To assume good faith is fundamental to wiki technology which generally avoids pre-emptive censorship and trusts every individual to be a trustworthy editor.

The extreme form of this assumption is that TrollingIsGood, i.e. that every participant who is not obviously and only a Wiki Vandal is a contributor, period, and that there is no such thing as any contributor acting in “bad faith” at all, regardless of how they may be perceived by cliques or sysops.

Under this assumption, any engagement or dialog at all is considered to be a step towards cooperation, even if it manifests itself as Edit War. All that is no worse than “politics as usual” in a democracy. See TrollingIsGood for an elaboration of the Consumerium pro-trolling philosophy for details.

Then again, most communities don’t embrance this extreme form of Assume Good Faith. Instead, the more common attitude is that newcomers are expected to act in good faith until they disprove the assumption.


No, I don’t buy that at all, on several counts:

  • We do not trust every individual to be a trustworthy editor.
  • We do not see “cliques” or “sysops” to be intrinsically negative things. See: CliquesAndCommunities.
  • UseRealNames, please.

What we do, is extend a line of credit. This extension is the assumed good faith. If someone proves their merit before their credit is out, we bring them in. If they do not, we cease to interact with them.

What I do agree with, is that most any relevant engagement or dialog is considered a step towards cooperation, at least at the very beginning: The nature of first engagement establishes the line of credit.

Since the questions you bring up are relevant to the topics on this wiki, I am in conversation with you. You may also be interested in reviewing CategoryReasoning, SelectivelyOpenMinded, and PassagesOfPerspective.

The Consumerium perspective on Trolling’s validity is weak, because “potentially legitimate views” is incredibly broad: Every view is potentially legitimate. So the derogatory “Troll” (according to MeatballWiki:TrollingIsGood’s definition) is applied basically to contentious users, which is understandable. Personally, I limit the definition of “Troll” to “someone who’s intentionally stirring things up, just to get a laugh,” or out of religious dedication to Eris or Coyote.

The Consumerium perspective, as far as I can tell, is simply: “all systems should grind to a halt if any old fool comes by with a potentially valid idea.” Now we’re just talking about always rooting for little guys, wherever a machine (derogatory for society) is to be found, just on the principle that the guy is little, and the “machine” is large.

This doesn’t stand up. Nobody can build a society that way.

To my way of thinking: If people cannot assemble, then they cannot be themselves. We cannot understand groups and individuals, separate from one another. Individuals bloom in societies that develop their values. This is as old as Aristotle and the purpose of the Polis: The Polis substantially makes, and then supports, the individual.

Maximizing the value of “the little guy,” just because he is little, is simply a recipe for pointless perpetual war. At it’s best, it’s an effort to protect individuals from hives (another derogatory for society) that don’t match their values. This is a fair intention. But what’s lost by this chosen strategy, is the ability to build just about anything, including the individual.

I value the PassagesOfPerspective. Let people of similar values band together and develop their lives together. Let people abandon perspectives to join other efforts, as they are inspired. There are plenty of cracks in the incarnate systems of thought, and when there are not cracks, let us establish networks of trains between perspectives. This is the ethic that I understand.

I am committed to continuous inner change, exalting differences in others, thinking positively of others, giving love to all including myself, and to promoting these commitments, including the commitment to promote these commitments.

See NewTrollPointOfView for an elaboration of the “always rooting for the little guy” perspective and why sometimes that default may make sense especially in wikis. The wise choice is not to UseRealNames until it’s clear how NTPOV is to be treated, it’s usually not advisable to do so if first contributions quickly become DeletedPage and are responded to by manifestoes loaded with political ideology.

See FactionallyDefinedTerm for why Lion’s definition of “trolling” is hopelessly subjective and power-reinforcing and cannot ever be agreed to by subordinated or suppressed cliques. Certainly we don’t accept such definitions of “disruption” in democracy - the ruling party cannot define its opposition as “trolls” and jail them in any democratic country, that’s pretty much how we define a democratic country.

