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> NYB on The Volokh Conspiracy, Some First Thoughts on Wikipedia
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post Fri 15th May 2009, 3:27am
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QUOTE(Newyorkbrad @ Fri 15th May 2009, 3:15am) *

I wonder exactly how long it will take before someone objects that I'm using Wikipedia for self-promotion.


You're using Wikipedia for self-promotion.

do I get a prize?
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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 3:41am
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QUOTE(Newyorkbrad @ Thu 14th May 2009, 11:15pm) *

As previously promised, before I finish my guest blogging stint in a few days, I'll post links to here (both the board and the blog) and to Akahele, just so none can suggest that the purpose of my blogging there is to sugar-coat anything. I can't promise how many Volokh Conspiracy readers will follow the links, though: you can lead a horse to water, but …

Apropos of nothing … In one of the comment threads there, Mr. Brandt criticized the fact that I still haven't posted my real name on Wikipedia yet. Obviously, at this point I've decided to go ahead and make public that IBM=NYB, so at some point I'll probably post my name on my userpage, along with a couple of sentences of real-world bio (I'm a litigation attorney in New York, I'm the Werowance of the Wolfe Pack, etc.). I wonder exactly how long it will take before someone objects that I'm using Wikipedia for self-promotion.


Only Dead In The Head Wikipediots would suggest that a Standard Author Bio amounts to Self-Promotion, but never mind that now …

I tried to work up an offering for the VC Blog to share my initially parallel but increasingly divergent experiences with Wikipedia — I think most folks there would find it amusing that one of the events that led to my x-communication from Wikipedia was my objection to the use of "Wiki-Lawyer" as a pejorative term on the grounds that it defamed the legal profession, but never mind that now — still, it looks like that blog, however grounded it may be in one domain of experience, is like so many other Acadimmerungs of Νεφελοκοκκυγία that I have tried to educate in the past, that is, totally oblivious to the realities of Wikiputia, and where folks have their heads so full of gas about the way it's posed to be that they can't really see how it is.

And I don't see you adding much to the mix but ever more gas.

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Daniel Brandt
post Fri 15th May 2009, 5:28am
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QUOTE(tarantino @ Thu 14th May 2009, 7:13pm) *

This is funny.
QUOTE

Kooks, on the other hand are motivated to post a lot, and would readily respond to calls on Wikipedia Review and other sites to come to VC to take over a Wikipedia thread. (Sheesh, we even have Daniel Brandt here. Somehow I doubt he posted because he's normally a VC lurker.)

I think that people who spend a great deal of time writing Sailor Moon FAQs and anime fan fiction are a little kooky.

Arromdee is actually smarter than he looks. Or at least with a better picture he looks smarter than he used to look. In fact, the résumé he deleted says that he has a PhD in computer science. So we know that he's smart enough to tell the difference between a one and a zero.

(About that PhD, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, since we can no longer ask Essjay to check it out for us.)

But his comment was certainly stupid. With five minutes of research, he might have figured out that the reason I read NYB on VC is because NYB announced it, more than once, on that "kook" site Wikipedia Review. And believe it or not, some of the "kooks" here are actually a hell of a lot smarter than Arromdee. I can't write C-language code as well as Arromdee (but I get by), and I don't read comic books and don't follow anime, but at least I'm smart enough to know that I am, generally speaking, smarter than he is in a lot of other areas.
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Somey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 5:44am
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QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Fri 15th May 2009, 12:28am) *
In fact, the résumé he deleted says that he has a PhD in computer science. So we know that he's smart enough to tell the difference between a one and a zero.

Not if he worked on Peachtree Accounting from 2000 to 2004, he isn't. Yikes, what a mess! It's gotten a little better since then, though.

Still very difficult to integrate with...
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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 2:24pm
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One of the questions that always comes to mind when discussing ArbComics, stand-up or otherwise, is this —

How could any Wikipedian, much less a high ranking one, be sooooo clueless about the realities in the trenches of Wikipedia?

WikiChecker Data : Newyorkbrad
  • 21,835 — Total Edits (25 Feb 2006 – 15 May 2009)
  • 11,516 — Project, Help, MediaWiki, Portal
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O I C …

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CharlotteWebb
post Fri 15th May 2009, 3:37pm
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QUOTE(Brad)

from Poe and poetry to pomegranites and Pokemon; from Poland and Portugal to Powell and Posner; from Pol Pot and Potsdam to polarity and pottery.

Well you forgot to mention potent potables.

Oh damn, it's been deleted. hrmph.gif
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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 4:27pm
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QUOTE(CharlotteWebb @ Fri 15th May 2009, 11:37am) *

QUOTE(Brad)

from Poe and poetry to pomegranites and Pokemon; from Poland and Portugal to Powell and Posner; from Pol Pot and Potsdam to polarity and pottery.


