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On trial today is Concensus by Default

How can you have a consensus without the group knowing the bounds of the group? Since anyone can edit anything, how can you presume that by the nature of no protests on record, that you have a consensus? Someone may have removed any protests or dissenting opinions. All you have proof of is one (possibly more) ego(s) has bothered to input or edit what is currently present on Wiki... yes?


This Wiki PhpWiki has zero entropy, hit the history button below to see all version of anything. Do you mean something more by "knowing the bounds of the group"?

Removing any protests or dissenting opinions is bad Wiki Ediquite on any page.

-- JimScarver

So I have since discovered. A version history does prevent total information loss/entropy in that there is a copy/version is preserved. However, older information isn't currently broadcast, so an individual can still bury details they do not like under a few hundred revisions that do not feature any information they dislike, do not agree with. Once again, we have arrived back at the problem of merely an ego is/was engaged, rather then a group working towards a consensus.

The bounds of the group? Exactly how many people are participating, by being a regular (whether merely in a passive or participating role). After all, I claim I'm StarPilot, but am I really? Maybe I'm JimScarver, or WhitneyHouston, or StevenHawkings, or SidMeier. ;-)

 No StarPilot, your canot possubly be JimScarver four your spelliling is far to good -- unless that is you our far craftier then I am gaving you credet for. --JamesCrook

Identity is so very fluid, in digital mediums. So, how do we know that we have truly reached a consensus, rather then just gotten so boring, all other participants have been bored away? -- StarPilot

The decision of this court is that having been xxx visistors to this page, according to the info link at the bottom and no desenting opinion, you are guilty of nitpicking====


Oh, perhaps I should have accused you first....just kidding, lol.

  1. i dont care who you are but i'd sure rather you be one person than 10 different names.
  2. if a vote is called for we really need a beeter tool. for now we must sign our real name, address and email to vote so anyone can verify that the vote was not fixed.
  3. yes this takes some cooperation to work until we enhance our tool with authentication and permissions, a real transcript, and knowledge base of the facts as we can determin them.
  4. No, it doesn't matter if there is really a concensus, in fact there hardly ever is a real concensus, concensus by defaul is the only way I have found to get a group to make any decision at all while the question is still relavant. The best we can do to try to insure that we have got all the issues in the open and someone can come up with something that answers the issues without being disputed. If the community is large enough you will have a least a few who care enough to not let a bad decision lay.
  5. All this court should care about, I think, is what facts can be established and what criteria should be used to base the decision on.
  6. We can try other mechanisms, did you have something specific in mind? WikiWorld is an experiment in concensus by default. It may not work, nothing I have tried yet is totally satisfactory. Attempt to get real consensus tend to compromise the quality of the solution and is nearly impossible in large groups.
  7. If required, I can set up a separte wiki for wiki courtrooms which only has members with verifies email addresses, or whatever criteria we wish. Wiki will require athentication if you wish.

As no alternatives have yet been identifies this court will continue to apply concensus by default.

A most important attibute any proposed solution must have is that it must facilitate, not inhibit the decision process to be useful. Consensus by default is unobtrusive allow free executive action and full veto power by any group member by any group member.

Thank's StarPilot, I think you raised most of the important issues. Did I answer them adiquately? Are their more issues?

At some point someone is going to try to subvert the process here. We just have to make them go away....

Well, so if something is really important, you will take a vote, requiring something more then just a simple 'I say I'm so and so.'. Well, that raises the level of sophistication needed to fool the system beyond someone just saying 'I am LionKing and I vote Yay===='.


Humm... consensus by default. That sounds suspiciously more like 'You do what you want, and we will ignore it and do what we want which is completely different/counter to what you/the group wants.'. Maybe I've just been in too many 'policy setting' meetings lately. ;-)


You do what you want, and we will ignore it and do what we want is closer to the truth. WE are more powerfull than anybody. And WE will do what we want requardless of what anybody says. We will wage war dispite the fact that WarHasNeverAccomplisheddAnything but cycles of retaliation, and whatever the hell WE want to do, WE will do. Here EverybodyRules and it is wrong to overlook any viewpoint. Most of us are good people that want to do right. WE owe it to ourselves to set higher standards.


