User talk:Born2cycle/Yogurt Principle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Essays
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Essays, a collaborative effort to organise and monitor the impact of Wikipedia essays. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion. For a listing of essays see the essay directory.
 ???  This page has not yet received a rating on the project's impact scale.

This essay expresses an opinion[edit]

This essay, like many Wikipedia essays, expresses an opinion. Initially, an essay is always the opinion of the original author (in this case, that of yours truly). Presumably others share the opinion, but not necessarily. Only some essays "enjoy a wide consensus amongst Wikipedia editors".

Of course other editors are free to edit the essay, but they should not fundamentally change the opinion originally expressed in the essay.

A reminder from Wikipedia:Wikipedia essays#Improving existing essays:

When your viewpoint differs significantly from that expressed in an essay, it is usually better to start a new essay of your own to provide a rebuttal or alternative view, rather than re-writing an existing essay to say the opposite of what it has always said. Essays putting forward opposing views normally prominently link to each other.

Feel free to link to any essays that express any opinions that challenge, as well as support, the ones expressed in this essay.

Thanks --B2C 20:21, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect statement in this essay[edit]

I hesitate to edit someone else's essay, but the the following claim is simply false: Indeed, since the move was finally made at the end of 2011, the eight-year-long dispute about the title was settled, and not raised again. Actually the issue was raised again in December 2012/January 2013, when there was a long argument about moving Strained yoghurt to Strained yogurt. I believe this should either be acknowledged in the essay, or else the claim that "the dispute was settled and not raised again" should be removed. --MelanieN (talk) 14:12, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

I think you're right. Essays don't belong to anyone any more than articles do, so I took a small step to address this valid concern. It's on the pedantic side, but hopefully it's seen as an improvement. --BDD (talk) 16:49, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

The cited discussion at Talk:Strained yogurt#Motion to start an RM: Redux was not at all about changing the title of the article at Yogurt. The original statement is accurate. --B2C 23:06, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

It was about how to spell Yogurt/Yoghurt in a title. It was eventually settled in favor of Yogurt, but it WAS a debate on the same topic, and your claim that the issue never came up again is at best disingenuous. I thought the way BDD did it was relatively accurate, and your current claim that it "never came up again anywhere" is simply false. IMO "never again anywhere" should be deleted and BDD's version "never again at that article's talk page" should be restored. But it is your essay and I will not change it. I will, however, point out this discrepancy if I see you citing this "rule" as if it had some validity. --MelanieN (talk) 01:21, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
To be clear we're discussing this statement:
..., the eight-year-long dispute about the title of that article was settled and not raised again, anywhere.
and, we are not discussing a statement that says:
..., the eight-year-long dispute about whether "yogurt" or "yoghurt" should be used in WP titles was settled and not raised again, anywhere.
Your statements would make sense if we were discussing the latter, but we're not. We're discussing the former which is accurate and not misleading. How or why you would read it to mean the latter (or something similar) is beyond me. But if you can suggest how to make it even clearer that the 8-year-long dispute that was settled was about that one specific title please do. --B2C 06:11, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
The argument about the title of that one article may have stopped. The argument about how to spell "yogurt/yoghurt" in a title did not stop, and implying that it did is disingenuous as I said above. (At least you should remove the word "anywhere".) In any case, your prolonged victory dance over having finally won this (documentedly lame) argument about this one title does not add credibility to your positions, and I am surprised that you think it does. IMO citing a "yogurt rule" only serves to remind people about the foolishness of such battles. If I were you I would never mention the Yogurt Wars in discussions about titles, but I am not you. --MelanieN (talk) 16:49, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree that implying the argument about how to spell "yogurt/yoghurt" in a title stopped after the Yogurt decision would be misleading, but the statement in question does not imply anything so general; it's very clearly referring to only the specific title of that specific article, not any other article titles. Discussion about what the title of THAT article should be completely ceased after the move to Yogurt; the question about what that title should be was no longer discussed, anywhere. There is nothing misleading or disingenuous about saying this.

By the way, the discussion at Talk:Strained yogurt about that article's title was relatively tame by RM standards anyway, and, arguably, the decision at Yogurt helped stabilize the Strained yogurt title as well.

The continued stable peace and quiet regarding the title at Yogurt after that move only shows how lame the eight year resistance to move it was. Before the move, many people repeatedly and strongly insisted the move would not resolve the conflict, and the basis for labeling arguments favoring the move as "lame" was based on that assumption. All that has now been proven false.

This is the point of the yogurt rule. What appears to be a lame intractable "no consensus" situation that can never be resolved may not be that at all, if the three conditions apply. --B2C 17:34, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Two of which conditions assume that only one side of the debate (your side) has a "strong argument" or a "sound argument". That's an assumption that is unlikely to be shared by the neutral closer of the discussion. Anyhow - you will do what you want, but in my opinion it would be unproductive and possibly unwise for you to invoke the yogurt precedent in discussions. --MelanieN (talk) 18:38, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Of course the neutral closer has to recognize the stronger arguments on one side, if they exist, as they did in the case of Yogurt (as proven by the peace and stability since the move), to apply the rule. Such recognition requires the ability to envision that the proposed move is made and to evaluate the arguments in that context. I'm unsure how many closers are capable of doing this. But apparently it wasn't very many of us who could see that once the title was changed, there would be no sound grounds upon which to move it back. --B2C 19:13, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Melanie, I added[1] the following clarifying parenthetic statement:

a year later, the yoghurt/yogurt spelling issue was raised in regard to another title, Strained yogurt, and was resolved in the same way, by omitting the h [2]

Does that alleviate your concern? Thanks. --B2C 01:22, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Limit to the scope of the yogurt precedent[edit]

This "rule" goes to far. There is something to be learned and retained from the yogurt titling story, but this "rule" by B2C overgeneralises to the point of being misleading. There were important significant factors in the yogurt story, such as the early intial page move done with minimal involvement, and subsequent consistent objections.

This page purports to be virtually policy: "intended to supplement the following policy and guideline pages: Wikipedia:Article Titles, Wikipedia:Disambiguation and WP:RMCI,". Its title, using "rule", and the shortcut using "RULE" way overstate the standing of someones opinion. If intended to supplement policy, it needs first to be proposed, subjected to scrutiny, and face the prospect of being tagged as {{failed}}. If it cannot get explicit support from others, it should be userfied.

If B2C won't co-operate in winding back to a more reasonable version, accurately reflecting the scope of the yogurt precedent, then I object to its title and/or its presence in ProjectSpace. On the other hand, with co-operation, I'm sure that something quite meaningful could be made. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:41, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree with SmokeyJoe. As presently written, this seems like an invitation to tendentious editing which is in direct contradiction to several policies and guidelines about consensus and behaviour. Either this needs to be a (retitled) essay in userspace or it needs to be rewritten and subject to a consensus discussion. Thryduulf (talk) 18:14, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
SmokeyJoe, it is your opinion that this "rule" goes too far. It is my opinion that it does not. What there is to be learned from the yogurt titling story is also a matter of opinion. I added the examples section, to which another editor contributed, to illustrate actual cases where the three conditions were present, the title was changed, and, where sufficient time has gone by, has proven to be stable. Limiting the scope as you suggest would eliminate all those examples, which was never the intent of the fundamental idea behind this essay.

We have a difference in opinion. What to do about it?

Essays like this one express opinions. If your opinion differs from the one expressed in this essay, then write your own essay! There is no policy or convention that even suggests you or anyone else has to agree with any opinion expressed in any essay. I see no reason why this one should be an exception. The "intended to supplement..." wording comes straight from the standard {{supplement}} template which is intended and used by precisely these types of essays.