Well you forgot to mention potent potables.

Oh damn, it's been deleted. hrmph.gif




Where the People all have Pyorrhea from eating too many Pomegranites

Ja Ja boing.gif
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Newyorkbrad
post Fri 15th May 2009, 4:54pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Fri 15th May 2009, 10:24am) *

One of the questions that always comes to mind when discussing ArbComics, stand-up or otherwise, is this —

How could any Wikipedian, much less a high ranking one, be sooooo clueless about the realities in the trenches of Wikipedia?

WikiChecker Data : Newyorkbrad
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Jon Awbrey

Well, yeah. When I started I contributed to mainspace, including having created more than 75 pages, but lately I've been focused primarily on arbitration and related activities.

Although I'm not denying the trend you see there, do bear in mind more generally that the pure edit-number data can be misleading. If I create a page in mainspace, that's one edit. If I then vote paragraph-by-paragraph through an arb decision, that can be 20 edits....

I am determined to get back to more article work once the current round of ArbCom cases is wrapped up and my guest-blogging stint on Volokh is completed. And I'm sure Mr. Awbrey will remind me if I forget, because making sure that there are lots of good contributions to Wikipedia mainspace is very important to him. smile.gif
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post Fri 15th May 2009, 5:21pm
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QUOTE(Newyorkbrad @ Fri 15th May 2009, 4:54pm) *

If I create a page in mainspace, that's one edit. If I then vote paragraph-by-paragraph through an arb decision, that can be 20 edits....

Well, few if any articles are created at the size of this opus. I ran out of cigarettes about halfway through it. tongue.gif
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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 5:27pm
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QUOTE(Newyorkbrad @ Fri 15th May 2009, 12:54pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Fri 15th May 2009, 10:24am) *

One of the questions that always comes to mind when discussing ArbComics, stand-up or otherwise, is this —

How could any Wikipedian, much less a high ranking one, be sooooo clueless about the realities in the trenches of Wikipedia?

WikiChecker Data : Newyorkbrad
  • 21,835 — Total Edits (25 Feb 2006 – 15 May 2009)
  • 11,516 — Project, Help, MediaWiki, Portal
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  •  2,584 — Article Page
  •    466 — Article Talk
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O I C …

Jon Awbrey


Well, yeah. When I started I contributed to mainspace, including having created more than 75 pages, but lately I've been focused primarily on arbitration and related activities.

Although I'm not denying the trend you see there, do bear in mind more generally that the pure edit-number data can be misleading. If I create a page in mainspace, that's one edit. If I then vote paragraph-by-paragraph through an arb decision, that can be 20 edits …

I am determined to get back to more article work once the current round of ArbCom cases is wrapped up and my guest-blogging stint on Volokh is completed. And I'm sure Mr. Awbrey will remind me if I forget, because making sure that there are lots of good contributions to Wikipedia mainspace is very important to him. smile.gif


Do what you like. I am simply stepping through the steps of the inquiry process, that begins by "abducing" an explanation for a surprising observation.

The surprising observation is that a presumably intelligent person could continue repeating the same old mythology about Wikipedia — after all these years — in the face of all the contrary evidence that spits in the face of every trooper who spends a long enough time in the trenches.

There are as many likely explanations as there are favorite ways of denying the evidence — I simply picked on a likely first guess.

Of course, it hardly amounts to a fair test anymore — a Modern Major General slumming in the trenches for a day is just not going to get dressed down for having lacquered brass, now is he?

So you really missed out on all that, poor sap …

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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 5:56pm
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Ira's Song & Dance about BLPs trots out more old saws than I have old wood sleep.gif

So let me just give my first & last hoot on the subject:

QUOTE

All but the most self-deluded observers of Wikipedia know that none of the above-ballyhooed reform proposals have any chance of being implemented under the current regime.

Their sole purpose has been to generate a semi-annual, semi-idiotic flood of media coverage about the Wouldn't It Be Luverlies of Wikipedia's Good Intentions.

Jon Awbrey, 15 May 2009, 1:02pm


I am putting a copy here because the Conspiracy Blogware is so antique it can take you 10 minutes to find your own posts again.

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Somey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 6:21pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Fri 15th May 2009, 12:27pm) *
QUOTE(NYB)
Although I'm not denying the trend you see there, do bear in mind more generally that the pure edit-number data can be misleading. If I create a page in mainspace, that's one edit. If I then vote paragraph-by-paragraph through an arb decision, that can be 20 edits …
Do what you like. I am simply stepping through the steps of the inquiry process, that begins by "abducing" an explanation for a surprising observation.

If I understand this correctly, Mr. Awbrey is suggesting that Mr. Brad is too far removed from the realities of WP article-editing to fully understand how bad it can be for people with knowledge of a given subject to deal with the cluelessness and general interference than occurs on a fairly regular basis...?

