This is a reassurance post, I hope. Some of you may be concerned when I talk about the Wiki. Yes, I am heavily involved. No, you don't need to worry. See, aren't you reassured? Heh...
Yes, I know on this forum I get argumentative, overly demanding for proof, and so on. I do not do that on the Wiki. Well, not in the same way.
Rob asked that when we created the rules parts of the Wiki, that we place the ideas in two sections/categories -- Speculation and Proposed Canon. He would go through the Prop C and advance it to the category Canon, where appropriate -- basically if we got it right. Problem is, no one was willing to place their bets on their own thoughts. They were pseeimistic about their ideas, so tons of correct info went in as Spec, when it was in some cases copied straight from the Comic, and so should have been Prop C. I've taken it upon myself to move a lot of that up to Prop C. Yes, I am moving Spec up, and generally not Prop C down.
But, and you won't like this, I am also eliminating some Spec. Why? Speculation is speculative, so anything goes there, right? But Rob never set standards on how we shuld judge what is good enough for Prop C. And it's not like we have a huge number of people voting. Right now, it is mostly just yours truly. SteveMB is working on the TBFGK formatting and so on. Others have their own projects. Rules were... languishing. So they're mine for the moment. I'v etaken it upon myself to put consistency and accuracy into any page fittig into Speculation and/or Proposed Canon. Been at it a week now.
Here are my general standards:
Anyone can add to the Wiki. Anyone. So, that's an invitation to write whatever pet theory comes to mind, right? Problem is: everyone can delete, too. If you write "the Sky is green", it's obviously wrong and someone will delete it. Like me. If you write, "The sky is green over Hobbittm"... what proof do you have? We've seen something of Transylvito. Maybe a frame or two of Jetstone. Hobbittm? Nothing. Though I can't prove you wrong... chances are, it's blue. The theory confuses. A new reader approaches, sees the theory, but doesn't know that there's no support in the comic, so he thinks, "There's got to be a basis in fact, or it woldn't be there." and so now, that person doesn't think that it might be green, but that it is.
We all have our pet theories. The standard I am using is this: do you have any evidence at all? I don't mean evidence that something must fill this gap in our knowledge, but evidence that your specific idea is the one that fills the gap?
Let's look at Disbanding. What is actually on the disbanding site is... everything. Well, the three most probable theories, anyway, since I really know of only three (besides the fourth of my own that I'm not comfortable adding). It's all in Spec. Something must be the result of Disbanding, but we don't know what. Could be Barbarism, and Jillian disbanded. Could be deletion (you know I hated writing that just now). Could be some Neutral state similar to Cities. There are other possiblities, but those have some basis in the existence of something that does whatever they think disbanding does. (Parson could disappear according to Wanda. Jillian became a barbarian. Cities go Neutral. No one has yet turned into a blue elephant, or been shown as a non-combat creature farming the environment.)
But recently, I noticed a theory that the Arkenhammer was associated with Changemancy and/or Carnymancy. Uhm... guys, there was a big use of Shockmancy that you overlooked. Flattened Caesar with it? Warlords don't cast? It came from somewhere... so, both claims got nuked due to lack of evidence (Carnymancy) or an overwhelmingly obvious alternative that had gotten conveniently overlooked (Changemancy). Shockmancy went in, but as Spec for the moment. I'm waiting for repercussions. I'm not doing this alone, BTW. Big Brothers SteveMB and Noah are watching. (Others have too, but these two are on this week.) Changemancy might go back in, if the case for Shockmancy isn't strong enough, but I think Shockmancy is clear due to its similarity in Power level to Wanda's Croakamancy. Randomly turning some walnuts into pigeons may very well be Changemancy (but we don't know that for certain, though I tend to think not), but pigeons are simply not going to contend with Charlie's "unmatched" Thinkamancy. A lightning bolt that flattens a Chief Warlord stack, on the other hand.... Anyway, someone better have solid evidence for Carnymancy (and what it does) before I'll let that one back in.
Anyway, that's the standard I'm using. Some proof of the existence of the concept in Erfworld somewhere. Parson can disappear, so other Units could, so "Disbanding=un-popping" is good enough for Spec, much as I disagree with de-popping living creatures. If nothing does what you theorize already, sorry, it's not up to Spec: it's a Pet Theory that someone will probably delete because it violates their belief in what Erfworld is. There is a place for Pet Theories, and that's this Forum. Or "Epileptic Twees" on the WIki. Not all pages are about Spec and Prop C. That's the one way I'll keep unsupported Spec in: get enough people to sign on that they think it's probably the right idea, and I'll let it stay. Right here on this forum works best.
