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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 30th January 2009, 1:24pm
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This post and the next are a couple of memorable — well, I remember them, anyway — comments that I posted in response to a column by Padraig Reidy in The Guardian.

QUOTE(Newsfeed @ Thu 29th January 2009, 3:48am) *

QUOTE

de ja vu
all over again
all over again
all over again

de ja vu
a lover again
a lover again
a lover again

de ja vu
a lover o' gain
a lover o' gain
a lover o' gain

yet another yet another yet another month long munch song much wrong
spate of same ol same ol same ol nooz 2 riddle a diddle a widdle body bout
duh oh so oh so oh so good intentions o' jimbo come to come to come to zip

and you fall for it every time …

Ja³

Short Version. Technoir Journalists need to start reading The Wikipedia Review if they want to stay ahead of the curve on Jimbo UnLtd's latest con. These "new" proposals, the seasonal reruns of flags that get sent up the flagpole on a recurring basis — in the shape they are currently coming through the Wikipediot wringer — will actually make things worse than before. Surprise, surprise.

Jon Awbrey
29 Jan 2009, 1:09pm


Da Guardian responds with its Costumary Drumbeat of Ante-Censorship "Comment Is Free" Hypocrisy: "This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted."
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Jon Awbrey
post Tue 3rd March 2009, 4:16am
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How Wikipedia Is Putting The Existence Of A Free Press At Risk

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ 30 Jan 2009)

Wikipedia has shown us that a mass medium can be rendered so plastic and so well-leveraged that any part of it can be manipulated by a relatively small number of people, in ways that defy a free society's usual means to guard against it, so long as the special interests in question have a moderate amount of resources and the will to do so. If there are portions of the content that remain untouched, it is for two reasons only: (1) no one has conceived a stake in them yet, (2) virgin forest makes for good cover.

If you're thinking that Wikipedia is the Latest Thing in Blows Against The Empire, then you have a DoubleThink coming.

Jon Awbrey, Comment in The Guardian, 30 Jan 2009, 2:02am

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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 11th April 2009, 2:34pm
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¤ ¡Advertencia! ¤

¤ Attenzione! ¤

¤ Aviso! ¤

¤ Warning! ¤

¤ Warnung! ¤



Lectures from Wikipediots on Civility, Compliance with Rules, and Consistency of Policies are Likely to Inspire Profanity on these Premises

Continue At Your Own Risk

Ja Ja boing.gif

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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 26th April 2009, 2:38am
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Wikipediots are soooooo sensitive when it's their lives on the line — the merest possibility that screwing with other people's lives might have some repercussions on their own sends them into Wiki-Paroxysms of outrage. If only they had the capacity of normal human beings to turn that sensitivity around and see how it looks from the other guy's shoes they might never have gotten themselves into such a fix in the first place.

But Noooooo …

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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 26th April 2009, 2:35pm
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On the World's Chief Supplier of Industrial Strength Spitballs

QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Fri 24th April 2009, 12:24am)

The WMF clings to its BLPs with the hopeless tenacity of an addict to a drug. It's difficult to understand why.


What really puzzles me is why semi-intelligent people keep puzzling about this, when the answer is too obvious to bother mentioning again. I think the answer — to the meta-puzzle, I said the answer to the object puzzle was too obvious to bother mentioning again — must lie somewhere in the theory of cognitive dissonance.

The theory of cognitive dissonance predicts that people who regard themselves as reasonably intelligent will eventually find themselves puzzled as to why they wasted so much time on what they eventually realize is a totally futile activity — and with utterly insufficient reward to boot — and their self-image of themselves as intelligent persons will then cause them to make up some bogus explanation for why they did that. Invoking Cosmic Archetypes, the Greater Glory of the <pick one> Tribe, Cave, Market, or Theatre, the Interests of Science, or the Tragicomic Sense(lessness) of Life are popular sources of dramatic hamburger-helper, but I'm sure you have your own personal favour-rites.

Jon Awbrey
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 23rd May 2009, 2:04am
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Concluding Unsympathetic Postscript

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ 18 May 2009)

For my part, Wikipedia represents the antithesis of everything that I've learned about education, ethics, information, research, and scholarship over a lifetime of inquiry.

Is there good content in Wikipedia? Sure. I put some there myself and so have many other people of good will — people who are as naive today as I was once — but I have seen how quickly that quality degrades over time as people of experience get chased off or worn down to tears.

But here is one thing you should not forget — all of that good content is parasitic on prior traditions of research and scholarship that the Wiki-Parasite is destroying as quickly as it feeds off its Host.

In my own education I learned that there is a lot more to Knowledge than accumulating a Fact Dump, that the facts of the day rot and decay without living traditions of inquiry to supply and sustain them. The disciplines of analysis and experimentation, the methods of inference and proof, the procedures of research and scholarship must not be short-circuited and shunted to one side in the rush to deliver a product.

