Ludwig von Mises Institute

Talk:Main Page

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This page is for discussion related to the Main Page. For general project-related discussion, use the MisesWiki Commons.

Ideas for Main Page organization[edit]

The Wikipedia main page incorporates several features:

  1. Did You Know?: spotlights new articles or substantial revisions and incentivizes users to do substantial new work rather than just little tweaks here and there
  2. Today's Featured Article: showcases articles that have reached the highest quality level, according to the FA criteria developed by folks working on that project
  3. In The News: provides short "breaking news" blurbs which link to relevant content
  4. On This Day: lists historical facts from this day in history and links to relevant content

We could develop a feature like #1 pretty easily, especially since everything is new right now.

Number 2 is something that I would like for us to have once we have adequate content to support it, but I don't think we are quite there yet.

On Wikipedia, the "In The News" feature is easy to run because almost any news subject is likely to be linkable to multiple pre-existing articles. We might create something like #3 as a way to draw attention to Austrians who are in the news or who have provided commentary on events covered in the news, and our equivalent of the "In The News" feature could be linked from "Current Events" in the nav box on page left.

I think #4 is out for right now, too, although we could eventually note birthdays of famous Austrians and other relevant historical tidbits once we develop a little more content.

The "Community Portal" link on the left could lead to a page much like the one on Wikipedia, with a running "to-do" list of articles that need to be created or substantially revised, links to projects (as they develop), and any notices about community-wide news.

Thoughts? DickClarkMises 09:48, 6 November 2010 (CDT)



These all seem great to me but of course I have my usual concern about daily updates to the front page now. I find myself suddenly anxious to develop some intellectual eye candy up front along with links to how to write for wikipedia, if only because something tells me that we are the verge of a more public discovery. It would be good to have the curb appeal right up front.

I might suggest that we leave a featured piece up on Austrian economics, right up there with some colored background or something.

--Jatucker 12:26, 6 November 2010 (CDT)


I have the next couple of days off, so I'll try to see what I can do to get Austrian economics up to snuff. By the way, should it be "Austrian economics" or "Austrian school"? Regarding this main page, I don't think "on this day" would be too difficult to set up early. We'd have to gather up relevant birthdays and events (such as the first Mont Pelerin Society meeting, that meeting in 1974 setting the beginning of the Austrian revival, et cetera). It will take some time, though. Maybe a more permanent template, for now, would do the trick—"during this week". We could do a featured picture widget, but instead of featured pictures maybe just rotating images of different Austrian economists and other relative individuals. At first, some of the stuff will prob. have to be "semi-permanent", in the sense that most stuff probably won't be updated every day. JonCatalán(Talk) 21:01, 7 November 2010 (CST)
Younger, less developed Wikimedia sites (such as Wikisource), have different items on the main page. A featured work of the month, a list of new articles (that anyone can add to), and current collaborations, for example. It may make more sense to pursue some of these less-intensive solutions instead of/in addition to the ones Wikipedia uses.
To start we can at least do "new texts" (probably instead of "Did You Know?") and once we've developed a particular article more fully, make that the month's featured article (maybe for December?). I like the idea of having an "During this week" box that starts off as weekly and eventually can be changed to "On this day". --Forgottenman 08:10, 8 November 2010 (CST)

New design[edit]

Work on a new Main Page design is ongoing at Main Page/new. For this initial design I kept many of Wikipedia's design features (but with a different header), and developed similar content. Feel free to make changes or suggestions. --Forgottenman (talk) 14:55, 8 November 2010 (CST)

I implemented this. For whatever reason, the favicon is gone --Jatucker 09:06, 9 November 2010 (CST)
For "on this week", should we link to years and such? I was going to suggest linking with wp:en, but then that wouldn't make sense because you'd direct the user off the site without that page actually being relevant. It makes sense to wikilink to the day, because we could fill in the days with important events and such (that can be used to update "on this week"), but what about the years? JonCatalán(Talk) 09:53, 9 November 2010 (CST)
Mises Wiki year pages I think would be fine--they could be like WP year pages, containing the major events of the year, but with an austro-libertarian focus. --Forgottenman (talk) 11:48, 9 November 2010 (CST)

Media Tutorial[edit]

I've going to link this from the opening text [1] --Jatucker 16:30, 11 November 2010 (CST)

A Global Repository of Classical-Liberal Thought[edit]

Why "A Global Repository of Classical-Liberal Thought"?

