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> Wikipedia: A Threat To Civil Society, No More Monsieur Nice Guy
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Jonny Cache
post Tue 25th September 2007, 1:16pm
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In the US, as WE (Da Ppl) like to say, it is the last year of the four-year-long election year, and that means that WE wants to have all the B-Fudding complexities of Life In The Early Turd Millennium (LITE™) splained to us in 30-20-10-second soundbytes. All the easier to ignore them ¤ sigh ¤

In that spirit, let me e-deavour to re*compress the letter of my text.

Wikipedia ∑ε∂↑ in a single acronym:

QUOTE

Absolute Terror Toward All Collective Knowledge

ATTACK



Now please don't be confused by the fact that Wikipediots have to gather so much bytage in one place before they burn it — it should be Slap-In-Face obvious to anyone who's awake and paying attention that they are interested solely in controlling the information — neither learning from it nor allowing others to do so.

Jon Awbrey

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Emperor
post Tue 25th September 2007, 2:37pm
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QUOTE(Castle Rock @ Sat 22nd September 2007, 9:42pm) *

A threat to society.

I think you are vastly overestimating the relevancy Wikipedia and the internet as a whole has to the majority of people's lives.


I have to agree with Jonny. The threat to society is real. Brick-and-mortar libraries are being closed or scaled back in favor of online sources. Newspapers are going out of business. Soon, if not already, the internet will be the information source for the majority of people.
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GlassBeadGame
post Tue 25th September 2007, 3:51pm
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QUOTE(Castle Rock @ Sat 22nd September 2007, 9:42pm) *

A threat to society.

I think you are vastly overestimating the relevancy Wikipedia and the internet as a whole has to the majority of people's lives.



WP does harm to certain individuals, such as BLP victims, and generally lowers the level of discourse. These effects do not rise to the level of "threat to civil society" in any serious manner.

What Wikipedia is a threat to is the encyclopedic project which can only be advanced by scrapping this fundamentally flawed false start.
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Jonny Cache
post Tue 25th September 2007, 4:28pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Tue 25th September 2007, 11:51am) *

QUOTE(Castle Rock @ Sat 22nd September 2007, 9:42pm) *

A threat to society.

I think you are vastly overestimating the relevancy Wikipedia and the internet as a whole has to the majority of people's lives.


WP does harm to certain individuals, such as BLP victims, and generally lowers the level of discourse. These effects do not rise to the level of "threat to civil society" in any serious manner.

What Wikipedia is a threat to is the encyclopedic project which can only be advanced by scrapping this fundamentally flawed false start.


Castle, Glass, and All —

I began this thread on the afternoon of 18 September 2007, having just been abashed in my Last Best Attempt at Talking to Wikipedians Human To Human. That day marks a radical change in my perception of Wikipedia. That change has consequences for how I will henceforth speak about Wikipedia and how I will henceforth act in regard to Wikipedia. We must have our fun, our parodies, and keep our robust sense of humor, or else go totally bats in the face of such absurdity as we find in Wikipedia, but let no one be misled — the time for jokes that weaken our stance is over, the time for kid gloves is over, and over for good. At least for me.

I do, of course, assume that most Wikipediot Adminion accounts are still operated by humans, but they have repeatedly and successfully convinced me that they are humans who have crossed the line into acting like inhumane robots, and they must be approached and dealt with accordingly.

Each of us has to pick his or her own path, of course, but I'm just laying out mine as clearly as I can so that no one will find themselves waylaid by the change of course.

Jon Awbrey

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WhispersOfWisdom
post Tue 25th September 2007, 5:02pm
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In his book about this very topic, "the cult of the amateur", Andrew Keen builds an awesome and well detailed case against our current internet culture, and the devastation it is causing, citing WP as an example, and the long term effects of human beings moving toward the "mean" and mediocre (i.e., where the vast majority of people on earth are simply not experts or masters at anything.) He describes a frightening rude awakening for all of us, albeit, I think, this subject matter is an essential element of many philisophical discussions I have with friends and family.

