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Jimmy Wales Starting Campaign Wikis 134

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-long-until-the-religion-wiki dept.
Billosaur writes "Jimmy Wales, self-described creator of the Wikipedia, is apparently trying to bring the functionality offered by the Internet encyclopedia to a new realm: politics and political campaigns. He is starting a new website, the Campaigns Wikia, which 'has the goal of bringing together people from diverse political perspectives who may not share much else, but who share the idea that they would rather see democratic politics be about engaging with the serious ideas of intelligent opponents, about activating and motivating ordinary people to get involved and really care about politics beyond the television soundbites.' Sounds intriguing, but one has to wonder if it will be plagued by internecine feuding, punditry, and political manipulation."
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Jimmy Wales Starting Campaign Wikis

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  • by Burb (620144) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:03AM (#15665674)
    "Sounds intriguing, but one has to wonder if it will be plagued by internecine feuding, punditry, and political manipulation" How unlike the home life of our dear Queen.
    • Well it could be a straw man or shield or whatever, set up so with all the upcoming political events, activists do not interfere with the Wikipedia but there energies are absorbed by this one.
    • Perhaps it's just a "lightning rod" to defer all the political propaganda and mutilation that's been pestering Wikipedia. Now they can ruin a site which nobody cares about and the interesting site remains intact.
      • You may be on to something here. From the things Wikipedia has been through so far I was very interested in seeing the shitstorm hit the fan when the US elections came along. This may be a smart and sneaky attempt of saving Wikipedia from this.

        As for the concept itself, it's completely doomed from day one. Election time is a time when all forms of media will be assaulted with anything the interested people can get away with. Giving them a wiki, any wiki, is simple asking for it. Think of all the crap and ma
      • I would say that most likely that this just gives them an additional target, rather than an alternative target.

        Wikipedia is too high profile for a new site such as this to deter any shenanigans.

    • Yeah. Nice project, but does it have to be executed by humans?
  • Already being done (Score:3, Informative)

    by A (8698) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:07AM (#15665681) Homepage Journal
    Pete Ashdown, running for the US Senate in Utah against Orin Hatch, has had a wiki for most of his campaign. http://vote.peteashdown.org/wiki/ [peteashdown.org]
    • I get a kick out of Utah politics. If it is a republican the elephant symbol is prominent, the republican party is in big bold letters, it's all obvious. If it is a democrat the donkey symbol is usually absent, democratic party is rarely seen, it's almost cryptic. On the linked page, you have to go almost to the bottom of the page to see the line "politics: democrat". Considering that the state typically votes republican by a 2/3 to 3/4 majority every presidential election, it makes sense, but it is sti
      • Of course placement has nothing to do with the fact that the issues on the wiki are in alphabetical order.

        Nevertheless, I'm campaigning not only against the elected Republican but the Democrats' inability to lead with vision. The whole of Washington has a very shakey grip on technology which is more than just the "Internets", its the underpinning of our lives.

  • This sounds familiar (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mikachu (972457)
    Hmm, why does this sound so familiar..? Oh right, it's because it's just another forum based around politics with a wiki-based software and format. And it happens to be run by Jimmy Wales.

    As much as I respect Wales and Wikipedia, I don't really think that this is truly much to shout about. It's just another forum.
    • by kkiller (945601) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:27AM (#15665717)
      Not just any forum - a forum where your carefully worded advocacy of a particular candidate can be vandalised and replaced by the image of a scrotum.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      As much as I respect Wales and Wikipedia, I don't really think that this is truly much to shout about. It's just another forum.

      Oh no, no, no.

      Not just another forum. A wiki!

      That means when I don't like your candidate or your point of view I can change things to my liking. Get used to seeing the smiling face of your candidate peering out of goatse man's posterior.
    • You're missing the point though. In most places outside the U.S. and the handful of other industrial nations, any political forum at all would be welcomed. We have the luxury of instantaneous access to these forums. It's time we start to use them and get the right people elected into power.
    • I don't think this is "just another forum." This one has star power (Jimmy Wales) and press (Boing Boing and Slashdot so far. Probably newspapers soon).
    • Yeah, just like Wikipedia is a forum based around vocabulary with a wiki-based software format.
    • This might actually have some value, if it keeps the political back-and-forth editing in one venue, and just leaves the main wiki entries for information only. But I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

