We have at the present two threads on canonical solutions to common neural network pitfalls, thanks to initiative of @Sycorax and @DeltaIV:

These threads are probably good candidates to become community wikis, so that it is possible (or even welcome) to expand on existing answers, creating a coherent list of tips and tricks and best practices etc., instead of posting semi-repetitive answers where one has to cherry pick to find the relevant part.

For example, I feel like I could improve some of the answers by adding extra references, listing a few additional methods in a relevant section of the existing answer etc. However, at the moment I consider doing so a bad practice, as it generally changes the original message of the answer author. On the other hand, posting these bits and pieces in my own answer would probably result in a one-or-two-liner at the bottom of the thread, not useful to anyone.

However, community wiki posts do not provide score needed for attaining golden tag-badges and our current consensus is that we would profit from having a user or two who would have the ultimate closing powers of a golden [neural-networks] tag badge. In that sense, going community wiki is undesirable.


Should we convert these threads to community wikis?

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    $\begingroup$ (Note that downvotes on meta reflect disagreement w/ the suggestion, not a disparagement of the quality of the question.) $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Sep 7 '18 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ @gung Thanks for clarification! I was a bit confused about the negative record. $\endgroup$ – Jan Kukacka Sep 7 '18 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ No problem, @JanKukacka, I wanted to be sure that was clear. I disagree w/ the suggestion (as explained below), but this is a good question & well put forward. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Sep 7 '18 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ If it would really end up being only 1 or 2 lines, you could add them as a comment to the answer. If it's more substantive / longer than that, you should post them as a complementary answer, IMO. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Sep 7 '18 at 15:42
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    $\begingroup$ I am a bit confused about the community wiki thing. So I am not able to comment about that, but there is a bit of a side track and thus I will allow myself to go slightly off-topic and meta-meta: I do believe that there is some sort of consensus that we wish to have a 'power-user' or additional moderator in the direction of neural networks and machine learning. Could we not fast track this somehow? $\endgroup$ – Sextus Empiricus Sep 8 '18 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ @MartijnWeterings This seems like a perfectly reasonable question to ask in its own thread. $\endgroup$ – Sycorax Sep 12 '18 at 13:58

I don't think these threads need to be made community wiki. While the initial idea of CW was to lower the threshold for editing so that there could be a single group answer, it hasn't really been used that way on any site, as far as I'm aware. It's certainly never been used that way here. For what it's worth, I don't even think that's a good goal or ultimately workable. Posts should have an identifiable author who is responsible for its content. If others disagree with the content, they should post their own answer so readers can see the two positions spelled out rather than have two people edit and re-edit a post back and forth.

I'm not generally that concerned about lost reputation. CW posts are typically the kind of thing that shouldn't be a primary source of reputation gain. Regarding canonical threads specifically, they tend to be authored by high-rep users who don't really need the reputation. However, you are right that the CW status prevents these threads from counting towards tag badges, which can be a real disadvantage in the case of canonical threads.

What community wiki has evolved to be is a twilight gray zone for posts that under a stricter application of SE policy would be closed and deleted (what happens on SO), but that we perceive as having real value such that deletion would be an unambiguous loss to the site. This leads us to thinking that this fudge is the lesser of two evils. It should be an exception, not a common status. Note, moreover, that CW remains controversial (What is and what should be our policy on making questions community wiki?). In either case, canonical threads clearly do not fall into this category.

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    $\begingroup$ Something that I want to underscore: The loss of votes on my NN thread has consequences beyond preventing me from accumulating additional reputation points. It would also deprive me of a large chunk of the progress towards towards a gold badge in neural-networks, which would give me more latitude to close-as-dupe neural-networks questions. IMHO, obtaining the badge is a good thing for the site overall, since that is one area in particular need of curation. $\endgroup$ – Sycorax Sep 7 '18 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Sycorax score obtained before switching to CW is not removed from the author, as far as I understand $\endgroup$ – Jan Kukacka Sep 7 '18 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ My understanding is that CW answers are excluded from consideration for the purposes of awarding the gold badge. While I won't lose pre-CW reputation points, the votes on a CW answer won't be counted towards the badge. $\endgroup$ – Sycorax Sep 7 '18 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ @JanKukacka, the rep / score isn't the point in this case. If it's CW, then it doesn't count towards the 200 answers & the net 1k upvotes needed for the gold tag badge. The gold tag badge is needed to have additional privileges wrt curating the tag (viz, the ability to close as a duplicate unilaterally). $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Sep 7 '18 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ Sycorax+gung: I see. That is a strong argument against wikization. $\endgroup$ – Jan Kukacka Sep 7 '18 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ +1. I agree with most of this answer, but not really with the 2nd paragraph. I am a high-rep user who does not "need" more rep, but I certainly still do enjoy getting reputation points... I doubt I am the only one like that :) $\endgroup$ – amoeba Sep 7 '18 at 20:13
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    $\begingroup$ @amoeba, maybe I'm projecting. At this point, I'm really pretty indifferent. It seems I have 37 CW answers; my highest voted is here. It was CW when I answered. I've 'lost' 1010 rep as a result... But I'm barely aware of it & on rediscovering that fact I just don't care. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Sep 7 '18 at 20:22

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