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"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." — Albert Einstein (discuss)

The name of an article on Hedonism edit

I created article "Hedonism (Polansky)" and it was moved to Hedonism/Polansky. I feel unhappy with the new name. What troubles me, I think, is that it gives the impression that there is a larger work or project "Hedonism" and there is a part of it called "Polansky". Whereas my idea was that I published an article on hedonism called "Hedonism", and since I felt I should not occupy the "Hedonism" headword for my work, I used "(Polansky)" for disambiguation.

The following changes come to mine:

  • Name it "Hedonism (Polansky)" again, where the brackets are inspired by Wikipedia article name convention.
  • Name it "Hedonism - Polansky" if preferred.
  • Name it "Hedonism by Polansky" if preferred.
  • Name it "One man's look at hedonism": thus, use ever so slightly original title to make sure the title "Hedonism" is not occupied.

What do you think? Any other proposals? --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 11:35, 2 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Dan Polansky Hedonism/Polansky is the accepted approach. We don't name main space resources after users except as subpages. And since "One man's look at hedonism" is still a resource on hedonism, that, too, would be moved to where the page is now. If you'd prefer to rename it, you are welcome to do so, but the location is correct as currently published.
I suppose your other option would be to work with the WikiJournal of Humanities to have it accepted and published there.
Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:33, 2 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. So let me see: would "One man's look at hedonism" be placed to "Hedonism/One man's look at hedonism"? If so, why would one use subpaging when there is categorization for the purpose? I looked around a bit to see what the practice is, and I found e.g. "C language in plain view" not placed at "C language/C language in plain view", and there is "The necessities in Microprocessor Based System Design", not "System Design/The necessities in Microprocessor Based System Design" or the like. The thing is, "Hedonism/One man's look at hedonism" looks kind of clumsy. As clumsy as it looks, it is perhaps better than "Hedonism/Polansky" for the reasons stated: it looks as if there is chapter called "Polansky" or something.
As for WikiJournal of Humanities, that seems too much of a challenge to me; that would require addressing issuess found in a review and committing time and attention to address the issues.
Since you seem rather opposed to "Hedonism (Polansky)", would "One man's look at hedonism" be acceptable even if dispreferred? Or would at least "Hedonism/One man's look at hedonism" be acceptable even if dispreferred? --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 14:26, 2 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
C language in plain view and The necessities in Microprocessor Based System Design are both complete, real-world courses taught by a prolific Wikiversity user with 43,000 edits. That's probably not the best comparison for this resource. If you're planning to develop a real-world course on hedonism, please move the page to Draft: space so you can begin your development work.
We don't have any main space pages named after users. If you happen to find one, please let us know and it will be addressed immediately. As indicated above, "If you'd prefer to rename it, you are welcome to do so, but the location is correct as currently published."
Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:05, 2 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I renamed/moved this to One man's look at hedonism since it addresses my concern and seems acceptable. (I did not mean to imply that my short article that hardly anyone is going to read, I am afraid, is comparable in scope, extent and quality to "C language in plain view"; I was merely looking at naming practice.) --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 06:50, 12 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Using Templates from Wikipedia edit

I can do interwiki link of article by prefixing w: and s: for wikipedia and wikisource, respectively, but how do I use an existing wikipedia template? If not technically supported, can a lua macro be made to enable this?

Many of the original research projects and course curriculums that I'm composing, will be arrangements of existing wikisource texts and wikipedia articles - "choose your own adventures" guides through material thats mostly already present. For example - User:Jaredscribe/Comparative_law

Suggestions? Thanks, Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 22:53, 15 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not currently possible. There are outstanding requests for this functionality (e.g. phab:T11890 and phab:T121470), but I wouldn't hold my breath.
In the meantime, I'd recommend that you copy the necessary templates over, or ask a curator to import them for you. It's likely that you'll have to make changes to the template content anyway, e.g. to add interwiki prefixes to links. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 00:46, 16 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the advice and phabricator requests @Omphalographer.
I did what you suggested and copied a template over, making changes as needed. Here: Template:Professional_responsibility
I was able to include it on my user subpage's course reading list.
Is this adequate, or is anything other curation needed? Thanks for the help.
Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 01:47, 21 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you trying to transclude, like <nowiki>{{w:Disbarment|Disbarment}}? I am as well. Copying pages from Wikipedia seems to be counter-wiki-thinking... I'm trying to pull the section before the first header of wikipedia pages (using {{#lsth:}}) into lecture notes and eventually slides, see User:Stevesuny/sandbox/Conversation/Welcome Stevesuny (discusscontribs) 14:20, 26 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No history Journal? edit

I was thinking about writing a few pages about various topics of history, when I found out there is no History Journal, can I still publish history related pages? Crainsaw (discusscontribs) 08:49, 18 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is WikiJournal of Humanities, but it's pretty dormant. —Justin (koavf)TCM 10:14, 18 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps you could reactivate it, Crainsaw! Contributor118,784 Let's talk 13:02, 6 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question about userpage storage edit

Hello. I attempted storing research on my Wikipedia userpage, but my entire userspace was speedy deleted due to Wikipedia:WP:U5 and Wikipedia:WP:NOTWEBHOST.

I was wondering if I would be free to safely store research on User:Indexcard88 (Wikiversity)?

Thanks, Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 18:49, 25 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Neither this project nor Wikipedia are free hosting, but if you have relevant content, there's an indefinite (not infinite) amount of information you can save in the userspace. Do you have in mind content to add to Wikiversity? —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:05, 25 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Could you verify if both Wikiversity and Wikipedia are publicly, freely and universally collaborative websites? I could see how someone could view using Wikiversity or Wikipedia for taking notes, or as a research journal, might be seen as taking advantage of either platform. Could you link to a similar rule to Wikipedia:WP:NOTWEBHOST that is on Wikiversity? If not, would I be able to archive notes on my userpage? Thanks again. Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 20:04, 25 June 2023 (UTC) ...' To clarify, I was hoping to add content to Wikiversity by archiving notes similar to a research journal. Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 20:16, 25 June 2023 (UTC) ... I will go ahead and wait, before doing that, until we agree that it's OK to do that. If you don't agree, still, why is that? Or how could we resolve to an agreement? Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 20:23, 25 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could you verify if both Wikiversity and Wikipedia are publicly, freely and universally collaborative websites? No. Both Wikipedia and Wikiversity have specific, defined purposes; they are not public sandboxes. Please see Wikiversity:What is Wikiversity? and Wikiversity:Scope for an overview of what Wikiversity's intended scope and purpose is.
To clarify, I was hoping to add content to Wikiversity by archiving notes similar to a research journal. This is probably a better fit for a personal notebook or a text file on your computer, not a page on a public web site. If your notes progress to the point of a publishable research article, though, you could potentially publish that through the WikiJournal group.
Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 21:19, 25 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't completely understand your reply to this, with respect to the mission of free information.Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 21:24, 25 June 2023 (UTC) ... I am including the research statement on the article you referenced: Wikiversity:What_is_Wikiversity?#Wikiversity_for_researching Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 21:36, 25 June 2023 (UTC) ... I am storing research information on Indexcard88 Archive which is not under my userpage. Thanks.Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 21:20, 25 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Indexcard88: our community is small, and we are all too busy to write the detailed policy rules you see on Wikipedia. I for one, support allowing any editor to host education materials indefinitely, with certain restrictions. Here is my effort to outline what those restrictions might be:

  1. All copyright laws must be scrupulously obeyed, and anything that might be interpreted as slander or harmful to any person or organization must be deleted.
  2. Any material that the community deems to be pseudoscience or other falsification of established truth must be clearly labeled as such. Certain other types of material should be banned as inappropriate: Advocation of hate or self harm needs to be controlled, for example. All commercial efforts must be deleted, as should anything deemed by the community to be in "bad taste" (pornography, offensive humor,...)
  3. The general rule is that no incoming links from Wikiversity pages are allowed. In other words, you cannot place a link to your userdpace on a Wikiversity article or resource. We should extend this restriction beyond Wikiversity to any page on the internet. Any such link to your Wikiversity user space publicly reflects on Wikiversity itself.
  4. There needs to be some limit regarding how much material can be stored and how long it is allowed to remain in your userspace. I see no reason why a 8 year old child can't start an educational journal in user space that continues until their education ends. And, education ceases only when you are brain dead. I am 72 years old and I am still learning and documenting my efforts in userspace and draftspace.
  5. Anything that raises objections by the WMF must be removed immediately and without unnecessary debate or discussion. They pay our bills, and that gives them veto power over all our efforts.

We are all to some extent qualified to opine and debate what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate material. But few of us are qualified to set limits on how much or how long material is allowed to remain on userspace. Useless gigabytes of meaningless data incurs costs that I know nothing about calculating, or even estimating:

  1. Storage space must be paid for and maintained by the WMF, and no discussion of "how much" or "how long" material should be allowed must be coordinated with a representative of the WMF.
  2. Wikiversity pages are patrolled by a few brave volunteers, and their requests need to be honored. For example, material in your userspace will contain links to templates and mainspace pages. Your use of these templates and links to mainspace is documented in the "What links here" sidebar, and therefore interferes with the maintenance of those resources. A related issue involves lint errors, which also might Wikiversity maintenance.
  3. Even though we can "hide" userspace from Google search, we cannot prohibit websites from linking into Wikiversity. Links to bad Wikiversity pages hurt our reputation, which in turn dissuades both readers and contributors from using Wikiversity.

The establishment of restrictions on userspace is a complex subject, and what I wrote above is almost certain to contain omissions and errors, but this might be a good place to begin a discission. It is an important topic for those who wish to see Wikiversity thrive and expand, for the simple reason that we might be able to attract talented scholars by offering them free and unlimited workspace for their efforts. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 22:25, 25 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For context, some of the content this user was storing on their Wikipedia user page can be viewed in their deletion logs. It is my opinion that this content would be equally out of scope on Wikiversity, whether in user space or otherwise. While the definition of "research" is hazy, a collection of messages like "Poop is amazing, and my mom does it every day" are clearly not it. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 23:40, 25 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would ask how much liberty I have in what I include in a research journal, or why omission of data would be scientific.Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 01:06, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Indexcard88: The titles in the aforementioned deletion logs suggest that you should create a free account using Google documents and post the material there. Wikiversity userspace is hidden from Google searches. In contrast, Google documents can be accessed by the general public if they are placed in shared mode (this link shows how.)--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:53, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not seeing what you're referring to. Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 04:49, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Indexcard88: According to Wikiversity:Request_custodian_action#Massive_resource_renaming_suggestion_for_those_named_after_Wikiversity_users (Special:diff/2479188), Indexcard88 Archive may not be an acceptable title in mainspace and might be renamed/moved to user space. If there is no objection or renaming by the author, then I may move the pages in the next few days. MathXplore (discusscontribs) 04:15, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just delete it.
Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 04:44, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With respect to special:diff/2532969 by the author, I finished the renaming without redirect. Since I'm not sure if the discussion has ended or not, I thought the content should remain visible at userspace for now. For deletion requests from others, please use WV:RFD. MathXplore (discusscontribs) 07:31, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. I am available on Discord on the Wikimedia Community Server.
Wikimedia account verification:
Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 10:28, 29 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Userpage storage, revisited edit

By now I think we have a fairly representative sample of what form Indexcard88's "information research" takes. Here's a couple examples for reference:

It is my considered opinion that this is not an appropriate use for Wikiversity. While Wikiversity's definition of research is, by design, broad, it does expect research to be a "systematic process of inquiry aimed at discovering, interpreting and revising knowledge". This haphazard collection of web searches, links to Wikipedia pages, and bizarre religious musings (e.g. "God, I sinned by using the bathroom") clearly does not fit that definition. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 19:12, 24 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I personally do not see any educational value or means of interactive learning in these documents and it may be best for Indexcard88 to put these writings in a Word Doc or a Google Doc. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 15:56, 25 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Per abuse filter log, I also agree to your opinions. MathXplore (discusscontribs) 05:13, 26 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have seen many external links at their user pages, I'm afraid to mention that they may violate Wikiversity:External links and may be declared as spamming. MathXplore (discusscontribs) 05:02, 26 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have sent this discussion to a Computer & Information Science alumni associate with Messiah College (Messiah University) to ask how I should respond.
Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 17:43, 26 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excuse me, is there any reason that you cannot reply by yourself? Does Messiah University have any relation to your creations? MathXplore (discusscontribs) 05:20, 27 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not continuing to use Wikiversity right now. Indexcard88 (discusscontribs) 14:55, 29 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Podbrushkin (discusscontribs) 11:53, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Podbrushkin (discusscontribs) 11:54, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. I fully agree! Blake Contributor118,784 Let's talk 14:44, 6 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WorkmarketBot persmission request edit

Hi all. I'm jut flagging the bot application for User:WorkmarketBot request (at Wikiversity:Bots/Status#WorkmarketBot) just to make sure those intersted have seen it. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 04:46, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Announcing the new Elections Committee members edit

You can find this message translated into additional languages on Meta-wiki.

Hello there,

We are glad to announce the new members and advisors of the Elections Committee. The Elections Committee assists with the design and implementation of the process to select Community- and Affiliate-Selected trustees for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. After an open nomination process, the strongest candidates spoke with the Board and four candidates were asked to join the Elections Committee. Four other candidates were asked to participate as advisors.

Thank you to all the community members who submitted their names for consideration. We look forward to working with the Elections Committee in the near future.

On behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees,

RamzyM (WMF) 18:00, 28 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this a good wikiversity project? edit

I suspect there may be another place to post this message, but haven't found it quite yet. I've created a project that describes a combination of a wikiversity project, a wikibook and a class. Does this seem like an appropriate use of wikiversity? Stevesuny (discusscontribs) 19:42, 13 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Strictly from the standpoint of if this is appropriate, I think it definitely is and I hope you're successful. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:19, 13 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. Wikiversity is, in my opinion, a wonderful project, and I'm proud to be a volunteer for it. Contributor118,784 Let's talk 13:01, 6 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks! Much appreciated. Stevesuny (discusscontribs) 17:55, 6 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're very welcome! Contributor118,784 Let's talk 18:15, 6 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deploying the Phonos in-line audio player to your Wiki edit


Apologies if this message is not in your language, ⧼Please help translate⧽ to your language.

This wiki will soon be able to use the inline audio player implemented by the Phonos extension. This is part of fulfilling a wishlist proposal of providing audio links that play on click.

With the inline audio player, you can add text-to-speech audio snippets to wiki pages by simply using a tag:

<phonos file="audio file" label="Listen"/>

The above tag will show the text next to a speaker icon, and clicking on it will play the audio instantly without taking you to another page. A common example where you can use this feature is in adding pronunciation to words as illustrated on the English Wiktionary below.

{{audio|en|En-uk-English.oga|Audio (UK)}}

Could become:

<phonos file="En-uk-English.oga" label="Audio (UK)"/>

The inline audio player will be available in your wiki in 2 weeks time; in the meantime, we would like you to read about the features and give us feedback or ask questions about it in this talk page.

Thank you!