As to {{failed}}, that's for failed proposals. If some day there is a proposal to promote this essay to the level of a guideline, and that proposal fails, then it would be appropriate to tag the relevant discussion with {{failed}}. But, even then, it would not be appropriate to tag this or any other essay with {{failed}}.

In closing, essays, like comments in a discussion, have no inherent power or weight, except that conveyed by the words themselves, if any is conveyed by them at all. Many essays, like Wikipedia:Pharmanoia, are ignored. They effectively wither and die. Other essays, like WP:BRD, are so frequently referenced, cited and discussed, that they effectively have the weight of guidelines. Some are formally promoted, but that's really not necessary. Will WP:Yogurt Rule be mostly ignored or will it gain community support? Who knows? Only time will tell. If you have a similar idea but scaled down that you believe is more likely to gain community support, by all means, document it. Time will tell... --B2C 18:32, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Thryduulf, an invitation to tendentious editing? How so? It addresses RM discussion closers under three very specific conditions. I don't understand this at all. It's certainly not what was intended - so if that is what is conveyed some clarification is certainly needed. To that end, can you explain what it says that you think invites tendentious editing?

And you also seem to think that essays in WP space are supposed to reflect consensus opinion ("needs to be rewritten and subject to a consensus discussion..."), rather than just an opinion (whether it is supported by consensus or not). Why do you believe that? --B2C 18:32, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Please note the following about Wikipedia:Wikipedia essays:
On Wikipedia, an essay is a page in the project namespace (Wikipedia:) that is written by one or more editors and that typically addresses some aspect of working in Wikipedia, but has not been formally adopted as a guideline or policy by the community at large. Such pages are categorized into Category:Wikipedia essays or a related subcategory. Essays may range from personal or minority views, to views that enjoy a wide consensus amongst Wikipedia editors. Essays typically contain the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Unlike policies and guidelines, usually no formal attempt to judge the community's support for the essay's content has been made.
The idea that an essay in WP project space needs to be rewritten subject to a consensus discussion, or moved into user space, is entirely unfounded, as far as I can tell. --B2C 18:37, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Thus far you seem unwilling to let anyone edit the page if those edits disagree with your position, showing an attitude of ownership. From Category:Wikipedia essays: "Essays in the Wikipedia namespace may be edited by anyone. Essays in the User namespace are normally edited only by the user that hosts the page and are categorized with Category:User essays, usually via {{user essay}}." If you wish to own this essay, then put it in userspace, and then you do. Otherwise it is subject to editing by anyone -- you don't own it. I agree that if it is to be retained, it should be in the userspace. The way it is written, it seems to claim a standing that it does not actually hold. Omnedon (talk) 01:58, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Essays contain advice and/or express opinions. This is true of all essays, whether in user or WP space. Essays in WP space may be edited by anyone, but those edits should not significantly change the opinion expressed in the essay! Such edits belong in a different essay. Refusals to accept changes to an essay that significantly change the opinion of the essay are not WP:OWN issues. They are normal and appropriate reverts to maintain the integrity of the opinion expressed in the essay. This is not my opinion. That's what you'll find at Wikipedia:Wikipedia_essays#Acceptance_of_essays:
When your viewpoint differs significantly from that expressed in an essay, it is usually better to start a new essay of your own to provide a rebuttal or alternative view, rather than re-writing an existing essay to say the opposite of what it has always said. Essays putting forward opposing views normally prominently link to each other.
I don't understand why SmokeyJoe, MelanieN and anyone else whose viewpoint differs significantly from that expressed in this essay insist on making edits putting forward opposing views in this essay.
--B2C 18:28, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Nor do I understand why meeting their insistence to express their opposing viewpoints in this essay with reverts is characterized as "showing an attitude of ownership". Such reverts of opposing viewpoints are appropriate in any essay, whether that essay is in user or WP space. --B2C 19:23, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

To me the clearest evidence of your "ownership" attitude came when BDD attempted, in good faith and as someone who supports this essay, to clarify the issue I raised above as an incorrect statement - and you reverted it by restating the point I had objected to even more strongly. --MelanieN (talk) 19:58, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Citation needed?[edit]

The essay contains the assertion "Had any of the closing admins during all those years found in favor of the move per the logic of this rule, that dispute would have been resolved much sooner. Years sooner." B2C, there is no factual basis for this claim - as there could not be since it is speculative and not factual. It represents merely your opinion of what might have happened. Also, it ignores changing circumstances that might have affected the title. (I couldn't believe that you listed half a dozen cities as examples, even though you know full well that what made the new titles stable was the consensus acceptance of WP:USPLACE - a convention that you hate and work tirelessly to overturn!) If you have any hope of keeping this as an accepted essay, that section will have to go. --MelanieN (talk) 02:44, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Uh, Wikipedia:Essays are expressions of opinion by definition.
Essays, as used by Wikipedia editors, typically contain advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors
Now you want citations for advice and expressions of opinion in an essay? Do you not realize that you try to hold me to absurd standards nobody else expects anyone else to even think about meeting?

Anyway, no circumstances changed with respect to the Yoghurt/Yogurt debacle in the intervening years. I'll double-check, but I believe the examples of the US cities given all are cities that changed to the plain name before the great compromise change at USPLACE. --B2C 18:21, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Even if that's true - and it would be interesting to see - there is no doubt that their CURRENT stability is due to USPLACE. --MelanieN (talk) 19:59, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

"Citation needed?" was a joke. Fell flat, I guess. What I meant was that this is pure speculation on your part, and should not be asserted as if it has some basis in fact. --MelanieN (talk) 19:53, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

I apologize for missing that. It's not pleasant to be misunderstood. The nuances that are often the cornerstones of jokes are sometimes difficult to convey in writing (hence emoticons).
Anyway, it's not mere speculation. It's an opinion supported by the following facts:
  1. Once Yoghurt was moved, it has remained stable and unchallenged at Yogurt
  2. There is no strong policy-based argument to move Yogurt back to Yoghurt
  3. Nothing significant and relevant has changed in policy or in usage in reliable sources any time in the period since the first move from the original Yogurt title to Yoghurt that changed the strength of strong policy-based arguments related to these titles.
  4. If the article was moved to Yogurt per the first original use "tie breaker" rule back at the first RM, there would have been no strong policy-based argument to move Yogurt back to Yoghurt (if there was, then that argument would exist today as well, or at least could be identified).
--B2C 20:31, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Nevertheless, it is pure speculation for you to say that it would all just have gotten dropped years ago - that none of those passionate yoghurt fanciers would have tried to move it back after one firm move to "yogurt" by one enlightened closer. Yes, the final closure seems to have been accepted, but your interpretation ignores other factors, like changing usage and simple editor exhaustion (probably the main factor in final dropping of the yog(h)urt disputes). Your speculation that it would have all been settled "years ago" assumes your premise, namely, that nobody will ever try to change a title if they don't have a "strong policy based argument" as you define it. IMO the lack of such a "strong policy based argument" eight years ago, or five years ago, would not have stopped the yoghurt faction from launching RM after RM to change it back to yoghurt. Maybe they would all have failed - but the title would still have been controversial, not "stable and unchallenged". --MelanieN (talk) 21:08, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

The facts listed demonstrate it's not pure speculation. Is it ironclad 100% proof? Of course not, 100% ironclad proof hardly exists for anything. We even send people to the gas chamber on less (beyond a reasonable doubt - but not 100% ironclad proof). So just because it's not 100% solid doesn't mean it's speculation, much less pure speculation.

