Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Plan Infrastructure Scalability

Active discussions

Communication solutions and processesEdit

Invest in communication solutions and processes to support community discussions, participatory decision-making, and consensus-building at scale.

Does this mean we can agree to use the wikis for discussions and decision making, to which the community by definition has access, instead of Facebook, to which many of us don't because we value our privacy, or "Spaces," and mailing lists, which both require divulging email addresses or making new ones, and other non-wiki forums, please? EllenCT (talk) 04:52, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi @EllenCT! The recommendation is intentionally agnostic about what the best solution would be. Different approaches have different benefits and drawbacks (e.g. wiki talk pages are already familiar to the existing community and well integrated into existing workflows, but it's harder to make them usable for newcomers, and they fragment discussions because the wikis themselves are fragmented). 2020 will be the implementation phase of the strategy process: if the recommendation is accepted, that phase will be the place to research and make decisions on what the best methods are, guided by the early, more verbose draft recommendations from the strategy working groups (in this case that would be Support Community Decision-making which has some thoughts on what should be expected from such a system). --Tgr (talk) 05:04, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@Tgr: So this is actually a proposal to build something new that is "accessible, inclusive and multilingual, handles disruption and toxic behavior, allows community self-moderation, supports task management, review, refactoring and summarization and workflows, supports voting and similar formal decision making processes, and nudges participants towards constructive, thoughtful and scalable interaction norms"? EllenCT (talk) 05:08, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@EllenCT: in the sense of creating a new discussion space vs. improving an existing one (or many existing ones), the recommendation is agnostic. (There is some related discussion on the talk page of the earlier version of that recommendation. It's a bit of a maze, I know.) Adding such features to wikitext-based talk pages is one possible implementation choice. In the sense of building new software features, yeah, I don't see how it could be accomplished without that. --Tgr (talk) 06:43, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@Tgr: are there Phabricator task(s) for this work? And I wonder, which of those criteria do we think wikis are incapable of without modifications? EllenCT (talk) 17:07, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@EllenCT: I imagine there are tasks here and there about some such features (e.g. issues with multilingual content in MediaWiki), but nothing systematic. As for your other question, none of these are well-suported currently - talk pages have poor accessibility (try to add text in the middle of a huge discussion using a screen reader), multilingual support is not great (as we have seen right here in these discussions), refactoring is hard enough that it basically never happens, dealing with hostile behavior is hard because it is cumbersome to hide individual comments, there is no way to identify good or popular comments etc. There's a reason more and more discussions are shifting to Facebook and similar external channels, despite those being somewhat in conflict with Wikimedia's values. --Tgr (talk) 07:46, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Once again I'm genuinely concerned that if I support the very vague set of aspirations, I'm going to hear of an unhelpful implementation with the words "as supported by the Community" (etc). I'm sorry that Tgr gets more of a brusque nbb - but it's been a bit of an ongoing theme. @Tgr: - will the discussion stage for implementation be delayed until the Talk Page work has been done? It would be impossible for us to make an informed choice until that set of changes (which should hopefully make TPs much easier for newcomers) has been implemented. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:25, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
@Nosebagbear: I doubt two different projects for improving discussions would be run in parallel; even if we think wikitext cannot ultimately be used to meet these goals (I personally doubt it could, but then I'm not an expert on the topic), it seems bad for pragmatic reasons: you'd probably want to have the same group of people work on both projects, as they have now built considerable expertise; and it would be confusing to the editors. But then, as with all large-scale consensus processes, anything I say to you beyond what's in the text is just my opinion. I'm just a volunteer; I won't control implementation; I don't think it's even decided yet who will (assuming there will be an implementation).
In general, I would recommend when you think something could be valuable, but are worried it could be done in a bad way or misused, then instead of worrying too much about a binary support / oppose decision, just write a conditional statement: explain what are the conditions along which you'd support thing. Or don't support at all, just explain your hopes and fears. I imagine that's the kind of feedback that will be most useful when decisions need to be made about what to take forward and how. --Tgr (talk) 07:46, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Outlining Hegelian epistemologyEdit

I noticed the wikipedia talk pages had little traffic, so I am cross-posting this here. Similar concerns could be expressed among all of the recommendations. Below is an explanation of the issue with the overall outline and the first paragraph:

"What Why How" appears to be a derivative of the so-called Hegelian triad (en:Thesis, antithesis, synthesis). As Hegel's thought was adapted over the centuries there are a variety of applications of this triad, such as en:David Icke#Problem–reaction–solution. If you review that last wikilink, look at reference 151.

The problem with this form of thinking was outlined by en:C. West Churchman in his Inquiring Systems. A more basic illustration is the Dilbert cartoon where the pointy-haired boss and the various staff members frequently talk past each other. The different epistemological frameworks and problem solving systems involved are at least partly to blame for this.

So, my response is, "how would this read if it were not written in Hegelian epistemology?"--Such as, how would this article look if it were written in the Lockean, Lebnitzian, or Kantian forms as outlined by Churchman? (as an aside, there are also other forms of thought he did not analyze in his work)

I'll work through the first paragraph: "Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt" appears to be a restatement of Piaget's Assimilation and Accommodation (en:Piaget's_theory_of_cognitive_development#Assimilation_and_Accommodation). As Piaget was a philosopher, this was something he took straight out of Hegelian thought current during his time period. How could we discuss these processes in either more neutral terms, or in ways compatible with non-Hegelian traditions?

Now for the paragraph as a whole:

Thesis: "meet the needs of Movement stakeholders and the goal of sustainability"

Antithesis: This is supported by the recommendations ‘Coordinate Across Stakeholders’, ‘Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt’, Ensure Equity in Decision-Making’, and ‘Innovate in Free Knowledge’.

Synthesis: This recommendation proposes the idea of planning for infrastructure upscaling on a continuous basis

How would this paragraph look like if it were written by say, an engineer? A farmer? A grammaticist? A mathematician? etc. There are different ways of structuring thoughts, and if one wants to avoid talking past the bulk of your audience you need to either

A. structure your content either in the form(s) that other party uses B use some sort of analytical system (such as Churchman's) to negotiate between the different forms of thought C. structure your content, your problem solving, and your methods in a very basic way (this is often not possible) D. structure everything to be read two ways so that everyone can agree to disagree without explicitly admitting as much (this is often not possible)

A good counter-argument to this is that people often due talk past each other, and that maybe the other side should just deal with it. My response to this is that we need to avoid this sort of issue to prevent a Dilbert-like dysfunctional culture, outright schisms, alienation of large groups of people, and the resultant might-makes-right outcome of rampant communication failure.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 02:17, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

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