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> The Nixon Diaries, or how to inflate your contributions
Encyclopedist
post Thu 7th July 2011, 1:04am
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QUOTE(melloden @ Wed 6th July 2011, 7:40pm) *

QUOTE(Sololol @ Wed 6th July 2011, 4:08pm) *

A proposal: the massive volume makes the emails difficult to understand unless you've the requisite knowledge of actors and background. What about having a thread maintained by one of the knowledgeable regulars in which people could suggest summaries of interesting findings for inclusion in the first post (e.g., "Storing Checkuser data privately/forever is an accepted practice", "Basketofpuppies is Bstone", etc.) ? I can't imagine casual readers sifting through the emails and drama histories to sufficiently understand some of the most important bits.

Also, can we just strip away the headers and the encrypted fields, so it just shows who the email is from? That clutter takes up a lot of room.


Let's be clear what we have here; it's ostensibly an opportunist hacker who has managed to obtain a password to the arbcom-en-l mailing list, from however, *or* from a past contributor to that list.

Although "Malice Forethought" is clearly clued-up on past Wikipedia drahmas, which suggests some sort of insider with an agenda, what would interest me here is an indication of the temporal limits of this leak. They seem to go back way beyond current issues, and the most recent is my own desysopping, and the legal consequences that may follow from the leaking here. Although the Arbitrary Committee has protested its vulnerability to this over the years to the WMF, the questions is that if they were aware of this, why did they not take any contentious discussions into their own IRC channel, or on to ArbWiki, which has limited access?

This is pure negligence, and nothing else. However, I remain to be convinced that the horse has been replaced in the stable after the barn door has been closed. Or has it?

Phil Nash/User:Rodhullandemu, and if it matters to anyone, I have nothing to hide, nor care about any more. I used to believe in Wikipedia, but obviously I can no longer sustain that faith I perhaps naively subscribed to almost four years ago. Now looking from outside, I know WP's failures, but then I was quick to do so, and assumed that my small efforts could make a difference. Quite clearly, they could, in a micro-sense, but that is what I could do when able.

I'm not going to take the position that everybody here, such as Greg Kohs, Kelly Martin, Moulton, and others, who have been kicked off Wikipedia, that they are necessarily wrong; I prefer to say that WP isn't for them. However, I now realise that it isn't for me.

I've had death threats and TOV on Wikipedia as an Admin, and have tried to work beyond them; in real-life, they are usually meaningless. But, it does sour the pill somewhat that you make and improve articles, and see vandalism as the most obvious and defensible threat to WP, and deal with it appropriately, and are still kicked into touch by ArbCom without appropriate discussion or appreciation. I'm aware that some here don't like me; tough: I don't like you either, perhaps. But what I would prefer is either WP:AGF or [[Due process]]. My ArbCom, and Jimbo's failure to see through the smoke and mirrors, show that neither seems to apply to me.

TBH, I don't care. The problem is that you should not expect amateurs to behave like professionals, and conversely, you should value your professionals if their professionalism (and that is not predicated upon being paid; it's a value-system, not a money thing) is overall directed to improving the project.

I'll just say this: I don't expect any respect here, because of my previous commitment to Wikipedia: but having said that, I heard about a week ago that an old friend of mine, a guitarist with whom I was in a band in the early 1970s, had died in his sleep of a heart attack. A sad loss, but to be honest, that's how I would choose to go., and if it happens to me, I won't complain; my contributions to WP and Commons remain as some sort of memorial yo my abilities.

That's all.



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Abd
post Thu 7th July 2011, 1:42am
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QUOTE(Encyclopedist @ Wed 6th July 2011, 9:04pm) *

Phil Nash/User:Rodhullandemu, and if it matters to anyone, I have nothing to hide, nor care about any more. I used to believe in Wikipedia, but obviously I can no longer sustain that faith I perhaps naively subscribed to almost four years ago. Now looking from outside, I know WP's failures, but then I was quick to do so, and assumed that my small efforts could make a difference. Quite clearly, they could, in a micro-sense, but that is what I could do when able.
Welcome to Wikipedia Review, Rodhullandemu. You tried. I get it.
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tarantino
post Fri 8th July 2011, 4:29am
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Lol, the National Archives resident wikipedian and former boy wonder arbiter Dominic McDevitt-Parks is now uploading Nixon's diaries to commons.
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The Joy
post Fri 8th July 2011, 7:11am
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QUOTE(tarantino @ Fri 8th July 2011, 12:29am) *


I don't really understand it. The Nixon Library or any institution could host PDFs of Nixon's diary. Heck, the NARA could do it if they wanted. What's so special about Wikipedia hosting this material? I don't see how "crowdsourcing" is relevant to hosting primary documents. It's against Wikipedia's No Original Research rule to even analyze or synthesize primary documents so it does Wikipedians little good. You have to analyze and synthesis secondary resources. The NARA doesn't need Wikipedia to act as a middleman between the NARA and the "people." The NARA can make the documents free online and let anyone look at them. Public and private institutions do that all the time.

