Wikipedia talk:Snowball clause/Archive 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


One should note, in the interest of accuracy, NPOV and WP:V, that in the Divine Comedy, Dante did describe the lower reaches of Hell where one would find a three-headed Satan ceaseless chewing on Brutus, Cassius and Judas Iscariot (they must have been fat...damn grizzle) as being a frozen lake where likely snowballs would be in residence. —ExplorerCDT 09:06, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Ah, but wouldn't Dante's opinion count as original research? I suppose we should find some volunteers to go Down There and check. Can we get a grant for this? >Radiant< 13:38, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Has Dante been established as a reliable source? EVula // talk // // 06:53, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I would dispute that a frozen lake would indicate the prescence of snowballs. Water freezes at 32°F; and snow does not always occur where you have frozen water. Also, there is the possibility of the lake not being frozen COLD, but merely frozen IN TIME. Yes. A lake where TIME DOES NOT EXIST. Thoughts? -- weirdoactor t|c 18:08, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe the lake exists in cubic time? Maybe the lake is at -100°C? You'd get frozen water at that temperature but not snow. At any rate, I agree that "frozen lake implies snowballs" is a non sequitur. >Radiant< 09:22, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
However, in a frozen (either in temperature or time) environment, a snowball once introduced is likely to survive irregardless of whether one would naturally occur. Propose changing metaphor to "A whelk's chance in a supernova." —Random8322007-01-29 17:06 UTC (01/29 12:06 EST)


Hell. Note the complete absence of snowballs.

Who said Wikipedia editors had no sense of humour? ;) Raystorm 14:35, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

In that case, it almost seems like the Snowball article can have this tagged onto it:
Note! This page contains material which is kept because it is considered humorous. It is not intended, nor should it be used, for any research or serious use (unless the research is about Wikipedia itself).

TheListUpdater 20:47, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I've always resisted the idea that "humor" and "serious use" are somehow mutually exclusive. Can something not be useful and funny? -GTBacchus(talk) 21:16, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Indeed. Taking things too seriously is ultimately harmful. We have several oft-cited pages that are at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek, including WP:WRONG, WP:SPIDER and WP:ENC. >Radiant< 10:55, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Serious things can be expressed with some funny wit, where's the harm in that? I find the image _very_ funny, is all. That does not detract the serious content of the article. ;) Cheers Raystorm 15:36, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Snowball Image

Should be replaced with this Snowpyramids.jpg. --FlareNUKE 08:50, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, you're right. I've wondered about those creepy "faces" for a while, but didn't realize they were intentional to the point of uploading a modified image — sneaky! Feezo (Talk) 13:54, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Can we unprotect the page?

There hasn't been any discussion about the tagging of the page for a couple of weeks. Could we try unprotection? It's not that I want the content changed particularly, I am just opposed to unecessary protection in principle and the big protected tag is ugly. Eluchil404 08:09, 24 January 2007 (UTC)


Consensus: Well, none from this discussion, but the end result was the unique tag "refuses to be tagged". —Random832(tc) 23:40, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

This page, while I don't disagree with the principle, reads like a backdoor attempt to make policy. I'd like to tag it {{proposed}} to take it to the front door so to speak. Any objections? —Random8322007-01-27 21:00 UTC (01/27 16:00 EST)

Section 1

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
It should be tagged with {{historical}}, really, but there was an {{essay}} tag on it for months with no controversy, so it should probably go back to that. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I thought you didn't believe in precedent? >Radiant< 12:22, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Does it matter? Honestly, this page was protected for almost a month. The tag itself doesn't matter nearly as much as not having an edit war. Feezo (Talk) 02:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that it's so controversial because it's being quoted as if it's policy, and if it's going to be policy, it should be put forward, !voted on, and everything else just like any other policy —Random8322007-01-28 06:00 UTC (01/28 01:00 EST)
Is it being quoted as if it's policy? Have we got a recent example? Also, how many of our policies were "!voted on" in order to become policy? -GTBacchus(talk) 06:02, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
See Kunoich AfD (near end of AfD debate {or go to page and seach for snow}). It shows up in AfD debates when the outcome becomes fairly obvious. Supposedly, admins have let AfDs continue for several days versus a speedy close when WP:SNOW is invoked. Ronbo76 12:27, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure I understand how going out of one's way to close even a debate like that one early is particularly useful. Continuing the AfD is a time-waster? Well, when a vote is 15-1 and I don't have anything to say beyond "Keep per User:XYZ", I will never waste my time voting on that AfD. No one else has to, either. Dekimasu 12:52, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Except that consensus can change, and you never know what can turn up during a five day process. See WP:JAMAICA. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:55, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
That AfD doesn't seem like an example of SNOW being abused, or even being used. Someone said "can an admin speedy close this, please?", and someone else said "I think he's trying to invoke SNOW." That's certainly not an example of SNOW being "quoted as policy". It just looks to me like someone being impatient, and someone else trying to attach a label to that impatience. -GTBacchus(talk) 13:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Are we reading the same MfD? (2nd nomination) is the one that was closed "per WP:SNOW". —Random8322007-01-29 13:55 UTC (01/29 08:55 EST) PS and anyway, "just plain impatience" isn't a reason.
Ah, no. We weren't reading the same MfD. I'm not sure now what I was looking at. You're talking about when WP:SNOW was nominated for deletion and closed early because it obviously isn't going to be deleted. I wouldn't have done that, but I won't say FCYTravis was wrong to do it. It was obvious that this page wasn't going to be deleted, keeping the MfD open for five days would just have been a charade, and we're having the same discussion about the page's value regardless. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:04, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but you somehow infer "the closer believes SNOW is policy" from his usage of the word "per". If you look it up in the dictionary, that inferral is ungrounded. >Radiant< 14:14, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I was using "policy" as shorthand for "policy and/or guideline" (I think we can all agree than SNOW is neither) - and, I think it is implicit as it is being cited as a reason to violate a guideline that actually IS a guideline. Whatever SNOW is, it's not something that is a valid reason for that. WP:IAR does NOT apply to speedy closing, because allowing an AFD discussion to run the full five days does NOT "prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia"! —Random8322007-01-29 14:25 UTC (01/29 09:25 EST)
Wikipedia is not rulebound, in the sense that every action has to be sanctioned by a "rule", or that in order to bypass a guideline process, one must have a rationale with equal or higher "status". That's all very legalistic, and not how I understand Wikipedia to work. People do things that make sense, and sometimes, some of those things get written down, and sometimes people get excited and add "tags" to pages where things are written. That's all. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:04, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Section 2

