Wikipedia talk:Discriminate vs indiscriminate information

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Please discuss this essay here.--Paul McDonald (talk) 02:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


Even if a list is "Discriminate" by Paul McDonald's definition, it does not mean it is notable, and therefore it cannot be presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone list.
For instance, there is no evidence that the List of The Brady Bunch characters is notable, either as as a group or individually. There is no evidence that the list is suitable for an encyclopedia, and therefore is likely to fail one or more of Wikipedia content policies. In this case, the list (as a single topic) fails WP:NOT#DIR, and as individual topics, the fictional characters in the list fail WP:OR, as their descriptions are a synthesis of information from various sources. Since there is no reliable secondary source cited in the list, it must be viewed as indiscriminate, because its content has been put togther for reasons unkown. The question remains answered, why was this list created? Since there are no reliable secondary sources to answer this question, the honest answer is that the list is a content fork from the more notable overarching article, The Brady Bunch. --Gavin Collins (talk) 14:58, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, the "discriminate" collection of information would need to not violate any other policy. I mentioned this in the article, does it need to be more clear? I was using the lists as examples, but I think now that I could expand that some more to give a reasonable expression as content might appear in an article.--Paul McDonald (talk) 15:01, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • On the contrary, a "discriminate" collection of information will fail other polices unless it passes WP:N. --Gavin Collins (talk) 15:17, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm confused about your statement... to me, a "discriminate" collection of information could pass notability but fail another policy (say, WP:COPYVIO; or could pass other policies (like WP:NPOV, WP:COPYVIO, etc) and fail WP:N. I'm not saying that just because a collection of information is "discriminate" that it passes all others, I'm simply stating that a discriminate collection does not violate WP:IINFO.--Paul McDonald (talk) 15:29, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I see what your saying, but that does not answer the question "why was this list created?" I think what you are proposing is that, in the absence of verfiable evidence of notability, we should use inclusion criteria based on subjective importance to judge which information should be allowed for inclusion on the basis that it meets your definition of discriminate. However, without verifiable evidence of notability, we don't know whether the lists will meet Wikipedia content policies. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 13:36, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm.... first it's not "my" definition, it's Wiktionary's definition (and it's probably changed a little since I posted this essay). But I do not intend to imply that notability, verifiability, or any other "acceptable measure" (yeah, whatever that is!) should be ignored. I'll play with the wording some more, feel free to make adjustments as well--this is a community essay.--Paul McDonald (talk) 15:35, 3 August 2009 (UTC)


This seems like a reasonable start, although it's a bit on the inclusionist side for my own taste. I'm going to make a longer comment when I have time. Stifle (talk) 08:01, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

No doubt it needs work, and your comments and changes would be a welcome addition.--Paul McDonald (talk) 13:27, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Definition of "discriminate" is too broad[edit]

For a collection of miscellaneous information not to be considered indiscriminate, it is not enough for there to be thought and care (the main terms used in this essay) behind it; the organizing principle must be communicated coherently. Our system of open collaboration makes intention irrelevant on Wikipedia; the way content is organized and presented is what matters. Chick Bowen 23:23, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

I think I'm agreeing in the abstract, but I'm not sure where you're going with this. Jclemens (talk) 04:28, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry. I'll try to explain better. I am imagining an AfD for an article that presents a bunch of trivial information related to a notable topic (which is covered in a different article) but too insignificant to be merged into the main article on the topic (the classic example is a page of individual sporting event results). My point is that the burden is not on AfD voters to determine whether there was there was thought behind the selection of data. If it seems random, it is indiscriminate for our purposes. This essay makes me uncomfortable, because it suggests that the intention behind a page matters rather than the contents of the page. Chick Bowen 21:55, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
If it's trivial information for a notable topic, then the issue is an editing issue and not a deletion issue. But I see the need (now, upon the input here) for adding detail about the importance of communicating to the reader the reasons for the collection of information. To me, that was implied and understood. Apparently not. No objections from me on making changes.--Paul McDonald (talk) 22:21, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

This essay misses the point[edit]

The heading of WP:IINFO says "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information", but this essay is treating it as if it had said "Wikipedia does not contain indiscriminate collections of information". And a section title is merely a section title, after all. The policy should be understood by what the text itself says, which is to preclude three specific kinds of thing.

