(better title ? WikiCommunicationBase? ? DetailedExplanationWiki? ? IntroductionToTheIssuesWiki? ? )

A debate base is somewhere where you have a set of well polished concepts or arguments. When you’re outside debating or pushing for an idea, you can send links to the the debate base. A lot of websites could be considered “debate bases”, the arguments on them are often linked to from forums (or by “page-slapping” on IRC).

One of the reasons Lion talks so much about PlainTalk here is to use CommunityWiki as a place to send back links when promoting PlainTalk elsewhere. First define and refine the ideas with people you mostly agree with, then you can go out proselytizing.

The usefulness of a wiki as a support for debate may depend on the DegreeOfEditorialControl? :

The debate itself may be on a DebateWiki, a forum, or even Irc …

(material from IntegrationAndIdentity should be integrated here as well)

For this to work well, it should be easy to link to the support wiki - LocalNames would come in handy.

EvoWiki and CreationWiki? are good examples of WikiDebateBases (used by Scientists & Creationists, arguing for Evolution & Creation, respectively.)

Another one: ConservaPedia

Good questions, Joshua, but I don’t see any conflict between the “Conservative Christian viewpoint” and ordinary logic, or faith… …I wouldn’t constantly say that “Conservatives say …” because this site presents encyclopedia-type information as factual. Conservapedia:Conservapedia_Talk

See also :

I’d rather call it something else.

Debates are places for fighting words. But I use wiki as a base for friendly explanation.

I don’t want to say: “I’m using a WikiDebateBase,” rather, I want to say, “I’m using a WikiBase to explain.”

It doesn’t conjure up fighting and stuff.

When I’m talking with people about PlainTalk, I want to be friendly, rather than ready for war. A lot of people quickly accept the ideas, some just want to be aware of them, some are clearly hostile. In the spirit of Wiki:LowHangingFruit, my targets are not the hostile.

Though, to be quite frank about it, this sounds like much more strategy than there really is.

Usually what happens is this: I see some great plain talk, and want to say, “Wow! How well written! I like how it’s PlainTalk!” Or I see something totally horrendously horrible- some ObfuscatedTalk?, and I want to say: “Ug! Can we write this in PlainTalk?”

I don’t wake up, draw blobs and X’s on a map out in front of me, and think, “Hm… How shall me and my evil minions chart our PlainTalk course today, eh? Ah-hah! Some low hanging fruit!”

I’d add: IntegrationAndIdentity applies to CommunalWiki, but even far more so for ManagedWiki!

I would think that CommunalWiki make a better base, because it’s something people can talk with. Talking with a ManagedWiki is more like talking with a completely inflexible person. You want to talk with flexible people, who can hear your point, etc., etc.,.

Are we okay with WikiCommunicationBase?? I’d like to change the name.

But it’s pretty long. WikiBase? BaseWiki??

See also: DictionaryService.

Perhaps we need a page, “WikiAsYouTeach?.”

Or make a page: WikiCommunicationBase?, and then have under it linked sections WikiDebateBase and WikiAsYouTeach? (to complement WikiAsYouLearn.)

Or something like that.

The abstract idea seems to be that we’re using wiki LinkLanguage as an explanatory tool.

About WikiAsYouTeach? : I agree it may make a more interesting page than WikiDebateBase, and I’m not too happy with WikiDebateBase either.

I think a relevant distinction is whether the ideas you are pushing will meet some resistance. If they won’t, you’re teaching, if they do, you’re arguing.

But, whatever the use, the concrete technology should be mor or less the same (especially as WikiDebateBase as presented here doesn’t put any emphasis on solving the disagreement in a particularly creative way), so there’s no real need for a distinction.

The main common point is : having ideas ready to be presented to the outside world. Wikis can be good at that (the more people look at a page, the better it becomes), but use of LinkLanguage may make the page less accessible to outsiders - if the page relies too much on the local context, it can take too much effort to understand it right.

Hmm, I guess that comes from a tension between ideas as very dependant on many other ideas, and the need for ideas to be presented individually.

So this also ties in with InterCommunityCollaboration?, though it’s more of a question of SpeakingToTheOutsideWorld? (as opposed to speaking inside the community only).

RefiningIdeas? vs. PropagatingIdeas? ?

WikiAsYouTeach? (about writing up pages when you find yourself repeating an explanation,) WikiAsYouLearn, would go with WikiAsYouArgue?. Teach, learn, argue.

A WikiBase would be a good name for the abstract idea of the place where you store your ideas. A WikiDebateBase is just a special form, used to help you WikiAsYouArgue?.

It does seem that we are either learning, teaching, or in conflict (arguing.)