In the field of music, it is becoming more apparent than ever that the vast majority of young people are learning more about following, rather than leading, and it is much easier to simply steal music than pay for it. There are more people learning to play "guitar hero" video games than actual musical instruments. unsure.gif
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Jonny Cache
post Tue 25th September 2007, 5:22pm
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QUOTE(WhispersOfWisdom @ Tue 25th September 2007, 1:02pm) *

In his book about this very topic, "the cult of the amateur", Andrew Keen builds an awesome and well detailed case against our current internet culture, and the devastation it is causing, citing WP as an example, and the long term effects of human beings moving toward the "mean" and mediocre (i.e., where the vast majority of people on earth are simply not experts or masters at anything.) He describes a frightening rude awakening for all of us, albeit, I think, this subject matter is an essential element of many philisophical discussions I have with friends and family.

In the field of music, it is becoming more apparent than ever that the vast majority of young people are learning more about following, rather than leading, and it is much easier to simply steal music than pay for it. There are more people learning to play "guitar hero" video games than actual musical instruments. unsure.gif


These are deep issues, WoW, ones that we've touched on, but just barely, on other threads, and there's so much that I would like to try and say about them, but not sure I can within the focus I'm striving to maintain at present.

So a few random thoughts at most …

People who appreciate creativity — I used to think everyone did — and who strive to develop a measure of it in this or that area of human endeavor, a much harder trial, naturally enough, know that no one can avoid it and remain truly human.

A human being can hardly listen to a song or read a text without having responses that no human being has ever had before.

That is one side of the coin.

The flip side is that we all have so much in common that there is almost always some way, no matter how difficult to find, of relating one experience to another.

Trivialities, I guess, but surprising how often people forget, or wish to deny them.

So the question is not one of absolutes, but one of balance, and what balance is due in each endeavor.

Wikipedia has lost its balance, and is actively combatting the trimming forces that its good faith contributors do their level best to bring to bear on it.

Wikipedia is approaching the point of collapsing in on itself in some regions and flying apart in others.

That's too bad, but people who tried to help have had their efforts wasted by forces beyond their calling back.

It's time to stand away from the ongoing wreck and shield society from the WikiPetard.

Jon Awbrey
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SqueakBox
post Tue 25th September 2007, 7:19pm
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QUOTE(WhispersOfWisdom @ Tue 25th September 2007, 5:02pm) *

In his book about this very topic, "the cult of the amateur", Andrew Keen builds an awesome and well detailed case against our current internet culture, and the devastation it is causing, citing WP as an example, and the long term effects of human beings moving toward the "mean" and mediocre (i.e., where the vast majority of people on earth are simply not experts or masters at anything.) He describes a frightening rude awakening for all of us, albeit, I think, this subject matter is an essential element of many philisophical discussions I have with friends and family.

In the field of music, it is becoming more apparent than ever that the vast majority of young people are learning more about following, rather than leading, and it is much easier to simply steal music than pay for it. There are more people learning to play "guitar hero" video games than actual musical instruments. unsure.gif


Well the issues are with computing and the interent and wikipedia is merely a symptom though at least more intellectually demanding than say facebook or my space, very popular sites where people (from my middle aged perspective) do precisely nothing. With Microsoft promising us computers that know exactly what we want and give it to us without having to think about it (the only thinking necessary being for those who object having to fight against their own computer's softwares) really these are issues that strike at the heart of where we are going as a society. One of the biggest problems we see, and particularly on wikipedia, is some big-mouthed kid treating a mature adult as if the adult were the kid and the kid the adult, and until that issue is resolved (obviously by not allowing anyone who cannot prove they are 42 to have admin rights) wikipedia will continue to be a magnet for young wannabe trolls who have nothing to lose, neither money nor reputation. Give me one SlimVirgin over 100 messedrockers, essjays and pascal tessones any day, kids and youths who think they are adults without having gone through the experiences that turn individuals into adults are your classic wikipedian trolls, Squeak ph34r.gif Box
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Jonny Cache
post Tue 25th September 2007, 7:22pm
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QUOTE(SqueakBox @ Tue 25th September 2007, 3:19pm) *

Give me one SlimVirgin over 100 messedrockers …


Take our SlimVirgin — PLEASE !!!

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The Joy
post Tue 25th September 2007, 8:03pm
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I'll admit that I've been editing WP more lately, but I'm hesitant to even try to make major contributions anymore.

