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Preparations for refactoring...

List of the points the contributors wanted to make:

Please check and refactor this list.

Currently I see the following new pages:

Maybe Additions to existing pages: The discussion could inspire (existing need but little material):

About Jan16 - if no-one disagrees - I'll start splitting this page. -- HelmutLeitner

Contributors: 2-3 anonymous (anon.com, anon.mx), EarleMartin, HelmutLeitner, SunirShah

Why Wiki Creates Addicts

Wiki does indeed create addicts, and there is good reason for this. I think that I can sum it all up in just one tiny little word: Freedom.

What kind of freedom? Freedom is never an absolute, there are always consequences to freedom and there are always limits to freedom. Technological freedom or ability is just one small part of it. (Just as that the availability of drugs does not make addicts, but its the pain people feel and the release of pain (or the gain in pleasure) they feel when they use drugs, that makes the addict.)

It is freedom that is addictive, and no matter how much a person experiences freedom, one can never get enough. So, we find that we come back again and again.

Wikis are about freedom from having to log-in, and about freedom from having to know how to create web-pages or run software. All that is needed is a few basic instructions on formatting, then off to create and write. Freedom to express opinion, freedom of creativity, freedom from moderators, and freedom to be an editor.

Wiki do enable expresion for a lot of people, but do people have enough meaningful to say? Or does one after a while end up at a point where everything is said? MeatBall is very patient in this regard, so much so that some think it's almost dead. Does patience invite or send away people?

But: this freedom would be also available in a fishbowled wiki used for publishing by a single person.

Therefore: freedom, while being important, can't be the essential point. Wiki is also about interactions, people working together, getting in a kind of resonance. BarnRaising creates joy. Wiki also is about getting thoughts straight, reworking content together until it gets value. WikiChaosAndOrder gives confidence. Wiki is about personal development, understanding situations and moving forward creatively. GoalStatement takes aim and creates trust. Wiki is a thing built on technology, people, content and creativity that has an extreme richness to support life (language of ChristopherAlexander). Vibrating life is addictive.

Get in resonance with such a wiki and you are lost. :-)

I would say that the most "addictive" aspect of a wiki for visitors is the human interaction. You modify a page -- something you presumably care about -- and suddenly you know that people are going to interact with you on the basis of that edit. It's like sending up a signal: come validate my caring! I love MeatBall wiki (I just lurk and read) but I don't think I could become addicted to it because the time-to-response is measured on the order of days or weeks. You need near-instant feedback to trigger the autonomic glands.

Founders and patrons of course are the most easily addicted, since any edit to the wiki really counts as a "response."


But, wiki only creates addicts where the wiki is open and not strangled by overbearing bullies and self-appointed censors. When that happens, wiki becomes a wiki-addict-neuterer.

In my opinion, if you add log-in, topic restrictions, tons of nonsensical rules, and throw in a few Gestapo type terrorists, it becomes the fastest way to de-addict and to create just one more dead and useless wiki spam-bait on the net.

It seems obvious that the most high quality, long lasting wikis would find ways to eliminate addicts, as the amount of energy they put in will outweigh even the most patient and caring well-balanced person. The goal is to LimitTemptation of those who do not play well with others. Therefore, the ideal behaviour is to do as suggested in this paragraph, even if it brings calls of fascism.

MeatBall Meta-discussion

Helmut, I'm confused. How does this page fit into MeatballWiki's overall structure or meet the demands for quality discussion? I may be excessively allergic to wiki flagwaving, but InternetAddiction is a real and serious phenomenon that could be addressed more cogently. -- SunirShah (Speak of the devil...)

According to the revision history, after you created it, Gideon deleted, anon.mx salvaged it as a SoapBox for this "wiki-addict-neuterer" rant. His feelings are what are propelling the page, a point lost on me, as I thought Helmut was doing his usual magic to take a ShallowPage and turn it into gold. Now I understand the page as an attempt to address his concerns. -- SunirShah

Sorry, maybe sometimes I lack the scientific ernest. It's good to have someone correcting me. -- HelmutLeitner

I appreciate the attempt to salvage a junk page. However, I think we could do a better treatment of the issue that would lead to real insights. I also think the title could be improved on two levels. First, it does not lend itself to linking, and second it uses the word 'wiki' when the problem of InternetAddiction extends beyond wikis. -- SunirShah

Well, a wiki's virtue is that it avoids obscuring what the Web actually is, so if you're talking about how a negative space can create causation, you're really talking about the background. c2 was 200 lines of code written in 4 hours. It is HTTP + CGI + Unix. If you can demonstrate there is something here that hasn't been shown repeatedly across the Internet, or society at large, and that is unique to wikis then it justifies a specific title. -- SunirShah