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
I'm not convinced the misconception made by other people is significant enough to get into another edit war about the tag on this page. People misquote policy and guideline pages all the time. As I've pointed out before, I don't believe WP:SNOW has been quoted any less when it had an essay tag on it, so I don't see what this will achieve. What leads people to quoting this page is not the page itself, but the basic idea behind it. -- Ned Scott 06:09, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
In which case its usefulness would not be hindered by an essay tag, any less than the usefulness of WP:SPIDER, likewise quoted all the time. If the page simply stated the "snowball clause", then that would be one thing; however, it contains several other value judgments that lend the appearance of an essay. Dekimasu 13:17, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem is not it being quoted by ordinary editors, but it being quoted by the closing admin for a speedy keep. If this is to be considered a valid reason for a speedy keep, there should be an actual policy proposal to add it to the justifications for closing a discussion early. —Random8322007-01-28 18:37 UTC (01/28 13:37 EST)
Have you got an example of its being cited recently? -GTBacchus(talk) 21:44, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
  • First, policy on Wikipedia isn't "put forward and !voted on". Second, if people quote a page, that does not in any way imply it's policy or anything (if I say "do X per GTBacchus", does that imply GTBacchus is policy? I think not). And third, this page clearly indicates it's not policy (both because every page that is policy has {{policy}} on top, and by explicit statement). >Radiant< 11:04, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
If we follow that line of thought, why does the {{essay}} tag need to exist? Dekimasu 11:41, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  • It probably doesn't need to exist. But at any rate, the existence of {{essay}} does not imply that any page that is not a policy or guideline is therefore an essay. That would be a false dichotomy. Well, trichotomy. >Radiant< 12:22, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't making any claims of the kind, and that is certainly the case. However, this page is certainly an essay, quite aside from whether we label it as an {{essay}} per internal terminology. Dekimasu 12:44, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Can you explain how this page meets the definition of "essay" at the page you link to? I'm not seeing it. -GTBacchus(talk) 13:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that some people need to be reminded that, yes, it is an essay. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:45, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
What makes it an essay? The fact that it's not a policy or guideline? That's a strange and artificial trichotomy, which is directly contradicted at WP:POL. I think of an essay as an opinion piece, a guideline as a description of a practice that many Wikipedians consider good, and a policy as a restatement of Wikipedia's basic mission. There are certainly pages that aren't any of those three, and this may be one, although guideline seems to be the closest. -GTBacchus(talk) 13:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
The fact that it lacks consensus. This is an opinion piece, and a mightily controversial one at that. {{historical}} seems closest to what it should be, as it was proposed, lacks consensus, and shouldn't be used. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:35, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Huh. I don't consider "lacking consensus" to be part of the definition of an essay. That would make WP:NPOV an essay, since there are clearly a lot of people here who have little use for it. ;)
Insofar as this page describes actual practice, it's not a presentation of opinion, but an observation of fact. I'm not convinced that it "shouldn't be used", either, although as you know, I'm not really the type to use it often. I think of SNOW as governing the front edge of newly developing guidelines. The best way to know we have a new guideline that needs to be written down is to see people doing something that's not yet sanctioned by a guideline. In order for that to happen, there have to be people being bold, and occasionally being wrong, because that's what a cutting edge is like. Where will the next speedy keep criterion come from, if not from people snowballing a few AfDs and someone seeing a pattern? Isn't that where the speedy keep criteria we have now came from? Isn't that how we got most of our guidelines that we have today? -GTBacchus(talk) 21:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
"policy on Wikipedia isn't "put forward and !voted on"." - well, WP:POLICY seems to say "consensus" every third word, and !votes are the #1 way of establishing consensus. How are new policies determined whether to be added or not? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Random832 (talkcontribs) 12:29, 29 January 2007 (UTC).
  •  !votes are not the #1 way (or indeed any way) of establishing consensus - see WP:CON for details. At any rate, I don't recall anyone saying this page is a policy, so that's pretty much moot. The problem on this page is that people are trying to pigeonhole it. There is no policy that states that every page in Wikipedia namespace is either a policy, guideline or essay. >Radiant< 12:51, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
"Per WP:SNOW" in a speedy close IS saying it's policy, and the fact that it's been cited for speedy closes is, well, self-evident. Just look at the top of this very page —Random8322007-01-29 13:29 UTC (01/29 08:29 EST) PS by volume, !votes are the top way of establishing consensus, since that's how AFDs, TFDs, CFDs, SFDs, and MFDs all operate.
  • Ah, no. "Per WP:WHATEVER" in a speedy close is saying it's a reason. Reasons may or may not be reflected in policy. Since we have WP:IAR, it's more important to have a good reason, than to be able to cite a policy. Also, the various processes you mention are not decided by vote count. >Radiant< 13:33, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
If you think I was claiming they are decided by vote count, then you don't have a clear concept of what a !vote is. —Random8322007-01-29 13:38 UTC (01/29 08:38 EST)
  • Indeed, I don't have a clear concept of what a !vote is, because the term isn't unambiguously defined anywhere, and several people use it in different fashion. >Radiant< 13:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
A !vote is the process that takes place with people saying keep or delete or endorse or support or oppose - it's not a vote, but it's generally things that historically were votes, and vestiges of the "vote" system still remain in that "you're only allowed to state your opinion once, you have to cross out (rather than deleting) your previous statement if your opinion changes, votes from new users or IPs will be discounted (discounted from what? it's not a vote)" etc. It is a formal process at least on the user end of things, since there are rules about what you can and can't say. —Random8322007-01-29 14:00 UTC (01/29 09:00 EST)
  • Pretty much (except for the idea that they historically were votes, which is only true for AFD a looong time ago, and for the idea that there are rules about what you can say). But that is certainly not the top way of establishing consensus. If we go by volume, look at how consensus is established on article talk pages. >Radiant< 14:12, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Entry for wikipedias lamest edit wars?

Ladies and gentlemen, take a step back, and look around you. Do you notice the (somewhat amused) audience? You're edit warring over a tag for goodness sake. Now this page basically just restates common wikipedia practice, and common sense. So in that sense it has consensus. Some people don't like using this concept. That's fine too. You can use it or not as you see fit. No one is forcing you. I would have just said "ok, no tag, you both lose", but I know the community better. So I've put a custom tag on top, because some people think tags are pretty. So now there's a pretty tag neither side wants. Happy? :-P

Can we end this now please? Thanks. --Kim Bruning 13:31, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Looks good to me. >Radiant< 13:33, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't mind it, but I find the one on the talk page rather offensive. Dekimasu 13:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
    Heh, I didn't put that one on there. Feel free to remove it... just don't edit war over that one as well ;-) --Kim Bruning 14:14, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  • If it's lame to protect the integrity of consensus building, then I'm the lamest person here. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:32, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
    Hmmm, I see. I think everyone wants consensus building to have integrity though. <scratches head> Perhaps the disagreement lies at some tangent? --Kim Bruning 18:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
    I can think of a few people who do not. The disagreement lies at a fundamental dispute as to how consensus is reached and how consensus is judged. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:23, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
    That's not good. Would you care to name who that would be? --Kim Bruning 19:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
    I'm not that stupid. d:-) --badlydrawnjeff talk 20:17, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
    Rather than being "lame to protect the integrity of consensus building," I thought the claim was that it's lame to edit war over an essay tag that has little to no effect on how people act anyway. Those likely to use WP:SNOW will still use it, even if you delete this page, and those unlikely to use it will still be unlikely to use it if we tag it as policy. People were using it before it was written down, they just didn't have a handy abbreviation for what they were doing. That's how we got, for example, the speedy keep criteria we have today. (Wikipedia talk:Speedy keep/Archive 1 is quite an interesting read, actually.) -GTBacchus(talk) 22:10, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Interestingly, the speedy keep archives are why I'm so opposed to this. Tagging it as an essay means that people coming here after seeing it improperly linked knows something wrong occurred. Not tagging it simply means we're looking the other way and allowing for ignoring of consensus building to placate a small minority. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:32, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
      I'm still wondering if anyone will produce an example of WP:SNOW being "improperly linked" from, like, this year. I also don't see how it's clear that "something wrong occurred," just because someone happens to link to a page, tagged "essay", where their explanation of their motivations is spelled out. It's this idea again that if I say I'm doing something "per X", that I'm claiming that X has some kind of power or authority, or that it necessarily has consensus support. When I say "per X", I just mean, "If you want to know my reasons, check out X, where you can read about them". That's an equally valid way of communicating, whether X is a policy, an essay, or a Russian novel. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:40, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Not thrilled about the patronizing lecture but the custom tag is actually excellent :) Haukur 22:05, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Honestly, this tag seems to just be condescending more than useful. If it were anyone else adding it, I'd think that was the intent. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:36, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Like I've said before, the tag itself doesn't bother me, but it's that people were trying to use the tag as an attack on the page. This tag tags without the drama, full support! -- Ned Scott 03:41, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Wrong Version

The Wrong Version.svg

Not another attempt to start a tag edit war please? Of course it's the wrong tag :-P . Have a nice day. --Kim Bruning 07:18, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


I have changed "clause" to "principle" in the text. Calling it a clause implies it appears in the text of some policy (as it stands, the policy it's most likely to be implied to be a clause of is IAR.) I think this is a substantial source of the issue people have with this. —Random8322007-01-29 13:36 UTC (01/29 08:36 EST) PS forgot to mention - I would like to suggest moving this to Wikipedia:Snowball principle - any objections?

