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> JzG's biggest mistake, Disparaging Cade Metz
Kato
post Thu 6th March 2008, 7:26am
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The biggest mistake JzG has made on Wikipedia, the one that people should really be looking at closely, was his reaction to The Register stories in December.

This is described at the foot of this Wikipedia Review blog posting here. JzG's wild overreaction had him attacking people all over Wikipedia and the internet, and included the now infamous "Piece of shit Register story" attack. His attacks were accompanied by several disparaging references to Cade Metz, the journalist who was covering the stories, and obviously reading every word.

This totally unprofessional and self destructive flurry sealed Wikipedia's fate in the eyes of the media in one foul swoop. All the editors, all the articles, Jimbo Wales, the WMF, Wikia, everything was up for grabs as a result of that stupid, thoughtless attack.

Metz immediately shot off another article to the million or so readers of that magazine. And then peeled a Wikipedia Review thread about Jossi Fresco straight off our forums to hit them again in the New Year.

The media realized that stories on Wikipedia corruption brought in readers. And where better to get them from than places like the Wikipedia Review? Journalists were investigating stories from here for themselves, and figuring that many of them held up under scrutiny.

By the time ValleyWag was linking to one of our threads about Rachel Marsden, after Wikipedia had so successfully shot themselves in the foot again and again since December, Wikipedia was easy pickings for the media.

Yesterday, Cade Metz wrote another piece, which accurately depicts Wikipedia's predicament. It articulates exactly what Wikipedia Reviewers have been telling Wikipedia for a long time. But they didn't listen over there. Naive folks like JzG kept attacking and attacking, until Wikipedia resembles an open corpse. Food for the vultures.

JzG publicly personified Wikipedia's inability to process external criticism. And everyone on the site, from the best editors to the worst administrators, have paid a heavy price for this appalling attitude. The price will be the cruel and relentless public discrediting of all their hard work in the coming months and years at the hands of an uncaring media.

In the future, when historians look at Wikipedia as a bizarre 2000-2010 phenomenon that eventually collapsed, they won't be putting the blame on external Websites like us. Or critics like Daniel Brandt or Jon Awbrey. They'll be putting the blame on naive people like JzG, who positioned themselves as tub-thumpers and opinion formers for a community who didn't ask them to do so, and who brought it down on themselves and everyone else involved.
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Moulton
post Thu 6th March 2008, 8:02am
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It's basically a failure of leadership.

There are plenty of models of successful open source projects.

Debian and Ubuntu, for example, are exemplary social contract communities with good project leadership.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, Wikipedia eschewed that proven organizational model in favor of a cultish enterprise with way too much anonymity and way too little organizational vision, and negligible attention to an ethical value system.
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dogbiscuit
post Thu 6th March 2008, 11:51am
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Thu 6th March 2008, 8:02am) *

It's basically a failure of leadership.

There are plenty of models of successful open source projects.

Debian and Ubuntu, for example, are exemplary social contract communities with good project leadership.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, Wikipedia eschewed that proven organizational model in favor of a cultish enterprise with way too much anonymity and way too little organizational vision, and negligible attention to an ethical value system.


Ubuntu has the advantage of a fairly clear goal, though I have been quite impressed that something that is clear propeller-head territory has been able to stick with usability. The Linux movement as a whole is badly fragmented, but the attitude seems to be to give people their head, and then allow the bad choices to wither and die. I do slightly despair of the half a million half finished media player projects, rather than one or two great ones but the act of producing a bad one is mainly harmless.

I think there is an important point in there: a crappy bit of software is a crappy bit of software that will probably not see the light of day through the release process, will wither and die due to its lack of utility, or will be reformed and improved into something due to its need.

In the end, crappy articles happily can live on in Wikipedia, lurking to trap the unwary, and the broken important bits still can live on too. A CD Player that doesn't play CDs, or isn't very easy to use is easy to debate and challenge, an iffy article is another matter.

In terms of the social order, the open software movement recognises the need for geeks, authors, testers and whatever, and seems able to recognise that people have different skills - and does not seem to need the online gaming element to get things done. Perhaps it is a reflection that many contributors are professionals working in the spare time, rather than amateurs without a clue as to how things are done properly.
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UseOnceAndDestroy
post Thu 6th March 2008, 12:14pm
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Most successful open source projects will have some governance model that's designed to prevent breakage by random passers-by. Some kid who can't program should be unlikely to get non-working code into the kernel - whereas some kid who can't research can get nonsensical writing into wikipedia any day of the week.
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Amarkov
post Thu 6th March 2008, 11:24pm
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Thu 6th March 2008, 12:02am) *

It's basically a failure of leadership.

