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PESWiki:Point of view

Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 14, 2016 at 10:00 pm.

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The following page is under consideration.

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This page is in the process of being modified to meet PESWiki standards. It is being discussed and modified, with pertinent issues being considered. This temporary statement will be removed once the necessary adjustments have been made.

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|style="padding:0.2em font-size:0.9em background-color:#cee0f2 text-align:center"| Article standards

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|style="padding:0.3em"|PESWiki:Point of viewPESWiki:VerifiabilityPESWiki:Original researchPESWiki:Citing evidenceThere was an error working with the wiki: Code[1]There was an error working with the wiki: Code[2]

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: This page describes the PESWiki policy on editing. For other articles on POV, see Point of View.

PESWiki articles must be written from a point of view (POV) based on fact and reasoning, representing information that is PESWiki:Verifiability. For guidance on how to make an article conform to the point of view, see the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[11]''.

A point of view is a There was an error working with the wiki: Code[12]. This page, There was an error working with the wiki: Code[13]. Because the policies are complementary, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one another, and editors should try to familiarize themselves with all three. The principles upon which these policies are based are non-negotiable and cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, or by editors' consensus. Their policy pages may be edited only to improve the application and explanation of the principles.

Explanation of the point of view

The point of view

A factual point of view is a means of dealing logically with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented factually and logically. it should not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions from the facts.

As the name suggests, the factual point of view is a point of view, not the absence or elimination of viewpoints or positions. It is a point of view that is based on facts. Debates are described, represented, and characterized, but not engaged in. Background is provided on who believes what and why, and which view is more popular. Detailed articles might also contain the mutual evaluations of each viewpoint. One can think of this writing as the cold, fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of the topic.

Bias

: See also the articles There was an error working with the wiki: Code[51] and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[52]

POV requires views to be an logical and factual represention of all available information. All editors have biases, pending thier collection of facts that they use. A There was an error working with the wiki: Code[14] or There was an error working with the wiki: Code[53]. One is said to be biased if one is influenced by one's biases, such as by omitting facts and data. A bias could, for example, lead one to accept or not accept the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[54]ity of a There was an error working with the wiki: Code[55], not because of the strength of the claim's facts, but because it does or does not correspond to one's own preconceived There was an error working with the wiki: Code[56]s.

Types of bias include:

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[15] bias, including bias in which one scientific viewpoint is given preference over others.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[16] bias, including bias in favor of or against a particular political party, policy or candidate.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[17] bias, including bias in which one religious viewpoint is given preference over others.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[18] bias, including bias favoring one social class and bias ignoring social or class divisions.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[19], including advertising, coverage of political campaigns in such a way as to favor corporate interests, and the reporting of issues to favor the interests of the owners of the news media.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[20] or There was an error working with the wiki: Code[21], including racism, nationalism and regionalism.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[57] bias, including sexism and heteronormativity.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[22] which may for example describe a dispute as it is conducted in one country without knowing that the dispute is framed differently elsewhere.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[23] bias: favoring the interests or views of a particular nation.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[58], which is bias in favor of the exceptional over the ordinary. This includes the practice whereby exceptional news may be overemphasized, distorted or fabricated to boost commercial ratings.

A simple formulation

Assert facts, including facts about opinions. There is a difference between facts and opinions. By "fact" we mean "a piece of information about which there is no serious dispute." For example, that a survey produced a certain published result would be a fact. That there is a planet called Mars is a fact. That Plato was a philosopher is a fact. No one seriously disputes any of these things. So we can feel free to assert as many of them as we can. PESWiki is devoted to stating facts in the sense as described above. Where we might want to state an opinion, we convert that opinion into a fact by attributing the opinion to someone. The statemennts require an identifiable and objectively quantifiable set or, better still, a name (with the clear implication that the named individual should be a recognised authority). In presenting an facts, moreover, it is important to bear in mind that there are few disagreements about how the facts are best stated sometimes, it will be necessary to qualify the description of views or to present several formulations, simply to arrive at a solution that fairly represents all the leading views of the situation. But it is not enough, to express the PESWiki POV policy, just to say that we should state facts and not opinions. When asserting a fact about an opinion, it is important also to assert facts about competing opinions. It is also generally important to give the facts about the reasons behind the views, and to make it clear who holds them. It is often best to There was an error working with the wiki: Code[24] a prominent representative of the view.

