Make Room For All Viewpoints

You're in a polarized debate. Doesn't matter on what. You say X. They say Y. No-one is giving any ground on such an important issue. The thing may dissolve into EditWar or ThreadMess.


Clearly distinguish the positions on separate and aptly-named pages. Make each of those pages refer to a debate page. Don't let the position pages get thready - move any threads to the debate page and advise the ThreadMessers that you'll continue to do that. On the debate page, use ThereforeBut to organize the threads and make them refer to the position pages rather than repeating the viewpoints over and over.

And don't let the debate page come to any conclusion. MakeRoomForAllViewpoints acknowledges that on some matters we must AgreeToDisagree.


Make room for all reasonable viewpoints. Unreasonable or fringe viewpoints should be awarded the second class status that they deserve, because first and foremost we are here to serve the WikiReader and not the ego of whatever contributor, who wants his pet theory to be given some status.

How do you tell reasonable from fringe or simply wrong ? By the feedback of active contributors, typical fringe viewpoints are held by one contributor and challenged by many, and the typical defense is ShiftingTheBurdenOfProof. And also from your general cultural background in SoftwareEngineering. If you step up to contribute to WardsWiki you are expected to be reasonably informed about what's happening out there in the domains where you feel you have enough knowledge and expertise to bring value to wiki. For example, if your favorite area is programming languages, you're supposed to know that both StaticTyping and DynamicTyping have their strong backing, and you're supposed to acknowledge the arguments on each side no matter what side you take. On the other hand if somebody argues that exceptions are evil and we should all go back to returning error codes in high level languages, that viewpoint has a right of existence on wiki but does not have a right to enjoy the prime spot.

And KeepAnOpenMind. Your blood circulation will improve.

Another argument for ItDepends. Understanding comes about when the dependencies are understood in the context of OperatingSystem, Applications and Environments. To expect that what works well in one scenario quite different from another to work equally well in the other is not realistic or objective. Often the loyalties, feelings, preferences and tendencies of a user will do little in contributing to understanding the validity of an approach different due primarily to dependencies and conditions.

See also FuzzyThinking

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