Wikipedia talk:I just don't like it

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This "essay" appears to be a thinly veiled attack on other editors. At any rate, it's a rather pointy list of entirely subjective claims about the irrationality/obstinateness/bias of others. Can't see it contributing to a collegial editing environment; quite the opposite in fact. Bali ultimate (talk) 18:01, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

The page was nominated for deletion: Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:I just don't like it. The result was a "keep"; the closing editor said The page that was nominated is vastly different from the page as rewritten by User:Uncle G. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the reasons for seeking its deletion have disappeared with the rewrite, making continuation of this MfD unnecessary.
-- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:01, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Many of the editors at Wikipedia use the "I just don't like it" argument all the time and frequently. This essay is a concise way of understanding the corrupting influence of obvious personal bias on decision making at Wikipedia. I liken it to "it's a matter of interpretation" which is an even more frequent cop out. -- (talk) 23:53, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Many editors use this essay as a template, particularly in AfD discussions. Problematically, it is "I just don't like it" rather than "I like it". Ironically, it is an accusation of a non-argument, which is itself a non-argument. I have put forward detailed criticisms, only to be met with this template. Perhaps I should respond with WP:TEMPLAR. (Which would also be ironic.) The problem with this essay is that it is only there to be used as a template, and the template is a way of avoiding rational discussion (in the guise of promoting it).--Jack Upland (talk) 01:57, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

One time when "just like it" is useful[edit]

In my opinion there is at least one circumstance when saying "I just like it because..." or asking "Why do you just like it...." is useful. This is when there is an array of policy-based arguments put forth for or against some content. In real-world mediation sessions, I might ask clients to step back from all the plausible arguments to see if we can get a grip on the real issue. If we can foster the trust necessary to allow some discussion of "just like it"/"just don't like it" without reference to wiki-legalisms, the next thing that might come out is why something is liked or disliked. If we can get to that real issue, then we can have a focused discussion of the most applicable policies. But if we don't get a chance to talk about why we just like/dislike something, all too often we end up arguing over arguable policy based arguments that fall short of addressing the real (unspoken) issue, and any consensus that is reached is tenuous at best, and maybe even a false consensus. It's possible that some WP:COMMONSENSE and WP:HONESTY about our "just likes because...." and "just don't like because...." would go a long way toward slicing through some of the off-point policy based drama. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:30, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Rationalized JDLI section - include in JDLI essay or not?[edit]

I recently added a section called "Rationaled JDLI" [1]. Bkonrad (talk · contribs) made an edit to it[2]. I then made an additional edit[3]. I thought we were collaborating, but then he removed the entire section[4], with the following comment:

"rm entire recently added section as nothing but furthering a particular user's predilection for making discussions interminable"

I take strong exception to the FOC-violating characterization above. Agree with me or not, I believe Rationalized JDLI (as described below) is a real and problematic phenomenon, closely related to the classic JDLI, and is problematic for essentially the same reasons. While the section surely has room for improvement, I believe it is helpful to include it in this essay.

In the section just below is a copy of the section as it appeared in the essay before removal by Bkonrad.

Below that is a Discussion section for discussing whether to include it or not. I note that the final paragraph is the result of our collaboration before the removal of the entire section; I would actually like to include this section without that "It is unhelpful..." paragraph at all. Thank you. --B2C 02:53, 1 March 2013 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Rationalized JDLI[edit]

Rationalized JDLI, or RJDLI, arguments are arguments that appear to be based in policy and guidelines, but in fact are personal preferences ostensibly justified in policy and guidelines by cherry picking and interpreting aspects of policy and guidelines in a manner that happens to support the personal preference. RJDLI arguments may be formed intentionally or unintentionally. When RJDLI is suspected, please AGF.

RJDLI is often difficult to distinguish from legitimate policy based arguments, especially if the argument in question is taken in isolation from how the person has argued in other situations. RJDLI can sometimes be identified through inconsistent application of policy. For example, arguing that aspect A trumps B in one situation, and that B trumps A in another, is characteristic of RJDLI.

