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Mises Needs A Wiki

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Uriah Posted: Wed, Jul 2 2008 8:17 PM

Hi,

Mises.org really needs a wiki. I have searched the site and been unable to find one. Most of the anarcho-capitalist wiki's seem to be woeful at best.

What I would like to see is a place where consice articles on topics such as Roads, Phones, Police, Law, Prisons, Welfare and similar will work, so when someone brings up the same old "Yeah, but what about...?" I can just paste a link, instead of having to say or write a page, and the back up and understanding required for that page. It can't be a forum post, since it needs to link to other articles and it needs to be consice.

Is there something like this already setup?

Would the Mises institute be able to set this up?

Thanks,

Uriah

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Sage replied on Wed, Jul 2 2008 8:40 PM

LibertarianNation.org is pretty good for that. But they drastically need a search bar!

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Uriah replied on Wed, Jul 2 2008 9:31 PM

Hrmmm, this isn't bad, but it's not very consice. It seems to be more of an aggregation of links, and I don't think we can add/remove from it.

And yeah, badly needs a search bar!

 

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Setting it up is not the problem.  The issue is who will maintain it, and fill it with content?  There is a reason that most of the ancap wiki's are weak.  It's likely a shortage of volunteer labour.

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Uriah replied on Wed, Jul 2 2008 9:52 PM

If it's on the mises site, and people start using it, i believe it would take off.

For one, these forums and the austrianforum.com forums can be used to generate the first material for the site.

Then over time it will become better.

As for maintaining it, if there are admins or similar at mises, perhaps the same people who maintain the forums.

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jtucker replied on Wed, Jul 2 2008 10:20 PM

Yes, admins would be a problem. I worry about that. We are seriously understaffed as it is .

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Uriah replied on Thu, Jul 3 2008 12:16 AM

Hrmmm, what if people in the community could be admins, and the changes were locked to usernames? Anyone can sign up, and make changes. But if changes are made by a user (or bot), they can be rolled back easily.

I think this would be the primary administration concern.

As for users not writing good information, the information would get better with time.

I would help monitor it while it's in its infancy, I would set my self up with the "Recent Changes" RSS feed and just monitor what gets put up. I'd also go into the forums and pull some stuff for the setup of the categories and etc.

This would be something really handy for us to have and would help us communicate our message.

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fsk replied on Thu, Jul 3 2008 9:51 AM

uriah:
Mises.org really needs a wiki.

I prefer the blog format to a wiki format.  There are two problems that can occur with wikis:

1. Nobody reads or uses them.  In that case, why bother?

2. There's a lot of users.  Then, you have edit wars and flamewars.  In that case, why bother?

I'm thinking of writing a better wiki engine, but blogging is a more efficient use of my time.

 

I have my own blog at FSK's Guide to Reality. Let me know if you like it.

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Blogs are soapboxes, they rarely become the scene of a community or knowledgebase.  They are not organized semanticaly, they are ordered typically by calendar date.

A wiki is a great idea, but I am not interested in getting into a new project just yet, or taking on something like this by myself.  If several people were interested in it, and came up with a vision for it, then I could lend some skill to producing and maintaining it.

 

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fsk replied on Thu, Jul 3 2008 1:49 PM

If you're just using another site's wiki engine, such as MediaWiki, you'll have the same problems as Wikipedia (if you're successful).

I might write my own wiki engine someday, but I don't have the time or energy right now.  Someday, I may move my blog from Blogger to a self-hosted format.  Then, I'd have more flexibility.  For example, I could add some static pages in addition to the posts.

I have my own blog at FSK's Guide to Reality. Let me know if you like it.

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what are some of those problems with MediaWiki/Wikipedia?

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pbwiki is a fantastic product.

 

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fsk replied on Thu, Jul 3 2008 3:37 PM

ViennaSausage:
what are some of those problems with MediaWiki/Wikipedia?

The problem with MediaWiki/Wikipedia, pbwiki, and all the other wiki engines I've seen is the "Edit wars problem".

Suppose your wiki site attracts a decent audience.  At some point, two people will disagree about what content should be displayed on a page.  The result is an "edit war".  The edit war is usually resolved by banning one person from the wiki or restricting their editing priviledges.

