Wikipedia:The Zen of Wikipedia
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Some Wikipedia koans to ponder:
- Only the use of IAR that is unnoticed is a true use of IAR.
- If you see Wikipedia:Ignore all rules on the road, delete it!
- You should always assume good faith, even when you don't.
- Once, a novice was meditating over a guideline, when Gwern came by. The novice was tossed an unreferenced line. Gwern said, "If you do not reference this, it is unsourced and must be removed. But if you do reference it with a quote from the source, it is a copyvio and so must be removed. Now quickly! What do you do?"
- Once, an admin stood before his assembled editors, and stamped his foot before them. He spoke: "If you call me a rogue admin, you ignore the facts of my appearance. If you call me a rouge admin, you ignore the facts of my actions. Now quickly, call me!"
- What is the sound of one editor building consensus?
- An editor asked, "has an article featured nature or not?" Wikipe-tan said, "Fu."
- A Master spoke to his student, and said: "If you pay attention to the number of supports and opposes, you are calling it a vote. If you do not pay attention to the number of supports and opposes, you are ignoring consensus. Now, quickly, decide whether to promote!"
- A student asked an article writer, "without logic, without verifiability, how can you express truth?" The writer replied, "I often reminisce about my time in student dormitory. We'd either be scrubbing our falsehoods off with soap or we'd be gazing into the bright future through the clearest mirrors you ever saw."
- Through arduous days, a technological wizard managed to write the most esoteric and graceful template conceivable. A layman walked by and asked, "suppose you were to take this template and remove both its documentation and transclusions. What would you have left?"
- A young student stated boldly, "The sky is blue and the grass is green." The sensei replied with tempestuous fury, "What is the sky? What is blue? How do you know it is blue? And what of the grass? Can the sky and grass be blue and green mutually, or must they be valid only in separate universes?" And in that day, the student became a Wikipedian.
- A young novice said, "Some editors are breaking or ignoring the Rules of the project. Clearly we must add more rules to prevent this." To which another novice said "Clearly, we must remove rules to prevent this." And a third said "Clearly, Ignore all rules governs here." The last novice said, "Clearly, you are all wrong!" Their teacher, upon being told of this argument, said, "Clearly, all four were correct."
- A novice asked, "When can a permabanned one return?" Jimbo replied "When the broken mirror is mended; when the fallen flowers return to their old branches."
- A master placed a category in front of his three attentive students and said, "This category claims it is A harmless, useful, fun category. Therefore you cannot say it is otherwise. Quick, delete this category!"
- Ral315, a master of note, was asked by an editor: "What is the most valuable article in all the wiki?" The master replied, "The first article you see in CSD." The student inquired further of him: "Why is the first article you see in CSD the most valuable article in all the wiki?" Ral315 replied: "Because none can name its price."
- A young admin was studying with his mentor, a respected bureaucrat. This bureaucrat had a favorite FA he worked on often and cherished. One day while his mentor was out, the young admin was fooling around with his tools, and accidentally deleted the FA. At just that moment, he returned; quickly the admin asked him, "Mentor, you say that all things must come to an end eventually: policy, users, templates, no?" The mentor affirmed that this was so. Showing the deletion log to the bureaucrat, the young admin said, "Mentor, it was this article's time to come to an end."
- Quiddity said "Every guideline is created to deal with a particular type of problem. If you can determine what the original problems were, you will understand the guideline." To which his student replied, "What about the manual of style? Is that not a guideline that does not directly flow from the problem it seeks to remedy?" To which Lubaf responded, "The Manual of Style is not a guideline, it is the Manual of Style."
- Once, NicholasT felt burnout approaching. He summoned his successor as the head of the MedCom – one whom he had trained for years, one who had achieved the perfect satori of civility and politeness – to meet with him. Kneeling before his fireplace, he spoke to his disciple, saying: "Here, take this page. My mentor before me gave it to me, and on it, I have written all I know of civility and politeness." The disciple accepted the page gratefully, and instantly hurled it in the fire. NicholasT rose up, shouting "You bloody idiot! What are you doing?!" His disciple replied, "What are you saying?!"
- A young novice asked, "Is Wikipedia a community, or an encyclopedia?" Alkivar answered "Yes."; later, another novice asked Alkivar the same question, to which he answered "No."
- A novice was once curious about the nature of the Edit Count. He approached the Zen master and asked, "Zen master, what is the nature of the Edit Count?"
"The Edit Count is as a road," replied the Zen master. "You must travel the road to reach your destination, and some may travel longer roads than others. But do not judge the person at your door by the length of the road he has traveled to reach you."
And the novice was Enlightened.
- A young noob came before Raul654, seeking instruction in the ways of FAC. Raul asked them, "What article have you brought me to criticize?" The editor replied, "Nothing." Raul shouted: "Then take it away with you!"
- Once, Redwolf24 was perusing the pages of AfD, examining the debates, when another editor caught sight of him and asked him, "Why do so few articles put up for deletion have sources?" Redwolf replied: "Because Google hits are so plentiful."
- Another time, an editor from a far away Wikipedia traveled to Redwolf24's Wikiphilosophy page; he wished to learn about deletionism, inclusionism, and the rest. He stared at the descriptions, but could not understand them. "Of course you cannot understand them; you are too narrow-minded and ignorant." Outraged at Redwolf's insults, the editor prepared a MfD nomination, whereon Redwolf interrupted – "Here open the gates of deletionism!" The editor paused and reflected, and decided that the pages might have merit after all, whereon Redwolf interrupted – "Here open the gates of inclusionism!"
- A young novice made a good, sourced edit to an article, and she was reverted. She made the edit again, and was reverted again, and told that her edit was bad. She sought the advice of a Wiki-master who said, "Your edit is a good one. If you make it again, you will be blocked for edit-warring, and the page will be protected in The Wrong Version. If you do not make it again, it will stay in the article." Confused by these words, the novice sought a third opinion. Then returning to the article, she saw her edit there, and there it remained.
- Newman quizzed the master, saying "Why does the article about nothing not cite any references or sources?" The master paused and then replied: "The weasel rolled down the mountain in the snow. Where the weasel had rolled, there also no longer was snow."
- The exclusionist asked, "Does anything on Wikipedia matter?" The inclusionist said, "Does it matter?"
- The first patriarch gathered the novices and proclaimed: "If you think bandwidth is free, no wiki is possible."
- The young monk asked, "Why must I observe the three reverts?" The master replied, "The first and the last, are they not the same?"