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This Russo Ukrainian war seems to defy all the rules, doesn't it?

Now that it's been established that we don't even know who is in charge of the war, could it be a good time to make an exception to the rule that everything must be verifiable?

I would like to have a question about what could be possible root causes of the war, but there is no way to know that for certain because the only entity which knows it has zero credibility. Just for information purposes, because I know many people have asked themselves this question, wouldn't it be useful to have a question designed to list all possible reasons for the war?

Clearly, all answers would be speculative, but surely we can have a rule to handle that, can't we? For example, "when giving a hypothetical answer it must be justified with a reason and that reason must be supported with references."

But, without having such a question, we are left with everyone believing that the war is the result of some specific reasons that they have read or heard somewhere else. And this can lead to inability to form consensus on other questions and answers.

BTW, I do realize that this can get hostile very quickly because people maybe more or less reluctant to subscribe to one speculative theory or another. But does that mean that we can't create a repository of all of such theories?

Is that the kind of things that community wikis are for?

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    Frankly I think we have too many of those question already e.g. politics.stackexchange.com/questions/72051/… ; politics.stackexchange.com/questions/72000/… etc. Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 7:44
  • @Fizz you can't have too many question about the most significant world event of our generation.
    – wrod
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 9:26
  • @Fizz although it is possible that people are using other questions as proxies to answer this question. Which is why I think we should have the question that people are actually trying to answer. So they don't put off-topic answers to other questions.
    – wrod
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 13:16
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    @wrod In what way is this the most significant world event of our generation? Maybe the one most covered by the media, maybe the one most talked about by world leaders (though both of those are doubtful), but hardly anywhere close to the most significant. Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 14:30
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica full scale war in Europe. 1st test of the Russian military (not USSR's, but Russia) against an actual army. Real possibility of (>10%) of a nuclear exchange. Extremely likely possibility of Russia changing its social order and completely reversing course from any semblance of Democracy towards a complete military dictatorship. Re-militarization of Western Europe (already announced by Germany, for example). The list goes on.
    – wrod
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 14:36
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    I was talking about (and exemplifying with) questions that IMHO invite speculation in relation to the war. Which is the topic of your question. I wasn't saying there are too many questions about the war in general. Just too many that veer too much on the subjective side. Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 11:08
  • @FIzz ah! ok. got it.
    – wrod
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 15:24

1 Answer 1

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Should SOME speculative questions be allowed in some very narrow set of circumstances?

No. This is Stack Exchange.

It works so darn well because it adheres to some basic tenets, norms and guidelines, two of them being fact-based answers and supporting sources.

Answers can also include some speculation, but answers of pure speculation in a topic like politics is a recipe for nuclear war.

BTW, I do realize that this can get hostile very quickly because people maybe more or less reluctant to subscribe to one speculative theory or another. But does that mean that we can't create a repository of all of such theories?

Yes it means that, and even without it that would still be true.

Is that the kind of things that community wikis are for?

No. Wiki's of any type are not meant to be collections of opinions and speculation.

From Google's dictionary for "wiki":

a website or database developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content.

If we edit each others' opinions, how long is that going to work?

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    I am not sure what you thought I meant by "wiki," but there is a concept of community wikis on this site. See, for example, this meta discussion.
    – wrod
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 16:14
  • @wrod a cornerstone of community wiki's is that we can all edit and change them. Stack Exchange's community wikis are not designed as databases to collect and preserve information. It is true that they can be used on the "honor system" where each person adds a section and doesn't touch anything else within the Wiki, but that's fragile and really requires that everyone play by the rules, or that a user follow the wiki and regularly manually checks every edit and rolls back any changes where a user alters someone else's contribution to the wiki.
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 19:37
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    @wrod One of the biggest challenges to the moderation team and the community here in Politics SE is management and mitigation of disinformation, "alternate facts" and internet crazies. Stack Exchange's community wiki's are just not set up to showcase and preserve political opinions and speculation exactly because " can get hostile very quickly because people maybe more or less reluctant to subscribe to one speculative theory or another". Wikis are an invaluable tool to aid in convergence towards agreed facts but not to showcase speculation.
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 19:43
  • @wrod If you know of an example of a "Speculation Wiki" that works well, please share the example. Facebook maybe? Twitter perhaps?
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 19:44

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