I do not know, and do not care, if Ben Franklin counts as Left-Wing or Right-Wing these days, but he comprehended better than most that the viability of a democratic society crucially depends on a Public that is well-educated and well-informed. Wikipedia founds itself on falsehoods, and no good can come of that in the end. It puts our whole way of life at risk.

Jon Awbrey (18 May 2009), Volokh Conspiracy Blog

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Jon Awbrey
post Tue 9th June 2009, 2:18pm
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O Con All Ye Faithful

The inability to reflect on the premiss of a well-designed inductive spiel — to see it from the outside and know it for the iffiest of iffy propositions — that is the mark of every playable mark, and every working con or cult turns on its ability to aim its hook directly or indirectly to the heart of its mark.
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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 11th February 2010, 12:08pm
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Anonymskulls

One of the supremest ironies in Wikipediocracy has got to be the fact that Wikipediots, who fantasize themselves such freedom fighters, are gradually brain-washing themselves and anyone else in their sphere of influence to pass from rebelling against the Known Establishment to blithely accepting the dictates and the snooping of the Anonymous Establishment.

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dogbiscuit
post Thu 11th February 2010, 12:16pm
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Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Thu 11th February 2010, 12:08pm) *


Anonymskulls

One of the supremest ironies in Wikipediocracy has got to be the fact that Wikipediots, who fantasize themselves such freedom fighters, are gradually brain-washing themselves and anyone else in their sphere of influence to pass from rebelling against the Known Establishment to blithely accepting the dictates and the snooping of the Anonymous Establishment.

Jon Awbrey

...aside from I think you can go further, as they do. It seems they do not blithely accept, they actively promote this, and become part of the mechanism of active suppression of dissent.
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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 11th February 2010, 12:32pm
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Thu 11th February 2010, 7:16am) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Thu 11th February 2010, 12:08pm) *


Anonymskulls

One of the supremest ironies in Wikipediocracy has got to be the fact that Wikipediots, who fantasize themselves such freedom fighters, are gradually brain-washing themselves and anyone else in their sphere of influence to pass from rebelling against the Known Establishment to blithely accepting the dictates and the snooping of the Anonymous Establishment.

Jon Awbrey


It seems they do not blithely accept, they actively promote this, and become part of the mechanism of active suppression of dissent.


The next question is — Why would a person prefer this? What makes a mark a mark?

Ronald Reagan was a master at this. He ruled the U.S. for 3 to 5 terms by doing nothing more than giving people leave to believe whatever they most desperately wished to believe — so long as they gave him leave to do whatever he wished to do.

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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 7th March 2010, 2:54pm
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τα δε μοι παθήματα μαθήματα γέγονε

FAIL № 1. Trying to de-convert cultists and fundamentalists is a waste of time. No accumulation of disconfirming evidence will ever touch the devoutly wishful beliefs of the consummate believer. The only hope of success — admittedly slim — will depend on bringing external attention and pressure to bear.

FAIL № 2. Focusing on content is a waste of time. Let's face it, hoaxes are funny. People chuckle, cluck their tongues, and move on to the next one. Unless it's U. But no one cares about U. Except maybe sometimes U.

I have come to realize that it's very difficult for some people to grasp the utter futility of FAIL № 2. That's probably because the alternative is so hard to contemplate — you have to look at process, you have to get other people to look at process, and analyzing process is hard.

My guess is that people will keep on keeping on — they just haven't suffered enough yet.

Jon Awbrey
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 21st March 2010, 2:48pm
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Jimmy Wales on Disruptive Technology

Next up the panel of Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Niklas Zennström (Skype, KaZaA, Joost), and Mitchell Baker (Mozilla) ponder the subject of "disruption" in relation to breaking old business models. When asked how he felt about busting the old encyclopedia model, Jimmy Wales responded, “I’m a bad man” … Technorati, 27 Jan 2010.

Cited by Jon Awbrey 18:44, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo's statement illustrates the fact that anything we do "disturbs the universe" (Freeman Dyson) to some degree, and it's equally trite but true to say that "life is an experiment" for all of us. Jimbo thinks he's a "bad man" in the nicest possible way, I'm guessing, and Wikipedians think that it's just tough luck for anyone who doesn't like their experiments with disruptive social-technical forms.

So firing those kinds of words back and forth does very little to settle the question of when a perturbance has crossed a line too far or when a rupture has ruptured something we'd like to preserve. Life, the experiment, is just not that simple.

Which brings us back to all the years and centuries and millennia that civilizations around and before us have devoted to saying what it means to be civil. Jon Awbrey 20:44, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 22nd March 2010, 3:26pm
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QUOTE

CS:POINT vs. WP:POINT

The Common Sense Point (CS:POINT) is this — any enterprise that fobs an insufficiently-tested product off on the Public may expect the Public to exercise its right to test that product itself, moreover, to demand appropriate revisions, recalls, or removals from the Public Space. This includes social-technical systems of the sort we see in Wikipedia.

