Difference between revisions of "Conservapedia talk:How Conservapedia Differs from Wikipedia"

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
m (numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9,: two underscores where needed)
(gossip issue)
Line 360: Line 360:
::I have a bit of a problem with these "differences", and I have outlined my problems with them above. I don't mean to be an annoyance, but were someone to point out the holes in these differences, it might look like you were arbitrarily smearing Wikipedia. Which you aren't, right? I'd like to see some improvement here. [[User:INTregued|INTregued]] 23:53, 29 August 2007 (EDT)
::I have a bit of a problem with these "differences", and I have outlined my problems with them above. I don't mean to be an annoyance, but were someone to point out the holes in these differences, it might look like you were arbitrarily smearing Wikipedia. Which you aren't, right? I'd like to see some improvement here. [[User:INTregued|INTregued]] 23:53, 29 August 2007 (EDT)
::: I read as far as your implication that Wikipedia does not have gossip.  Surely you're joking.  Wikipedia is the National Enquirer of the internet.  Or perhaps you don't think the National Enquirer has gossip either????--[[User:Aschlafly|Aschlafly]] 00:32, 30 August 2007 (EDT)

Revision as of 23:32, 29 August 2007

! Due to the controversial nature of this article, it has been locked by the Administrators to prevent edit wars or vandalism.
Sysops, please do not unlock it without first consulting the protecting sysop.


Great additions, Ed! --~ TK MyTalk 22:46, 8 April 2007 (EDT)

British English


We non US English speakers now have freedom to speak

General questions

I think you meant authoritative support, but I won't correct it, it's your doc. So are you still going to say your site is neutral?--AmesG 17:29, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Good point. Thanks. I corrected it.--Aschlafly 17:37, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Authoritative Source

I would really like to know more about this "authoritative" source. What counts as "journalist opinion" vs. "reporting of facts" this is particularly important in regards to issues being raised at on this talk page. Tmtoulouse 17:34, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

A big flaw in Wikipedia's system is that it treats journalist's opinions as authorities. They aren't. In a court of law, such attempts would be laughable.--Aschlafly 17:37, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Does this mean that Creationwiki is not considered authoritative? --Mtur 17:38, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
So if an article written by a journalist is quoted and its merely reporting events "such and such happened" "this was said by this person" then the source is fine? Tmtoulouse 17:39, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Sure, that's fine. But Wikipedia improperly converts a journalist's biased opinion into a factual assertion.--Aschlafly 18:06, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Its not so much that "Wikipedia" improperly converts a journalist's biased opinion into a factual assertion but that a particular editor did. That could happen here too. Such edits remain until another editor changes them. The more popular the article the quicker questionable edits are likely to be changed.
WhatIsG0ing0n 04:14, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Original research

Point 5 should be clarified so that it doesn't clash with "always cite sources" and "must be true and verifiable". Original Research can get out of hand very quickly, I think. --Sid 3050 17:46, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Correct, in the hands of a responsible editor original research can add synthesis of ideas that would otherwise be impossible to include, and can be valuable. The reason it is shunned on Wikipedia though is that you wind up getting every crank out there with a new "unified theory of everything" or a high school algebraic solution to Fermat's Last Theorm that is being repressed by the establishment claiming a right to publish it here. Tmtoulouse 17:48, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
My issue exactly. I'm not THAT much of a fan of the OR rule myself, but I can understand why it's there and thus support it in general. --Sid 3050 17:50, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Original work can be labeled as such. There is no reason for Wikipedia to censor it, except to enforce its liberal view of the world.--Aschlafly 18:07, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
So if I come up with my own theory of how the universe was created, I could post it here as OR without the need to cite any sources? And the admins won't be allowed to delete it, although it shows a complete lack of backing by anybody? ...thank you. :D --Sid 3050 18:19, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
I don't know Mr. Schlafly, as I said I can see the value of original works to a certain extent, but as more and more of the George Hammond's of the world find this site you may be innudated with original research that is nothing but a detractor and a nuisance. There are many, many individuals on the internet with all kinds of crazy ideas and all of them would love a place to post them where they will get views. The questions becomes do you want your site to be a repository for all the crazy theories of the internet? If not there needs to be some sort of qualification, restriction or clarification. However, that being said we are not at the moment being innudated with such entries. This policy may work for now, its just something to keep in mind. Tmtoulouse 18:20, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
If properly labeled, then I don't see a problem. We'll see. Wikipedia allows hundreds of thousands of entries of pure junk, such as terms invented for rap songs. Wikipedia's complete ban on original work seems a bit contrived and limiting to me. We shouldn't be stuck in the past and act like nothing new is good.--Aschlafly 18:32, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

While I agree that some original work should be allowed, letting any and all OR into Conservapedia articles would create a terrible mess. Somebody could come and claim "Moses and Jesus fought a boxing match in heaven", and nobody would be able to argue. Perhaps we should merely allow inflections and commentary, based off of what can be gathered in a source? Wikipedia doesn't allow this. --Hojimachongtalk 18:35, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