Oy, if anyone needs me, I'll be in the angry dome! hrmph.gif

(I do have Judas at the Jockey Club and Other Episodes of Porfirian Mexico and it was required reading in my Latin American History class. McDevitt is certainly right in praising it. Very entertaining and short book!)

MAJOR EDIT:

Now what a cotton-pickin' minute! The diary Dominic is posting on Commons is already free at the Nixon Library. Look! hrmph.gif

http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/virtuallibrary.../dailydiary.php

Compare:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pre...led_12-1969.pdf

to

http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/virtuallibrary...mber%201969.pdf

What on earth is the man trying to accomplish?
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EricBarbour
post Fri 8th July 2011, 7:29am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 12:11am) *
What on earth is the man trying to accomplish?

Brownie points. Log inflation.
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The Joy
post Fri 8th July 2011, 7:40am
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Fri 8th July 2011, 3:29am) *

QUOTE(The Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 12:11am) *
What on earth is the man trying to accomplish?

Brownie points. Log inflation.


It's re-inventing the wheel. There's already a free online resource out there with the same information and Wikipedians think it's great to copy that information and put it on their site? That's working harder, not smarter.

I guess what miffs me is that he's acting as a Moses bringing the Ten Commandments down from Mt. Sinai when any person could do the same thing without the credentials. An inebriated person could do what he's doing moving documents from the Nixon Library to Commons.
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Zoloft
post Fri 8th July 2011, 7:48am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 12:40am) *

QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Fri 8th July 2011, 3:29am) *

QUOTE(The Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 12:11am) *
What on earth is the man trying to accomplish?

Brownie points. Log inflation.


It's re-inventing the wheel. There's already a free online resource out there with the same information and Wikipedians think it's great to copy that information and put it on their site? That's working harder, not smarter.

I guess what miffs me is that he's acting as a Moses bringing the Ten Commandments down from Mt. Sinai when any person could do the same thing without the credentials. An inebriated person could do what he's doing moving documents from the Nixon Library to Commons.

Besides, it's full of bizarre fantasies:

"11:2.1 P The President held an interplanetary conversation with Apollo 11 Astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on the Moon. P11"

tongue.gif
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The Joy
post Fri 8th July 2011, 8:07am
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So, I guess I could take all of Gerald Ford's daily dairies and move them to Wikimedia Commons so Wikipedians will praise me as a "Freer of Information" by giving an already online free resource its "freedom" from the evil clutches of the Gerald Ford Presidential Library and bestowing the already public information to the people who rightly deserve it?

Pardon my French, but that's a load of bullocks (and Commons really doesn't need any more bullocks).

(And I'm not touching Clinton's diaries.)

Note to Mods: Could someone split this topic off? Thanks.
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Gruntled
post Fri 8th July 2011, 12:51pm
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QUOTE(The%20Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 8:11am) *

Now what a cotton-pickin' minute! The diary Dominic is posting on Commons is already free at the Nixon Library. Look! hrmph.gif ... What on earth is the man trying to accomplish?

This shows, if I may say so, a surprising lack of knowledge of Wikipsyche. If you have PDFs of a document, it can be transcribed onto Wikisource as a text file, and it can then be "enriched". That is,it can have categories added, and links to other Wikisource pages and indeed Wikipedia pages. This allegedly makes it much more useful to people than just having it on the Nixon site.
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carbuncle
post Fri 8th July 2011, 2:34pm
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QUOTE(Encyclopedist @ Thu 7th July 2011, 1:04am) *

TBH, I don't care. The problem is that you should not expect amateurs to behave like professionals, and conversely, you should value your professionals if their professionalism (and that is not predicated upon being paid; it's a value-system, not a money thing) is overall directed to improving the project.

This probably belongs in a different thread, but one of the problems with Wikipedia and related projects is that there is often an implicit suggestion that there is no difference between "professionals" and "amateurs" except the title and the money. Wikipedia exemplifies the anti-expert culture. The rise of "citizen journalists" has mortally wounded the newspaper industry. When the day comes that those "journalists" realise there are no more newspaper stories for them to link to and comment on, they may have a better understanding of the difference. The Wikipedia "editor" is in general no more than an aggregator of trivia. Editing as a synonym for typing is replacing the old definition which involves exercising critical thinking and judgement.