For example, in another thread, I'm now in a flamewar with "Anonymous Coward" over the Compound Interest Paradox.  If this were a wiki, we would be having an edit war.  He would keep editing the page to say "There's no such thing as the Compound Interest Paradox", and I would be editing it back to the truth.  The end result would be that one of us would be banned from the site.

In a proper wiki engine, the "editing" and "moderation" features would be separate.  Page branching would be supported.  Users would vote on which version of the page was their favorite.  The page displayed to a new user would be based on the moderation score, and people may have individual moderation preferences.

In a proper online community, it should never be necessary to ban someone.

I have my own blog at FSK's Guide to Reality. Let me know if you like it.

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Uriah replied on Thu, Jul 3 2008 7:40 PM

I don't find any problem with using MediaWiki. You're talking about problems with having open content, and that's not really the debate here.

In this moderation would be given to people who have proven they understand the topic material at hand in the forums, and if a forum thread comes up which has good material, that forum thread can be converted into a wiki post.

If we found that moderation of new users was too hard, and the site was being filled with bullshit, then we could restrict the site to being invited by an approved user. This way the network could expand, but only through someone who is trusted letting you in.

Also we would place an emphasis that this wiki is not a place for discussion of anarcho-capitalism, it is a place for providing a proof for anarcho-capitalism. In this way, if someone wants to argue some point, then they need to go to the forums. If someone doesn't meet those guidelines, then their subject can be edited/removed, and if they persist they are moved.

I have had a lot of experience administering and using MediaWiki, and the only trouble we might have is integrating it in with the rest of the mises site so it all looks the same.

My vision for the site is to have it into 2 types of material, theory and scenarios. Under theory all of the different theories are presented with examples and links to theories it relies on and criticisims. Under scenario's there are cases and examples of what *might* happen in an anarcho-capitalist system, which draws on theory from the theory section. We can setup categories to help divide this and make browsing easier. This should become a resource such that, when we are arguing with someone online or in real life, we can send them to a specific link, which provides a scenario for them, backs it up with theory, and allows them to slowly iterate through the site, piece by piece, slowly understanding anarcho-capitalism. This is the goal of this service.

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I was thinking of a more cut and dry wiki, with the Austrian definitions for economic terms, with criticism of their counterparts.

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fsk:
For example, in another thread, I'm now in a flamewar with "Anonymous Coward" over the Compound Interest Paradox.  If this were a wiki, we would be having an edit war.  He would keep editing the page to say "There's no such thing as the Compound Interest Paradox", and I would be editing it back to the truth.  The end result would be that one of us would be banned from the site.

Heh, you consider that a flamewar?

There is a wiki-like feature that is part of the google hosted mises.com account called google sites.

From what I've been able to determine the 'owner' can set it up where anyone with a mises.com account can edit as well as people they give permission through an e-mail/password system. Not really too sure about the details on the non-mises.com edit feature though as in if it has to be a gmail account or any old random e-mail is good.

I've been using it off and on to (slowly) webify The Case Against the Fed and it is pretty easy to use with all sorts of web 2.0 features and edit views like any old wiki. It has a bunch of crazy stuff that I haven't even started to explore.

So there you go, mises does indeed have a wiki...

Now the problem is finding someone with a mises.com account that wants to administer access control because that's, like, responsibility, man.

I can't do it because my integrity is questionable since I'm a 'a professional troll or paid disinformation agent' and would only cast doubt on the validity of the whole project. Can't have that now, can we?

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Uriah replied on Thu, Jul 3 2008 9:34 PM

It could be used as a simple wiki with Austrian definitions for economic terms, with criticism of their counterparts, this is basically the theory section. However, this wiki could also include some economic theory which is not just in the Austrian books.

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Such as?  Hmm

 

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Anonymous Coward:
I can't do it because my integrity is questionable since I'm a 'a professional troll or paid disinformation agent' and would only cast doubt on the validity of the whole project. Can't have that now, can we?

Your integrity is not questionable.

