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Talk:United States Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announces retirement

Musical interludeEdit

I very very briefly toyed with the idea of putting this as an external link. The Wiki crew may find it motivating, though: Song. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:46, 12 April 2018 (UTC)


Is File:Paul Ryan 113th Congress.jpg more relevant? Gryllida (talk) 10:56, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

I think it works better, as it's easier to parse when shown at a small size. --Pi zero (talk) 11:27, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Eh, I think the other one was a little less dull and more recent, but this one is serviceable. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:30, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Review of revision 4399636 [Passed]Edit

I read over your review summaries (and let's remember the grain of salt of the established limitations of my ability to understand them), and I came up with something. This isn't a "here's what's going on" so much as a "ponder this." Add it to the stewpot and see how it tastes once it's cooked.
Take this article's refute vs contradict for example. You felt that "refute" had connotations of assessment, but "contradict" is suggesting in Wikinews' voice that Ryan is being inconsistent or hypocritical. Both words can be read as problematic or nonproblematic. I didn't change it back to "refute" or even bring it up at the time because it really is six to one half a dozen to the other; both readings are valid. You felt it was non-neutral and replaced it with a word that didn't feel non-neutral from your perspective in that moment. I, different person, read the second word as non-neutral. Maybe if you'd been primed in a different way, turned to a different page in the newspaper that morning or heard a different news report on the radio earlier that day, your own perception of "contradict" might have been different as well.
Everything you read as non-neutral was within the threshold of differences between reviewers or even sometimes the same reviewer in different mindsets. This isn't an issue of "Why isn't this written to news standards?" it's "Why isn't it written just the way I the reviewer happen to like it, given the exact mindset that I'm in right now?" The answer is because that way lies madness.
Similarly, don't expect to go into an article and find it written to your own personal version of any one standard. That way lies madness for you as well.
As always, if there's an external source you can point me toward, if I'm wrong and you really are reacting to some universal or field-wide standard that I haven't run across on my own yet, open invitation. Maybe you went to journalism school and there was a book they gave out, that sort of thing. That's the sort of thing I'd be interested in investing in. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:45, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: Exactly because you're really valuable for the positive attitude and energy you bring to the project, your failure to grok some basic stuff is a very concerning problem. When you look at a fix to a substantive problem, and you see only trivia, that's a practical definition of being blind to the problem; but why? One theory, I suspect partly true but incomplete, is that you've convinced yourself there is nothing there for you to learn, making it impossible for you to acquire what you're convinced doesn't exist. Another theory is that it "just" hasn't yet been explained to you in a way that will click for you — but if you're sufficiently convinced it isn't there, you're not going to be receptive to any explanation anyway, making it hard to work up energy for trying different explanations. So I reasoned, a prerequisite to solving the problem is to make you aware of it; but if you deny the problem even when told of it point-blank, that makes it all quite challenging.

In theory, I could write up a blow-by-blow detailed account here of each of the edits in the edit summary, but the two obvious flaws in that plan are (a) where would I find the time for such an undertaking, and (b) would it be a good investment of time, if it's likely you would simply disbelieve the resulting explanations.

That said, you talk about refute versus contradict. As best I recall, that was about the smallest neutrality problem I fixed; but, okay. If I follow rightly, you're talking about it as if it's a matter of opinion — of balance. Balance is how Wikipedia tries to pursue neutrality. Although I could point out fundamental weaknesses of that approach even for Wikipedia, it's possible to make a plausible case that it can sometimes produce adequate results in the context of an encyclopedic wiki where unbounded amounts of time can be spent on any article at convenience. Wikinews does not use balance as a primary means of achieving neutrality. This isn't about balance; it should never be about balance, because balance is subjectivity-intensive. Saying somebody "refuted" an allegation suggests they successfully disproved it, and Wikinews does not endorse positions on things like that. (Specifically, "refute" has two definitions, basically "successfully disprove" and "contradict", and those two bleed into each other so that it's hard to use the word in either sense without picking up overtones of the other.) Saying they "contradicted" the allegation says that they made a statement contrary to the allegation. The "disprove" sense of "refute" certainly should not have been intended, and the remaining sense is what I selected for to fix the problem. If you intended to suggest "disprove", that would be (a) intent to be non-neutral, and (b) factually wrong, because somebody saying something is not a proof that it's true (if it were, then Richard Nixon proved he wasn't a crook). --Pi zero (talk) 04:18, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Not opinion. Perception. I think you are overestimating the degree to which you individually perceive things is the way everyone/Wikinews/journalism perceives things.
Simplest way to disprove this: Show me the textbook. Show me the Wikinews essay. Show me the YouTube video of a journalism school professor giving a lecture. Show me the Wikinews talk page conversation that established these norms way back when. You say "Darkfrog24, you think it doesn't exist" and I'm saying "Show it to me." Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:52, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
If you imagine (and it seems as if you do) that Wikinews neutrality would be found in a textbook somewhere, you've misunderstood the nature of Wikinews at a level even deeper than the neutrality policy. Truthfully, though, I was already aware of that problem. It's been clear for some time, you think of Wikinews as a project that happens to have arbitrarily selected some policies to follow (rather like picking from a menu). It's not just that you don't see the overall shape of Wikinews's basic principles; you evidently don't see that there is a shape there to see. (My predicament is that I can't simply let it drop, because your considerable value to the project lies in your writing, and it's both a burden and an active hazard to the project that you evidently can't see the problems you're writing into your articles.)

I've seen a similar phenomenon sometimes in university classes. The class material has an abstract structure to it, and in various ways such as exercises, students are brought into proximity to the abstract structure so they get to "see" it from various angles and learn its "shape"; but some people don't have the right cognitive gift to "see" that particular kind of abstract structure, rather like color-blindness. For Wikinews, this effect can be further compounded because (as I gather is typical of small news orgs) much of our know-how is contained in the living community, and is communicated directly from veterans to newcomers through review feedback — which becomes a double-fail if the newcomer looks at the abstract structure of the Wikinews basic principles and sees nothing, because then, when the feedback won't make sense to them, they'll also disbelieve that the reviewer knows what they're talking about. At which point, it's hard to see a way forward.

And here we are. --Pi zero (talk) 20:54, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

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