Hot Potatoes

Wiki's CollectiveIntelligence is brilliant, but naive. There are many topics that are entirely new to it. When it happens across one of these HotPotatoes, it adopts many positions at once. With VB, for example, it started out very hostile, then got very fond, then produced several very useful pages on problems and solutions, and now seems upbeat and optimistic about VbDotNet. It was the same way back when with StoneSociety and ExtremeProgramming and several others.

Eventually, though, all positions are expressed. Everything that bores the experts and delights the newbies is fleshed out. Wiki remembers the controversies, but doesn't rehash them forever. Things settle down again. And then there is space for new thoughts and new perspectives when they occur from time to time. This is the same as it is for any human mind.

Plainly we have two HotPotatoes going on right at the moment [first quarter of 2000?"] (is one now a BurntToaCinderPotato?). The debate on these is enlarging RecentChanges uncomfortably. I'm used to seeing the thing with maybe a handful of entries on it when I get up in the morning, PST, but the last week there have been many dozens by then.

Still the bulk of these are technical people following technical interests. I see no linkage from religious pages into tech pages. People who don't care a toss for theology, which is most of us, have no difficulty dodging it. We might stumble onto a page like FreeThinker? or MicrosoftIsaNiceMonopoly once, but never again (:-).

I agree. I would only add that Wiki has always had an amateur interest in philosophy, which is still partly what the pages around FreeThinker? are about. You "upped the anti" (how many times had God been a WikiMorpheme before?) and a few of us followed up. It seems fair game to me. -- rd

[The real problem with HotPotatoes is that they descend into ThreadMode and eventually require heavy refactoring by GoodWikiCitizen(s). This is hard work calling for the greatest impartiality and compassion, but necessary if you want to clarify a position among the threads.]

"Still, none of us can decide where wiki's attention will wander. Ward's stated policy is that all subjects are fair game. The only way to combat noisy pages that don't interest you is to start high signal pages that do. -- PeterMerel"

The problem with "upping the anti" is that it forces someone else to "up the pro." But that's what discussion is all about.

The original phrase is "upping the ante" from poker, the amount placed at risk before (ante) the cards are seen, of course upping the anti is an interesting idea, and can be viewed as one source of flame wars (as well as shooting wars, unfortunately) -- RobertField

Not to be confused with "Up the auntie".

See also WhereDidFreeThinkerComeFrom, FilterByCategory, MoreLightThanHeatGuideline

last edit in 2002 did not have new contributions, but it is interesting to revisit it now (Mar05) -- dl DeleteWhenCooked

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