UOzurumba (WMF), on behalf of the Foundation's Language team

02:26, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

Does anyone know if "scary transclusion" is enabled on Wikiversity? edit$wgEnableScaryTranscluding describes this feature as allowing transclusion of pages from other sites. Stevesuny (discusscontribs) 17:18, 27 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No. See Special:Version. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:11, 27 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think we need some parameters for Wikidebates edit

Sophivorus (talk • email • contribs • stats • logs • global account) has put for a lot of effort to build out the Wikidebate learning project, including the Category:Wikidebate templates, etc. He has also been more-or-less personally responsible for Wikidebate/Guidelines. This page mostly contains formal or stylistic guidelines about what makes a stronger or weaker argument, avoiding personal pronouns, etc. What it does not discuss is the kind of things that can or should be debated in the first place. I am not asking are wikidebates a good thing?, but we need to have stronger guidelines on what is a topic of debate and I think that lacking some of our existing wikidebates are inappropriate. Just asking questions like "Can slaves feel pain when whipped?" or "Should women be considered persons?" are not matters of a discussion of values or abstract issues that we can discuss in a rational way. Similarly, Is slavery good? is not an open debate that I think we should host. Similarly, factual questions like Was 9/11 an inside job? or Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? are not fruitful debates that are actually learning exercises but are matters of crackpottery and idle speculation. I guess I'm pleasantly surprised that Do vaccines cause autism? and Does Hilary Clinton eat children? are redlinks for now, but I'd like to formalize it so that they will remain that way and that outrageous and non-factual debate topics are not given free hosting space from the WMF.

  1. Do others see a problem with the guidelines only containing stylistic advice and nothing about the actual content of the debates?
  2. If so, what kind of things are acceptable and not acceptable for debate?