There are plenty of models of successful open source projects.

Debian and Ubuntu, for example, are exemplary social contract communities with good project leadership.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, Wikipedia eschewed that proven organizational model in favor of a cultish enterprise with way too much anonymity and way too little organizational vision, and negligible attention to an ethical value system.


It's a failure in extrapolation. Democracy in the real world works well enough, and there's no immediately obvious reason why adding in anonymity would change that. I mean, it's obvious to us now. But seven years ago, nobody really knew what having people with anonymity would cause, since user generated content in general was a new idea. And idealistically Wikipedia is wonderful; perfect democracy!
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Kato
post Sat 8th March 2008, 5:47pm
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JzG's still at it, raging against Cade Metz. Hammering those nails into Wikipedia's coffin with every comment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...ion_scandles.3F

QUOTE(JzG)
Cade Metz has decided, for whatever reason, to embark on some kind of crusade against Wikipedia. What he writes is unreliable. His source here is a disgruntled former employee (his sources are always disgruntled something). Some people would complain about paradise, so it's easy to find disgruntled somethings. Sure, you can believe every word Metz says if you want. And while you're about it I have a bridge for sale.

QUOTE(JzG on a December Register story)
that piece is largely claptrap as was made perfectly clear on the unsecret wikien-l at the time.
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Cedric
post Sun 9th March 2008, 2:03am
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QUOTE(Kato @ Sat 8th March 2008, 11:47am) *

JzG's still at it, raging against Cade Metz. Hammering those nails into Wikipedia's coffin with every comment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...ion_scandles.3F

QUOTE(JzG)
Cade Metz has decided, for whatever reason, to embark on some kind of crusade against Wikipedia. What he writes is unreliable. His source here is a disgruntled former employee (his sources are always disgruntled something). Some people would complain about paradise, so it's easy to find disgruntled somethings. Sure, you can believe every word Metz says if you want. And while you're about it I have a bridge for sale.

QUOTE(JzG on a December Register story)
that piece is largely claptrap as was made perfectly clear on the unsecret wikien-l at the time.


Ah yes, the "disgruntled former employee" meme; that would seem to be the approved line from Central Office nowadays. But what of this? Does it always follow that disgruntled former employees/servants are serial liars and perjurers and ought not be believed under any circumstances? Does it naturally follow that all disgruntled former employees/servants are always wrong because the employer/master is always right, both legally and morally, and therefore the employer/master is beyond all question? Does it always follow that an employee/servant can never have any right to be disgruntled, for any reason whatsoever?

If you feel yourself ready to make all of these leaps of faith instead of looking at the facts and drawing the logical conclusions, then I have news for you: if not already initiated, you are a perfect candidate for The Cult of Jimbo™.

And may God have mercy on your poor benighted soul.
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Proabivouac
post Sun 9th March 2008, 2:09am
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QUOTE(Cedric @ Sun 9th March 2008, 2:03am) *

Ah yes, the "disgruntled former employee" meme…

This is nearly the only purpose of the word "disgruntled" at this point:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=disgr...G=Google+Search
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Derktar
post Sun 9th March 2008, 2:14am
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How much longer until the Mandate of Heaven is pulled from Jimbo's grasp?
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dtobias
post Sun 9th March 2008, 2:30am
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Well, who's ever gruntled?
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Milton Roe
post Sun 9th March 2008, 2:43am
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QUOTE(Amarkov @ Thu 6th March 2008, 11:24pm) *

It's a failure in extrapolation. Democracy in the real world works well enough, and there's no immediately obvious reason why adding in anonymity would change that. I mean, it's obvious to us now. But seven years ago, nobody really knew what having people with anonymity would cause, since user generated content in general was a new idea. And idealistically Wikipedia is wonderful; perfect democracy!

unsure.gif I'm afraid that may well be an oxymoron. Without some transparency, you can't have a democracy, even a conventional representational one (even a fluid one), because you can't tell who's being over-represented. And hell, this is not a new lesson we learn from the internet. In 1960, the mob caused the dead in Chicago cemetaries to somehow vote Democratic. As they'd been doing for years, even though metabolically challenged. (Reminds of me of one of my favorite bits from Kentucky Fried Movie: Appeal for the Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48nwgoOtgbQ ).