The issue is with the whole thing, from how it's written to how it's used. A move from "clause" to "principle" would give it extra legitimacy it doesn't deserve, IMO. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I was simply observing that "The snowball clause states: (block quote)" implies that the 'quoted' text is being quoted from elsewhere, and is a clause of some other policy or guideline page. Changing it to principle makes it clearer that it stands on its own, and that what you see _here_ (on a page that is clearly not a policy page) is what you get. —Random8322007-01-29 15:53 UTC (01/29 10:53 EST)

That is, to clarify: Calling it "clause" implies that the blockquoted text is a quote and the rest is interpretation. Calling it in "principle" means (a better approximation of reality) that the blockquoted text is an interpretation and the rest is editorializing. —Random8322007-01-29 16:19 UTC (01/29 11:19 EST)

Ooh, if we're changing words around, can we call it a "doctrine"? I've always liked doctrines. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:57, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
  • What about "codicil"? Oh, or how about "stipulation"? Allegories are always awesome. >Radiant< 13:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Um... You said "per talk page", but I don't see a consensus to change it back to clause. —Random832(tc) 23:36, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

  • So you're saying you do see a consensus to change it away from "clause"? If so, where? >Rad<;;font color="#FFEE00">ia<;/font>nt< 09:47, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
    • No, but I was honest about it. You, by saying "per talk page", attempted to dodge responsibility for a decision you made on your own. —Random832(tc) 12:28, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
      • Huh? That's a rather weird inference. I neither said nor implied anything about responsibility. "Per talk page" means there's relevant dialogue on the talk page. And there is, because here you proposed your change (which, incidentally, you implemented before getting any feedback) and here people disagreed with that. Hence, no consensus for your change, hence I undid it per the talk page. >Radiant< 13:02, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
        • "No consensus for" isn't generally a reason, in itself, to revert a bold change that there's also no consensus against. I just think you should have been honest and said "Because I disagree with it, see talk page". Stand by your own actions. And you still haven't addressed my statement that calling it a "clause" is a misrepresentation, because it implies it's a clause OF something rather than a statement written specifically for this page. --Random832(tc) 14:15, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
          • PS I'll clarify - You were, in fact, doing the "revert" part of "bold, revert, discuss". By saying "per talk page", you were implying that the "discuss" part had already concluded and you were implementing a consensus that had been arrived at. --Random832(tc) 14:17, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup tag

{{Cleanup-project|Reads as an essay, has an ugly pseudo tag, this template placed on talk page due to reverting placement on the project page.}}

Adding this as a talk page comment, since Steel359 is expressing page ownership. This tag simply calls people's attention to review the page, if you don't want this page reviewed... then you don't understand how Wikipedia works. If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it. --Barberio 01:16, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

ZOMG, ownership of talk page too! -- Ned Scott 03:39, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
As much as I'd prefer to just let this conflict die; he does have a point. —Random832(tc) 03:48, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm removing it again. WP:POINT, this template was made by Barberio less than a day ago.. -- Ned Scott 03:55, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
If you have problems with the template, I suggest you take it to the deletion process. Otherwise, can you please not make accusations that suspend good faith. Again, I do not see the problem of asking for this essay to be reviewed by the community. --Barberio 12:48, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Barberio is attempting to get various pages, this one included, tagged as essays when they clearly aren't. Barberio whined on the talk page of Wikipedia:Per trying to get it tagged as an essay... and failed. He then tried to MfD the page... and failed. He then complained on the Village Pump trying to rally people to support him... and failed. The cleanup-project tag is just the next round in all this. I don't care about Wikipedia:Per, but the snowball clause is not going to be WP:POINTed into an essay. {{Cleanup-project}} reads "This project page is in need of attention and review". A quick look at this talk page and its archives shows that the page is getting "attention and review" (whatever "review" is supposed to mean here, other than "attempts to tag it as an essay"). This is not one of those obscure Wiki-space pages which no-one cares about, which perhaps do need attention. But WP:SNOW has been given a great deal of that already, and the current custom tag is a fair compromise (Indeed, I prefer it to no tag). -- Steel 12:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


Can someone explain why it's NOT an essay? And, for that matter, why {{essay}} is considered negative? I go to Category:Wikipedia essays to find interesting stuff to read, and I'd like this to be there. What's the big deal, anyway. —Random832(tc) 12:31, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Section 1

  • Essay is considered negative by some because CAT:E contains quite a number of arbitrary or subjective rants. SNOW is not an essay because it's not somebody's opinion, but a description of what happens on Wikipedia; in other words it fits neither the "common" definition of essay, nor the Wikipedian one. Hope that helps! >Radiant< 12:51, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
It may be a description of commonplace activity, but it reads like the worst of POV rants! tone down the language and be more serious about the policy when you're writing and people might leave this article alone. BTW, this isn't policy, you should state that at the beginning of the article. Otherwise it might be confused as such. Ahudson 22:03, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
We've had several cycles of that discussion already, thanks. --Kim Bruning 23:34, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
It may be a description of something that happens, but it also carries the value judgement that it ought to continue happening. That is the part that is an opinion. --Random832(tc) 01:30, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the page could be edited to a more descriptive tone. I think the best language would be a sort of, "this is what some Wikipedians do, here are examples," construction, kind of like what's in the... tag-that-is-not-a-tag that's on it now. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:06, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Section 2

I actually don't consider the essay tag negative, but we really should move away from this whole idea that we have to tag or label every damn thing on Wikipedia. The argument that people might think this is policy and are thus using it incorrectly is not helped by adding to the idea that tags demote pages. Considering WP:SNOW is used just as much with the essay tag as it is without, this is probably more about hurting the essay tag itself (due to use, not the page it's attached to). In all honesty, when I walk away from the computer and think about this, I don't care.. it's a silly argument... but I can't help but feel like I'm allowing such childish behavior by letting the essay tag stay on. (ironic? maybe) -- Ned Scott 01:01, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. The actual problem is that some people think of tags as a hierarchy between which pages can be promoted and demoted (despite the fact that no indications of this at all can be found in policy). I'm somewhat at a loss on how to clear up this misconception. >Radiant< 12:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
People. Love. Rules. The idea that there aren't well-defined lines to stay between is terrifying to most people. There's actually a picture of Hammurabi's code on WP:PI, because that's what most people want. It reminds me of the film Harold and Maude, when Maude says, "Zoos are full, prisons are overflowing... oh my, how the world still dearly loves a cage." I don't mean to say that's necessarily a bad thing, just that it's true. The idea that knowledge should be made freely accessible to everybody is a radical one, but even more radical is the idea that it's ok to dubya-pee aye-ay-are. -GTBacchus(talk) 13:54, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
The problem I have is that the page as it stands is saying that this is what SHOULD be done rather than merely documenting what IS done (therefore, whether it's right or not, it's an essay). Also, IAR doesn't clearly apply here. IAR says "If the rules prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore them." - It is not clear AT ALL how letting a deletion discussion last the whole five days prevents improving or maintaining wikipedia. Nobody has explained how this is the case. This page asserts this is the case without any justification. --Random832(tc) 14:11, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the page doesn't say what "should" be done. It says that process need not always be followed, which is a far cry from saying that it "shouldn't" be followed. Also, this page does not assert that following process is a waste of time, it just asserts that shortcuts aren't necessarily a crime. I'm not sure where you're seeing either of those things on WP:SNOW. -GTBacchus(talk) 15:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Wastes everybodies time. Process has a real cost. People are donating their time. Our duty is to apply that time as effectively as possible. (Imagine the red cross wasting 90% of your money at their offices in switzerland, for instance) --Kim Bruning 14:43, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I can't see any of our processes wasting our time, honestly. They produce tangible results that are respected and accepted by a strong majority of editors. Attempts to dictate whether people are, in fact, wasting their time with a process is typically more disruptive than following the full process, and almost always produce controversial results. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:47, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Taking this into the abstract for a moment: If I have 2 processes, and one took 10 man-hours per day, and the other took 100 man-hours per day. Which process should we apply, if both processes had identical results, all other things being equal? --Kim Bruning 14:55, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
In the "abstract," you're absolutely right. In the "reality," assuming they were similar situations with identical results falling under two different processes, both should be followed, all things being equal. The tangible, acceptable, and uncontroversial results make it worth it. --badlydrawnjefftalk 15:04, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Both processes at once? For a total of 110 man hours? --Kim Bruning 15:13, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
You assume that's the only thing happening. We're not tied into one process or situation here, Wikipedia is multitasking at its finest. In my two "man hours" last night, I discussed two guidelines, tweaked an article, checked deletion logs, all while having chicken wings. If a process runs for 110 hours, those 110 hours are not taking anyone's exclusive time. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
A man-hour is a man-hour. When you add up the columns, you will find you spent a definite amount of time on each task (+ multitasking overheads) that add up to 2 hours total. I didn't say 110 hours, I said 110 man-hours, which is people*hours (if 2 people each spend 1 hour total, that's 2 man-hours). Man-hours are non-compressible. So your suggestion does add up to 110 man-hours total. That's even more pessimal than I ever have dreamt possible between heaven and earth! Try again? --Kim Bruning 15:23, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
My apologies, I misunderstood. No, I still don't think that's a poor use of time to get the uncontroversial result. --badlydrawnjefftalk 15:25, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry? The result is identical for the 10 man-hour and the 100 man-hour process in this abstract case. What is the optimal solution? --Kim Bruning 15:27, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I get a feeling you're trying to trap me. d;-) If the situations are exactly the same, and the results will both be uncontroversial because process was followed, then, of course, the 10 man-hour process makes sense. If you're avoiding the 100 man-hour process to go and use a 10 hour system that circumvents it for a similar result, that doesn't make sense. --badlydrawnjefftalk 15:48, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Not trap. Just make sure we have utterly irrefutable logic at each step. Why do you assume the 100 hour process is superior in some way? I did not specify that. I stated it was identical. --Kim Bruning 15:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
No one's saying it is. IF they are identical processes, which will both result in identical, uncontroversial, and consensually accepted results, the 10 hour one is obviously preferable. --badlydrawnjeff