It amazes me and saddens me that a project like WP which in its infancy held so many promises, but those promises have since been dashed by entrenched and egotistical individuals and a community more obsessed with maintaining a corrupted status quo all to keep those egotistical few happy at the expense of truly good faith contributors and the product of an exemplary reference/encyclopedia.

The fact that academics at my grad school see WP as a great and wondrous thing leaves me feeling that many do not look past the positives of Web 2.0 and see the negatives. There are blogs, wikis, podcasts, whatever that are done by competent individuals and communities well-versed in their respected subjects or at least are willing to research and learn about their subject. Even when such individuals and groups come to WP, their efforts can be smashed by one of the aforementioned individuals or their posse.

I'm beginning to see WP as more of the US Wild West. The law is sporadic, lawman can be bandits, gangs roam unchecked unless cheesing off the wrong people (i.e. the elite), and its not whether you're right but who you know and what power you possess socially or physically (block powers). I could also see WP as something of feudal Medieval Europe where Jimbo acts like Henry II and his loyal nobles willing to deal harshly with his enemies (i.e Thomas a Beckett). I'm willing to admit there are a few Pat Garretts and Galahads on WP with merit and good morals (not just dealing blindly with policy), but these few can do little to change the poisonous mentality maintained by the current Community and status quo.

QUOTE(Mark Twain @ Letters from the Earth)

We are strangely made. We think we are wonderful creatures. Part of the time we think that, at any rate. And during that interval we consider with pride our mental equipment, with its penetration, its power of analysis, its ability to reason out clear conclusions from confused facts, and all the lordly rest of it; and then comes a rational interval and disenchants us. Disenchants us and lays us bare to ourselves, and we see that intellectually we are no great things; that we seldom really know the things we think we know; that our best-built certainties are but sand-houses and subject to damage from any wind of doubt that blows.
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Jonny Cache
post Tue 25th September 2007, 8:16pm
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Speak o' th' Dust Devil — have you seen 3:10 To Yuma yet? Now there's a tale of the Weird Wild West 4U !!!

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The Joy
post Tue 25th September 2007, 11:20pm
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QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Tue 25th September 2007, 4:16pm) *

Speak o' th' Dust Devil — have you seen 3:10 To Yuma yet? Now there's a tale of the Weird Wild West 4U !!!

Jonny Cache De Train cool.gif


No, I've heard it really was a letdown for Western fans and, like you said, very weird. However, I hear that Brad Pitt's Jesse James movie is going to be great and be close to historically accurate. smile.gif
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Jonny Cache
post Wed 26th September 2007, 2:56am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Tue 25th September 2007, 7:20pm) *

QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Tue 25th September 2007, 4:16pm) *

Speak o' th' Dust Devil — have you seen 3:10 to Yuma yet? Now there's a tale of the Weird Wild West 4U !!!

Jonny Cache De Train cool.gif


No, I've heard it really was a letdown for Western fans and, like you said, very weird. However, I hear that Brad Pitt's Jesse James movie is going to be great and be close to historically accurate. smile.gif


Well, I'm not normally a fan of Westerns all that much anymore, so I guess that's why I liked it. Russell Crowe was just the most lovable of all the really really BADGUYS I ever did see — well, y'know, Present Co. Xcepted

Anyway, I really appreciated the Letters from the Earth passage — that was a very important book to me.

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WhispersOfWisdom
post Wed 26th September 2007, 3:11am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Tue 25th September 2007, 3:03pm) *

I'll admit that I've been editing WP more lately, but I'm hesitant to even try to make major contributions anymore.

It amazes me and saddens me that a project like WP which in its infancy held so many promises, but those promises have since been dashed by entrenched and egotistical individuals and a community more obsessed with maintaining a corrupted status quo all to keep those egotistical few happy at the expense of truly good faith contributors and the product of an exemplary reference/encyclopedia.

The fact that academics at my grad school see WP as a great and wondrous thing leaves me feeling that many do not look past the positives of Web 2.0 and see the negatives. There are blogs, wikis, podcasts, whatever that are done by competent individuals and communities well-versed in their respected subjects or at least are willing to research and learn about their subject. Even when such individuals and groups come to WP, their efforts can be smashed by one of the aforementioned individuals or their posse.