I am no minarchist! Is this a minarchist wiki?! --84.60.200.246 09:48, 27 December 2010 (CST)

This could indeed be a very rich discussion. Maybe there is room for a page or article on the "variants" of classical liberal thought. --RayBirks 16:12, 27 December 2010 (CST)
It's not exclusively minarchist. I define "classical liberal" broadly, encompassing the thought of Spooner and Rothbard as well as J. S. Mill and Hayek. --Forgottenman (talk) 16:16, 27 December 2010 (CST)

I don't understand that. When it is "A Global Repository of Classical-Liberal Thought", why do you have sites like Kazakhstan and Harry S. Truman? Or should it be an encyclopedia in the Classical-Liberal Thought? Or is it rather "a wiki project dedicated to the advancement of the Austrian School of Economics and related thought", or do you think it is the same. If the latter is the case, what is to say about praxeology or argumentation ethics as "Classical-Liberal Thought"? --84.60.209.200 08:42, 28 December 2010 (CST)

Thinkers in the tradition of classical liberalism can and will have perspectives on Kazakhstan and Harry S. Truman; this wiki is meant to capture those perspectives and contrast them with "mainstream," anti-liberty views. On the other hand, praxeology is a field developed by the intellectual children of classical liberalism, thus information about it obviously belongs here. Again: define classical liberalism broadly, encompassing the thought of Jefferson, J. S. Mill, Hayek, and Mises, as well as Spooner, Rothbard, and Block. The thoughts of all these people, and people like them, on any subject, is the scope of this wiki. --Forgottenman (talk) 09:00, 28 December 2010 (CST)
"Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953)." What is the contrast with "mainstream," anti-liberty views, please? Or, you mean an encyclopedia in the view of Classical-Liberal Thought. But then a minarchist is also one who may offer his totalitarian doctrine on every issue, for example that of reasoning Jefferson's wars. Obviously, you believe that the descriptions are of the same meaning. But that is nonsense. Hans Hoppe, e.g., is not correctly to describe as thinker of the classical liberalism perspective. --84.60.209.200 10:12, 28 December 2010 (CST)
Note that above I said "perspectives on Kazakhstan and Harry S. Truman." That is, different thinkers within the classical liberal tradition (from Milton Friedman to Hans Hoppe) will have different perspectives (obviously), and this is the place to record all of them, comparing and contrasting them.
As for Harry S. Truman, it's a work in progress: eventually, the article could challenge a number of mainstream views related to Truman's presidency. The article currently links to President of the United States: that article could be expanded to discuss how the position came into being (as part of the United States Constitution). The Constitution's article could describe the thinking of the founders, compare it against the Articles of Confederation and other systems of government and non-government (monarchy, democracy, state of nature, etc.). The goal is to use an encyclopedia format to challenge statist assumptions and lead people to libertarian and anarchist thought.
Like Wikipedia, the goal is not to write "truth" (because minarchists and anarchists disagree on what the "truth" may be), but to quote prominent thinkers and describe significant ideas. Unlike Wikipedia, our encyclopedia is biased in favor of liberty and in opposition to the state and its evils. --Forgottenman (talk) 11:03, 28 December 2010 (CST)
You may say that Hoppe thinks in the result of classical liberal tradition but this would only be an awkward historical view of yesterday by someone who want to reboot the old American society. You claim also to use a full encyclopedia format which could contrast, or may contrast later, or never. But the result would be a new Wikipedia with 90 % copy code. For the goal to contrast, it is enough to give for every concept some useful urls of mises.org and other a-political think thanks and to abstract the differences to the mainstream views. This would be more useful and more reachable than to create an article for every small Hitler and every small region. However, my aim was only to find a well description of the project and I cant see that you have thought twice about it. --84.60.209.200 12:09, 28 December 2010 (CST)
Re Hoppe as the intellectual child of classical liberalism: I suppose reasonable people can disagree. Nonetheless, if there is any inaccuracy, it is in the term: his thought is certainly included in the scope of this wiki. Re Wikipedia vs. Mises Wiki, it is my goal that this wiki not rely on Wikipedia. Some articles do, but others, like American Civil War and President of the United States, do not. Re encyclopedia vs. collection of links: Wikipedia has had astonishing success because it is written in encyclopedia format and is not a mere collection of related links. Re "I cant see that you have think twice about it," there's no need to be unfriendly. --Forgottenman (talk) 13:58, 28 December 2010 (CST)
Wikipedia should be an encyclopedia but a "global repository" must not be one. We should clear this point on MisesWiki:Commons. Okay, inaccuracy in the term. Hence, why not "repository of a-political thought." Thus, one must not assume to visit a Minarchist wiki. --84.60.209.200 14:52, 28 December 2010 (CST)
We are open to anything but I like repository partially because it lacks a strict definition. We don't want an encyclopedia only and we don't want just opinion pieces. We want it to be a guide to learning and studying; an archive of important and useful information; a documented assembly of important facts and figures and narratives; a valuable resource for discovery what is going on and what people think; most importantly, we don't want the scope limited. So repository seems to work here. As for classical liberal, anarcho-capitalism is certainly part of the liberal tradition if one thinks of it in a sweeping way, backwards in time and forwards in time. In this sense Seneca and Aristotle are part of the liberal tradition. I would be happy with liberal but of course that confuses people and hence the classical part, but that introduces the confusion that we are talking about 18th and 19th century thought of a particular kind (minarchism). Libertarian is good but that tends to conjure up political associations and not research or intellectual ones. Classical liberalism seems broader. Another possibility is "liberty-minded thought" but that has its own problems (certainly every conservative organization claims to favor liberty). Anyway, I just throw all that out there. Maybe something is better than classically liberal as a descriptor but I can't think of it.--Jatucker 12:56, 5 January 2011 (CST)

