Forum Talk:Governance/Archive 2

From Citizendium
Revision as of 07:41, 15 March 2022 by John Stephenson (talk | contribs) (Protected "Forum Talk:Governance/Archive 2" ([Edit=Allow only administrators] (indefinite) [Move=Allow only administrators] (indefinite)))
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Help system All recent posts Back to top Contact Administrators Archives

Governance issues

Discussion about issues regarding or specifically affecting how the project, its policies or any official positions work

Pages: ContentGovernance and PolicyStyleManagementTechnical IssuesRequests for HelpCompetitors and PressArchived Boards

Proposal for approving articles

What would you think about setting up a committee of five members (three Editors, two non-Editors) to review potentially approvable articles, edit as needed, and vote for approval or non-approval (majority vote)? Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 23:46, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

Why not? We need SOME mechanism, and this seems like a reasonable one, at least to get started with. Hayford Peirce (talk) 01:04, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
We've progressively reduced the number of elected officers because of difficulty finding candidates, and eventually abolished them altogether. I suspect this would suffer the same problem. I think you probably have to go quite a long way back through the contributions log even to find three Editors (Anthony, Robert Badgett and Russell Jones or Sandy Harris?).
If we do something like this, we should clearly distinguish this sort of approval from that by subject experts. Peter Jackson (talk) 17:37, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
How about a committee of three members (two Editors, one non-Editor). We can state: "Approved by the Editors of Citizendium". The goal is to render the articles as "Citable". Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 00:18, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
"Approved by the Editors of Citizendium" sounds pretty misleading to me. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:48, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

We need some mechanism for disapproving articles that have already been approved. There are some citable articles which even a non-expert like me can tell are quite inadequate and/or incorrect. --Martin Wyatt (talk) 22:02, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

I remember a case when they were still called approved, not citable, where I pointed out a couple of (minor) factual errors. At the time, nobody seemed to be saying anything about correcting them, but at a later time I noticed that had been done.
A problem now is that, if I understand correctly the concept of "citable", they're supposed to be unchangeable (and immovable) for ever. This is actually taken into account to some extent by Anthony's proposal below, in allowing for more than one citable version.
It would be possible to add a notice, to make a citable version say "This version was approved by an Editor / three Editors / the Approval Committee, but has now been [whatever phrasing seems appropriate]". Peter Jackson (talk) 11:27, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Formal Proposal

Citizendium shall form a 3-member Approval Committee consisting of two Editors and one non-Editor member. Chosen among the three of them, one Editor shall chair the Committee. Members will remain on the Committee until they wish to be replaced.

The Committee will begin by considering those articles currently (2017-11-30) requesting consideration for approval. The Committee may then consider other promising articles that are well-developed, editing them as needed to render them suitable for consideration of approval. The Committee may ask non-member users to help with specific tasks.

Any member of the Committee, or any non-member, may request that the Committee reconsider articles that were approved prior to formation of the Committee, to consider whether they still meet the Committee’s standards for approval. If they do not, they shall be removed as Approved Article and as Citable Article.

Article approval requires majority agreement among the Committee members. Removal of approval status likewise requires majority agreement among the Committee members.

Articles that the Committee approves shall immediately achieve Citable Article status. Because some Approved articles may become eligible for reapproval after their editable Main Article has been revised, each citable article shall be given a version number (1,2,3,etc.) and a date located at the top of the Citable article prior to the Introduction. At the same location it shall be stated “Approved by the Approval Committee”.

Such versioning shall be retroactive to articles approved prior to creation of the Committee.

The Forum Manager, John Stephenson, shall create a separate section of the Forum entitled “Approval Committee” where the members of the Committee can carry out their deliberations, and where they can receive comments and suggestions from non-member users.

Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 23:29, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

See my remarks above about permanence of citable articles, and elsewhere on this page about reducing governance. I seem to remember you yourself were one of those pushing for the abolition of all existing structures. Peter Jackson (talk) 11:30, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
The policy document says "other rules and decisions may be made through voting, consensus or precedent", which is pretty vague. We've got no clearly defined way of making decisions, including decisions about how to make decisions ... (nor has WP, of course). Peter Jackson (talk) 11:34, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Approvals Committee Guidelines

  • The Committee will consider first those articles that have already been nominated for consideration of approval.
  • The Committee will next evaluate the articles that were approved and rendered citable before establishment of the Approvals Committee.
  • Evaluation of articles are to be based on the extent to which they are factual, informative, coherent, well documented, neutral, and understandable by the audience to which they are targeted.
  • The Committee will edit articles that closely meet the above criteria in an effort to make them approvable.
  • Each Committee member will evaluate the same article under consideration.
  • The Committee will select at least one article for consideration and render its vote every two weeks.
  • Article approval requires majority affirmative.
  • Newly approved articles will automatically generate a citable version, carrying a header indicating that it was approved by the Approvals Committee, a version number, and the date that it was rendered citable.
  • When a Main Article is reapproved, its previous citable version will be archived so that if it had been cited in another publication it can be viewed.
  • The Main Article will carry a header declaring that it is open to editing by all users.
  • → Before starting on the assessment of individual articles, the committee should review CZ:Approval standards.
  • → If, while the committee is working through all the old approved articles, someone nominates a new candidate article, the committee should finish the article it's working on at the time, and then have a quick look at the candidate. If it looks like a sufficiently serious one, it should be looked at properly as next in line, before the next old one.
  • After evaluating the articles that were already nominated for consideration of approval, and those already approved before establishment of the Approvals Committee, new articles nominated for consideration of approval will be evaluated in the order that they were nominated.
  • Any user may nominate an article for consideration of approval by designating so in the appropriate subsection of the Approvals Committee in the Citizendium Forum. Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 01:24, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
Couple of thoughts for now:
  1. No mention of neutrality. Admittedly can be hard for non-specialists to check.
  2. On the schedule suggested the committee should manage to evaluate all the existing ones in about six years.
Peter Jackson (talk) 11:08, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
OK, now I've had a bit of time to think about it, some suggested amendments:
  1. Before starting on the assessment of individual articles, the committee should review CZ:Approval standards.
  2. If, while the committee is working through all the old approved articles, someone nominates a new candidate article, the committee should finish the article it's working on at the time, and then have a quick look at the candidate. If it looks like a sufficiently serious one, it should be looked at properly as next in line, before the next old one.
Peter Jackson (talk) 11:03, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Peter, I added your two lines to the guidelines (see lines preceded by a right arrow). I also added your point about neutrality. It should not take ten years to evaluate the existing approved articles because the guidelines specify "at least" one article every two weeks. As we proceed and gain experience, we should be able to handle multiple articles every two weeks. Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 22:53, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm inclined to support this proposal, not as ideal, but as something in the right direction.
One other point, not an amendment but a clarification. The two types of approval (specialist expert and committee) should be separate categories, with separate links from the main page. Peter Jackson (talk) 11:21, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Tentative thought about how to handle motions

Any member can propose a motion and two weeks can be allowed for discussion and possible editing. A one-week call can be put forward to find out how many members would be willing to vote on that motion. If 2/3 of the members who were active in the six months prior to one month before the motion was submitted indicated their willingness to vote on the motion, BallotBin can count the votes of that group. The motion passes if 2/3 of the voters vote yes if and only if 2/3 of the members who agreed to vote did so. Otherwise the motion fails. Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 22:58, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable enough to me.Hayford Peirce (talk) 01:36, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Have to think about that, but I suspect RationalWiki would consider it excessively bureaucratic.
Maybe we'd want to distinguish different types of motions. Peter Jackson (talk) 15:51, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
I think it depends on who turns up. If there is a clear consensus or no objections, the proposer should be able to get on and do it as long as sufficient time has elapsed for people to make their views known. The two or three weeks Anthony suggests seem about right. Also, we could simply have votes, if needed, on the wiki, unless there is a call for anonymity. John Stephenson (talk) 20:00, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Our new basic policy document says it can be amended only by 2/3 vote. Maybe less fundamental changes should be easier. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:49, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Peter, would you be willing to edit or rewrite my proposal on how to handle motions? Anthony.Sebastian (talk)
Not right now. We're still just throwing ideas around, and only a few people have commented. Peter Jackson (talk) 11:55, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Another thought occurred to me. There will be situations where we need a definite decision one way or another. A 2/3 rule would be awkward. Peter Jackson (talk) 11:32, 15 December 2016 (UTC).

