and in context, and not presenting any point of view as "the truth" or "the best view". All articles must strive for verifiable accuracy: unreferenced material may be removed, so please provide references. Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong here. That means citing verifiable, authoritative sources, especially on controversial topics and when the subject is a living person. When conflict arises over neutrality, discuss details on the talk page, and follow dispute resolution.
Yellow pillar (3: Free) Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit and distribute. Respect copyright laws, and avoid plagiarizing your sources. Since all your contributions are freely licensed to the public, no editor owns any article; all of your contributions can and will be mercilessly edited and redistributed.
Orange pillar (4: Code of conduct and etiquette) Wikipedians should interact in a respectful and civil manner. Respect and be polite to your fellow Wikipedians, even when you disagree. Apply Wikipedia etiquette, and avoid personal attacks. Find consensus, avoid edit wars, and remember that there are 5,342,835 articles on the English Wikipedia to work on and discuss. Act in good faith, never disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point, and assume good faith on the part of others. Be open and welcoming.
Red pillar (5: Ignore all rules) Wikipedia does not have firm rules. Rules on Wikipedia are not fixed in stone, and the spirit of the rule trumps the letter of the rule. Be bold in updating articles and do not worry about making mistakes. Your efforts do not need to be perfect; prior versions are saved, so no damage is irreparable.

Learning the Wiki Ropes[edit]

Getting started
Getting help
Policies and guidelines

The community

Writing articles

A Wiki Cheat Sheet[edit]


Tip of the Day[edit]

Fetch another random tip | Tip of the moment...
How to turn links to disambiguation pages orange

Sometimes, a desired topic link goes to a disambiguation page instead. This tip lets you spot them without having to click on them first, so you can more easily help fix them.

In preferences under the gadgets tab, check the box next to "Display links to disambiguation pages in orange", and then click the save button at the bottom of the page.

To add this auto-updating template to your user page, use {{totd-random}}

Random Quick Hits[edit]

Wikipedia mini globe handheld.jpg


Wikipedia logo sketch.svg


Proper capitalization is the difference between ...

"I helped my uncle Jack off a horse" and "I helped my uncle jack off a horse"


Mmm, nuts! Nutshell of Wisdom:
If you are the only person left beating the horse after it has died, consider the possibility that you should stop.

Try to avoid "Lame Edit Wars"    Smiley in training.svg


No Wikipedia editor may climb the Reichstag building dressed as Spider-Man in order to gain advantage in a content dispute.

See ---> WP:NCR




Troll school.jpg


Causation? Correlation? Coincidence?

Avoid the following Logical fallacy: A occurred, then B occurred, therefore, A caused B.
When B is undesirable, this pattern is often extended in reverse: Avoiding A will prevent B.


"Keep ... There's an article on x, and that's just as famous as this." –-- LetsKeepIt!
"Delete ... We do not have an article on y, so we should not have an article on this." –-- GetRidOfIt!


"Although it depends a bit on the field, the question is whether something is more likely to be true (when) coming from a source that has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people with the ability to comment and has survived."

— Joi Ito, Japanese activist & entrepreneur


On Editor's "Ideologies"

According to William James, every philosophic system sets out to conceal, first of all, the philosopher’s own temperament: that pre-rational bundle of preferences that urges him to hop on whatever logic-train seems to be already heading in his general direction. This creates, as James put it, a certain insincerity in our philosophic discussions.

---> Something to keep in mind during Wiki mental-masturbatory talk page sessions.


Bias Warning Signs

According to Robin Hanson, the following are some warning signs that your opinions may not function to estimate truth:

  • You find it hard to be enthusiastic for something until you know that others oppose it.
  • You have little interest in getting clear on what exactly is the position being argued.
  • You are uncomfortable taking a position near the middle of the opinion distribution.
  • You are uncomfortable taking a position of high uncertainty about who is right.
  • You find it easy to conclude that those who disagree with you are insincere or stupid.
  • You are reluctant to change your publicly stated positions in response to new info.
  • You are reluctant to agree to a rival’s claim, even if you had no prior opinion on the topic.
  • You are reluctant to take a position that raises the status of rivals.
  • You care more about consistency between your beliefs than about belief accuracy.
  • You go easy on sloppy arguments by folks on "your side".
  • Your opinion doesn’t change much after talking with smart folks who know more.
  • You find it hard to list weak points and counter-arguments on your positions.
  • You feel passionately about a topic, but haven’t sought out much evidence.