<unindent> That seems like the same to me. So now say we do either process say, hmm, 100 times a day for some reason (which will become clear in a moment). Still no difference, right? --Kim Bruning 16:07, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I'll need your example at this point. d;-) --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:08, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

talk 16:02, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Discussion continues from this point in #Modeling
You can't know in advance that the result will be identical, and where they are not identical, the one from the shorter process is undisputedly wrong. If we had a crystal ball that could tell us what the result would be, we could close EVERY discussion early. --Random832(tc) 15:46, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
This is my imaginary abstract world where logic is easier to follow, where it is irrefutably true that both are exactly identical. If the real world were perfect like that... we'd have chaos! ;-) --Kim Bruning 15:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, your abstract world has no bearing on the discussion as to whether this "snowball clause" is valid, because it doesn't exist in an abstract world, it exists in the real world. --Random832(tc) 16:13, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
"Patience, my young apprentice" --Kim Bruning 16:25, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Whose time does it waste for an AFD to sit there for a week untouched? The point is to allow enough time so that if the people with a credible argument to keep or delete or review or whatever all happened to not be on wikipedia that day, they'd get a chance to weigh in. Not allowing a voice to people who don't obsessively check everything every single hour of every day hurts wikipedia. --Random832(tc) 14:58, 1 February 2007 (UTC) PS to clarify - it's not like anyone's saying that a bunch of people who all agree should be debating in circles - what harm does _leaving a discussion open_ do? What time does it waste? What takes time is actually discussing, which isn't going to happen past the first day or so if it's truly a snowball case. --Random832(tc) 15:01, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
You must have never seen one of our infamous troll-initiated AFDs before. Oh dear. --Kim Bruning 15:13, 1 February 2007 (UTC)


Discussion continues from midway through #Section 2

Ok, let's continue to change the model in ways that shouldn't make a difference... taking this step by step

I have 2 processes again, but now let's introduce just a touch of real-world down and dirty to our perfect world: each process has a 1% chance of error per day.

  • A: 100 man-hours/day, 1% error
  • B: 10 man-hours/day, 1% error

Do we agree that B is the most optimal process in this case also? --Kim Bruning 16:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I hate to repeat myself, but I want to make sure I don't catch myself. IF they are identical processes, which will both result in identical, uncontroversial, and consensually accepted results, the 10 hour one is obviously preferable.
The processes have an identical outcome. If the processes were identical they'd have the same running time. :-)

Now what happens if we do absolute numbers

  • A: 100 man-hours/day, 99 correct, 1 error.
  • B: 10 man-hours/day, 99 correct, 1 error.

Still no problem, right? B is still more efficient. Let's play for a moment. Say we scale B up to deal with 10 times more issues

  • A: 100 man-hours/day, 99 correct, 1 error.
  • B: 100 man-hours/day, 990 correct, 10 errors.

Hey! 10 Errors suddenly. But is that a problem? (try expressing as a percentage :-) ) --Kim Bruning 16:49, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm following you so far. Keep going... --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:52, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Alright, that was a sidestep, to cover off a certain line of argument: Even if we have a process with a 10-fold increase in errors per day, it need not be a bad process. (Provided there's also a 10-fold increase in good decisions).
That sounds kind of scary, so just checking: do you agree that that's correct? (if so, let's continue and look at a scenario that you fear :-) ) --Kim Bruning 16:59, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, it wasn't a tenfold increase in errors - the error rate was consistent, which is why it's not bad. I have that math right, correct? So yeah. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:05, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Alright, so what happens now?

  • A: 100 man-hours/unit. 10% error rate
  • B: 10 man-hours/unit. 1% error rate.

Ok, so that one is a no-brainer. B is still best.

But how about this?

  • A: 100 man-hours/unit. 1% error rate
  • B: 10 man-hours/unit. 10% error rate.

Okay, that could be interesting. That's a situation where you'd say "take A" , right? Because we want to minimise errors. --Kim Bruning 17:30, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

    • I'm starting to follow where you're going with this, I think. I also think I may have found a hole, but to answer your question, yes, A makes more sense. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:34, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
      • OK. This is actually what I was talking about - my contention was that the error rate is greater for "snowball clause" early closes. Though as I start to consider things, I think a "false keep" is not such a bad thing, so long as with such a keep there is absolutely no prejudice against relisting by someone other than the original nominator. --Random832(tc) 20:09, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Radiant's explanation

  • The point is that Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. In particular, that means we don't have to debate everything to death, especially not multiple times. For instance, we make speedy deletion criteria not because we're t3h 3vil deletionists, but because some issues have already been debated to death (and ditto, speedy keep criteria, etc). Wikipedia would bog down entirely into repetitive discussion if we didn't short-circuit it at times. In the early days of Wikipedia, every block was discussed; nowadays, breach of 3RR is a block, no need to discuss that (yes, yes, there are always extreme circumstances). This, in essence, is the point of the highly succesful WP:PROD - if there is not a single objection to a deletion, there really is no need to debate anything (whom would you debate it with, anyway?).
  • The original purposes of SNOW were twofold: first, on deletion review, some people would argue "yes, this article deserves to be deleted, but it was deleted out of process, so we must put it back into process, debate for a few days, and delete it". The circularity of that, frankly, is pointless. Second, on requests for adminship, novice nominees sometimes get swamped under semi-nasty opposes; it may be prudent to close down the nomination to prevent further nastiness. I'm sure there are some other purposes; but the point is that if your only argument is that process wasn't followed, you don't have an argument. (of course, if your argument is that process wasn't followed and a valid source wasn't mentioned before, you do have a point).
  • Now, telling people to shut up now because they are wrong, is not a very nice thing to do and generally doesn't work. Closing down discussion on any discussion board (e.g. WP:AN) has been proven to aggravate the situation rather than calm it down. The important distinction is that closing down an active discussion under WP:SNOW is not a good idea; its intent is to close down a newly beginning discussion of something that has already been discussed. For instance, if an AFD was closed as keep yesterday, and someone nominates it again, that's a SNOW. We know the outcome, we had one yesterday, stop wasting our time, have a nice day.
  • So yes, controversial discussions are a no-go, or rather, a no-snow. Of course you cannot please everyone and nothing really is unanimous on a wiki this size, so you may have to tell off one or two people who disagree with the snow, especially if they don't really make an argument. But it is important to realize that wikipedia is not in a hurry so leaving an existing discussion open for two or three more days is not going to hurt anyone, even if you Know that You Are Right.
  • Wow, a lengthy rant. Hope that helped :) and enjoy the weather our there. >Radiant< 14:26, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

What manner of taggetry is this?

Should it be put on other non-essays? And should it get its own template? Template:Untaggable, perhaps? —Ashley Y 05:55, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Wow. On behalf of the English language, thank you. -GTBacchus(talk) 06:07, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Making it a normal tag would kind of miss the point.. -- Ned Scott 15:36, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
O:-) --Kim Bruning 20:59, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

It's got one now. Just as long as people know it's NOT policy, then it can have whatever tag. The one up now works.--Wizardman 16:59, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

