Kelly Martin doesn't know the difference between a bug and a feature

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Jake Is A Sellout
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Kelly Martin doesn't know the difference between a bug and a feature

Post by Jake Is A Sellout » Wed May 05, 2021 1:55 am

Oh lordy.
Wikipedia policy is intentionally designed to maximize the amount of member conduct that is both explicitly permitted and explicitly prohibited. Having as many antinomies as possible maximizes drama and intermember conflict, which Wikipedia itself thrives on, but more importantly it makes it very easy for someone who is seeking to win a conflict dispute to find some thing that can be characterized as a "violation" (since, at this point, it is essentially impossible to edit Wikipedia at all without colorably violating some policy or another) and so anyone who wants an editor vanquished for making an edit they did not like will find it easy to allege that the person who made it violated a rule.

TLDR: The rules being in conflict with one another is a feature, not a bug.
What a load of utter crap.

A bloody kindergartener would understand that the DESIGN of Wikipedia is for there to be as little policy as possible. This is what WP:NOTBURO and WP:IAR is all about. They would understand the fundamental point - that the mission is to write an encyclopedia, so the less time spent on pointless drama and policy wonkery, the more likely the goal is met. They might even understand that BY DESIGN, Wikipedia is so wedded to that principle, it actually has a policy that says people who actually try to use policies to win disputes, are not welcome.

Those were the intended features of Wikipedia. Low conflict, minimal overhead, maximum encyclopedia building.

There is a bug however. It's called governance, or lack thereof.

By initially trusting that this system could be overseen by unqualified fucksticks like Kelly Martin, the failure of Wikipedia was assured.

By not paying people, and by otherwise not ensuring that there was any realistic way to ensure that the management levels of the community were not so feckless, lazy, corrupt or stupid that they collectively failed to ensure the basic principles were defended and enforced, it was guaranteed that the horrors described above, came to pass.

On Wikipedia now and since forever, due to the bug, it does pay to use the policies as a weapon. It is how you can win. And who doesn't like to win? On Wikipedia, it is far more fun and distracting to engage in pointless drama, than it is to build an encyclopedia. And that is often a way you can win by default. It therefore pays to write more and more of them, and perpetuate the idea that Wikipedia is built on conflict and policy wonkery.

It was not a feature of Wikipedia that under the initial seeding conditions, due to what emerged and became its sick community, that the only people who found it a rewarding hobby were people looking for a way to distract themselves via conflict and wonkery.

It is a bug. A bug that is easily remedied. Go back to square one. Demote all users back down to the basic rank of editor, and temporarily appoint a paid committee of professionals to oversee applicants for the roles of Administrator and higher. Look for the actual qualities these roles were meant to be defined by. Once you have a core of competent volunteers in governance roles, then you can resume where you left off, with the community selecting it's own leaders.

You would naturally not promote someone like Bishonen in that first tranche, not least because now you know, that sort of person, that sort of power obsessed evil person, has absolutely no hope or intention of playing any meaningful part of a governance system where editors are meant to be equal.

Nor would they ever hope to to be selected in future either. Their clear and present danger to the mission would always be obvious. People just aren't that good at hiding their true selves.

Promote people with a proven track record in defending the principles. Low drama, limited policy, harmony, productivity. Sensible, normal people. People who clearly came to Wikipedia to build an encyclopedia, rather than distract themselves from their miserable lives by being internet warriors or lawyers or just plain insane.

People who you could genuinely imagine would be doing something useful, if they weren't on Wikipedia.

With people like that in charge of actually enforcing policy, normal, sensible, good people, they might actually get shit done. People like Jess Wade might actually get blocked for being rude, inconsiderate, sloppy useless bitches, who give everyone else who do actually understand how to properly source their articles and came to Wikipedia to document history not write it, a bad name.

Promote people who understand that consensus is not compromise or fait accompli. It is actually a process that has to be both well attended, and speak well to established policy. That is frankly not many, if any, of the current Administrator class.