The presentation of new ideas is perfectly acceptable, but a freely editable encyclopedia is not the correct venue for this. Protecting your ownership of these original ideas is very difficult when both the statement of the idea and developer of it can be changed by anyone with a free account. Additionally, users shouldn't be given the perception that new ideas are widely accepted, when in most cases they are not accepted until they are no longer considered 'new'. --Charliemc86 17:37, 21 March 2007 (CST)
Such commentary might border on opinions and unencyclopedic language, though. (Funny thing is that Conservapedia doesn't even have a rule about encyclopedic tone...) Or will we allow "49.9% of the population" to be changed to "less than half the population" and "50.1%" to "the majority"? It's certainly not wrong, but it's also not what an encyclopedic article would write (Disclaimer: I'm not 100% familiar with Wiki rules, but I think I recall a rule about using exact terms and numbers if possible.). I think Conservapedia has enough issues with being taken seriously already. --Sid 3050 18:47, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
The very existence of Conservapedia is a joke. People who disband from a freely editable encyclopedia because they believe it is biased simply don't wish to have their statements checked by people with opposing viewpoints. You're right that people aren't taking it seriously, but I doubt minor changes to the rules will make people overlook that constant, unfounded criticism of Wikipedia that runs rampant in so many articles here. --Charliemc86 18:01, 21 March 2007 (CST)
(chuckles) I agree with you, but I still think that it may have a chance of becoming a bit... more accepted (as more than a source of endless entertainment at least =P). Thus, I support "minor" changes to the rules when they have the potential of making a difference in the way people apply them.
Broadly allowing all forms of OR can lead to chaos, and a change of the rules later on is tied to much clean-up work. If the rule stays, then there should at least be some clarification, for example in the form Hojimachong suggested. --Sid 3050 19:07, 21 March 2007 (EDT)


Point 1 is baseless criticism of Wikipedia. The statement "We do not allow gossip, just as a real encyclopedia avoids it" implies that Wikipedia allows gossip, which it does not. I propose that this difference be removed from the list. --Charliemc86 17:01, 21 March 2007 (CST)

You can't be serious. Are you? Numerous entries in Wikipedia have gossip that would never appear in a real encyclopedia. We have several examples in Bias in Wikipedia but that is only the tip of the iceberg.--Aschlafly 18:04, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
I'm not here to dispute the fact that gossip exists on Wikipedia. The differences page implies that it is allowed or encouraged, which it is not. A careful reading of the rules for editing on Wikipedia clearly excludes gossip from the set of valid information sources. --Charliemc86 17:12, 21 March 2007 (CST)
Which Wikipedia rule forbids gossip??? Show me and let's enforce it against what, about 100,000 entries there?--Aschlafly 18:18, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Wikipedia refers to it as NPOV (Neutral Point of View). The full explanation of where and when opinions (including gossip/second-hand opinions) may be used is located here: [1] --Charliemc86 17:24, 21 March 2007 (CST)
OK, I went to your link and searched on the word "gossip". It doesn't appear. Wikipedia has no rule against gossip. Gossip is pervasive on Wikipedia.--Aschlafly 18:26, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
You have to dig a little bit further into the policies to see it stated - "Not all widely read newspapers and magazines are equally reliable. There are some magazines and newspapers that print gossip much of which is false. While such information may be titillating, that does not mean it has a place here." --Mtur 18:29, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
A simple text search for the word gossip returns no hits, however gossip fits into the larger category of opinion. The citation of opinions on Wikipedia is permitted, but under specific guidelines. Show just one of these 100,000 entries that use gossip and cite it as fact, and I'll find five pages that enforced this regulation. --Charliemc86 17:29, 21 March 2007 (CST)
Gossip is different from "opinion". Come on, let's not pretend that we don't know what gossip is. The "fact" that John Tower's ex-wife refused to accept flowers from him as she was dying in the hospital is gossip. Wikipedia allows it.--Aschlafly 18:34, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
That statement doesn't appear on Wikipedia. Not all opinions are gossip, but gossip is wholly contained in the realm of opinion. --Charliemc86 17:40, 21 March 2007 (CST)
Really, has Wikipedia deleted it? If so, then it was only after criticism here. Check out the entry on Bertrand Russell on Wikipedia and more gossip greets the reader. It's pervasive. By the way, facts often qualify as gossip, so your definition is not correct.--Aschlafly 18:46, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Don't you think you're giving yourself a little bit too much credit there? You make it sound as if all of Wikipedia scans your massively important list for things to correct. The probability of somebody reading your list and then editing it is quite small, compared to people getting to the page through other ways and editing it in the normal Wiki process. --Sid 3050 18:50, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Criticizing a 1.5 million-page wiki based on a few of its worst pages isn't fair, especially when they clearly go against the wiki's policy. (much like Wikipedia's article on Conservapedia isn't really fair for picking out a few of the worst articles here, articles that are likely to be improved up within a few weeks or months) --Interiot 20:44, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Andy, you've given examples of gossip, but if we could come up with an actual definition to follow, that would be helpful. Gossip is in the eye of the beholder.Palmd001 18:27, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

My suggestion is this: Personal websites may not be used as an article's reference. If we put that into force we will save ourselves enormous amounts of difficulty. Gossip is always personal opinion. Personal websites abound in gossip. And, it is often presented as part of a larger page that has some attention getting element. An example is in the Scientology article where Andreas Heldal-Lund's personal site, xenu.net is cited [2] for his hand typed representation of a court document. But also appearing on the page are his evaluations and criticisms and bias about the court document and surrounding issues. Terryeo 18:44, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