I'm inclined that for the latter, we could agree that simple questions of fact are not open for debate, so vaccines causing autism, gravity existing, subluxations causing deafness, etc. are not actual debates and they do not qualify for being hosted here as a Wikidebate. As for the more deranged wingnut debates, I think we should have an aggressive application of the Universal Code of Conduct that stops us from asking if it's cool to enslave humans or if Jews have rights, etc. Thoughts? —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:57, 29 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I share these concerns, and I'd add that an unfortunate number of the currently extant Wikidebates fall into one or more of the following problematic categories:
Perhaps a good starting point would be: what would we consider a good Wikidebate? (Are there any?) What are the characteristics which make it that way? What makes this presentation superior to an encyclopedic treatment of a contested topic?
In addition, I would strongly recommend that the {{Vote}} template (e.g. Was 9/11 an inside job?#Votes) be deprecated and removed. If the goal of a debate is to compile arguments, then those arguments should stand on their own - soliciting the "votes" of readers is, at best, a distraction.
Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 00:46, 30 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi! I think we should be very careful about guidelines that prevent debates only because the answer may seem obvious to us. If an idea is absurd, evil or insane, I'd rather just let it get brutally demolished by piles of arguments. Some of the debates being questioned here are also some of the most consulted, which reminds us that some of our readers are wildly different from us. I personally know people who believe that vaccines are dangerous, that the Catholic Apostolic religion is superior, that the COVID pandemic was a conspiracy, that we never reached the moon, and many other things I consider absurd. Even I was once sympathetic with 9/11 conspiracy theories and with the efforts to colonize Mars, but have slowly changed my mind thanks to the debates. Other people may go through a similar process while reading a debate about something they are interested in. I think there lies much of the value of this project, and that sets it apart from Wikipedia, where original content is not allowed and everything must be given due weight (thankfully). We should not silence false, insane, absurd or evil ideas. Quite the contrary, we should write exhaustively about all the reasons why they are so. @Koavf As to the Universal Code of Conduct, I'm not sure what you mean, perhaps point 3.3.3? Surely having debates about offensive topics is not the same as being offensive. Even Wikipedia has articles about Proslavery thought, 9/11 conspiracy theories, Child euthanasia, etc. That being said, we should definitely strive to edit arguments and rename debates to make their language ever more neutral, clear and sober.
@Omphalographer I agree about the Votes section. It was an experiment and it failed, so I just removed it from all wikidebates. The Template:Vote may still be useful elsewhere on Wikiversity, I think.
Ping to @Dan Polansky who contributed a lot to the project and may want to be aware of this conversation or voice an opinion.
Perhaps we should start a Wikidebate about whether or not to enforce some content guidelines?
Kind regards, Sophivorus (discusscontribs) 19:43, 31 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I generally agree with Sophivorus for the reasons he presented. I stand by all the debates I created. I do not see a need for debate content policy at this point, except perhaps such obvious things such as that a debate should not be created if there is nothing to be debated. I will make some initial notes and perhaps write more later.
I considered the possible dangers of debates in Are wikidebates a good thing?; however, some of the arguments would be more fit for a more specific debate, like Should topics for wikidebates be censored? or something of the sort. Since, I felt rather uncomfortable when writing some of the debates; I remember feeling vaguely horrified when writing Is aggressive war of territorial expansion good?. In Are wikidebates a good thing? and during creation of debates, I convinced myself that the debates provide a fascinating window into human mind and the argument spaces, and that the risk of harm, if any, is no greater than the likely benefit. In the debates, bad arguments are countered with counterarguments. To be countered, the bad arguments need to be stated. The debates can act as a form of cognitive psychotherapy: things people all too often think are stated rather than being censored and then countered with some of the best arguments one can find. Let me make one quote from that debate: "In Sea-Wolf, Jack London presents the philosophy of Wolf Larsen, a captain who sees no value in human life except to serve his needs and whims and explains why he thinks so. It is not a defense of that kind of philosophy but an implicit criticism of it. This is one more little confirmation that evil ideas and arguments are easily found and authors are not afraid of exposing them."
As for Should infanticide be legal?, there is philosopher Peter Singer who argues that it should be legal in some rare cases if I understand him correctly; I did not know that before I created the debate. Moreover, the debate can be an attempt to understand cultures that do approve of infanticide: what are possibly the arguments that they use to justify such practice? And if a person does kill a newborn, what is it that can be going on in their head? The page could even serve as a form of therapy for someone considering to kill a newborn, by providing counterarguments that the person would not come up with on their own. Moreover, it is interesting to compare the arguments found in Should infanticide be legal? and in Should abortion be legal? and ask: what is it that makes the event of birth morally significant? I for one think to have learned something by having created the debate, and the hope is that the readers also learn something of value.
As for Is the 2022 Russian military operation in Ukraine justified?, I don't see how it "inherently favor a specific point of view". Both implied motions, the affirmative and the negative, are equally represented: there is a support section and an oppose section and the sections have the same features, none being given an advantage over the other. If well done and translated into Russian, such a debate could perhaps serve as a counter-propaganda. The debate also makes it very clear that the West is for the most part not like Russia in that open debate is allowed in the West rather than being censored.
As for Does God exist? (not created by me), I do not see a problem. It does not matter all that much whether someone thinks it cannot be answered; what matters is the exploration of the argument space. If there were no interesting arguments in that space, the debate would be no good, but there are in fact interesting arguments, whether conclusive or less conclusive. Paradoxically, questions that do have clear and unequivocal answers that are not culturally relative are less suited for a debate.
As for Do vaccines cause autism?, I think it is a good debate to be created. Since, there seems to be a widespread belief among all too many that it is so, and it is valuable to examine their arguments and neutralize them with counterarguments. This question is asked e.g. at and; surely WebMD and CDC do not think they are discussing the unspeakable or causing harm.
As for Are metaphors a good thing?, I am not sure what the problem is supposed to be. I like what I have discovered while creating the debate. There is some criticism of the use of metaphor in the English-speaking philosophy that I am vaguely aware of yet failed to find online, and I would wish to add it to the debate after I find it. I do not see any harm the debate could make. If someone finds the topic uninteresting, they will not read the debate. It is true that "good" is somewhat vague and can be relativized ("good" for what?), but it does not seem to diminish the value of the debate.
As for Is philosophy any good?, some say philosophy is no good, and the debate is an attempt at a rebuttal, good or less good attempt.
As for Is slavery good?, Aristotle thought so. I do not think discussing this topic is off limits in the academic world. There is something to be learned from examining the relevant argument space. And as Sophivorus pointed out, there is Wikipedia: Proslavery thought article, with many more page views than Is slavery good?.
On another note, there is Wikisource: Author:Adolf Hitler, hosting Hitler's speeches in English. Surely those who entered those speeches do not endorse them and do not try to be offensive. Similarly, by entering arguments into a debate, one does not endorse them.
--Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 08:40, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The perspective "Well, someone thinks [x], therefore, it's something worth debating" is a ridiculous position, as literally anything you can imagine would probably be believed by someone. It is not a debate whether or not vaccines cause autism anymore than they cause earthquakes. —Justin (koavf)TCM 08:51, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did not say "someone thinks X" (at least 1 person thinks X) but rather "all too many think X". Thus, debating vaccines link to autism seems worthwhile, and I would not be surprised finding respectable journalists and scientists having debated the proposition at some point. I do not know of anyone ever proposing that vaccines cause earthquakes, whereas the putative link between vaccines and autism was seriously discussed in the media. If I am right in thinking that all too many people still believe that vaccines cause autism, it would seem worthwhile to try to examine their arguments and try to neutralize them with counterarguments. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 08:57, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I found Does Vaccination Increase the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder?, 2022. If one considered the question 100% settled and free from being debated (such as that blood circulates in humans and that it is pumped by heart), the article would not have been published in the first place, I think. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 09:07, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sure I can find someone who has published something on the Internet arguing that Jews are subhuman. That does not mean that this is a live debate. By having that debate, you validate that anti-Semitism is a somehow reasonable position to be debated. It's not. Speeches by Hitler have historical importance. Contemporary Nazi rambling does not. We are presently hosting debates that I believe contradict the UCoC and should not be here. —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:48, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As for the above-debated subject of the potential vaccine debate (not created yet), I linked to what appears to be a scientific article in a scientific journal, a more specific venue than "somewhere on the Internet".
I don't think that debates validate any position. They examine argument spaces. They are a certain kind of studies in anthropology and argumentation theory. The question "Do vaccines cause autism?" does not examine all that much whether vaccines cause autism but rather how do people think about these kinds of questions and what can be said to neutralize faulty thinking; it is not so much part of vaccinology (if that is a thing) as anthropology, epistelomogy and argumentation theory. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 10:18, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will add that a serious student of philosophy will run into highly problematic ideas and arguments. Heraclitus taught that war is the father of all things or something of the sort. Aristotle taught that slavery is good. Hegel taught that in order to enter into existence, a nation has to try to exterminate or subjugate other nations, if one believes Popper. To be serious about philosophy, one has to not only learn what the philosophers thought but rather seriously explore the argument spaces, overcoming the fear that what is to be found there is highly distasteful or disconcerting. Examining epistemology is a dangerous thing; if one arrives at a wrong answer about how one knows things, one may as a consequence find oneself believing all sorts of nonsense. If one studies Marxism, one learns ideas that can lead to catastrophic consequences, which has actually happened and may yet happen again since there is no shortage of Marxists and neo-Marxists. Philosophy is dangerous. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 10:33, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Heidegger was an unrepentant Nazi and Kant wrote atrociously racist things. Whether or not someone was serious or smart about certain ideas and whether or not those are ideas that we should give credence to as something worth debating are two different things. Grotesquely bigoted and wildly unscientific ideas are not based in logic, so they are not refuted by logic. —Justin (koavf)TCM 11:14, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok guys, I think we're all experienced enough to know we won't reach an agreement at this point. Perhaps we should let the dust settle and let others voice their opinions, and if nothing comes out of it, bring it up to the UCoC committee or similar. Kind regards, Sophivorus (discusscontribs) 14:01, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Koavf Hi! It's been three weeks already and no one else has participated. Shall we bring this up to the UCoC committee then? Sophivorus (discusscontribs) 00:02, 23 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reckon so, actually. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:46, 23 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Koavf Looking at wmf:Policy:Universal Code of Conduct/Enforcement guidelines and meta:Universal Code of Conduct/U4C Building Committee#Timeline, it seems like the relevant UCoC committee is still being formed. Should we wait for it? Would you like to suggest some other authority? Or what? Kind regards, Sophivorus (discusscontribs) 12:28, 24 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point. I guess we can wait until November. —Justin (koavf)TCM 15:44, 24 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disengaged from this debate not because I ran out of arguments (I hardly ever do) but rather because it seemed better to let other people join the debate if they wish before it gets overcrowded by me. I am a tireless debater, but that is not always for the best.
What specific point of UCoC is alleged to be violated by the debates? --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 18:28, 27 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
E.g. we need to avoid bias, so having "debates" about if it's totally cool to kill certain classes of human beings is not acceptable. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:01, 27 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What specific section (section number) of UCoC do you have in mind? --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 07:40, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To be specific, section 3.3 of the UCoC specifically forbids:
Presenting debates like Is slavery good? whose effective purpose is to air viewpoints which are inherently discriminatory - for instance, that "some people are slaves by nature" - is, at best, treading very close to this line. It is more appropriate to discuss these viewpoints at an arm's length, rather than airing them in a way which can be interpreted as support. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 21:19, 27 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. I think the mistake here is to think that presentation of arguments in a debate is their support; a header used in the debate pages can be expanded to disclaim this notion, e.g. "The arguments for the motion are not endorsed by Wikiversity". In what way is Is slavery good? airing views that are not being aired in W:Proslavery thought?
The further reading contains some interesting links
Does anyone really think that the purpose of, say,, is to air objectionable views and lend them support?
I am not sure I understand the phrase effective purpose; the real purpose of a debate page is to use a debate format as an alternative to monologue to document, examine and neutralize arguments and ideas. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 07:18, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the mistake here is to think that presentation of arguments in a debate is their support - The problem is, in fact, that the format of a wikidebate makes this a very easy mistake to make. When a debate is presented by posing a morally indefensible question like "is slavery good", placing the supporting arguments at the top of the discussion makes it appear that those arguments are an answer to the question, and that they are answering it in the positive. Using green icons for each   Argument for and yellow and red icons for each   Objection or   Argument against worsens the problem by making the arguments "for" appear to be marked as correct, and the counterarguments marked as incorrect.
Since you designed the debate format, you will no doubt object that these are very unlikely misconceptions and that no reasonable person would read the page this way. I counter that they are, in fact, very easy mistakes to make. The vast majority of visitors to Wikiversity, and particularly to keyword-heavy pages like these, are not familiar with the site, nor with the conventions of a wikidebate. Many visitors will skip past the "annoying" banner explaining the debate to read the content, and will leave the site after reading the first few arguments for a position, without scrolling down to read the arguments against it. The structure of a debate, as it stands now, inherently places the "support" arguments on a pedestal.
This is, incidentally, precisely the reason why I removed the lead argument in Was 9/11 an inside job?. At nearly 800 words, this filibuster of an argument forced every single objection onto the second or third page of the debate, making it appear that the entire page was in support of its position.
I'll reiterate that I feel that debates are best understood by discussing them at an arm's length, not by reënacting them. This is particularly true in the case of "hot-button" debates about social or political issues, where it is often critical not only to know what the arguments are, but who first put forth those arguments, and to what ends. Simply reciting an argument loses these critical nuances.
What this means for the Wikidebate format, I'm not sure. But something needs to change.
Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 08:28, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am sorry to say that, but to my mind, the above is a list of mostly false or at least unobvious statements. Above all, it treats the readers as little children with no intellectual and moral responsibility who cannot figure out that arguments against are as important as arguments for, although the two groups are highlighted by there being separate sections for them. It argues that content being placed visually before another content is making it seem that content is more important, which logically makes no sense; before one has seriously examined the arguments for and against, how would one know that the for-side is the better one?
Specifically, as for 'Many visitors will skip past the "annoying" banner explaining the debate to read the content, and will leave the site after reading the first few arguments for a position, without scrolling down to read the arguments against it.' That is absurd, while it may be true for some visitors. If a visitor is genuinely interested in a topic and likes debates, why would the visitor ignore most of the debate? And if they are not interested, are they genuinely going to be convinced after a very cursory look at a page in whose content they are not genuinely interested? That makes no sense to me. A visitor of a debate who only reads/listens to arguments for their favorite side and ignores the opposition, although one purpose of a debate is to hear both sides, is probably beyond redemption and perhaps a result of a failed educational system.
Are you interested in debates? What is your favorite debate on YouTube, if any? What do you find worthwhile about your favorite debate? --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 08:57, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More for the record, I did not design the argument format for Wikiversity; I discovered it and fell in love with it. Many years ago, I fell in love with a dialogue format for doing philosophy after my attempts to use monologue paired with defects/issues raised against it led to results that I found lacking. I have no stakes in the icons being used; for me, the debate works reasonably well without any icons (although I do not find the icons particularly problematic). --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 09:07, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More on the "arguments for dominate" argument, I can easily turn "Is slavery good?" into "Is slavery bad?", basically swapping the support and oppose sections. I doubt it would help deal with your concerns, although it would address the (arguably incorrect) argument that arguments for dominate. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 09:14, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As for "who first put forth those arguments, and to what ends", that seems logically irrelevant; the logical/epistemic force of an argument does not depend on who made the argument, and what their purpose was. Yes, there is a school of doing philosophy that emphasizes history and persons, but there is a sizeable opposition to that school, and I for one find myself rather on the side of the opposition. The opposition proposes to focus on philosophical problems and conjectures and refutations concerning proposed solutions to these problems. (Although, I have no written a debate on this yet, so I should not really think anything; alas, the sceptical discipline is failing again.) --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 10:46, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I now added a disclaimer to Is slavery good?: "Disclaimer: The arguments for the motion do not represent the view of Wikiversity. Wikiversity editors do not assert that slavery is good, just, morally acceptable or that some people are slaves by nature. The purpose of this page is to examine arguments in a debate format, including arguments one disagrees with."
I think the disclaimer was kind of obvious, but it does not harm. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 07:30, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Koavf, and also Sophivorus and Dan Polansky.
"I am not asking are wikidebates a good thing?, but we need to have stronger guidelines on what is a topic of debate and I think that lacking some of our existing wikidebates are inappropriate. Just asking questions like "Can slaves feel pain when whipped?" or "Should women be considered persons?" are not matters of a discussion of values or abstract issues that we can discuss in a rational way. Similarly, Is slavery good? is not an open debate that I think we should host."
They're certainly stupid questions, but I'm equally certain there's a rational answer to all of them.
"Similarly, factual questions like Was 9/11 an inside job? or Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? are not fruitful debates that are actually learning exercises but are matters of crackpottery and idle speculation.".
I beg to differ. For example, the insider trading on 9/10/01 is a matter of public record and certainly worth discussing. Abusus non tollit usum. Your statement here is essentially a bid for censorship contingent upon question-begging criteria like what "we" can or cannot have a "rational discussion" about. I have some misgivings about the wikidebate format, but disagree strongly that some topics must be verboten because someone made a few asinine wikidebates like "Is slavery good". AP295 (discusscontribs)
And we see this sort of circular reasoning far too often. It's given a thin, facile veneer of legitimacy when applied against a copious supply of strawmen like "can slaves feel pain when whipped?", typically using words like irrational, unfruitful, crackpottery, idle speculation, outrageous, non-factual. Rather than trying to defend any given viewpoint against someone's capricious (read: convenient) definition of what is or isn't "rational", It's probably best to just point out that this is question begging. Otherwise people get into the habit of accepting/using bad logic. AP295 (discusscontribs)
What circular reasoning? —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:58, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The parts I quoted, obviously. I suppose next you'll ask "how are they circular?", which I've already explained. AP295 (discusscontribs)
Writing out the circular logic is not a difficult task. You purported that I begged the question. Which conclusion did I assume in an argument? —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:13, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've said what I have to say. The reader can make up their mind about who's correct. You should consider letting them do the same. I'll skip getting drawn into the sprawling, back-and-forth pedantry that this would no doubt turn into, littering up the page with semantic dickery and obscuring my original point. AP295 (discusscontribs)
It would have been easier to just substantiate your baseless claim than to ramble like this. In the future, if you have nothing to offer, then offer nothing. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:48, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incidentally I have a few comments about the format, and I'll start by including some of what I wrote on the Wikidebate talk page (how do I link sections without the full URL?): I have caution about this format of itemized or sequential argument, which is also encouraged in this resource: "Split distinct arguments ― If one argument is essentially two, split them apart. Keeping them separate will enrich the debate, allow others to object to each argument independently and prevent unnecessary confusion." Suppose P(A|B),P(A|C),P(A|D),P(A|E) are all relatively small but P(A|B,C,D,E)=.99, Person 1 provides evidence B, Person 2 concludes that P(A|B) is small and assigning them "winner" suggests that P(A|B) = P(A), and so on until P(A|B,C,D,E) is reduced to merely the prior P(A). Exactly how much this factors into a reader's impression, I do not know. However, it's interesting to consider for example that the overwhelming majority of people fail to answer the original three-door Monte Hall problem correctly. Paul Erdős got it wrong and wouldn't accept the answer until he verified it experimentally. On the other hand, if you tell someone there's a thousand doors and 9998 are opened, even most laymen can get it right. I don't think we should underestimate the question of formatting. Not to labor the point, but it shows how a very slight difference in wording something even as concrete as a math question can make the difference between fooling a professional (and well-respected) mathematician at his craft, and being so obvious that every tom, dick and harry can discern the correct answer offhand. I find that amazing. It also makes a good case for skepticism, in an indirect sort of way. I remember reasoning that it would not be a very interesting question unless the most probable door was the one that you hadn't picked. One need not be a Savant so long as they are capable of taking seemingly unlikely possibilities into consideration. AP295 (discusscontribs)
One more comment in addition to what I've already written. The decision of whether or not to keep a wikidebate resource lies with the users of wikiversity and whoever it empowers with the privelage to remove a resource. Topics like "can slaves feel pain when whipped" indeed (as I've said) have a rational answer, but I think we can remove them on grounds that they're essentially spam. That said, it's dishonest to conflate them with topics like "was 9/11 an inside job", which (considering the evidence of insider trading) should not be written off as something unworthy of debate. Similarly, I can only interpret a statement like "I guess I'm pleasantly surprised that Do vaccines cause autism? and Does Hilary Clinton eat children? are redlinks for now, but I'd like to formalize it so that they will remain that way and that outrageous and non-factual debate topics are not given free hosting space from the WMF." as an attempt to conflate a public health issue like vaccination with a strawman like "Does Hilary Clinton eat children?", as well as a bid for censorship based on false grounds. As an aside, I think the question "Do vaccines cause autism?" is somewhat off the mark. Perhaps a better question might be "should public policy mandate vaccination?", which is also the title I chose for an essay I've started. So to tie up loose ends, I support the removal of the topics "Does Hilary Clinton eat children?" and "can slaves feel pain when whipped", but strongly oppose any policy that prohibits the debate of certain topics or questions. Does this not seem like the most reasonable approach to take? If there's any doubt whatsoever, a debate ought to be kept rather than removed. AP295 (discusscontribs)
I'll try pinging @Omphalographer:, @Dan Polansky:, @Sophivorus: again to solicit their comments on what I've written above (and below), hopefully I've done so correctly. This seems like an important discussion. I don't think it's a hard problem to control spam and other borderline vandalism, but I find it rather disturbing that it's being conflated with certain debates on policy, politics and media, with censorship being proposed as a solution. It would set my mind eat ease to know that others feel similarly. AP295 (discusscontribs)
While I think common sense should suffice, perhaps the following might be a helpful place to start in terms of general guidelines, as opposed to constraints. Debates concerning (but not limited to) the following should not in general be subject to removal: policy or law (particularly policy that is either in effect or has been proposed), honesty in the media, public health, and in general public affairs. This isn't to be taken as a list of "allowed" debates (such a thing would be even more Orwellian than a list of prohibited debates), but as something to consider when trying to judge whether or not a topic is spam or vandalism. For example, a debate entitled "Should the civil rights act be repealed?" is about specific policy/law and therefore a legitimate debate, as are debates about honesty/transparency like "Was 9/11 an inside job?". On other other hand, "do slaves feel pain when whipped?", while a well-formed question and one for which there exists a rational answer, is obvious spam. Conversely, "Which animals can feel pain?" or something along those lines would obviously be fine. Again I reiterate that if at all in doubt, a debate should be left alone. I do believe Wikiversity can and should be a venue for debate, and I would hate to see it spoiled, either by spam or by its own policy. We aren't splitting hairs here. Frankly I think that part two of the UCoC is complete nonsense and that we do not need such vague, open-ended and easily-abused policy to deal with this problem. AP295 (discusscontribs)
And Koavf, you started the debate on 9/11, you even say so on your userpage. I realize some of its content isn't particularly good, but if you felt the topic itself was worthwhile in the first place then why dismiss it on grounds that it's 'crackpottery', 'outrageous', or 'non-factual'? I don't understand. Yet I would bet money that the following two measures would increase the quality of debate greatly: 1) allow users to sign debates and encourage users to make their own arguments rather than editing the arguments of others. 2) do not encourage users to argue a point they don't believe is true. Otherwise it's not a real discourse, but an contrived imitation thereof where people aren't speaking honestly but simply repeating what they've heard. If it's convenient to make people register in order to participate, that would probably be good too. AP295 (discusscontribs) 17:15, 5 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"how do I link sections without the full URL?" Like this #Provide_conscientious_Wikiversity_editors_with_a_.edu_email_address. Just use the hash bit at the beginning. Note that this links to a discussion on this page. "if you felt the topic itself was worthwhile in the first place then why dismiss it on grounds": because some of us get smarter as we age, while others don't. —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:47, 5 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's all well and good, but the insider trading alone is fairly strong circumstantial evidence. I'm not asking to defend one side or another but surely you cannot write off the topic altogether as crackpottery, let alone propose that it and similar topics be verboten as subjects of discourse. Christopher Hitchens made it plain when he observed that news of the Iran–Contra affair did not break in the United States but in Lebanon, despite so many well-paid, well-funded and presumably well-connected journalists and politicians who work in the United States. Isn't that entirely grotesque? Why should the media receive the benefit of the doubt at all? Anyway, my suggestions will likely improve the quality of discourse so please consider them. AP295 (discusscontribs) 19:24, 5 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What is "entirely grotesque" is your persistence in promoting these antisemitic conspiracy theories in inappropriate places, like this Colloquium. Take it elsewhere - ideally somewhere not on this web site. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 19:27, 5 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The subject of this topic is wikiversity policy. It proposes that certain topics must be forbidden on grounds that they're crackpottery. I did not make this topic, nor did I bring up that debate first, nor did I even make that debate itself. If you don't think wikiversity should host that debate, then make a RfD. I've demonstrated with a reasonable argument that it's not crackpottery, which seems to be the benchmark Koavf is proposing. What exactly do you want from me? I'm sometimes wrong and when my work and my beliefs do not stand up to scrutiny I revise them, and that is all I expect from others. AP295 (discusscontribs) 19:44, 5 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I should also say that your reply is an abuse of the term anti-semitism, which is trivialized at the expense of the Jewish people when used so frivolously. Even before I joined this discussion, users were exploiting the term to browbeat others who disagree with vague and open-ended constraints upon discourse. I'm asking for nothing except an honest discourse here. Even if a user is misguided in their opinion, then debate should bear that out. If one is contributing to a debate then by definition they are inviting others to scrutinize their beliefs. Obviously, spam and other vandalism like "can slaves feel pain when whipped?" and "are jews subhuman?" can be removed if and when they come up, not because they should be verboten subjects, but because it's obvious that slaves feel pain and that jews are human, though any race will have its share of people who could be called otherwise. Just as obvious is that questions about public policy, honesty in the media, etc. should be kept. I've also recommended a couple changes to the guidelines that I think will improve the quality of Wikidebates. What do you think of those? AP295 (discusscontribs) 03:27, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"users were exploiting the term to browbeat others who disagree with vague and open-ended constraints upon discourse" e.g. ? —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:34, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Before I joined you wrote a reply to Dan Polansky that began with "I'm sure I can find someone who has published something on the Internet arguing that Jews are subhuman." And you still haven't addressed my reply from earlier. AP295 (discusscontribs) 03:50, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And that in no way is what you described. I'm still waiting for: "What circular reasoning? —Justin (koavf)❤T☮C☺M☯ 05:58, 12 September 2023 (UTC)" which you haven't answered because you didn't like it when I called your BS. Answer that first. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:03, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it is and speaks for itself. To answer your second point, it's perhaps the most direct and brutish type of circular reasoning to say that we shouldn't debate such-and-such a topic because we are not capable of rationally debating it using presumptuous terms like "crackpottery", but that is precisely what first paragraph of this topic does. It is only made to seem reasonable when you throw in a few strawmen like "do slaves feel pain when whipped?" or "should women be considered people?" (for which there are perfectly rational answers) and then follow it with a question of actual consequence that you seem to feel "we" shouldn't talk about, despite strong evidence on the public record like insider trading. It's the same run-of-the-mill question begging one hears all the time. I had already explained this. AP295 (discusscontribs) 04:18, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Quote where I stated the conclusion that you purport is also a premise. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:32, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have. I have answered your question very thoroughly several times, you've answered none of mine. Anyone can feign confusion and keep asking for more if they don't like the way an argument is going. If you want to receive the assumption of good faith, you have to act in good faith. AP295 (discusscontribs) 05:01, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You never quoted me. Please stop lying. You are not a serious person and are either incapable of understanding what I write or willfully misconstruing it for your self-serving nonsense. Who in this discussion has said that anything you've written is insightful or even correct? (This is a rhetorical question for you to consider--everyone else knows that you're just adding pointless noise.) —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:26, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Everyone else can speak for themselves. You started this topic and solicited feedback from others, including the public. In most english speaking nations it's taken for granted that censorship is a bad thing, and so you can't be terribly surprised that your proposal to censor certain political and public health topics was not received with universal assent. It's more than just a bit churlish to receive scrutiny so poorly, particularly in this context and considering the nature of what you're proposing. AP295 (discusscontribs) 07:19, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
lol "censorship". —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:50, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would a prohibition on certain topics concerning public health, politics and media not be exactly that? Feel free to peruse the list of essays on my page. Go to the discussion pages and lay into them all you like. Criticism, feedback, hatemail, whatever feels the appropriate thing to say. I'd love more critical feedback, and so it strikes me as abnormal that there's so little. The socratic method is emphasized ad nauseam on Wikiversity and indeed it's a good model, yet outside wikidebates (which themselves are hardly satisfatory, though I'm not calling for their removal) and a few one-sided examples, it seems not to factor very largely at all in the development of any given resource. It's not normal to demand censorship. People who only want to collaborate don't do that. If there are a few spammy wikidebates then remove them and be done with it, but don't ask for policy that prohibits people from scrutinizing or discussing a given topic in general. Isn't that common sense? AP295 (discusscontribs) 07:56, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's fine to have rules and not allow everyone to post anything all the time. —Justin (koavf)TCM 08:03, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Never mind the fact that nobody was saying otherwise, shouldn't we be talking in terms of what we're prohibited from submitting rather than what we're allowed to submit? Isn't it rather Orwellian that we're talking about the set compliment rather than talking about the rules directly? I understand that Wikiversity is for educational, scholarly and research material but aside from the mission at hand I see no reason to discuss any policy, rules or laws as a set of "allowances". It imparts an odd way of looking at any given issue and the more I pay attention and look for it the more it begins to sound creepy, infantile and faintly disturbing. I even do it myself sometimes just out of unconscious habit, no doubt because it's impressed upon the public so often. AP295 (discusscontribs) 08:18, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a distinction without a difference and your repeated use of "Orwellian" is histrionic. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:10, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Speaking in terms of what we're "allowed to do" is like any other euphemistic phrasing. There's rhetorical difference if not a semantic difference when one says something is not allowed as opposed to prohibited, which increases as the word "no" is placed farther from the word "allowed", e.g. "I don't think x should be allowed." as opposed to "I think x should be prohibited". Likewise, you've used "parameters" as a euphemism for "restrictions" or "rules". Laws and rules are constriants that are imposed upon us, and we should speak of them as such. How about those suggestions I made? I feel it bears repeating that I do think most of the wikidebates are ill-posed or poorly-worded. However it does not follow that certain topics should be prohibited, least of all those relating to politics, public health, honesty in the media and the public interest in general. AP295 (discusscontribs) 01:20, 7 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RuWikiversity edit

Department for International Relations has been reformed. Now, you can post any exciting ideas for cooperation for our Wikiversities. So, we plan to translate some courses from enWV to ruWV and if you know interesting courses, I will be happy to see them below :) Kylaix (discusscontribs) 16:34, 16 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use wikidata item or wikipedia article as subject of an article edit

Wikidata and wikipedia are pretty good at concepts and hierarchy of them. In Wikiversity, how can I specify my article is about particular wikidata Item or wikipedia article instead of specifying wikiversity-specific category? Basically, every article has a subject, which is usually a concept well-described in wd/wp. But instead of this interwiki cooperation, wikiversity uses it's own categories, and these categories is a proposed way of defining a subject of an article.