I think you underestimate the role that policy-based argument plays in RM discussions. The really tough ones are when there are good policy-based arguments on both sides, like when a WP:COMMONNAME based argument is up against a category-specific naming conventions on the other.

But that wasn't the case here. When participants listed the arguments on both sides, there was really nothing favoring Yoghurt, except that the article was currently at Yoghurt and had been for years. So the only argument in Yoghurt's favor would no longer apply once it was moved. On the other hand, all the policy-based arguments favoring Yogurt would still favor Yogurt after the move (it was the original title, WP:COMMONNAME, natural in all of the English world), plus it would have "current title" in its favor as well. Off the top of my head, I can't recall a single significant effort to change a title not based on some kind of policy-based argument. Can you? Certainly can't find any at WP:RM.

It seems to me that the only way to justify a Yogurt to Yoghurt move, today or 9+ years ago (after a hypothetical earlier Yoghurt to Yogurt move), is pure WP:JDLI/WP:IAR. People might want to move it, some probably still do, and they can claim nobody has tried because of editor exhaustion, but the fact is, they have no argument, and they wouldn't have had an argument had it been moved years ago.

I'm not 100% sure, but I'm 99% sure, that's why this controversy was settled, and that it would have been settled for the exact same reason years ago, had it been moved then. And that's a perfectly reasonable opinion to express in an essay. --B2C 22:28, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

There's a saying "timing is everything". The bold close by the enlightened closer will only work if the community is ready for it. --MelanieN (talk) 23:26, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Sure, and some situations certainly take time for the community to be ready. But the community is always ready for a decision that has no policy based reason to revert it. If there are exceptions -- that would mean the community is willing to revert based on JDLI/IAR -- they are exceedingly rare. That's why this essay is careful to specify the conditions necessary to ensure the community is ready. --B2C 23:36, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Change name to Yogurt Reminder?[edit]

Much of the objection to this essay seems to stem from a lack of understanding, and perhaps the word "rule" in the title is itself the source of much of it.

In order to emphasize that the point of this essay to remind RM closers that they are supposed to determine a "rough consensus" by weighing the arguments rather than by tallying the !votes (see Wikipedia:Closing_discussions#Consensus), and that determining the vote by tallying !votes can lead to a series of "no consensus" findings even though there is consensus favoring the move because it has stronger policy-based arguments, I'm thinking it might be helpful to change the title to WP:Yogurt Reminder, and make content changes in accordance with that.

Thoughts? --B2C 16:57, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

I've boldly made the title change to WP:Yogurt Reminder and associated content changes[3]. --B2C 17:42, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Intent paragraph[edit]

SmokeyJoe, please explain the deletion of the "intent" paragraph:

The intent of this essay is to remind RM closers that finding consensus in favor of a move not clearly supported by a strong majority of the participants in the RM discussion is within the closer's discretion as long as the support arguments are stronger in terms of policy basis, and to encourage taking advantage of this policy-supported discretion especially when the certain conditions listed below are present. This essay provides RM closers with a convenient way to explain their reasoning in these situations by referencing this essay, and also allows involved editors to cite the essay as applicable when appropriate. This should help resolve certain title conflicts sooner than they would otherwise be resolved.

What exactly is your objection to this? Let's break it up into key separate statements, if you don't mind.

  1. finding consensus in favor of a move not clearly supported by a strong majority of the participants in the RM discussion is within the closer's discretion as long as the support arguments are stronger in terms of policy basis
  2. encourage taking advantage of this policy-supported discretion especially when the certain conditions listed below are present.
  3. This essay provides RM closers with a convenient way to explain their reasoning in these situations by referencing this essay
  4. allows involved editors to cite the essay as applicable when appropriate
  5. This should help resolve certain title conflicts sooner than they would otherwise be resolved.

Which statements are problematic for you, and why? Thanks. --B2C 00:57, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

An intent section serves to stake ownership by the original author. Better the demand that the essay says what it says. If you need to explain intent, then it must be unclear. State your "intent" on the talk page.

"Finding consensus ... not clearly supported" is a contradiction.

Writing an essay to persuade closers to act in a particular way crosses the line into being a policy/guideline proposal. If intended, it should be tagged {{proposal}}, advertised, and opened to wide scrutiny. It would be acceptable if the essay did not specificy closers as the target audience. Note that closers can only close based on the content of the discussion, content introduced by participants, or do you disagree with supervoting being an unacceptable style of closing?

If you want to push this, I suggest that you expand on "policy-supported discretion", but note that it will then become too long winded for an "intent" paragraph.

3. I think that is completely absurd. This essay is not useful to support a closer making a finding of consensus not clearly supported. In this respect it is disruptive. It could only encourage bad NAC closes that will need to be rescued by WP:MR. This will only discourage conscientious NAC closers from what is a job of little reward. Disruptive. If this is your intent, your intent is disruptive.

4. Nonsense. Editors can cite any page or section by ordinary wikilinking and the intent statement provides no assistance.

5. This is an opinion, not an intent.

I tried to rewrite the paragraph acceptably, but decided that it contributed nothing of value to the essay. Now, is it "your essay" to be userfied, or an essay intended to assist the community in resolving ongoing, repeated repeated titling disputes.

As an alternative to resolving ongoing, repeated repeated titling disputes (is that teh intention, or not?), I suggest greater stability would result from a rule that "only an an experience admin closer may close a RM that is contentious". Or advice to participants to help them better focus arguments. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:57, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree that a reminder should be in place that only experienced editors should close highly contentious debates. As for the title, what about just "Yogurt", no Rule or Reminder or Precedent or anything. WP:YOGURT -Kai445 (talk) 04:00, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
SmokeyJoe, whether "finding consensus .. not clearly supported" is a contradiction is irrelevant because it is a partial quote taken out of context. What I actually wrote was:
finding consensus in favor of a move not clearly supported by a strong majority of the participants in the RM discussion
The highlighted portion is crucial to understanding the point of that statement and, indeed, the point of this essay. I'm concerned that you still don't understand and appreciate that, so I think we need to really flesh out what's going on here.

Consider a hypothetical RM discussion where the results are as follows:

Support - per WP:COMMONNAME as proposed name is most commonly used in RS (includes backup evidence from Google results)
Oppose - The current title is commonly used (provides evidence it is commonly used). No good reason to move.
There is no question that both titles are commonly used - the issue is about which is more commonly used - the evidence above shows that the proposed title is more commonly used than the current title. Do you have any reason to question this evidence?
Support - per WP:CRITERIA. The proposed name is more concise and more natural (more commonly used per undisputed evidence above). There are no policy based reasons supporting the current title.
Oppose - We always refer to it as the current title at home.
Oppose - The current title is better because it's more descriptive.
Support - Being more descriptive is not a policy based reason to favor one title over another. The proposed title is WP:PRECISE and more natural and more concise.
In such a discussion an RM closer might easily find there is "no consensus", as half the participants support and half oppose the proposal. But that would be an error, in my view, because he or she would be doing this by tallying the !votes. If consensus is determined by weighing the arguments - which in this hypothetical case are obviously contrived to show the oppose support side is much stronger in terms of being based in policy; in fact the support oppose side has nothing in those terms - then consensus should be found to be favoring the move. Do you agree? Well, that would be "finding consensus in favor of a move not clearly supported by a strong majority of the participants in the RM discussion". Does that make sense? --B2C 19:00, 2 July 2013 (UTC) fixed oppose/support references that were accidentally backwards - thanks Hot Stop! --B2C 22:45, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
So you're saying that an admin should ignore the side with stronger policy based arguments in a close call like the above and move the page per this non-rule rule? How would that not be a super vote, especially when none of the move supporters mentioned this essay in principle or name? Hot Stop talk-contribs 22:20, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
What? The side with stronger policy based arguments is the Support side. It should not be ignored! That's the point!