For further exposition on "personal websites" interested editors should review this discussion. Tmtoulouse 19:34, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Aschlafly, your definition of gossip seems to be information that sheds negative light on a person or idea that you support. Please correct me with an explicit definition? --Charliemc86 17:50, 21 March 2007 (CST)

Isn't saying that wikipedia deleted something because of your criticism a form of gossip? What proof do you have that it was your criticism that caused the edit? Wikipedia is under constant internal scrutiny from a large population of editors. Myk 18:56, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
I think the only instance when a Wiki edit was actually (quasi-)proven to originate here was the issue of "elementary proof" or whatever the name was. And that was a case of "...well, you could've created the entry yourself in the time you spent writing the criticism". --Sid 3050 19:00, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Not to mention Wikipedia actively discourages anything like debate topics, let alone links to it from the sidebar. Gossip indeed. --Interiot 20:44, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Folks, I'm not going to debate the pervasive gossip in Wikipedia with you further. At the rate you're going, you might also claim the National Enquirer doesn't have gossip! Actually, I suppose its employees might claim that. If you think Wikipedia is free of gossip, then so be it.--Aschlafly 20:50, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Gossip is a very vague word, what is one (wo)man's gossip is another's hard facts! So before the term "gossip" gets thrown about too much we ought to have a concrete definition of it. Mathmo 01:09, 24 March 2007 (EDT)

I asked above for a definition of gossip so that the rules can be followed clearly. I have no interest in debating Wikipedia...it's irrelevant. But, I would like a definition of gossip if it is going to stay a commandment. Palmd001 16:30, 24 March 2007 (EDT)


7. We do not allow liberal censorship of conservative facts... - Do you allow conservative censorship of liberal facts? This isn't clear. --JamesK 18:04, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

No, we don't.--Aschlafly 18:05, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Thanks, I think that should be explicitly stated then. --JamesK 18:14, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Conservative facts? What is that supposed to mean? Sounds like some kind of hippy, commie relativism to me! Facts are facts. --Zerba 12:32, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Yes JamesK. Conservative censorship is allowed, as evidenced by this page: Alger Hiss. The fact that the accuracy of the released Soviet documents is disputed, and that a key FBI witness committed perjury while testifying that a typewriter cannot be used for forgery is completely ignored in this account. --Charliemc86 17:09, 21 March 2007 (CST)
this is all sour grapes from a disgruntled former editor of wikipedia. it is not to be taken seriously. Ashlafly is simply a member of the radical right disguising himself, albeit poorly, as a conservative. Do not take him seriously. He is baised against anythnig that doesn't support his ideosyncratic agenda. 20:24, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

"Conservative facts? What is that supposed to mean?" I agree, what does it mean? How can a fact be of different political alignments? You can check it the definition. --trekie9001 16:06, 28 March 2007 (EDT)

They're special facts. Y'know, the ones that are so obviously true, they don't even need citations. Wikinterpreter

Neutral? Censorship?

"3. We do not allow obscenity, while Wikipedia has many entries unsuitable for children. "

This point conflicts with point one... A real encyclopedia doesn't avoid issues that may be considered "unsuitable". One example is Sex. One of the oldest and most respected encyclopaedias out there, Encyclopædia Britannica, has a page on Intercourse. What's wrong with a scientific article on something completely natural, something which is very much involved with Christianity? I really cannot understand.

I shall return. O2mcgovem 19:39, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

That is a very good point. The fact that the sex article has been censored on this site is a bit odd. There is no need to get into the depth that Wikipedia goes into about human sexualit, sex positions, etc. But some acknowledgment or treatment of the way that nearly all multi-cellular organisms come to be seems to be something that shoudl be included in anything claiming to be "encyclopedic".--Zerba 12:36, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

items 1,4 and 7 seem to be mutally exclusive

and are not applied to actual pages. if we're going to state these rules they should ve consistent and supportable. Godman 20:19, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

  • I assume 7 is referring to Andrew's lectures (Economics Lectures, World History Lectures)? If so, perhaps Conservapedia may eventually have something like Wikinews' original reporting policy, which allows original work, as long as it's labeled as being authored by an identifiable person. (and Wikinews' policy would make point 7 invalid as well) --Interiot 21:13, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
it would lend much needed credibility to this project if editorials and opinion were labeled as such. As it is it smacks of intellectual dishonesty. not that it seems to matter here, as intellectual seems to be a bad word. Godman 23:54, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Name Change

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to call it "Differences from wikipedia" or "How Conservapedia is different from Wikipedia"? "Differences with wikipedia" sounds awkward. If you want to take a good idea from wikipedia, you might make a "What conservapedia is not" page.IMFromKathlene 01:43, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Neutral to the facts?

What facts are these that justify a daily bible comment on the front page?