"If an editor is truly writing from a neutral point of view, it should be impossible to tell from that person's edits what their viewpoint is."

— Antandrus, veteran Wikipedia Administrator


Everytime you click "save this page", be completely convinced that what you are adding will make Wikipedia a better, more friendly, and successful project - and if what you've typed won't do that, don't click save.


When WP:EDIANS CITE pages IN the PRJ NS, they often refer TO them using CUTS LIKE "BEANS", "BALLS", and "NFCC". While these ABB are GREAT for RDRing to a particular page you USE often, it's probably a BAD idea to make a POINT of using these TLAs in daily TALK, lest your discussion end UP AS NONSENSE.

See ---> Wikipedia:WTF? OMG! TMD TLA. ARG!


A perfect example
of why editing Wikipedia takes both a healthy dose of patience and minor dose of masochism ...

I have removed the NPOV tag since there was no ongoing discussion.  A50000 (talk) 19:38, 8 December 2010

We are discussing it right now.  (Igny (talk) 22:58, 9 December 2010
No, we are not. A50000  (talk) 15:45, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Your reply here indicates otherwise.  (Igny (talk) 16:17, 11 December 2010
We are discussing whether we are discussing it.  A50000 (talk) 22:28, 11 December 2010

"Truth" and "Facts"[edit]

"Truth is a three-edged sword: your truth, my truth, and the truth." — Kosh Naranek

Vacuous Truth

A vacuous truth is a truth that is devoid of content because it asserts something about all members of a class that is empty or because it says "If A then B" when in fact A is inherently false. For example, the statement "all cell phones in the room are turned off" may be true simply because there are no cell phones in the room. In this case, the statement "all cell phones in the room are turned on" would also be considered true, and vacuously so.

The Good

"It is a piece of idle sentimentality that truth, merely as truth, has any inherent power denied to error, of prevailing against the dungeon and the stake. Men are not more zealous for truth than they often are for error, and a sufficient application of legal or even of social penalties will generally succeed in stopping the propagation of either. The real advantage which truth has, consists in this, that when an opinion is true, it may be extinguished once, twice, or many times, but in the course of ages there will generally be found persons to rediscover it, until some one of its reappearances falls on a time when from favourable circumstances it escapes persecution until it has made such head as to withstand all subsequent attempts to suppress it."

The Bad

"Most of us like to believe that our opinions have been formed over time by careful, rational consideration of facts and ideas, and that the decisions based on those opinions, therefore, have the ring of soundness and intelligence. In reality, we often base our opinions on our beliefs, which can have an uneasy relationship with facts. And rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions. Worst of all, they can lead us to uncritically accept bad information just because it reinforces our beliefs. This reinforcement makes us more confident we’re right, and even less likely to listen to any new information. This effect is only heightened by the information glut, which offers — alongside an unprecedented amount of good information — endless rumors, misinformation, and questionable variations on the truth. In other words, it’s never been easier for people to be wrong, and at the same time feel more certain that they’re right ...

In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger ... The phenomenon known as 'backfire' is a natural defense mechanism to avoid cognitive dissonance ...

It appears that misinformed people often have some of the strongest political opinions. Researcher James Kuklinski of the University of Illinois calls this the "I know I’m right" syndrome." Most people will resist correcting their factual beliefs, but also that the very people who most need to correct them will be least likely to do so ...

There is a substantial body of psychological research showing that people tend to interpret information with an eye toward reinforcing their preexisting views. If we believe something about the world, we are more likely to passively accept as truth any information that confirms our beliefs, and actively dismiss information that doesn’t. This is known as 'motivated reasoning'. Whether or not the consistent information is accurate, we might accept it as fact, as confirmation of our beliefs. This makes us more confident in said beliefs, and even less likely to entertain facts that contradict them. New research, published in the journal Political Behavior, suggests that once those facts — or 'facts' — are internalized, they are very difficult to budge."
— Joe Keohane, How Facts Backfire

We're Fucked !

A 2006 study by Charles Taber and Milton Lodge at Stony Brook University showed that politically sophisticated thinkers were even less open to new information than less sophisticated types. These people may be factually right about 90 percent of things, but their confidence makes it nearly impossible to correct the 10 percent on which they’re totally wrong.

— Boston Globe, July 11, 2010


"Truth" is a big word. Editors who make abrupt claims about either having, knowing, or insisting on "truth", and editors who include the word in their usernames, are probably doing something that does not belong in an encyclopedia, and the more stridently they argue, the more suspicious you are right to be.