      However, if it were to work, they could set up FlameWikis for different topics (e.g. religion, Wal-Mart, etc.) and again leave the main wiki open for basic research.
    • You respect Wales? I don't respect Wales any more than I respect any other pornographer.
  • by Alpha77 (168968) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:12AM (#15665689)
    This kind of thing has been attempted by a Dutch newspaper http://wethepeople.nrc.nl/ [wethepeople.nrc.nl]. The subject under discussion was/is how to go forward with European integration after the people France and The Netherlands had not accepted the proposed constitution. The software used was not really user friendly, and the discussion was channeled by allowing only 3 alternatives to be discussed, but the experiment is interesting, also because some politiicians of name joined it.

    At least an initiative like this will bring the discussion more in the open and make the process of policymaking a little more transparent.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      At least an initiative like this will bring the discussion more in the open and make the process of policymaking a little more transparent.

      When one talks about ways of "policy making" becoming more transparent, it should be noted that new policies in most developed nations are generally the result of a group of elected representatives in the controlling political party choosing one policy proposal, which they allow to be put to a vote by their colleagues in the legislature, from among several "policy optio

  • Careful (Score:3, Funny)

    by Britz (170620) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:13AM (#15665690) Homepage
    If this catches on he should be careful that he won't get shot by some people that might not like smart people or meaningful discussions in DC
  • "Sounds intriguing, but one has to wonder if it will be plagued by internecine feuding, punditry, and political manipulation." -- Isn't that how all wikis work anyway?
  • by Macthorpe (960048) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:19AM (#15665701) Journal
    "Sounds intriguing, but one has to wonder if it will be plagued by internecine feuding, punditry, and political manipulation"

    No... you provide the facts, we provide the opinion. That's how this works.

    I wish people would stop trying to put their own spin on /. stories in the summary. Let us make up our own damn minds.
    • No, please keep ideas of objectivity off this wiki!

      Some of the greatest tensions in wikipedia are its struggle to be objective. Objectivity is something which can be aimed for but never achieved. The Neutral Point of View position in wikipedia is frequently used as a hammer to bash ideas which one person does not like. Often this can result in poor articles locked in an everlasting edit war and full of criticisms and counter criticisms.

      So its good to see that Jimbo a one time Objectivist [wikipedia.org] has finally ac

    • "No... you provide the facts, we provide the opinion." .... "fact" is a matter of opinion.
    • No... you provide the facts, we provide the opinion. That's how this works.

      I wish people would stop trying to put their own spin on /. stories in the summary. Let us make up our own damn minds.

      Spin? I wasn't aware that voicing an opinion is spin, but then perhaps thanks to politics everything is now spin. The idea behind that last little bit was to get the discussion going. Too much of reporting in this day and age is dry regurgitation of the facts which causes the audience to tune out. This is no co

    • I second this. There's a perfectly good mechanism to add your own opinions to the discussion. Maybe it's hard to be objective and only present the facts, but that's no excuse not to try. A little respect for the cognitive abilities of the rest of us would be nice.
  • I see where this is going... wiki + politics = nothing good (deleted articles, spam, advertisments, flaming, trolling, huge font sizes, TYPING IN ALL CAPS, and much much more)

    [FONT size=HUGE]VOTE FOR !BUSH VOTE FOR !BUSH VOTE FOR !BUSH VOTE FOR !BUSH ... [/FONT]

    • Didn't Wikipedia turn off editing of several rather contentious political recently? As is humourously demonstrated by the boys at Penny Arcade http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/12/16 [penny-arcade.com], completely open editing is as ripe for abuse as it is bustling with potential. If a political wiki were to have any hope of success, editing would have to be moderated some how. Either some kind of over-arching admin who approved all editing changes, or allow people to see the old and the new and vote on the changes befor
    • I had the same idea. Sounds to me like either "Wiki - kamikaze style" rendering completely useless within 3 days, or the ideal place to test new wiki moderation systems (at least that way something good can come out of it).

      BTW, should I read the ! in "VOTE FOR !BUSH" as the way it is used in computercode? :)

  • Squawk (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Poli want a Wiki?
  • by utnapistim (931738) <dan@barbus.gmail@com> on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:30AM (#15665725) Homepage
    "has the goal of bringing together people from diverse political perspectives who may not share much else, but who share the idea that they would rather see democratic politics be about engaging with the serious ideas of intelligent opponents, about activating and motivating ordinary people to get involved and really care about politics beyond the television soundbites."