Honestly, I have no problem with the Bible quote. It has nothing to do with any controversy about facts. It is simply a quotation that the founders of this site wish to share.Palmd001 18:35, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Surely what or what isn't a terrorist group group depends on the definintion used and the perspective of the definer.
If a group is a terrorist group, then the label "terrorist" is used here but not on Wikipedia.
What definition is being used here - and wouldn't that be an opinion likely to controvene no. 2?
Admittedly that only states that the opinions of journalists are unacceptable. Are other opinions acceptable? Though I can only assume they are also subject to authoritative support. Who is the authority on what or what isn't a terrorist group? It there also an authority on facts?
A real encyclopedia would attribute claims that a particular group is terrorist to those doing the claiming?
WhatIsG0ing0n 10:51, 31 March 2007 (EDT)


5. We have less restrictions on the reuse of our material than Wikipedia does.

In what way? how? This means nothing on it's own. --Cgday 11:27, 25 March 2007 (EDT)

Users here have been unable to grasp wikipedia's copyright, so they've determined it is 'cumbersome' whereas conservapedia's apparent founder has said something like "anybody can copy our stuff until we object" . . . it's pretty clear, given the dishonest and unacademic tone of the rest of this site, how that should be parsed. More evidence that this site is a platform for radicals and zealots, dishonest ones at that, rather than actual conservatives or, heaven help us, Christians. I more than half suspect this site is some sort of joke intended to make average good hearted Christian-Americans look like fascists and nut-cases. But perhaps thats just because it is apparently run by misguided high school students.Godman 18:01, 1 April 2007 (EDT)

Copyright differences

The page currently reads "By entering information on Wikipedia you are actually losing rights to your own material, and cannot copy your own material elsewhere without complying with Wikipedia's burdensome copyright restrictions." That's incorrect... Wikipedia contributors are required to license their contributions under the GFDL, but under the law, the contributor still owns the copyright to the work* and may license the contribution under other additional licenses. Wikipedia even encourages this sometimes. [3]

GFDL is just a normal license that is used outside of Wikipedia, and it has no clauses akin to "transfer the copyright ownership to the site I post it on". I can write a poem by myself, license it under the GFDL, and post it on Geocities, but I'm still the copyright holder. Same goes with Wikipedia --Interiot 12:49, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

I've clarified point one, and responded on Conservapedia talk:Copyright. Thanks.--Aschlafly 14:35, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
Thank you very much, the factual bits are correct now at least. And there are a number of people who criticize copyleft licenses for being "viral", so that sentiment isn't too far out of the mainstream (though I think personally think there are good reasons for some of the restrictions... it ensures that the community, rather than Jimbo or the Wikimedia Foundation, will forever own and control the content... there have been unfortunate incidents in the past where a community contributes under the belief that their work will always be freely available, but it's later closed off and used only for commercial gain). --Interiot 19:18, 6 April 2007 (EDT)


12. We do not encourage the insertion of distracting "stubs" in entries. Wikipedia has numerous distracting stubs on entries.

In Wikipedia, a "stub" is a short article, like a Conservapedia:Very Short Article. In fact Conservapedia has a template called {{stub}} that puts a large box at the top of the article noting that it is a Very Short Article and placing it in Category:Articles needing major improvement. This category is still manageable here with less than 1000 articles in it. As Wikipedia is so much larger, the stub categories are further divided so that editors can find stub articles they have the interest or knowledge to expand. Wikipedia stub tags are a line or two of italic text at the bottom of an article (often with a small image next to them), less visually intrusive than the large blue box at the top of articles here.

This point should be either deleted or clarified to explain what difference is actually highlighted. Perhaps "Short Wikipedia articles are called "stubs" and are marked at the bottom of the article, short Conservapedia articles are called "VSAs" and are marked by a blue box at the top. Both markings invite readers to extend the article." --Scott 00:39, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

  • As you might have been noticing, there is more of a push on here to discourage their placement, in favor of short, factual and concise entries, over verbose and lenghty ones. Templates are most certainly not encouraged here, and when found on questionable articles, removed. I actually see the ability to place templates on articles restricted here, to Sysop's and above soon. --~ TK MyTalk 00:43, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

Wikipedia places stubs on almost anything that is short. But concise entries are better than the wordy, overly verbose entries that dominate Wikipedia. it seems that a high percentage of entries on Wikipedia have "stubs" placed on them. Who wants to be distracted by that? It's silly and, as TK says, we don't want them here.--Aschlafly 01:03, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

Stub articles can serve a legitimate purpose if there are very few of them, to alert us of the real problems (i.e. when Germany was one paragraph long). I suspect that was the original intent. Obviously, this isn't happening. MountainDew 01:04, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

I take the stub notices out whenever I see them now, unless truly deserved. Also, let's warn and, if necessary, block editors who are inserting lots of stub notices. Thanks and a good Easter to you, MountainDew!--Aschlafly 01:22, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
How about this? "12. Short Wikipedia articles are called "stubs" and are marked at the bottom of the article, very short Conservapedia articles are called "VSAs" and are marked by a blue box at the top, but these markings are discouraged. Both markings invite readers to extend the article, however a typical "complete" Conservapedia article is generally much shorter than a "complete" Wikipedia article." --Scott 01:58, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
  • I'm not that long out of College to remember what a pain it was, those overly long, verbose entries, when trying to fact-check, and research! Scott, I agree, we could site the two examples, and play-up our penchant for concise over wordy articles, for the sake of wordiness. --~ TK MyTalk 02:04, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
    • Neither website (nor a paper encyclopaedia) is an appropriate source for tertiary-level research. Most of Wikipedia's Good and Featured articles have extensive reference lists which might be useful, but you're still relying on someone else's literature search with no idea if it's complete. Wikipedia tends to cite online and free (as in beer) articles rather than paper or paid sources as they are more accessible to the majority of editors. That is also a bias problem for serious research, and I haven't noticed a significant difference in that area at Conservapedia, which in general has a lot less references. World Book Encyclopaedia's short/concise articles give a quick and simple overview. Encyclopaedia Britannica has longer articles that give a fair amount of detail, like Wikipedia. True research means go and find your own sources. (Disclaimer: I graduated before the Internet existed). Should we have a guideline here that articles are aimed for the attention span and reading level of a 12-year old (i.e. like World Book)? --Scott 02:28, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
  • That is kind of snobbish, no? --~ TK MyTalk 03:10, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
    • My last sentence? Possibly, but Aschlafly can move the number up or down, a guideline like that would help to clarify vague terms like "concise", "family-friendly" etc. The problem with Conservapedia is that it is trying to be too many things - an alternative to Wikipedia that presents items from a conservative POV instead of a Neutral POV should aim to carry informative and deep articles on the main items where conservatives differ from both liberals and moderates. However many of these articles are censored or hijacked due to the second goal of being a family-friendly and safe resource for home-schooled children. This goal is hard because family-friendly for an eight-year-old is different to family-friendly for a sixteen-year old. Articles on subjects like sex and families need to present different stuff, or at least one group will be looking elsewhere for information. The latest idea is that Conservapedia might be a think tank. Yet another goal, with yet another set of competing criteria to do it well. If these three or four goals were in separate websites or separate namespaces each linked from the front page, editors and readers could choose which they want to be involved in, and perhaps some of the complaints about sysop control would be addressed by people recognising different rules in different spaces. --Scott 05:41, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