Wiki Words of Wisdom[edit]

ThinkingMan Rodin.jpg          Wikibabel.png

If the sources reflect general opinion, and split 90/10, then our goal is for the article to also split 90/10. That is NPOV; treating opinions which have different levels of support as though they had equal levels of support is POV and, frankly, misinformative if not deceptive.

— Nunh-huh, February 4 2009

I'd like to strongly protest against the perpetuation of that deplorable myth that removal of cited content is automatically vandalism. There may be any number of perfectly legitimate reasons why an editor would want to remove cited content (lack of relevance, undue weight, redundancy, triviality, POV ...)

— Fut.Perf., May 5 2009

It's my belief that most productive Wikipedians first arrive at the site wanting to do something that is against WP policy - advance a point of view, cover something that doesn't meet the notability guideline, etc. We also often bring baggage from other Internet sites where the social norms or policies permit different kinds of behavior - social networking activity, attacks, canvassing, what have you. None of this makes us bad people, just people who have not yet fully absorbed the Wikipedia ethos.

— Peteforsyth, January 16 2009

It is easier to get a sincere 'thank you' for reverting 'ur a faggot' from someone's userpage, than it is for writing a researched, thorough, and referenced encyclopedia article on an encyclopedic topic. The best way to continue as a writing Wikipedian for many years is to be 'indifferent to both praise and blame.' Indifference to praise is a hard task for mere humans, but millions of potential anonymous readers demand it of you, for if you require praise you will burn out.

— Antandrus

Wikipedia isn't about satisfying readers. It is about correctly reflecting the mainstream consensus in a field, documenting dissenting views as such so long as they are notable ... I am sure that some readers might prefer to read articles that were slanted to flatter their own viewpoints or social groupings but that isn't what an encyclopaedia does ... There is no malice in us reporting the existing historical consensus ... If you still disagree then your mission is not to persuade us here on Wikipedia because we don't put our own opinions in the articles anyway. Your mission is to persuade the serious academics and analysts who make the consensus on the subject to overturn their considered and expert opinions of many decades. If you succeed in this then we will modify the article accordingly, whether we personally agree or not.

— DanielRigal, September 30 2010

Our social policies are not a suicide pact. They are in place to help us write the encyclopedia ... We need to take due process seriously, but we also need to remember: this is not a democracy, this is not an experiment in anarchy, it's a project to make the world a better place by giving away a free encyclopedia.

— Jimbo Wales, March 10 2005

Wikipedia's articles are no place for strong views. Or rather, we feel about strong views the way that a natural history museum feels about tigers. We admire them and want our visitors to see how fierce and clever they are, so we stuff them and mount them for close inspection. We put up all sorts of carefully worded signs to get people to appreciate them as much as we do. But however much we adore tigers, a live tiger loose in the museum is seen as an urgent problem.

We draw pictures in the sand. Between waves, someone might read a well-written article and be moved.

— Moni3, February 13 2008

When in doubt do what Jack Churchill would do. If that doesn't or will not work, do what Hunter S. Thompson would do.

There are two options in every disagreement, you can agree with me, or be wrong.

— Every Wikipedian's inner ego

Think of how stupid the average person is and then realize that half of them are stupider than that.

— George Carlin, R.I.P.

Philosophies to Live (and edit) by[edit]

The second article of Wikipedia.png
"The universe is wider than our views of it."
Henry David Thoreau
"As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it."
Albert Einstein
"If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them."
Isaac Asimov
"Nothing is original. Steal from anything that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do, your work and theft will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable, originality is non existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery; celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to."
Jim Jarmusch
"There is no such thing as a neutral education process. Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the ‘practice of freedom’, the means by which men and women deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."
— Jane L. Thompson, drawing on Paulo Freire
"Education would be much more effective if its purpose were to ensure that by the time they leave school every student should know how much they don't know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it."
Sir William Haley
"If you have an apple, and I have an apple, and we exchange the apples, then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea, and I have an idea, and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."
George Bernard Shaw
"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."
"Tell a man that there are 300 billion stars in the universe, and he'll believe you ... Tell him that a bench has wet paint upon it and he'll have to touch it to be sure."
Albert Einstein
"Knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world."
Louis Pasteur
"He who controls the past, controls the future; and he who controls the present, controls the past."
George Orwell
"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
Mark Twain
"Learn as much by writing as by reading."
Lord Acton
"A well-cultivated mind is, so to speak, made up of all the minds of preceding ages; it is only one single mind which has been educated during all this time."
Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle

Countering Systemic Bias[edit]

"Americans aren't supposed to learn how the rest of the world does things, the rest of the world needs to learn how Americans do things. While we're at it, we should get rid of this Frenchy metric crap and restore intuitive Imperial units (U.S. version, of course). And abolish those funky Arabic 'ciphers' with their 'zeros' for good ol' Roman numerals."