 No StarPilot, your canot possubly be JimScarver four your spelliling is far to good -- unless that is you our far craftier then I am gaving you credet for. --JamesCrook


My secret is that I sometimes do a quick 'Control+A' 'Control+V' into Word, 'SpellCheck', then 'Control+A' 'Control+V' back into the edit window. I'm a horrid speller as well, and some of the people here are impressive enough to make me be self conscious from time to time. (Although those spells pass quickly. We are all just Humans, after all. :-D)


Concensus by default means there is a consensus as long as nobody objects. It is our duty to object if something is presented as consensus and WE do not agree. At the same time we grant 1st amendment rights of self expression to our fellow human beings. -- JimScarver

Brent, the new guy, Allsop here.

I noticed mention of several problems I think there are solutions for. I’m not sure if mentioning possible solutions to these problems in this kind of a ‘court’ page is appropriate. Let me know if it isn’t – but here goes:

Identity is definitely critical. I could easily spell bad enough to pass as anyone. And if there is some reliable way to establish a reputation in a wiki way, by the masses, identity is not a problem. You need to have the ability to, if that person does anything wrong to anyone, the people wronged need to have the ability to contribute to that reputation identity in a concise and quantitative way. This kind of ‘canonized’ reputation, done by the masses, in a wiki way, is the direction we are pushing towards at

Then there is the problem: “Consensus from large groups is nearly impossible”. In today’s world, this is true. When looking for a ‘single truth’ everyone focuses on any nit picking disagreements, and spends all their time there. It makes everyone think there is no agreement on anything, whatsoever, when in reality, there is usually very much agreement – especially on the most important actionable issues.

At, we pick the most controversial topics possible. And it never ceases to amaze everyone how much agreement there really is after all. For example, take this topic on ‘Public Sex Education’:

At first there was the public education is important camp, and then came the ‘there should be no public sex education’ camp. At first you’d think these two camps would never agree on anything. But, surprise, surprise, they do agree on the one and only critical issue – education. So, we made a super camp stating the importance of education, on which everyone is in complete agreement and in the same camp. Then we have competing ‘sub camps’ indicating any other trivial differences that are much easier to deal with. In other words, allowing people to ‘canonize’ there differences, often times allows them to find where they do agree – after all. that is why the POV tree structure is so important (see

Finally, this issue of: “At some point someone is going to try to subvert the process here. We just have to make them go away...”

This is the way all primitive quality systems have worked in the past. There is always some ‘filter’ or censoring or excommunication mechanism that filters out all but the ‘best’ information. At, we flip this backwards. We allow all information in, and allow readers of the data to ‘canonize’ (i.e. prioritize or filter) the data any way they want to – based on the reputations of those in ‘camps’. If you want to know what people with PhD reputations think, you select the PhD canonizer on the side bar which can ‘filter’ things that way. If, on the other hand, you are only interested in people with a ‘Christian’ reputation, you can select the Christian canonizer, and filter things that way. Our goal is to let people 'canonize' reputations any way they choose to - always realizing there are also other points of view.

As far as all the spam, scam, and anyone else trying to subvert the process, you don’t want to make them go away. That is just abuse of the minority by the tyranny of the majority. You just make it easy for anyone to ignore them, based on their ‘canonized’ reputation, if they choose to do so.

--- Brent

We are now a trust community. We have seen the trolls subvert truth for deceptive purpose on WikiPedia and many other forums. This is particularly true in areas involving economics. As they infiltrate all political parties, religions, and public organizations, we need to include authenticated trust network selectivity in cannonizer. It is good that such filtering is possible with cannonizer.

I see no reason cannonizer should not be incorporated into the AnewGo decision process, do it! There are many disorganized issues in AnewGo already, cannonizer could help.

-- JimScarver


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