You haven't mentioned my proposal of "politically unaffected and independent."

There is a piece in the Mises Institute article that underlines this. It "does not seek to implement public policy. It has no formal affiliation with any political party (including the Libertarian Party), nor does it receive funding from any." and "Its declared mission is to back research and writing in defense of Austrian economics, the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention as economically and socially destructive."

This is short and clear enough. It is important that it clearly remains, and that all editors know what the Mises Institute expects of the wiki in order that editors are able to fulfill the wishes. Thus, I don't understand that you can't think of a better descriptor. It is already on hand.

Other pure verbal efforts in MisesWiki:About and MisesWiki:Five Pillars are diluting the clear guest above, too. I don't know, who is responsible.

Even if it slightly is another lot, it demonstrates the effects of a misleaded understanding. E.g.:"it does not attempt to adhere to a policy of neutrality." I would say it is partial nonsense implemented from a Wikipedia view. Neutrality is not a very clear term but it is impossible (in my opinion) to contrast different classical liberal and related thought without any kind of neutrality.

And the encyclopedia/repository controversy is also fortified here. "Mises Wiki is an online encyclopedia".

Or, "Even with this policy of bias toward the Austrian School, the personal experiences, interpretations, and opinions of editors do not belong here." What's then about completely unreviewed books by Stefan Molyneux like Universally Preferable Behaviour?