 

 

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Sage replied on Fri, Jul 4 2008 9:37 AM

I think a good idea would be something like a databank of standardized arguments for anarchy and against government; same with praxeology.

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Uriah replied on Fri, Jul 4 2008 9:46 AM

Sage:

I think a good idea would be something like a databank of standardized arguments for anarchy and against government; same with praxeology.

Yeah, that's part of the scenario's idea, or just create full standardized arguments.

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Someone posted a similar idea recently, I don't remember if it was related to a wiki or not.  It was a FAQ, question and answer format for Austrian/libertarian topics.

 

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David V replied on Sun, Sep 14 2008 12:24 AM

uriah:
Mises.org really needs a wiki.

You can now create your own wiki at this site.

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I noticed the link days ago.  How?

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Uriah replied on Sun, Sep 14 2008 6:32 AM

That's great. I'm looking forward to see some really good information in it. So when I am trying to argue/teach someone about anarcho-capitalism, I can point them to a few specific pages with some good information.

 

I just had a look at it though, and I couldn't figure out how to make a page.

 

Does your account need a certain level of permission?

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Should we put material from Wikis in public domain or some such? It might help prevent problems down the road.

Has anyone seen this site:

http://libertarianwiki.org/Libertarian_Wiki:About

I am an eklektarchist not an anarchist.

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David V replied on Sun, Sep 14 2008 2:32 PM

uriah:
Does your account need a certain level of permission?

Hmm, looks like it.   Why don't you tell me what Wiki you want created.  I need a name, address (/Community/wiki/[address]) and a brief HTML description.

You should make it clear that this is an individual initiative and does not represent a Mises-Instituted sanctioned project.

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How about name:User Contributed Content, address:/community/wiki/user_wiki and the html description saying something to that effect so it doesn't get confused with official LvMI content.

Just to get the flame wars and sectarian infighting fighting started up mind you...

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solos replied on Sun, Sep 14 2008 5:57 PM

This seems like what you want.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Libertarianism

This is a new project that started a couple weeks ago. You will reach a wider audience on Wikipedia.

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David V replied on Sun, Sep 21 2008 4:05 PM

I took some initiative and created three Wikis.  What do you think?

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Looks good.  Now we can play!  Smile

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Seems to be a bug in the wiki where you can't make sub-pages but everything gets created on the top level and the 'Parent Page' little box only shows [none].

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Uriah replied on Mon, Sep 22 2008 9:39 PM

Hi AC,

 

Remember the wiki is not a place to reproduce works that are written elsewhere on the site, such as PDF's of Books and similar. Instead a summary/conclusion/idea should be extracted from the works, and then the source be referenced.

 

Thanks,

 

Uriah

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David V replied on Mon, Sep 22 2008 9:49 PM

Yes, please don't copy/paste any content from Mises.org, as we already have to pay for the bandwith and backup costs of the content once - no point doing it twice.

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David V replied on Mon, Sep 22 2008 9:54 PM

Anonymous Coward:
Seems to be a bug in the wiki where you can't make sub-pages but everything gets created on the top level and the 'Parent Page' little box only shows [none]

The moderators can edit the Wiki description so that that is has a table of contents or a link to the start page if it helps.

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I was messing around in the Translations wiki where you can see what I mean.

It only lets you create a page on the first level and not in a traditional tree structure. The option 'Parent page' in the page edit is bustified in that it doesn't show any pages to be the 'parent'.

I tried both 'create a new page' and creating a page from a undefined link and it has the problem in both cases.

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Mar 12 2009 9:03 AM

Ok, this is a bump, but also related:


Friend pointed this out to me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_cycle

It is pretty much hilarious in it's insanity.

"The most commonly used framework for explaining such fluctuations is Keynesian economics."

And "Austrian" is not mentioned in the entire article.

So....... how's that wiki coming folks? We really should get on it. Indifferent

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Yeah, how is that wiki coming along? (And which one is the right link, by the way - where are those arguments being collected?)

 

BUMP.

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Found 'em, thanks to HeroicLife:

there is a tiny wiki on http://mises.org/Community/wikis/economics/default.aspx, where the first arguments are starting to be made. Let's make some more!

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