Currently what I've found:

1. You can mention a concept with this template: Template:Wikidata_link. It looks like this {{wdl|Q720314 }} and results in a simple text-wikilink to automatically chosen wikipedia article. Very good, but I'd like to define a subject like that, not a simple mention. Also this mention will be visible in "Page information".

2. You can provide an ui-box which helps to find a topic on Wikipedia with this template: Template:Wikipedia. It always results in "Search for X on Wikipedia" box, it never creates direct connection between material and an article.

3. Some Wikidata items have interwiki links to Wikiversity, like this one: [1]. I assume they should link to Category or Portal and not to specific article or resource.

Podbrushkin (discusscontribs) 11:55, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Review the Charter for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee edit

Hello all,

I am pleased to share the next step in the Universal Code of Conduct work. The Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) draft charter is now ready for your review.

The Enforcement Guidelines require a Building Committee form to draft a charter that outlines procedures and details for a global committee to be called the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C). Over the past few months, the U4C Building Committee worked together as a group to discuss and draft the U4C charter. The U4C Building Committee welcomes feedback about the draft charter now through 22 September 2023. After that date, the U4C Building Committee will revise the charter as needed and a community vote will open shortly afterward.

Join the conversation during the conversation hours or on Meta-wiki.


RamzyM (WMF), on behalf of the U4C Building Committee, 15:35, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is the difference between this and Wikipedia? edit

What is the difference between Wikiversity and Wikipedia? From what I've seen, it appears to be more of a community that actively tries to teach as opposed to a community that is just there for reference. Crawwah (discusscontribs) 18:12, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You've got the right idea. In short:
  • Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Each page is a standalone overview of a single topic, and contains a summary of information about that topic.
  • Wikiversity is a collection of learning resources. Groups of pages are organized around a course or topic, and can take many forms like a set of lectures, lesson plans, homework assignments, discussions, or other things.
There's some overlap as well with the Wikibooks project, which has some textbooks.
Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 18:23, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One difference is that Wikipedia doesn't publish original research, whereas we do. Another is that the goal of Wikipedia is to publish a specific reference work: an encyclopedia. Here, we have varied projects that are all about learning and sharing knowledge in many formats. See also:
Justin (koavf)TCM 19:10, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have registered the following key differences (I hope to get this right): 1) Wikiversity allows publishing of original research; 2) Wikiversity does not require neutrality/lack of bias; 3) Wikiversity does not require an encyclopedic character. Wikiversity content sometimes somewhat overlaps with Wikipedia (but with other requirements) and with Wikibooks (e.g. Python Programming). --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 09:52, 29 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agree with distinctions above. Wikiversity is for teaching, learning, and research. Wikipedia is for encyclopedic information. Sincerely, James -- Jtneill - Talk - c 05:21, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Search subtitle edit

When I search for VHDL, the result has a subtitle, correctly "Hardware Description Language".


However when I search for Verilog (Also a Hardware Description Language) there is no subtitle.


How do I add or edit the subtitle for a page result in the search?

Thanks in advance,

Sirnails (discusscontribs) 15:24, 29 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems you got there; it seems that the description below the keyword in search is simply whatever text is in the page title / heading after the first word. JimKillock (discusscontribs) 15:49, 29 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Jim,
i'm not sure thats correct...
I've just noticed a subtle difference between the VHDL page and the Verilog Page on the left "Wikidata item" linking to: wikidata:Special:EntityPage/Q209455
Thanks for replying anyway, I think I understand now!
Can this question be archived/tidied up? how do I do that? Sirnails (discusscontribs) 16:24, 29 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Compiling Incomplete Resources edit

It would be nice to have a compilation of obviously incomplete resources. If there is one, tell me about it. If there isn't, would it be a good idea to make one? Username142857 (discusscontribs) 11:16, 3 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This one is kind of tricky to answer, as one person's "unfinished" is another person's "it's a wiki, so it's okay to not have everything all at once". If you find pages that are abandoned experiments or that have so little content that it cannot realistically be a learning resource, then you should probably propose it for deletion. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:37, 5 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the response. I don't really get what is meant by ' person's "unfinished" is another person's "it's a wiki, so it's okay to not have everything all at once".' Also, for the second part, "If you find pages that are abandoned experiments or that have so little content that it cannot realistically be a learning resource, then you should probably propose it for deletion.", wouldn't that imply the following: "If you find pages that have so little content that it cannot realistically be a learning resource, then you should probably propose it for deletion." which would be the case for any recently created resources? And why wouldn't it be a good idea to revive 'abandoned experiments'? Username142857 (discusscontribs) 13:55, 9 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I mean is: Person A will say, "This is abandoned junk and it's just sitting here taking up virtual space" and Person B will say, "It may be incomplete, but someone can come along and make it better, since this is a wiki". These are both common and valid approaches to unfinished content. A recently-created page would not be an abandoned experiment. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:21, 9 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are categories like Category:Freshly started resources and Category:Partly developed resources, but they aren't used consistently across the project. If you're interested in organizing abandoned resources, adding those templates where appropriate would be a good starting point.
With regard to proposed deletion, there's a 90-day delay between when the {{prod}} template is added and when the resource may be deleted, and the creator or any other editor can remove the template during that time if they're still working on the resource, or if they think it has potential. It has been our experience that 1) editors will frequently create pages with grand plans for a learning resource, but never return to write the content those pages were meant to house; and that 2) it is difficult for other editors to complete those resources after the original editors have departed. It's often easier to build a new resource from scratch than to build upon a shaky foundation. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 20:28, 9 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Graph template edit

I wonder if there is a working template which allows to describe graph in text and it will be shown in graphic way? Most popular graph-describing langs are Graphviz and Mermaid. Specifically I need to draw some nodes and edges. Right now I found this one: Template:Tree_chart. Are there any other available templates/extensions enabled in wikiversity? Is there a place where I should've looked for this? I think I've found a bunch of pages for disabled extensions, this is a mess. Podbrushkin (discusscontribs) 10:13, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What kind of graph or chart? Bar, line, pie? —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:44, 13 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I need a graph with vertices and edges. Like a family tree, smth like that: A -> {B,C}; B -> C. Actually I am surprised there is no graph library widely used in Wikiversity, because they offer very simple way for creating and editing educational illustrations on any topic. Podbrushkin (discusscontribs) 09:37, 13 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikiversity is a very small project, so it doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of (e.g.) our older sister Wikipedia. Does this template do what you need? —Justin (koavf)TCM 08:16, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's syntax is so awful, that it defeats whole purpose of this template. MS Paint will be easier for editing and creating graphs than this. Also, do you mean Wikipedia has a nice template/extension for this? I haven't found it. And tell me please your personal opinion, check out these example pages of most popular graph visualizing libraries: graphviz, mermaid. Does it seem like they can be heavily used in creating learning materials? Podbrushkin (discusscontribs) 09:52, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia has an identical template: w:en:Template:Tree chart and also has (e.g.) w:en:Template:Lineage. Does this meet your needs? And yes, for sure, they could. No doubt. —Justin (koavf)TCM 13:35, 15 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Syntax is bad and unreadable, it doesn't make it easier to create or edit graphs, so there are no reasons to learn this syntax (which I will never encounter anywhere else). Even more, maybe these templates should actually be removed/disabled from wikimedia, so no one would invest his time in learning them. I hope one day wikiversity will get support of some adequate chart drawing library, it would be awesome. Podbrushkin (discusscontribs) 12:16, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you think that MediaWiki needs to incorporate an entirely different library, that may be something outside of the scope of the existing templates to even address and you may want to publish a ticket at phab:. —Justin (koavf)TCM 12:38, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your wiki will be in read-only soon edit

Trizek_(WMF) (talk) 09:23, 15 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bowling page? edit

Could I add a bowling page to Wikiversity? Contributor 118,784 (discusscontribs) 18:31, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do have in mind specifically when you say "a bowling page"? Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 19:16, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More phys ed would be great to have around here. You can talk about form, strategy, how to make a league, how to choose a ball, grip, all kinds of useful instructional material. You may also consider if what you want to make is a guidebook, in which case it belongs at b: or instructional materials and interactive modules, which belong here. Or both! —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:16, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please note that the kinds of issues that have gotten you blocked elsewhere would be issues here as well. Exercise some caution about your edits and make sure that they are in line with the scope of this project. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:18, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Though surely they could have applied a bit more patience before summarily ejecting an actual boyscout from the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, with an indefinite block on grounds of WP:NOTHERE. You do have to respect copyright and proper attribution, however. AP295 (discusscontribs)

Reconsidering the structured debate format. edit

I believe that Wikiversity can and should be a venue for debate and discourse. That said, I propose that the structured format of Wikidebates be dispensed with in favor of a format in which people can discuss the given topic back-and-forth in a manner similar to an ordinary talk page. For one, I will reference my own comments at the end of the section, which I believe support this idea. Additionally, a debate in the style of an ordinary talk is more natural and conversational, and perhaps more genuine in the sense that participants can just state their case and go from there rather than being obliged to construct a full debate simply for the sake of doing so. Personally I also feel slightly proprietary of the arguments I make and suspect that participants will tend to construct arguments that are more honest and of a higher quality if their username is attached to their argument and they bear some small degree of responsibility for it. I rather dislike the idea that one should make an argument without genuinely believing in it, first for the reasons I've already mentioned but also because such arguments are essentially made on behalf some group, individual or faction, and may or may not be a fair representation. AP295 (discusscontribs) AP295 (discusscontribs) 00:31, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I second this. Contributor 118,784 (discusscontribs) 00:34, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I third this, and have created a space for continuing this discussion at the following link: Wikiversity:Wikidebate
--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 01:25, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Strongly oppose. The stated educational purpose of the Wikidebate project is to provide "organized compilations of arguments surrounding an issue". While I have some reservations about the current format, replacing it with an unorganized discussion, indistinguishable from the "debate threads" on any number of internet forums, seems like it would be a step in the wrong direction. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 02:05, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also strongly oppose replacing or drastically changing the current Wikidebate structure. Instead, we enhance the Wikidebate by allowing a variety of other vehicles designed to explore the controversy. The only question in my mind is where to put these "other" contributions. At first glance, subpages seem like ideal locations. My only concern is that a Wikidebate page will be cluttered with links to low-quality polemics written by students at all levels of development. Having said that, the highly structured nature of a Wikidebate (in its current form) makes it an ideal top page for any given controversy. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs)
Frankly I'd prefer to read and discuss a student's polemic over most of the authorless humbug in the present Wikidebates any day of the week. AP295 (discusscontribs)
Part of my concern with the current format and in general is that debate is somewhat ritualized. I'm not at all suggesting that we throw out the present wikidebates, but that I find the format constraining. It also seems to encourage the idea that arguments and debates exist independently of the people making them, giving a false impression of objectivity. AP295 (discusscontribs)
The best place to pursue this line of thought is at Wikiversity:Wikidebate.Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 17:42, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is there any reason not to discuss it here? I've already started us off and the colloquium page probably gets more traffic. I wouldn't expect to hear from very many more people than the three or four "regulars" involved with Wikidebates just on the talk page, and I'd like to solicit comments from all interested Wikiversity users. AP295 (discusscontribs)

I've written an essay on the subject. Of the recommendations I make, I think the two most important are 1) that users should be encouraged to develop and sign their own arguments, and 2) that users must not be required to add arguments "on both sides". It's a fundamental property of formal logic (or at least any reasonable formulation thereof) that between any two arguments with conflicting or opposite conclusions at least one of those arguments must be unsound. In other words, two sound arguments cannot reach opposite conclusions. It's fine to develop two such arguments if one is not confident either way, but one should not be required to do so. Anyway, the essay contains a full list of my recommendations. Please consider them. AP295 (discusscontribs) 23:36, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I find the current debate format excellent. I do not oppose using multiple formats, but I do oppose making the current format impossible. The idea that one who argues for a motion should take a serious note of opposing arguments even if they find them unconvincing is a very good one. I also like the lack of signature on arguments; they should stand on their own rather than being interpreted as coming from a particular speaker. More of my ideas on debates are at One man's look at the debate format in Wikiversity. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 12:19, 15 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like the Wikidebate in its current form. And, I think Wikidebates should be highlighted with dialogues and essays. I also like subpages, and for that reason propose that such items be placed in the Wikidebates's subspace. Doing so will bring even more readers to the (structured) Wikidebate's top page, especially if we can induce instructors to assign such activities to students. Feel free to contribute your thoughts at Wikiversity:Wikidebate.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:29, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You say that "The idea that one who argues for a motion should take a serious note of opposing arguments even if they find them unconvincing is a very good one" but if you read my essay you'll observe that I'm not claiming otherwise, and in fact I address this exact thing. The problem is that users are required not just to consider opposing arguments, but to make them, which contradicts the more important requirement of soundness. But come on now, I know you understand my point. Sophivorus left a message on my talk page that strongly suggests it's a requirement. I've tried to solicit comments and discussion about this part of the guidelines before and he never got involved even though it appears that he wrote those guidelines. AP295 (discusscontribs) 05:31, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As for your edits to Should civilians be prohibited from owning firearms? (mentioned on your talk page), I am not sure I see a problem with them: the debate already covers both sides, and I am not sure I see a problem in making edits that strengthen only one side of the debate. It would be a different story if you created Should civilians be prohibited from owning firearms? and there would be only arguments for one side but no arguments for the other side. On the other hand, perhaps Sophivorus sees something I do not see. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 08:44, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The point of a debate is that you aren't talking with just yourself. Even if I had created it and added only my own arguments, anyone else would be free to contest them. I see nothing wrong with that at all. At present it seems like they're just window dressing rather than actual debate. AP295 (discusscontribs) 15:44, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Right: one can even argue that creating a debate where one omits arguments for one side can be okay since someone else can fill in the missing side. Such a debate could be marked as a stub. But I don't think it's an ideal or commendable start; one should usually be able to present arguments from both sides of the debate. It may well be a tolerable start. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 21:50, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If I were conflicted about an issue I might do so. One should not be required to do so, for the reasons I've already stated. AP295 (discusscontribs) 22:14, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The purpose of a debate, in this context, is to present an overview of opposing views, arguments, and counterarguments on a topic. If you're insufficiently "conflicted" about a topic that you can't even enumerate positions or arguments about it that you don't personally agree with, you probably need to do some additional research before you create a learning resource for the debate. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 22:33, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whose arguments? Why should I present a dishonest argument that isn't even my own, for instance? If you can argue against my points then go for it. I've implicitly invited you to do so by posting them in a debate. If that's not acceptable then they shouldn't be called debates. I get the sense wikidebates are trying to present the appearance of an even dichotomy, which is something I have a few thoughts about too. The essay isn't really finished, but you'll get the gist of it. AP295 (discusscontribs) 22:42, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Navigation menu casing edit

