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> Wikipedia Fallacy : Fantasies About Research, Reality Chucking : Care And Feeding Of Bubble World
Jonny Cache
post Fri 28th September 2007, 12:56am
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I feel some sense of scholarly duty to call attention to this, though I'm losing the energy to do much about it under current conditions in this Forum. Maybe someone else who reads this will pick up the ball another time — maybe I'll feel less dispirited tomorrow.

There was a time when Wikipediot policies and guidelines on Sourced Research and Reliable Sources were roughly in accord with the way that those concepts have long been understood and put in practice in the Real World. That is far from being the case today, in no small part due to the relentless and ruthless efforts of SlimVirgin, Slrubenstein, and others to warp Wikipediot policies to their own private Fantasies About Research (WP:FAR) and to eliminate from site anyone who says boo about it.

It is no accident that ongoing developments in the state of WP:FAR make it far more difficult with every passing day to puncture the Self-Sealing Bubble World of the Wikipediot Web Of Maya with any and all poignant prickings of External Reality Checking.

One of the things that external researchers will eventually need to do, as they slowly, all too slowly come to recognize the kind of threat that Wikipedia poses to the minds of previously untrained intellects, is to pick over the time devolution of Wikipedia's ever shifting policies on Sourced Research and Reliable Sources. These are currently found tucked away under such acronyms as WP:ATT, WP:COI, WP:NOR, WP:NPOV, WP:RS, WP:VER — though, of course, even the names are constantly changed to protect their ignorance.

Jon Awbrey

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Jonny Cache
post Fri 28th September 2007, 2:22am
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It's been a while since I've even dared to look in on the motley crew of monkey bizness that I'm barreling together here under the monicker of WP:FAR, but then I thought that maybe I should, just in case that barrel of monkeys had accidentally righted itself in the mean time, making me look like a Crying Wolf Boy or something.

Needless to say, I shouldn't have worried — when it comes to exponentially increasing absurdity, Wikipedia never disappoints.

Here's just the first random sample of WP:FARCE that I ran into —

NB. In the current WikiPatois, PST(S) refers to Primary, Secondary, Tertiary (Sources).

QUOTE(Slrubenstein @ 27 Sep 2007 UTC 03:29)

As I have expressed, I believe there is always room for improvement, and I have tried to suggest some ways the definitions of PST sources could be improved — and would welcome other suggestions. However, I believe it is essential for this discussion that we all agree that it is inevitable that some Wikipedia policy terms will be ideosyncratic [sic] to Wikipedia and thus require people to (temporarily) "unlearn" (I would say "bracket") their more familiar definitions. I make this as a general point and acknowledge that one can in good faith say "Yes, but this is not one of those times". We can disagree over whether we need to use the words primary and secondary, and we can disagree over how to use them. But I do not think we will get anywhere unless people asknowledge [sic] that unique definitions are sometimes unavoidable and good. I have two reasons, and an example.

Reason 1: our policy must apply to people researching within or about different disciplines, professions, and domains. Thee is no reason to think that lawyers, engineers, historians, and anthropologists would necessarily all use the word "source" (or pick any other important term) the same way — but we need to define it in a way that can apply to any article; in other words, we need a definition that is appropriate not for law, engineering, history, or anthropology, we need a definition that i [sic] appropriate for an encyclopedia.

Reason 2: we are a wikipedia, an necyclopedia [sic] written through a collaboration by diverse amateurs. Our policies must foster effective collaboration. Being diverse amateurs creates challenges and needs not faced, say, in peer-revidewed journals or EB where most authors are all academics and share many conventions, and furthermore what they write is policed by an editorial board or editors (I mean, journal editors, people with power to dictate content to authors).

See — even when talking about peer-reviewed journals, we see that we define "editor" in a way utterly unlike most other people. This is already an example, but not the one i intended (which will follow) but eveytime I contribute to Wikipedia I need to "unlearn" what "editor" "really means" (meaning, the definition I need to live by in my work, if I am to keep my job and advance in my career — I have to unlearn that definition).