Edited proposal

Any member can propose a motion. A one-week call is put forward to determine how many members will be willing to vote on the motion. If 50% of active members agree to vote on the motion, and anonymity is not required, one week will be allowed for discussion in the appropriate section of the motion. Discussion may lead to editing of the motion. Voters will vote yes or no after their name in an appropriate section of the motion on the wiki. Active members are defined as members who have contributed content during the six-month period prior to one month before submission of the motion. The motion passes if a majority of voters vote yes. Otherwise the motion fails to pass. Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 23:44, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

Any idea how many "active members" there are? I just tried to find out, but can't get the recent changes list to go back beyond 30 days (7 members). Peter Jackson (talk) 09:57, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
John, could you make the recent changes list go back one year? Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 00:28, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Software seems to limit it. As of today, 21st August is the furthest back I've reached. You can try directly-editing the URL to change days/edits, e.g. this link, but it doesn't work beyond August for me. John Stephenson (talk) 13:37, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

Enforcing the policy document

Putting this out here now in advance of anything happening: what do we do in the event that someone breaches the policy document? It says that we must prohibit certain behaviours, e.g. spamming. Previous rules (now guidance) required indefinite bans followed by an appeals process. Also, at the moment, there are no moderators but several people do have sysop privileges. I suggest that those who have such privileges and are faced with obvious rule-breaking (e.g. someone spamming) should be allowed to block the offending account(s) immediately and then we discuss it. After all, any blocked account can be unblocked. John Stephenson (talk) 14:13, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Have we got a suitable working channel of communication for the appellant to use? Peter Jackson (talk) 09:41, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
There's the citizendium-l-owner@... e-mail address on the wiki signup page. That goes to me at the moment. John Stephenson (talk) 18:27, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

what do Definitions actually DO?

Whenever I create a new article (such as the P.G. Wodehouse ones about his novels Summer Lightning and Heavy Weather, I always create a brief "Definition" as part of the Metadata form to fill out. But what does a Definition actually DO? WHY are we creating them? There is, for instance a Summer Lightning/Definition, but apparently you can only view it if you go to that specific address. Or does it show up elsewhere? If so, where? I can't find it. I see that in Edit mode, the Definition has a "<noXXinclude>" bracket around it at the start -- I removed this for one of the entries and I can't see that it makes any difference whatsoever.... Hayford Peirce (talk) 20:39, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

They are used mainly in 'Related Articles' subpages, but only if you add them like this: {{r|Summer Lightning}} They're also supposed to stand in for full articles if you add {{subpages}} to the (otherwise-blank) main page. That 'noinclude' thing: that's for information transcluded onto another page, such as a definition. If you take them out, the material inside will pop up on any page which has a template requesting it. To see what happens, look at Blandings Castle/Related Articles. It's a mess because the whole 'subpages' bar has been incorporated (not into the wiki code, just into what the viewer sees). To fix it, don't touch that page, but instead revert your edit to reinstate the 'noinclude' tags, which mean 'don't include the 'subpages' bar'. John Stephenson (talk) 22:02, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Many thanks! I'm not quite sure that I understand everything you're saying, but I DID "undo" my change and, just as you said, the Blandings Castle/Related Articles page looks a LOT better. Hayford Peirce (talk) 16:03, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
I recently noticed that Definitions serve at least one concrete purpose: their contents is displayed on disambiguation page listings (see Amazon for examples).Pat Palmer (talk) 18:43, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Editorship proposal

I would like to propose Hayford Peirce for an Editorship in the Literature workgroup. Hayford has worked for this project for many years and has expertise in this area, not least because of his own background as a novelist.

