Here on CommunityWiki, as in most cliques, (see CliquesAndCommunities,) we have limits on discussion. Some limits are ExplicitInformation, some limits are CommunityLore.

Bumping up against the limits is irritating:

These are all perfectly reasonable, perfectly rational responses. If you didn’t have those responses, you probably wouldn’t belong here- because communities require some VulnerabilityToCommunity.

You very likely have our sympathy.

If we could freeze the mechanisms of the world, and were free to indulge in limitless time- it’s entirely plausible that we’d talk about anything and everything, for as long as we like. (As long as participants are friendly and committed to fair exploration and so on and so forth.)

But we can’t freeze the world, we aren’t free to indulge limitless time, and so we don’t talk about anything and everything as long as we would like. We select conversations that provoke MutualInspiration. We avoid DeepDisagreement.


The clique (the people in the clique) is not the wiki, and we are not entirely a CommunityTiedToOneTechnology.

And: “the part is greater than it’s role in the whole.” The SocialMapApril2006 should make it clear that many of us participate in multiple communities online.

We are individuals, participating in multiple spaces.

If you are at least roughly in the GuestRole, and you want to invite any number of us to talk with you about something elsewhere, then that’s okay. It’s entirely plausible that several of us will join you: We’re rather diverse, in some ways, after all.

It’s even plausible that all of us would join you elsewhere: There are things that we might want to do, just not do here, with this particular CollectiveSpeech, with this particular agenda, in this particular context.

Communicating by Proxy

You can always email us, individually. To try to win us over as an individual, and have one of us champion your cause here.

We use each other as filters, in a way.

“If Alex understands the idea, and thinks it’s interesting, then we trust that he can explain it to us in a way that we can understand.”

Joe Visitor might have an interesting idea, but unless any of us can understand it, it’s not worth our time. The test is whether or not Joe can explain it to a single member, who is SelectivelyOpenMinded to what Joe has to say. If Joe can explain it to a single member, and the member thinks it’s worthwhile, then the member can explain it to the rest of us quickly, and then we all get the idea.

Joe is bargaining, by way of the member, for the attention of the collective whole, whatever that may be worth to Joe.

You Can Ask

Another point of consolation: It’s usually okay to ask: “Why isn’t this up for discussion?”

That said; If it’s CommunityLore you’re up against – it’s possible that there are good reason we don’t talk about why we don’t talk about it.

Half-way Points

It may take some work, but you might be able to find a “half-way” point that we might find worth discussing.

That is:

So come to us with idea B, and see how we respond to it.

That said, we may agree with B, and yet still disagree with C.


We have encountered people before who believed that the very concept of a “border” to conversation is not okay. We disagree. The page “SelectivelyOpenMinded” may explain this in more detail (albeit from the side,) but basically: We don’t want to spend time persuing a DeepDisagreement, and we find that feeling comfortable with one another allows for deeper conversation in terms of what we do agree with. See also: GroupThink.

If you find yourself “pushing” against something, that you’re meeting some sort of resistance: Beware. We much prefer MutualInspiration. There are times where “pushing” may be allright, but it’s probably better that a CommunityMember or OccasionalContributor is the person bringing it forward, who has greater VulnerabilityToCommunity.

If in doubt, it’s always okay to ask. You may find perfectly legitimate reasoning, that you yourself agree with, on the other end of the question.

Wiki & Discussion Limits

We’ve considered that perhaps the medium of wiki is against us: “WikiSectarianism,” we call it. It may be an artifact of the desire for DocumentMode text. MultiplePointsOfView presents a possibility, but it’s hard to imagine an ArgumentPyramid growing up on top of it, because the text itself would be ambiguous. We’d be leading toward a sort of SplitWiki type situation.

The “reigning clique” here is bonded by whatever magic or hideousness it is that makes the group or clique “whole.” We do not choose to exercise our RightToLeave, and that’s why we’re here, in this particular configuration.

See Also



Some of this is more appropriate for a more general discussion on DiscussionLimits?.

Some people are very indirect in how they respond to a transgression of DiscussionLimits?.

Some people are very direct in responding to a transgression of DiscussionLimits?.

Some people falsely believe that they do not hold DiscussionLimits?, because they literally cannot see them. If someone transgresses the discussion limits, these people say, “Oh my God! I can’t believe that person said that! Everybody knows you don’t talk about thaaat! It makes me physically ill, even just to think of it!”

That is: “I’m infinitely inclusive; It’s not my line you’re crossing; rather, it’s the line of natural law, something outside of me. It’s your fault that conflict is upon us, because it is you who have violated what we did not build ourselves.” This is a very naive position.

This likely includes the majority of people who believe that they are OpenMinded, rather than SelectivelyOpenMinded. They want to believe that they are RadicallyInclusive?, and thus have to find you guilty of transgressing a limit outside of themselves, because they want to believe that they themselves do not establish limits.

This comment is probably more appropriate for the page: DiscussionLimits?. (As yet, not written.)

As for this page, about behavior observed here on CommunityWiki, speaking for myself: I personally prefer very direct. I get very irritated when I meet people who are giving me the “round about,” because I like clarity. But if there’s away to establish boundaries clearly, while also doing the round about, I suppose that’s okay too. I just don’t have skill in that sort of thing. (Pointers accepted!)

I considered seriously putting a section here called “the List.”

That said: It’s humiliating enough to be corrected on a social norm, to bump into a limit. How much more so to watch as someone puts whatever it is up on a list.

Our intention is to work towards MutualInspiration, definitely not to humiliate.

Downside: Clarity is a good thing, and clarity about CommunityExpectation even more so.

I like this page! It nicely avoids listing the things that are OnTopic, which is good. Instead it describes that might cause problems, and how to solve them. Excellent.

Is there a significant difference between “DiscussionLimits?” and “OnAndOffTopic”?

I’m not sure what this page means by “disagree with some particular idea”. I think there’s a big difference between a long page on this wiki on why that idea is Wiki:EvilIsEvil, vs. a short note on this wiki mentioning the URL of a more-appropriate wiki for discussing that idea, vs. deleting any mention of that idea’s existence anywhere on this wiki.

Yes, there is a significant difference.

There is not a difference when we say: “What is OffTopic is not permissible.”

But because we permit OffTopic, there is a set of things that are permissible, but OffTopic.

Define external redirect: DiscussionLimits RadicallyInclusive

EditNearLinks: RightToLeave ColdBlanket CommunityExpectation VulnerabilityToCommunity GuestRole CommunityMember MeatballWiki OccasionalContributor DocumentMode GroupThink