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> The holy shit slide into off-topic land, split from the other holy shit thread
Maunus
post Fri 25th November 2011, 8:51pm
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QUOTE(timbo @ Fri 25th November 2011, 8:19pm) *

We definitely differ on this... In my view there needs to be what John Kenneth Galbraith called "countervailing force" to the current system in which quality control inspectors (administrators), often of severely deletionist temperament, control the proverbial "front gate" and make use of automated tools that discourage and drive away new content creators. Wikipedia needs more expert participation, not less. When experts are blown away with a lame 20 second page assessment by a New Page Patroller with an itchy trigger finger who is playing some twisted form of a First-Person Shooter game, something needs to be done to change the culture.

I'm not an anarcholiberal into kittens and cookies while the A7 carnage continues. It's gonna take organization and directed effort.

The only way to do that, I think, is for the people seriously dedicated to writing in mainspace to be identified, to be organized, to make demands, and to work together to DRIVE a change of "company culture."

Step one is the identification of those who are "the people seriously dedicated to writing in mainspace."
I am convinced that volume of content contributed to mainspace (in terms of kilobytes added) would be the best metric for separating the sheep and the goats. Ultimately that information is going to have to come from the Foundation... So there will have to be allies at the top...

t


So how would you label me then? And what would be gained by it?
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thekohser
post Fri 25th November 2011, 9:13pm
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QUOTE(Maunus @ Fri 25th November 2011, 2:32pm) *

@Kohser: So you say I should implement flagged revisions - now how would I do that exactly?


You're the admin, not me. Your kind drove me off the project... and now you're asking me for advice?

That's rich.
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Maunus
post Fri 25th November 2011, 9:25pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 25th November 2011, 9:13pm) *

QUOTE(Maunus @ Fri 25th November 2011, 2:32pm) *

@Kohser: So you say I should implement flagged revisions - now how would I do that exactly?


You're the admin, not me. Your kind drove me off the project... and now you're asking me for advice?

That's rich.


Ok, I didn't realize that you prefer to interact with labels instead of persons. I think yopu forgot to read the bit that says that adminship does not come with any special powers to "implement" anything other than blocks and deletions. Even if I blocked everyone who doesn't want flagged revisions and deleted all their arguments - I don't see that this would in fact move us closer to the objective.
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Detective
post Sun 27th November 2011, 11:45am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 25th November 2011, 9:13pm) *

Your kind drove me off the project.

Aren't you being a bit too self-effacing, Greg? When did you ever leave the project. biggrin.gif
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thekohser
post Sun 27th November 2011, 7:42pm
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QUOTE(Detective @ Sun 27th November 2011, 6:45am) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 25th November 2011, 9:13pm) *

Your kind drove me off the project.

Aren't you being a bit too self-effacing, Greg? When did you ever leave the project. biggrin.gif


Touché.

I guess I should have said more accurately, "Your kind drove my primary User name account off the project."

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SB_Johnny
post Sun 27th November 2011, 9:16pm
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QUOTE(Maunus @ Fri 25th November 2011, 3:51pm) *

So how would you label me then?

If I'm not mistaken, you're being labeled as yet another Jimmy-juice-slurping wikipediot admin, probably just trolling around on the Review to score some street cred.
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Detective
post Sun 27th November 2011, 10:24pm
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QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Sun 27th November 2011, 9:16pm) *

QUOTE(Maunus @ Fri 25th November 2011, 3:51pm) *

So how would you label me then?

If I'm not mistaken, you're being labeled as yet another Jimmy-juice-slurping wikipediot admin, probably just trolling around on the Review to score some street cred.

hmmm.gif As opposed to admin SB_Johnny, whose trolling around on the Review obviously has an utterly different purpose.
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Maunus
post Sun 27th November 2011, 11:35pm
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QUOTE(Detective @ Sun 27th November 2011, 10:24pm) *

QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Sun 27th November 2011, 9:16pm) *

QUOTE(Maunus @ Fri 25th November 2011, 3:51pm) *

So how would you label me then?