"Untaggable" my ass. Wikipedia is not an experiment in mystic anarchism. There is no added value in it being "undefinable". The air of faux mystique doesn't make it better, it makes it ridiculous. Zocky | picture popups 01:57, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Did you say untaggable, undefinable, or did you mean "refuses to be tagged"? They're not the same thing here, there's a big difference! Though I'm just tempted to tell you to "just try tagging it and you shall understand soon enough", that would violate both WP:POINT and WP:BEANS (with a great potential for WP:3RR and WP:LAME too, once all hell breaks loose, I might add).
While we all enjoyed the pretty fireworks the first time, could we maybe learn from the past and just not go there? --Kim Bruning 16:20, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, we could stop playing games and just tag it as something normal, so that new readers who are directed here have some idea what it means. The whole quasi-tag is understandable only to the insiders who know both what the page says and what the conflicts in the background are, otherwise it's totally uninformative. Zocky | picture popups 18:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Alright, in summary:
  1. Do. Not. Tag. The. Page. People are silly: Someone will WP:BITE you.
  2. The status of the text is as follows: Some people snowball close. Some people do not snowball close. This page is here to tell you about what that means, and to tell you about who does it when , where, how and why. It's not going to tell you whether or not you should do it as well. That's for you to decide for yourself. (use brain; or #include brain.h;)
If you find the above explanation clearer than what's on the page now, feel free to replace the explanation in the tag with the text above.
If you are a diagnosed tagoholic, and simply must must must tag the page with some familiar tag, even though it means restarting a lame edit war from scratch? Well, that would be silly. I'm going to assume you're not actually a tagoholic. :-)
--Kim Bruning 05:16, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm no taggoholic. I would personally prefer if we had no tags at all and the pages simply told us in prose what they are. But, almost all the policy pages to which we direct newbies are now tagged, and they will expect to see the short summary of the page's status at the top.
But this brings us to the real problem. What is the status of this page? If it were any of the usual statuses, we would have no problem tagging it. But it's not an essay, a guideline nor a policy. I suspect that this is yet another "descriptive" policy page, which supposedly tells us how things are done without trying to legislate. Unfortunately, that's not how things really work. If there is a community edited page that describes a how something is done, people can and will claim that it represents consensus, and they wouldn't be completely wrong - it's the result of the wiki process. Yet, other people will say that since the page wasn't designated as a policy or a guideline or a proposal, they felt no need to comment on it, and they don't feel bound by it and they won't be completely wrong either. This will cause endless misunderstandings, disagreements and conflicts about the status and the weight of this page. Wait. It already does. Zocky | picture popups 06:18, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
We used to have a {{descriptive}} around someplace, but people might have nerfed it or something? --Kim Bruning 06:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Find me one person who doesn't understand the concept of the snowball clause. For a long time I didn't actually look at the page itself, but still said "a snowballs chance in hell" for a lot of things. -- Ned Scott 06:25, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
In other words, if they have to be told... then the real problem is something different.. ;) -- Ned Scott 06:27, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
The real problem is when it gets used and misunderstood and we end up with massive flamewars, arbitration cases and desysoppings. I'm not interested in how silly or clever it is, nor in the philosophical and psychological aspects of its classification. I'm interested in the good or damage that it does, and it has recently done a lot of the latter. Zocky | picture popups 06:35, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
You can't blame this page for those issues, nor can you fix or prevent them by slapping a tag, or even deleting the page. Obviously, those kinds of disputes have something more to them than something such as a minor misunderstanding. -- Ned Scott 06:37, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course I can blame the page. When it was cited and used in the Brandt DRV, whole hell broke loose. And people argued and are still arguing about it. The way I see it, this is the same problem we had with the so-called Semi-policy. It's basically an idea how things could be done, that some people agree with and others don't. To put it another way, it's a proposal that after more than a year still does not enjoy community consensus. I'm sure we have a tag for those. Zocky | picture popups 06:44, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't think you understand, people will "think something is obvious" even if you delete this page. It won't solve any of those problems, at all. The real issue is that someone disagreed with what they thought was obvious. -- Ned Scott 06:50, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, it describes that some people do it. Oh, wait, WTF?! Daniel Brandt?! Ut oh... --Kim Bruning 07:01, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
"Obvious" has nothing to do with it. You can't work collectively on Wikipedia (or in any large group of people) by doing what's obvious to each different individual. You have to agree on what you want done and how you want it done. On Wikipedia (and in real life), people who didn't participate in a particular policy debate, either because it happened before they joined, or because they just didn't care to participate, are explicitly required to honor the existing agreements, even while trying to change them. Sure, these agreements are often rough, flexible, fluid, and allow for myriad exceptions, but there's nothing automatically obvious about them.
The real issue is that some people think that debates should be closed early as often as possible, some think that they should never be closed early, and some think that they should be closed early only in very limited circumstances. This page should either be the place where this difference of opinions is discussed with the intention of establishing consensus on when it is appropriate to close a discussion early, or it should be marked as a failed proposal, and we should revert to the default - follow other appropriate policy, IAR when necessary. Zocky | picture popups 07:12, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
It's not a proposal.. You seem to keep missing my comment that you could delete this page, salt it, and this problem would have still happened. There is no issue here. Blaming this page for what's happening over that issue is absurd. Someone cited a page and did so incorrectly. That admin thought that this page backed up his actions and view, but it did not. If I cite something to back me up when it doesn't, who's wrong? Is it me or the page? -- Ned Scott 07:19, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean it was cited incorrectly? How can it be cited incorrectly if it just describes what people do? Surely the page is wrong then, not the usage. Or is there a correct way to cite this page? If there is, that makes it a wannabe guideline, i.e. a proposal. Zocky | picture popups 07:24, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Because, whether you think Daniel Brandt should get an article or not, it does stand a better chance than a snowball in hell. The closing admin was insane to think otherwise. We can't go off the handle and blame this page because someone else didn't use their head. -- Ned Scott 07:29, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't answer any of my questions, but they were rethorical anyway. I mostly agree with what you say about its application, but that's not the point of this whole section. I'll unindent and try to move this forward. Zocky | picture popups 08:02, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

As I see it, the situation is thus:

  1. This page is more than just a description
    • it says it is "designed to prevent..."
    • it uses wording like "this should not be done", "discussion needs to be refocused", etc.
  2. This page is more than an essay
    • it is frequently cited as justification for closing debates (closed per WP:SNOW)
    • there are right and wrong ways to use it
  3. This page is a widely accepted proposal for a guideline, with substantial opposition
    • pages which recount how something should and should not be done are guidelines, when accepted
    • while there is substantial reasonable opposition, especially if it includes many established editors, such pages are proposals
    • if a proposal is not accepted after a long time, it's considered failed and void, even if it has wide acceptance. sometimes such proposals are rewritten and become essays.

The way forward isn't that hard. Nearly everybody agrees that there are situations when a debate should be cut short. Most opposition stems from the inappropriate use, which is a consequence of the nebular status and some of the wording. The page already enjoys wide usage and acceptance, and most opposition can be overcome if Radiant's explanation above is worked into the page.

The one thing that IMO we should get rid off is the reference to filibustering - we certainly won't get the consensus to use WP:SNOW to stop policy debates by established editors, no matter how long-winding they get. Zocky | picture popups 08:02, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

But there's no issue here. You're looking waaaay too deeply into this and seeing things that are not there. I see this all the time, and it happens to every page, essay, guideline, policy, whatever. A dispute happens, something gets cited, people disagree, someone goes to that page and starts saying there's a huge problem. Maybe this describes you, maybe it doesn't, but you got to admit that it looks no different from other such situations.
This is not a proposal, it's simply the way things are. To use it correctly you just need to use your head, unfortunately people don't always do this. We can work on the wording if you reallllly want to, but come on man, get real.
I'm sorry if I seem a bit short about this, but I'm a bit tired of people trying to use this page as a scapegoat. -- Ned Scott 09:08, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
see -- Ned Scott 09:09, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry but you obviously failed to read what I write above. This page does not just describe how things are. Read above for the detailed argument. If it did, there would be no way to go "against its spirit". Zocky | picture popups 09:27, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • The problem is that pages that describe how things are tend to be objected to by people who do not like that things are that way. Still, I suppose the below templaet might fix the debate: >Radiant< 10:54, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Info header.png This page discusses a part of policy in greater detail or expands on the policy, but is not itself a policy.
The actual policy is Ignore all rules.

Radiant, please read my argument above, and read what the page says again. It's simply not true that this goes no further than describing how things are. It has a statement of intent for {{{deity}}}'s sake. Is there any project-related reason that we don't want this to be a guideline, or is it just the the mystic attraction of IAR and "common sense" approach? Zocky | picture popups 11:13, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

  • For an answer to that, please read the talk page archives, in particular the second, and the first MFD nomination. I'm not sure why it's such a big deal that some pages don't fit in the p/g/e categorization scheme, per WP:NOTAG. >Radiant< 11:39, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

The p/g/e categorization is useful for two things:

  1. The process required for getting that tag (i.e. establishing the consensus) is what gives those pages legitimacy and allows them to be used to difuse conflicts - people are generally more likely to desist based on an existing agreement that they weren't party to than based on what some people think is a good idea.
  2. Setting ground rules for editting of the page. Policies and guidelines require prior consultation, proposals are routinely worked on, essays are not changed to mean the opposite of what the author wanted to say, etc.

