Debate:What exactly is Conservapedia?

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Original discussion from UserTalk:Aschlafly

I bring this up as a topic of discussion, not a criticism. I wonder if ASchlafly needs to consider reconciling the goals of this site in regards to its format. A wiki is an inherently democratic format...anyone can contribute, and errors are theoretically diluted as more and more people become involved. Over time, experts' edits will outnumber those of vandals and non-experts. The stated goals here, based on what is explicitly written and what has taken place in edits, appears to be less democratic, with an agenda being set from the top down. ASchlafly insists on expert opinion, but when it disagrees with his worldview, he edits articles which fall out of his own expertise. I do not mean in any way to impugn his morals or objectives, but perhaps a wiki is not the best format for him to accomplish his needs. If he wants an online extension of his textbooks, wiki is definitely a poor format to use. IMHO. Id be interested in comments/responses, and will also post this on my discussion page.

Palmd001 11:04, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

A wiki need not be a direct democracy, just as most countries are not. It is essential to avoid mob rule. Wikipedia fails in this essential regard. Consevapedia, in contrast, is based on rules, just as the United States is. The democratic forces are properly restrained by the good rules. Likewise here. Thanks. Over time, rule-based democracies (i.e., constitutional republics) are more successful than direct democracies.--Aschlafly 11:27, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
Your idea of "mob rule" seems to be "statements of facts that disagree with your opinions," see e.g. Theory of evolution. Will you allow commentary on articles that are currently quite poor? That seems a reasonable "goal."--AmesG 11:29, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
Palmd001, I agree with your basic point, and your observation seems to be quite correct. (However, from a technical point of view, a wiki system is very good for publishing a project like this. It has tons of technical advantages.)
In a way, Aschlafly wants to have the best of all worlds. He wants the popularity/fame that comes from having a frequent editor/visitor base, he wants activity, he wants people contributing as much as possible in a wide variety of topics, but he also wants everybody to stick to his personal worldview. And that last part simply doesn't work when you have open registrations. But with a by-application or by-invitation system, growth and popularity become major issues. --Sid 3050 11:42, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Aschlafly, not to be argumentative, but Wikipedia doesn't at all intend to be a pure democracy. Also, perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but are you suggesting that Wikipedia has fewer rules than Conservapedia? If anything, I'd describe Wikipedia as a large bureaucracy compared to Conservapedia's "there is only one rule page". --Interiot 11:44, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

I would add that the simplification of the commandments has added to confusion over what is (subtle) vandalism, what is a source, what is opinion, what is appropriate or inappropriate content. The inconsistent enforcement of these commandments has made for an uncomfortable work environment. For instance, here is the February 17 version of the John McCain page [1]... every edit to that point was made by Aschlafly and it clearly violates many of the commandments. Nothing is sourced, a good deal is opinion and not verifiable. When I cleaned it up by taking out the unsourced opinion, but leaving the unsourced fact, I was accused of removing factual information.
Further, I would direct you to the revert war going over on Physics: [2]. The subject of the reverts is whether or not to call the universe "God's Universe" or not. The commandment "give full credit to Christianity" is unclear and the user in favor of "God's universe" seemed to receive confirmation from Aschlafly that this would be appropriate. So that is the primary reason given for "God's" inclusion with the article. That is not indicative of constitutional republic or a rules based democracy, it is indicative of monarchy. Myk 12:17, 19 March 2007 (EDT) I was trying to find the reverts - or are they gone permanently since someone decided that it was inappropriate/wrong/whatever?kchittur 2:50, 19 March 2007 (CDT)

This kind of discussion is exactly what I'm hoping for. Thanks especially to Mr. Schlafly for contributing. If, as you say, Wikipedia is more like a constitutional/representative democracy, then, to carry the analogy further, there should be a limited set of elected or appointed contributors who are trained to follow the commandments and who are true experts in their fields. The "people" would be the subscribers to the site. This still would not be a true Wiki. I am not arguing against your goals--that is your business. I am simply saying that the chosen format does not seem consistent with your goals. For instance, this discussion... Palmd001 11:55, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Folks, true Wiki's have simple, clear rules. Otherwise it is a mobocracy. Wikipedia has complex, senseless, and arbitrarily enforced rules. Check out Bias in Wikipedia to see the result. We're like the constitutional republic of the United States. Wikipedia is like the French Revolution.--Aschlafly 12:32, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
May I butt in? I'm new here, but "old" at Wikipedia.
I can agree with the "complex" part, but the rules are not entirely senseless. One rule I like is Wikipedia:Attribution, which requires contributors to provide verifiable references for 'facts' which aren't common knowledge or are matters of dispute.
I have proposed we go one further step toward quality with our attributions. Discussion at Conservapedia_Discussions#References. Terryeo 15:26, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
Enforcement of rules is another matter. I'm "on probation" because of supposedly "tendentious" edits on some issues which are hotly debated by liberals and conservatives, but I haven't appealed that decision. I'd rather just become more congenial. --Ed Poor 12:37, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
Heh ! I knew that small group of editors had someone in mind when they initiated the "tendentious editing" policy. Good luck Terryeo 15:26, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for creating this as a separate article...I think that will be useful. In response to Mr. Schlafly, I would say that having more, complex rules, as you say Wikipedia does, should help, rather than hurt, as that is what this site seems to need. The Commandments are vague and confusing, leading to arbitrariness. Another interesting point inherent in the wiki process is this--if someone is "patrolling an agenda", their influence will eventually be diluted out. As thousands of users begin to contribute, "mainstream" voices will predominate, and only an enormous army of sysops/admis will be able to maintain a particular character. If the site attracts mainly conservatives, then there will likely be a bit of a conservative bias, but not more than that.

Palmd001 13:40, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Once more

I'm putting in a header to both inform and to make the page a bit easier to navigate. And once more invite whoever wants to to come to via Chatzilla or mIRC or whatever and be able to talk in real-time. Crackertalk