If I'm not mistaken, you're being labeled as yet another Jimmy-juice-slurping wikipediot admin, probably just trolling around on the Review to score some street cred.

hmmm.gif As opposed to admin SB_Johnny, whose trolling around on the Review obviously has an utterly different purpose.


This is amusing. I wonder in which hoods exactly the street cred I gain from participating in this circus holds any currency.
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SB_Johnny
post Mon 28th November 2011, 9:36am
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QUOTE(Detective @ Sun 27th November 2011, 10:24pm) *

QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Sun 27th November 2011, 9:16pm) *

QUOTE(Maunus @ Fri 25th November 2011, 3:51pm) *

So how would you label me then?

If I'm not mistaken, you're being labeled as yet another Jimmy-juice-slurping wikipediot admin, probably just trolling around on the Review to score some street cred.

hmmm.gif As opposed to admin SB_Johnny, whose trolling around on the Review obviously has an utterly different purpose.
Bingo! laugh.gif
QUOTE(Maunus @ Sun 27th November 2011, 6:35pm) *

This is amusing. I wonder in which hoods exactly the street cred I gain from participating in this circus holds any currency.
I sometimes get the impression that some 'pedians come here mostly to take up the cause of defending WP from its mortal enemies, or to score points against other 'pedians without the shackles of CIVIL and other acronymous policies.

Not that you're necessarily doing that (beats me, not knowing you at all), but I suspect that's the label being applied.
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radek
post Mon 28th November 2011, 10:02am
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QUOTE(Maunus @ Sun 27th November 2011, 5:35pm) *

QUOTE(Detective @ Sun 27th November 2011, 10:24pm) *

QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Sun 27th November 2011, 9:16pm) *

QUOTE(Maunus @ Fri 25th November 2011, 3:51pm) *

So how would you label me then?

If I'm not mistaken, you're being labeled as yet another Jimmy-juice-slurping wikipediot admin, probably just trolling around on the Review to score some street cred.

hmmm.gif As opposed to admin SB_Johnny, whose trolling around on the Review obviously has an utterly different purpose.


This is amusing. I wonder in which hoods exactly the street cred I gain from participating in this circus holds any currency.


The Wikipedia hood obviously. To switch metaphors on you (and SBJ), what you're basically doing (or are being accused of doing) is "diversifying your portfolio". Any decently diversified portfolio will include even some high-risk assets, like WR, in it.
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Maunus
post Mon 28th November 2011, 7:05pm
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QUOTE(radek @ Mon 28th November 2011, 10:02am) *

To switch metaphors on you (and SBJ), what you're basically doing (or are being accused of doing) is "diversifying your portfolio". Any decently diversified portfolio will include even some high-risk assets, like WR, in it.


There may be something to that.

I am not here to defend wikipedia - I am here more to know more about the kinds of critiques non-wikipedians have of it. And perhaps to try to amleiorate some of them. I am a wikipedian because I am currently convinced its best. That changes every few months and I retire or take a wikibreak. I am certainly not a "true believer", but I do believe that its more good than bad, most of the time. I do take issue with a certain ambince I perceive here that wikipedia is pure evil - that seems like an exaggerated conspiracy theory to me. I am very interested in substantive criticisms, and in thinking about ways to address them.
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thekohser
post Mon 28th November 2011, 7:23pm
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QUOTE(Maunus @ Mon 28th November 2011, 2:05pm) *

...I am currently convinced its (sic) best. That changes every few months...


You may need to look up the definition of "convinced".
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radek
post Mon 28th November 2011, 8:57pm
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QUOTE(Maunus @ Mon 28th November 2011, 1:05pm) *

QUOTE(radek @ Mon 28th November 2011, 10:02am) *

To switch metaphors on you (and SBJ), what you're basically doing (or are being accused of doing) is "diversifying your portfolio". Any decently diversified portfolio will include even some high-risk assets, like WR, in it.


There may be something to that.

