[EM] James: Definition, electowiki

James Green-Armytage jarmyta at antioch-college.edu
Wed Jun 22 15:26:50 PDT 2005

Mike, you wrote:
>Does  electowiki or EM have available web pages where EM members can post 
>things that can't be modified by someone else afterwards? The
>of what one posts to the electowiki tends to discourage me from using it.

	Yes, other people can modify definitions on the electowiki, but the
system retains the "history" of the page, which is a list of every version
that the page has gone through. Thus, you can retrieve your original
definition if a change is made, and if the change is clearly no good, you
can simply paste the original definition back in. If a dispute arises over
which version is better, interesting discussion often results (click the
"discussion" tab of any page to find this).
	I know what you mean about being annoyed by others changing things.
Lately, I've been engaged in the wikipedia as well as the electowiki, and
it is certainly a frustrating process at times. It is nice to have my own
little web site where I make the final decision about everything. 
	However, I'm not thinking of the electowiki as like the final storehouse
of truth and the place to perfect definitions, but rather as a convenient
place to add quick and dirty definitions of terms in order to prevent
total confusion. If you want total control, you are free to shell out a
few bucks to get your own web site. But that serves a different function.
Even if one does have one's own site, it is often quite a bit quicker and
more convenient to add a provisional definition term to the wiki than it
is to update the site. 
	If you want to define a term in a controversial way, the possibility
remains for you to create a page specifically entitled "Mike Ossipoff's
[term] definition", or "[term] (MO)", in which case you could revert any
edits to that page with impunity. This wouldn't be possible on the
wikipedia, of course, but my opinion is that it would be a good way to
resolve unresolvable definition disputes on electowiki. 
	For example, I disagree with your definition of majority rule, and if you
added that definition to the electowiki, I would strongly prefer that you
do so under the heading of "Mike Ossipoff's majority rule definition", or
"majority rule (MO)", or something like that. Otherwise, I would probably
make edits to the page that you would disagree with, at the very least
identifying your definition as being yours, and offering alternate
	However, with something uncontroversial like AERLO/ATLO, or any other new
method that you come up with, this kind of dispute would be very unlikely
to arise.


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