    Call me cynical, but this sounds idealistic to me. It is my opinion that in most parts of the world politics stopped being about "serious ideas of inteligent oponents" to transform into:

    • "give me your votes"
    • "how to look good in front of the voters in X easy steps"
    • so on...
    • you are sheep! let me/us/our group lead you

    In a word, mostly propaganda.

    Also, I think arguments, hovever intelligent they may be, don't change anything by themselves, but only if people listening to them are actually willing to listen (and I wouldn't bet much on that willingness).

    Maybe I'm of this opinion only because I'm coming from one of the countries that was behind the iron curtain; Who knows?

    • It is my opinion that in most parts of the world politics stopped being about "serious ideas of inteligent oponents" to transform into:

      * "give me your votes"
      * "how to look good in front of the voters in X easy steps"


      Well, it's endemic to democracy.
      In the same sense that altruistic communism can only really works in the smallest of social units (say, a very small village or a family), democracy suffers from the same ailments. The moment that a democr
    • I think one of the big questions here is: can we create an alternative to the propaganda?

      And another big question: Is the propaganda attractive because it's more easily obtained, or because people like it better?

      Wikipedia functions, and there are any number of reasons why it shouldn't. I think it's possible that an alternative can be created here... even with the much larger probability of astroturfing. Whether or not people will actually choose it, though...
    • I wish I had been around in the 19th century, when politicians campaigned by giving out free booze; most people then voted for whoever handed out the best whiskey. Now, we get to listen to endless ads about nothing, and don't even get to get hammered on their dime!
    • Call me cynical, but this sounds idealistic to me
      Yup, that sounds like you're cynical all right.
    • In a word, mostly propaganda.

      According to this article [citmedia.org], the problem is that newspapers tailor their content to wealthier people and exclude the poor. Thus, the only news sources of interest to poor(er) people is TV, which is more effective at manipulation. Written news will, by its nature, appeal to human capacity for reason.

      (I'm not sure if I buy that last point, but it does seem to fit the facts.)

      Also, propaganda is not very effective if you can answer back to it. It's all about telling subtle

  • by Lave (958216) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:30AM (#15665726)
    Sounds intriguing, but one has to wonder if it will be plagued by internecine feuding, punditry, and political manipulation.

    Surely that's the point, by giving them a home maybe he can keep all that crap off wikipedia.

    I'm sure this is at least in part his reasoning - after all the "Politicians editing there candidates wikipedia pages" scandals.

    • Good enough point, but then again, that sort of Wikipedia article manipulation is likely to continue on anyway, and now with even more credibility -- because if it's in the politically neutral wiki, it must be true!
    • Make sure that the interface is simple enough for Sen. 'internets' Stevens and his staff to use. Perhaps a button marked "Substitute My Platform Here" and one for trashing the opponents "Vandalize Dem Candidate". Probably needs a bit of flash with arrows showing how to press the buttons...
  • by ma11achy (150206) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:38AM (#15665742)
    I think this is a good idea. It looks to have the potential to raise peoples
    awareness of the practise of politics and a central area where peoples opinions
    on political issues and agendas can be seen in near real time. Much different
    than the "write a letter to your congressman" or (in Ireland), "go meet with
    your local councillor", where you have to account for the time it takes for
    your opinion/issues to filter up and down the food chain.

    There is also the "mob mentality", whereby if enough people have the same
    views on a certain issue, then it has the potential to sway political thought.

    How about developing this further, into a Wiki for other nations and political
    regimes similar to (or dissimilar to) Republican Democracy.
    Note: Republican here means the method of democracy practised, not the party.

    • I would applaud an international politics wiki anytime. But I am afraid it won't happen. Plus the american blogosphere is already so poisened from all these culture wars that - as an european - I don't want to touch these people with a ten foot pole nor discuss any politics with them ...
    • There is also the "mob mentality", whereby if enough people have the same
      views on a certain issue, then it has the potential to sway political thought


      Sure. That's what I want, too. Mobs, ruling. Just give me the chance to buy up stock in some torch and pitchfork manufacturers first.