Looks like the casing was changed in the left-hand navigation menu e.g., Community -> community etc. Why? How to fix? -- Jtneill - Talk - c 22:14, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't see what you're referring to. Contributor118,784 Let's talk 13:42, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is why: (koavf)TCM 14:25, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Provide conscientious Wikiversity editors with a .edu email address edit


Faculty and students at many brick and mortar educational institutions receive email addresses ending in .edu. These email address often allow the user to access and receive discounts for a variety of education related services. It will be helpful for conscientious Wikiversity editors to obtain an email address such as so we can also benefit from recognized association with this learning institution. Thanks! --Lbeaumont (discusscontribs) 11:05, 2 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We can't. .edu domain names are only available to accredited educational institutions, which Wikiversity is not and cannot become. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 17:14, 2 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True, but there's no reason why there can't be a supporting institution for Wikiversity. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:25, 4 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm afraid there is. At
Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 01:54, 4 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure, but [university].edu can make "wiki.[user]@[university].edu". We don't need a domain name, we need email addresses (per this proposal).Justin (koavf)TCM 02:53, 4 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Support This would be a nice addition to Wikiversity. Contributor118,784 Let's talk 11:03, 4 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Who gets to decide which users are sufficiently 'conscientious'? AP295 (discusscontribs)
Not you. —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:46, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh come now, don't be so sour. AP295 (discusscontribs) 23:49, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More "just asking questions" and then getting triggered. *eye roll emoji —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:53, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know what that means. AP295 (discusscontribs) 23:54, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply] and (koavf)TCM 23:55, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Rationalwiki is full of patronizing, pesudointellectual tripe and only seems to get away with it by frequently insisting that it's not. I refuse to visit it, but feel free to make whatever point you're trying to make using your own words, preferably in the appropriate thread or topic, which is not this one. AP295 (discusscontribs) 00:03, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And if you're still concerned about Wikidebates, then requiring people to sign their arguments (and preferably be registered) would cut down on the inappropriate questions. I'm no more happy about questions like "do slaves feel pain when whipped?" than you are, but that doesn't justify general censorship. The truly crude questions are essentially just spam that can be removed normally anyway. AP295 (discusscontribs) 00:29, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Depression edit

Is depression actually a mental state (discuss) 09:38, 6 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The answer to this question depends on the way you look at it. According to some sources, depression is a disorder called major depressive disorder. [2][3] Contributor118,784 Let's talk 12:58, 6 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Custodianship edit

Does anybody here think I should run for probationary custodianship? Contributor118,784 Let's talk 13:06, 6 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You've only been here two weeks. Why don't you work on a few resources first? AP295 (discusscontribs) 14:02, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikiversity:Probationary custodians says that the probationary custodianship system is inactive, so there is no need to run for it. MathXplore (discusscontribs) 14:27, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for your response, you might have just saved me from a failed RfC. Contributor118,784 Let's talk 17:52, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps you'll pay it forward. What is your opinion on the widespread, furtive suppression of discourse by means that exploit the public's sense of civility, trust, benevolence and other such social niceties while debasing its intellectual tradition? Comment below! AP295 (discusscontribs) 20:28, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Contributor, I would advise to contribute to Wikiversity without any solid "goal" of becoming a custodian. I am not saying that you are, but asking about custodianship with only 40 edits & 2 weeks of editing Wikiversity to your name isn't very convincing. You are very much welcomed to heed AP295's advice and contribute to a lot of resources that need attention. Since you say that you are an instructor of bowling, maybe contribute to the Bowling Fundamentals page. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 20:31, 8 October 2023 (UTC)]Reply[reply]
To add to Atcovi's comments, wikiversity is a bit different from wikipedia in that users should generally consult the author(s) of a resource before editing it, if they aren't already involved in its authorship. There's a greater sense of proprietorship and many resources are the work of a single editor. On the other hand, anyone can make a resource. If you think you can do it better, you don't need to contend with a stubborn editor to publish your own work, though I will offer my comments to an author if I feel they're valuable or helpful. I rather like this model, at least in principle, though improvements could be made so that material is easier for a user to find or browse. AP295 (discusscontribs) 21:07, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you all for your kind advice. I hope my time at Wikiversity is long and prosperous! Contributor118,784 Let's talk 23:52, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then perhaps the step should be revised (especially on an official policy page) if the probationary custodian system is historical. OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:31, 2 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC: More specific guidelines for criticism and critical reviews/discourse edit


An academic organization is debased and untrue to its mission if participants must either agree with one another or hold their tongue for fear of reprisal, dismissal, or banishment to some remote island. In my experience Wikiversity is more tolerant than most online communities, yet nonetheless one is on very thin ice indeed if they endeavor, for example, to write a critical review of some resource. It would hardly be a well-adjusted ordering of priorities to put civility (much less egoism, less still feigned egoism) and assent above edification and genuine discourse, yet I sense that this has become the de-facto culture of so many online communities, probably in many instances due to broad, vague site policy and the capricious or selective enforcement thereof. For this reason it is important to have clear guidelines for critical discourse. A user must be allowed to express criticism, write a critical review, or generally express disagreement in direct and straightforward language without needing superhuman levels of patience or having to undermine their own message with word-mincing and cajolery or being obliged to adopt a clinical, deadpan style. Such guidelines must make clear that criticism and critical work in general is both a valid and valuable form of contribution and to receive the same assumption of good intent as any other sort of contribution. The guidelines should not use needless and open-ended qualifications like constructive or sensitive, and perhaps include a statement to the effect that critique of a resource, regardless of how critical or contradictory, does not in itself constitute incivility nor is it to be considered as an aggravating factor or behavioral issue if the user is being sanctioned for some other transgression. By and large, I'm sure most users are well-intended and not inclined to be unduly critical of others. Personally I don't like being a critic, nor do I like being criticized, yet I see critical discourse as no less a valid form contribution than any other sort, and a necessary part of any intellectual process. In spite of this, The UCoC states "Criticism should be delivered in a sensitive and constructive manner." Qualified phrases like constructive criticism effectively grant carte blanche authority for a moderator to issue a summary judgement about the worth of a resource and its author, and I see no reason why criticism in particular should be subject to a double standard, much less one with such high potential for abuse or a chilling effect. Of course we all know what "sensitive" means, but the phrase "sensitive criticism" is only slightly less oxymoronic than a phrase like "jumbo shrimp". Surely a bruised ego is not sufficient reason for a prohibition on critical discourse, least of all in the context of education and research, and it seems individual projects are allowed some flexibility: The word "sensitive" hardly amounts to anything other than a euphemism for ego-sparing, and I doubt that any effective, honest, concise and non-trivial critique spares the ego of the user whose work it's directed at, but I'm certain that any user with good intentions ultimately appreciates a critical review and does not begrudge a bruised ego. Well-intended contributors are necessarily at least as concerned with making an effective article or resource as they are with saving face and the policy of sensitive criticism does them no favors. It is the author who decides whether or not to use the criticism they receive in a constructive manner. It is not the responsibility of the critic to cajole or patronize the author, nor whether or not their comments are used constructively. If a critic is honest and makes an effort to give a concise review and they aren't barbaric about it, then they've done all they can to improve the resource, short of making their own resource on the same topic. The only people who materially benefit from "sensitive criticism" are those who aren't acting in good faith, who in my experiences elsewhere will often feign indignation and make a bid for the observer's empathy at this loss of face, and employ other manipulative melodramatics while doing everything possible not to address such feedback or criticism. The observer who really does assume good faith is likely to empathize because criticism is always a slight blow to one's ego. It's a reproach to common decency when empathy, humanity, civility and trust are exploited in such a way. Yet this is the twilight zone we end up in when saving face and allowing others to do the same is glorified and considered imperative to civility, as opposed to something that encourages complacence, superficiality and other such social and intellectual regressions. Criticism is not equivalent to harassment, nor vandalism, nor spam, nor incivility. They are different in intent and in substance, and so I see no reason why we can't make reasonably clear distinctions in concrete policy that is difficult to abuse. The UCoC has a fairly extensive anti-harassment policy and requires that users behave in a civil manner. All contributions are expected to meet at least some minimum standard of quality and decency and it's rarely a serious problem to determine if an article is spam or at least of some potential, and I see no reason this would not suffice for critical work as it does for everything else. This is a question of values. Should we place ego and saving face above liberty? Perhaps the greatest asset of western culture itself is that liberty and knowledge are valued over saving-face, and that being wrong is not a permanent black mark upon one's reputation and credibility, but something transient and inherent to growth. [Note 1] If I seem to labor the point, it's because I feel a widespread trend in the opposite direction. At the very least, feigned indignation has become a normalized response to criticism, which is regressive in and of itself because people are less accountable to reality or objectivity, but more strongly obliged to hold their tongue anytime someone might take offense, or pretend to take offense. It must be corrected before our culture ends up an inferior, bastardized simulacrum of what it was and by all rights should still be. So borrowing an eloquent concluding remark from Hitchens, "let that be my opening bid, and let me accept counteroffers, enlargements, etc." AP295 (discusscontribs) 18:45, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Miscellaneous Notes:

  • I suppose one could also take this as a critique of the UCoC2, but such far-reaching and consequential policy is protected from criticism by sheer pomp, mostly in the form of various bureaucratic contrivances, steering committees, board meetings, etc. whereby such problems are explained away as unavoidable artifacts of such a large system or structure, at least to a point. This is interesting in itself, but perhaps I'll have better luck (or at least receive a few token comments) if I start here. Who knows though, perhaps they'd agree entirely. Experience suggests that those with the authority to ignore criticism typically will, however. Even the most absurd fiction on tap from Hollywood would scarcely place more strain on one's capacity to suspend disbelief than the suggestion that policies of sensitive criticism are written and implemented in good faith, in the interest of civility, and with their creators simply failing to consider the chilling effect and potential for selective enforcement. I think I've stated the case fairly well though, and even if this goes nowhere it still stands as a pretty decent prima facie argument. If there is to be a policy of AGF, which appeals to our sense of humanity and cooperation and requests our trust, then it should not be made exploitable by the very next sentence of policy, but that's exactly how it's written: Assume good faith, and engage in constructive edits; your contributions should improve the quality of the project or work. Provide and receive feedback kindly and in good faith. Criticism should be delivered in a sensitive and constructive manner. It all sounds well and good but ultimately means that we have no objective standard except, but an instead a conflation of criticism and incivility that encourages people to take criticism personally. Clearly a critique of one's work must not be considered a critique of the author, and while a work reflects the effort of its author, they (and moderators) are obliged to accept criticism of their work rather than treating it as an attack upon their virility. While this might not stop abuse, it will make it more difficult for abusers to maintain a bogus air of defending the humanity and good faith of others while actually exploiting such traits, along with the work of so many editors whose contributions are valuable. AP295 (discusscontribs)
  • Excuse all the edits, I simply want to make my point concise. It is a challenge to make a dispassionate appeal, but I am trying.
  • If anyone cares and I'm sure they don't, I have a few other suggestions that might be worth considering. For example, on other projects indefinite blocks seem to be handed out liberally and for relatively minor transgressions. For a new or casual contributor who isn't going to move to another Wikimedia project and go through the appeal process, this essentially amounts to a lifetime ban. Permanent exile does not seem a commensurate response to a new user who makes a false move or offends the wrong person, nor is it in agreement with inclusiveness as a general principle. Limiting all blocks to a maximum length of six months or a year, except for specific, serious offenses is something that I think would increase participation in several Wikimedia projects and encourage genuine intellectual diversity (remarkably uncommon in academia, despite so much lip service and marketing to the contrary). Wikiversity seems a uniquely suited venue for intellectual growth. Today even brick-and-mortar academia (which I believe is irreplaceable and in need of major reform itself) is not always a venue that facilitates intellectual growth. It is commercialized, and dissent is often looked upon with no less contempt than anywhere else. I hope that Wikiversity is able to capitalize on its position as a non-profit organization in which intellectual honesty is not a potential liability to one's career as a scholar, which too often undermines scholarship itself. Thank you for reading, and thanks in advance for your comments. AP295 (discusscontribs) 17:11, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • [Note 1] This perspective, which I feel is not only healthy but a cornerstone of good culture itself, seems fundamentally incompatible with the increasingly accepted idea that one must constantly guard what they propose, discuss, or state lest they be fired, expelled, not admitted, banned or otherwise denied participation in their own society either immediately or at some indefinite point in the future for some objectively minor indiscretion. One is made to feel that they must save face, and this in turn encourages the idea that it's the height of incivility to be critical. This is really an intolerable condition and probably self-perpetuating under policy of soft-censorship like sensitive criticism, no doubt the only sort such a debauched cultural standard would hold up against. AP295 (discusscontribs)