— Kwami, August 31 2009
Worldwide density of Wikipedia additions based on longitudinal and latitudinal estimates.

"How can we build on our success to overcome the challenges that lie ahead? Less than a fifth of the world's population has access to the Internet. While hundreds of thousands of volunteers have contributed to Wikimedia projects today, they are not fully representative of the diversity of the world. Many choices lie ahead as we work to build a world wide movement to create and share free knowledge."

Jimmy Wales and Michael Snow

Wikipedia suffers inevitable systemic bias that naturally grows from its contributors' demographic groups, manifesting an imbalanced coverage of a subject, thereby discriminating against the less represented demographic groups.

According to a 2005 University of Würzburg survey, whose results matched Wikipedia user surveys, the average Wikipedia editor on the English Wikipedia is:

  • (1)   Male
  • (2)   Technically inclined
  • (3)   Formally educated
  • (4)   An English speaker
  • (5)   Of European–descent
  • (6)   Aged 15–49
  • (7)   From a majority-Christian country
  • (8)   From a developed nation
  • (9)   From the Northern Hemisphere
  • (10)   Employed as a white-collar worker or enrolled as a student

The logo for the
WP:CSB WikiProject.
  • Access to the Internet is required to contribute to Wikipedia. Most of the world's population, including most of the people in developing nations, the poor in industrialized nations, the disabled, and the elderly, do not have such access and thus their views and experience are under-represented. In most countries, minority demographic groups also have disproportionately less access to information technology, schooling, and education than majority groups.
  • Even among their general demographic groups, Wikipedians are more technically inclined. There is a barrier represented by the "edit this page" button and the complex Wiki code that many readers either do not recognize or choose not to use.
  • Wikipedia editors are people that have enough free time to participate in the project. The points of view of editors focused on other projects, e.g. earning a living or caring for others, will be under-represented.
  • Wikipedians, as a class, tend to over-represent intellectuals from academia. More university professors and computer programmers edit Wikipedia than do dental technicians, firefighters, flight attendants, plumbers etc.
  • Since Wikipedia editors are self-selecting for social class (only a relatively small proportion of the world's population has the necessary access to computers, the Internet, and enough leisure time to edit Wikipedia articles), articles about or involving issues of interest to the underclasses are unlikely to be created or, if created, are unlikely to survive a deletion review on grounds of notability.
Conscious mitigation of systemic bias and its effects is the goal of the Countering Systemic Bias Project

See also:   WP:WORLDVIEW

Internet access by % of overall population.

Troubled State of the Wiki Nation[edit]

"Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy." — Franz Kafka

Socktroll conspiracy theorist.jpgPseudointellectual BS degree.jpgPseudoscience troll.jpgFlamethrower troll 2.jpgBomba atomica.gif

Scott MacDonald


Lore Sjöberg

Hans Adler

A Horse With No Name, Wikipedia Review

Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody


Smerdis of Tlön

Jorge Stolfi

Antandrus, Observations on Wikipedia Behavior

A Few Words on Wiki Flaws[edit]

IP Edits

Widespread anonymity leads to a distinguishable problem, namely, the attractiveness of the project to people who merely want to cause trouble, or who want to undermine the project, or who want to change it into something that it is avowedly not – in other words, the troll problem.

— Larry Sanger, Wikipedia co-founder

3 RR

Many an edit war may seem like a fight over nothing to the casual observer, but considering that according to its staff, the popular, multilingual Web site gets about 7 billion views per month, stakes can be high. An edit yields what millions of people read on the site on any particular topic.

Deletionists & "Taggers"

Still, a lot of good work—verifiable, informative, brain-leapingly strange — is being cast out of this paperless, infinitely expandable accordion folder by people who have a narrow, almost grade-schoolish notion of what sort of curiosity an on-line encyclopedia will be able to satisfy in the years to come ... There are some people on Wikipedia now who poke articles full of warnings and citation-needed notes and deletion prods till the topics go away.