      I think that every vote on every matter in every legislative body in every nation in the world should be slapped up on a wiki someplace so that everyone can weigh in, and I think that our elected reps should allow for extensive
      • Thanks for highlighting my "mob mentality" point, if taken out of context it does look
        somewhat frightening.

        Let me put it a better way:

        If one person has a good idea, and wants to get it realised or acted upon, it is
        sometimes difficult to do. If a group of people agree with the first person's idea
        and campaign to have it listened to, it is usually much easier to get a politicians attention.

    • by Zaphod2016 (971897) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:57AM (#15665783) Homepage
      I think we should.

      As an American voter, I have found myself in bitter debates with conservatives, liberals, moderates and extremists (my parents were both lawyers- it really messed me up). I find it hard to select candidates who represent my hodgepodge of values and opinions. However, after a civil debate, I often find that my "opponent" and I agree in basic principle, but are hung up on some minor detail or interpretation. Other times, I am ignorant of the whole story, and forced to reconsider my position.

      Like I say, I'm an American (and proud of it). I live in a counrty in the midst of an unpopular war with Iraq, and high tensions with Iran. North Korea has started to fire missles towards Japan. You are from Ireland, and our countries trade millions of dollars in goods every day. Politics in 2006 are international. I want to hear your opinion on these matters- they affect you too! We Americans NEED to hear the "international opinion"- not from the media, but straight from the ma11achy's mouth.

      I love the idea of a civil international forum that encourages *all* sides (there are *always* more than 2) to be debated with courtesy and common respect. It's probably a pipe dream. Then again, they said the same thing about WikiPedia a decade ago. Time will tell.

      Three words to the admins of this new venture: structure, structure, and structure. Unless this forum is given a solid structure, and fast, it is going to degenerate into the ugliest of flame wars. The article on "gay marriage" is already a mess.
      • "I find it hard to select candidates who represent my hodgepodge of values and opinions. "

        In America things like values and opinions have very little to do with who gets elected. Things like intelligence and positions also don't really matter all that much either. The fact is that the US political races are simply popularity contests. Usually the younger, better looking, more vigorous guy wins.

        "I often find that my "opponent" and I agree in basic principle, but are hung up on some minor detail or interpret
        • If you believe this, you have missed quite a bit of what really happens in American elections.

          While it may be perceived that issues don't matter, I think the problem is that you aren't paying attention to what issues don't matter.

          Almost all elections in the USA concentrate on local issues, including those that are running for federal office, and frankly even Presidential candidate. This goes even more so for Congressional candidates, where things like base closures (not OUR base, please close somebody else
          • "If you believe this, you have missed quite a bit of what really happens in American elections."

            Show me a US presidential election where the older, uglier, less charismatic guy won. I dare you. I think it you who is misguided or at least overly idealistic. Look at the reality of what actually happens.

            "These groups are largely non-partisan and usually try to work in their philosophies to both major American political parties."

            Once again you show a stunning lack of realism. You really believe that the pro li
            • Show me a US presidential election where the older, uglier, less charismatic guy won.

              1972: Nixon defeated H. Humphrey. Easily one of the least charismatic presidents ever.

              1980: Reagan defeats Carter at the age of 69.

              As far as "ugly" goes; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Most politicians look like the "ugly kids" from the Drama Club (IMO).

              You really believe that the pro life movement is non partisan?

              As someone who has followed this issue very closely, and has voted both Dem, GOP and other, y

              • "1972: Nixon defeated H. Humphrey. Easily one of the least charismatic presidents ever"

                That was before the era of televised debates. He then lost to kennedy who was younger, better looking and more charismatic because nixon looked aweful on TV.

                "1980: Reagan defeats Carter at the age of 69."

                Reagan was an actor, he was much better looking and certainly more charismatic. He also looked younger because he had dyed his hair and carters hair was greying.

                "As someone who has followed this issue very closely, and ha
                • That was before the era of televised debates. He then lost to kennedy...

                  Scratch that, reverse it. Nixon lost to Kennedy first (60), then won the Presidency (68), then was re-elected over Humphrey (72). However, you are 100% correct about the "TV phenomena"; those watching the Kennedy/Nixon debates on tv said that Kennedy won, those listening via radio said Nixon was the better man (it ended in a very narrow win by Kennedy).