I think "distracting stubs" meant that placing the {{stub}} template was presenting a distraction. Both Mr. Schafly and User:Conservative IIRC have criticized its application. No one is objecting to well-written articles that simply happen to be short.

  • A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. [William Strunk, Jr.] http://web.clas.ufl.edu/users/rhatch/pages/02-TeachingResources/readingwriting/05c-essy.htm

Wikipedia suffers from stylistic strictures. It has a prejudice against concise writing and favors "blather" over cohesion. All articles must be created by a process of accretion, as if 100 monkeys at a typewriter could eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. (MUST I point out this use of hyperbole? That link being a red one, I guess I must. ;-)

At some future date, I may write an article on military communications which will expose the weaknesses of traditional command and control ideas, based on the insights of retired Marine Corps General Paul van Riper. Here's a taste:

  • "We would not get caught up in any of these mechanistic processes. We would use the wisdom, the experience, and the good judgment of the people we had." (Page 118 of Malcolm Gladwell's blink.)

Van Riper's Red Team beat the Pentagon's best and brightest in a military exercise called the Millennium Challenge. --Ed Poor 07:11, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

Ed, I suspect you are right what is intended by point 12. It is not what it says. I have made two attempts in this talk page section to propose rephrased sentences that I think say what is meant. I'm not allowed to edit the actual page, so can only discuss proposed changes here, leading to interesting tangents if no sysop actually picks up the changes quickly. The "wiki way" (not just Wikipedia) is that I would make a change, and others would improve it in the page itself and eventually we would reach an improved consensus. --Scott 07:27, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
  1. I didn't write item #12.
  2. You can ask the protecting sysop to unprotect the article. --Ed Poor 07:32, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Scott, I don't think the site owners care about the "wiki way" very much, neither do I, for a Conservapedia, that gives full credit to Conservative values, and Christian thinking. Consensus reached with those who don't think too highly of non-PC thoughts, and Conservative values isn't consensus, but watering down, IMO. How could it be otherwise? --~ TK MyTalk 07:34, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
This is verging away from stubs and into a discussion of the relative merits of conservatism and liberalism. Continuing on this tangent, I will agree with Terry and run the ball a bit further.
Conservatives want to preserve what is good, i.e., what we already have. This doesn't mean their minds are closed to new ideas which are also good. We're not sending letters by pony express here but using a wiki on the Internet. Just because Al Gore invented it, doesn't mean it's evil <wink>.
I just think that C's are less close-minded than L's. Read Closing of the American Mind for a lengthy essay which argues that liberal "open-mindedness" actually leads to mental impoverishment and destruction. Do Liberals consciously desire poverty and chaos? Hardly. But the problem remains unsolved. --Ed Poor 08:27, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
The protecting sysop has responded in this thread, but did not change the article, or unprotect it. This appears to be the usual Conservapedia attitude to "...preserve what is good, i.e., what we already have." At least I haven't been reverted for deleting information about Tanzania from Tonga or Laos from Fiji. --Scott 09:44, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Tonga? Laos? *head is spinning --~ TK MyTalk 12:19, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
    • A couple of editors a month ago appear to have had a very spotty understanding of world geography, and got several countries mixed up. I removed material from articles it was not about. --Scott 18:51, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
Scott, I'm not sure what you want me to respond to. We discourage defacing concise articles here with ugly "stub" banners. Here we encourage conciseness. At Wikipedia, the culture seems to think more words are better. Not so.
Also, we favor concise rules. We're not going to have thousands and thousands of words about rules here. God covered all of life with Ten Commandments, and many of them were just a few words long. We're going to have fewer here. If you like bureaucracy, then you might prefer Wikipedia.--Aschlafly 12:26, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
Ed has now corrected the most obvious problem with the point - thanks. The issue appeared to be a misunderstanding of Wikipedia. The new version is close enough I wouldn't have commented. I have no problem with conciseness, but short-and-wrong is not as good as long-enough-and-right. I continue to contribute to Wikipedia as well, and do not come here with the chip on my shoulder that everything about Wikipedia is wrong, unlike some people here. If we are to criticise Wikipedia, the criticism should be fair and true. Both stubs and VSAs allow a project to extend its breadth quickly, and hopefully others will come behind to increase the depth of coverage. --Scott 18:51, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

User names?