The problem with this page is that it's used as a guideline without consensus ever being established for the text, and naturally people object. Some because they disagree with its spirit, some because they object to statusless pages being used as guidelines, and some because it's the obvious way to undermine it. On the other hand, people who don't agree with it can't go and change it to say "this is a bad idea" - they'll get reverted immediately. Yes, I know somebody will say "but it just describes how things are". It doesn't. Zocky | picture popups 12:06, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Here's a thought. We could ditch the talk about preventing filibustering and interpretations of other policy, and change it to simply say something like: "If the result of a debate is obvious after substantial input, the debate can be closed before the specified time runs out. Be conservative in estimating obviousness." That's something that we probably can all agree on. Zocky | picture popups 12:17, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Not that I necessary want to wade in these waters again...

...but given the latest ArbCom findings:

The Committee notes that the "Snowball clause" is not policy, and also recognizes that there will be some cases where the benefits of early closure outweigh the drawbacks. However, in general, early closure of discussions on WP:SNOW grounds denies some Wikipedians the opportunity to comment and can lead to escalation due to the lack of a discussion venue.

...should we reconsider the "taggestry," as it is, since this type of closure has been pretty firmly discouraged? --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:50, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what version you're reading, but they're basically saying that WP:SNOWBALL isn't wrong, but some people feel pissed if they can't vent. -- Ned Scott 07:01, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
So you think we shouldn't actively discourage things that ArbCom considers actively harmful? --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:04, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Is arbcom saying that? No. -- Ned Scott 01:22, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
They aren't? I guess I'm reading "Early closure of discussions based on WP:SNOW is harmful" wrong. --badlydrawnjeff talk 01:25, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
For the situation in that arbcom case, and similar situations, yes it was harmful. And I do disagree with arbcom about it being a general issue rather than the minority. Arbcom is far from perfect, and they've missed the boat many times before. -- Ned Scott 01:28, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
And again, they're saying that the closure itself isn't wrong, but the side effects of closure (taking away a place for people to vent) can cause problems. This is very different from the reasons that have motivated you to oppose SNOW, Jeff. -- Ned Scott 01:29, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Is it really? Maybe you've misunderstood my reasons for opposition, then. --badlydrawnjeff talk 01:31, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
You always seemed to claim the process was what was important, but whatever. I've also re-read the Arbcom's statement and see they're probably talking about the majority of closures in general rather than the majority of SNOW closures. If that's the case then I agree, most closures should not be speedy closures. -- Ned Scott 01:38, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Gotta dig a little deeper - the discussion process is important because it gives people a voice. Of course, reading Arbcom's statement where they say "Early closure of discussions based on WP:SNOW is harmful" and then lists why seems to indicate they're talking about SNOW closes and SNOW-type closes. Why you continue to try and claim something that isn't apparent there is odd to me. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:03, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, Jeff, you're misreading. At least, you're misreading if you don't see that Arbcom explicitly notes that in some cases early closure is appropriate (which your selective quoting ignores). Nandesuka 12:48, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Not at all. I've included that in the statement, in fact. Do I wish ArbCom came out stronger against disruptiveness? Absolutely, but we'll have to take what we got. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:39, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
They said the SNOW shouldn't be used often, and no one disagrees with that.. SNOW usage should be the minority of closures and needs to be weighed carefully with the pros and cons of early closure. They've told us nothing new. -- Ned Scott 19:05, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
You have much more faith in the maturity of our users than I do, then. We completely disagree on this. --—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Badlydrawnjeff (talkcontribs).
You disagree with what arbcom said? -- Ned Scott 20:08, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with your interpretation. On a side note, I also disagree with what they said - they didn't come down hard enough of disruptive elements, but at least there's evidence of some tide-turning. --badlydrawnjeff talk 20:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Also, since the Arbcom doesn't set policy, there's really no point in including quotes from them (aside from the fact that this page isn't even policy, as everybody should know by now). See also WP:JIMBOSAID; WP:ARBCOMSAID is kind of similar. >Radiant< 13:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Seems to me there is a single person who wants to add that quote and several people who don't want it there, and disagreement between people about what the quote even means. So there's no consensus for the addition. >Radiant< 08:05, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
      • For the record I think having the quote there is a good idea. Haukur 12:35, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
      • As do I. 2-2 or 3-2 isn't really consensus for removal, not that any actual argument for removal has been made. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:37, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
        • You have it backwards, Jeff. We need consensus to have it in, not consensus to remove what was unilaterally (and I hate to use that buzzword) added. And yes, people have made arguments for removal. Read the discussion. I'm quite happy with removing it. – Steel 13:42, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
        • Yep. Two in favor, three opposed obviously isn't consensus for addition (aside from the fact that no actual argument for addition has been made). >Radiant< 13:44, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
          • No, the argument for addition is clear - it provides a very firm rationale as to an official ruling on how this clause should work. The argument that we shouldn't include it, well, I'm not seeing one, so feel free to rectify it. I consider it a compromise, myself - the logical action would be to {{historical}} this and move along, but that assumes we've been working logically in having this exist in the first place. Also, given that I wasn't even the first person to add it, that's even more strength to the other side of it. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:49, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
            • I don't support adding it either - I think it's misleading out of context. --Minderbinder 13:56, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
              • For the record, I was counting you as the third, with Radiant and Steel. I also don't know if it's misleading in any context - what's misleading is that this isn't tagged as rejected or historical, but hey. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:58, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
            • Indeed. It is neither a "very firm rationale", nor an "official ruling", nor does it state "how this clause should work". More specifically, it is entirely unrelated to the most common usage of the snowball clause. But regardless of what rationale people claim, there is obviously no consensus for the addition. Very easy. >Radiant< 14:00, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
              • I can't find a correct thing anywhere in that statement, unfortunately. But Milo's action works for now. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:06, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Turns out the ArbCom has made a lot of statements regarding the closing of discussions or polls. Some of these can be read to support the snowball clause, some can be read to oppose it. Since discussions and polls are not infrequently "snowballed" it seems relevant what the "rulings" are. The bottom line appears to be that we have to use common sense with respect to applying WP:SNOW. >Radiant< 14:52, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Yes, but only one regarding this clause and about abandoning reasonable process for a desired result. WP:SNOW lacks common sense, so the only common sense way to deal with this is only to include ArbCom statements that deal with what WP:SNOW tries to cover - the idiocy of ending discussions against consensually-reached policies, guidleines, and processes. Your additions are pointy at this stage. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:56, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
      • So in other words you want to link only to those statements that can be read to support your position. >Radiant< 14:59, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
        • I only want to link to relevant statements. If you can find relevant statements, feel free to add them. Here's a hint for you - if ArbCom is talking about proper closure or process or consensus, it has nothing to do with the snowball clause because that's exactly what this tries to avoid. You're better than this, come on. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:01, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
          • "Lacks common sense"? I guess that's your personal opinion? Arbcom certainly hasn't said that. So you don't like SNOW. But I don't see this arbcom statement as an excuse to try and tear it down. --Minderbinder 15:16, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
            • I never said ArbCom said it. Of course, common sense says not to do things that are disruptive, harmful, and annoy people, which is what SNOW closes do, but that's beside the point. ArbCOm did say that SNOW closes were harmful, so I think that's an even stronger reason than the countless many that already existed to take it down, but until Wikipedia matures further, it's not going to happen. Doesn't mean I shouldn't keep trying. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:21, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
              • Selective reading on your part, they also said "that there will be some cases where the benefits of early closure outweigh the drawbacks." SNOW is only disruptive/harmful/annoying if used improperly. If the folks acting on the DB situation had actually followed this page, they wouldn't have invoked SNOW. --Minderbinder 15:30, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
                • Not selective reading at all - if the benefits outweight the drawbacks, it's still harmful. It's just not harmful enough to stop it. Do I wish the ArbCom came out stronger against it? Absolutely, but we'll take what we get. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:39, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
                  • "if the benefits outweight the drawbacks, it's still harmful". Huh? --Minderbinder 15:44, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
                    • A net benefit doesn't mean no one gets hurt. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:52, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
                      • If you're arguing against something, doesn't that mean that you think the true net benefit is on the other side, in the long run? -GTBacchus(talk) 16:12, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
                        • Depends. I'm merely going off of ArbCom interpretation - I see no benefit to snowball closes, as a personal position. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:18, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Snowball closes