To avoid RJDLI, form arguments based on policy and guidelines in a consistent fashion.

To reduce the incidence of RJDLI, work on limiting and reducing the level of ambiguity and contradiction among our policies and guidelines. The more precise, consistent and clear our polices and guidelines are, the less fodder they provide for RJDLI arguments.

It is unhelpful and in fact disruptive to producing consensus to accuse other editors or label their arguments as JDLI or RJDLI simply because you disagree with them or because you feel their interpretation of policy and guidelines is defective based on your own interpretation. It is also unhelpful to the consensus process to presume that accusing others or labeling their arguments as JDLI/RJDLI is due simply to a disagreement with their position or is about a difference in interpretation. Further, when arguments are truly lacking in substance, reminding editors to avoid JDLI/RJDLI and make cogent arguments based on policy can help encourage the expression of sound arguments that can help move a discussion towards consensus.

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Discussion - include above in essay or not?[edit]

In my view, what you call "rationalized just don't like it" is a subset of WP:LAWYER, and is adequately addressed there. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 04:06, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Don't include "RJDLI" sounds like either a) a way of assuming bad faith/ignorance, trying to read the other person's mind and make assumptions about what they REALLY mean as opposed to what they say, or else b) an excuse to dismiss policy-based arguments one doesn't agree with. You say that RJDLI is "often difficult to distinguish from legitimate policy based arguments"; I say it is IMPOSSIBLE to distinguish and is an invalid concept. JDLI should retain its literal meaning, i.e., that the opinion expressed is clearly based on personal preference. It shouldn't be used to try to re-define policy based arguments (even wrong-headed ones) as JDLI. --MelanieN (talk) 04:41, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Don't include For an editor to come right out and say, in one way or another, "I disagree with this because I just don't like it" is one thing; for an editor to make an actual argument is quite another. Editors frequently disagree on the application of policy, but that's what gets hashed out in discussions. This "RJDLI" concept seems like a method of dismissing arguments. Omnedon (talk) 17:31, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

It's not about dismissing arguments. It's about improving the policies and guidelines -- by adding clarity and reducing ambiguity -- to inhibit the use of such arguments. --B2C 19:57, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
To inhibit the use of -- what arguments? You speak of arguments that seem to be policy-based but aren't. That seems like an automatic assumption of bad faith -- a way to dismiss an argument and demand something else instead. Omnedon (talk) 20:04, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
To inhibit the use of arguments based on ambiguous and unclear polices and guidelines. It has nothing to do with bad faith.

If the policy P says "short is good AND long is good", someone can use that policy in good faith to support whatever they happen to like, say "A" over "ABCDEFGH" ("Short is good per P"), and use the other part of P, also in good faith, to support their preference of "BCDEFGHA" over B ("Long is good per P").

Either argument cannot be easily or readily identified as RJDLI, but if the same person makes both arguments, they are. But that's not the point. The point is that the root problem is the ambiguity in P that allows for such nonsense, and that's the point I'm trying to make. --B2C 20:43, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

If a policy or guideline is not clear, that is not the fault of the editor that attempts apply the policy or guideline. That has to be addressed elsewhere on a per-policy or per-guideline basis. "RJDLI" is a manufactured concept and does not belong here. Omnedon (talk) 13:03, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Of course ambiguity in policy/guidelines is not the fault of the editor who attempts to apply policy/guideline in a given situation. That's the point. Glad we agree on that.

But, also, if an editor uses such an ambiguity to interpret a policy/guideline one way in one situation to favor the outcome he likes there, and then interpret the same policy/guideline another way in another situation to favor the outcome he happens to like there, that's RJDLI (and may or may not be conscious/intentional), and there is nothing manufactured about it. Happens all the time, perhaps more often than JDLI. What is the harm in making people aware of the problem? The objection to this is puzzling. --B2C 16:45, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

You are defining a perceived behavior as "rationalized JDLI", a term you seem to have made up. What you describe is not a "JDLI" behavior, so that text doesn't belong here. Omnedon (talk) 19:16, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, of course I made up the term "rationalized JDLI", just as someone else made up the term "JDLI". Surely that's not an argument against having it?