I'm beginning to see WP as more of the US Wild West. The law is sporadic, lawman can be bandits, gangs roam unchecked unless cheesing off the wrong people (i.e. the elite), and its not whether you're right but who you know and what power you possess socially or physically (block powers). I could also see WP as something of feudal Medieval Europe where Jimbo acts like Henry II and his loyal nobles willing to deal harshly with his enemies (i.e Thomas a Beckett). I'm willing to admit there are a few Pat Garretts and Galahads on WP with merit and good morals (not just dealing blindly with policy), but these few can do little to change the poisonous mentality maintained by the current Community and status quo.

QUOTE(Mark Twain @ Letters from the Earth)

We are strangely made. We think we are wonderful creatures. Part of the time we think that, at any rate. And during that interval we consider with pride our mental equipment, with its penetration, its power of analysis, its ability to reason out clear conclusions from confused facts, and all the lordly rest of it; and then comes a rational interval and disenchants us. Disenchants us and lays us bare to ourselves, and we see that intellectually we are no great things; that we seldom really know the things we think we know; that our best-built certainties are but sand-houses and subject to damage from any wind of doubt that blows.



Wild west and Al Capone all mixed in with Lord of the flies. Very scary and very creepy.
After all, who has all the time in the world to do something for nothing? Teens and underemployed
people that sit and fight with each other over who is the more powerful administrator. Without a hint of wisdom sometimes, the cabals and gangs shoot it out until someone gets banned or blocked. A video game that changes the truth and the rules every few seconds.
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Jonny Cache
post Wed 26th September 2007, 3:58am
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QUOTE(WhispersOfWisdom @ Tue 25th September 2007, 11:11pm) *

Wild west and Al Capone all mixed in with Lord of the Flies. Very scary and very creepy.

After all, who has all the time in the world to do something for nothing? Teens and underemployed people that sit and fight with each other over who is the more powerful administrator. Without a hint of wisdom sometimes, the cabals and gangs shoot it out until someone gets banned or blocked. A video game that changes the truth and the rules every few seconds.


I know many people who did have time, a little or a lot, people who would have made more time for a project that looked, once upon a time, like a worthwhile effort to build a global learning community.

That would have been, that should have been a place where people who had done the work to get real knowledge about given subjects, who were seeking no more compensation than the joy of sharing what they had learned, could have made that knowledge available to any and all who were seeking it.

But between these two sorts of people, sorts than naturally shift from subject to subject, there came another sort of people. This third group neither had the knowledge nor desired it — they would have nothing but the power to control the source, control the flow, and control the target of each bit of information. And if they could not achieve total control over a given piece of the sum? Well, then, they could think of nothing better than blocking the transfer of information altogether.

That third group of people wasted the time that the first group had to give to sharing their knowledge, wasted the time that the second group had to spend looking for knowledge, and they left behind nothing but block after block to inquiry in their wake, and finally destroyed the project known as Wikipedia altogether.

Jon Awbrey

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Emperor
post Wed 26th September 2007, 4:54pm
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QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Tue 25th September 2007, 11:58pm) *

QUOTE(WhispersOfWisdom @ Tue 25th September 2007, 11:11pm) *

Wild west and Al Capone all mixed in with Lord of the Flies. Very scary and very creepy.

After all, who has all the time in the world to do something for nothing? Teens and underemployed people that sit and fight with each other over who is the more powerful administrator. Without a hint of wisdom sometimes, the cabals and gangs shoot it out until someone gets banned or blocked. A video game that changes the truth and the rules every few seconds.


I know many people who did have time, a little or a lot, people who would have made more time for a project that looked, once upon a time, like a worthwhile effort to build a global learning community.

That would have been, that should have been a place where people who had done the work to get real knowledge about given subjects, who were seeking no more compensation than the joy of sharing what they had learned, could have made that knowledge available to any and all who were seeking it.

But between these two sorts of people, sorts than naturally shift from subject to subject, there came another sort of people. This third group neither had the knowledge nor desired it — they would have nothing but the power to control the source, control the flow, and control the target of each bit of information. And if they could not achieve total control over a given piece of the sum? Well, then, they could think of nothing better than blocking the transfer of information altogether.

That third group of people wasted the time that the first group had to give to sharing their knowledge, wasted the time that the second group had to spend looking for knowledge, and they left behind nothing but block after block to inquiry in their wake, and finally destroyed the project known as Wikipedia altogether.