There are no longer any formal rules over how Editorships may be awarded but I would like to see an endorsement from at least one Editor. If there are no objections, I will add Hayford to the Literature Workgroup as an Editor. John Stephenson (talk) 20:25, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

I enthusiastically endorse the application of Hayford Peirce as Editor in Literature. Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 21:53, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, gentlemen, for your nomination and endorsement. I hereby accept the nomination, and, if chosen, will endeavor to do my best in the position. Hayford Peirce (talk) 16:20, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
I've added Hayford as a Literature Editor with no objections received. John Stephenson (talk) 21:15, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

As John says there are no longer any rules, nor is there an EPA to decide. Even the "guidance" left over from before is rather vague: on a sufficiently loose interpretation I might qualify too. Maybe we can all be Editors. But of course "If everyone is somebody then no one's anybody." Peter Jackson (talk) 11:02, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

True, but *some* of us have gotta be more equal than others. Even at Wikipedia that's the case. Hayford Peirce (talk) 15:34, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Of course, I wasn't being entirely serious. Long ago we had three grades:

  1. general Editor
  2. specialist Editor
  3. ordinary Author

I think it was the EC that reduced that to two. Maybe we should go the other way and have various different grades depending on people's qualifications. Or, less formally, whoever is best qualified would be in charge of an article until someone better qualified turns up. Peter Jackson (talk) 17:49, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Ah, yes, now I vaguely recall that classification. I think that there were SOME people who had their noses out of joint because they didn't have, say, quite the necessary academic qualifications to permit them to be named Editor even though they had *other* qualifications that they thought made them worthy of an Editorship. (Not me, I hasten to add -- I never even *wanted* to be an Editor!) As for your suggestions, I do agree -- I think. It would make sense to make *me* the Literary editor for the moment, based on the fact that I've published in traditional media. On the other hand, if "Bob Smith, PhD", say, were to join us, and *he's* a Distinguished Prof. of Eng. Lit. at Harvard, then HE should definitely take over that editorship. In other words, I think this will have to be handled on an ad hoc basis. Hayford Peirce (talk) 18:37, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
There's no limit to the number of Editors, though you could resign if you want if someone else came along. I recall long ago there was a proposal to have a 'Chief Editor' for each workgroup, which was resisted as certain persons might end up with too much power... Also, in the early days, people handed them out like they were going out of fashion. There are several long-gone people with up to eight Editorships! John Stephenson (talk) 21:42, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

As Peter says, there are no rules per se, but the binding Policies document states: that "there shall be special recognition for subject experts (who shall be individuals with any of: accredited research-level qualifications; three or more peer-reviewed publications; or equivalent practical experience as defined by existing expert contributors), who shall have the final say in any dispute over content, and shall have the right to close a version of a reasonably high quality article to further editing." John Stephenson (talk) 21:42, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

I would call that "special recognition for subject experts" a Specialist Editor, who might also qualify as a General Editor. For example, I would qualify as a Specialist Editor in Biology and in Health Science, but also as a General Editor inasmuch as I have developed numerous articles in other fields. Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 23:28, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
That wasn't what it meant. A General Editor had authority over a whole workgroup, a Specialist Editor only in a narrow field. For example, Aleta was an Editor for dog breeds.

Anyway, we now have, as quoted by John above, three types of qualification:

  1. "accredited research-level qualifications"
  2. "three or more peer-reviewed publications"
  3. "equivalent practical experience as defined by existing expert contributors"

All of these require interpretation. I take it Hayford is being proposed under 3. If I qualify it would have to be under 2, depending on the exact definition of "peer-reviewed" (I've got several publications that were approved for publication by at least one Pali scholar; does that count?). Peter Jackson (talk) 11:16, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

(3), yes. I think it would depend on the nature of the journals and the peer-review process. John Stephenson (talk) 21:15, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Which I don't know about. I listed my publications on my user page, if that's any help. Peter Jackson (talk) 14:37, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