I know I'm sounding dictatorial. Well, folks, I'm doing the work. You can change my rules, if enough disagree with me. I simply feel that there needs to be a certain level of evidence to deserve a place on the Wiki, when the alternative is a massive, confusing list of poorly written concepts, some of which are clearly disproven by the text.
In general, anything that's clearly stated in the comic automatically gets Prop C status. Most of Magic comes from the Klogs, so whoomph, it's all Prop C.
Second, theories with unparalleled proof. Usually, I get that from this forum. The concept of when a Ration pops, for instance. Bogroll says it pops at dawn for GK. Well, once it didn't: the turn Charlie shows up at GK. Then it popped at start of turn. Some overlooked that Bogroll also said that everyone else popped rations at start of turn. Solution: all rations pop at start of turn, but GK turn as initially dawn, so Bogroll got confused thinking GK was exceptional. I posted about that here, everyone pretty much agreed, and so it made Prop C. It's not outright stated, but all the evidence is there with nothing contradicting.
Third, theories with pretty solid evidence and no evidence to the contrary, and no competing theories with sginficant evidence. A rare event: there's usually lots of conflicting ideas based on hints and details. This just came up with "Level 5 is the maximum for cities." Well, check elsewhere for the argument, but what it comes down to is that a few people think there's insufficient evidence to call it proven. I'm making it Prop C anyway. Why, when I'm such a stickler for proof?
A) No competing theory with evidence. You can theorize anything, but is it in the comic?
B) It's based on good knowledge. Serious combination of statements on different pages, not an opinionated view of a single sentence taken out of context. The sources are strong (not Bogroll). Opinion isn't the basis for the argument, though opinion may be part of some of the connections between ideas.
C) Rob will see it and decide one way or the other. We're not asking him to decide between three good ideas, just Yes or No a single one. I don't mind putting him in a yes-or-no situation, but I don't want thim wasing time performing multiple choice questionaires. He's promised a bunch of answers this summer, so he'll fill those questionaires when it's time.
What I am not doing is putting up whatever I feel like. No, "Disbanding=Barbarian" is not Prop C. That's favoritism. I'm trying not to as much as possible, and Steve and Raph and Muzzafar and Noah are all there to keep an eye on me. I'm trying to be as fair as possible. My goal is to see that the Wiki is a source for good information that a new reader can approach in order to answer questions, without having to read the entire comic to realize that what they just read doesn't have any basis in fact. That's what it's about: after all It's a source for info, and the people that need it most are the new readers. Hopefully lots of new readers as Book 2 gets underway. More than anything, that site needs to present them with solid, professional answers to questions. Anyway, I know from experience that too much info can be greatly overwhelming, and so smaller really is better for an info site. That's part of my reason for limiting Spec so much: lots of spec written by different people will just grow into a monstrosity that no one can use. Your pet theory is useless if it's poorly explained, and it's harmful if it causes someone to disbelieve a truthful statement.
There's always going to be debate on that, but I hope you'll believe me when I say that I have worked in a position where answering questions from really smart people was a part of my task load. I know something about helping people through problems. And I hope you'll understand that I'm trying to keep your best interests in mind here. Would you want people writing "The Sky is Lime Green" on Wanda's page the first time you checked it after finding this comic? If you said, "No," your own pet theories would have to go out with that one. It's the price to pay for a page on Wanda that is useful.
Anyway, those are my standards for now. Complain too much and they'll change in response: I'm not a dictator, but I'm setting my own standards for the moment, because I'm the only one doing this particular task. Or help, if you're interested: there's lots to do on the Wiki, and you don't need to know how to program or stuff just to help: just type. Wiki can be edited by anyone, including you, so if you really hate me and my ways, you can solve the problem by looking over my shoulder and undoing what I do. (Please, please, please create a login so we can communicate! We like to know who's in the pool.) Of course, you and I will have a problem from that point on, but I can't break your leg, can I? Or can I. No, I can't and you know it. Unless your name is George.
And like I said, folks are already watching me. They're keeping me in check.
Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics
The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".