                  Bullshit. There is no such thing as a pro lifer who votes democratic...

                  When

          • I originally hail from Chicago, IL. Believe me when I tell you, I know *all about* the political machines. I have witnessed my home city under the stranglehold of these machines throughout my entire life. This is why I also stay mindful of state, national and International politics. Sometimes when the "little dog" keeps yapping, its time to find a "bigger dog" to come in and bite. I also like seeing what all those other little towns are up to- how many city hall meetings are discussing immigration, alternat
            • I will say that sometimes national and even international issues do come up, but again it is on a local level that they can be dealt with. For instance, a city counsel nearby where I live voted to recommend that the USA withdraw from the United Nations by sending an official proclamation to the state congressional delegation encouraging that sentiment. They also prohibited the city government from accepting any United Nations funding for any programs (not that it made much difference).

              The thing is though
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:43AM (#15665749)
    The nature of politics is so that whoever puts down something in writing in defense of a certain view will be attacked by the most fundamentalist, sharp and no-holds-barred opponents.

    The reason for this is that allowing something to be put down on paper in a way implies that the view is "legitimate" - "it has been formulated, therefore it must be viable".

    This is again tied to the principle that 'will' weighs ten times that of 'facts' - since nothing can ever be proven or beyond attack in humanistic subjects. The complexity of human interaction is so that any connection can be argued, and any refuted - e.g. if a reduction in alcohol prices is followed by a reduction in drink driving, you can just jump on the (often justified bandwagon) that "A did not cause B, rather third factor C caused B". And the relevance of any historical experience is in doubt, since all situations are fractally different.

    For this reason, as stated, "Will" and "Formulation" is what it's all about. Formulate your arguments in a good-sounding way, and go a long way towards having them relied on. Destroy your opponents formulations, and destroy their capacity to influence politics. This is why political information wars now is so heavily dominated by the credibility of sources - if you discount a source as irrelevant (CNN, Sky News, WHO, UN, World Bank, IMF, Grandmothers for AIDS), you implicitly seek to attack their formulations and will. Chains of arguments and logic are much more rarely sought to be attacked, because of the mentioned difficulty of doing so.

    Also relevant is that, usually, the more fundamentalist someone's opinions are, the more vehemetly he or she states and fights for them. 'Fundamentalist' doesn't neccessarily imply 'wants to cook with rocks', rather 'unwillingness to consider validity of other points of view'.

    The result of these is that you will get a wiki where, occasionally, a Joe Bloggs will come in and formulate an argument - "I think we should add a tax to petrol, so that more people will buy cars that use less fuel", or "I think we should have more work in prisons, so that prisoners can do something good for society and learn something useful as well".

    This will immediately be pounced on by said fundamentalists, and utterly destroyed. As in, Joe Bloggs is made to look like a fool and an ass. Note that the chain of arguments is impossible to attack, since society is too complex to predict an entire chain of causality and morality - it may well be that positive results _will_ happen with few adverse consequences. Because this is impossible to prove or refute, the destruction of Joe Bloggs will simply rather happen through an appropriately shaped rhetorical package, approximately three times the length of his post (length matters). By destroying Bloggs' formulations in the easiest way possible, you implicitly destroy his will and influence to try those formulations in real life. Joe Bloggs predictably leaves.

    For this reason, any 'political' blog is very likely to end up with a lot of posturing, a lot of rhetorical barbs and kicks on the shin, a lot of attacks on formulation sources ("was this proposed by X? I think that says it all"), very little actual intellectual discussion of causality and morality, and only containing people with a combination of rhetorical acuity and enough fundamentalism in their guts to supply the stamina to write every day.
    • While I find your simulation unnervingly realistic, I think it focuses too much on the bad side of internet discussion. We have exactly that situation on /. but I still come here and read the comments everyday. That's because for every post I make it doesn't matter how many dismissive, simplistic replies I get, all I need is one decent response to know I have communicated.