Approvals Committee pages

There is now a page for the Approvals Committee and three more for announcements, discussions and non-member comments. These can also be accessed via the main Forum page. 18:49, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

It would be nice if people at least pretended to follow democratic procedures. Nobody was nominated for election to the committee. John simply announced they'd been appointed. As it happens, I, the only other serious member (Ro hasn't edited WP since 9 September, and here a bit longer, which seems ominous; people have been asking after him there and on RationalWiki), have no objection (I don't want the responsibility myself, though I'll try to help out), but still. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:37, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Anthony put the group together and just asked me to create the pages. We don't have regular elections anymore. I don't see why any further process was necessary given that they are the only active members with a track record of putting themselves forward and who had no other duties, or were prepared to take on more. Except for you: I imagine they didn't bother asking because you've never put yourself up for anything. John Stephenson (talk) 20:03, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Fair enough. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:51, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Real names policy

I've always thought the policy was a mistake, gave reasons in several earlier discussions, won't repeat them here.

But here is a bit of possibly relevant data: After Threats, Austin Founder Shut Down Browser Firm Authenticated Reality. This was a browser that could only be used with a real name, requiring ID to set it up. Sandy Harris (talk) 20:45, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Sandy, we do not require a photo of the applicant's drivers license. Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 01:50, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

Is there anybody there?

Well, according to RationalWiki, I am the potential "saviour" of CZ because I've been doing fifty edits a day "about cricket-related articles" since last Thursday or whenever. Hallelujah! Hail John.

In fact, I've come back to CZ because (a) frankly, I want to get as far away from Sickipewkia and its hypocritical ruleswankers as I can possibly go; and (b) because I want some work space where I can try out some ideas on how to deliver coverage of cricket history on the internet. Along with a couple of friends who are also sick of the aforementioned, we're thinking of obtaining domain for a specialist site on the subject. Saviour of CZ? Unlikely.


Unless there is a solution to the CZ problem which will accommodate our plans too. The guy at RationalWiki makes the very good (and unavoidable) point that CZ needs a new direction. Of course it does. By the way, all my work on here is saved to backup in case the server is switched off at any time.

For a new direction, I suggest that CZ re-brands itself and forgets all about its original (bad) ideas. This metadata thing needs to go for starters and subject-oriented categories are needed for reader navigation. I would recommend that, as RationalWiki says, CZ needs to provide something that internet users actually WANT and, although it is what I want on the internet, I think CZ should be re-branded as a Sportopaedia which covers all sports and their histories and developments with recentism kept to an acceptable minimum. Then, a marketing exercise is necessary, incorporating a recruitment drive to attract editors who can write good English and are prepared to work from BOOKS to provide meaningful content.

One of the biggest problems on Sickipewkia is the "long-standing editor" who operates like a farmyard labourer shovelling shit from a pile of manure (i.e., another dubious website) at one side of the byre into a pile of manure (i.e., Sickipewkia itself) at the other side of the byre. That sort of "editor" must be excluded if the re-branded site is to be a success.

No doubt I'm talking to myself but then we saviours do, don't we, until someone finally catches on. I reckon that's the only hope for CZ as otherwise it's just a copy of Sickipewkia that never caught on and was too restrictive about who could edit. CZ is a shambles. Even so, it has a current use for me so I'll be around for a while yet if there is anyone there who would like to shove the ouija around. John Leach (talk) 23:07, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

