Wikinews talk:Never assume

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/Archive 1

Never assume[edit]

In working up a first draft of the long-discussed upgrade, I went through the existing essay expecting to have lots of ideas in need of preservation by weaving into the upgrade — and was bemused to find that almost all the old material is simply struggling to compensate for having recommended assuming anything in the first place.

There are a few ideas in the old version that could be at least partly reused, at some point — but they didn't seem to fit in the needed replacement essay on the primary theme that needs redress here, assumption. --Pi zero (talk) 03:34, 13 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To provide clarity in addressing content under the new title, I've also archived the earlier contents of the talk page. --Pi zero (talk) 04:34, 13 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm thinking it's time to call this a guideline. --Pi zero (talk) 17:08, 22 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Pi zero: It is certainly a guiding principle. I just wonder if it has sufficient nuance. Interestingly, all of the Wikinews in other languages sisters seem to have AGF. --SVTCobra 18:04, 22 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SVTCobra: I'm not sure what you mean in this context by nuance. Seems to me this page means exactly what it says, and emphasizes not reading things into it that aren't there. The long-ago "assume good intentions" started out by saying assume something, and then had to spend a great deal of text backpedaling from the not-meant-to-be-taken-literally instruction to assume anything in the first place; the shift to "never assume" was attended by a spectacular reduction in length because it was no longer necessary to madly backpedal. So, honestly, I see it as a good thing that no fancy footwork is needed. Perhaps you mean something else, though. --Pi zero (talk) 18:33, 22 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps 'nuance' wasn't the best choice of words, but maybe 'clarity' or 'fleshing out'. I feel the opening paragraphs should specify this applies to content (i.e. the articles) and not so much anything else. We pretty much AGF when it comes to ideas and the intent of users. An explanation might be helpful, too, about how Wikinews articles are a snapshot in time and we have a very small window of time to get things right, so even the smallest factual claim cannot be left unchallenged, unlike Wikipedia articles which are sometimes allowed to sit for years as and unsourced stub until it gradually gets improved (keep it short an point to our "Introduction for Wikipedians"). Does that make more sense? Cheers, --SVTCobra 22:21, 22 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, and the whole thing about "people" ... well, that's about OR, right? One does not need a pre-established reputation to write a good synthesis article. So that could be clarified as well. --SVTCobra 22:25, 22 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the contrary, a good reputation is useful for synthesis, exactly (well, in part exactly) because never-assume is not limited to content but also applies to people. We don't AGF. Nor do Wikipedians AGF, because "AGF" doesn't mean what it says. I've observed (btw) that AGF is a long-term toxin for a project and has done great damage to Wikipedia; part of that has to do with social dynamics, but also part is because it doesn't mean what it says: it either misleads users or teaches them that saying things you don't mean is okay, the latter of which is a terrible thing to teach people who are supposed to act as information providers. And it suggests that assuming things is ever okay, which it isn't. (There's a saying in journalism: If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.)

I reiterate: this means what it says. It says not to assume things, and means it. --Pi zero (talk) 22:41, 22 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]