And btw., "Mises Wiki users should interact in a respectful and civil manner." This pillar is completely superfluous because it is nearly the same to say, you should insult nobody. That is a rule which has no praxeological stance in the Austrian view. --Reserved 05:50, 6 January 2011 (CST)

That strikes me as too eccentric for a description of a wiki actually. --Jatucker 13:18, 11 January 2011 (CST)

Even when you want to use your slogan as eye-catcher (also eccentric for me but your matter) then it is still useful to explain what is actually meant by "classical liberal thought" at the Main Page, About or so.

So what we should write? Or even better, edit it yourself. I have done the job for the part that belongs to "repository" by coping some of your text to the About page. I am not convinced enough by the rest.

The economist Mark W. Hendrickson narrates: "One of my colleagues now avoids labeling himself an Austrian economist because his interlocutors then assume that he is an anarchist." because of the name "Mises Institute". [2] I hope that I get no similar problem since people could assume that I am minarchist because of "classical liberal thought". --Reserved 05:17, 12 January 2011 (CST)

Changes[edit]

I've made some changes to the main page, to reduce the amount of maintenance required. First, I removed the "Current Events" template as it was probably too much of an attempt to copy Wikipedia; it has not been kept up to date lately. Second, I modified the "This Week in History" box, changing it to update automatically every day with one day of material. Thus I renamed the section "Today in History." There are no days that are missing material until April, so we have time to fill in the gaps. If no material exists for a given day, then a link will appear directing editors to the page where they can add an event.

Feel free to revert or suggest more/other changes. --Forgottenman (talk) 19:06, 19 January 2012 (MSK)

Randomly featured articles[edit]

I recommend randomly featuring articles, so that no maintenance is required on that front after the initial set of rotating articles is set up. Install mw:Extension:RandomSelection and use the code and option tags the way they are used on Libertapedia: http://libertapedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Randomly_featured_article&action=edit . Nathan Larson 13:11, 8 July 2012 (MSD)

Hmmm... you may actually have a point there - given our activity level and the number of suitable articles that may be the best solution for us. Thanks for the idea! Pestergaines 13:53, 8 July 2012 (MSD)
One of the downsides would be performance loss on the main page, because that extension contains this line:
$parser->disableCache();
It's dynamically loading the page anew each time, rather than loading a cached copy, because otherwise every user would see the same blurb every time they visited. Bottom line: the main page will probably load slower with this, but it's potentially better than a redlink or a blurb that only changes once a month. Nathan Larson 11:58, 9 July 2012 (MSD)

Random selection of articles[edit]

See User:Nathan Larson/Mockup of main page with random articles. If we were to do it this way, and also create a rotation of about 60 or even 30 randomly featured articles, the casual visitor might not even realize how low the level of activity on this wiki is, unless he happens to hit Special:RecentChanges. Nathan Larson (talk) 07:28, 22 October 2012 (MSD)

Should we semi-protect?[edit]

YesY Done Should we semi-protect the main page and templates that are transcluded to it? There probably aren't very many constructive edits by IPs and newbies to those pages, and the most recent vandalism wasn't reverted for several hours. Of course, the downside is that if an autoconfirmed user vandalizes it, then an IP or newbie won't be able to fix it. Nathan Larson (talk) 01:51, 25 October 2012 (MSD)

MisesQuote[edit]

I installed MisesQuote, but I notice that it only seems to cycle among a few different quotes. I suspect we might be getting hit with double-caching, because both our wiki and The Quotable Mises are probably cached by CloudFlare. Anyway, if you want to check out the code, it's at mw:Extension:MisesQuote#MisesQuote.php.

Also, I'm starting to suspect that The Quotable Mises has a significant number of typos and misprints. Nathan Larson (talk) 12:11, 31 October 2012 (MSK)

MisesQuote seems to have broken when the server was moved, so it's been disabled.

Random or recent articles[edit]

Template:Recent pages would give us a selection of articles recently added to the wiki, similarly to the "In the Mises Wiki" item on the main mises.org page, but with more than four page titles listed. Leucosticte (talk) 14:42, 26 January 2014 (EST)

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