Anyway, we already knew thisi stuff was bad and would happen, long, long before the present technology. This is just the old political spoils system, smoke-filled rooms and ballot box stuffing, with a hint of Jeffersonian appeal for the rule of the natural aristoi. Now transistorized. There's really no excuse for it, except maybe for the Jeffersonian part. Which is all that keeps WP from being laughed out of the room every time they say they're not a democracy (while all the while cowering from sockpuppetry and what it does to their internal processes).

-- Milt
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WhispersOfWisdom
post Sun 9th March 2008, 2:54am
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QUOTE(Kato @ Thu 6th March 2008, 3:26am) *

The biggest mistake JzG has made on Wikipedia, the one that people should really be looking at closely, was his reaction to The Register stories in December.

This is described at the foot of this Wikipedia Review blog posting here. JzG's wild overreaction had him attacking people all over Wikipedia and the internet, and included the now infamous "Piece of shit Register story" attack. His attacks were accompanied by several disparaging references to Cade Metz, the journalist who was covering the stories, and obviously reading every word.

This totally unprofessional and self destructive flurry sealed Wikipedia's fate in the eyes of the media in one foul swoop. All the editors, all the articles, Jimbo Wales, the WMF, Wikia, everything was up for grabs as a result of that stupid, thoughtless attack.

Metz immediately shot off another article to the million or so readers of that magazine. And then peeled a Wikipedia Review thread about Jossi Fresco straight off our forums to hit them again in the New Year.

The media realized that stories on Wikipedia corruption brought in readers. And where better to get them from than places like the Wikipedia Review? Journalists were investigating stories from here for themselves, and figuring that many of them held up under scrutiny.

By the time ValleyWag was linking to one of our threads about Rachel Marsden, after Wikipedia had so successfully shot themselves in the foot again and again since December, Wikipedia was easy pickings for the media.

Yesterday, Cade Metz wrote another piece, which accurately depicts Wikipedia's predicament. It articulates exactly what Wikipedia Reviewers have been telling Wikipedia for a long time. But they didn't listen over there. Naive folks like JzG kept attacking and attacking, until Wikipedia resembles an open corpse. Food for the vultures.

JzG publicly personified Wikipedia's inability to process external criticism. And everyone on the site, from the best editors to the worst administrators, have paid a heavy price for this appalling attitude. The price will be the cruel and relentless public discrediting of all their hard work in the coming months and years at the hands of an uncaring media.

In the future, when historians look at Wikipedia as a bizarre 2000-2010 phenomenon that eventually collapsed, they won't be putting the blame on external Websites like us. Or critics like Daniel Brandt or Jon Awbrey. They'll be putting the blame on naive people like JzG, who positioned themselves as tub-thumpers and opinion formers for a community who didn't ask them to do so, and who brought it down on themselves and everyone else involved.



Brilliant piece.

After reading the endless comments, it appears as if Mr. Chapman was under the influence of some very disturbed thinking and maybe some chemicals and / or alcohol poisoning. (i.e., repeating the same negative behavior over and over...with the expectations of a different result.)
He is not a good spokesperson for Jimmy's rag. ohmy.gif

This post has been edited by WhispersOfWisdom: Sun 9th March 2008, 2:55am
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Derktar
post Tue 11th March 2008, 1:47am
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Taken from Danny's RFA:
QUOTE
Support. We know Danny, he errs on the side of caution. Easy call. The oppose !votes? Well-meaning but misguided, in my view. Danny's first instinct is reliably and repeaably to protect the project. In the Olden Days peopel were unwilling to challenge him. Why? He seems like a reaosnable guy, his responses to me have always been fair. The All-Highest clearly trusts him, most of the people I know and trust, trust Danny. Let's not get bogged down in past issues tied to Foundation and office actions, take the man at face value. Guy (Help!) 22:58, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

So when Danny started becoming an open critic he went from "reasonable guy" to "disgruntled former employee."
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Moulton
post Tue 11th March 2008, 12:58pm
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Now is the winter of our disgruntlement.
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Kato
post Wed 12th March 2008, 10:51pm
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Here he blows again, this time he's talking about the Jeff Merkey story
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=197715757
QUOTE(JzG)
Calton, yes, precisely. And Carcharoth's point is also valid. We have this situation with agenda-driven reporting by people like Cade Metz, who report only those whose views serve their agenda. It's a problem. I have no solution, other than for the Foundation to mobilise its communications committee and actually respond to some of these stories with "official" accounts of what went on.