By the way, the essay reduces the in/discriminate dichotomy to the difference of whether something has been thought about or not. This reduces it to the game of "spot the connection between the items in this list". That's too trivial as a way of understanding a policy. --Stfg (talk) 08:45, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

WP:SOFIXIT. I think you're over-thinking it, but have at it!--Paul McDonald (talk) 11:35, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
What the policy states, and what User:Stfg is saying, I think, is that Wikipedia ought to discriminate in what information to include. The wording refers to Wikipedia itself, that Wikipedia is not itself an indiscriminate list. --Gccwang (talk) 22:36, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
"And a section title is merely a section title, after all."
BZZZT! Although I don't want to participate in the original discussion, this sentence alone is a mistake with ten times the damage potential of the essay missing the point. A section title is a very important part of a whole; the section heading of WP:IINFO is an immensely important portion of a very important whole. Please do not make the mistake of regarding or disregarding a portion of that founding policy in isolation. Cheers. Fleet Command (talk) 03:46, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree. This essay missed the point and then went into a lot of detail in the wrong direction. I don't think it's very useful at all. Hamsterlopithecus (talk) 21:58, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Then what do you think the point should be?--Paul McDonald (talk) 22:09, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

That's a lot of links.[edit]

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I am in the process of fixing the problems mentioned above. While I was looking into this, I noticed that the following 265 pages link to this page (plus a bunch of talk pages, deletion discussions, etc, -- 434 total):
Template:Essays on notability
Template:Handling miscellanea
Template:WikiProject Essays/doc
Template:WikiProject Essays
Template:Wikipedia essays/doc
Template:Wikipedia essays/sandbox
Template:Wikipedia essays
Wikipedia:"In popular culture" content
Wikipedia:"Murder of" articles
Wikipedia:100,000 feature-quality articles
Wikipedia:8 simple rules for editing our encyclopedia
Wikipedia:A navbox on every page
Wikipedia:About essay searching
Wikipedia:Accepting other users
Wikipedia:Acronym overkill
Wikipedia:Adjectives in your recommendations
Wikipedia:Advanced article editing
Wikipedia:Advanced table formatting
Wikipedia:Advanced template coding
Wikipedia:Advanced text formatting
Wikipedia:Alternative outlets
Wikipedia:Alternatives to the "Expand" template
Wikipedia:Amnesia test
Wikipedia:An uncivil environment is a poor environment
Wikipedia:An unfinished house is a real problem
Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions
Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion reviews
Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in image deletion discussions
Wikipedia:Arguments to make in deletion discussions
Wikipedia:Articles must be written
Wikipedia:Articles with a single source
Wikipedia:Assume bad faith
Wikipedia:Assume clue
Wikipedia:Assume good wraith
Wikipedia:Assume no clue
Wikipedia:Assume stupidity
Wikipedia:Assume that everyone's assuming good faith, assuming that you are assuming good faith
Wikipedia:Assume the assumption of good faith
Wikipedia:Autosizing images
Wikipedia:Avoid mission statements
Wikipedia:Avoid personal remarks
Wikipedia:Avoid repeated arguments
Wikipedia:Avoid the word "vandal"
Wikipedia:Avoid using preview button
Wikipedia:Avoid using wikilinks
Wikipedia:Avoid writing redundant essays
Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, revert, revert
Wikipedia:Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Unblock Emails
Wikipedia:Bare URLs
Wikipedia:Bare notability
Wikipedia:Be a reliable source
Wikipedia:Be neutral in form
Wikipedia:Be the glue
Wikipedia:Beef up that first revision
