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Encyclopedia PTSica?

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posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 03:36 AM
One problem that I've grown used to living with since I joined ATS is that putting forward a really well informed post can take A LOT of time and research unless you just happen to know about the subject at hand. Although I've been known to do it for pride's sake, I really don't having to spend an hour in google and wikipedia and elsewhere just to check a few simple facts that are important to my point.

I think it would be very useful if we put together some resources relevant to US politics in this forum- a political encyclopedia of our own. It would basically consist of posts containing verifiable information on a given subject, with documentation if necessary, and those would all be indexed in a "table of contents thread" at the top of the forum (while the posts themselves would be allowed to fade into the back pages).

This would allow us to quickly check bios of American political figures, check out the political tendencies of states and certain major cities, and other facts that would occasionally make it easier for us to back up our positions in political discussions with hard facts.

Of course there is a catch. I'm not gonna write an encyclopedia on my own. This project really can't happen unless PTS users like the idea and want to contribute. (If the idea sounds like a good one to enough people though and we do begin working on it, there will of course be a heavy reward for contribution... i'm thinking 2 or 3 applause per article)

So, what does everyone think of the idea? Would it be helpful, and if so what most needs to be covered by it?

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 08:25 AM
I'd not mind helping.

But for the sake of time, why not just use Wikipedia and most of the official home pages of these figures? It'll save a lot of time and effor and tends to be fairly accurate these days. Wikipedia was shown to have the same amount if less mistakes than the Encyclopedia

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 08:28 AM
I think it would be very helpful. The amount of time it takes to research elsewhere on the net is part of the reason that my posts to pts are few and far between. I think it's a great idea.

As for what should go in it, information on the president and people likely to run for the presidency would be good. Perhaps some info on the different parties and their typical stand on the issues, of course people within the party might vote differently but there tends to be agreement on some issues. I can't think of anything else right now, but I just woke up and my brain isn't functioning properly just yet.

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 09:28 AM

Originally posted by Odium
But for the sake of time, why not just use Wikipedia and most of the official home pages of these figures?

For the most part there is very little disadvantage to that. Wikipedia has certainly been a godsend for me. I've learned not to cite them directly since the establishment doesn't like the idea that somebody without letters after their name and no book deal could possibly commit an act of scholarship, but Wikipedia has nevertheless been quite useful for me as a starting point, and I don't hold their wiki status against them.

The big advantage to creating resources on selected subjects here is that we can dictate the focus.

Even simple things can take time on Wikipedia. I recently had to work my way through some 28 articles just to look at the trend of house and senate control between the two parties over the last 28 years. I had to look at each election for each chamber separately. Once I had all of that information, I wrote two sentences about it in a post.

Another example would be if we were to discuss what the electoral map would look like in 2008. You'd have to look through several pages on the political history of each swing state.

With a PTS article, focused the way we want it, we can boil all that searching down into a paragraph or so on a given subject for easy access by PTSers who want to discuss this with respect for the facts, but don't necessarily know everything off the top of their head or have 30-120 minutes to research their post.

Wikipedia and the sources it cites would probably be a major resource for building PTS fact files. We'd just be filtering the broad coverage into mainly politically focused articles and attempting to concentrate related information in one place for easier access.

Besides the user-friendliness of it, it would also be a minor image perk; like putting a bookshelf in a law office even though there's a law library full of research flunkies down in the basement. It just looks good.

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 10:37 AM
certainly sound like a great idea and il pitch in and help, for the love of me i dont know why i like researching stuff so much haha, just gimmie a topic and il research it

*psst i might even do it for free* shh i never said that

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 11:09 AM
Good idea. I'll be glad to lend a helping hand.

posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 07:10 PM

Originally posted by The Vagabond
This would allow us to quickly check bios of American political figures, check out the political tendencies of states and certain major cities, and other facts that would occasionally make it easier for us to back up our positions in political discussions with hard facts.

This would be an interesting project. It would allow us to focus on our own native section of the country, where our interest would be greatest, if we chose to. The patchwork quilt of covered areas would soon cover the entire nation.

I'd foresee having to have some type of basic template for the info, though, so that we don't end up with a hodgepodge of factoids.

posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 07:26 PM
Important Changes

After some discussion of possible problems that could arise, it has come up that there are some things we can do with this project to keep it from becoming a flop or having fallout for US Politics or other forums.

So, a few quick guidelines:

  • Please prefix your entry (PTSref) not (PTSfact). We don't want to try and claim anything as gospel. There almost certainly will be both errors and controversy from time to time. So we'll just call it reference.

  • Topics It is up to each forum to institute something like this if the participants there and the staff that would have to facilitate it think it's worthwhile. We can't step on the toes of other forums. So, we want to focus on the political process in the United States. We want to avoid politics/candidates since those are the primary focus of other forums here, same as Iraq for example.

    To help out, here's a little wishlist which covers certain specific topics which would be helpful, and which also give an idea of what type of other articles would fall under our topic.

    How it works topics such as the electoral college, state governments, senate rules (vis a vis the nuclear option perhaps), impeachment (history, process, constitutional debate over conditions, etc), Political parties (why they are always on the ballot, how they formed, how they've changed, etc).

    Political tendencies relevant to making projections: An overall view of a state's recent political climate and voting tendencies, Supreme Court composition and judicial philosophies of the justices (but please avoid focusing too much on specific social issues- we don't want to steal abortion from Social Issues for example), Changes and challenges to constitutional interpretations, especially vis a vis executive powers, etc.

  • Add to or comment on (PTSref) articles in the same thread- avoid creating new threads for closely related subjects. We don't want to drown out PTS- this is a background resource that I will be working very hard to keep off of page 1- don't worry, there will be a topped index thread.

  • Avoid personal opinions to a reasonable degree and feel encouraged to use as much documentation and reference to related threads.

  • Keep in mind that this is our project, for our benefit. We don't have to do it; we're hoping it will stimulate some good discussion and give us better understanding of politics. If it starts to be more trouble than it's worth, say so and we can always get rid of it.

  • Remember it's a member driven project. It's not something that ATS/PTS has really sanctioned, so if we're asked to make changes or if it isn't the best-supported project on the site... that's just the nature of the beast and we'll have to cope.

    [edit on 24-7-2006 by The Vagabond]

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 12:49 AM
The Vagabond do we need to use more then one source ?
While Hitler wasnt an American leader many comparisons are made between current US leaders and Hitler. One I get sick of studying MOC I would be quite happy to prouduce a bio I have a book that I can use as my source of info.
Cheers Xpert11.

[edit on 3-8-2006 by xpert11]

[edit on 3-8-2006 by xpert11]

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 09:19 AM
Its obviously great to have as much support as possible, but we can't realistically shoot for encyclopedia quality articles, so one is fine. We're not looking to replace sound research exactly, just to provide a starting place of sorts for those who haven't already got a head full of this stuff. So rather than give submissions an indepth review, for now I basically just read them then put them up as is, and if someone wants to make a point about something in it they are welcome to reply to the thread.

One thing we do have to sort of confine ourselves to however is topic. Hitler really doesn't directly tie into US Politics, so an article on that would have to treat the subject with special attention to the American Nazi Party, and America's reaction to Hitler's rise to power.

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