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Peter Damian
post Mon 14th November 2011, 7:31pm
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Some notes on the London ‘wikimeet’ yesterday. Main purpose, to meet Sue Gardner and other people, build some bridges, be in listening and questioning but not arguing mode. Wikipedia is here to stay: it is a like a big corporate with the power of Google, and it is dangerous in a number of ways and that one way (not the only way) to confront its power is to meet with the people who have some authority over it, to ask them if they think there are problems, and to ask how they think these can be resolved.

I met with Richard Symonds (‘chase me ladies’), who was in full uniform after attending a Remembrance day service. He seems genuine, and his fiancee (Panyd/Fiona Apps) is very sweet. Richard is trying to persuade me that the £500,000 WMUK budget was raised by WMUK and was not a grant from the foundation. I am not convinced (yet) but have not had a full discussion either.

Met also with Andreus (JN466) and his wife Maryana (DracoEssentialis), and got on instantly. Andreus is HRIP7 (?) on Wikipedia Review, and is a strong supporter. He had come to talk to Sue about the image filter issue, was quite persistent and had a further meeting after I had left.

Talked to Sue about the gender thing, again in listening mode. She is onside on some things. She disliked the way that they promoted the Human Centipede on the front page on Halloween, and quite strongly critical offline of the way much of Wikipedia (especially Commons) comes across as a smutty men’s locker room, in which women are signally not welcome. Less welcome was her uncritical acceptance of dumbing down the place with pink glittery things in order to attract new editors, as was her implicit view that more articles are needed, rather than better articles. I did not challenge any of this, however.

Met a number of Wikipedians who were frankly and almost objectionably hostile. I couldn’t tell whether this was because they are normally that way, or whether because I introduced myself as PD. I tried to make some 'block' jokes, and even offered a 'G5 deletion tour' around London sites of interest whose articles have been deleted for being written by a banned editor, but didn't get many laughs.

Finally, discussed the BLP issue with Roger Davies. Andreus felt he was sympathetic, I did not. Davies, who looks like the Fat Controller, complete with moustache, said that publishing was ‘not fair’, as though that were a reason for Wikipedia not being fair. I said the usual things – people take the Daily Mail with a pinch of salt, whereas Wikipedia pretends to be an encyclopedia, and some people believe that. Victims of the press are usually people with a high public profile, whereas Wikipedia is able to pick on anyone. Davies did not seem to accept that there are certain editors on Wikipedia who have an BLP agenda, and when I mentioned specific names the shutters went down. I admit to slightly losing my cool at this point, but only slightly. Davies also said that he was only one among many, and what could he do – it was impossible to get consensus on anything. They always say that.

Finally, I met some of the philosophy editors there, who universally agreed that the philosophy coverage on Wikipedia was crap.
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thekohser
post Mon 14th November 2011, 9:27pm
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Good work, Ed.

I can't wait for Wikimania Washington DC, 2012!
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A Horse With No Name
post Mon 14th November 2011, 9:28pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Mon 14th November 2011, 2:31pm) *

Met a number of Wikipedians who were frankly and almost objectionably hostile. I couldn’t tell whether this was because they are normally that way, or whether because I introduced myself as PD. I tried to make some 'block' jokes, and even offered a 'G5 deletion tour' around London sites of interest whose articles have been deleted for being written by a banned editor, but didn't get many laughs.


If it is any consolation, a lot of British humor doesn't play on this side of the Atlantic. smile.gif
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Detective
post Sat 19th November 2011, 2:34pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Mon 14th November 2011, 7:31pm) *

Davies, who looks like the Fat Controller, complete with moustache

Peter, you should really know better. The Fat Controller doesn't have a moustache.

http://www.pegnsean.net/~railwayseries/fatcontrollertwin.jpg
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Peter Damian
post Sat 19th November 2011, 3:11pm
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QUOTE(Detective @ Sat 19th November 2011, 2:34pm) *

QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Mon 14th November 2011, 7:31pm) *

Davies, who looks like the Fat Controller, complete with moustache

Peter, you should really know better. The Fat Controller doesn't have a moustache.