Notability ?

To be notable, a Wikipedia topic must be "the subject of multiple, non-trivial published works from sources that are reliable and independent of the subject and of each other." Although I have written or been quoted in such works, I can't say I've ever been the subject of any. And wouldn't you know, some notability cop cruised past my bio and pulled me over. Unless I get notable in a hurry — win the Nobel Peace Prize? Prove I sired Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter? — a "sysop" (volunteer techie) will wipe my Wikipedia page clean. It's straight out of Philip K. Dick.


Wikipedia's worst enemies are those whose vanity has been wounded. They may be moderately notable people who attempted to edit an article on themselves, and failed to control it; or they may be people who worked hard on an article on a subject about which they care, which was deleted by the community; or they may be people who attempted to push a POV which was rejected by the community. Usually they invoke a higher moral principle in support of their campaign against the project, such as censorship, free speech, conspiracy against them, or whatnot, as their own vanity prevents them from recognizing that vanity itself is the source of their displeasure.

— Antandrus

Requests for Adminship Process

It just seems to me like no editor should have to go through such verbal abuse in order to be awarded a "volunteer job". The RfA process to me encourages groupthink, stifles intellectual debate, and allows an open forum for any old former grudge to take pot shots at a nominee - who is expected to smile and turn the other cheek out of "civility". Toss in the fact that editors can apparently throw out political accusations with no proof, and impugn years worth of work with a flippant one-liner - and the whole process winds up as one large clusterfuck. Users keep throwing around this idea of a "hell week", as if it is benefit to make the projects seemingly most veteran contributors cap off years of effort with the equivalent of a public dunk tank / fraternal hazing ritual. The predictable result at this point is that only extremely milquetoast editors who haven’t taken any previous political positions and who give the same disingenuous crowd pleasing answers receive sweeping nomination.

— Redthoreau, November 2010

Non-Free Content Criteria (NFCC) Policy

The history of non-free content policy is a history of asshattery, which you have to have several years of experience with the project to get a panoramic view of. First came the demand that each such use, whether unique or of a type already recognized as apporpriate, must bear a fair use justification. Fair enough. Then the justification had to appear in a template. Then it had to appear in a separate template for each article. Each such change results in a drive for mass deletions of files, many of which were uploaded by editors who no longer stop by that often. Now comes a demand that articles themselves be rewritten around images, and another fair-use pogrom. A minority of editors have made removal of fair use material as a cause, and press for more numerous and subjective strictures. The majority of editors holds no such commitment to the cause, and notices only when articles they are interested in are effectively vandalized. I don't think it's unreasonable to conclude that this policy has at least been partially highjacked by a minority, with a commitment to a cause that makes building an encyclopedia a secondary issue.

— Smerdis of Tlön, May 2011

Dicks, Assholes & Fuckwads (Oh My!)[edit]

"We are blessed to be living in an age when we have a global communications network in which idiots, assholes, and total and complete wastes of fucking human life alike can come together to give instant feedback in an unfettered and unmonitored online environment."
The Onion, "Local Idiot To Post Comment On Internet"

Do not be a Richard.gif
Wikimedia's 'Don't be a Dick' Guideline
"Don't be a Dick" is the fundamental rule of all social spaces. Every other policy for getting along is a special case of it. Although nobody is empowered to ban or block somebody for dickery, it is still a bad idea to be a dick. So don't be one. If a significant number of reasonable people suggest, whether bluntly or politely, that you are being a dick, the odds are good that you are. Moreover, being right about an issue doesn't mean you're not being a dick! Dicks can be right — but they're still dicks; if there's something in what they say that is worth hearing, it goes unheard, because no one likes listening to dicks.

Asshole hat.jpg    = Are You A Certified Asshole ? --- a 24-Question Self-Exam by Bob Sutton

Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.png
John Gabriel's "Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory" deals with the unsociable tendencies exhibited by internet users as a result of the online disinhibition effect. In this hypothesis, Mike Krahulik suggests that, given both anonymity and an audience, an otherwise regular person can become a "total fuckwad". New York University professor Clay Shirky, who studies social and economic effects of Internet technologies, explains: "There’s a large crowd and you can act out in front of it without paying any personal price to your reputation," which "creates conditions most likely to draw out the typical Internet user’s worst impulses."