As a hypothetical for those who oppose snowball closes, if someone were to make a good-faith nomination of United States at AfD, would you insist on having the AfD run the full number of days just for the sake of following process/policy? --Minderbinder 16:24, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Is there a such thing as a good faith nomination of United States? It would likely fall under #2 of the speedy keep guideline, in any regard. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:35, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Just because it may be closed under CSK doesn't make it any less a snowball. It meets the very definition of snowball - it doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell to make it through the process, and there's no need to run it through for the full five days. >Radiant< 16:43, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
But it doesn't need to run not because we have to avoid the process, but because the process allows us to not run it. The snowball clause is all about abandoning process for a certain result. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:47, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
The only reason CSK exists is because people were snowballing articles before, and someone, realizing it was a good practice, wrote it down. Then, once written, some people like to take it as carrying the force of law, forgetting that it was working just fine before it was written. -GTBacchus(talk) 16:53, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I keep hearing this, but I don't necessarily buy into it. Regardless, even if that were the case, it doesn't excuse the use of the snowball clause - if you feel early closures are proper, change the guideline! I've already tried to do it, and people rejected it. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:01, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • The argument that "process allows us to not run it" is vacuous since every process allows that. You might not like IAR, but it is nevertheless one of our oldest and most central policies. >Radiant< 17:02, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • And it's worthless to this discussion. IAR isn't carte blanche to do what one wants. No reasonable editor or administrator needs it. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:05, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with the above comments. Such an article is obviously necessary to the encyclopedia, passes the notability guideline indisputably, and the fact that it is just plain silly to put that kind of article up for AfD in the first place.¤~Persian Poet Gal (talk) 16:45, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Right, it's vandalism. There's no way a good faith nomination could be interpreted. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:47, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
You'd rather assume bad faith than deviate from by-the-book process? I've seen entirely good-faith, but entirely clueless nominations. Some people, in good faith, think that the appropriate response to a problematic article is to nominate it for deletion. We might agree that they're dead wrong, but that doesn't make it bad faith. I think it's a valid question - is there really no line? Does every (potentially) good faith nomination have to get its five days, no matter how clueless and misguided? -GTBacchus(talk) 16:53, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Again, if there's a good-faith reason to nominate the United States, I'd love to hear it. If there is a good faith reason, then let it run or convince the user to withdraw. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:01, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • You're supposed to assume good faith, even on such. The US article is an extreme example, but there are less extreme examples that would be good faith noms but nevertheless snowball keeps. >Radiant< 17:02, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Example? Keep in mind, you're only expected to assume good faith until evidence to the contrary - a nomination of United States would certainly qualify. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:05, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Doesn't look very good. Closed in 6 hours, the nom didn't even get a response? Yeah, that's a really piss-poor example. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:11, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
      • Well, then, I'd suggest you take it to WP:DRV. >Radiant< 17:27, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
      • If I were sure about my wikitime over the next few days, I just might have. Any other examples, or can we move forward? --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:29, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, a nom like that could only be closed under SK if it was unanimous. If you're going to insist on following it by the book, even one "delete" agreeing with the nom would make it ineligible for SK. --Minderbinder 17:36, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
True. A little assumption on my part, yes, you're not wrong. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:38, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
(deindenting) Wasn't Black people nominated for deletion recently? Yeah, here's the discussion. It seems that it was nominated in a good faith, but utterly misguided attempt to take what the nominator saw as a terminally biased article out back and shoot it. It turns out that's not an appropriate measure, so it was snowball-kept. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:39, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Not that it should have been. Misguided, sure. A reason to slap the guy in the face? No, not at all. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:41, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
A snowball keep is a slap in the face? That's not how I would characterize it. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:42, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I can't characterize it any other way. "Your opinion isn't even important enough for us to address properly." --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:52, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
You can't characterize it any other way? How hard did you try? ;)
I could see a reasonable person taking it the way you say. I could see a reasonable person taking it quite differently, too. People are pretty different. One could certainly be more or less diplomatic about closing a discussion early - even something clearly with in the speedy-keep criteria could be closed in a way that would give offense. Conversely, a discussion could be closed early, without procedural support, and yet very politely and in a way that affirms the dignity of the editor who made the request.
I'm not saying that most snowballs here are done diplomatically, just that it's entirely possible.
A (possibly) interesting side note is that, the more people think of Wikipedia as rule-driven and by-the-book, the more difficult it becomes to enact out-of-process but otherwise good ideas without ruffling the feathers of those who have come to expect red tape. I guess that's what you're pushing for, huh?
If, on the other hand, people are oriented from the start to know that Wikipedia isn't a formal rule structure, then they're much more inclined to go with the flow, and find less legalistic ways to function here. From the first few non-article-space pages I read here, that was the impression I got, anyway. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:25, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I've been trying for a year, there's no other way. There's no "diplomatic" way to do it, because it's de facto wrong, abrasive, and controversial. "Go with the flow" works less and less the bigger and more important we get. It didn't work a year ago when no one gave a shit, why is it going to be working better later? --badlydrawnjeff talk 01:58, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd disagree that there's no diplomatic way to close a misguided discussion early. It's pretty amazing, the power of courtesy. I'll grant that most, if not all, snowball closures I've seen here were not examples of what I'm talking about. I suspect a good snowball would not even register as one, because the closer would be unlikely to make comparisons to a "snowball in hell".
I wonder, Jeff, whether you take "it didn't work a year ago" to be an obvious fact, or whether you see that an intelligent observer can actually see lots of evidence that a more laissez-faire approach has been working in lots of ways. Do you not see that there's any sense to what those who defend this essay have been saying? I hate to think that nothing's been communicated in all these thousands of words. I understand your point, and consider it valid, but I worry that you're not seeing the other side of the issue at all. Do you know what I mean? -GTBacchus(talk) 02:20, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
As there is no sense to this essay, and every application has been abusive, no. --badlydrawnjeff talk 11:19, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok. In your opinion then, if there's no sense to this essay, then why do otherwise reasonable people support it? Is it because none of us is actually "otherwise reasonable"? Are we thick, or mad? Are we trying to support abusive practices? Are we just set in our ways and blind to the realities of how a growing wiki must adapt in a diverse world? Are we led astray by false and baseless promises of the Internet as an anarchist utopia? What is it, do you figure? -GTBacchus(talk) 21:36, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

This recent discussion seems to make a few things clear to me. Some of us simply think that SNOWBALL is pretty much the same as any or most kinds of speedy keep. Others are looking at the misuse and bad side affects of speedy keep and calling that SNOWBALL, while excluding anything good from speedy keep from being called SNOWBALL. -- Ned Scott 01:46, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