This inspired me last night that it would be good to build some sort of model to aide AnalyzingWiki?s. I understand that many people see all these effects swirling around the technology called wikis, but that's only a surface analysis. If we look at the layers that build up to form a wiki, we can then look at other phenomenon that use those same layers to see if we can find correlations. If we can, then we can localize the effects at the appropriate layer, rather than continuously lumping them all around the word wiki. This will help us then predict and analyze other media, with a view to design new media for new circumstances. As a design community, I think that could be exciting. -- SunirShah

Topic (re)definition

This page is indeed about a specific topic which is "Wiki Addiction" not Internet addiction. Wiki addiction is a special case, and it relates back to the opening statement at the top. Wiki addiction is about "Freedom" from all of the restrictions that are normally associated with web pages and freedom to edit as one sees fit. Freedom from a single controlling moderator or god-like control freak person also helps.

Technological Limitations, Freedom and social rules

Maybe because there are little technological limitations a wiki also honers free will and though that gives people a chance to show respect for the current social rules which rule the wiki. These rules are much more interesting and fluid then any technological limitation ever could be hoped to be.

Does wiki create addicts?

If freedom was addictive, the rafts of unpopulated wikis would be more popular. What's "addictive" is the sense of belonging and acceptance with other people. We are looking for an OutsideWindow, connection, relation, or any other form of social contact. Wikis by not being obscuring technologies between people and the potential of the Internet, does not disrupt contact (some call it disintermediation, but that's false), but this process is not about wikis at all. It's about community, perhaps. Internet addiction is only strange and considered a disorder because people choose mediated relationships because they want control, and they want control because they are afraid. However, social acceptance is not about freedom at all. Why do homosexuals continue to fight within their parishes and diocese for the right to marry when they can leave and form their own churches, or abandon worship altogether? It's not about some philosophical reason, but because the people that constitute their parish and their community matter to them. They have PersonalRelationships that lend them support in their life. What they fight for is acceptance in this community, and that's why the fight for it, because they need to be accepted by their loved ones. This is not freedom to, but freedom from. The equivocation here is that wiki's freedom to is what is addictive, but it is really only freedom from that is addictive since freedom to is pointless without someone to impress, and thus win belongness from. -- SunirShah

This begins to come back to WhatIsaWiki? a website, a body of text or a community? Is a wiki a miracle? Maybe there is another question: DoesWikiCreateAddicts?? Given the above, I would say no. The relative peaceful and calm pace of MeatBall is evidence in this direction. -- Gmlk

Social rules are not perfect

What is going wrong with this page is what is wrong with all wikis. Heavy-handed wiki police and closed-minded drones. Listen to what is written and forget about trying to be a damned wiki-bible-quoter. In order to not have dead wikis, wiki addicts need to be created and encouraged. [--anon.mx]

Interesting point of view, could you (1) sign it, and (2) elaborate on it? Btw, I'm still not convinced that any wiki creates addicts because of technological freedom. -- Gmlk

Discouragement and disgust is what sets in. People get disgusted when pages get refactored into gibberish, and at that point they need to be deleted. If an individual has a point that they want to make, too often the Gestapo on wikis insist that the point that the person was trying to make was not the point that they were trying to make. It gets ridiculous. If someone creates a page, and somebody else finds that topic interesting, then the topic is valid. Wiki-bible-quoters deface all conversations with their insistence on adding wiki page links to every other word in a sentence. Wiki link quotes do not work, because the pages never quite address the current questions or topic. I do not sign, therefore I do not have to defend a name, and therefore I do not have to worry about Internet security. [--anon.mx]

I think most of your criticism is correct (you just reduce the impact by your offensiveness and anonymity). AbbreviationsAreEvil and PagenamesAreAbbreviations point in your direction. Refactorings are difficult and I only know a few Wikizens who are good at it (I'm not one of them) so it's easy to hurt or get hurt. Only your anonymity argument seem weak, because Internet security has little to do with it, at MeatballWiki you needn't have fear or defend yourself, so in the end you just loose some advantages from your contributions. For example: if we begin to trust you, you will have lost that when you return in a month, because we have no way to remember and recognize you then. -- HelmutLeitner

Calm down. Get of that high horse before you fall down and hurt yourself. ;) Sorry to say this but this does not add much more then ridiculous shouting... Did you really have to drag the nazis in to this? You sound angry and hurt, maybe you should relax a little. -- Gmlk

Wikis are essentially a royal waste of time and is used mainly by people who don't have better things to do with their time (mainly obsessive-compulsive internet freaks. That's the sad truth but the truth nevertheless. [--anon.com]

