You would have thought it was relatively straight forward to do these conversions but unfortunately it is not. Firstly, direct conversion is altogether more fiddly than you might think. Secondly, a lot of the pages really aren’t good enough and so, are undergoing something of a re-write. This is particularly true of the rail-related pages which I am going through at the moment. These were in many cases amongst the first pages I ever wrote and so lack many of the refinements and techniques I later developed.
I appreciate that things have been a bit quiet on the Croziervision front recently but that should not be taken for a lack of activity. Far from it. I have been giving a lot of thought to the Wiki and a few other things and I have, more or less, arrived at a conclusion.
The main one is to abandon MediaWiki as the software. MediaWiki, while being marvellous in all sorts of ways, is designed for collaborative projects. The Croziervision Wiki is anything but collaborative. There were some neat features with MediaWiki, such as versioning, but I have come to the conclusion that while neat they are not absolutely essential. The really big drawback was the difficulty in commenting. So, it’s back to Expression Engine, which can do all sorts of clever things including commenting even if it does mean porting the 100 or so existing Wiki pages to EE. What fun.
All this begs a question about the name. Now that it’s no longer a Wiki it doesn’t seem right to keep calling it a “Wiki”. But then again it doesn’t seem right to call it anything else. Well, it wouldn’t if it were not for the fact that during this hiatus I did indeed start calling it something else - ”The Croziervision Library” as it happens - and even went to the lengths of using the name for the banner, the templates, the directory and the blog. So now I have two names for whatever it is, neither of which I am entirely happy with.
“Call it what it is.” I keep telling myself that and end up with Patrick Crozier’s reasonably up-to-date, reasonably comprehensive, library of pre-prepared viewpoints. Hmm, thinks: “That’s not a bad description. Think I’ll use that.”
Due to an outbreak of Wiki spam I’ve turned off the ability for just anyone to create an account which in turn means that unless your name is Jax or Kieran you will not be able to leave a comment on any of the Wiki pages in the Talk/Discussion section. The only alternative I can see is to create a special blog posting which will act as a sort of catch all for comments on the Wiki. And this is it. And, yes, I will link to here from there though it will be a slow process.
Scott Burgess wants your money. Blogging is taking up many a waking hour that could be spent on, yerno, earning a living. And he’s running a bit short. So hallowed is the Daily Ablution in the Croziervision Blogroll that I may even resort to the extreme, nay rash, measure of brushing the cobwebs off my wallet and honouring Scott with a Stephenson or even a Nightingale.
Scott’s pledge drive illustrates a key dilemma in politics: whether to be an amateur or a professional. As an amateur you can stay pure. As a professional you can stay solvent.
For precisely that reason I prefer my propaganda to be produced by amateurs. Professional propaganda, whether it bear the imprimatur or the British Broadcasting Corporation, Pravda or the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages inevitably serves the interests of its paymasters.
But (up until now) amateur propaganda has been difficult to do. Researching the facts, thinking through the arguments, working at times when you’d rather be down the pub or asleep, is difficult and slow. In comparision, the professionals hold all the aces. See Brian’s The Tyranny of the Facts.
Up until now? Well I hope so. This is why I perservering with my Wiki. At its heart is the idea of tens, if not hundreds, of like-minded souls each making their small, unpaid and gloriously amateur contributions to a greater whole: a store of arguments and counter-arguments that is constantly being kept up to date and can be employed at a moment’s notice.
It’s not there yet. Who knows, maybe it never will be. But if it is possible it’s worth keeping up with.
And then maybe even Scott will be able to go out and get a job.
But “privatisation” has been worse than the nationalisation that preceded it. As nothing can be less free than nationalisation ie complete control by the state, surely, this disproves my thesis?
It is by no means fatal. I could take a step back and argue that freer is usually better. But I would rather not.
I could argue that if regulations are bad enough they can amount to a tyranny far worse even than nationalisation. But how would I know? It’s easy to tell after the fact. If everything is great then things must have become freer and if they are even worse then they didn’t. But that smacks of the sort of tricks communists get up to - praise the revolution up until the moment the bodies start floating down the river and then claim it was capitalism all along. What you have to do is to be able tell beforehand. But how do you measure freedom?
I unveiled the Wiki on Thursday and by Friday night I had two contributions. Thank you Jax and Kieran. Especially to you, Kieran because by making the odd contribution and by asking me outright: “what is the policy on contributions?”, you have forced me to consider something that really does need to get considered.
First of all, I do want contributions. In theory this is a massive undertaking, never ending and practically limitless and there’s no way I can do it all on my own.
But, at the same time, no two libertarians think alike. I don’t want turf wars where A and B compete to edit and de-edit the same page. It’s going to be bad enough when some trot does it - as they will - so, I don’t want it happening amongst friends.
Here’s a potential answer:
1. Only edit your own pages.
2. If you really can’t stand what someone has written create a page of your own
The owner is the creator unless he assigns ownership to someone else. Ownership is assigned by making a statement to that effect on the page in question. Anyone can contribute to the Discussion/Talk pages.
So, that means that anyone can create a page? Yes, I guess it does. And the eagle-eyed will notice that this radically alters the nature of the Wiki. It’s not my exclusive show any more and I will have to link to pages that other people control. So, perhaps the name ought to change - not that it actually has an official name just yet.
I’ve long wanted something that goes into greater depth than the average blog posting, something that could explain what I think and why I think it, and something that could be updated in the light of new thoughts (or old thoughts long forgotten) and new information. The only problem has been the lack of suitable software. MediaWiki isn’t quite perfect but it is near enough to test the concept, which, in case you were in any doubt, I think is a goer.
It’s far from complete – indeed, I doubt if it ever will be – there’ll always be something to add, but the key thing is that the structure is there and it can be built on.
Do feel free to leave comments either here or on the discussion pages (warning- you’ll have to log in first but that’s easy-peasy). If I use anything full credit will, of course, be given. You will discover that it is possible to edit pages but it’s probably best if you don’t unless you can live with having every last comma deleted.