Anyway, my point is that absent the kind of editorial supervision of journals and other encyclopedias, we rely on policies — policies take the place of people. So we are going to have policies that may be unnecessary at journals and other encyclopedias, and our policies have to accomplish something that is accomplished through very different means in other context. So it shouldn't surprise us if some of our policies are unique and use words ideosynratically [sic].

Now my real example (though editor is still a good one!): NPOV. most of us are used to this policy and realy "get it" but read the policy and you will see it is written for people who need to redefine what they mean by "neutraility" [sic] to understand the policy. So I have nothing against unique definitions, as long as they are clear and consistent and useful. I realize others may disagree with me that "primary sources" should be one of those words, but I hope we can agree on the general principle. Slrubenstein 03:29, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Source. Slrubenstein, Wikipedia Talk : No Original Research, 27 Sep 2007 UTC 03:29.


You can't make this stuff up — that's their job!

Jon Awbrey

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Somey
post Fri 28th September 2007, 5:20am
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So if I understand this correctly, he's saying that traditional definitions of the word "neutrality" might not sufficiently support the efforts of high-ranking Wikipedians to pursue their no-doubt highly specific agendas, so it must be redefined to better fit their needs?

And this quote, "it shouldn't surprise us if some of our policies are unique and use words ideosynratically," is certainly a fine example of unintentional irony.
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Jonny Cache
post Fri 28th September 2007, 5:50am
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QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 28th September 2007, 1:20am) *

So if I understand this correctly, he's saying that traditional definitions of the word "neutrality" might not sufficiently support the efforts of high-ranking Wikipedians to pursue their no-doubt highly specific agendas, so it must be redefined to better fit their needs?


Gee, where did I read that line before? — was it Huxley or Orwell?

The self-contradiction at the root of the policy rot is this — they ceremoniously boot Unsourced Assertions out the front door, while surreptitiously sneaking Unsourced Assertions in the back door.

But the distinction between assertions in article space and assertions in policy space is a distinction without a difference. For instance, consider an important concept like consensus. Since the increasingly Original definition of consensus that some people have forced on policy pages is the one that some people will insist on keeping, the formerly Grounded or Sourced definition of consensus in article space will gradually have to be warped to fit. That makes Wikipedia, or some anonymous editors thereof, the primary source for that novel definition of consensus. All of which is supposed to be strictly verboten on Wikipedia's espoused principles, of course.

QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 28th September 2007, 1:20am) *

And this quote, "it shouldn't surprise us if some of our policies are unique and use words ideosynratically", is certainly a fine example of unintentional irony.


Yeah, I always put myself in a ticklish situation remarking on anyone else's spelling, so I'm glad that someyone else caught that precious bit of ideo-syn-raticism.

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JohnA
post Fri 28th September 2007, 6:55am
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QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Fri 28th September 2007, 6:50am) *

QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 28th September 2007, 1:20am) *

So if I understand this correctly, he's saying that traditional definitions of the word "neutrality" might not sufficiently support the efforts of high-ranking Wikipedians to pursue their no-doubt highly specific agendas, so it must be redefined to better fit their needs?


Gee, where did I read that line before? — was it Huxley or Orwell?

The self-contradiction at the root of the policy rot is this — they ceremoniously boot Unsourced Assertions out the front door, while surreptitiously sneaking Unsourced Assertions in the back door.


I think the word you're looking for is "doublethink"

QUOTE
The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them . . . . To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.




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Jonny Cache
post Fri 28th September 2007, 7:06am
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QUOTE(JohnA @ Fri 28th September 2007, 2:55am) *

QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Fri 28th September 2007, 6:50am) *

QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 28th September 2007, 1:20am) *

So if I understand this correctly, he's saying that traditional definitions of the word "neutrality" might not sufficiently support the efforts of high-ranking Wikipedians to pursue their no-doubt highly specific agendas, so it must be redefined to better fit their needs?