I'm ready to start some new articles now but they will be stubs only for the foreseeable future and after that, well, the silence may surge softly backward when the plunging hooves are gone. This site certainly needs to be re-branded and limited in scope. I suggest sport as I said above. There is also need for a re-think about editors.
I think insistence on real names is unnecessary and is an intrusion, but I would insist on a genuine e-mail address which must be verified by reply from that address, as is common practice elsewhere. Anyone should be able to register and only registered members should be allowed to edit. If they turn out to be bad editors, block the e-mail address and they're gone.
The metadata thing is a bad idea on the whole, though it does have a couple of useful features. I like the idea of every article having a parent topic and I think that should be retained, as should the request for a definition. Having the bibliography on a separate sub-page is a bad idea because the reader needs to be able to quickly scan the biblio to see details of the book being cited. The biblio must be on the article page. I would definitely scrap external links which are an invitation to spam and are rarely of any use. If there is something in a site that the article can use, it should be cited in the article; otherwise it should not be mentioned. I'm not at all sure about the article status rating which has been copied from the Consensus Of Ignorance site. Anyone can see at a glance if an article is a stub or has been well-developed so why bother with a status which will never be updated?
It surely goes without saying that rules must be kept to a minimum and that common sense must prevail or the site will end up like that toxic waste thing which is ruled by ruleswankers. Basically, if we re-brand as a sports site, we want people to register and write about sport but they must provide sources and these must not be the sort of websites that are obviously dubious. There must be no glittering prizes. A good article is a good article, a bad article is a bad article, a stub is a stub. Just let people get on with it and only step in if someone really is up to no good. With limited scope and an open, friendly, good faith environment, there won't be any need for massed ranks of power-hungry Obergruppenführers like they have at the other place.
Anyway, I've had my say and I'm now going to focus on cricket articles. If one of the Listeners has heard the Traveller and wishes to speak, I'll be around for a while yet. John Leach (talk) 15:49, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Join the club. If you look a few lines down from what they say about you on RW, you'll see them suggesting the site be renamed after me as the main contributor. But my mother dies, I have a few days offline and suddenly you're the best thing since sliced bread. The thing you need to remember about RW is that they don't intend to be taken too seriously.
I don't think we should specialize. If you look at the history of the cricket article you'll see I've done a fair amount of editing there, but it's not my main priority, so I don't want the site narrowed to exclude the rest of my work, naturally. Peter Jackson (talk) 12:21, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry to read that your mother has died, Peter. I do understand how you must be feeling right now.
RW has no point to it at all and I assure you I was being ironic. It came up on a Google search about CZ and, though I found it momentarily amusing, it doesn't interest me in the slightest. As I've said above, there is no future for CZ as a global encyclopaedia. If it is to survive, it needs to be radically re-invented, perhaps by splitting into several subject-specific sites, but the subjects have to be those which interest readers and I believe leisure activities like sport, music, cinema and TV are the ones that would attract interest and be manageable.
All the best. John Leach (talk) 16:01, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
It's obviously true that, with our present resources, we're not doing much encyclopaedia building. What we can realistically do right now is create a modest selection of articles that are better than WP's equivalents (if any). That's what I'm mostly concentrating on, though not exclusively. This obviously requires people who actually know something about the subjects, and I agree with you about the importance of written sources and WP's de facto overemphasis on online ones. That's not policy, of course, just easier. You often need access to rather obscure sources to do the job properly, so the mass membership over there often tends to ignore that. (Not as mass as it used to be: last I heard, participation was half the 2007 peak; but of course we're in no position to criticize declining participation elsewhere.)
Anyway, you're obviously welcome to contribute. In theory, if enough of the right sort of people join we might take off again.
On metadata and such, I think there have already been comments along similar lines, and some changes might be agreed. Peter Jackson (talk) 16:52, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, that's certainly an interesting proposal about breaking CZ down into small components such as SPORTS, etc. I suppose that might be possible if the articles generated were deep, deep ones, possibly interpretive, and, as you say, emphasizing research and good writing. If you look at OUR Bill Tilden article, for instance, and compare it with the WP one, there is an enormous difference. But, of course, the WP version of the CZ one came first. Then came ten years of "vandals and cretins" "improving" it to fit WP standards. I also wrote a bunch of *other* tennis articles that suffered the same fate. When I moved to CZ, I also began a couple of baseball articles, which I hoped would generate interest. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, for instance. The problem about expanding these, and the tennis articles, say, is that there is now an other-worldly amount of statistical information available online that staggers me. At, for instance, if you pick a player, ANY player, and then go deep, deep, deep down the article, you will find hundreds of charts and statistical records that even a devout fan such as myself would never even imagined 10 years ago. There is NO way anything WE do could ever compete with that sheer mass of information. And I have recently come across, which, apparently, has every bit of data about tennis that I have always wanted and never believed actually existed. But now it does. One could, I suppose, use it to write an incredibly detailed article about Pancho Segura, or another other old player you could possible have any interest in. And, of course, we could do the peripheral people such as Mercer Beasley, who, even though he was well-known in his day (a long one), doesn't even have a WP article about him. I ported ours over and it was deleted as being too long and too detailed. (I wrote it because I was encouraged to do so on a daily basis by a Beasley nut and because Beasley really WAS one of the most fascinating people ever to be associated with sports). But, at the moment, I am currently six days behind in my reading of the New York Times and falling further behind every day. I suppose I could devote ten minutes a day to another article of a similar nature, but unless we had dozens and dozens of OTHER Citizens working away, I would feel that my efforts were useless! Even CZ contributors occasionally have REAL lives to live! Hayford Peirce (talk) 00:11, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
I just took another look at the Mercer Beasley article -- there is probably nowhere else in the world as much info about this man as there is here in this article. And, I think, it's well-organized and well-written. But, in spite of its THOUSANDS of words, it's STILL incomplete. Is THIS the sort of article you are suggesting should make up a new and improved CZ? Hayford Peirce (talk) 01:57, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Mercer Beasley