Yep, names like "Conservative", "CoulterMan", etc., aren't at all like those mentioned. Are you guys aware that "Nearly Headless Nick" is the name of a character from a book? --Hacker(Write some code) 14:00, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

I'd shy away from bashing user names, if you want a lot of creative people coming in to edit you're bound to get creative user names. Also, the fact that we have a user who goes by the name of MountainDew, (which, at best, is a euphemism of illicit neutral grain spirit and at worst a trademark violation) who is not an ordinary registered user but a sysop, would be like shooting a gun with a "U" shaped barrel. MOO Crackertalk 14:26, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

No offense, but your name is a racial slur. I don't think you have any room to complain about my name. MountainDew 16:03, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Ahem? Is it now too offensive to enjoy saltine crackers, or similary culinary treats? --Hojimachongtalk 16:05, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Well, he's accusing my name of being a reference to moonshine, so that's just as logical. MountainDew 16:06, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Mountain Dew is right; this has been just one more of an army of provocateurs. RobS 16:08, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Hacker, please refrain, as you know I will do something about it, starting with those whose name is the very epitome of vandalism, eh? I am so glad we could all reason together. Aren't you? --~ TK MyTalk 16:17, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Hacker, as I clearly stated, my objection to "Nearly Headless Nick" (and "The Ostrich") is that they are anti-intellectual. I notices how you omitted the fact that it is a character from a CHILDREN'S book.

Wikipedia is an anti-intellectual movement. The anti-intellectual names add to this fundamental defect. Wikipedia is the internet version of the Cultural Revolution, causing a generation of students to throw out real encyclopedias and look for quick, easy and heavily biased answers by anti-intellectual editors.

As TK points out, Hacker, your pen name is hardly commendable either for an online project.--Aschlafly 16:19, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

I find it irrelevant that it's a children's book. However, I apologize for the PAs.
Now, as to my username: please read the explanation I have placed on my userpage, in anticipation of such an issue. Then please proceed to read hacker, Hacking for Christ[4][5], the Wikipedia article on hacker, User Friendly, the Jargon File entry on hacker, How To Become A Hacker, etc. --Hacker(Write some code) 18:20, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

TO:MountainDew point taken...as this is only my sig name I will amend the signature to me real name, thusly: Rob Pommertalk 16:40, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Hacker, my point was, it was a pot calling the kettle black kind of comment. Yours. Since you surely don't expect all users should be required to read your user page, do you? I repeat, why the bother in making such comments, when most of your work is superior? Is everyone that bored? --~ TK MyTalk 18:30, 15 April 2007 (EDT)


I'll be moving this to the Conservapedia: namespace, as it is not encyclopedic, and violates commandment 3. --Hojimachongtalk 00:23, 17 April 2007 (EDT)


I have issues with this one. A user's talk page is a place for discussion and debate. This rule/difference makes it very easy for a sysop to decide he doesn't like being told he's wrong and block any offending users instead of confronting the argument. The user page is what should be controlled as that is their personal space. Jrssr5 12:54, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

You can tell the Sysop once, and you can tell other Sysops. You cannot pester or attempt to bully someone on his own talk page. Conservatives respect a man's home as his castle. Ditto for one's own talk page.--Aschlafly 18:11, 3 May 2007 (EDT)
PF Fox, don't post any more to my User talk page. See #11 in Differences with Wikipedia. Thank you.--Aschlafly 16:43, 4 May 2007 (EDT)
LOL! --PF Fox 19:21, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

#16 - "anti-intellectual"?

What makes names like "The Ostrich" anti-intellectual, exactly? I know it's sooper-dooper fun to sit around being preoccupied with stuff like this, because it provides Christians/conservatives with some "cause" to partake in that doesn't involve "inconveniences" like sending money to Africa or helping out at soup kitchens, but honestly---God is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being beyond all impeachment. Do you honestly think he cares whether rinky-dink little humans are squabbling about the biography of William Donald Schaefer? That's doubtful. I mean, seriously. The universe that he has created for us is a lot more interesting than bickering about axioms and abstract concepts like 'Conservative' and 'Liberal', right? I can't imagine anything more 'conservative' than conserving all the energy, time, manpower, and effort we've wasted on this endless debate. As for the "Liberals"? Let God sort them out on the other side of the curtain, eh? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Refugee621 (talk)