I have to admit that I'm a little lost here. Can you give a specific example of the behavior and/or policy on this wiki which you'd like to see changed? Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 04:19, 9 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll make it as simple as possible, though I'm quite certain you understand exactly what I mean. Wikiversity should include in its guidelines a few statements to the following effect: Criticism is a necessary component of any intellectual pursuit and authors who offer criticism will receive the same benefit of the doubt that AGF affords to all users. In contributing, one acknowledges that their contribution is subject to scrutiny by other users. Criticism of one's work is not to be taken as a personal attack regardless of how contradictory it might be. Critique is best written in plain, natural language and it is undermined when it must be qualified with flattery or other ego-sparing language, or shoehorned into an unnatural, clinical, deadpan style. Essentially, this is a provision to prevent the abuse of UCoC part 2, in particular the sentence "Criticism should be delivered in a sensitive and constructive manner.", which singles out criticism as something that is subject to additional qualification and encourages people to view criticism of an author's work as criticism of the author themselves, obviously the wrong approach. I had already said all of this in the above. You'll have to excuse me if I'm a bit short with you, as it's rather frustrating to spend hours precisely articulating one's point only to have another user act like you've not even written it down in English. AP295 (discusscontribs) 05:45, 9 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Given your history on other Wikimedia projects, I have to admit that I'm more than a little bit concerned by your implied suggestion that we ignore the UCoC on matters of civility.
But I'll give you one more chance. In one sentence, without any further sniping at me in edit summaries, what specific change are you proposing be made to Wikiversity policy? Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 06:08, 9 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With great patience; the changes I'd like are suggested in bold, and I'd likewise appreciate if you'd not attempt to get a rise out of me by acting as though I'm speaking nonsense. My suggestions are not in contravention of UCoC, per which I've also explained above. If you believe the sentences in bold are unreasonable or against policy, then please address why. They appear prima facie quite reasonable, and within the apparent prerogative of Wikiversity to implement per UCoC itself. AP295 (discusscontribs)
And I'd also like to emphasize that this is not per se a change in policy but a simple, three-sentence interpretation of existing policy which is otherwise both vague and which individual projects have explicit authority to clarify or adjust if need be. Do you have another idea of how this policy should be made clearer or more concrete? I'll ignore the ad hominem about "my history", which I feel supports rather than undermines my point, though I hardly feel this provision could be made any clearer or better justified than I've already made it. Ball's in your court, as it were. Supposing that UCoC was written in good faith and worded vaguely only for the sake of not constraining every project to the same set of rules, it follows that a project generally must offer specific clarification rather than leave it open to abuse. AP295 (discusscontribs)
Also, if you'd do me the courtesy of humoring a personal question, what is your own opinion of the sentences in bold? Even if by some odd technicality they can't be added, would you agree with them in principle? I also respectfully pose this question to anyone else who might object on a technicality. I ask this because it would strike me as very strange for one to reject them on principle alone, but if there exists at least this degree of consensus it should be possible to make something work and there'd be no reason not to get this RfC back on track for the sake of all concerned. I'd do at least this much for anyone who had a serious concern and made an effort to address it. It would be utterly baffling if such a proposal were unanimously rejected without further consideration or discussion by people who agree with the principle of the matter, regardless of what they think of the user who's making the pitch. Anyone going on the assumption of good faith would be completely floored, and likely frustrated in no minor degree. So before anything else I must ask, are the suggestions in bold not based in common morality and liberty? I'm really doing my best here... AP295 (discusscontribs) 06:53, 9 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Another thought I've had in the meantime is that, with a few small tweaks, the three bolded sentences might be a good, concise general guideline for any venue that wants to encourage discourse, as well as a litmus test to compare existing policy and practice against. So often I feel that many websites, not necessarily just wikimedia projects, pay a lot of lip service to the principle of expression and diversity of thought but de facto hold critical discourse to a far different and usually far more restrictive standard than assenting opinions. I may write a small essay expanding upon this but wanted to mention it here, just for the sake of full disclosure. I hope I'll receive more comments, Omphalographer caught me in a bad mood, but I promise not to bite. AP295 (discusscontribs) 15:13, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am failing to see an actual problem so far, try as I might. Critical reviews of published materials in Wikiversity, e.g. on talk pages of these materials, are not frowned upon, are they? Criticism of users/editors and their conduct is a more sensitive issue, but for critical thinking and critical debate, one does not need to steer the attention to persons and their behavior, right? The policy at says that "Criticism should be delivered in a sensitive and constructive manner", and unless this is twisted against reasonable criticism of material, which it hypothetically might but does not need to, I do not see an actual problem. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 17:54, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But to be clear, you agree in principle with what I've put in bold above? Naturally I am speaking of criticism toward contributions and other ideas, not personal criticism, and I've explicitly said this already. If so, then it would be harmless to add a few sentences to this effect. Even if UCoC's vagueness is not actively abused in an overt manner on wikiversity at present, it may well have a chilling effect on discourse and while this would be less conspicuous, it would be no less unfortunate. AP295 (discusscontribs) 18:21, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with what you wrote in boldface; upon reviewing it, I failed to find anything wrong with it; but that said, if someone points out specific problems, I may reconsider. However, I do not see a need to turn it into a codified policy. On the other hand, one may argue that it is better to preemptively codify things before problems develop. To which my response would be, Omphalographer pointed out below to the WikiJournal project being about criticism in the sense of raising issues/defects to be discussed, corrected, rejected, or deferred, and therefore, the actual need really seems not to be there. OTOH, part of me thinks I have no need to oppose this boldface wording should it come to a vote and become a formal policy of Wikiversity. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 19:00, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. I am not trying to insist that this be made site policy, but I do insist on having an objective and clear set of rules to follow, regardless of what they are. If they end up being something in the vein of what I wrote, fine. If criticism must always start with an apology, a please or a thank you, then I can do that too. If it is to be banned outright, then fine. What cannot be acceptable is to have policy that is subjective or vaguely contradictory like "sensitive criticism". It always hurts when one's work is criticized, but it is valuable feedback nonetheless and I'd take an honest review any day of the week over a patronizing one. AP295 (discusscontribs) 19:32, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
About "objective and clear set of rules to follow": tough luck on a wiki. Having such rules is ideal, unless perhaps when they become too detailed and complicated, but I do not feel you or I have the right to "insist" on obtaining such rules. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 20:25, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure we do. They may not oblige, but it is a perfectly reasonable request to make and better still if one suggests a possible solution. Wikimedia as a whole is hugely influential, and it seems likely people interpret it as some form of public consensus or some such open and democratic process. It is entirely reasonable to expect accountability, impartiality and objective policy, otherwise taglines like "the encyclopedia anyone can edit" amount to rank flattery. What about that boyscout that landed here after being thrown out? I only had a brief look, and some of their edits are not visible to me so correct me if I'm wrong, but it didn't seem like he did anything that would require more than a week's time out, much less an indefinite block. It's like taking one look at a child and saying "what could such a small and uneducated person ever accomplish?" Site policy and the manner in which it is enforced is practically designed to exclude anyone who exhibits a normal range of human behavior. AP295 (discusscontribs) 23:11, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For that matter, the entire WikiJournal project - which contains a number of highly active editors who are certainly aware of the UCoC - revolves around providing critical reviews of submitted articles and rejecting them or sending them back for revisions if necessary. If they had seen a problem with this portion of the UCoC, surely they would have mentioned it. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 18:23, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not speaking about anything so formal as a journal review. Just simple discourse that anyone can become involved with. Again I ask, do you agree in principle with what I've put in bold? AP295 (discusscontribs) 18:28, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And aside from everything else, this is a request for clarification. The word "sensitive" is not an objective criterion, a user does not know if they've satisfied this requirement until after the fact. We can suppose it has been left vague in order not to constrain each project to the same set of rules, but in this case the project is responsible for providing clarification so that users have a clear and stationary set of goalposts, as it were. We are already required to behave decently, so what additional meaning does this qualifier have? Something like "respect gender pronouns" is a concrete, positive obligation. If someone states what they prefer to be called, it is trivial to comply with this policy. It is trivial to avoid using racial slurs. On the other hand, sensitive reads like a positive obligation, but ultimately users have no control over how other users react to feedback. This is bad, or at least very vague policy and I hardly feel I'm being unreasonable when I ask for clarification and suggest one such clarification that might be used. If you disagree with my proposed guidelines, then please furnish a compliant, objective interpretation for I and other users to follow. AP295 (discusscontribs)

You seem to focus on "sensitive" in "Criticism should be delivered in a sensitive and constructive manner". In my long-term experience with software engineering reviews in two large international companies, one German, one American, the review process was fairly formally specified but there was nothing about "sensitive". There is an art about writing issue descriptions, but it was not formally specified, and as a result, some engineers wrote comments/issues/defects that were hard to understand, lacked specificity, etc., but I do not remember a comment ever being rejected for being "insensitive". I imagine the word "criticism" in the UCoC policy may be intended to cover criticism of persons, and there, the requirement to be "sensitive" is probably a good idea and I myself will do well to keep that requirement in mind but also point out to others that they are not free to override UCoC even if they have local consensus to act badly. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 19:10, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That said, I think the requirement of "civil" or the like would be much better than "sensitive", but now that UCoC has this language, the Wikiversity project cannot do anything about it locally, I figure. Against the UCoC I would raise the complaint that it states its requirements in imperative rather than in "shall" or "should", which I for one find in poor taste. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 19:14, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikiversity has the explicit authority to interpret or clarify the UCoC, per the UCoC itself, and this is what I am requesting here. The UCoC already requires civility, why does criticism in particular need any additional qualification? I don't want to speculate on intent, but it seems to imply that criticism in its natural form is itself an instance of incivility and must be "adjusted" in some nonspecific way shape or form. Whatever the case, I do not understand how to follow this policy. I am a user who is asking for official clarification. If it's not forthcoming, then so be it, but I feel I've done my due diligence. AP295 (discusscontribs) 19:32, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I guess that if you focus on the criticized content in your comment statement and avoid commenting on the person, you should usually be fine. And when not, perhaps some will be willing to explain in specific instances what is wrong. To get some idea, it is unnecessary to state that "sentence S contains a stupid mistake": it does not matter whether the mistake is stupid but rather what the mistake is, and the comment fails to identify the mistake or the problem. I think that with a bit of luck, we will be able to work it out case by case, on this small project. I for one try to be very clear and specific when raising issues, including issues with issue statements. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 20:25, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed, and I've been saying more or less the same thing. Since we both agree there's an important distinction between work and author, and we both presume that civility in this context amounts to focusing on the work and not the author, and finally that this is all arguably implied by the rest of the UCoC, then one must read UCoC's additional qualification about criticism as sensitive with respect to the work itself, since the presumed subject of critique is the work. Clearly nonsensical. More likely, I think that line in the UCoC will have the effect of conflating work and author. It's interesting to consider that the UCoC is worded in such a way that suggests an author should necessarily take criticism of their work personally but to expect that in doing so, they will not be offended if policy is adhered to. By conflating work and author, it makes people self-conscious and gives them an expectation of being able to save face, as opposed to drawing a firm distinction as both you and I have. If anything needs to be said about critique, it's precisely to make this difference clear rather than muddy it. AP295 (discusscontribs) 20:52, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also interesting is the blurb about gender pronouns immediately below. It's as though the policy says, keep dissenting opinions to yourself while implying transgenderism is somehow party to these vague restrictions on critical prose, as a sort of scapegoat. I have little doubt there are many people in the world whose reputation and status are not justified but instead grossly contradicted by their actions. It is these people who have the most to lose from criticism and freedom of expression as a social custom, and so they try to make others like themselves. If everyone is standing on a house of cards, then nobody is in a position to withstand the consequences of liberty and freedom of expression. It is a thoroughly toxic cultural trend. That they take cover behind people who are already in a rather sorry state and disguise their stultifying propaganda as an appeal to one's human side and desire for justice makes it even more egregious. Even worse still, so many of them enjoy celebrity status. And when they finally are exposed for the scuzz that they are, e.g. probable clients of child-traffickers/pimps like Epstein, rapists, warmongers, and patrons of all other manner of obscenity and decadence, people hardly even know what to do with this information. The deeply-impressed, utterly surreal, Pavlovian habit of erring on the side of saving face and letting others do the same takes over in spite of all decency and good sense. Nothing would make me more ecstatic than to see every last corrupt muckety-muck hit the ground at terminal velocity, and I think that having a very close look at policy like this is the way to start. Honestly I hate this culture of posturing and face-saving. I'm not at all suited for it. AP295 (discusscontribs) 21:06, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wonder if someone will be along shortly to demonstrate the proper and socially acceptable response to such commentary. Ten bucks on "dazed incomprehension", but who knows. I hold out hope that people will surprise me with something human. AP295 (discusscontribs) 00:32, 11 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thinking I might not have been concise enough, I wrote this essay as a refinement of my earlier suggestions, though it's still a work in progress. Expand the collapsed box above to see my original request and the responses, which did not seem to bear out any definite conclusion. For some time I've felt that many popular 'user-driven' websites have developed an odd and unhealthy culture of assent. This is essentially my bid for a few policy changes or perhaps clarifications that I think will mitigate this trend. AP295 (discusscontribs)

Opportunities open for the Affiliations Committee, Ombuds commission, and the Case Review Committee edit

Hi everyone! The Affiliations Committee (AffCom), Ombuds commission (OC), and the Case Review Committee (CRC) are looking for new members. These volunteer groups provide important structural and oversight support for the community and movement. People are encouraged to nominate themselves or encourage others they feel would contribute to these groups to apply. There is more information about the roles of the groups, the skills needed, and the opportunity to apply on the Meta-wiki page.

On behalf of the Committee Support team,

~ Keegan (WMF) (talk) 16:41, 9 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, Keegan! Contributor118,784 Let's talk 19:18, 16 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Review and comment on the 2024 Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees selection rules package edit

You can find this message translated into additional languages on Meta-wiki.

Dear all,

Please review and comment on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees selection rules package from now until 29 October 2023. The selection rules package was based on older versions by the Elections Committee and will be used in the 2024 Board of Trustees selection. Providing your comments now will help them provide a smoother, better Board selection process. More on the Meta-wiki page.


Katie Chan
Chair of the Elections Committee

01:13, 17 October 2023 (UTC)

Enable Extension:Translate edit

Hi! The Wikidebate project is slowly growing and I think a big next step would be to start translating the debates to new languages. Years ago I tried creating v:es:Wikidebate but it never really caught on. I think it would be much more effective to use the mw:Extension:Translate. However, it'd need to be enabled on Wikiversity first, and thus it would be available for the entire site. Perhaps I should note that no single-language Wikimedia project (that I know of) has this extension enabled. AFAIK, it's only enabled on multi-language projects such as Commons, or Meta. However, this may not be a problem if there's consensus to enable it. Thoughts? Objections? Support? Sophivorus (discusscontribs) 21:55, 23 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First and foremost: The English Wikiversity is an English language project. It is not a multilingual project. If you want to experiment with the Translate extension, it's available on
Second: There's a lot of overhead inherent in maintaining a set of translated texts. It's difficult enough on Commons, where there's a sizable multilingual community present and the texts being translated are fairly stable (like policy documents and message templates). For a smaller project like Wikidebate it's going to be effectively impossible.
Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 22:57, 23 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do not think we should host non-English material on en.wv. —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:53, 23 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The workforce inside English Wikiversity should be used to expand English content rather than something else. The same thing can be said to other type of projects, and I think that is why there is no single-language Wikimedia project having the extension enabled. For non-English creations, you can use other versions of Wikiversity or Beta as advised at above. MathXplore (discusscontribs) 04:11, 24 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Oppose Per Omphalographer’s comment. Contributor118,784 Let's talk 14:26, 25 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Oppose this does not seem appropriate for the en.wikiversity. This also seems like it would be unnecessary clutter considering the lack of interest in translating these Wikidebates. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 15:11, 25 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal: Close the Wikiversity:Help desk and other reference desks edit

TL;DR: I am proposing that Wikiversity close its help and reference desks, as they are not being actively used or maintained. This affects the following pages:

as well as the following others which aren't linked from the main help desk:

The help desk was created with the intent of being a general-purpose question and answer service. This is not a service which Wikiversity currently has a sufficiently active user base to provide, nor is it one that visitors have historically made much use of. (Many of the subject reference desks haven't seen any activity in the last 10 years.)

Questions about using Wikiversity should be directed to the Colloquium; there's little enough activity here that a few extra questions won't hurt. Questions about other topics should be directed to the English Wikipedia reference desk or other online Q&A resources like Stack Exchange, where they are more likely to receive timely answers.

