Benutzer:Elian/Rules vs. good ideas

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Manche Mailinglistenpostings sind einfach zu schade, um sie im Archiv vergammeln zu lassen. Hier deshalb ein Posting von Lauri Love, aka Nsh


If I may throw my two fundamental units of an arbitrary currency into the discussion.

On rules vs. good ideas:

The problem with rules, and hence the resitance of many wikipedians to their enaction, is that they are inflexible, absolute, cannot be written with all circumstances in mind, and very often outgrow their intended purpose and assume a life of their own. A good idea, however, can be changed, it can develop and it needn't be applied concretely regardless of context.

The recognition of this problem in Wiki communities is evident with the original "Ignore all rules" dictum, and is perhaps best expressed in Chuck Yeager's aphorism "Rules are made for people who aren't willing to make up their own". For people to be positive contributors to the wikipedia, beyond a very small scope, they must be willing and able to moderate their own behaviour, to understand wikiquette and its implications, to be able to assess their and others' actions objectively and rationally, and to put themselves into a neutral mindset when disputes arise.

Rules erode this responsibility. If there are rules that are used without contextual interpretation to dictate what behaviour is acceptable, and what isn't, people will not put so much consideration into enforcing their own codes and principles of editing. That is not to say that rules and virtues cannot co-exist, but only that for a large number of people, the presence of the former seems to invalidate the need for the latter.

A good wikipedian, whose name I forget, explained to 3RR to me in a very useful way, explaining that it is best to be seen as a slap in the face because if one has to resort to reverting the same page thrice in one day, there is something wrong with one's editing/dispute-resolution procedures.

So why don't we start viewing the 3RR as a good idea, an inspiration for finding better ways to overcome dispute and achieve consensus, and a tool to let people know when they need to introspect. But let us not view is as a commandment, set in stone, to be applied rigidly.

Anyhow, just bouncing ideas about.

Yours in liberty, -nsh