      I think a lot of people want this, a lot of people want a forum for discussion that can't turn into a shouting match. While it can fall v
  • The established politicians will be making a big and costly push to tilt things in their favor, and the small fries will be on the outside looking in. If that can't be accomplished because of the way it is put together there will still be the little "B" word, bias. I love Wiki, but every once in a while there is an article reaking of bias. They don't always last that way, but there is a time that they appear very tilted. If the casual observer who is not likely to come back comes across something biased
  • by dontknowdidley (802457) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @04:52AM (#15665772)
    to give the people who like to argue about politics a forum to do so.
    • Yeah! To get them off the street and onto a site which soon no 'normal people' (the ~90% voters which are not that interested at all) will visit. Perhaps the creator is involved already with the powers that are in lead, to openly favour this 'brand new' idea?
    • Despite my opposition to Jimmy Wales and his self-promotion, I agree that perhaps he's creating a forum that's greater in scope and I applaud the effort, assuming it does not devolve into the petty squabbling and in-fighting that seems to accompany Wikipedia.

      They say all politics is local, but now with this development, local has become a whole country, perhaps the whole world. Do you think someone like Hugo Chavez would participate?

  • ...'internecine feuding' is nearly redundant.

    Original definition: 'carnage' or 'bloodshed' as a result of fighting within a group. Today, it is used more to mean 'internal struggle', in which case it is clearly redundant. But if we consider that today's politics routinely prompt carnage by promoting battles in far away places, then we have our answer regardless of the decade.

    Please turn in your Pundit card and step to the end of the line...
  • by Umbral Blot (737704) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @05:07AM (#15665804) Homepage
    I've got bad news: groupthink sites like wikipedia generally don't bring out the best and most intelligent ideas. Generally a new bright idea is only going to be shared by a few people, and a democratic process will squash those ideas. Combine this with the fact that a majority belief in a statement doesn't make it true and you have serious problems for a site that wants to create an intelligent debate. For a more detailed analysis of the failings of sites like wikipedia see this article [edge.org].
    • Think of it like redirecting a river. It'll allow good ideas and politics to grow and flourish in the absence of the rotting quagmire that is popular opinion.

       
    • While still being groupthink, I've developed an open-source (Affero GPL) and open-content (GFDL) website at debatepoint.com [debatepoint.com] that is a more democratic means of deliberation than wiki's. With moderation like slashdot, I would think points would be argued over in a manner like science.. the ability to falsify or approve of arguments. The few people with the bright ideas would be moderated up and falsify their parent argument, which in turn effects the validity of the grandparent, etc. It's still not ready
    • You just hit on the fundamental problem with democracy. Democracy is stupid. Democracy encourages politicians to frame their arguments in the simplest and most basic terms so that every idiot can understand their point. Politicians SHOULD be arguing over macro and micro economics. When was the last time you heard an argument for or against a free trade agreement that boiled down to anything more complex before bickering over whether or not it will add jobs to the US? Occasionally you will see hints at
    • The only thing that I see as collectivized is the right to be an editor in concurency with other interested editors. Interested is somewhat of a keyword here. So, I think that using the term "digital maoism" is neat and classy, but wrong.
    • For those who don't know, Ashdown is running for Orrin Hatch's US Senate seat. One of the interesting things about his campaign is that he uses the Internet heavily for communicating with potential voters, and intends to continue using it if elected -- one of the planks of his platform is that government should be more transparent and that the Internet provides the tools to make it that way.

      A key feature of his site is a Wiki [peteashdown.org] that sets out his positions on all of the issues. The wiki is closely monitore

    • I've said it before and i'll say it again: wikipedia needs a moderation system that's more merit based.
      For example, an algorithmicly generated hierarchy of moderators and editors. People high in the hierarchy are selected by the lower levels. Categories are individual cells of government. The top levels have the broadest categories:

      Categories are linked like in biologic classification of species. The higher ranked editor has control of lower ranked ones.
  • Religion wiki (Score:2, Informative)

    by daniil (775990)

    from the how-long-until-the-religion-wiki dept.

    What, like this [wikia.com]? Or this [wikipedia.org]?

  • I think it's a great idea to allow more intelligent people get involved and discuss policy. We (I don't live in the US any more, but it's not any different here) now have "vote for me because i'm your buddy" lame campaigns, and almost no real debate. Very few people can stand the endless meetings and useless bickering of traditional politics, unless of course they want to be elected or get something in return.

    This should get a lot more honest people interested.