Jon Awbrey, 21 March 2010, 4:44 AM (DUT)

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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 25th July 2010, 3:21am
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QUOTE


◄ Wikipedism⇒Basic Lack Of Ethical Sense ►
◄ WP:BLOES ►


Anyone who bothers to read a small fraction of what longtime posters have been posting at The Wikipedia Review for lo! these many long years would grasp the fact that few of us have stomachs for taste-testing the ephemeral glut of Wikipediot produce so long as a single innocent was drawn, quartered, and cannibalized in the process.

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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 9th August 2010, 3:36pm
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Open Invitation to Closed Minds

QUOTE

Jon Awbrey says:
(Your comment is awaiting moderation.)
August 5, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Dear Ms. Gardner,

Like many people who write about Wikipedia from remote observation platforms, you appear to have very little acquaintance with the realities in the trenches. A very large number of people who criticize Wikipedia — voices you dismiss as “detractors” — do at least have the experience of those realities to inform their criticisms. They will neither be impressed by the devices of glowing rhetoric nor induced by yet another call to “circle the wagons” to ignore what they know of the atrocities in those trenches.

Now, I doubt if there’s any way you can go from Wiki-Princess to Wiki-Pauper and slum about incognito on the streets of your realm without very quickly being recognized — nor can I ethically wish that experience on anyone — but you might be able to bring your level of empirical information up to par by participating in The Wikipedia Review. Because it samples the same population as Wikipedia itself it can be a wild and woolly arena at times, but there are at least a few moderators of moderate good sense who try to maintain isolated pockets of decorum. So I leave that invitation open to you.

Sincerely,

Jon Awbrey

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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 18th October 2010, 7:32pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Mon 18th October 2010, 12:39am) *

Wikipedia is now one of the most oppressive, regressive, and stultifying environments on the Web. Spend enough time there and you steadily lose the ability to think — critically, not to mention creatively. The game becomes so all-consuming that no one even remembers the purpose anymore. Sure, they mouth the words like good robotic wiki-parrots, but act in accord with the advertised aim? — fugettaboutit.

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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 21st October 2010, 9:12pm
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Reciprocity

This is the thing that Wikipediots never get — that people react to Wikipediots in direct proportion to the way that Wikipediots act toward them. There are whole Wikipedia essays pretending to speculate on the motives of their “disrupters”, when it's perfectly clear to any outside observer what the motivation really is. All they'd have to do is ask — but that would mean treating their victims with humanity and respect, and that is something they refuse to do. So they just keep dancing around the simple truth because they don't want to acknowledge the reality of how they treat others.
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 16th January 2011, 11:08pm
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More On Education

Re: Casper Grathwohl, “Wikipedia Comes of Age”, Chronicle of Higher Education, 07 Jan 2011

Yes, it's true, I could repeat all of the things that I have written about Wikipediot Culture over the past 5 years, and all of it would still be true. All that's changed is that the danger to the minds of students and to society at large is even greater today than it was 10 years ago.

Though many emphasize content issues, that is only part of the story. Far worse is the mis-education in the ways of inquiry and the warping of personal character to which even the most well-intentioned participants are eventually subjected.

Academic researchers and journalists on all sides have let us down. They do little more than recycle Wikipediot PR and blow pretty bubbles of wishful theory that are wholly divorced from hard knocks observation of what actually happens on Wikipedia Island on a day to day basis. It begins to look like it may be a decade or so before the real effects of Wikipedia Culture begin to make an impact on the dreamy bubble worlds of academics and media hacks. It won't be pretty — let's hope it won't be too late.

— Jon Awbrey, 10 Jan 2011
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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 3rd March 2011, 3:45am
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ 15 Feb 2011)

The issue for me is not censorship, or else I'd personally be choosing to err on the side of the ACLU if I had to err at all. The issues are things like Hostile Work Environment, Child Labor, Truth In Advertising, and the Definition of an Encyclopedia. I believe in the maximum rational freedom of artistic expression and scientific inquiry. That means we have to tolerate all sorts of crap in the world, but it doesn't mean you can have your favorite e-rotica as your screen-saver at work, it doesn't mean you can experiment on undergraduates without going through proper channels, and it doesn't mean you can e-tice children “volunteers” to work into the early AM with who knows or who cares what kinds of adult “volunteers” on your tax-advantaged “charity” project for free.

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post Thu 3rd March 2011, 3:17pm
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QUOTE
Wikipediots are soooooo sensitive when it's their lives on the line — the merest possibility that screwing with other people's lives might have some repercussions on their own sends them into Wiki-Paroxysms of outrage. If only they had the capacity of normal human beings to turn that sensitivity around and see how it looks from the other guy's shoes they might never have gotten themselves into such a fix in the first place.


It's fun for a wikipediot to scratch graffiti on someone's head when nobody is looking. Only when their head gets scratched they yell.
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