Added here for future reference.
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dogbiscuit
post Wed 12th March 2008, 11:20pm
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QUOTE(Kato @ Wed 12th March 2008, 10:51pm) *

Here he blows again, this time he's talking about the Jeff Merkey story
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=197715757
QUOTE(JzG)
Calton, yes, precisely. And Carcharoth's point is also valid. We have this situation with agenda-driven reporting by people like Cade Metz, who report only those whose views serve their agenda. It's a problem. I have no solution, other than for the Foundation to mobilise its communications committee and actually respond to some of these stories with "official" accounts of what went on.


Added here for future reference.


The logic of this is quite damning - though we have spoken of it here a number of times.

This is a story that Guy "knows" about. He therefore feels at liberty to discount the reporting of the BBC, Telegraph and sundry other sources that are generally held to be "reliable sources".

Now, if he put his thinking cap on he might realise that, just as he believes that the press has distorted this article, might that not be true for all other press reporting? All those POV warriors that know better that he has mercilessly banned. Why is Guy not banning himself for being a POV warrior, as he is abusing his admin position to hold a view on Wikipedia that is not backed up by reliable sources.

So, do we discount all press reporting from wikipedia? Or do we recognise that perhaps one of the tenants of Wikipedia, verifiability over truth does not bear close examination. As soon as you recognise that it is simply not possible to use sources blindly, you need editorial input. Guy is actually arguing for original research - if original research means editorial interpretation.

So does Guy want "verifiability" or does he want an article of reasonable accuracy? If it is the latter, how does he get there if all the sources in the world will not back up what he "knows" to be true? His solution, get the press to print the Wikipedia party line, so it can be sourced to rebut what would be considered, with no knowledge of the situation, the proper way to do things. So much for the independence and reliability of the press. Oh dear! my head goes pop with the potential paradoxes Guy creates.

It does make a bit of a nonsense of all those "it's in a source therefore it stays" arguments.

This post has been edited by dogbiscuit: Wed 12th March 2008, 11:20pm
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dtobias
post Thu 13th March 2008, 12:06am
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The clique always knows best. If the press supports their side, cite it and use the Reliable Sources rule as a bludgeon against anybody trying to introduce dissident views from less prestigious sources. If a dissenting view manages to get in the press (like the Cade Metz articles that quoted various dissident Wikipedians including myself), smear it as a tabloid and denounce the people quoted there for making a dastardly attempt to launder their sinister views through the disreputable part of the press. But when, on some issue, the mainstream non-tabloid press seems to be solidly on the side of the dissidents and against the clique, suddenly it's all out the window and original research rules, at least until the clique manages to plant its views in the press. (If Cade Metz should happen to be the sole media voice that actually takes the pro-clique view on any such case, then I guess he would suddenly become a reliable source.)
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Count DeMonet
post Thu 13th March 2008, 12:16am
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QUOTE(dtobias @ Thu 13th March 2008, 12:06am) *
(If Cade Metz should happen to be the sole media voice that actually takes the pro-clique view on any such case, then I guess he would suddenly become a reliable source.)


biggrin.gif I doubt even they'd have the gall to try to pull that one, but I appreciate the bellylaugh.
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WordBomb
post Thu 13th March 2008, 12:29am
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QUOTE(Kato @ Wed 12th March 2008, 4:51pm) *

Here he blows again, this time he's talking about the Jeff Merkey story
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=197715757
QUOTE(JzG)
Calton, yes, precisely. And Carcharoth's point is also valid. We have this situation with agenda-driven reporting by people like Cade Metz, who report only those whose views serve their agenda. It's a problem. I have no solution, other than for the Foundation to mobilise its communications committee and actually respond to some of these stories with "official" accounts of what went on.
What a fool Chapman is. Merkey told me about Jimbo's wiki-protection money racket about five months ago. I didn't feel completely comfortable writing about it in ASM, so I gave it to Cade, who passed back then, and again last week before I decided to write about it myself.

What Guy can't perceive is that Cade Metz is ethical in ways Guy literally cannot perceive. It's like trying to describe red to someone blind since birth. There's no frame of reference for Guy to even begin to understand what sort of thing you're talking about.
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