http://www.pegnsean.net/~railwayseries/fatcontrollertwin.jpg


Well actually I was going to say that Davies looked like a fat engine driver, you know the sort that get involved in steam railway societies and drink real ale and have beards or moustaches. But I thought that was a bit rude and impolite, and changed it to 'Fat Controller'. Well spotted.
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Herschelkrustofsky
post Sat 19th November 2011, 3:36pm
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QUOTE(A Horse With No Name @ Mon 14th November 2011, 1:28pm) *

QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Mon 14th November 2011, 2:31pm) *

Met a number of Wikipedians who were frankly and almost objectionably hostile. I couldn’t tell whether this was because they are normally that way, or whether because I introduced myself as PD. I tried to make some 'block' jokes, and even offered a 'G5 deletion tour' around London sites of interest whose articles have been deleted for being written by a banned editor, but didn't get many laughs.


If it is any consolation, a lot of British humor doesn't play on this side of the Atlantic. smile.gif
Of course, they were on that side of the Atlantic, so that doesn't explain it. Speaking as a denizen of this side, I think the "G5 deletion tour" is hilarious, and would seem so to any audience other than a Wikimeet.
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Peter Damian
post Sat 19th November 2011, 3:45pm
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QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Sat 19th November 2011, 3:36pm) *

Of course, they were on that side of the Atlantic, so that doesn't explain it. Speaking as a denizen of this side, I think the "G5 deletion tour" is hilarious, and would seem so to any audience other than a Wikimeet.


Yes quite right. Another observation from that meeting is that while many of the WMUKipedians were the classic basement dwelling programmer type, a good proportion were middle-aged 'blokes'. A 'bloke' in English is a bit difficult to describe, but generally means a middle-aged man, slightly pot-bellied who probably drinks real ale and has some hobby like railway stations or playing bass guitar and whom life's great ambitions passed by on the wayside quite a few years ago. Probably walks the dog on the 'rec' at weekends, though hopefully no closer involvement with dogs, unlike some other Wikipedians I could mention.

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sat 19th November 2011, 3:46pm
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SB_Johnny
post Sat 19th November 2011, 4:17pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sat 19th November 2011, 10:45am) *

QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Sat 19th November 2011, 3:36pm) *

Of course, they were on that side of the Atlantic, so that doesn't explain it. Speaking as a denizen of this side, I think the "G5 deletion tour" is hilarious, and would seem so to any audience other than a Wikimeet.


Yes quite right. Another observation from that meeting is that while many of the WMUKipedians were the classic basement dwelling programmer type, a good proportion were middle-aged 'blokes'. A 'bloke' in English is a bit difficult to describe, but generally means a middle-aged man, slightly pot-bellied who probably drinks real ale and has some hobby like railway stations or playing bass guitar and whom life's great ambitions passed by on the wayside quite a few years ago. Probably walks the dog on the 'rec' at weekends, though hopefully no closer involvement with dogs, unlike some other Wikipedians I could mention.

Thanks for the explanation, but you lost me with the 'rec' thing.
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dogbiscuit
post Sat 19th November 2011, 4:47pm
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Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
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QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Sat 19th November 2011, 4:17pm) *

QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sat 19th November 2011, 10:45am) *

QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Sat 19th November 2011, 3:36pm) *

Of course, they were on that side of the Atlantic, so that doesn't explain it. Speaking as a denizen of this side, I think the "G5 deletion tour" is hilarious, and would seem so to any audience other than a Wikimeet.


Yes quite right. Another observation from that meeting is that while many of the WMUKipedians were the classic basement dwelling programmer type, a good proportion were middle-aged 'blokes'. A 'bloke' in English is a bit difficult to describe, but generally means a middle-aged man, slightly pot-bellied who probably drinks real ale and has some hobby like railway stations or playing bass guitar and whom life's great ambitions passed by on the wayside quite a few years ago. Probably walks the dog on the 'rec' at weekends, though hopefully no closer involvement with dogs, unlike some other Wikipedians I could mention.

Thanks for the explanation, but you lost me with the 'rec' thing.

"Rec" - recreation field, aka public open space, park etc...

And there is nothing wrong being a middle aged bloke having a mid-life crisis learning to play the bass guitar angry.gif
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