The behavior I'm talking about -- cherry picking through vague, ambiguous and contradictory policies and guidelines, to provide apparent policy/guideline support for one's JDLI argument -- is JDLI behavior, just obscured by dubious references to policy.

Do you recognize the distinction between:

  • Looking to policy to find the right answer.
  • Choosing an answer based on what you like (that is JDLI, by definition), then looking through policy to find what you can to ostensibly support that position (that's the 'R' part).
Do you agree we want to encourage the former and discourage the latter? --B2C 23:05, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Again, stating "I just don't like it" is easily defined, but if you make an argument to support your case, then by definition you're not saying "I just don't like it". You're saying "I don't like it because..." You need not like or agree with the arguments, but there is no "RJDLI". Omnedon (talk) 02:41, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, RJDLI is different from pure JDLI, hence the R. But the difference is not substantive because the "because" in RJDLI is comprised of cherry-picked elements of ambiguous and contradictory policies and guidelines. --B2C 04:33, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Question How is this different than what already appears in WP:LAWYER ? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 08:00, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

It's not, except as a specific application of the general idea. And also because wikilawyering implies intent, and what we're talking about here as RJDLI is often not intentional, but good faith referencing to bad or poorly worded policy/guidelines. Which is why I'm so surprised at the objection expressed here. We have lots of overlap among policies, guidelines and essays. That's not reason not to include some clarity about this specific type of wikilawyering here. --B2C 17:00, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
The page in a nutshell: "Liking or not liking the topic is not a strong argument in a discussion." If you have an argument beyond simply "liking it" or "not liking it", then it's not JDLI. QED. There is no such thing as "RJDLI". Omnedon (talk) 20:09, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Don't include. A JDLI argument is one based strictly on liking or disliking something; policy-based arguments are not that. To try to infer that an editor merely JDLIs something despite his policy-based arguments seems both highly subjective and counter to the spirit of WP:AGF. ╠╣uw [talk] 11:09, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

It's just a form of wikilawyering. Again, while part of the point is to discourage the behavior, it's mainly about encouraging improving policies/guidelines so that they don't allow for rationalizing JDLI arguments. --B2C 17:00, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Some, even many, policies, especially those which are not related to user conduct, are often deliberately vague. That some editors want such policies to be clearer and will label those interpretations that differ from theirs as JDLI shouldn't be encouraged. I'd revise my edits to this to be even more strongly stated that it is never conducive to consensus-building to label arguments by others as JDLI. Editors who sincerely want to improve policies should avoid using simplistic labels to disparage those who disagree. olderwiser 17:16, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for addressing the underlying issue: is ambiguity/vagueness in WP policy/guidelines sometimes a good thing for WP? I won't say it's always a problem. It's unclear whether we should or even can be totally clear about BLPs, for example. But when it comes to relatively mundane areas like titles, or even notability (as it applies to deletion discussion), I see no value for WP in ambiguous guidelines. --B2C 19:02, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, yes, you've made that abundantly clear in numerous discussions. Not everyone agrees with you, which may be a polite understatement. olderwiser 19:22, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I understand. So I'm trying to illustrate one of the problems with ambiguous policies and guidelines - it enables rationalization of JDLI arguments.

