Dialog:What do we want Mises Wiki to be?

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This is intended to start a dialog on the future of Mises Wiki.

What do our founding documents mean, how well are we doing at abiding by them, and should we change them?

While Mises Wiki is more focused than Wikipedia, and does not require neutrality, the ideas of the Austrian School and libertarianism are not uniform—in fact, among the members of both of these groups there is strong disagreement on many topics. Therefore, articles should use verifiable, reliable sources to compare and contrast the various views within the classical liberal tradition.

I interpret this as meaning that we should not suppress minority positions; we should give due weight to each position within the Austrian school, much as Wikipedia attempts to give due weight to each position within society as a whole. The question then arises, what if someone has something new to contribute to the Austrian school? What is the appropriate way to do that, and how does it eventually find its way into a Mises Wiki article?

Is it necessary to write a book first? A Mises Daily post? A Mises Wiki essay? Who is the gatekeeper who decides that a particular opinion counts as falling within the range of Austrian school opinions, rather than unacceptably contradicting the Austrian school? In many cases, advances in the evolution of a school begin with one individual speaking against the mainstream opinion of that school in an attempt to correct an error into which he believes it has fallen; is there any place on Mises Wiki for that type of dissident opinion to be voiced? If so, where? Nathan Larson (talk) 00:22, 23 October 2012 (MSD)

Furthermore, many readers may come from other political and economic backgrounds. To encourage them to learn more and ultimately accept Austro-libertarianism, Mises Wiki articles should be accessible to non-Austrians and should attempt to provide a bridge from their worldview—whether neo-conservative, Keynesian, Green, or anything else—to Austro-libertarian views.

That's fine, although it would be nice if they would put in some of the work of showing up here and debating us; that could provide the necessary push to get us to incorporate some of those rebuttals into mainspace and argumentationspace. I'm not sure how we can get them to cooperate with our site-building agenda, though. Maybe we should show up at their wikis and challenge them to some debates, linking back to our articles here!

I attempted to do that to some extent at RationalWiki, but it ended rather disastrously. However, there are some anarchist wikis, conservative wikis, etc. where we might try our luck. Part of the problem is that some people are more concerned more with propagating religious and political dogma than with searching for the truth; as Mises noted, this makes it difficult to productively dialog with them about logic and evidence. Nathan Larson (talk) 00:22, 23 October 2012 (MSD)

The ideal Mises Wiki article clearly and concisely presents the Austro-libertarian perspective, contrasting it with opposing views, and being careful to provide verifiable information.

We don't have too many articles that fit the criteria for an "ideal Mises Wiki article". Even the featured articles typically fall short; e.g. the Ludwig von Mises article was mostly copied from this biography. Should we focus on extending our coverage, even if it falls short of the ideal at first, or should we focus more on ensuring that the content we add measures up more closely to the ideal? A person can write quite a lot in a short time if he is speaking off the top of his head, but it takes more effort to do the research and citations, and slows him down from expanding the breadth of coverage as much. Admittedly, there are some other benefits to doing that research, such as stumbling across unexpected material that helps broaden one's horizons. Nathan Larson (talk) 00:22, 23 October 2012 (MSD)

On new contributions

"The question then arises, what if someone has something new to contribute to the Austrian school? What is the appropriate way to do that, and how does it eventually find its way into a Mises Wiki article?

You raise a question and then basically answer it - we have created a limited place for new contributions in Essays and Talk pages. In general, though, follow Wikipedia's example - a wiki is not a publisher of original thought and is not a soapbox or means of promotion. Write a book or a Mises Daily or something similarly notable, and then you can refer to it. Now, what exactly is notable is an open-ended discussion - but we should never simply insert our personal opinions on these pages and claim that these represent the Austro-libertarian perspective. There are enough blogs out there that do that already, which is good as well. Pestergaines (talk) 12:54, 31 October 2012 (MSK)