There are thousands of wikis and hundreds of thousand wiki users. I don't think you do them justice with such a judgement. I, for example, don't feel to waste my time, otherwise I wouldn't be here. Maybe you waste your time talking to us, just as if you went to football players telling them that they waste their time passing the ball. -- HelmutLeitner

I think, anon.mx's admonition of what is going wrong with this page is bizarre. This page is bizarre, but I assume he's talking about my reaction. The reason why wikis seem like a shifting house of mirrors is that the people working on the site are not unified, and do not agree on a process by which they can evaluate what to say, how to structure what is said in order to gain insights, and then how to organize the outcomes. Discipline is not about restraining speech, but giving all speakers space for their voices to be heard. Without discipline, what's written can be easily swept away since nothing can be evaluated on its own as something worth preserving, and then you get WardsWiki today. -- SunirShah

Not so bazaar [bizarre?] when you take into account that people come here to acquire information of setting up and maintaining a wiki. Yes, part of my problem has been your responses. I see you as being one of those that strangles a wiki (and also your reputation precedes you [see what real names can do for a person?]). Too often when one sees something written on a wiki that they do not want to address, they simply edit it out or cover it up with a bunch of non-related bull. [--anon.mx]

Such an attack is bizarre (word seems to become popular), because Sunir is the heart of this wiki. Without his vision and his commitment over years, Meatball wouldn't exist. A wiki is not about a people giving up their personal opinions or goals. We act a team where everyone shares his different viewpoint and so a multidimensional image is created that has depth. Like two eyes creating 3D, only much more complex. This is also true for interactions. Sunir was absolutely right right to demand quality and to question this page (from me). There will be quality. I was - I hope - right to add energy (life) to a junk page, to ProvokeTheAudience?. But this is only the starting point of a long process until every idea, argument and opinion has its place. This is not a kind of conflict, it is cooperation, it's "same procedure as last ...?" . And we invite you to take part, relax and enjoy the process. -- HelmutLeitner

People may come here for one reason or the other, but we have our own reasons for working on this site that are described as the MeatballMission. We do aim to help people, but the trade off is that they help us, which is our BarnRaising metaphor. Part of that trade is that we keep the wiki clean and organized so that people who come here in the future can benefit just as people today have. Wikis often work through building consensus, and the Meatball process is entirely about building rational consenses. My goal as lead facilitator is to ensure that what's written here remains intelligible, organized, and relevant so that people's voices are heard clearly, and that we follow a process that gives everyone a voice with a view to make the right decision, not just the politically convenient one. You clearly have a lot of frustrations that you are trying to express, but I might point out that you are only succeeding in distancing yourself from this community by your insults. Rather than taking your point to the man, describe your own feelings and the actions that induce them. Perhaps we have our own perfectly reasonable motivations for acting like that, or maybe we are mistaken, but the discussion cannot begin by immediately escalating conflict. -- SunirShah

"anon.mx" is someone who's been causing trouble on WardsWiki recently. He only makes edits via anonymous proxies, regularly undoes other people's edits rather than responding to them (on the OffTopic pages he creates and supports) and delights in pontificating about his own peculiar idea of "Internet security". -- EarleMartin

This is a valuable warning, but we are cautious anyway towards anonymous contributors. There are enough WarningSignals. Although EveryoneIsaSuccessor, I think a wiki community should react primarily in the here and now. We do not know the history and background of old conflicts and shouldn't hurry to take their burden. To enter a new community is a fresh start. Up to now, except for some aggressiveness, which may be explainable, I do not find fault with his contributions. He let his emotions out and made some points. Now we have to see whether we can communicate constructively. -- HelmutLeitner

I'm not entirely convinced of that argument, as our experiences with RobertAbitbol and 142 have demonstrated clearly (both of which were much more serious and damaging to me than anyone else here). But I agree one doesn't need to delve into past history until new disruptions demands it. At the moment I don't care to pass judgment except at the use of any AnonymousProxy, which is again an unfortunate attempt to start discussion by escalating conflict unnecessarily. We can all front and bear teeth and thump chests, but it's much better to do something constructive. -- SunirShah

Then we should perhaps start refactoring? -- HelmutLeitner

Have not been around for some time, life happens. For the most part I feel that I was able to make the points that needed to be made on this page. An off-shoot of this page could be WhyWikiRequiresAssertiveness?. Be careful not to interpret my "Assertiveness" as aggression or hostility. No, I am not a malicious user over at c2, however I have seen this address used over there. Thanks for the allowance of my voice. [--anon.mx]

You're welcome. Thank you that you justify the trust. -- HelmutLeitner


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