I mean, if we have opposite preferences about a given proposal, I can post my JLI comment and you can post your JDLI statement. That's the problem WP:JDLI is trying to address. So, in response, if I quote Policy P in support of my JLI comment, and you quote a slightly different contradictory section of Policy P in support of your JDLI statement, or even the same section using a different interpretation of the ambiguous wording, what's the difference? How is the latter any better for WP than pure JDLI? Substantively, I don't see any improvement, and that's the point I'm trying to make. --B2C 21:27, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

It will probably always be the case that some reject as ambiguity what others value as flexibility; however, while both approaches have their place, Wikipedia arguably favors the latter, enshrining as one of its five basic pillars the idea that there are no firm or inflexible rules, that rules may be ignored, and that policies and guidelines are properly susceptible to varied and changing interpretations. ╠╣uw [talk] 00:51, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
No, that's different. You can have clear unambiguous rules and still maintain the flexibility to ignore them as necessary for good reason, which is the point of WP:IAR. The point there is to be clear that the rule is being ignored, and what the good reason is, so that it can be clear whether consensus is established to do that. You can do that if the rule itself is clear and unambiguous. But if the rule is unambiguous or contradictory, that's something altogether different. That's not flexibility; that's chaos, the same kind of chaos created when people use JLI/JDLI "arguments". --B2C 00:59, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Writing the equivalent of legal language to cover every conceivable contingency is a fool's errand. Which is why we expect judges and juries to exercise judgment. To paraphrase Justice Stewart's famous line about pornography
"I shall not attempt to define everything I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description "wikipedia policies"; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know consensus when I see it....."
In my view, it is enough to cross link to wikilawyer, and doing more makes my nose start sniffing the air for some underlying issues in the background. Earlier today I learned about a great essay that IMO should be required reading. Perhaps this excellent essay addresses an un-stated backstory? (that was only a rhetorical question, no answer is requested) NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 02:08, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Validity of reason "No consensus"[edit]

In this edit, In ictu oculi (talk · contribs) reverted text originally posted by Born2cycle (talk · contribs) and later modified by myself. The modified form seems like entirely valid and useful to me, so I'm hoping the reverting ed (or anyone else) will chime in before I repost it. The modified text reads:

Title discussions
Non-constructive oppose arguments in RM discussions include:
"There is no consensus for this". Although this can be an appropriate response when an editor disagrees with another editor's assessment of a move discussion, it is not a substantive reason to oppose a move during the discussion itself. Prior to the discussion's close, the arguments with the greatest weight are those which provide a specific policy- or practice-based argument to oppose (or support) the proposal. Editors who disagree whether a discussion has produced a consensus should consider using one of the forms of dispute resolution to resolve the disagreement.

Prior to CLOSING a discussion, eds are supposed to give substantive reasons. "No consensus" prior to a discussions' closing sure seems like a synonym for "I just don't like it" to me. What say ya'll? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:04, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