To the contrary, the Oppose side is without any policy based arguments and so should be effectively ignored, and not because of what this essay says, because of what WP:Closing discussions#Consensus says. There is no close call here. It might appear as a close call at first glance, if you only tally the !votes (3 Support, and 3 Oppose), but in terms of weighing the arguments all the weight is on the side of Support. Accordingly, the page should be moved. Does that make sense?

So far, we're not to the essay yet, though WP:Closing discussions#Consensus is a crucial underlying premise. --B2C 22:32, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

You did write that "the oppose side is much stronger in terms of being based in policy" Hot Stop talk-contribs 22:40, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Oops! Sorry about that! Got that backwards. Fixed now! Thanks!!! Now does it make sense? --B2C 22:45, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

To speed things along, I'm going to assume we have agreement that "finding consensus in favor of a move not clearly supported by a strong majority of the participants in the RM discussion" does make sense in at least this hypothetical case. The next step is to explore whether it ever makes sense in a real case. Here we enter the realm of closer discretion, a.k.a reality. In reality, it's rarely quite the clear cut. Rarely is only the Support side of an RM strongly based in policy, and the Oppose side literally has nothing, except status quo. But it does happen. More often the Oppose side may have a little, but much less than the Support side. I suggest in those cases we essentially have the same situation as in our hypothetical situation, when the arguments are weighed (rather than tallying the !votes).

But obviously it's something of a subjective call, and closers are reluctant to find in favor by weighing arguments when there is no majority of participants favoring the move. Still, it's within their discretion. Yes? Still with me, Smokey? --B2C 01:00, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

"finding consensus in favor of a move not clearly supported" is I guess an unfortunate choice of sequence of words. If you can be paraphrased to produce contradictions, you should reword. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:08, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Is this still going on? I don't see the discussion on the deletion paying showing any agreement for "finding consensus in favor of a move not clearly supported by a strong majority of the participants in the RM discussion" - and to be honest I'm still more concerned about the essay author's own non-admin closes against 200% majorities with a supervote than the Clinton close. B2C, maybe you should provide a vote count of all your own non-admin closes to see you yourself are applying your essay before anyone else even thinks about applying it. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:53, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
What? I am unaware of B2C closing discussions. I don't immediately see them in his contribution history. I would be very concerned. I am already very concerned to see in places like here statement like: "Born2Cycle is one of Wikipedia's experts on article titles and is incredibly precise and well verse in Wikipedia policy on the matter" when my impression is that he is very intelligent but driven by a difficult-to-understand or irrational motivation (something along the lines of minimalist titling), and pushes the agenda through both policy discussions and attempted RM precedent setting. In otherwords, he is best considered INVOLVED on any titling discussion, and should not be closing. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:19, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
User:SmokeyJoe, I do not know how many RM discussions B2C has closed, hence the question. I am only aware of B2C closing against 5:2 majority at Talk:Boeing 377, and closing against 4:2 majority at Talk:Leipzig Central Station (against revert of undiscussed move). In ictu oculi (talk) 08:18, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't see a definite problem with those closes. You could seek a review at WP:MR. I'd recommend carefully written fresh nominations. The Boeing case was looking like a third alternative needed consideration. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 14:27, 3 July 2013 (UTC)


Okay, here is a rewording:

The intent of this essay is
  1. to remind RM closers that it is within their discretion to find consensus in favor of a move proposal that is not clearly supported by a strong majority of the participants in the RM discussion as long as the support arguments are stronger in terms of policy basis, and
  2. to encourage taking advantage of this policy-supported discretion especially when the certain conditions are present.
By being able to reference this essay, RM closers finding consensus based on the strength of the arguments despite a lack of a popular majority support have a convenient mechanism to explain their reasoning. The essay also gives involved editors an opportunity to cite the essay whenever they believe the reasoning is applicable. The hope is that because of this essay certain kinds of title conflicts will be resolved sooner than they would otherwise be resolved.

Better? --B2C 00:13, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Having an explicit "intent" relying on the premise of an adventurous interpretation of an information page citing admins traitors privilege of citing WP:Rough Consensus to empower bold NACs if citing the essay bound by this intent, is not OK.

Stems from yogurt?[edit]

Hi B2C,

I've just reviewed the history of Talk:Yogurt. I made these notes:

Yogurt wins over Yoghurt, not because one title is better than the other, but because yogurt was the first non-stub title, which is the deciding factor where otherwise there is no consensus. This is called "WP:RETAIN".
This was affirmed in RM#8.
RM#1. There was no significant discussion of WP:RETAIN. A proper "no consensus close"
Post RM#1, PBS introduces the WP:RETAIN point, " the Primary Author argument". Derek Ross responds, but not on point, and the point is lost in discussion.
RM#2. Nomination based on ghits; close citing the first version; the WP:RETAIN principle was gaining recognition and agreement during the discussion.
The close of WP:#2 was openly disputed. WP:MR would have been appropriate.
RM#3 The RM#2 closer re-runs the RM with a clarified fact on the first version. The majority of participants re-argued usage.
The RM#3 closer finds no consensus.
RM#4. Tabulated arguments Maybe because of the argument tabulation, the arguments made by participants signed !votes look very weak.  :Reasonable no concensus close.
RM#5 Nomination on unnamed first version principle.
Opposes per "long stability"
20:15, 22 June 2009, B2C makes what he will call his "Yogurt Rule" A fair argument in itself, a good argument against the opposing argument that allowing the RM to succeed with regard proponants of endless controversy (itself a very poor argument).
RM#6. Procedural close (too soon). Despite B2C making compelling points.
July 9, 2009 Manning Bartlett's "profound wisdom" is basically WP:RETAIN.
RM#7 reads like no consensus. The application of WP:ENGVAR is contested, original version versus long term stability(sic). Merits and usage arguments mixed with ENGVAR/RETAIN. Vegaswikian is arguing similarly to B2C ("This discussion needs to be put to bed and the best way is to simply put the article back where it started 9 years ago"). Closed as "no consensus".
RM#8. I arrived. I think I followed B2C from WT:Consensus. I read Talk:Yogurt/yogurtspellinghistory. I was already aware of WP:RETAIN. My attempt was to focus on WP:RETAIN and acknowledge the no consensus on merits/usage. Focus faltered. RM#7 was being re-run, but it re-ran differently, even before PBS attracted attention.
B2C: "Restoring the original title per WP:ENGVAR/WP:RETAIN is the only way to finally end this seven-year-long conflict, because once the article is moved, there will be no basis for a Yogurt → Yoghurt move. " (very sensible)
"Opposing this move, is, according to Einstein, the definition of insanity." (but prone to apparent irrationality)
Some continue to (illogically) challenge the meaning of WP:RETAIN. Is WP:RETAIN applicable retrospectively?
The close comes out strongly recognising WP:RETAIN.

Talk:Yogurt/yogurtspellinghistory is a good reading of the history. What I see in it is that your (poorly titled?) Yogurt Rule/Reminder did not stem from yogurt, but developed during the yogurt saga. This makes sense now. The opening line of this essay is wrong, in a very small way, but to be wrong in the opening line is very bad.