Under this regime, it's doubtful they would ever again repeat mistakes like making Admin selection a quasi popular vote, or ArbCom membership an actual vote.

It may offend current Wikipedian's egalitarian ideals, feeling a little bit too much like a technocracy for their tastes, but you know what? Fuck them. If they're so wedded to the idea that their version of Wikipedia is the one true model, then let them have a fork, and see how well it fares when they no longer have their monopoly.

Would you willingly choose to edit alongside Bishonen and Beyond My Ken, understanding that you will never ever outrank them, or will you choose to edit alongside some actually talented and nice people who live their whole lives educating others, but who would still, by policy, work with you as an equal from day one?

No contest.

This is what you do when an experiment fails. You wash out your beakers, and you start again. Initially under the same starting conditions, so as to satisfy yourself that the failure was caused by bugs (contaminants) not features (ingredients).

Wikipedia is a failed experiment. It could be restarted. People like Kelly Martin need not reapply for their former posts. They would be rejected if they did.

The experiment would still likely fail, due to an underlying problem with a core feature. It's not a bug that Wikipedia editors are expected to edit for free. It's not a bug that Wikipedia editors are expected to be satisfied only with the good feels that come with an altruistic act. These are their core features. And they are faulty.

Because this isn't the 23rd Century, this isn't a Star Trek fantasy land we live in. Money is still a thing. It still takes time and effort to properly research and curate real knowledge. Useful knowledge. Not the world's largest tear stained 2016 US election campaign, with an attached compendium of pop culture trivia, and volume upon volume of graduate textbooks written both by and for graduate students.

Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia for a reason, in design or practice. They hedged their bets there, knowing from the very start that the proposed model likely wouldn't make one, but might one day, given a fair wind, be upgraded to one.

But hey, a Wikipedia where the editors are all rich enough and talented enough and sane enough to make it work? It might have a chance.

I'm rich. I'm talented. I'm sane. I'd sign up in a heartbeat.

I certainly appreciate the original goal, where Featured Article actually meant something in terms of how you measured whether an encyclopedia is resulting from your collective efforts, both as a small topic team and a large community. The bugs having ensured that effort has become a long forgotten strategic goal of Teh Community.

Imagining Jess Wade writing a Featured Article is like imagining a dog learning to play a guitar. Never gonna happen. Doesn't even know what one is for. And she's already considered one of Wikipedia's best. An ambassador! The dumb bitch probably still doesn't even know what a Featured Article is, and probably wouldn't even care if she did. You need solid sourcing for a Featured Article.

She long ago thought she was already Admin material though, as well as one of the best editors. There's your bug, in live action. How is that even possible, that level of utter delusion, without fatal contamination of the experiment? She is one giant turd in a punch bowl already a deep brown colour due to the 99% turd concentration.

To measure how fucked Wikipedia is, how far they have fallen from their original goal, imagine this. If she applied for Admin tomorrow, would she have a chance? You just don't know, these days, do you? They're pretty desperate, and she has lots of people who will support her regardless, simply because she is good PR, including current Admins.

But I'm also smart enough to know how rare I am. And that even a perfect Wikipedia, has got to be pretty damn good to distract me from even the most mundane of ordinary hobbies, if not just life itself.

I would not work with people like Beyond My Ken, Bishonen or Jess Wade.

People like me exist to keep people like that away from normal society. The mental cases, fascists and delusional dimwits, they will have to wait for Star Trek to become a reality, before they can they be each individually validated with a seat at the table, as if their lives mean something.

Right now, it's still my Century.

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Re: Kelly Martin doesn't know the difference between a bug and a feature

Post by ericbarbour » Thu May 06, 2021 1:20 am

Jake Is A Sellout wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 1:55 am
By initially trusting that this system could be overseen by unqualified fucksticks like Kelly Martin, the failure of Wikipedia was assured.

(be careful, she might agree with you)

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