I couldn't follow your entire message, other than to observe that an ostrich hides his head in the sand. That has anti-intellectual connotations. Try applying for a graduate program by saying how much you'd like to be like an ostrich, and then let us know much that impresses the professors.--Aschlafly 17:39, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
Should it be clearly expressed in the Commandments, Guidelines or Manual of Style? Or is there already a requirement? Leopeo 07:43, 15 May 2007 (EDT)
Um, usernames are just that- usernames. They aren't generally meant to have deep symbolism or referrences to cliches of what some animals represent. Claiming that Wikipedians' usernames are somehow anti-intellectual frankly makes Conservapedia look silly. JoshuaZ 10:56, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
JoshuaZ, if you agree that comments can be anti-intellectual, then surely usernames can be anti-intellectual also. Usernames can convey a message or POV, and if anti-intellectualism exists, then a username can convey that POV. As Wikipedia so perfectly describes in one of its finest entries, "duh"! :-) --Aschlafly 13:04, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
It might be possible for some extreme examples of usernames to be anti-intellectual (such as maybe User:BooksRfun2Burn) but the notion that having a username of a certain animal is anti-intellectual simply because there exists a certain cliche about that animal is laughable. JoshuaZ 16:19, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
Wikipedia editor "The Ostrich" has made a total of ten edits since the end of July 2004.[6] Not really an example of a typical Wikipedia editor these days. User:WhatIsG0ing0n and User:Wikinterpreter for example at Conservapedia have far more edits than that, with just as silly user names. There are three people with the surname "Ostric" in the White Pages in New South Wales - "The Ostrich" would meet the Conservapedia requirement for being derived from a person's name for these people. The silly names comparison should go. --Scott 08:59, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Bad English

Surely the title of the article should be Differences from Wikipedia. Catherine 08:22, 27 May 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for your contribution. But I think differences "with" is correct when comparing characteristics or views of members in of the same group. For example, "President Bush has had some differences with (not from) Vice President Cheney recently."
But I'm open-minded about this. Can you explain your position more fully? Welcome, and Lord bless you for your efforts here.--Aschlafly 10:29, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
I don't think "differences from" is correct either, but neither do I think "differences with" is any better. I think I'd go for "differences to", but I'm not certain that's correct either, plus there might be a difference between what's "correct" in Australian English vs. American English. Philip J. Rayment 10:33, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
"Differences with" retrieves 1.59 million Google links, suggesting that it is common usage, Philip. But I'm open to improvements.--Aschlafly 10:41, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
I probably have my Google settings differently (e.g. only English pages returned). I get 1.25 million hits for "differences with", 1.24 million hits for "differences from", and 1.21 million hits for "differences to". At this level, this indicates that all are roughly equally used. The next step would be to try and determine if they are being used in the same context. For example, I think "differences with" might tend to be used for something that has changed, so you are talking about "difference with" the product compared to the older version, for example. But I'm not sure on this. Philip J. Rayment 10:59, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
I don't think that counting the number of Google hits is a valid way of determining correct usage. It just shows that there are a lot of ill-educated people publishing on the internet. However, I appreciate the distinction between differences with (as applied to arguments) and differences from (comparison). Different to is always wrong (according to my old English grammar teacher). In the context of the article I would have thought that the comparison term was the correct application. Catherine 13:13, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
Catherine, you may be right and I greatly appreciate the feedback. However, I find it very awkward to say, "I have differences from Jim." It just sounds wrong to me. It sounds much better to me to say, "I have differences with Jim." Ditto for Conservapedia and Wikipedia, each of which is really a collection of editors and a respective approach. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 14:00, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
Catherine may well be right about "to", but thinking more about this, I wonder if "differences with Wikipedia" is really saying how Wikipedia is different from something else (earlier version of Wikipedia, normal encyclopedias, Conservapedia, or whatever), whereas what this article is trying to say is how Conservapedia is different from Wikipedia.
Maybe the solution is to change the title to, for example, "Differences between Conservapadia and Wikipedia".
Philip J. Rayment 22:24, 27 May 2007 (EDT)
That sounds better, or maybe "How Conservapedia differs from Wikipedia". Catherine 05:43, 28 May 2007 (EDT)
Differences between Conservapadia and Wikipedia sounds good, or Catherine's suggestion. I have called this thread to Andy's attention as it's his baby. --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 05:54, 28 May 2007 (EDT)
"Difference to" is everyday language form, "difference from" or "difference between" are commonly used good English. Talking about personal difference should have different preposition but this not that kind of case. (Let's google also "different xxx" - not only "difference xxx") --Aulis Eskola 11:30, 29 May 2007 (EDT)
Done. Thanks much, Catherine!--Aschlafly 11:41, 28 May 2007 (EDT)


"4. We encourage conciseness here, like a true encyclopedia. Wikipedia implicitly encourages (through its use of stubs) long-winded, verbose entries, making it difficult to recognize the essential facts."

If this is, in fact, the case, then why is there an '{{expand}}' keyword not only available, but used by editors here? Does this not implicitly encourage long-winded, verbose entries? To avoid slipping into hypocrisy, I would advise that Conservapedia either stops making such an allegation against Wikipedia or cease all used of this practice be it called {{stub}} or "cleverly" disguised as {{expand}}. --TokenModerate 14:10, 28 June 2007 (EDT)

Journalistic sources?

Difference #6 states:

We do not allow opinions of journalists to be repeated here as though they are facts. Instead, we require authoritative support. Wikipedia presents as facts numerous assertions that are based merely on journalists' (biased) opinion.

I am not doubting the research done in Homosexual Public Indecency Tolerated in San Francisco and Hamilton Square Baptist Church riot (I believe there is a strong bias only showing one side of the story - but that is another matter and a battle I know is a losing one) but I am curious as to how an articles that are purely drawn from journalist accounts meshes with this difference.

Personally, I believe that journalistic sources are good and necessary to have as they are often primary sources of information rather than an abstraction later. This keeps Conservapedia a secondary source of information rather than a third or fourth level source. But if difference #6 is to be maintained, then a critical look at those two articles and future articles that depend upon journalistic sources needs to be made. --Mtur 13:44, 11 July 2007 (EDT)

"Anti-intellectual names"?