Fully closing the help desk will require the assistance of an interface administrator, as there's currently a link to it in MediaWiki:Sidebar.

Are there any objections to these closures?

Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 19:47, 25 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  Support Mark them historical, direct users here for specifically en.wv topics or to appropriate third parties as necessary (no prejudice about which ones, etc.), and re-open in the off chance that this project gets busy enough to justify them in the future. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:08, 25 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no objection to closing these pages. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:10, 26 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since there doesn't seem to be objection, this is now  Y Done - I have placed a message on the main help desk indicating that it is closed, and redirected all of the other help desk pages to that one. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 04:55, 4 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Template:Coord does not work edit

The {{Coord}} dtemplate oes not work, see WikiJournal of Science/Earth-grazing meteoroid of 13 October 1990#Encounter data. Could somebody fix it, please? -- Jan Kameníček (discusscontribs) 21:36, 29 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems like the Lua module was broken? OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:14, 2 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proclaiming Armistice of WWI Remembrance and Veterans Day for 11th Nov edit


Propose that we announce on main page that 11th November is: Jaredscribe/Armistice of WWI Remembrance and Veterans Day (this proposal was tailor made for Portland public schools, but could be generalized to apply to any school, in any country, or to any wikiproject)

I'm not necessarily proposing that we link to my proclamation, or move it to mainspace, (although if the colloquium supports that, I will consent and give up editorial control), I only ask that you read it, and that we make "Armistice Remembrance" primary (that is how the Europeans still call it, rather the American Veterans Day, which appellation neglects the historical and educational value of the holiday.

Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 05:51, 10 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This would be a good time to promote and contribute to courses that teach about global war and peace, and the aftermath of this particular peace: the post-colonial national movements of the former Ottoman possessions, about the rise of fascism and communism in Europe, about multilateral international institutions, etc.
Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 05:56, 10 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interesting sentiment, but I think that the proposal is too late and we don't have appropriate featured content. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:04, 10 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What you mean to say is, I think, "we don't have appropriate content to feature". If we did have appropriate content, we could feature it, and that fact that it isn't currently featured is irrelevant. Is that what you meant? Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 15:30, 10 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did mean that, yes. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:09, 10 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Our course on WWI is woefully inadequate. But this is a good time for educators to start improving the course! Koavf
Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 15:35, 10 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
searching "armistice" on wikiveristy yields dozens of results: many other courses on mention the topic.
Invitation to all my colleagues here, on other wikiprojects, at schools and libraries and civic gatherings IRL to spend this American federal holiday (because 11th is a Saturday, we have Friday off) and lets spend the coming days doing learn-ins, study-ins, and teach-ins.
Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 15:54, 10 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the template pages:
I imagine that other languages are similarly lacking.
Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 02:08, 13 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
French wikiversity has a thorough and excellently presented resource: fr:États-Unis et le monde depuis les « 14 points » de Wilson that someone could translate and further reference and annotate: "United States and the world since the "14 Points" of Wilson.
It has lots of pictures, 4 lessons, five appendices, oral questions, and a summary outline and arguments. Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 17:04, 13 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Announcing a Students Union of Substitute Teachers and Adjunct Faculty edit


User:Jaredscribe/Students Union of Substitute Teachers and Adjunct Faculty This is in response to several high profile teachers union strikes this year.

A discussion is already underway on the talk page: User_talk:Jaredscribe/Students_Union_of_Substitute_Teachers_and_Adjunct_Faculty#Challenging_assumptions_and_warning_against_disservice_to_students

Soliciting proofreading and further analysis or commentary from the Colloquium, before I move this to mainspace. If you wish to join our union, link to your User page so we know what you're available to teach. Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 22:52, 10 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Our first collective action was:
Wikiversity:Colloquium#Proclaiming Armistice of WWI Remembrance and Veterans Day for 11th Nov
Next year we will refuse to disperse from schools on "Veterans day", and instead consolidate and organize on "WWI Armistice day" (for short).
Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 23:01, 10 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Oppose in the strongest possible terms. Wikiversity is not a platform for advocacy or calls to action. If you want to try to organize a union or a demonstration, that organization should take place elsewhere. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 01:34, 11 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I concur that wikiversity is not a platform for advocating political candidates or causes, but Wikiversity is a learning community, for learning, teaching, and serving. Therefore to advocate for that mission is and should be permitted advocacy, IMHO. The proposal was neutral between the district and the teachers' union, and was not advocating for either side's demands, only listing them. The only advocacy was for the learning mission of historical literacy, and for students' whose teachers are on strike to have access to the school library for education. Since we need access to libraries to make w:WP:verifiable claims with citations to w:WP:reliable sources, and since this is essential to an encyclopedia or a learning community, and since we here are an learning community attached to an encyclopedia, it is both permissible and necessary to advocate that mission. That does not suddenly green-light other advocacy for other political or social causes. Thoughts?
As for union organizing, again its probably not a place for coal miners and auto workers to organize, but I think it should be acceptable to organize students unions, teachers unions, librarians unions, school psychologists unions, school administrator cabals, etc., since these are directly related to supporting the mission of Wikiversity. Thoughts?
My call to action is to improve our content on Armistices and Aftermath of WWI, here and on other wikiprojects - and this is unobjectionable: again part of our mission, and I've been doing it myself - both as a proof of concept and to improve my own understanding of these events. However, in order to pursue that mission, I've announced a Nationwide General Student's Strike called for 13th_November, for study-ins, teach-ins, learn-ins, and edit-o-thon, so that we could get to work on improving these courses and articles.
Although WikiMedia does host conferences and editothons, and pages listing local meetups, and although this could potentially be one of them in future years, it might have been going a little too far to call for a strike on public education as a means of compelling the history and social studies teachers to comply this demand. Therefore I will delete that section, or else abstain from moving this proposal into mainspace.
Regards, Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 02:37, 13 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not entirely clear to me what all this is about. Armistice day? Establishing a union that permits crossing another union's picket line? I don't especially like the sound of that, though I wouldn't necessarily object to organizing or a call to action per se. It hardly seems the least appropriate thing on wikiversity, considering there's a 'learning resource' on how to make a bong out of toilet paper, which survived an RfD no less (the 'random' button took me there). It's just rather vague. AP295 (discusscontribs) 04:40, 14 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Calling for Calendar and holiday reform generally. Thanks for the feedbac: I've made the demands a little more clear and distinct.
Also clarified that we're not crossing another union's picket line:
Demand: Open the Libraries for Independent Study Groups:
"School librarians are represented by the PAT and are on strike along with teachers. They have the right to collectively bargain, and we support the valuable work they do and their right to use strikes as negotiating tactic, but we do not acknowledge any right to keep libraries locked or to supress available knowledge. There should be no monopoly on access to knowledge. We ask PPS principals themselves should facilitate the opening of libraries on a browsing-only and non-lending basis, in the schools they oversee. They should do this with or without the help of parent-volunteers or student-workers, and with or without the consent of the teachers' union, although we expect the PAT to concede to this demand. All acquisitions and improvement of the collection should be left on hold until the librarians return from strike, but the custodianship of the room and application of any discipline that may be required, is unskilled labor that can be done by the principals with help from students and parents." Jaredscribe (discusscontribs) 15:58, 15 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The idea of having holidays on the solstices is interesting, or better at least than deifying specific people with their own federal holidays. AP295 (discusscontribs) 06:18, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Debates as a place to defend one's favior point of view edit

The header Template:Wikidebate says:

  • "[...] This is not a place to defend your preferred points of view, but original arguments are allowed and welcome [...]"

I would like to drop the following:

  • "This is not a place to defend your preferred points of view"

Since, the debate is also a place to defend one's preferred point of view, even if it is also a place to defend other points of view. Pinging: User:Sophivorus, User:AP295. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 12:21, 17 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about amending "This is not a place to defend..." to "This is not a battleground to fight for..."? I think the purpose of that bit is sound; it just needs to be clarified. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 18:10, 17 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. I am happy with "This is not a battleground to fight for...", if that is preferred; this would be a clear improvement. I think deletion as I proposed works as well. Anyone else has other ideas? --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs)
Hi, I agree! Sophivorus (discusscontribs) 20:55, 21 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "battleground" metaphor is worse, frankly. AP295 (discusscontribs) 19:07, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm in favor of dropping all such statements. What I dislike about them is the tacit implication that users who contribute only to "one side" of an argument have an ulterior motive. Such statements do not admit the possibility such a user could simply be arguing what they believe is true. Any given user may very well have an ulterior motive, but since it's a debate anyone's free to dispute a given argument. Debates ought to be actual discourse, not an exposition. AP295 (discusscontribs) 19:02, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That statement was meant for you, and you need to take what it's trying to say to heart. You are treating Wikidebates as that "battleground" I described. This is not the educational purpose which they were created for, and I don't see any real possibility of that changing. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 19:10, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Isn't it a bit melodramatic to use a "battleground" metaphor just because someone civilly contributes in the form of discourse rather than contrived exposition? Am I to understand that if I contribute an opposing argument (regardless of whether I think such an argument is actually true), it would then not be a "battleground"? A discussion is just that, and should not be rhetorically likened to an act or instance of violence. And likewise, one is not a "peacemaker" for putting a stop to discourse. People should talk to avoid fighting, no? Undo my wikidebate edits if you don't think they're valuable or appropriate, and I will either leave it alone or do my best to correct whatever you feel is wrong. However I believe they are both valuable and appropriate. So, apparently, does Sophivorus. That a user's wikidebate contributions are somehow invalid or less valid unless they're matched by equal opposing arguments from the same user is an untenable position. It doesn't make much sense when you get right down to it. AP295 (discusscontribs) 20:05, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikidebates - encouraging people to debate the subject on the talk page edit