I am not here to defend wikipedia - I am here more to know more about the kinds of critiques non-wikipedians have of it. And perhaps to try to amleiorate some of them. I am a wikipedian because I am currently convinced its best. That changes every few months and I retire or take a wikibreak. I am certainly not a "true believer", but I do believe that its more good than bad, most of the time. I do take issue with a certain ambince I perceive here that wikipedia is pure evil - that seems like an exaggerated conspiracy theory to me. I am very interested in substantive criticisms, and in thinking about ways to address them.


The thing is the "critiques of wikipedia" don't necessarily come in a single Reader's Digest concise post - actually, at one point someone WAS making a list. A lot of that is because they tend to unfold in threads over time. Even big things like Essjay or whatever didn't happen with a single post. Of course a lot of threads go off-topic, hit dead-ends, get hijacked by Ottava, etc. And of course, different people have different critiques, some of which clash with each other. So you got to work a bit and read around and be patient and figure out the culture of the site.

And the ambiance must be cultivated carefully - otherwise people like you wouldn't come here in the first place.

This post has been edited by radek: Mon 28th November 2011, 8:57pm
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communicat
post Mon 28th November 2011, 10:41pm
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QUOTE
EricBarbour Mon 21st November 2011, 3:01am They (WMF) don't want to do anything (about newbie killers), because they would have to ban some very powerful admins. There would be chaos and endless bitching. Plus, I've seen a rumor that a couple of those "evil patrollers" are Anonymous members who do a lot of hacking on the side. The fear is if they were kicked out, they would mount a series of DDOS attacks on the WMF servers, try to crack server passwords and then trash the hard drives, etc.

Eric has a valid point. Many of these admins are simply techno geeks with severely retarded content-related capabilities. Which is the main cause of many acrimonious content disputes arising in the first instance. WP is top-heavy with techno geeks, to the detriment of worthwhile content contributors.

This post has been edited by communicat: Mon 28th November 2011, 10:45pm
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Kelly Martin
post Mon 28th November 2011, 10:49pm
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Very few of Wikipedia's geekileet are competent hackers. A few have access to botnets, but they're using tools they got from someone else, they're not writing the tools themselves. Very few "hackers" really deserve the name; most of them are "scriptkiddies", using tools they got from someone else but do not understand. The ones who do know their stuff don't waste their time on Wikipedia; they have much better things to do.

Wikimedia considers itself immune to DDoS attacks, in no small part because, well, they pretty much are. They've been hit fairly hard on several occasions, without any consequence other than to show a blip on the traffic charts. You'd have to be *really* big to have a measurable impact on the firehose that is Wikimedia's content stream. It's improbable that any scriptkiddie's botnet would present a serious concern.
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post Mon 28th November 2011, 11:01pm
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QUOTE(Maunus @ Mon 28th November 2011, 2:05pm) *

I do take issue with a certain ambince I perceive here that wikipedia is pure evil - that seems like an exaggerated conspiracy theory to me. I am very interested in substantive criticisms, and in thinking about ways to address them.


Does "systemically corrupt" = "pure evil" to you? I don't begrudge people who have faced the arbitrary, mealy-mouthed, arrogant, and ignorant actions of what passes for governance at that website their chance to blow-off some steam and say things like, "Wikipedia is pure evil." After all, doing such on the pages of Wikipedia is liable to get one in big trouble with the powers-that-be unless one has some powerful allies. Even then, the so-called "community's tolerance for such behavior" can only be counted on for as far as one's allies have social capital. After that's used up, those self-same allies tend to throw one joyfully under the bus and grave-dance. It's "best", to be sure.
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SB_Johnny
post Mon 28th November 2011, 11:16pm
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QUOTE(Maunus @ Mon 28th November 2011, 2:05pm) *

I do take issue with a certain ambince I perceive here that wikipedia is pure evil - that seems like an exaggerated conspiracy theory to me.

Well, that would be an exaggeration, but I don't think you'll actually see any but one or two outliers saying anything like that (if you read carefully). There are of course a good number of folks at the Review who see pure evil (or at least out-of-control narcissism and megalomania) in certain aspects of WP's management and "culture", myself included.