The stuff at speedy keep is stuff people want to avoid running through a process with. It's governed by consensus, it's widely accepted, and people are okay with it. RfAs are the same way - the process, widely accepted, is that RfAs with no shot can be removed by a bureaucrat. When you start randomly closing AfDs because you think it has no shot of surviving/deleting (on-wiki crystal ballism), you're not doing things that have wide acceptance. --badlydrawnjeff talk 01:58, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Well no shit sherlock, of course the idea is that acceptable speedy keep/delete will reflect some kind of logical consensus. A snowball's chance in hell.. because of a good reason.. is something that is assumed, but we can spell it out here too. -- Ned Scott 02:22, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the problem is that assumption. --badlydrawnjeff talk 11:19, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
So in the case of a hypothetical AfD on United States, you're not willing to make the assumption that there's absolutely no chance of the article getting deleted? --Minderbinder 12:13, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
As I've already said, the United States example is covered by the speedy keep guideline. If there's actually some good faith reason for deletion, that reason should be heard out and weighed like any other - by bringing up the United States, I believe the intent is to come up with an extreme example that we both know would never be deleted because there's no good faith reason to do so. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:16, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
If you admit there are articles that "we both know would never be deleted" you've basically agreed with the idea behind the snowball clause. --Minderbinder 13:00, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Not at all. The idea behind the snowball clause is to circumvent a process if people feel the process isn't going to result in any other situation. That doesn't preclude us from using process to close discussions - we do that with speedy keep and RfA, for instance. The snowball clause usage requires there not to be a legitimate way to close something early, thus making it automatically controversial - if such an instance existed, we'd have made a process which would allow for it by now via consensus rather than the abusive rule of an administrator. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:09, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Several incorrect assumptions in your part. The idea is not to "circumvent a process", and it does not in any way require that there "not to be a legitimate way to close something early". The page doesn't say so, and nor do its proponents. >Radiant< 14:18, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Really? YOu may want to read the page you're defending, then. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • That's interesting. The snowball clause's domain of applicability is definitely cases outside of existing "speedy" criteria. Under different models of process development, the clause is either a truism or an abomination. If you think process is generated through something resembling the BRD model, then the snowball clause is just a trivial restatement of how IAR plays a role in the development of "speedy" critieria. If you think process is generated in a way resembling the way a bill becomes law in the USA, then there's no excuse for the snowball clause; it should be thrown out of court.
  • A minor technical point - Radiant is right that there can be a legitimate way to close something early (existing speedy criteria), and the snowball clause still applies in the area just outside of those criteria, where new criteria may grow, if they're successfully tested by snowballs first. Then new criteria aren't brand new, but already beta-tested, as it were. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:43, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • (I'm not sure what happened there, I typed a response and for some reason WP ended up with removing the last 20 edits or so; perhaps this is one of those timing bugs mentioned on WP:VPT).
  • Anyway. Obviously I read this page and obviously the phrasings you mention aren't on there. So you may want to read the page you're attacking, then.
  • Also, what you're doing here is circular reasoning. You define "snowball" so as to excluse anything that's not controversial, and based on that you conclude that all snowballs are controversial. Such tautologies and vacuous truths do not contribute to meaningful discussion, and needless to say just about nobody else uses your peculiar definition of "snowball". >Radiant< 15:15, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
    • (No problem, my bad for assuming otherwise.)
    • Okay, first, we should look at what the clause is: "If an issue doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting an unexpected outcome from a certain process, then there is no need to run it through that process." So yes, it's designed specifically to circumvent process - WP:RFA isn't snowball-related (although people erroneously attempt to define it as such) because early removal is not an unexpected outcome, same with speedy keeping and speedy deletion. The only way to close something early per this is to circumvent the process. Now, combine that with the intent of the proponents. Specifically, Tony Sidaway was a huge fan, and he rudely saw it as a way to end "filibustering," as if discussion was bad. The intent moves right along with my position on this.
    • There's no circular reasoning here - the snowball clause can only be used controversally because of what the community's consensus expects and desires. It's harmful, it's controversial, and it speaks to our maturity as a community. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:25, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
      • You've made it repeatedly clear that you don't like it. So what do you propose? --Minderbinder 15:28, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
        • This goes beyond my not liking it - I actually love the concept, believe it or not - it's about the fact that it's wrong, it's improper, and it's harmful. My proposal, since we can't delete it, is to tag it {{historical}} and strongly suggest people stop referencing it. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
      • Seems to me your problem isn't with this page but with the way Tony used it (which, incidentally, he stopped doing about half a year ago). >Radiant< 15:32, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
        • You'd be wrong, again. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
          • Well, we can talk about this until the cows come home, but the bottom line is that there was a recent addition to this page which is contested and, as indicated by discussion here, not supported by consensus, and therefore should be removed. >Radiant< 15:58, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
            • And this entire page is considered "harmful" and "is not policy," yet somehow gets treated differently than everything else around here that fits the same description. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:04, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
              • This page is not considered harmful by arbcom, if that's what you are referring to. What they did say was that using SNOWBALL often is harmful. -- Ned Scott 18:59, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
                • Correction, replace "often" with "most of the time". -- Ned Scott 19:03, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
                  • Yes, of course. Not that this page is an inspiration or anything like that. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:10, 23 March 2007 (UTC)


I just added the "this is controversial" tag on there to help this tag war end. I hope it will help. The tag is:

Presa de decissions.png The following page's status is extremely controversial. Some say it should become policy, some say it is an essay, and some think it should be deleted all together. Keep in mind that whatever it becomes, it is not yet Wikipedia Policy.

The idea from this page came from the also controversial Ignore All Rules Policy. To see the lengthy argument about what this page should be, please feel free to visit it's talk page.

Question mark alternate.svg

I made it myself, and hope it helps! --Bfissa 22:22, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I've been asked to explain my reversion of this tag. Ok:
  • "The following page's status is extremely controversial." - Ya, everyone knows this, and the other tag explains it.
  • "Some say it should become policy, some say it is an essay, and some think it should be deleted all together." - Again, a paraphrase of the other tag.
  • "Keep in mind that whatever it becomes, it is not yet Wikipedia Policy." - Hence why it isn't tagged with {{policy}}.
  • "The idea from this page came from the also controversial Ignore All Rules Policy." - Please read the first line of the page.
That, and the fact that using two tags is ugly. – Steel 23:02, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Concur with Steel. Also, what makes you think IAR is controversial? By the way I should note that a similar tag dispute was resolved by using {{poldetail}}, which may in fact help here. Then again the custom tag is kind of cute as well. >Radiant< 08:38, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Ignore All Rules is only as controversial as wikipedia itself. ;-) --Kim Bruning 11:45, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

So let's put a big red template with <blink> tags on top of each page stating that Wikipedia is controversial! It may even (gasp) contain tyops! >Radiant< 11:51, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I like the {{poldetail}} tag, It is more standard. Let's use that, unless you like my tag better, whatever is more helpful.--Bfissa 15:22, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Hm, seems like people don't like that. While I don't particularly mind either way, I'm kind of wondering why people don't like it or call it "patently false"? "This page discusses part of policy in detail" - true. "but is not itself policy" - also true. The relevant policy is IAR - also true. Then what's the problem here? >Radiant< 08:38, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
  • It would be better if it were true, which it is not. If we're going to have a standard tag, it should be {{rejected}} or {tl|historical}}. --badlydrawnjeff talk 11:58, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
    • You know that is false. >Radiant< 12:08, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
      • No, I don't. It has no chance of becoming policy or guideline, it does not have wide acceptance, thus... --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:12, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
        • Hence, like I said, "but is not itself policy" is the obvious truth. >Radiant< 12:20, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
          • Right, so {{historical}}. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:21, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
            • We must be on round 100 of this discussion by now. – Steel 12:46, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
              • Yeah, sounds about right. Perhaps this page will reflect consensus like everything else does someday. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:52, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
                • Honestly, I'm shocked we don't have a {{butjeffhatesit}} tag yet. --Minderbinder 13:30, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
                • Jeff... "perhaps this page will reflect consensus like everything else does"??? I've never seen anybody claim that everything at Wikipedia reflects consensus before. I wouldn't have guessed you'd be the one to say it, either... -GTBacchus(talk) 04:51, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

possible modification

I have yet to see a WP page that couldn't be compromised if everyone involved truly wants to find a solution, instead of keeping the argument going for the sake of making a point. I think Jeff is correct when he says that there is no reason to invoke this clause if other provisions will do, just as there is no reason for a governor to pardon a person who is about to be found innocent. There may be some rare cases where we find our provisions not up to the situation, and then a clause such as this is the only rational way.

In such a case, the person invoking it takes the responsibility of being able to defend it if challenged. And such a challenge if sustained should have serious consequences, involving a least a loss of confidence if shown to be wrong. No one should have the power of making single-handed arbitrary actions without review. If even one of the Foundation Board should start doing so, the others would remove him.
The real problem is discriminating good faith challenges from others, because to the eccentric loner may honestly think that his view, though rejected as absurd by everyone else, is absolutely correct. There are honest zealots, and even honest bigots. But there are also those acting absurdly because of a deliberate design to harm the project, as by repeatedly deleting the main page. The person who files at DRV because of the rejection of an article reading "I am notable because I am the sexiest guy in my school," the person posting an article that the earth is a triangle because of a hallucination that he is divinely inspired, and the naive schoolboy writing an article about his favorite teacher, are not to be handled the same way. (And in all of these cases we do have appropriate rules, and do not need the clause.)DGG 18:54, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Question about the exact line of the clause

The exact wording is:

If an issue doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting an unexpected outcome from a certain process, then there is no need to run it through that process.

If I read correctly, it is equivalent to:

If an issue has a reasonable chance of getting an unexpected outcome from a certain process, then there is no need to run it through that process.

If the clause's aim is to discourage excessive process to decide for things whose outcomes are almost certain, shouldn't it read:

If an issue has a snowball's chance in hell of getting an unexpected outcome from a certain process, then there is no need to run it through that process.

Is it just me, or is there an error in the initial clause?--Kylohk 10:59, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm told this is a difference between the metaphor in British and American English. "Doesn't have a chance" is taken to mean "Has less than a chance". This could probably be fixed by changing to "doesn't even have..." >Radiant< 11:09, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
    • I see, but still, not everyone speak English in one way, so it may be a good idea to change the wording to one which no matter where you are from, you can still understand it.--Kylohk 11:23, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
      • Yes, but the wording was changed about a year ago from what you're suggesting to what it presently is, for this precise reason. >Radiant< 12:38, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
        • Anyway, the addition of "even" resolved the matter.--Kylohk 12:52, 7 May 2007 (UTC)