Jon Awbrey


Excellent summary. Which do you think would be better: 1) no third group, or 2) a well qualified, regulated, and disciplined third group?
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Jonny Cache
post Sun 30th September 2007, 2:22pm
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QUOTE(Emperor @ Wed 26th September 2007, 12:54pm) *

QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Tue 25th September 2007, 11:58pm) *

QUOTE(WhispersOfWisdom @ Tue 25th September 2007, 11:11pm) *

Wild west and Al Capone all mixed in with Lord of the Flies. Very scary and very creepy.

After all, who has all the time in the world to do something for nothing? Teens and underemployed people that sit and fight with each other over who is the more powerful administrator. Without a hint of wisdom sometimes, the cabals and gangs shoot it out until someone gets banned or blocked. A video game that changes the truth and the rules every few seconds.


I know many people who did have time, a little or a lot, people who would have made more time for a project that looked, once upon a time, like a worthwhile effort to build a global learning community.

That would have been, that should have been a place where people who had done the work to get real knowledge about given subjects, who were seeking no more compensation than the joy of sharing what they had learned, could have made that knowledge available to any and all who were seeking it.

But between these two sorts of people, sorts than naturally shift from subject to subject, there came another sort of people. This third group neither had the knowledge nor desired it — they would have nothing but the power to control the source, control the flow, and control the target of each bit of information. And if they could not achieve total control over a given piece of the sum? Well, then, they could think of nothing better than blocking the transfer of information altogether.

That third group of people wasted the time that the first group had to give to sharing their knowledge, wasted the time that the second group had to spend looking for knowledge, and they left behind nothing but block after block to inquiry in their wake, and finally destroyed the project known as Wikipedia altogether.

Jon Awbrey


Excellent summary. Which do you think would be better: 1) no third group, or 2) a well qualified, regulated, and disciplined third group?


I'm always a little suspicious of simple answers to complex questions, and this business about 3 groups of people could easily slide into that degenre of oversimple fiction if we are not careful.

So it's best to think of concrete situations in your experience where you could observe something like these 3 different motives in play. It may be that you can observe all 3 motives in yourself at one time. It may be that you are more one way than another in regard to one subject while shifting in your attitude toward another subject. It may be that ∑ Ppl are just 1 way pretty much all the time about ∀-thing.

Many such journeys are possible …

Jon Awbrey

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Nathan
post Sun 30th September 2007, 6:55pm
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(aside) I love those Star Trek references.
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Jonny Cache
post Sun 30th September 2007, 7:00pm
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QUOTE(Nathan @ Sun 30th September 2007, 2:55pm) *

(aside) I love those Star Trek references.


Then you know the next line …

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Jonny Cache
post Mon 1st October 2007, 3:00am
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Wikipedia puts the Public at risk in two main ways:
  • Content. It supplies information-seekers with poor quality information on substantive subject matters.
  • Conduct. It hammers the malleable participant into adopting a host of bad habits — poor citizenship, poor critical thinking skills, poor journalistic practices, poor research skills, and poor scholarship.
A few comments about the content issue —

Wikipedia is designed to enforce poor information quality on the content of its articles

Wikipediots enforce measures of "quality control" that make a mockery of the very concept — they control the quality, but downward — they keep the quality of information from rising above the lowest common denominator of the least informed editor's misconceptions about each substantive subject. This method of editing succeeds only on non-substantive subjects, where any ediot can supply sufficient data to fill the page.

Slrubenstein's little manifesto above is a perfect example of this Doctrine Of Unlearning. You're supposed to "unlearn" the meaning of words like consensus and truth, to forget all your former sense of the radical difference between them, and to supplant these concepts in your poor, unwashed brain with the "unique meaning" that Wikipediots hallucinate on be½ of their far-less-than-½-baked notion of truth by consensus.

Jon Awbrey

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Nathan
post Mon 1st October 2007, 3:56am
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QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Sun 30th September 2007, 3:00pm) *

QUOTE(Nathan @ Sun 30th September 2007, 2:55pm) *

(aside) I love those Star Trek references.


Then you know the next line …

Jonny B)


"Many such journeys are possible, let me be your gateway".
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