    But wouldn't some form of moderation (a
  • If political debate on Wikipedia is any indication I don't hold high hopes for this. From my experience there are many edit-wars and the complexity of discussion (as in discussing page-lengths about small details of political standpoints) is too high for people who don't have the time to read a book a day on a particular subject and I doubt that there will be any useable "results". I wish my fears will not turn out to be true because I think it's an interesting idea and I am a fan of political debate mysel
    • One solution to the edit-wars problem is to have separately-edited and moderated pro and con cases, displayed alongside each other, point-by-point. In this way the cross-border interaction leads to iterative improvements in each of the cases.

      A solution to the information overload problem is to have the information both presented and discussed/edited at a hierarchy of detail levels.

      Both these are implemented at Makethecase.net [makethecase.net].

  • Brilliant idea! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Steeltoe (98226) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @06:06AM (#15665911) Homepage
    It requires a visionary to come up with something new. Sure, many people, often the same people every time, will say it isn't going to work. It won't happen. It's just another blog / forum, etc, etc. Booring. Can't you come up with something new?

    It's hillarious how quick people are to grab onto the negative, when everybody really wants to be happy.. So you have to fight for your cause and ignoring the negativity.

    Someone who started Wikipedia.. That speaks volumes to me. I remember when I was a kid 15-20 years ago, and saw a show on Discovery how our society would turn into an "information based economy", or some such phrase.

    To be short: I was completely turned off! In my mind, I thought "If we will be able to share all information with everybody, store collections of books online, meet anyone on the planet, virtual tourism, etc, etc. Why shouldn't it be free? Why wouldn't people collaborate to make up information about every concept known to man?

    The show touched that subject, but insisted somehow that there had to be money involved, that our society would value information more. Brokers would buy- and sell bits of information, as if it was a scarcity. That can only happen with DRM and stifling IP-laws, and is not natural at all. I just don't understand this way of reasoning. Sharing is very natural I feel.

    Jimmy Wales has clearly understood the real power of the internet and how to tame it. To take on such a project and succeed where everybody else has failed, takes talents in many areas.

    Yes, information can be shared indefinately. However, doing so, increases the value of the information to humankind. While if you share a bread with everybody, everybody will die of hunger.. unless you have special connections ;)

    To avoid bias, ways of moderating and collaborating on changes are also needed. I'm not saying Wikipedia meets the highest vision of automatizing that, but it does a very fine job because of dilligent and serious editors (hats off). Maybe automatizing is, like K5 and /., are not optimal for that job anyways. It is more important that experts are making the calls, than voting on a topic for something like Wikipedia.

    To get the project known, used and collaboration started, is an enormous feat which is hard to quantify, wether it's luck, PR or good looks ;)

    What immediately comes up in my mind why a Wiki for political discussions is a good idea:

    Wiki's are made to make a consensus. The further in time you get, the articles should become more and more correct, brushed-up and representative.

    Democracy also has an interest in making a consensus, with both majority and minority interests in mind. This is solved today by representative democracy.

    Politics is today far removed from the actual people. Also, topics tend to gravitate towards the scandalous, superficial, sex or fear-full, rather than important topics.

    Forums do NOT make a concensus. They have many conflicting opinions, but moves very quickly on the next topic disregarding the work that has been put in previous topics. Such a waste of time and effort, so MUCH goes into the drain!

    Blogs are also limited to just one author, and the commenters. They gravitate towards news and hot topics, but are not trying to systematically cover everything.

    Wiki's on the other hand are supposed to converge into one piece of information, or many collaborated articles, about the whole topic.

    I am very interested in how to portray conflicting views though. Maybe each article should have links to the related discussions? Or you could use DHTML to hide much of the discussion behind every paragraph, then choose the view you want to see.

    Just see here: http://campaigns.wikia.com/wiki/Terrorism [wikia.com]

    After reading this, don't you feel compelled to fill in the blanks, or further the argumentation. The idea is to make the articles more whole
    • I am very interested in how to portray conflicting views though. Maybe each article should have links to the related discussions? Or you could use DHTML to hide much of the discussion behind every paragraph, then choose the view you want to see.

      How about the conflicting views being displayed alongside each other like referendum pro and con cases? Each of these views would be iteratively edited (and improved) by separate moderating teams, driven by discussion in associated forums. As you say, you can hav

  • After all, Kinky Friedman's [kinkyfriedman.com] campaign for Guv'nor of Texas is already rather odd [kinkyfriedman.com]. Someone send Jimmy Wales one of the T-shirts, maybe the one that says "Kinky for Governor: How Hard Could It Be?"