  • Your yogurt theory doesn't derive from the yogurt saga, it was laid out in the yogurt saga. So, the yogurt saga didn't inspire the rule. Neither does it demonstrate the rule, one argument being that the close of RM#8 is clearly on other lines.
  • I think this essays needs (so as to not mislead) to be disconnected from yogurt. Yogurt is, in hindsight, little more than an example of applicability of the essay.
  • The essay also needs (so as to not risk disruption) to take a line of advising RM participants, not RM closers. I think this will actually suit your ambition better. Closers are, customarily, required, and for good reasons, conservative. Bold closing will not be welcome, and bold closing citing this essay will be counter-productive to your ambition. I assume your ambition is to promote more logical, less personal, RMs? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:51, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Smokey, you again are talking about something very different. But first, speaking of making mistakes from the outset, PBS's !vote in that first RM is dated 12 May 2005. It's the fourth of over 30, which continued to come in until at least 17 May 2005. In that 12 May 2005 !vote comment, PBS writes:
The primary author used Yogurt See Disccussion below
If you look at the discussion below, labeled Discussion, you will see comments from PBS also dated 12 May 2005. For example:
Z. what about the Primary Author argument? Philip Baird Shearer 09:04, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
There is also this !vote comment from Jonathunder:
Support: primary author (as per PBS) and more common name rubric (per MoS) seem to point in the same direction in this case. This article was Jonathunder 02:22, 2005 May 12 (UTC)
Support There doesn't seem to have been a valid reason to move it from the original title, so support putting it back. Demi T/C 07:23, 2005 May 12 (UTC)
There are many others as well. The argument was clearly presented from the outset, it was not lost in discussion post-RM, and it was repeated by many. Just as importantly, there was no policy-based argument to oppose the proposal to move the article to Yogurt. This was the situation in the first and every single subsequent RM discussion: there were multiple good policy-based arguments and reasons given to move the article in the corresponding discussions, and no good policy-based arguments or reasons given to not move the article. And, yet, in each case the closer concluded there was "no consensus". Why? What reason based on argument analysis was there for finding "no consensus" in the first or any of the discussions? None. Clearly, the closers were relying on !vote counts. And they weren't subtle about this. This is the "reasoning" given by the closer of the first RM:
"There are 14 "Support" votes (plus 1 for the proposer) which is equal with 15 "Oppose" votes. No one side has at any stage been more than two votes ahead. It's a tie - and it looks like remaining a tie as well."
Blatant !vote counting! Not a hint of argument analysis.

The point you keep missing or ignoring is that "the rule" or "reminder" from Yogurt is for closers to give even more attention than usual to analyzing and weighing the arguments over counting !votes in situations where there is a history of "no consensus" closes for the same proposal, and one way to do that is to consider what if any policy-based arguments there would be to reverse the proposed move if it goes through. That derives from the saga (yes, it became evident and noted before the saga was over, but after it was well under way - it was not noted or recognized prior, so far as I know). That's the lesson to be learned from the saga, IMHO. And during and immediately after the saga it was a proposed theory. Now that all this time has passed and the title remains remarkably stable and unchallenged, there is much more basis to the theory. You may disagree, but that's a reason to write a different essay, not to change or userfy this one.

I'm not going to go through all of your analysis point by point, but you make a number of alarming statements. I'll just highlight one:

RM#4. Tabulated arguments Maybe because of the argument tabulation, the arguments made by participants signed !votes look very weak.  :Reasonable no concensus close.
The tabulated arguments were tabulated by discussion participants and are to be weighed in the analysis of the discussion. Again, there is no policy-based argument favoring Yoghurt. None. Note in particular the last tabulated argument:
  • Once the title is "yogurt", there will be no clear reason to change back to "yoghurt", and the article name will stabilize.

That was noted in RM #4 (of 8), in 2007, four years before the situation was finally resolved in 2011, and that assertion was proven true. Note also that though WP:RETAIN was not explicitly cited, it was essentially argued in point 1 of the tabulated arguments ("Article had this spelling first"), but it was only 1 of 6 arguments listed. The general lesson here, IMHO, is not simply to follow RETAIN, but to analyze and weigh the arguments, especially if this is a repeat RM discussion previously closed as "no consensus". Anyway, unless you're counting !votes, how on Earth do you find the "no consensus" close to be reasonable here? There was not one single good reason given in that discussion to not move as proposed, and multiple good reasons to move. --B2C 17:28, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

B2C, you're making too much of my notes. They serve to demonstrate alternative perspectives exist, and I consider several, if not all, closes to have been defendable, to degrees. I blame the discussions, the participants, not just the closers.
But that is not the point. Please go to my last three dot points. They relate directly to this essay, and don't depend on the details of the history of Talk:Yogurt. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:28, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
I addressed your three dot points with the paragraph above that starts with "The point you keep missing or ignoring is ...". --B2C 23:20, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

By the way, the question is not whether the closes were defensible, since I'm not arguing that they were not. The question is whether it would have been defensible for the closers to have found consensus in favor of moving, and if they did, would have WP have been improved by such closings rather than "no consensus"? That's the question, because that's what the essay is arguing. It's arguing it implicitly about the first 7 Yogurt RM closes, and explicitly about such situations in general. --B2C 23:26, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

I've added an analysis of RM #1 to the yogurt history; see Talk:Yogurt/yogurtspellinghistory#May_12-17_2005_-_RM_.231. When I have time I'll do the others. I suggest this analysis demonstrates that it would have been reasonable to find consensus in support of the move. The key here is that when the support side is supported much stronger than the other in terms of policy, then moving from the status quo will produce a stable result, because there will be no strong policy-based arguments to move it again. The fact that in this case WP:RETAIN happened to be a key policy-based reason is not directly relevant. That it is, if it was all WP:COMMONNAME or some other policy-based argument, the result would be the same. --B2C 00:17, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

WP:RETAIN happened to be athe key policy-based reason for the RM#8 consensus. If the essay is about Yogurt, the WP:RETAIN is at the centre. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:33, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
B2C wrote> The point you keep missing or ignoring is that "the rule" or "reminder" from Yogurt is for closers to give even more attention than usual to analyzing and weighing the arguments over counting !votes in situations where there is a history of "no consensus"
But there is no rule or reminder from Yogurt. It is simply not established, and so write assuming there is is to mislead. This is not acceptable in a ProjectSpace essay.
You think that a series of “no consensus” closes gives a later RM’s closer *more* latitutde to perform a !vote analysis? This is a weird, though acceptable as an opinion essay, if clearly written as opinion.

B2C wrote> to consider what if any policy-based arguments there would be to reverse the proposed move if it goes through.
This is a very worthy idea for exploration in an essay.
B2C wrote> That derives from the saga (yes, it became evident and noted before the saga was over, but after it was well under way - it was not noted or recognized prior, so far as I know).
No, it does not “derive” from the saga. It does not “stem” from the saga. Maybe, it was formulated in your mind during the saga, was shaped by the saga, but it came from you, not the saga. It’s only appearance in the saga is in your posts. In the saga, there is no evidence that your idea gained more than isolated traction or made a contribution to resolution. It is not OK for you to fabricate a historical precedent for your idea.
B2C wrote> That's the lesson to be learned from the saga, IMHO.
If it is about you, and your thoought history, it belongs in your UserEsssay in your userspace.
B2C wrote> And during and immediately after the saga it was a proposed theory.
Diffs please.
“During the experience of the yogurt, the following theory was proposed…”

B2C wrote> Now that all this time has passed and the title remains remarkably stable and unchallenged, there is much more basis to the theory.
I don’t think you are very profficient with the words “basis” and “theory”. New data does not modify a basis of a theory.
“Now that the title remains remarkably stable and unchallenged, there is much more weight added to the premise of the theory”

Exactly what the “theory” is needs exploration. Is the theory: “The lack of corresponding counter arguments for a reverse move mean that stability will result from making the move”