What the heck? The Ostrich 19:51, 11 July 2007 (EDT)

  • Indeed. Do you attend school or go to your place of employment and insist on being called "The Ostrich"? No, because you would never be taken seriously.....--şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 20:09, 2 August 2007 (EDT)
    • Online, pseudonymity is key for many people. What can they do otherwise for a unique identifier? Are you suggesting that a substantial privacy risk should be taken? I don't mind using my name, people think I'm joking, but what should people seeking a unique, memorable, and private identity name themselves online? your two-letter combination can't serve the Internet's millions - we'd run out after 262. INTregued 00:06, 30 August 2007 (EDT)

Drive to improve this page - your help is desired

I am reviewing this section both for edits, clarification, and for possible new entries to the list. Improvements, suggestions, or constructive criticism are welcome. DanH 15:37, 27 August 2007 (EDT)

numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9,

  1. Number 1 is either obviously wrong or critically misleading: the GDFL is specifically designed to allow users to retain ownership of their contributions while allowing free redistribution. You do not lose any rights whatsoever to what you contribute when you contribute under a GDFL license, since you still own the original version. Your only restriction is once another person edits an article - then, the article is no longer yours, but your original content still belongs to you. Further, it allows you to prevent mirrors from claiming that they are the creators of your content - you can file a DMCA takedown notice based on your copyright, whereas public domain content is, well, public domain.
  2. While I remain puzzled as to what is meant by "entries and discussions which are anti-intellectual in nature" (I see no "nerds, you suck" pages on Wikipedia, and the assertion itself seems unfounded (examples, please?)), Wikipedia has merely chosen to separate its lectures, guides, et cetera into separate projects (Wikiversity, Wikisource, Wikibooks) to concentrate on a core goal of creating an encyclopedia. Number 2 thus seems grossly misleading - it is not that Wikipedia is lacking, it is that Conservapedia's content is jumbled together (which may or may not be a good thing :) ).
  3. While Jimbo Wales did co-found Wikia, it is noted repeatedly as being otherwise unaffiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation. Further, what search engine is associated with Wikipedia?!? Number 3 seems almost ridiculously unhinged.
  4. Gossip isn't exactly allowed on Wikipedia either. I hear they have a really strict policy about unreferenced material on living people. Perhaps number 5 could use a fact-checking tune-up?
  5. Neutral to the facts? Conservapedia freely admits being highly pro-Christian, pro-Conservative, and pro-US. The last time I heard that called neutral... there wasn't a last time. Further, what's wrong with using the word "militant"? They mean virtually the same thing, and "militant" isn't politically charged, as "terrorist" is. Number 8 seems to be missing the point: what's wrong with trying to be neutral? Besides, organizations widely recognized as being terrorist in nature are usually labelled as such regardless.
  6. It's a wiki: anyone can change anything. If your content is supported by consensus, backed up by references, and bolstered by not presenting a lopsided view of the situation in question, it's unlikely that any user, even a sysop, could get away with censoring content. just as I assume is the case on Conservapedia. Got a case in point? I'd like to hear about it. Number 9. Turn me on, dead man.
  7. Excluding original research makes any reference more reliable. While Conservapedia may think that this "promotes a more intellectual atmosphere", any trained scientist will know that a single experiment, original research, is in and of itself unreliable. Until results are confirmed by multiple parties, which is unlikely to happen, the information obtained should not be trusted. Number 10 marks double digits of shame.
  8. Do you have a case in point? I recall seeing Wikipedia's talk page guidelines, and it seems to me that users have a pretty wide latitude on their own user pages, as long as they aren't disrupting everyone else (in which case, as a misbehaving child might, it is obvious for them to lose some privileges).
  9. Perhaps Wikipedia has exacting rules, but it has been my experience that users are blocked because they make an edit which annoys a sysop on Conservapedia, for example User:NeutralParty who was blocked for asking about a series of indefinite IP range blocks. Wikipedia's rules would seem preferable to the apparant mob here. I was once blocked for an inappropriate username, with the summary "choose a different username" while having my IP blocked from creating accounts. If I am blocked for posting this, you merely prove my point - Conservapedia needs better blocking rules. Oh well.
  10. But you have no system for recognizing which people are experts, so your policy is just as bad - you simply treat all new users as... new users - which doesn't seem to be any different from Wikipedia. Unless, again, you can think of a case in point?
  11. Case in point? Someone being blocked for blog posts obviously was causing a real problem to be blocked. Your statement lacks both context and clarity for the instance.
  12. And what is your alternative to pseudonymity? Users who have inappropriate usernames are immediately and indefinitely blocked with invitation to choose a better name immediately. Further, I fail to see how usernames are inherently "anti-intellectual" - it's the contributions that matter, not the name.
I have a bit of a problem with these "differences", and I have outlined my problems with them above. I don't mean to be an annoyance, but were someone to point out the holes in these differences, it might look like you were arbitrarily smearing Wikipedia. Which you aren't, right? I'd like to see some improvement here. INTregued 23:53, 29 August 2007 (EDT)
I read as far as your implication that Wikipedia does not have gossip. Surely you're joking. Wikipedia is the National Enquirer of the internet. Or perhaps you don't think the National Enquirer has gossip either????--Aschlafly 00:32, 30 August 2007 (EDT)