You are right - we should not expect amateurs to behave like professionals. And we should accept that Wikipedia is an amateur encyclopedia.
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powercorrupts
post Fri 8th July 2011, 2:43pm
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QUOTE(Encyclopedist @ Thu 7th July 2011, 2:04am) *

..my contributions to WP and Commons remain as some sort of memorial yo my abilities.


I'm sure that no one can disagree with that.

Have you met Abd yet? I'm sure you two will be the best of mates.
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CharlotteWebb
post Fri 8th July 2011, 3:08pm
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 7:11am) *

Now what a cotton-pickin' minute! The diary Dominic is posting on Commons is already free at the Nixon Library. Look! hrmph.gif

To be fair, I have seen hosters of public domain content become pay-walled without notice.

Really, he should have put the diary text on some page on wikisource. As far as I know MediaWiki makes no attempt to search the content of PDF uploads, making them relatively useless. Moreover it wouldn't surprise me to learn that duplicate diarystuffs have been posted previously, under different file-names.
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powercorrupts
post Fri 8th July 2011, 3:19pm
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QUOTE(carbuncle @ Fri 8th July 2011, 3:34pm) *

QUOTE(Encyclopedist @ Thu 7th July 2011, 1:04am) *

TBH, I don't care. The problem is that you should not expect amateurs to behave like professionals, and conversely, you should value your professionals if their professionalism (and that is not predicated upon being paid; it's a value-system, not a money thing) is overall directed to improving the project.

This probably belongs in a different thread, but one of the problems with Wikipedia and related projects is that there is often an implicit suggestion that there is no difference between "professionals" and "amateurs" except the title and the money. Wikipedia exemplifies the anti-expert culture. The rise of "citizen journalists" has mortally wounded the newspaper industry. When the day comes that those "journalists" realise there are no more newspaper stories for them to link to and comment on, they may have a better understanding of the difference. The Wikipedia "editor" is in general no more than an aggregator of trivia. Editing as a synonym for typing is replacing the old definition which involves exercising critical thinking and judgement.

You are right - we should not expect amateurs to behave like professionals. And we should accept that Wikipedia is an amateur encyclopedia.


The conceit here is that Rod still sees himself as the 'undervalued professional'. Professional what? Air guitarist? Or criminal perhaps? It's still the classic Wikipedian 'one rule for sensible self-controlling ol' me, one rule for everyone else' - even now that Rod has (also classically) disowned and devalued Wikipedia in disgust.

What's so great about professionals, and what is the point of having them in projects like these anyway? Look at Citizendium - the 'professionals' were mostly totally unsuited to the actual job in hand, and mainly pissed off the amateurs that are ultimately what these things are all about (or what is the point of a 'No Original Research' source-based encyclopedia at all?).

The point of Wikipedia was that its '5 pillars' would control content, and that 3RR and admin etc would help it run smoothly. Looking at people like Malleus and the way Wikipedia really works (ie through cabals and favouritism) will warp many people's vision - but I'm sure you were out to push your own personality from the beginning Rod - hence all your endless bullshit. The anonymous online activities attract all the nuts - are nuts are hard for normal people to work with.

One of Wikipedia's biggest problems now is that it is simply massively bloated, even in what many consider to be sound 'articles'. It was supposed to be a 'first stop' for information - ie a place that points to decent sources that the reader could follow. In terms of its original ideals It has become too big to manage, and needs to be seriously hacked down. Millions of its so-called 'articles' are out of its original scope - the titles alone stretch OR. In terms of the insidious Wikimedia empire though - long may Wikipedia stuff its bloated guts. They are living off the lard, and have their eyes forever on future prospects.

This post has been edited by powercorrupts: Fri 8th July 2011, 5:49pm
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thekohser
post Fri 8th July 2011, 5:28pm
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QUOTE(tarantino @ Fri 8th July 2011, 12:29am) *


Mods, could you split off this post and all the replies to it?
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thekohser
post Fri 8th July 2011, 5:51pm
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QUOTE(Encyclopedist @ Wed 6th July 2011, 9:04pm) *

I'm not going to take the position that everybody here, such as Greg Kohs, Kelly Martin, Moulton, and others, who have been kicked off Wikipedia, that they are necessarily wrong; I prefer to say that WP isn't for them.


What gives you the silly idea that I've been kicked off of Wikipedia? I was editing there just this week! It's definitely a project "for me"!
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tarantino
post Sat 9th July 2011, 1:39am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 8th July 2011, 5:28pm) *

QUOTE(tarantino @ Fri 8th July 2011, 12:29am) *


Mods, could you split off this post and all the replies to it?