  • YAY!
    This rawkz...
    - a wiki that changes too fast for Google to cache, or
    - a wiki that will fill up the archives to the brim with all the changes, or
    - a wiki that will truly reflect the state of U.S. politics i.e. a mess !

    and more...
  • Maybe it will move some of the political edit wars off of Wikipedia.

    -jcr

  • The sole purpose of this is, I think, to protect wikipedia from having every page with even vaguely political themes being torn apart by edit wars during elections.

    Its sacrificial protection, but it won't work, because political trolls need attention and won't willingly walk into an area designed to make them easier to ignore.

    PS Vote out Busholini!
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @07:47AM (#15666256) Homepage Journal
    In order to better serve the users to whom this is directed, the familiar "Edit This Page" link will be replaced a row of links such as "Flame This Page," "Fill This Page With Ethnic Slurs," "Compare This Page to Hitler," "Replace This Page With Tubgirl," and the all-important "Spin The Extremely Unimportant Data On This Page To Favor My Side."
  • Wikipedia insists on the posters expressing a neutral point of view [wikipedia.org]. I probably don't understand this new concept of Campaigns Wikia really well, but if it tries to be like wikipedia it will fail in being neutral. There is no neutrality in political points of view. If there is no neutrality, how can any piece of information be considered a common point of view? Even if something is considered a common point of view, is that really what politics should be all about? Shouldn't politics get into the UNco
    • A political point of view doesn't need to be neutral as long as it's factual and there is room for dissenting views. If the wiki becomes polarized by one political faction there will be problems, but if it's allowed to express multiple views and filter out the name-calling I think it will be successful. The political climate in the US is increasingly dependant on the hot issue of the minute and the candidate's personal life. Important issues like Constitutional rights, spending, taxation, etc... are igno
  • The various wiki's will probably just get hammered by zealots on the left and the right - I'd say cast a vote over at ugly Democrats [uglydemocrats.com] and/or ugly Republicans [uglyrepublicans.com] for your unfavorite candidate.
  • ...but then it was posted on slashdot and the crowd killed my enthusiasm.
  • Who walks around with "internecine" in their vocabulary? Seriously...
    • Who walks around with "internecine" in their vocabulary? Seriously...

      I do. I spent a lot of time studying vocabulary in high school; I also edit and publish science fiction on the side. A good vocabulary is essential, though a word like "internecine" doesn't come up in casual conversation too much.

  • by moe.ron (953702)
    I actually think this is a good idea. For a long time I've felt that really the only thing holding the US back is a total lack of communication between its citizens. Without getting too political, I see a few things happening here:
    1. The US government is fucking up
    2. The best interests of the voting public of the US require change
    3. People in the US are resistent to politics (we can smell bullshit, we're Americans)
    4. Americans are not presented with any form of truly open discussion
    5. Assumption: Given enough
  • would rather see democratic politics be about engaging with the serious ideas of intelligent opponents, about activating and motivating ordinary people to get involved and really care about politics beyond the television soundbites

    This is just the sort of garbage I'd expect some granola crunching, long-haired, pinko lefty idealist to spout. I say we should stick with plain-folks politics and salt of the earth politicians, who understand that people don't care about economics, education, or the environme
  • The elected nutbubbles of this state (California) are selling us out to a foriegn country, falling over themselves to give handouts to criminals for which even citizens could never qualify, and having difficulty in understanding why people get upset when released sexual predators return to their old habits. They make the same mistakes over and over and over and over again like broken robots. If they announced tomorrow the revelation that the Cal state legislature was under the control of insane alien parasi

  • A political campaign is not about sharing ideas or coming to a consensus. A political campaign is about getting elected. In getting elected a candidate and his staff very carefully create an image of a candidate and market that image. I doubt they would have much interest in an open forum for anyone to modify that image.

    Also in a political election there is usually an opposition. Oppositions are more interested in winning than they are in helping their opponent create a consensus view of the issues on t
  • Sounds intriguing, but one has to wonder if it will be plagued by internecine feuding, punditry, and political manipulation."

    Have you ever seen Wikipedia?

  • Needs a few more suffixes. How about wikiableologyville?

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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