Gee, where did I read that line before? — was it Huxley or Orwell?

The self-contradiction at the root of the policy rot is this — they ceremoniously boot Unsourced Assertions out the front door, while surreptitiously sneaking Unsourced Assertions in the back door.


I think the word you're looking for is "doublethink"

QUOTE

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them … To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.




I doublethink you're right !

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Jonny Cache
post Fri 28th September 2007, 3:21pm
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Now that we have an explicit formulation of the Wikipedia Policy on DoubleThink (WP:DT) — not to be confused by Dan TobiasI didn't say thator thator thator — where was I !?

Oh yes, I already started a Wikiputian DontbeaDictionary of words that have been sanitized of every bit of sense for use in our favorite "necyclopedia" …

Y'know, like —

Right of Privacy = the right to run about town and countryside wearing white sheets when it ain't even Halloween.

But I'm trying to stay focused here, so I'll save more of those for the proper thread.

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Jonny Cache
post Fri 28th September 2007, 4:50pm
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QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Thu 27th September 2007, 10:22pm) *

It's been a while since I've even dared to look in on the motley crew of monkey bizness that I'm barreling together here under the monicker of WP:FAR, but then I thought that maybe I should, just in case that barrel of monkeys had accidentally righted itself in the mean time, making me look like a Crying Wolf Boy or something.

Needless to say, I shouldn't have worried — when it comes to exponentially increasing absurdity, Wikipedia never disappoints.

Here's just the first random sample of WP:FARCE that I ran into —

NB. In the current WikiPatois, PST(S) refers to Primary, Secondary, Tertiary (Sources).

QUOTE(Slrubenstein @ 27 Sep 2007 UTC 03:29)

As I have expressed, I believe there is always room for improvement, and I have tried to suggest some ways the definitions of PST sources could be improved — and would welcome other suggestions. However, I believe it is essential for this discussion that we all agree that it is inevitable that some Wikipedia policy terms will be ideosyncratic [sic] to Wikipedia and thus require people to (temporarily) "unlearn" (I would say "bracket") their more familiar definitions. I make this as a general point and acknowledge that one can in good faith say "Yes, but this is not one of those times". We can disagree over whether we need to use the words primary and secondary, and we can disagree over how to use them. But I do not think we will get anywhere unless people asknowledge [sic] that unique definitions are sometimes unavoidable and good. I have two reasons, and an example.

Reason 1: our policy must apply to people researching within or about different disciplines, professions, and domains. Thee is no reason to think that lawyers, engineers, historians, and anthropologists would necessarily all use the word "source" (or pick any other important term) the same way — but we need to define it in a way that can apply to any article; in other words, we need a definition that is appropriate not for law, engineering, history, or anthropology, we need a definition that i [sic] appropriate for an encyclopedia.

Reason 2: we are a wikipedia, an necyclopedia [sic] written through a collaboration by diverse amateurs. Our policies must foster effective collaboration. Being diverse amateurs creates challenges and needs not faced, say, in peer-revidewed journals or EB where most authors are all academics and share many conventions, and furthermore what they write is policed by an editorial board or editors (I mean, journal editors, people with power to dictate content to authors).

See — even when talking about peer-reviewed journals, we see that we define "editor" in a way utterly unlike most other people. This is already an example, but not the one i intended (which will follow) but eveytime I contribute to Wikipedia I need to "unlearn" what "editor" "really means" (meaning, the definition I need to live by in my work, if I am to keep my job and advance in my career — I have to unlearn that definition).

Anyway, my point is that absent the kind of editorial supervision of journals and other encyclopedias, we rely on policies — policies take the place of people. So we are going to have policies that may be unnecessary at journals and other encyclopedias, and our policies have to accomplish something that is accomplished through very different means in other context. So it shouldn't surprise us if some of our policies are unique and use words ideosynratically [sic].