Wikipedia:Before commenting in a deletion discussion
Wikipedia:Boston Tea Party
Wikipedia:But it's true!
Wikipedia:Call a spade a spade
Wikipedia:Children's, adult new reader, and large print sources questionable on reliability
Wikipedia:Citation overkill
Wikipedia:Civility warnings
Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing
Wikipedia:Coherence and cohesion
Wikipedia:Concept cloud
Wikipedia:Content removal
Wikipedia:Creating controversial content
Wikipedia:Delete the junk
Wikipedia:Deny recognition
Wikipedia:Dictionaries as sources
Wikipedia:Discussing cruft
Wikipedia:Do not insult the vandals
Wikipedia:Does deletion help
Wikipedia:Don't accuse someone of a personal attack for accusing of a personal attack
Wikipedia:Don't be a fanatic
Wikipedia:Don't be an ostrich
Wikipedia:Don't be ashamed
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Wikipedia:Don't call a spade a spade
Wikipedia:Don't call the kettle black
Wikipedia:Don't cite essays or proposals as if they were policy
Wikipedia:Don't come down like a ton of bricks
Wikipedia:Don't demolish the house while it's still being built
Wikipedia:Don't drink the consensus Kool-Aid
Wikipedia:Don't eat the troll's food
Wikipedia:Don't fight fire with fire
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Wikipedia:Don't overuse shortcuts to policy and guidelines to win your argument
Wikipedia:Don't panic
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Wikipedia:Don't spite your face
Wikipedia:Don't take the bait
Wikipedia:Don't template the regulars
Wikipedia:Don't throw your toys out of the pram
Wikipedia:Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass
Wikipedia:Editing Under the Influence
Wikipedia:Editing on mobile devices
Wikipedia:Editors are not mindreaders
Wikipedia:Edits Per Day
Wikipedia:Encourage full discussions
Wikipedia:Encourage the newcomers
Wikipedia:Enjoy yourself
Wikipedia:Essays are not policy
Wikipedia:Essays in a nutshell/Notability
Wikipedia:Essays in a nutshell
Wikipedia:Every snowflake is unique
Wikipedia:Example cruft
Wikipedia:Existence ≠ Notability
Wikipedia:External links/Perennial websites
Wikipedia:Featured articles may have problems
Wikipedia:Follow the leader
Wikipedia:For publicists publicizing a client's work
Wikipedia:Forgive and forget
Wikipedia:Get over it
Wikipedia:Give an article a chance
Wikipedia:Go ahead, vandalize
Wikipedia:Google searches and numbers
Wikipedia:Handling trivia
Wikipedia:High-functioning autism and Aspergers editors
Wikipedia:How many Wikipedians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Wikipedia:How to be civil
Wikipedia:How to lose
Wikipedia:How to run an edit-a-thon
Wikipedia:How to save an article proposed for deletion
Wikipedia:I just don't like it
Wikipedia:Ignore STRONGNAT for date formats
Wikipedia:Inaccuracies in Wikipedia namespace
Wikipedia:Inclusion is not an indicator of notability
Wikipedia:Independent sources
Wikipedia:Inherent notability
Wikipedia:It's not the End of the World
Wikipedia:Just drop it
Wikipedia:Keep it down to earth
Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars
Wikipedia:Liar Liar Pants on Fire
Wikipedia:Link rot
Wikipedia:Make stubs
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Trivia sections
Wikipedia:Masking the lack of notability
Wikipedia:Mind your own business
Wikipedia:Minors and persons judged incompetent
Wikipedia:Most people who disagree with you on content are not vandals
Wikipedia:Newcomers are delicious, so go ahead and bite them
Wikipedia:No amount of editing can overcome a lack of notability
Wikipedia:No angry mastodons
Wikipedia:No big loss
Wikipedia:No one cares about your garage band
Wikipedia:No one really cares
Wikipedia:No, you can't have a pony
Wikipedia:Nobody cares
Wikipedia:Not every story/event/disaster needs a biography
Wikipedia:Not everything needs a WikiProject
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Wikipedia:Notability (high schools)
Wikipedia:Notability is not a level playing field
Wikipedia:Notability is not a matter of opinion
Wikipedia:Notability means impact
Wikipedia:Notability points