In general, and however it got that way, most folks here are fully aware that joining the ranks of the WP admins tends to entail some serious MMPORG-ish gaming, so people like you (and apparently me as well) will not necessarily be given the benefit of the doubt until people get to know you.
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EricBarbour
post Mon 28th November 2011, 11:21pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 28th November 2011, 2:49pm) *

Very few of Wikipedia's geekileet are competent hackers. A few have access to botnets, but they're using tools they got from someone else, they're not writing the tools themselves. Very few "hackers" really deserve the name; most of them are "scriptkiddies", using tools they got from someone else but do not understand. The ones who do know their stuff don't waste their time on Wikipedia; they have much better things to do.

Granted, but there's some real concern there. It's not often discussed but always in the background.

QUOTE
Wikimedia considers itself immune to DDoS attacks, in no small part because, well, they pretty much are. They've been hit fairly hard on several occasions, without any consequence other than to show a blip on the traffic charts. You'd have to be *really* big to have a measurable impact on the firehose that is Wikimedia's content stream. It's improbable that any scriptkiddie's botnet would present a serious concern.

Again granted. They have yet to endure a real attack, mostly because the place is somewhat hacker-friendly, and because (as all that ED content will attest) hardcore hackers regard Wikipedia as a somewhat bizarre joke. The only involved parties who haven't gotten the memo yet--members of Wikipedia's hardcore elite. They're so arrogant, they don't know how lame they really are.
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gomi
post Mon 28th November 2011, 11:40pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 28th November 2011, 2:49pm) *
Wikimedia considers itself immune to DDoS attacks, in no small part because, well, they pretty much are. They've been hit fairly hard on several occasions, without any consequence other than to show a blip on the traffic charts. You'd have to be *really* big to have a measurable impact on the firehose that is Wikimedia's content stream. It's improbable that any scriptkiddie's botnet would present a serious concern.

Agree on the scriptkiddie part, but disagree more broadly. I think that en.wikipedia.org is potentially vulnerable to a number of different attack types, just not the same ones that target small- and medium-volume commercial and government websites.

I'm not going to detail my suspicions, but I think they center not on the user interface of the wiki, which is pretty lightweight, but on the underlying database system. To take an example, it was once the case that if a page had more than 10k revisions, it was essentially impossible to delete (or more to the point, the deletion of it brought the database to a screeching halt). This has since been remedied, but I suspect that there are other vulnerabilities out there that are not exploited because Wikipedia is such a low-value target for hackers. It would be worth some lulz, but not much more.

Wikipedia is in some ways more vulnerable than some other db-driven sites, as it exposes certain of its interfaces to the public.

To take another example, a botnet that simply tried to DDOS WP through page reads would, as Kelly points out, probably fail. But a sufficiently-sized botnet that 1) created accounts; 2) made small and initially innocuous edits; 3) round-robined these edits around an IP-dispersed botnet; 4) and then targeted some editor, some set of pages, or some process within WP using that infrastructure would be very difficult to stop.

In fact, this would be the way to make Wikipedia full-protect all BLPs -- write a botnet that would persistently zero them out from logged-in accounts. Such a botnet would be barely noticeable on the host computer, but would wreak havoc on WP and have the lovely side-effect of getting tens or hundreds of thousands of IP addresses blocked.
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Kelly Martin
post Mon 28th November 2011, 11:57pm
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Mon 28th November 2011, 5:21pm) *
Again granted. They have yet to endure a real attack, mostly because the place is somewhat hacker-friendly, and because (as all that ED content will attest) hardcore hackers regard Wikipedia as a somewhat bizarre joke. The only involved parties who haven't gotten the memo yet--members of Wikipedia's hardcore elite. They're so arrogant, they don't know how lame they really are.
The reason, Eric, why Wikipedia has not suffered a serious attack is because it's not vulnerable to the usual approaches that you can get scripts for. If you want to attack Wikipedia, you're going to have to write a customized attack vector, and there just aren't enough hackers with both the interest and the skill for this to have happened yet.

Wikipedia is certainly vulnerable, as gomi points out, but it's not vulnerable to a DDoS-style attack. They're far more vulnerable to carefully-crafted attacks based on their fairly stupid internal architecture; such attacks only require a handful of attack vectors, not thousands as are typically employed for a DDoS.
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