Beware of the Dunning–Kruger Effect[edit]

The "scourge" of illusory superiority
Man making a grimace.jpg

(a) Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
(b) Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
(c) Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
(d) If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.

By contrast the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to a perverse result where less competent people will rate their own ability higher than relatively more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding.

See: Dunning–Kruger effect

Don't be a Giant Deutschbag[edit]

Drawing of Adolf Hitler.jpg Clown chili peppers.jpg    The first 2 signs that an individual no longer has anything intelligent to offer to the discussion ...

Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement[edit]

Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement.svg

Fallacies of Relevance[edit]

Got a Conspiracy Theory?[edit]

(1) Rational explanations are dismissed (Occam's razor)
(2) Direct evidence is refuted as being part of the coverup
(3) Hypothesis are offered as fact
(4) Proof of a theory's invalidity is construed as proof of its existence (logical fallacy)
... but then again, maybe I'm IN ON IT !!!    Sherlock Holmes statue at Meiringen1.jpg

My TOP 10 Antandrus Observations[edit]

David Letterman.jpg

10.  All the virtues and vices shown by humanity as a whole can be found on Wikipedia. Anyone who runs from the community because they cannot tolerate its vices, divisions, and politics, will have to face the same vices, divisions, and politics again elsewhere in life.

9.  People who loudly accuse the community of some vice are almost invariably guilty of, but blind to, some variant of that vice themselves.

8.  Some trolls and POV-pushers are best fought with a time delay. Let them make their edit; then change it an hour or two later, or even the next day. Trolls are easily bored, and are more likely to go away if you hold your fire for a bit.

7.  The very existence of Wikipedia is a massive proof that there are more people in the world wanting to build than to tear down. Were that not true, vandals would have overwhelmed and destroyed us years ago.

6.  Troublesome editors waste far more of the community's time than vandals. One who sometimes has good edits, but endlessly bickers, threatens, insults, whines, and is eventually banned, will have taken hundreds of hours from other users who would have better spent that time building the encyclopedia.

5.  We're a pretty good encyclopedia, and you will notice it once you back away from the conflict zones.

4.  One of the commonest kinds of vandalism is an assertion that something, someone, or somewhere is "gay". This is a reflection of the common, indeed unavoidable, sexual insecurity of male adolescents, who make up most of Wikipedia's vandals. It's as universal a part of maturing as acne; revert and ignore.

3.  When you realize that editing an article on a current world conflict stresses you out more than the actual conflict does, it is time to take a break. Having your edits bombed to oblivion with an rvv is not as bad as losing your entire family to a paramilitary raid, and sometimes it is important to think about it.

2.  Vandalism in the form of trolling and nasty personal attacks spikes on Friday and Saturday nights, local time. Look at the bright side: at least they're not driving drunk.

1.  Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. The primary job of Wikipedians is to write it. Everything else is secondary.

Spoof Banners by Jorge Stolfi[edit]

Sarcasm is an unpleasant way of saying the truth ...









Many people seem to take to the easy route and simply add a tag instead of trying to make the requested improvement themselves ... If you see that something is wrong in an article, why not changing it yourself instead of using a template. The latter is the comfortable way. You tell others that something has to be done while you have an easy time and can watch others do the work. I wouldn't wonder if a new template concerning typos would show up soon. "There are typos in this article, would someone correct them please?" Yes, there are a few useful templates ... But most of them are unnecessary and annoying.

Deciphering Edit Summaries[edit]

Those edit summary abbreviations usually have an understood meaning ...

Term Abbreviated Description
add +, add, addition Addition of something
alphabetization alpha, abc Alphabetization of a list
capitalization cap, capital, cpt, lc, lcase, uc, ucase Fixing of capitalization
category +cat,-cat, cat, recat, re-cat Addition, subtraction or fixing of a category
comment cm Addition of comment
copyedit copyedit, cpyed, c/e, ce Copy edit
creation new Creation of a new article
disambiguation dab, disambig Addition of disambiguation or removal of ambiguity
duplication dup, dupe Removal of duplication
external link ext lk, ext lks, ext lnk, ext lnks, URL, http Addition of external links
formatting fm, fmt, frmt, MoS Formatting, per Manual of Style
short new text (full text) ft Addition of short new text, which is fully given in this edit summary
grammar gr, gm, grmr Fixing grammar
horizontal rule hr Addition of horizontal rule (----)
links lk, lks, lnk, lnks Addition of internal (Wikipedia) links
merge mrg, mrgd Article merge
move mv, move Article move
punctuation punc Fixing punctuation
redirect redir, redirect Article redirect
remove/delete -, rm, del Removal of something
revert rv, revert Revert to a previous edit
talk see talk Explanation of edit on the article's Talk page
spelling sp, typo, typos Fixing of typos
wikify wikified, wikify, wiki, wfy, wky, wkfy Formatting using wiki markup (as opposed to plain text or HTML) and add internal links to material, incorporating it into the whole of Wikipedia