The issue of presenting the ideas to the outside world is about reworking (CategoryReworking.) If the inhabitants of a wiki rework the page, by practices we believe in, it should be presentable to the outside world on its own. LinkLanguage does not make the page less acessible to outsiders: a proper use of link language is not as a substitute for actually explaining yourself. (We have this idea written down somewhere around here.) Unless it’s ComplexPlainTalk requiring a lot of explanation that the reader doesn’t know, an outside reader should be able to follow the page. And it should include LinkLanguage. No “we-must-choose-one-or-the-other” there. No tension. Just good writing.

The tie in with InterCommunityCollaborations? comes in when you consider things like HubAndSpokeWikis: If you’re going to push content out from your main wiki, then you need to hand it off to some other community. This means a relationship between two communities. (More or less: You could pass it on to an individual as well. But we’re not getting nit-picky here.)

Refining, discovering, resolving minor differences, is what happens within a group. Those ideas that are refined are good candidates for propagation.

This is how I see it all from the big-picture perspective.

We should probably make a page for this idea of how ideas communicate through wiki, or something.

I don’t like “debate base” and I think “base” is also pretty strong. Don’t you build your army in your base in real time strategy games? Airbase, naval base, dBase – all of them horrible! ;)

WikiAsYouTeach? sounds very directional; it doesn’t fit how I envision learning these days: Collaborative, explorative.

This is why I prefer WikiAsYouLearn – just use it in the broader context and say: We’re trying to push for PlainTalk. We’re using a wiki to record our thoughts. It’s WikiAsYouLearn!”

Hm, but- WikiAsYouLearn is very different. WikiAsYouLearn is something you do from the southernly end of the IslandsOfPerspective?, as you’re self-educating yourself, self-indoctrinating yourself.

And a WikiDebateBase is directional, as is WikiAsYouTeach?. It is clearly for when you’re on the east or western ends, teaching people things, working them towards your perspective.

I agree, we can make it less militaristic, though I do perceive what I think is a validly militaristic angle on this. Perhaps we should talk about ArgumentDisarmament? in preparation for the HiveMind: It would be a theory that says, “In the past, there was impossibility of rapid communication and data collection, and we were disorganized. So, arguments formed in ambiguous situations with limited communication naturally led to armed conflict in the world. Now, or soon, we are approaching a GlobalBrain that will not have these limitations, and there will be no more violence, at either the material level, (bombs, guns,) or at the semiotic level (deception, subversion, etc.,.) So that might be a vision behind ArgumentDisarmament?.

That said, I’m not sure I believe it. I’m SelectivelyOpenMinded to it, and would like to see it, and would entertain an argument that led to that sort of thing, but I’m not sure that I really believe that. That’s why I keep my gun close to my back, so to speak, and am not quite equipped to exchange “Base” for “As You Teach.”


All too often I read someone trying to convince people of something, and doing a horrible job of it. I’m even more disappointed when it’s something I’m already convinced is true.

I hope these wiki debate bases (or whatever they will be called) will help people understand both sides of the argument, and the relevant evidence, and the steps between the evidence and the conclusion.

On the other hand, I’m concerned that the wiki debate base might become biased – that it will focus on slick, persuasive, and ad-hominem arguments, rather than honest, valid evidence and conclusions. I’m astonished at how persuasive the lawyer on each side of a courtroom is. One would hope that the one on the side of truth, justice, mercy, etc. would be the most persuasive – but they are both so persuasive.

When a debate over the “dogs vs. cats” starts up, there’s bound to be more people on one side than the other. The first really persuasive writer is bound to lean towards one side more than the other. So I’m worried that the debate over “dogs vs. cats” will become filled with unfair, snarky remarks about my favorite animal. And highly persuasive, misleading-although-perhaps-technically-correct, comments about that other inferior lifeform.

But I don’t know of any other medium that would be better than wiki at avoiding these problems. In particular, the wiki refactoring process works great for getting rid of the Wiki:ArgumentumAdInfinitum fallacy.

Do you expect a wiki on each side of the debate? A wiki for each island in the PassagesOfPerspective? Perhaps a “Why dogs are better than cats” page on the “dogs” wiki, and a “Why cats are better than dogs” page on the “cats” wiki. Or perhaps the other way around. Preferably cross-linked.

Or do you expect a single wiki becoming the center of a specific debate – a “dogs vs. cats” wiki?

In a word: “Yes.” I expect a wiki for every island.

It doesn’t matter if they choose to cross-link or not: Somebody will link to both of them.

We will have people who champion context, and will make sure that contexts are visible, from the outside.

See WikiAsYouTeach?, WikiAsYouLearn

Define external redirect: WikiAsYouArgue PropagatingIdeas IntroductionToTheIssuesWiki InterCommunityCollaborations SpeakingToTheOutsideWorld DetailedExplanationWiki ObfuscatedTalk CreationWiki IslandsOfPerspective ArgumentDisarmament WikiAsYouTeach WikiCommunicationBase RefiningIdeas DegreeOfEditorialControl InterCommunityCollaboration BaseWiki

EditNearLinks: WikiForDebate WikiBase EvoWiki