Dominic announced his arbcom resignation in 2007. I haven't found his reason why this happened, though I'm sure there must be a sensible explanation.
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post Sat 9th July 2011, 3:05am
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QUOTE(tarantino @ Sat 9th July 2011, 1:39am) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 8th July 2011, 5:28pm) *

QUOTE(tarantino @ Fri 8th July 2011, 12:29am) *


Mods, could you split off this post and all the replies to it?



Dominic announced his arbcom resignation in 2007. I haven't found his reason why this happened, though I'm sure there must be a sensible explanation.

Perhaps it's, uh, in the archives?
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The Joy
post Sat 9th July 2011, 6:00am
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QUOTE(melloden @ Fri 8th July 2011, 11:05pm) *

QUOTE(tarantino @ Sat 9th July 2011, 1:39am) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 8th July 2011, 5:28pm) *

QUOTE(tarantino @ Fri 8th July 2011, 12:29am) *


Mods, could you split off this post and all the replies to it?



Dominic announced his arbcom resignation in 2007. I haven't found his reason why this happened, though I'm sure there must be a sensible explanation.

Perhaps it's, uh, in the archives?


Thank you, General Ourumov.
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thekohser
post Sat 9th July 2011, 11:07am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 4:07am) *

So, I guess I could take all of Gerald Ford's daily dairies and move them to Wikimedia Commons so Wikipedians will praise me as a "Freer of Information" by giving an already online free resource its "freedom" from the evil clutches of the Gerald Ford Presidential Library and bestowing the already public information to the people who rightly deserve it?

Pardon my French, but that's a load of bullocks (and Commons really doesn't need any more bullocks).

(And I'm not touching Clinton's diaries.)

Note to Mods: Could someone split this topic off? Thanks.


I feel your pain, The Joy. But, if I may briefly assume the role of a Wikipediot (or of an Archives or Presidential Library "marketing director"), it's pretty easy to see why copying all of this stuff to Wikimedia servers is seen as a solution to a problem.

Google ranks Wikimedia sites higher than Archives or Presidential Library sites, so more people go browsing through Wikimedia sites. So, if you want to get your content in front of more people, you can either toil away for years, trying to get the Google SERPs to recognize your site as "better" than the WMF's... or... you can copy your stuff over to Wikimedia.

This is the tyranny of a monochromatic search, which 99% of Internet users are perfectly content to utilize.

It also helps explain why there are so many stupid people floating around in this "Age of Information".
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The Joy
post Sat 9th July 2011, 8:10pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Sat 9th July 2011, 7:07am) *

QUOTE(The Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 4:07am) *

So, I guess I could take all of Gerald Ford's daily dairies and move them to Wikimedia Commons so Wikipedians will praise me as a "Freer of Information" by giving an already online free resource its "freedom" from the evil clutches of the Gerald Ford Presidential Library and bestowing the already public information to the people who rightly deserve it?

Pardon my French, but that's a load of bullocks (and Commons really doesn't need any more bullocks).

(And I'm not touching Clinton's diaries.)

Note to Mods: Could someone split this topic off? Thanks.


I feel your pain, The Joy. But, if I may briefly assume the role of a Wikipediot (or of an Archives or Presidential Library "marketing director"), it's pretty easy to see why copying all of this stuff to Wikimedia servers is seen as a solution to a problem.

Google ranks Wikimedia sites higher than Archives or Presidential Library sites, so more people go browsing through Wikimedia sites. So, if you want to get your content in front of more people, you can either toil away for years, trying to get the Google SERPs to recognize your site as "better" than the WMF's... or... you can copy your stuff over to Wikimedia.

This is the tyranny of a monochromatic search, which 99% of Internet users are perfectly content to utilize.

It also helps explain why there are so many stupid people floating around in this "Age of Information".


Indeed. Google juice is what everyone wants.

Being trained as a librarian, though, I would never recommend a Wikimedia site as the place for solid official information. If a patron wanted to know more about Richard Nixon, the Nixon Library site would be one of the first places I would recommend. I could understand a patron starting at a Wikimedia site in their search for information, but I would certainly discourage them from ending their search there.

Even after studying library science, I do get frustrated when Google or Wikipedia does not give me exactly what I want when I want it, though I should know better than thinking that finding all information instantaneously can be a fool's errand. We have so much information "out there" that finding it can be an arduous journey. Google and Wikipedia can't solve everyone's information needs. Maybe that's a good thing for librarian job security? smile.gif
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