Situations and handling

POV forks

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[3]

A POV fork is an attempt to evade the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[59] guidelines by creating a new article about a certain subject that is already treated in an article, often to avoid or highlight negative or positive facts. This is generally considered unacceptable. The generally accepted policy is that all facts and major Points of View on a certain subject are treated in one article.

Undue weight

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POV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints, such as those from PESWiki:Verifiability. Now a qualification: Articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, but may not necessarily include tiny minority views at all. We should attempt to represent disputes held by the minority as much as a majority view, but views that are held by a tiny minority does not need to be represented (besides articles devoted to those views). To give undue weight to a significant minority view, or to include extremely tiny minority view, might be misleading. PESWiki aims to present factual views among "There was an error working with the wiki: Code[25]. But even on such pages, though a view may be spelled out in great detail, it should not be represented as the truth.

See: PESWiki:Original research and PESWiki:Verifiability.

A vital component: good research

Disagreements over whether something is approached the factual Point Of View (POV) way can usually be avoided through the practice of good research. Facts (as defined in the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[26] section above) are Points Of View in and of themselves. A good way to build a point of view is to find a reputable source for the piece of information you want to add to PESWiki, and then There was an error working with the wiki: Code[27]. This is an easy way to characterize a side of a debate without excluding that the debate has other sides. Find the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[28] you can. Try the library for good books and journal articles, and look for the most reliable online resources. A little bit of ground work can save a lot of time in trying to justify a point later.

Remember, though, an important consideration is that sources might contradict. The core of the POV policy is to let competing facts of the same topic exist on the same page: work for balance, that is: divide space describing the opposing viewpoints. And, when available, give precedence to those sources that have been the most successful in presenting facts.

Fairness of tone

If we are going to characterize disputes factually, we should present competing views with a consistently fair and sensitive tone. Many articles end up as partisan commentary even while presenting both points of view. Even when a topic is presented in terms of facts, an article can still radiate an implied bias through either selection of which facts to present, or more subtly their organization — for instance, refuting opposing views as one goes along makes them look a lot worse than collecting them in an opinions-of-opponents section. Write articles with the tone that all positions presented are at least plausible (keeping in mind the qualification about extreme tiny minority views). The presentation of all significant, competing views should be done unemotionally. Write with the attitude that such-and-such is a certian way, but, in the view of some detractors, the supporters of said view overlooked such-and-such a detail.

Characterizing opinions of people's work

PESWiki articles about art, artists, and other creative topics (e.g., musicians, actors, books, etc.) that lean toward the effusive is out of place in an fact based resource. It is important to describe how some artist or some work has been received by the general public or by prominent "experts". Providing an overview of the common interpretations of a creative work, preferably with citations or references to notable individuals holding that interpretation, is appropriate. Note that determining how some artist or work has been received publicly or critically might require research — but once determined, a clear statement of that reception (unlike an idiosyncratic opinion by a PESWiki article writer) is an opinion that really matters.

Let the facts speak for themselves

A simple piece of advice in the context of various articles is, "You won't even 'need' to say something is evil. That is why the article on There was an error working with the wiki: Code[29]. Readers will probably not take kindly to moralising. If you do not allow the facts to speak for themselves, reader can be alienate and may turn them against a position.

