Monday, June 23, 2008

Durova's Blog

Durova is a Wikipedian who also writes a blog about Wikipedia.

Last Thursday, she posted an interesting blog entry entitled, The Lucifer Effect.

Here is my comment, appended to other comments at her blog...

Durova writes:

"Some Wikipedians get sucked into the minutiae of personalities and diffs while others regard it as an ethical responsibility to avoid all drama."

This is an interesting and insightful observation about the extremes of a continuous axis of possible responses ranging from those who habitually engage in scandal-mongering to those who habitually engage in peace-making practices. Of course, as Durova's reference to the Fundamental Attribution Error points out, most people are generally not well-modeled by pegging them at either extremity of any given behavioral axis.

For an example of scandal-mongering (albeit not necessarily habitual), see this fascinating page from the Static Wikipedia.

For an example of an analytical model that suggests a better peace-making practice that avoids WikiDrama, see this adaptation of Girard's Model of Competiton, Conflict, and Violence. In this case, it might be necessary to migrate to the Mirth Model. Sometimes levity is the best medicine. This is probably one of those times.

Regarding the issue about finding a way for outcasts from the English Wikipedia to return to an editing role within the English Wikipedia Community, I've taken a middle ground position. I've stated that I am not interested in editing mainspace articles on the English Wikipedia unless and until the site can see its way clear to establish a more collegial and congenial operating environment, more hospitable to academics like myself and Ottava Rima.

If that Age of Comity is not soon forthcoming, then I ask for something less. I ask first of all for the English Wikipedia to give me back my good name. If it is the custom of the English Wikipedia to take away editing privileges from members of the established academic community and culture, I can accept that as a defining feature of the prevailing culture and practices of the English Wikipedia. But there is no need to take away the good name of distinguished academics like Carl Hewitt (or considerably less distinguished academics like Jon Awbrey or myself). I secondly ask the English Wikipedia to give me back the longstanding GFDL content which Toddst1 hastily and summarily deleted without just cause from my userspace subpages.

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