Wikipedia:Notability sub-pages
Wikipedia:Nothing is in stone
Wikipedia:Obscure does not mean not notable
Wikipedia:Offline sources
Wikipedia:On Wikipedia, solutions are mixtures and nothing else
Wikipedia:One sentence does not an article make
Wikipedia:Other stuff exists
Wikipedia:Overzealous deletion
Wikipedia:POV and OR from editors, sources, and fields
Wikipedia:POV railroad
Wikipedia:Passive Aggressive
Wikipedia:Please bite the newbies
Wikipedia:Pokémon test
Wikipedia:Potential, not just current state
Wikipedia:Product, process, policy
Wikipedia:Pruning article revisions
Wikipedia:Put a little effort into it
Wikipedia:Quote your own essay
Wikipedia:Relationships with academic editors
Wikipedia:Relevance of content
Wikipedia:Relisting can be abusive
Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Paulmcdonald
Wikipedia:Restoring part of a reverted edit
Wikipedia:Robotic editing
Wikipedia:Rough consensus
Wikipedia:Shadowless Fists of Death!
Wikipedia:Sham consensus
Wikipedia:Staying cool when the editing gets hot
Wikipedia:Subjective importance
Wikipedia:Temporary versions of articles
Wikipedia:Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia
Wikipedia:Tendentious editing
Wikipedia:Thank you
Wikipedia:The Five Pillars of Untruth
Wikipedia:The Last Word
Wikipedia:The deadline is now
Wikipedia:The difference between policies, guidelines and essays
Wikipedia:The grey zone
Wikipedia:The role of policies in collaborative anarchy
Wikipedia:The value of essays
Wikipedia:The world will not end tomorrow
Wikipedia:There is a deadline
Wikipedia:There is no deadline
Wikipedia:Third-party sources
Wikipedia:Trivial mentions
Wikipedia:Vague introductions
Wikipedia:Video links
Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not/Outtakes
Wikipedia:What an article should not include
Wikipedia:What is and is not routine coverage
Wikipedia:What notability is not
Wikipedia:What to do if your article gets tagged for speedy deletion
Wikipedia:Why not create an account?
Wikipedia:WikiProject Essays/Assessment/Links
Wikipedia:WikiProject Essays/Templates
Wikipedia:Wikipedia clones
Wikipedia:Wikipedia essays
Wikipedia:Wikipedia is a community
Wikipedia:Wikipedia is a volunteer service
Wikipedia:Wikipedia is a work in progress
Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not Whac-A-Mole
Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not about winning
Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not being written in an organized fashion
Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not here to tell the world about your noble cause
Wikipedia:Wikipedia should not have users
Wikipedia:Write the article first
Wikipedia:Writing better articles
Wikipedia:Writing for the opponent
Wikipedia:Your alma mater is not your ticket to Wikipedia
Wikipedia:Discriminate vs indiscriminate information
Does anyone have a good reason why I shouldn't trim the vast majority of those links? --Guy Macon (talk) 04:09, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

You should discuss that over at Template:Wikipedia essays which is a navigational template used for various Wikipedia essays on topics such as notability, civility, etc. That's where a lot of the links come from, I imagine. I'm not sure why that would be a "problem" that other pages link to this one.--Paul McDonald (talk) 11:27, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Ah. I see. I just checked three at random, and all three linked here through templates, clearly the problem of huge numbers of links, if it really is a problem isn't here. I am going to close and hat this; it doesn't belong here. Thanks!
Wikipedia:Pokémon test has:
==See also== {{Wikipedia essays|notability}}
Wikipedia:Deny recognition has:
== References and footnotes == {{Wikipedia essays|civility}}
Wikipedia:WikiBullying has:
==See also== {{Wikipedia harassment}}
==References== {{Wikipedia essays|civility}}
Only that last one is a real problem (it has the same content twice, once under Essays on Wikipedia civility (nutshell) and once under Essays on civility) --Guy Macon (talk) 12:23, 25 October 2013 (UTC)