B2C wrote> You may disagree, but that's a reason to write a different essay, not to change or userfy this one.
Do you intend to fight tooth and nail for the wording “This reminder for RM closers stems from the case of Yogurt”? I consider it a minor absurdity (no reminder is established; the theory doesn’t “stem from”). If you insist that the essay must state your unique perspective, then it should be userfied. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:33, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand your objection to "stems from", but I'm okay with "inspired by". --B2C 04:30, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Good. Sometimes actual edits are needed for progress (per BRD). I've also made a whole heap of edits with comments. These are the sorts of edits that I think are needed. In some cases, I am sure that there is a difference between what I read and what you intended. I like to think that the majority of edits are agreeable.
I still think that the advice would be equally, or more so, useful to general participants than to closers. I still think that writing for advice closers, including NAC closers, goes too far for a minority view (at this time) essay. I'm not certain that you've disagreed. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:42, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Key to your point and question here is the premise that this is a "minority view". What minority view? You think it's a minority view that closers are supposed to determine consensus by analyzing the arguments rather than counting !votes? I suggest if you ask people what they think, almost all will answer of course WP is not a democracy, and closers should analyze the arguments. That's what they will say. What they will do is something else entirely. That difference between what closers say they do and what they actually do is what I'm trying to address with this essay.

Speaking of which, digging through the yogurt talk archives I ran into this section which I started after the close of RM #7 (which reminded me how outrageous that was). Talk:Yogurt/Archive_6#The_inevitable_is_delayed_once_again.2C_inexplicably. I wrote this essay because of closes like that one. In retrospect, I suppose the closer really though the support arguments he cited were strong. But that could only be the case if he did not read the arguments carefully.

I suppose participants can benefit too, and nothing prevents them from reading this, but I think it's important to keep closers as the intended audience for focus. After all, the problem that is being addressed is discussion in which (among other factors) there is no clear majority. That's a problem only closers have to contend with. --B2C 05:17, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm afraid that in the linked archive there, the RM#7 closer made a reasonable defence of his no concensus close. I think you are too involved to judge. I think WP:MR would very likely "Endorse" but encourage a later fresh RM. Don't kick the past closers, it's not productive. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:14, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Minority view?
The paragraphs beginning "RM closers are sometimes understandably reluctant to find" & "Never-the-less, closers are often understandably reluctant" detail the majority view of how things should be done. If this essay advocates for closers to do something different, it is advocating a minority view. As it is advocating a minority view on an procedural/adminstrative task (allowing for NACs to be grouped into small-a administrative), it is dangerous. The essay needs to take more care than the early versions. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:27, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
"If this essay advocates for closers to do something different"? Huh? Like what? What does (or did) this essay ever advocate for closers to do that was substantially different from what those paragraphs say? --B2C 05:43, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I didn't think this would be an issue to you. You contend that RM closers are over-conservative in closing numerically contested discussions as "no consensus". As this is the prevailing practice, we should accept that it is per the majroity view (for good or ill). This essay (acceptably) advocates a stronger line on weighing strengths of arguments over the number count. As this happens less often, we should accept that doing this is a minority view. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:49, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I quote Beeblebrox in the Ivory Coast closing[4]:
There is certainly a lot to be considered when evaluating this discussion. I haven't actually counted but at a glance if we went by straight numbers we would arrive at yet another "no consensus" result. That is, in my opinion, not acceptable. Of course we don't do things that way anyway, ...
Is Beeblebrox expressing a minority view here? An inaccurate view? Why should we consider essentially the same view to be a minority or inaccurate view when stated in this essay? --B2C 06:09, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Beeblebrox was on a minority view. See his subsequent RfB for evidence. This is partly why I think Ivory Coast is so interesting. An inaccurate view? No, a minority opinion that is highly compatible with this essay. NB. Minority opinion does not mean "wrong" or "inaccurate" unless you take the line that the status quo is perfect. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:31, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Certainly there is a concern about that close expressed by a minority in that RfB, at least some of whom obviously took some of his words out of context and did not understand what he meant. This does not show at all that the view expressed by Beeblebrox is itself a minority view. Most of the objection at the RfB seemed to be to his statement about another "no consensus" result being unacceptable. Few if any challenged the main point, that consensus is determined not by counting !votes but by analyzing the arguments.

To be clear, no version of this essay ever advocated finding consensus where there was none. I mean, consensus has to actually be there, at least through argument analysis, if not by strong majority support as well. But when strong majority support is there as well, the situation is a no-brainer. What this essay addresses is the "yes-brainer" situation, where we have consensus through argument analysis, but not strong majority support. --B2C 07:00, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

That's agreeable, but I don't agree that any of the yogurt RMs are clearly good examples. Ivory Coast might be better. A variety of examples are desirable. HRC is a bad example.
A problem with the yogurt RMs is a committed opposition that appeared to really believe that their position was policy-based. A secondary, but important, function of consensus discussions is to provide an educational experience for all participants. That may be worth attention in this essay, and relates to why I think this essay needs to be addressed to all participants. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:02, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
You don't agree that any of the yogurt RMs are clearly good examples of "where we have consensus through argument analysis, but not strong majority support" because "a committed opposition that appeared to really believe that their position was policy-based"?

I don't follow, for two reasons.

First, let's look at RM #1. Per my analysis of RM #1, I see two opposes out of 30 participants that even hint about having policy-based positions, and both of those are dubious. Derek Ross points out that the h spelling is extremely popular on Google/Yahoo!, but this is immediately countered by Tony Yin who argues that the no-h spelling is even more popular there (this assertion is unchallenged). The other was jguk, who argued ENGVAR ("Article is in British English and should use the most common spelling in Britain") without addressing the Original Author point on which the proposal was based. I'm not sure how strongly Ross believed his position was based in policy, but jguk almost certainly did. But that's it. The other 13 opposers gave no hint of policy basis, while the vast majority of the 15 supporters (including the nom) definitely did (either Original Author or Common Name or both). I see very little evidence of "a committed opposition that appeared to really believe that their position was policy-based" in RM #1, and I don't believe there was more evidence of that in later RMs.

Second, don't you agree that the point of argument analysis is not about determining whether participants believe their positions are based in policy, but about determining whether their arguments are actually based in policy? The Yogurt RMs exemplify the point I'm trying to make: many RMs are like this - though there is no majority support per !vote counting, an argument analysis that discards irrelevant arguments ("those that flatly contradict established policy, those based on personal opinion only, those that are logically fallacious, those that show no understanding of the matter of issue"), such as this analysis of Yogurt RM #1, shows clear consensus support in favor of moving the article. --B2C 16:31, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Derek Ross reveals a lack of belief that his original move of Yogurt to Yoghurt was based in policy in this exchange on 12 October 2006. His defense of the original move does not deny that his argument for moving ("articles should be named so as to be 'more phonetically accurate'") was absurd, but is based on the claim that nobody complained until "two and half years after the move" (which is not true - the first complaint was lodged on June 1 2004[5], six months after the Dec 25 2003 move). --B2C 18:26, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

I've completed an analysis of RM #2, which, by the way, was closed in favor of moving to Yogurt. This one too shows that there was virtually no basis in policy whatsoever on the side that opposed the move. --B2C 19:15, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

I've also completed an analysis of RM #3, with very similar results. --B2C 19:59, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Citations to B2C asserting the theory[edit]

Thanks for adding these requested citations (May 16, 2007, January 28, 2009, June 23, 2009, May 27, 2011). The first three are very good. The fourth less so, as it is less clear, and it is very far from accepted that, as is implied in the diff, that yoghurt violates WP:COMMONNAME. The first three are enough. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:18, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Throughout the history of the saga, from the very first RM in which I was not involved, many in support of the move argued per common name, including yours truly (in later RMs), based on the argument that yogurt is approximately as commonly used as yoghurt in the UK and most other places where yoghurt is used, and virtually dominates in other areas. The fact remains that yogurt could be reasonably supported by common name, but yoghurt could not.