That may be, but in Mr. Brad's defense, I've looked at his editing history without the benefit of a statistics generator, and IMO he's actually more like me, just on a different website. It isn't just that he uses the Preview button - he clearly tries to fully prepare articles in advance of their initial posting. That can indicate any number of things - meticulousness, mental organization, and most commonly of all, an attempt to avoid unwanted attention, particularly from people who might challenge the article's content or try to have it deleted. It's almost the opposite of the more attention-seeking narcissistic tendency to create new articles in as many edits as possible.

For example, take this relatively early-in-career stub: J. Daniel Mahoney (T-H-L-K-D). The initial edit is here, with all links and such already in place. After that, NYB makes only one edit to the article, to add a "source" template.

OTOH, most of Mr. Brad's newly-created articles have been about various Federal judges, so there isn't a lot of variety in the stubs - they all follow a fairly similar format. That makes it a little easier to obtain a low ratio of edits to newly-created articles.

Unfortunately, on Wikipedia it's difficult to determine user motivation unless that ratio is very low - I suspect that many non-narcissistic people deliberately use more edits to post a new article than they would otherwise need or want, merely because they don't want to be left in the dust by the edit-countitis sufferers, and they can see that few people really look at the details.
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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 6:35pm
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QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 15th May 2009, 2:21pm) *

For example, take this relatively early-in-career stub: J. Daniel Mahoney (T-H-L-K-D). The initial edit is here, with all links and such already in place. After that, NYB makes only one edit to the article, to add a "source" template.


Perfect Illustration of what I'm talking about

Here is the entire 3 year edit history of the article, which remains a stub to this day.

I'm not saying that it's impossible to find yourself slimmed, er, slammed up against the wall by the Cabal in the neighborhood of that kind of turf — we all know better than that — but it's nowhere near as likely as working on Pseudoscience (T-H-L-K-D), or Sigmund Freud (T-H-L-K-D), or Truth (T-H-L-K-D), or even Charles Sanders Peirce (T-H-L-K-D), if that is where they or their minions stalk you back to.

Do you really think I put over 400 edits into an article like Charles Sanders Peirce out of narcissism?

Give me a break …

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Somey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 7:37pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Fri 15th May 2009, 1:35pm) *
Do you really think I put over 400 edits into an article like Charles Sanders Peirce out of narcissism?

Heavens no! But you didn't create any of those articles... (This is the creation diff for the Peirce article, btw.)

There are all sorts of reasons why people use lots of edits to develop an article - in your case, I'd say it was more of a "practice what you preach" thing, given the communal/collaborative nature of Inquiry as you define it (and as evidenced in the development of the Inquiry (T-H-L-K-D) article itself, I might add, which is one of yours).

All I'm saying is that the tendency to want to keep edit-counts to a minimum for newly-created articles can be seen as indicating that the person is trying to avoid attention, which is a fairly evident non-narcissistic impulse. It could also mean that the person is a perfectionist - a mature-depressive tendency - or simply doesn't want to be seen by others as narcissistic, whether or not he/she actually is... but I suspect most people don't engage in that kind of double-bind thinking when they're about to post a WP article.
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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 15th May 2009, 7:59pm
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QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 15th May 2009, 3:37pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Fri 15th May 2009, 1:35pm) *

Do you really think I put over 400 edits into an article like Charles Sanders Peirce out of narcissism?


Heavens no! But you didn't create any of those articles … (This is the creation diff for the Peirce article, btw.)

There are all sorts of reasons why people use lots of edits to develop an article — in your case, I'd say it was more of a "practice what you preach" thing, given the communal/collaborative nature of Inquiry as you define it (and as evidenced in the development of the Inquiry (T-H-L-K-D) article itself, I might add, which is one of yours).

All I'm saying is that the tendency to want to keep edit-counts to a minimum for newly-created articles can be seen as indicating that the person is trying to avoid attention, which is a fairly evident non-narcissistic impulse. It could also mean that the person is a perfectionist — a mature-depressive tendency — or simply doesn't want to be seen by others as narcissistic, whether or not he/she actually is … but I suspect most people don't engage in that kind of double-bind thinking when they're about to post a WP article.


Actually, it wasn't a Creation but a Conversion from a Wiki-Prehistoric Phase of Evilusion, but I don't really see why everything has to turn into a fight about Creationism …

Once again, the surprising observation under investigation is that a presumably intelligent person of presumptively good will is still repeating the Litany Of Lies (LOL) that we all know and many of us don't love so much as Wikipediot Doctrine.

If it was certain other people doing that, then the above-mentioned presumptions would be way too presumptuous, so we'd naturally have other explanations available to us.