Attributing and substantiating statements

Sometimes, a statement can be reframed into an factual POV statement by attributing or substantiating it. When encuntering an expression of opinion, a way to make it suitable for PESWiki is to change it into a statement about someone whose opinion it is. As those statements are correct and can be PESWiki:Verifiability they are acceptable. The goal here is to attribute opinions to some subject-matter "expert", rather than to merely state it as only true or being the "truth". A different approach is to substantiate the statement, by giving factual details that back it up. Instead of using the vague words, this statement spells out a particular way in which is covered. Sometime a solution is found in rephrasing biased or opinionated statements with There was an error working with the wiki: Code[60]: "Many people think ...". Statements of this form are subject to obvious attacks, though. By attributing the claim to a known set, or substantiating the facts behind it, you can avoid problems.

Rationale

PESWiki is a general resource, composed of PowerPedia:Free energy There was an error working with the wiki: Code[30]s" in which one person asserts that x, whereupon the next person changes the text so that it asserts not-x?

A solution is that we accept, for the purposes of working on PESWiki, that "free energy knowledge" includes all different significant theories and technologies. We are committed to the goal of representing free energy knowledge in that sense, surely a well-established meaning of the word "knowledge". What is "known" changes constantly with the passage of time, and so when we use the word "know," we often enclose it in so-called There was an error working with the wiki: Code[31]. Europeans in the Middle Ages "knew" that we were the center of the universe we now "know" otherwise. To avoid endless edit wars, present each of the views factually and not assert any one of them as correct. To write from a factual point of view, one presents controversial views without asserting them to do that, it generally suffices to present competing views in a way that is more or less acceptable to their adherents, and also to attribute the views to their adherents. Disputes are characterized in PESWiki they are not re-enacted.

To sum up the primary reason for this policy: PESWiki is an resource of data and facts, a compilation of free energy There was an error working with the wiki: Code[61]. But because PESWiki is a community-built, international resource, we cannot expect collaborators to agree in all cases, or even in many cases, on what constitutes knowledge in a strict sense. We can therefore adopt the looser sense of "free energy knowledge" according to which a wide variety of conflicting theories constitute what we call "knowledge." We should, both individually and collectively, make an effort to present these conflicts fairly and factually.

There is another reason to commit ourselves to this policy, that when it is clear to readers that we do not expect them to adopt any particular opinion, this leaves them free to make up their minds for themselves, thus encouraging intellectual independence. Dogmatic institutions and totalitarian regimes everywhere might find reason to oppose PESWiki, if we succeed in adhering to the data and facts: the presentation of many competing theories on a wide variety of subjects suggests that we, the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[32] of PESWiki, trust readers to form their own opinions. Texts that present multiple viewpoints factually, without demanding that the reader accept any particular one of them, are liberating. Facts and data subverts dogmatism. Nearly everyone working on PESWiki can agree this is a good thing.

Common objections and clarifications

:See There was an error working with the wiki: Code[62] for answers and clarifications on the issues raised in this section

Common objections or concerns raised by newcomers to PESWiki's point of view policy include the following.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[33]:

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[34]I find the optimism about "real science" vs. "dogmatic science" to be baseless. History has shown that dogmatic science can beat out facts, as those who rely on dogmatic science use lies, slander, innuendo and numerical majorities of followers to force their views on anyone they can. If this project gives equal validity, the result is that it will (inadvertently) legitimize and help promote that which only can be termed "incorrect".

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[35]What about views that are morally offensive to most Westerners that some people actually hold?

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[36]How are we to write articles about There was an error working with the wiki: Code[37], about which majority scientific opinion is that the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[38] opinion is not credible and doesn't even really deserve serious mention?

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[39]:

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[40]I agree with the fact-based policy but there are some here who seem completely, irremediably dogmatic. I have to go around and clean up after them. What do I do?

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[41]How can we avoid constant and endless warfare over neutrality issues?

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[42]:

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[43]I have some other objection - where should I complain?

Other resources

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There was an error working with the wiki: Code[8] - when the article's title is questionable

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[9] - when only one sentence is questionable

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[10] - When the article as a whole fails to abide by the content policies of PESWiki

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