This goes back to the central tenet of the essay:

If an article is at A and proposed to be moved to B by strong policy-based arguments, and if the article is moved as proposed and after that there are no conceivable reasonable policy-based arguments to move the article back to A, then it is likely to be stable at B.
It doesn't matter what the particular strong policy-based arguments are. It could be RETAIN and COMMONNAME as it was in the case of Yogurt. It could be either. It could be neither, but something else. In theory, it could could WP:IAR for a good reason. As long as no reasonable IAR argument (or any other strong reasonable policy-based argument) for reverting that move is conceivable, the rule/reminder/lesson that this essay is trying to convey, which I realized during the Yogurt saga, applies.

I think it's helpful to cite the May 2011 invocation of that argument as it comes 2 years after the previous one, and 6 months prior to the final RM. --B2C

Is it a fact that yoghurt could not be reasonable supported by a WP:COMMONNAME argument? No. This is false. And to argue it is to needlessly insult the editors are did try to oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. It is a careless, needless insult.
A better invocation in 2011 would be nice, but don't rush to find one. It is clear that you proposed the theory early and consistently. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:56, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
What? I don't recall a single oppose ever arguing per COMMONNAME. I'm pretty sure nobody ever argued that "yoghurt" is more commonly used than "yogurt", certainly not reasonably, and so should be the title per COMMONNAME. --B2C 06:02, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I'm more stupid than the 8 year argument for getting involved now, but I wanted to point out that the "yoghurt" spelling may be far more popular in other parts of the world. I've spent a lot of time in India and the H spelling is more common there as far I remember. Noformation Talk 07:12, 1 December 2011 (UTC). Note also that the majority of all English speakers are in India. I;m not saying this is a good argument (personally preferring to count reputable publications over informal usage), but I do remember instances of people trying to use COMMONNAME to support Yoghurt. This is very tangential. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:26, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
It's pertinent to your claim that my assertion was false, which you're using to argue the reference to the May 27, 2011 link should not be there. There is no question that the h spelling is more common in some parts of the world. There was never any question about that. But that is not enough to support a reasonable common name argument. The point of common name is to reflect what is more likely to be recognized by readers. No one opposed based on COMMONNAME. When the arguments were summarized, COMMONNAME was never in the oppose column. --B2C 07:12, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Ivory Coast[edit]

I think enough has been made from Yogurt. Why not look for more evidence from Ivory Coast. I see B2C was very active there, though less-so than yogurt. I see many similarities. The final RM was closed with a detailed explanation that was accused of being a supervote by some. WP:MR found no consensus; more free assessments can be found in this discussion. However, I think we are now seeing acceptance of the current title. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:51, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Ivory Coast is indeed an excellent of what I originally called the Yogurt Rule. In fact, this is what I wrote in response to the close of that RM:
First, bravo! to a brave and well-reasoned closing. I was dreading yet another pathetic "no consensus" decision, like those that plagued Talk:Yogurt for nine years over at least eight RM proposals, until finally the article was properly moved. So, kudos to Beeblebrox, and thank you for explaining your reasoning so clearly.
And what was so well-reasons about the closing? Well, just read the first paragraph from the closer:
There is certainly a lot to be considered when evaluating this discussion. I haven't actually counted but at a glance if we went by straight numbers we would arrive at yet another "no consensus" result. That is, in my opinion, not acceptable. Of course we don't do things that way anyway, but I wanted to be clear from the outset that strength of numbers was not a contributing factor to this close.
Following that was 5 point analysis of the discussion, and a conclusion. If only all RM closes could be like this... I wonder how we could work this into the essay? And note that RETAIN had nothing to do with this one, but the lesson from Yogurt still applies. Beeblebrox did not need to read the essay to be inspired to do it, but others might need it... I've added it to the examples in the essay. --B2C 05:59, 11 July 2013 (UTC)


Hi B2C,

  • Excellent rename, to Yogurt Principle.
  • Am I still welcome to positively contribute?
  • As per elsewhere, I am uncomfortable with your view as to the degree to which a closer may analyse and then determine a consensus, and with giving what reads like actionable instructions, but in your userspace it is less of a hangup. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:17, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
It's not my view that a closer may is supposed to analyze and determine a consensus. It's the view of the Wikipedia community, as reflected at Wikipedia:Closing_discussions#Consensus which says:
The closer is there to judge the consensus of the community [not of the discussion participants --B2C], after discarding irrelevant arguments: those that flatly contradict established policy, those based on personal opinion only, those that are logically fallacious, those that show no understanding of the matter of issue.
Also Wikipedia:Deletion_guidelines_for_administrators#Rough_consensus:
Consensus is not determined by counting heads, but by looking at strength of argument, and underlying policy (if any). Arguments that contradict policy, are based on opinion rather than fact, or are logically fallacious, are frequently discounted.
Not to mention Wikipedia:RMCI#Determining_consensus:
Consensus is determined not just by considering the preferences of the participants in a given discussion, but also by evaluating their arguments, assigning due weight accordingly, and giving due consideration to the relevant consensus of the Wikipedia community in general as reflected in applicable policy, guidelines and naming conventions.
And of course WP:CONSENSUS#Determining consensus itself:
Consensus is determined by the quality of the arguments given on the various sides of an issue, as viewed through the lens of Wikipedia policy.
If your view differs from this viewpoint about how consensus is determined on WP, take it up with the community, not with me! My intent is to continue to reflect this community consensus in this essay.
But you are welcome to continue to help improve this essay in accordance with community consensus (but please, not your personal view about consensus determination). It's still not as clear as I would like it to be. And I've yet to reword to reflect the new title. --B2C 00:05, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the idea is that you are somehow misconstruing these quoted passages to come to an idosyncratic conclusion not actually supported by their meaning and intent. Thing is, I can't see that you are doing that at all. I tend to agree with your analysis. I'm curious if SmokeyJoe (talk · contribs) can elaborate and clarify. This userspaced essay doesn't matter much, but the underlying idea is important to resolve.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:59, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
SMcCandlish, B2C's essay overextends on policy (or whatever RCMI is) to the point or error. He means for the closer to supervote, based upon a closer's implied perfect understanding of policy, and its applicability to the question discussed, with no regard to whether participants commented on the applicability of policy, or participants comments the correctness of others' comments. To achieve decisiveness in closes, he seeks to discourage consideration of nuance, and the welcoming of non-regulars' participation, in favour of RM-regular pseudo-experts evaluating current written policy algorithmically. Algorithmic, expert decision making is incompatible with WP:Consensus, and discouraging to new Wikipedians to get involved. RMCI is already permissive of closer discretion with the use of the word "evaluate", but B2C goes beyond that using in its place the word "judge". More recently, I have advised B2C to read and consider Wikipedia:The rules are principles. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:45, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
  • In my estimation, as I said below, the problem is that reading the policies about consensus in this way leads to the conclusion that there is no actual need to have any discussions about anything other than the text of policies and guidelines. If the role of the closing admin is to make an independent determination about the policy merits of a requested move or deletion or whatever, rather than to assess what the participants decided based on the policies mentioned in the discussion, then why have a discussion? Giving the closer this power makes the discussion a potentially useful aside rather than the one thing central to the website's model of decisionmaking. I feel like if the text of wikipedia policies can lead you to the conclusion that there is no real point in having a discussion, that there is something wrong with the text of the policy. That being said, it is important to follow the policies, and I can see that it is silly to have an admin implement the result of a discussion if that result flagrantly violates a policy that nobody thought of, but I think that problem is worse than the "discussions are pointless" problem. AgnosticAphid talk 07:29, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Revised Nutshell[edit]

I think I finally got it.

