Many wiki page names assert a statement (this page, for example).

This provides an affordance when you refer to that page while agreeing with that statement:

"VotingIsEvil, therefore, make decisions via consensus"

Often the opposite of a page also has its own wiki page, so you're able to easily refer to the opposite of a statement, too:

"VotingIsGood, therefore, overthrow repressive governments and start democracies"

But it's confusing when you have a neutral position and want to just refer to the page:

<sally> I wonder how we should make decisions in our new co-op?
<harry> Good question. See VotingIsEvil;
<robert> Actually, I like how voting is so efficient.
<harry> I agree; again, see VotingIsEvil;
<jules> and it's certainly good for a preliminary opinion poll, when the result of the vote is nonbinding
<harry> Yes, yes, I've been over this before with some other people, you really should read VotingIsEvil;
<sally> whatever, harry, we know what you think.
<robert> yeah, why don't you consider the other point of view for once
<harry> no guys, when i said, "see VotingIsEvil", I meant, ''refer to the web page VotingIsEvil, which contains an insightful discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of voting''. You see, it's a wiki page, and wiki pages are often named using the pattern language tradition of..
<sally> ok, harry, shut up already! take your facist one-sided rants elsewhere!

Even frequent wiki users sometimes mistake a reference to a page as a statement of position.

And, worse, pattern language page names implicitly define terms and frame the debate.

A discussion about the desirability and legality of retroactive 100 year extension of copyright may take place on pages with names like IntellectualProperty, CopyRight, and PropertyRights?, or on pages named TemporaryGovernmentGrantedMonopoly?, FreedomOfSpeech, and ThoughtMonopoly?.

A discussion about pseudonymity on the internet might take place on pages like PrivacyRights?, BasisForPseudonymity, and FreedomOfSpeech, or on pages named like TechnologicalDeterminism, ImportanceOfIdentityInOnlineCommunities, EnforceResponsibility, CryptoNaut and DefendAgainstParanoia.

Author: BayleShanks



VotingIsEvil isn't a Pattern. It's just a page with a title that had a rhetorical purpose related to a now forgotten conversation. ContentSwizzling is a problem when the content of pages no longer matches the title. This is a common linguistic problem. There is an upscale part of Toronto called Cabbagetown, but you'd be hardpressed to find a cabbage there outside of a few supermarkets. The English language has a few words that now mean their opposite, but I can't remember them off the top of my head. On the other hand, EvilIsEvil, but that's another story. The problem here can be solved by refactoring the neutral position out of the polemical page.

I have to say though that Sally is way out of line. Getting angry and flaming someone without having the patience to at least consider the other person may have a point, especially when he has provided additional context is not productive nor effective. I doubt the conversation could go much further even with a better page name. See FirstReading (or not ;)). – SunirShah

Sunir, sorry bout the "de-sunired" yesterday btw. It should have been "removed misunderstanding with Sunir". My aggressions weren't quite tempered. The troll had loaded me all afternoon. I like you write here very much and still do (silently) hope for your pic.
The title is so substancial, it is the main thing to transport an idea. Many more read the title than the text, the title is the essence. Why is our essence bone-stiff. Why can't we take the last open bones from the suffering wikicreature and make living wikiskin ans wikiflash grow over it by creating editable titles. We have the summaries, it can't be that hard to copy that function, make its content remaining and use it as a title? All of the confusion about the title would have been solved long ago, if wiki would be flexible in the titles. Many of our problems are due to our technical inflexibility. Wiki is by far not ready yet. It just started.

v1.0 : VotingIsEvil, VotingIsGood

v1.1 : IsVotingEvil?, IsVotingGood?

v1.2 : GoodAndEvilOfVoting?

v1.3 : AspectsOfVoting?


In a book you'd call the chapter [[Voting?]].

This is known as the UseMentionProblem in AnotherPlace.

No it's not. The use-mention problem is about construcing ReverseIndexes.


Define external redirect: Voting TemporaryGovernmentGrantedMonopoly IsVotingGood IsVotingEvil VotingProAndCon PropertyRights PrivacyRights ThoughtMonopoly AspectsOfVoting GoodAndEvilOfVoting

EditNearLinks: EnforceResponsibility IntellectualProperty ReverseIndex CopyRight DefendAgainstParanoia BasisForPseudonymity EvilIsEvil FirstReading ContentSwizzling SunirShah NicolasMontessuit FreedomOfSpeech TechnologicalDeterminism ImportanceOfIdentityInOnlineCommunities AnotherPlace CryptoNaut UseMentionProblem