For a detailed explanation of these legends along with additional ones,
See ---> Edit summary legend

Wiki Policies to Remember    Wikipedia Checkuser.png[edit]

"Wikipedia guidelines are like scripture: somewhere in the labyrinthine network of rules, you can find support for any position." — S Marshall

Undue Weight[edit]

Undue weight ---

NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each. Now an important qualification: Articles that compare views should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and will generally not include tiny-minority views at all.

We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by a small minority deserved as much attention as a majority view. Views that are held by a tiny minority should not be represented except in articles devoted to those views. To give undue weight to a significant-minority view, or to include a tiny-minority view, might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties. WP:UNDUEWEIGHT


Brief quotations of copyrighted text may be used to illustrate a point, establish context, or attribute a point of view or idea.

Quotations are a fundamental attribute of Wikipedia. Quotes provide a direct source of information or insight. A brief excerpt can sometimes explain things better and less controversially than trying to do so ourselves.


Fringe Theory ?[edit]

WP:VERIFY ---> Certain red flags should prompt editors to examine the sources for a given claim:

  • Surprising or apparently important claims not covered by mainstream sources.
  • Claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community, or which would significantly alter mainstream assumptions. This is especially true when proponents consider that there is a conspiracy to silence them.
  • Exceptional claims in Wikipedia require high-quality reliable sources; if such sources are not available, the material should not be included.
    Also see WP:SOURCE & WP:FRINGE



WP:NOTSOAPBOX ---> Wikipedia is not a soapbox, a battleground, or a vehicle for propaganda, advocacy, or advertising. This applies to articles, categories, templates, talk page discussions, and user pages. You might wish to start a blog or visit a forum if you want to convince people of the merits of your favorite views

"Look a 5 Legged Horse!"[edit]

Q: If I call a horse's tail a leg, how many legs does that horse have?
A: Still 4
see ---> WP:LEGS

"Oh I'll get that #@$%&!"[edit]

Axe to grind? Try the hardware store, not Wikipedia    see ---> WP:TEND

Stop Drive By's[edit]

2009-03-11 Student driver SB on N Gregson St in Durham.jpg

"Drive-by tagging is strongly discouraged. The editor who adds the tag must address the issues on the talk page, pointing to specific issues that are actionable within the content policies, namely Neutral point of view, Verifiability, No original research and Biographies of living persons. Simply being of the opinion that a page is not neutral is not sufficient to justify the addition of the tag. Tags should be added as a last resort." [...] If your sole contribution to an article is to repeatedly add or remove the tag, chances are high that you are abusing your 'right' to use the tag."
   see ---> WP:DRIVEBY

"Call Off the Hounds!"[edit]

Upset you didn't get your way in a talk page discussion?
That doesn't mean it's time to stalk your "opponent" around to other articles.

Dictionary > You[edit]

Colloquia 1.jpg
         You may not like the dictionary definition, but if it is a reputable dictionary, it generally carries more weight than your personal opinion. You can't simply make it disappear from the article by claiming that "it is a bad definition" based on your (explicitly or implicitly asserted) status as an expert on dictionary formation. This is because you are probably not a lexicologist or a lexicographer. Sure you may have opinions about semantics or how you would have written the dictionary, but your opinion is irrelevant.
   see ---> WP:NOTLEX

No Angry Mastodons[edit]

Gomphotherium angustidens illustration.jpg
The fight-or-flight response developed by our pre-human ancestors may have helped them escape from angry mastodons, but it isn't constructive in an online encyclopedia ...
* Don't get stressed out while editing.
* Defuse stress when possible.
* Edit while you are at your best, not while angry, scared, or intoxicated.
* Be considerate of others in the community.
       see ---> WP:MASTODONS

Drop it and Walk Away[edit]


Some users thrive on arguments, and an admonition to stop arguing just gives them a new thing to argue against ("You can't silence me!"). The simplest approach toward these users is "do not feed the trolls". Such users are playing a game, and telling them to "just drop it" is just hitting the ball back to them. Instead of trying to get in the last word, ignore them and walk off the court.
see ---> WP:DROP

Do Not _________[edit]

I'm a Believer in ---> BRD ...[edit]


Assessing Reliability[edit]

The table below is an overview of indicators for determining an article's reliability ...