I like the article and do you know what the best thing about it is? It has been written by an individual with a character and a personality, though with due respect for published sources, rather than some robotic, boring set of "verified facts" that "complies with MOS", such as you would see elsewhere. The verified facts, of course, all having been shoveled in from some dubious website that simply isn't worth looking at, but is nevertheless a "reliable source" while a book written by an acknowledged expert is not.

Facts do have to be facts and verifiable as such, similarly with authors' opinions, but I do think that the writer of an article on a site like CZ must be granted a degree of respect for his own knowledge of the subject and he should be free to state his own view about a particular point or issue, within reason. By "within reason", I mean that he may, for example, add a personal comment to clarify some information in the article or perhaps offer a commonsense rationale for an incident's having happened, if there is no actual source which provides that explanation or rationale.

Obviously, we should not indulge in original research or use an article as a political soapbox, but those are extremes. I suppose the point I'm making is that the writer of the article must be allowed some artistic licence so that his individual style and understanding of the subject makes the article readable and enjoyable.

By the way, I did a Google search on Mercer Beasley and the CZ article topped the list ahead of an article about his namesake on another site. Well done. John Leach (talk) 10:34, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for the kind words, and I have to say that I agree 100% with your early comments about what an CZ CAN and maybe even SHOULD be: NOT just a laundry list of so-called facts. Years ago, when the Robert A. Heinlein article was in its early days at WP, I put in a statement that RAH thought "Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" was his best book. The source? Me. Over lunch at the Le Belvedere restaurant in Tahiti around 1979. That's what he said to me. That got axed from WP, but only after a long argument. I put it into the CZ article also, but Larry, I think, maybe had me write it up as a "memoir" or some damn thing. Hayford Peirce (talk) 23:31, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Should we maybe try to get Larry interested in the project to see if he could revive it?

As I just wrote in basically we have about 18 months left before the money runs out. Larry, a man of enormous energy and ideas, now seems to have quit Everpedia or whatever it's called and has started another one. I wonder if we should ask him if he could return to CZ and try to get it going again -- in a form that would serve as his legacy. Surely he'd like to be known as the creator of a SUCCESS rather than one failure after another. Sure, he CO-founded WP, but how many people actually KNOW that? What do you think? Hayford Peirce (talk) 16:29, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

You've been here ages, so you probably know him better than I do. But it was John S who told us Larry was now Technical Lead, which suggests they've been in touch recently. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:19, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps there's no harm in asking. Richard Nevell (talk) 13:59, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
I'll write him tomorrow. Hayford Peirce (talk) 03:11, 2 January 2020 (UTC)