It was proposed that subpages for debates are created where people can write their essays or debate in free format. I am not opposed but I would think it less innovative/disruptive to encourage people to discuss on debate talk page, where the encouragement would be via additional text to the debate header. Normally, Wikipedia discourages debates on subject matter on the talk pages, but here, we could encourage such debates. Thus, instead of having "Are debates good?/Joe Hoe", there would be "Talk:Are debates good?#Joe Hoe", a section for the user. What do you think? --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 19:00, 17 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I also oppose discussing the topic on the wikidebate's talk page. That page should only be devoted to whether edits follow established policy. Discussion of that policy or the merits of various ideas in the wikidebate belong somewhere else, probably in subspace. Subspace is where students typically write write essays. The question in my mind is whether these ancillary elaborations belong in the subspace of the Wikidebate, or as subpages of a different page (in namespace or "mainspace".) If these discussions go into the subspace of the actual wikidebate, a single line at the bottom of the wikidebate is all we need to direct readers into a directory of all subspace discussions. That's how I see it. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 21:27, 17 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you certain these "debates" are within the educational scope of Wikiversity? Wikidebates, as they currently exist, are arguably in scope as educational resources about controversial topics; however, I don't immediately see how this would extend to personal essays about these (or other) topics. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 22:20, 17 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikiversity is not free hosting for whatever jeremiads someone has. We have some user essays in main and userspaces, but even those are pretty shaky about having "educational" content. —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:12, 17 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The act of writing an essay on a given topic with the possibility of addressing issues/defects raised by other editors is educational, and the wiki technique with its revision histories beautifully supports the cognitive process of doing so. The act of reading such an essay is perhaps not so educational, but if one is asked to read it critically and write a list of issues/defects as if one were a reviewer, that seems educational enough. But the idea that people would write essays on the subjects given by the debate titles was not mine; I just picked it up and thought about using the talk page for the purpose. If people prefer to use subpages for the purpose, fine. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 23:17, 17 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In Czech Wikiversity, there is a teacher who instructs his students to use Wikiversity to take lecture notes. After the semester is finished, most of these notes get deleted. In the meantime, the students get acquainted with using the wiki technique, and feel the responsibility of placing something online. Others can have a look at what the students create, and get an idea of the skill level that students can acquire. This is an educational idea rather different from producing material for others to read; the educational aspect lies mainly in encouragement of creation in the wiki environment. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 23:21, 17 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Deleting low quality essays is a good idea. It can be done with the prod template (proposed deletion.) People who are active on Wikiversity can "rescue" the essay and perhaps learn from their mistakes in the future. Authors who don't object to the deletion are unlikely to ever benefit from re-reading their own essays (because they are likely now inactive.) The question I pose to the WV community is this: Should Wikiversity host only high quality learning resources? Or should it also be a place where underdeveloped minds can 'learn by doing'?--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:15, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Guy vandegrift: If that's to be the case, it would be good to have more specific criteria or a general review process such that a user can have some assurance their material won't be "thrown out with the trash" if they only sporadically contribute. For example, Wikipedia has wikipedia:WP:CLASSES. It does not have to be an extensive line-for-line review, but a basic assessment that might bear out something along the lines of "this resource is reasonably substantial/complete and/or has educational or scholarly value". I see no reason essays in particular should be singled out as less educational than any other format for a resource. I don't oppose removing incomplete material or low-quality material if it's improbable that anyone will put it into shape. Yet Wikiversity should have some objective process and criteria for quality assessment. We should also bear in mind there's a difference between "inappropriate" and "unfinished". One can just imagine opportunistic RfD with codicils like "... and also it doesn't seem appropriate for Wikiversity" tacked onto the end, just for good measure. I realize it's not always possible, but if someone feels a resource is not appropriate for Wikiversity, they should take it up with the author rather than wait for the author's absence. AP295 (discusscontribs) 19:33, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We make broad exceptions for resources created as an element of an organized educational activity, like the Digital Media Concepts course. But the pages created under that course would not be in scope if they had been created individually, regardless of whether the experience of writing them was educational for the authors. I see no compelling reason to treat essays any differently. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 03:25, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Should it not be a matter of quality, rather than quantity? AP295 (discusscontribs) 21:28, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Omphalographer's comment brings us to the crucial question in this discussion: Student contributions are always welcome within the content of a structured course led by a competent instructor. The question is whether the community would welcome contributions by non-experts when no instructor is at hand to keep the chaos under control? ... One way to alleviate damage done by low-quality essays would be to place a disclaimer-template on some or all essays situated in a wikidebate's subspace.Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 04:17, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm a little bit of a wiki old-head (not all the way back to 1996 or anything, but pre-2004). My understanding of the WikiWay is that resources are around to be improved upon by others. So there's a tension between "this is just garbage that is unusable, but someone could improve it" and "we need a minimum viable product, but it doesn't have to be perfect". The fact is, Wikiversity does not have much content, but among the content we have, too much of it is lo-quality personal screeds and rambling. We don't provide free hosting for whatever anyone wants to write. It's a judgement call and ultimately, the community at large and curators/custodians here need to have the larger interests of the project in mind, which is not a clear-cut and objective standard, so reasonable persons can disagree. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:34, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you've touched upon something important here. The essential nature of a wiki, above all else, is that anyone can edit it. Content that's so personal that no one else can contribute to it - because it's an essay about someone's personal political or religious views, for example - is poorly suited for a wiki. Some consideration may suggest a couple of other categories of content on Wikiversity that have historically been unwelcoming to collaboration. Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 04:52, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed: this is not a vanity press. In practice, both Wikibooks and Wikiversity tend to be made up of a bunch of mini-passion projects, but in principle, there is no reason why anyone should have ownership over anything posted here. The only time that makes any sense is in Wikisource, where our pages should have fidelity to the original source. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:55, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A consensus seems to be emerging that any effort to solicit a collection of essays must include an active referee/moderator. For example, the Wikiversity Journals have author ownership, with light editing permitted by users. But these journals have a rigorous refereeing process. Instructors who solicit student efforts act as a journal editorial board. I have a few experimental "calls for submission" on a stubs I found in mainspace, the most successful one being the page Socialism, and I monitor contributions to a number of pages here. I now support a consensus made a while back that low-quality Wikiversity resources need to be removed. I still maintain that "personal" material should be allowed, provided (1) it serves an educational value, and (2) still subject to editing by either the original author or by others. If a useful essay is so complete that no further edits are likely, it should be converted and saved as a Wikiversity pdf file. Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 06:11, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But then, it seems that people do oppose essays associated with debates (in subpages) in practice: I cannot imagine a debate author volunteering to audit these subpage essays over an extended period of time. (I for one do not volunteer.)
I don't think it is a necessary part of a wiki that everyone can edit any article/page as they see fit, based on their whim. If Wikiversity's view is that, like on Wikipedia, all pages can be mercilessly edited, it should perhaps codify it as a policy so that contributors know they have to reckon with it. My understanding was that since Wikiversity allows orginal research, editors can claim ownership of original articles they create. And that is to some extent true in the activity in the Czech Wikiversity that I mentioned, where each student naturally owns the page into which they are taking lecture notes. (But the lecture notes are kind of boring and will not cause offense. By contrast, original philosophical research has it easy to cause offense; one only has to think of Peter Singer and the response his philosophy generated.) --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 09:04, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding uninvited edits on a person's pet project, I am not aware of that issue ever causing a problem. I think it is due to variation of Wikipedia is not a democracy. For example, I wouldn't think of placing an invitation to write essays on a wikidebate without permission from the active editors (all my invitations to write subpages were made on dormant stubs.) If someone tried to hone in on efforts by an active editor, the community would insist that the newcomer start a parallel effort on the same topic. Unlike Wikipedia, parallel efforts on the same subject are encouraged.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 10:11, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds good! --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 11:33, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi! If the value of these essays is in the writing rather than the reading, then I think that the talk namespace may be more appropriate. We could easily make a template to add a button to wikidebates like so:
and the UX would be a nice empty form where they can write anything they want and have it published in the talk page. Having it there may even be useful to improve the wikidebate, as the essay may contain one or more arguments not found in the debate. What would be the advantage of having the essays in their own subpage? Sophivorus (discusscontribs) 21:09, 21 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are huge differences between using the talk page and a subpage, and each has advantages. The advantage of the talk page is that if there are many low-quality essays, they will eventually archived and forgotten. I still favor the subpage, because as my college English prof told us, essays are not written ... they are rewritten. The fact that social media already gives folks plenty of opportunity to throw a few snarky words on a mere whim is why I want to see a platform where people express ideas more deliberately. Of course, we are certain to create collections of bad essays. For that reason we limit each contributor one essay per wikidebate. People who like to write endless pages of prose on a subject are likely to have their essays briefly skimmed and then completely ignored as TL;DR. By attaching the essay to the author's username, readers will know which authors to avoid on other wikidebate essay collections. This still leaves us with a lot of bad essays. I remember writing detailed drafts of article submissions that I thought were brilliant, only to look back on them at a later date, with horror! On Wikiversity we "learn by doing", and for some we learn by doing bad essays. Three more points:
  • A fundamental question to ask is: Do we want to fill Wikiversity with quality resources, or should we settle for a large collection of student efforts? There is no right or wrong answer to that question. But quality resources require experts willing to write on Wikiversity. That's a promotional campaign I don't know how to begin. But we might be able to find more students willing to write (or perhaps a few teachers willing to assign students to write.) Fortunately, I think we have ways of dealing with large collections of bad essays. For example, we might allow essays only if a quality editor is willing to monitor essays for any given wikidebate. The editor might choose to create a subpage called "Quality essays", and invite a few students to submit abstracts. Or the editor might move bad essays into userspace or draft space (or even delete them outright.)
  • Finding a quality editor to monitor the essays is a big problem, but I see two acceptable solutions:
  1. Make the invitation to submit essays not part of the wikidebate template software, but an add-on that an editor can insert into the wikidebate. Do this with the understanding that the editor volunteers to breifly look at the essays. The down side is that not all wikidebates will offer the option of writing an essay. I also see no reason to inhibit essays on subpages to any WV resource because my understanding is that subpages are not easily reached by most search engines.
  2. More or less ignore the problem (since essays are in a subspace.) Perhaps essays could be placed in draftspace before being reviewed. Perhaps we could create a bot that tags old essays nobody reads for deletion. I don't know if those who fund Wikiversity are concerned about wasted memory, but the routine placement of "old" essays in userspace seems reasonable to me.
  • Finally: Why I am so enthusiastic about essay writing on Wikiversity: As a society we not only need to write coherent prose, we need to learn to think. Just as the Wikidebate helps the thinker look at a topic from all viewpoints, learning to differentiate between a thoughtful essay and a disorganized prose also helps us understand a topic.
Yours truly, Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 00:06, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, I just discovered that the talk page is a terrible place to write an essay (for one thing, it adds a signature at each edit.) So I "got bold" and created an experimental call for essays at Are wikidebates a good thing?/Essays, since three essays on the question already exist. @Dan Polansky and AP295:: I redirected your essays to the subpage, using your names as the title. I can change the redirect to another name if you wish, or I can delete the entire redirect if you want me to.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 19:22, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Redirecting Are wikidebates a good thing?/Essays/Dan Polansky to One man's look at the debate format in Wikiversity seems slightly misleading, but not terribly so, so it seems okay. It is slightly misleading since my writeup is not only about whether the debates are good but also contains design considerations.
I for one would probably choose a different approach: use the "See also" section of Are wikidebates a good thing? to link to whatever other pages are related, including essays. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 18:57, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree w/ Dan Polansky on the link to the debates page. In the future the link to the "Essays" subpage should go after the debate with all other links. Regarding your other comment, I plan to put text on the "Essays" subpage that encourages author flexibility on the topic. In real life, sometimes the "correct" position on a controversy is to point out that we are not debating the question that needs to be answered. For example, one person might argue that "are wikidebates a good thing" should instead be "are debates a good thing?" Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 19:12, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Having a page for essay contributions to each wikidebate seems an improvement. My essay in particular is more a critique of policy, not an argument against hosting "wikidebates" per se, but I can add a statement to that effect. AP295 (discusscontribs) 22:36, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Edit your essay as you wish. I just finished instructions saying that the essay needs not be directly related to the wikidebate. I see this as a recruiting effort to get readers of Wikiversity more active in the writing process. And thanks for the essay! Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 22:47, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My pleasure. While essays and polemic are not my raison d'être, sometimes I feel it necessary to write. AP295 (discusscontribs) 23:11, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What types of essays are appropriate for Wikiversity? edit

My effort to encourage Wikiversity readers to be writers got me thinking about the scope of Wikiversity as I tried to write guidlines for submitted essays. Wikisource does not host what it calls self-published works. What about Wikiversity? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a course called Writing and Reading Poems: Nature Poetry (21W.756). They also offer a course on Children's Literature Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 23:27, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In terms of subject matter? In a broad sense, I should hope that any topic you might conceivably hear someone address at a brick-and-mortar university would be appropriate. For example, nobody's going to give a lecture just about what they had for breakfast, their travel plans, or other frivolities. On the other hand, matters of literature, art, science or public concern should be fine. I have caution about setting policy that limits discourse to any greater extent than current wikiversity and wikimedia policy already does. Remember that the object of censorship is to prevent discourse, communication, and social transmission rather than addressing the contents of a given work or judging it by its merit. Policies of censorship may be narrow, broad, vague or specific, but ultimately they're prohibitive and preemptive. If I see something I disagree with I offer critique, but I do not encourage or conspire toward its removal by any means (aside perhaps from restrictive policy itself). If you think there's a problem, then can you give a few examples? I doubt any such example wouldn't already violate some policy we already have, or plain common sense. AP295 (discusscontribs) 00:16, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Self-published written works, outside the scope of an educational course, are not within the scope of Wikiversity. There are many other, better web sites for that.
Courses on writing, especially creative writing, typically require an engaged audience and active supervision to be effective, e.g. by having students workshop stories with each other, or having an instructor provide constructive criticism. We have a number of fragmentary courses like Fiction writing, but they're rather bare of instructional content, and none of them seem to have ever attracted any students. Condensing those resources into a more coherent whole may be a better starting point than simply calling for submissions.
Another complication is licensing. All content submitted by users to Wikiversity (as with all Wikimedia sites) must be CC BY-SA licensed. This means that any creative works submitted by students on the wiki would be published under that license as well, which could lead to some rights issues if those students plan to publish those stories further down the road.
Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 00:40, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is every resource on wikiversity not a "self-published written work"? You'll have to be a bit more specific than that. You'll have to define what you mean by "outside the scope of an educational course". What about research papers, editorials, one-off lectures and presentations? All brick-and-mortar universities host such things. To say that one must contribute an entire course on a subject or not contribute at all is a rather high barrier to entry. Nearly every wikimedia project emphasizes openness to participation ad nauseam. No, "joes travel blog" is not appropriate content, but everyone already knows this and such resources are removed ordinarily anyway, and hardly a common occurrence in the first place. The licensing requirements are likewise presently in-place and enforced. Completion status is a separate issue, and perhaps a list of courses "up for adoption" would help active contributors pick up where others may have left off, perhaps with adopted resources/courses bearing a note that "this resource/course was derived from so-and-so's resource/course [permalink-to-last-contribution-by-so-and-so]. If the old user shows up wanting to continue where they left off, they can do so in a separate resource. AP295 (discusscontribs) 00:44, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I should also say that I don't disagree with having a standard of quality per se. However, being organized into an "educational course" does not imply quality, nor must content be organized into a full "educational course" to be worthwhile or of quality. I do think Wikiversity needs better documentation on how one should organize content. For instance the page on namespaces is long and full of jargon. AP295 (discusscontribs) 01:19, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As for "Self-published written works, outside the scope of an educational course, are not within the scope of Wikiversity": how is this sentence sourced? Is it somewhere in a policy or guideline? Since, it is not known to me that Wikiversity materials are constrained to "educational courses".
Some quasi-policies with unclear formal status: Wikiversity:Original research, Wikiversity:What is Wikiversity?#Wikiversity for researching, Wikiversity:Scope.
If the sentence is true, my Technology as a threat or promise for life and its forms needs to be deleted, together with my other writeups. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 06:53, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interviews: Tell us about your experiences using Wikidata in the Wikimedia sister projects edit

Hello, the Wikidata for Wikimedia Projects team at Wikimedia Deutschland is investigating the different ways Wikidata is being used in the Wikimedia projects. If you would like to speak with us about your experiences with integrating Wikidata in Wikimedia wikis, please sign up for an interview in this registration form. Please note that currently, we are only able to conduct interviews in English.

The front page of the form has more details about what the conversation will be like, including how we would compensate you for your time.

For more information about our team, visit our project page. If you would still like to share about your experiences but don't have time for an interview we welcome your feedback in written form on this wiki page. Thank you.--Danny Benjafield (WMDE) (discusscontribs) 10:26, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikiversity project to encourage Wikimedia work within a University System edit

Hi folks. I've initiated a Wikiversity project, SUNY Wikimedia Project, which seeks to connect students, faculty and staff in the State University of New York (SUNY) system who are interested in working on Wikimedia projects. I'm currently organizing a panel presentation at an upcoming conference, and seeking participation in other projects as well. My question for Wikiversity: is this the kind of projects Wikiversity seeks to host, sponsor and empower? I've been trying to figure out the current mission and direction of Wikiversity, and it seems to me that this would be a good fit for this project. I'd certainly appreciate any thoughts. Thanks! Stevesuny (discusscontribs) 17:34, 1 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I certainly think so: Wikiversity has a very loose mission about being a community for learning, so as long as you avoid a handful of forbidden kinds of content, there's really not much you can't host here as long as it's plausibly educational in nature, including many resources about Wikimedia projects themselves. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:01, 1 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Should be good to go IMO. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 18:22, 1 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Broadly speaking, this is not only within the scope of Wikiversity but one of its explicit goals, and it's something we'd like to encourage more of.
Here's a couple of observations and tips I'd give, based on results of past courses:
  • Don't fall into the trap of treating the wiki like a clunky version of Google Docs. One of the most fundamental features of a wiki is that it's collaborative; projects should aim to make use of that.
  • Keep in mind that textual contributions to the wiki are required to be freely licensed, are publicly visible, and may be indexed by search engines. Give students alternative options for completing coursework if they're unable or unwilling to agree to those licenses. Avoid assignments which require students to post personally identifiable information.
  • While fair use content is permitted on Wikiversity under limited circumstances, advising students to use freely licensed content only (and to upload it to Commons instead of locally) may be simpler. Give students a brief overview/refresher about copyright law before any assignments that are likely to involve uploading images.
Omphalographer (discusscontribs) 19:03, 1 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the suggestions. These comments are more directly relevant to WikimediaCourse, another Wikiversity project I've started. In that effort, I will be hosting a live class for tuitioned students at SUNY Poly, where I teach. The open component is a work in progress: of course, the syllabus, the assignments, access to seeing student work, and the student projects themselves will be open (I'm not sure I'll offer students an alternative option). I'd love to have open students from anywhere, and will see what happens. If anyone is interested, I'd welcome comments and suggestions for making the course better. Stevesuny (discusscontribs) 16:35, 2 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Announcing new Wikiversity projects? edit

Hi again. Is there a preferred place in Wikiversity to post a description (example follows) of a new project, to seek input and comment and suggestions? Or, is this the place? I'd like to share a few projects, and didn't want to clog the Colloquium.

Here is the post I'd put somplace called "New Projects":

I am planning a project called "Course: Designing and Writing Interactive Texts Using MediaWiki". The project, similar to my current project, Digital Media and Information in Society; will house the learning materials for a course being offered at the University where I teach. The course is focused on the theory and practice of hypertextual writing and reading; and will use MediaWiki as the primary teaching and learning platform.

The project is to develop a syllabus with explicit goals, outcomes, objectives, resources, links to live/recorded zoom sessions, assignments and rubrics. All students (including registered students, and open enrollment students if any materialize) will complete their assignments in a Wikiversity space, or perhaps in some other spaces to be determined.

The initial project overview is in my sandbox

Stevesuny (discusscontribs) 16:55, 2 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a good general place to announce new things or ask for help. Once a resource is mature and usable, it can be added to Main Page/News. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:35, 2 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikiversity Namespace Question edit

Hi folks, as a newcomer to Wikiversity and the Wikiworld, and having enjoyed the freedom of Wikiversity, I've spent a bit of time exploring the structure and community of Wikiversity, and am wondering about the use of the namespace (something I've only just discovered).

Is there a preferred or desired naming structure for projects that house the syllabus of a course being taught, with explicit goals, outcomes, objectives, resources, links to live/recorded zoom sessions, assignments and rubrics.

To date, I've created two: Digital Media and Information in Society and WikimediaCourse, and am about to initiate a third, and thought perhaps I should do the naming differently...

Thanks! Stevesuny (discusscontribs) 17:00, 2 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Virtually anything you'd create would likely be in the main namespace. If you're working on some really early draft material that you don't want to publish to the community at large, you can use Draft or User. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:37, 2 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]