Criterion High Reliability Medium Reliability Low Reliability
Verifiability The article has an extensive References section that contains reliable sources. The article uses inline citations for facts and controversial topics. Does not contain verifiability tags. The article has a basic References section that contains sources of unknown reliability. The article uses inline citations but there are many "citation needed" inline tags. May contain verifiability tags. The article does not have a References section and it fails to have any inline citations. May contain verifiability tags.
Stability The article is well-established in both age, length and size. Multiple editors contribute to the page and most of the editors are well-established. The article is either young, short, edited by few contributors, or edited by new contributors. The article is young, short, edited by few contributors, and those contributors are new to Wikipedia.
Nature of Subject The article is not of controversial nature. The article is not prone to vandalism. The article is not susceptible to systematic bias. The article may be somewhat controversial, prone to vandalism or susceptible to systematic bias. The article is controversial, prone to vandalism or susceptible to systematic bias.

Wiki Links to Remember    Mediator.png[edit]

Key Policies[edit]

Writing Guides[edit]

Editorial Quality Review[edit]

Wikipedia has a variety of systems for article review and improvement. Examples of the processes involved include:

  • Quality-based peer review - where editors who have not been involved in the article are invited to review and comment upon its quality, balance, readability, citation of sources, and other policy-compliance and content issues.
  • Wikipedia:Good articles - a system whereby articles can be rated and broadly established as being of reasonable quality, while being commented upon by independent review.
  • Wikipedia:Featured articles - a rigorous review of articles which are desired to meet the highest standards and showcase Wikipedia's capability to produce high quality work.

In addition, specific types of article or fields often have their own specialized and comprehensive supervisory projects (such as the WikiProject on Military History), assessment processes (such as biographical article assessment), or are the subject of specific focus under projects such as the Neutrality Project, or covered under editorial drives by user groups such as the Cleanup Taskforce.

Essays on Civility[edit]

Essays on Building Wikipedia[edit]

Dispute Noticeboards[edit]

If your dispute is related to one of the following topics, you may wish to post about it in one of these locations, to get the opinions of other editors familiar with similar disputes:

User Tools[edit]

Need a Userbox[edit]

Help for Wikipediholics[edit]

A few more Essays[edit]

Find Your Wiki Fauna   Armoiries de Breitbach Buerresheim.svg   Wikipedia gnome.PNG   Wikicyclops.png   Angehéraldique2.jpg   Signo Océlotl.png   Gould John Duckbilled Platypus 1845-1863.png[edit]

Wiki Humor[edit]


Monitor Your Wiki Stress Level[edit]

Wikistress3D NoPants v3.jpgWikistress3D 2 v3.jpgWikistress3D 3 v3.jpgWikistress3D 4 v3.jpg

Using Wikilove (Flow Chart)[edit]

Difficult editor - flow chart.png

History Belongs to the ...[edit]

Be bold.pngCircle reflect wikipedia.jpg

"A common insult hurled at dedicated Wikipedia editors is that they 'have no life.' If you write extensively in an out-of-the-way area, you may well become the most widely-read writer in the world on your topic. There are worse ways of 'having no life', such as abusing the few actually useful people on the internet, but those who deliver such insults are invariably tone-deaf to irony."

The Future of Wikipedia ???[edit]

Size of English Wikipedia broken down.png

Hopefully NOT !

Now Go Create Something Great ![edit]

Wikipedia - Art Historian.jpgWikipedia - Cancer Survivor.jpgWikipedia - Gamer.jpgWikipedia - Musician.jpgWikipedia - Veteran.jpgWikipedia - T-shirt.jpg

P.S. here's a userbox[edit]

If you learned something above, or found this page of any value, then spread the word.

New users, simply copy and paste the following text to your page --->    {{User:Redthoreau/Reds nugget box}}

and you will get the below image ...

Wiki OLD.jpg
This user recommends Redthoreau's Nuggets of
Wiki Wisdom

P.S.S. have suggestions ?[edit]

I view this page as a collaborative effort - so please feel free to leave suggestions of material for me to add on ---> the talk page.

Thanks   Face-devil-grin.svg