If there truly is no consensus to move, then the move should not be performed, and pointing that out is perfectly valid -- it's not JDLI. Omnedon (talk) 13:16, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Suppose "No consensus" is offered as the very first reply? Is it valid reasoning then, Omnedon (talk · contribs)? The italicized text above agrees with what you just wrote (eg an example of when the remark is valid). However, the italicized text also addresses circumstances you implicitly raised with the opening phrase "If there truly is no consensus", because this begs the question about use of this phrase in other circumstances. You did not address any of those other times. One example of such a time is when discussion is unfinished, due to lack of substantive responses existence of consensus can not yet be measured, and this "no consensus to do this" is all editor X has to say on the subject? In other words, when Editor X is not making a legitimate assessment of the discussion but rather is simply putting words on the screen to give the appearance of a reason for their "oppose" !vote? That's just a form of "I don't like it", is it not? The italicized text covers both the valid times for this remark, and the invalid, and should therefore be restored. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:29, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
The concept of "I just don't like it" can be phrased in lots of ways. In any case, I answered your question. You referred to "prior to a discussion's closing", but of course that's when the discussion takes place, by definition. There's nothing wrong with pointing out that there is no consensus. And there is no need to focus on the use of a specific phrase. Omnedon (talk) 13:42, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Of course it can be said lots of ways and this essay lists a few. The only reason to include some and not others is if you just don't like it, which is not a reason. I don't think you acknowledged the two different times (aka circumstances) covered by the italicized text and therefore your reasons for opposing don't provide an adequate rebuttal. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:01, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
You asked what others thought. I have told you what I thought. I don't know why you are becoming confrontational about it; this is supposed to be a discussion. Again: stating "there is no consensus" is perfectly valid if there is no consensus. If not, people will see that and deal with it. No need to cover a specific phrase here. Omnedon (talk) 14:20, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  • If there is no consensus to move then saying "there is no consensus to move" is perfectly valid - otherwise why look for consensus in the first place. Why not just appoint 2 or 3 editors to write rules/decide for the rest and the rest don't count. NewsAndEventsGuy, do you want to advocate things should proceed based on the say of a minority? In ictu oculi (talk) 14:37, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
"NewsAndEventsGuy, do you want to advocate things should proceed based on the say of a minority?" ANSWER: I advocate for the existing directions on closing discussions, which do allow for the possibility that a minority of participants might determine the consensus, under certain circumstances. It is conceivable that 90% of replies might be legitimately discarded, leaving only 10% of the replies being ones of substance. As it says in the guideline I linked, "The closer is there to judge the consensus of the community, 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." Thus, although I do not advocate for minority rule in all cases, what I do advocate for does include the possibility that a minority of respondents might control an outcome from time to time. And this is consistent with the italicized text above, which I tried to add to the article but was reverted - thus far, because some people "just don't like it". NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:45, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes, there is nothing wrong or invalid with saying "there is no consensus to move" in the middle of a discussion whose purpose is to determine whether there is consensus for a given proposal. But there is also nothing wrong or invalid with saying "I just don't like it" in such a discussion. The point is that both statements contribute equally to building and determining consensus; they contribute nothing to building or determining consensus, and such statements should be discounted accordingly.

      Simply stating one's opinion that "there is no consensus" contributes nothing to determining whether there is consensus or not. It doesn't even indicate whether the person holding that opinion supports or opposes the proposal in question, much less what the reasons are for their position. They might as well as say "I just don't like it" (or "I just like it" for that matter).

      The point of this essay is to discourage such assertions of non-substantive opinion, is it not? --B2C 16:47, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

    • Consider the RM discussion closer. He comes upon a support !vote that gives policy-based reasons. Next is an oppose !vote that also appears to give policy-based reason, but there is unanswered effective retort to this. Next is an oppose and the reason given is "there is no consensus for this". Now, what is the closer supposed to do with this "input"? Why should the closer give such "input" an iota of weight over zero?

      Also consider the following two scenarios. First is one where the first oppose says "there is no consensus for this", followed by two strong policy-based supports. How much weight should that "no consensus" declaration be given?

      The next scenario has 8 !votes, the first 6 are policy-based but leaning towards support, 4 to 2. The last two !votes are both opposes, one saying "I just don't like it", and the other saying "there is no consensus for this". If these last two are given any weight, how much? Enough to override the apparently policy-based consensus favoring the move?

      Isn't it abundantly clear that simply declaring "there is no consensus" offers absolutely nothing to the discussion? It's even less than a pure JDLI expression of preference, isn't it? At least with a pure JDLI you know for sure which position the person favors. --B2C 21:33, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

    • This is a quote from the current text of this essay: "Eyre argues that a statement of like or dislike is not useful without any reasons for that like or dislike. ". A statement of "there is no consensus" is not a reason to like or dislike a proposal. One likes or dislikes a proposal independent of what others think. I mean, their stated reasons may persuade you and cause you to like or dislike, but it's those reasons that determine whether you like or dislike, not the fact that more like it than dislike it (or vice versa).

      "There is no consensus" is simply saying that there are not enough others that like the proposal to accept it, but it's not a statement about whether you like it or not, and, most importantly, why. --B2C 21:41, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

      • Due to a lack of disagreement with what I said above, I've restored NewsAndEventsGuy's wording. --B2C 15:29, 22 August 2013 (UTC)