Now my real example (though editor is still a good one!): NPOV. most of us are used to this policy and realy "get it" but read the policy and you will see it is written for people who need to redefine what they mean by "neutraility" [sic] to understand the policy. So I have nothing against unique definitions, as long as they are clear and consistent and useful. I realize others may disagree with me that "primary sources" should be one of those words, but I hope we can agree on the general principle. Slrubenstein 03:29, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Source. Slrubenstein, Wikipedia Talk : No Original Research, 27 Sep 2007 UTC 03:29.


You can't make this stuff up — that's their job!

Jon Awbrey


Now I know what yer thinking — yer thinking, or doublethinking, that Slrubenstein is really a sockpuppet of Jonny Cache, deliberately giving himself away flagrante delicto with devious double-entendre mispielings of critical mots de passe.

Well, I must leave you to yer own recognizance of that, since to denny it cold would do nada but convict us all all the more.

But do let us flag a few of these more choice parapraises that afford such flung-open floopholes to the uncns soul.
  • asknowledge. No doubt a mispelling of ass-knowledge, cf. pons asinorum. Use it in asentence? Sure:
    1. Asknowledge wot unlearning canoe 4U, asswipe U canoe 4 asknowledge.
    2. Wikipedia — the sump of human asknowledge.
    3. Okay, maybe yer doublethinking Number 2 is not asentence, but doublethink again, and it is.
  • bracket. [sic]…[/sic].
  • ideosyncratic. Hard to say whether this means ideological idiosyncrasy or idiosyncratic ideology, but I'm guessing it's [sic]s one way, ½ a twit the other.
  • ideosynratically. This is when you rat on ∑ rat for not being a big enuff ideosynrat.
  • necyclopedia. From the Latin nescio + cyclus + ped-, meaning, "I dunno Juzon Vürßt — but look, Mum, I can ride my bike without any feet on the pedals!"
  • neutraility. This is when you rail on ∑ newt for not being a big enuff newt.
Salute !

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This post has been edited by Jonny Cache: Fri 28th September 2007, 5:54pm
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JohnA
post Fri 28th September 2007, 8:04pm
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Jon Awbrey

I sometimes wonder that if you started your own blog where the objective was the engagement of an audience with a carefully constructed thesis (or at least a consideration of parts of a thesis where each part must fit with all of the others), you might be a more effective communicator of ideas.

As it is with you on a forum, I have no idea whether your audience is other people in the forum, Wikipedians who may be watching, or just your own intellectual vanity for you purposely push comprehension of your posts into the background of a canvas which says "Look at me! Aren't I being clever!"

I think that the lessons of Wikipedia deserve proper deconstruction not into wild frenzies of postmodernist intellectual masturbation in the style of "Social Text" or Jacques Derrida, but sober analysis piece by piece.

I thought the description of Wikipedia's latest policy as a classic piece of "doublethink" deserves more serious analysis.

Can you manage that sort of analysis?
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Jonny Cache
post Fri 28th September 2007, 8:30pm
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QUOTE(JohnA @ Fri 28th September 2007, 4:04pm) *

Can you manage that sort of analysis?


Canoe?

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JohnA
post Fri 28th September 2007, 9:40pm
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I'll take that as a no...
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Jonny Cache
post Fri 28th September 2007, 9:54pm
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QUOTE(JohnA @ Fri 28th September 2007, 5:40pm) *

I'll take that as a no …


Look, Dude, it's Friday, so lighten

Who do ya think started this thread, anyway ?

I had just got back from a long and tyring road trip yesterday when I broached this keg-o-worms in spite of it all, I'm surprised that I got as far as I did with it, and it's only the most recent in a GadsHellion of detailed studies of WP:FARCE's that I've posted here over the last year, so if you No Likey you can always go back to caching up on the latest ArbCom Soap Opera about Diddley Doo Rong and His Band of Merry Minions …

TGIF & Outta Here !

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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 17th March 2011, 4:26am
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Resuscitating this thread for the sake of attempting a rewrite …

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