The discussion closer's duty to determine community consensus about the issue discussed (not to be confused with determining the consensus of the discussion participants), primarily by evaluating and weighing the arguments presented in the discussion in terms of how well they are based in policy, is particularly important in RM title discussions where there is a history of "no consensus" findings for the same proposal.

To accomplish this, a helpful thought experiment can be to imagine the proposed move is made and to consider what policy-based arguments would stand. If the result of such experiment is that there would be no, or only very weak, policy-based reasons to restore what is now the current title, and there are strong policy-based reasons favoring the proposed title, that indicates that community consensus supports the proposed move, even if a consensus of the discussion participants does not.

Comments/questions? --B2C 18:34, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

I think this discussion has exhausted everyone. Sometimes consensus is reached, other times people tire of the arguing and just move on.
As far as this essay goes, the first section should definitely be cut down and the content put after the TOC. It is the weightiest Introductory section I've seen. Newjerseyliz (talk) 23:04, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

== As I have commented elsewhere, the closer 's responsibility is to determine what the community supports, and he can only do it based on what people say. The question of the degree general versus specific consensus should apply depends on the question. If it's a matter of the fundamental rules of WP, a very wide consensus is needed. If it's a matter of title changes, they don't matter nearly as much.This is one of the relatively trivial issues where each individual case may be different. For every one of the examples given, I could construct a convincing argument on either side of the question. The principles are Leave well enough alone and We are here to write an encyclopedia. I consdier this essay as against established policy, that IAR is the basic rule. DGG ( talk ) 17:40, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't understand. IAR requires good reason to ignore rules. This essay does not say or imply that rules must be followed despite good reason to ignore them.

What specifically does the essay say that you understand to be against established policy? --B2C 23:26, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm wondering the same thing. I see a lot of people here generally sort of venting in a vague way about this page (and especially that it was being seen for a while as more than just some essay). @DGG: But the specific criticisms of it on a policy interpretation-level seem very vague. I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with Born2cycle, for the first time in a long time on anything serious. @Born2cycle: That said, I agree with the criticism of Newjerseyliz, et al. on various writing flaws in this. The pre-TOC material is a huge ramble, and you are making too many "it was never questioned again by anyone" kinds of statements (the attempted move of a yog[h]urt side article is actually relevant and should be mentioned, etc.) Anyway, I guess if someone agreed with the proposition in the nutshell, but not with the tumid and case-history-based nature of this page, the thing to do would be to seek consensus to add something to the effect of the nutshell statement into WP:Consensus itself, and/or into the WP:RM close instructions, or where ever, and not bother trying to change a now-userspaced essay the author of which is highly resistant to modifying.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:47, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, SMcCandlish (talk · contribs). To be clear, I am not and have never been resistant to modifications. I am certainly open to de-rambling edits, etc., and that remains true even though this essay is now in my user space. In other words, have at it, please! I put it in project space in the first place in the hopes that others would jump in and improve it.

That said, I am resistant to fundamentally changing what this essay says, just as I would be with any essay. If anyone disagrees with the fundamentals of this or any other essay, they should write a new essay. --B2C 15:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)


copied from User talk:Born2cycle [6]

I thought if I managed to get this page moved, I'd drop you a thank you for writing WP:Yogurt Reminder User:Born2cycle/Yogurt Principle, also as this case may interest you. After its ninth move request since 2006 (8 years ago!), I managed to gather a consensus to move Beyoncé Knowles to Beyoncé today. A lot of editors in the past few years opposed the page being moved, not reading or citing the policy correctly and just ignoring WP:COMMONNAME. Your piece at Yogurt Reminder, particularly about how consensus should be determined through policy-based argument and not vote-counting, undoubtedly helped me to write this, so thank you! —JennKR | 23:28, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm delighted it helped! Indeed, that is a perfect example. It seems to me there is no strong policy based argument to move Beyoncé back to Beyoncé Knowles. Only time will tell for sure. --B2C 06:21, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
B2C, it is great if your essay helped someone do a good thing.
There is a lot that I agree with in the essay, but in the way that asserts a bold role for the closer, I remain sure that it is a bad essay. In the case of the Beyoncé RM, JennKR made an extremely good nomination statement, addressing pertinent policy directly, addressing issues that confused or failed to convince in past RMs, in such a way that the participants were mostly convinced, and the closer's job was simply to formally ratify the obvious consensus. The essays assertions about the role or duty of closers' was in no way relevant, the closer's job was trivial, as is ideally the case.
I think that the real lesson from Yogurt is that poorly framed arguments confound consensus-building.
I still think that the essay would be greatly improved if references to the closer were removed, or replaced by referring to the participants or the community. Participants should consider whether others' arguments are policy-based. Participants should consider and comment on others' strength of of argument. Participants should evaluate others' arguments, assigning weight to differing views accordingly, and giving due consideration to the relevant consensus of the Wikipedia community in general as reflected in applicable policy, guidelines and naming conventions. The examples weaken the essay as they more reflect your personal conviction that in any reasonable contest, the shorter title is better.
I'm not sure what JennKR took so well from your essay, but I suspect (guess) that it was this: He reviewed all past discussions on the Beyoncé title question, he analysed as if he were your essay's closer, and the formulated your essay's ideal close. However, instead of casting this formulation as a closing supervote on the next poorly presented RM, he set it out in a fresh nomination for the community to judge. And they did.
Perhaps if your essay were re-written as advice to the RM re-nominator? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:57, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I'll think about it, and while I agree Jenn's brilliant argument was the clincher, finally, I strongly suspect (I haven't reviewed the history there, yet) it was unnecessary, as well as most of the 8 previous RMs, had closers done a better job of evaluating arguments with respect to policy rather than counting !votes. I'll know better when I review the history.

The potential essay to which you refer, a variant of the current one, makes a different point. The main point I'm trying to make is that closers should be doing a much better job in these cases. --B2C 07:13, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

It really comes down to this: should discussion closers be evaluating whether there is a consensus among those editors who happen to be participating in a given discussion? Or should they be determining whether there is a consensus in the broad WP community about the question at issue, based on the arguments the participants are putting forth, and how well they are based in policy/guidelines that presumably reflect WP consensus? --B2C 07:17, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Jenn is a guy? Red Slash 03:26, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
b2c, obviously there is some tension in move or deletion discussions between "it's not a vote" and "it's decided by the community, not the closing admin." But it seems to me that they role you propose for the closing admin obviates the need for any discussion at all in the vast majority, if not all, cases. If the role of the closing admin is just to judge consensus on a move (or whatever) as determined not by the arguments made but by our existing policies, rather than to assess the strength of the arguments presented, then it seems to me that we might as well massively increase efficiency by just having everything decided by admins exclusively. What is the point of having a discussion if the role of the closer is to ascertain whether an obvious consensus among participants should be trumped by a policy, presumably including IAR, that nobody invoked? For this reason I believe your essay is misguided. AgnosticAphid talk 07:22, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off[edit]

The Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald lyrics famously include:

After reading the Yogurt Principle I thought of this and it made me smile. GregKaye 09:13, 4 May 2015 (UTC)