The rest seems like manifesto that you can achieve a better world simply by talking with your friends using definitions and assumptions you all already understand. It may be so, but if so, there is absolutely no reason for any outsider to join you or attempt to achieve equal status in a conversation that has so many assumptions and points of common trust and loyalty from history. They necessarily have to go off to start their own. Which explains some of WhyCommunitiesAgeAndDie? including this one.

Your credit analogy is offensive and seems unlikely to make “visitors” feel like they could participate as equals in a community rather than as supplicants seeking “credit” from bankers who own everything. If your model is that of ownership and InfrastructureOwnersTrust? as the absolute determinant of who participates, there’s certainly no reason to curry favor with a small wiki. It would pay off better to engage with a large well funded one run by Google or Microsoft or Yahoo, if we are to think of this as “credit”, as those entities could translate credit into money.

The credit of trust is how actually most (all?) human communities work, it’s built into us, and it has nothing to do with money. You seem to be attacking each and every sentence separately, and not trying to say anything in particular. You talk about uprooting established communities, then about allowing everyone to participate in them, then about preserving them… It seems like you start from the position of an attacker, but I can’t see what your attacks are trying to achieve other than just fight. How are you so sure that your ideas would be rejected if you just presented them?

To make up a phrase like “the credit of trust” and then claim that it’s the basic underlying structure of all human community without citing a single peer reviewed study to that effect counts as political ideology, certainly. Obviously there’s more to these responses than “attacking each and every sentence separately” though that’s a valid thing to do when faced with hopelessly loaded ideological terms - one deconstructs them step by step. When opposing the use of such a FactionallyDefinedTerm as “WarOnTerror?” for instance, one cannot achieve anything but obedience and compliance if one starts by accepting the opponent’s definition.

Nor is it necessary to have a particular objective for any challenge (even those labelled an “attack” as prelude to censorship) other than deconstructing nonsense.

If you’d prefer not to have visitors take positions assuming challenge then you might start by responding to them as valid and integrating them with logical and evidence-backed responses using terminology from peer-reviewed literature instead of labelling them as “DeletedPage” and then having influential persons respond with ideological bromides that thereafter others in the clique may feel inclined to support even if they don’t wholly believe them.

Whether any visitor’s set of ideas would be rejected is irrelevant, what’s relevant is that the tone of debate from the first exchange is set as “I have power you don’t, I determine how much credit you get, and by default your view is to be censored if I can’t see the value of it myself.” Given that, why would visitors participate? There’s no point deconstructing trash like “credit of trust” or a definition of “trolling” that puts one person or clique always in a position of defining “disruption” - these attitudes lead immediately to concentration of power and there’s really no argument to that other than to refuse to recognize it at all.

The statement that TrollingIsGood is an extreme version of AssumeGoodFaith remains valid, and has never been challenged. The statement that TrollingIsGood is an extreme version of AssumeGoodFaith remains valid, and has never been challenged. Whether the less extreme versions of it are operational, and what version of AssumeGoodFaith is accepted by dominant cliques or leaders of ThisWiki, was never raised in the initial edit, but was assumed by the persons threatened by the view that they may not assume good faith to the maximum degree possible or desirable. Someone needs to write up the PanopticonViewOfWiki, based on Jeremy Bentham’s ideal prison, where UseRealNames becomes a means by which dissenters are systematically rooted out and uniformity of responses established…

Beyond that definitions issue, the rest of this “debate” is ideology overlays by dominant cliques and does not seem worthwhile for any educated person to participate in.

I don’t have time right now to reply in depth, but briefly:

  • Welcome, it’s good to see fresh interest here, and these are definitely ideas I care about.
  • The operations and perspective of CommunityWiki definitely have a developing (and changing) ideology, but I think the proper thing to do is connect across ideologies, rather than saying “I don’t talk with ideologies.” Everyone has an ideology, a way of thinking about things, and this is proper. See: SelectivelyOpenMinded.
  • Please don’t post too much at once; It will take time and patience to interact. If you want to write lots quickly, please consider creating a wiki of your own (we have facilities via OddWiki to help with this,) and linking back to it in your posts here.

I intend to respond to you within 18 hours.

Take care, LionKimbro.

I do not welcome a TrollArrival.

(Also, testing edits.)

Testing, from work computer.

Hm, … Works from here.

I’ll have to try my other home computer.


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