The charitable interpretations in this case are:
  1. Ira is extraordinarily blessed or gratuitously lucky.
  2. Ira is blissfully lacking in the relevant experiences.
The relatively small exposure to editing in the trenches is weakly confirmatory of Hype № 2 — it is not itself the Phenom under investigation.

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dtobias
post Fri 15th May 2009, 10:38pm
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That somebody doesn't come out of their Wikipedia experiences with the same outlook as yours doesn't mean that they (or you) are wrong. Wikipedia is enough of a big and complex thing that people's experiences with it can be as diverse as the proverbial blind men feeling parts of an elephant.
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post Sat 16th May 2009, 1:05am
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QUOTE(dtobias @ Fri 15th May 2009, 10:38pm) *

That somebody doesn't come out of their Wikipedia experiences with the same outlook as yours doesn't mean that they (or you) are wrong. Wikipedia is enough of a big and complex thing that people's experiences with it can be as diverse as the proverbial blind men feeling parts of an elephant.

I agree.

I'm sure Reviewers notice all of the comments claiming that there's a left-wing bias on Wikipedia. Whatever else that claim is, it's at least an over-simplification. Parts of Wikipedia have a left-wing bias, an Israel bias, a promotional bias, and so forth. Some topics are abandoned garbage heaps, some are vicious partisan battle grounds, and others actually edit harmoniously.

The relevant question is whether Wikipedia can correct itself and more closely resemble the encyclopedia it supposedly aspires towards. I think people should harbor healthy skepticism about Wikipedia's chances of improving. At the same time, many casual contributors have had mostly positive experiences editing. Even at this late date they feel they're contributing to a useful compilation. There's nothing wrong with that.

This post has been edited by One: Sat 16th May 2009, 1:06am
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 16th May 2009, 1:26am
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QUOTE(dtobias @ Fri 15th May 2009, 6:38pm) *

That somebody doesn't come out of their Wikipedia experiences with the same outlook as yours doesn't mean that they (or you) are wrong. Wikipedia is enough of a big and complex thing that people's experiences with it can be as diverse as the proverbial blind men feeling parts of an elephant.


A well-known fact of life, no matter what we're talking about.

Which is precisely why inquiring minds come together, compare their diverse experiences, seek explanations for the divergent conclusions that different minds draw from their many-splintered POVs, and strive to synthesize a more inclusive picture of the reality that generates them all.

Oh wait, I just violated all the Main Tenets of the Church of Wikipedia, where it's so much Wikier just to ban the books and burn the heretics that displease the Wiki-Priests of the Hour.

Nevermind …

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post Sat 16th May 2009, 3:17am
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QUOTE(One @ Fri 15th May 2009, 9:05pm) *

QUOTE(dtobias @ Fri 15th May 2009, 10:38pm) *

That somebody doesn't come out of their Wikipedia experiences with the same outlook as yours doesn't mean that they (or you) are wrong. Wikipedia is enough of a big and complex thing that people's experiences with it can be as diverse as the proverbial blind men feeling parts of an elephant.


I agree.

I'm sure Reviewers notice all of the comments claiming that there's a left-wing bias on Wikipedia. Whatever else that claim is, it's at least an over-simplification. Parts of Wikipedia have a left-wing bias, an Israel bias, a promotional bias, and so forth. Some topics are abandoned garbage heaps, some are vicious partisan battle grounds, and others actually edit harmoniously.

The relevant question is whether Wikipedia can correct itself and more closely resemble the encyclopedia it supposedly aspires towards. I think people should harbor healthy skepticism about Wikipedia's chances of improving. At the same time, many casual contributors have had mostly positive experiences editing. Even at this late date they feel they're contributing to a useful compilation. There's nothing wrong with that.


Let's get something straight about the ass-sym-metrics of the situation —

I am not the one who shunned them and shut out their experience.

They are the ones who shunned me and shut out my experience.

Klar?

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post Sat 16th May 2009, 12:14pm
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Seven Days In May —

It's rather tricky keeping track of the disconnected blogicles and comments on that site, so I'll make a list here:

One Page To Rule Them All
  1. Ira Matetsky (11 May 2009), Some First Thoughts on Wikipedia
  2. Ira Matetsky (12 May 2009), Wikipedia, the Internet, and Diminished Privacy
  3. Ira Matetsky (13 May 2009), Wikipedia and the Biography Problem, Part 1
  4. Ira Matetsky (14 May 2009), Wikipedia and the Biography Problem, Part 2
  5. Ira Matetsky (15 May 2009), Wikipedia : Who Runs the Place?
  6. Ira Matetsky (16 May 2009), Some Responses to Comments
  7. Ira Matetsky (17 May 2009), Wikipedia : Some Concluding Thoughts and an Invitation
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