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Elara
I can't help but find this amusingly predictable. Thoughts?
the fieryangel
QUOTE(Elara @ Sat 10th February 2007, 12:19am) *


Thoughts? It's just "more of same".

The problem with wikis is that it's supposed to be about "everbody can participate"...yet, there's always some idiot who gets the "special buttons" who's able to completely fuck up the process....

George Orwell got it right the first time; this idea doesn't work.
Jonny Cache
BTDT

Jonny cool.gif
Somey
It took a little while to find it, but here's where this all apparently started:

http://forum.citizendium.org/index.php/topic,514.0.html

It's confusing because there are two Davids - David Still (the teenager with the rather negative opinion of the approval process) and David Tribe, who seems to support David Still and, to some extent, defend him...

If you read the initial "suggestion" post carefully, you can see that David Still is sneering derisively at the way CZ has chosen to operate, at least WRT the article-approval process. (Or, rather, the way Sanger has chosen to operate.) Mind you, Still's suggestions are constructive, but constructive suggestions don't always have to be collegial or nicely-worded, and these really weren't, were they?

So it's hard to say who's in the right on this one... it's easy to criticize Sanger for stuff like this, but the fact is it's an awfully big cake, and he's going to have to break a lot of eggs before it's baked and ready for the chocolate icing and colorful little sprinkles. That's assuming he doesn't just set fire to the kitchen... On the other hand, I personally just happen to think publicly-editable online encyclopedias are a bad idea in general, and to some extent they're his idea, so I really shouldn't be so concerned about sparing his feelings, should I?

So... ehh, whatever! dry.gif
Elara
Publically editable online encyclopedias are fine, if you are realistic about what you expect from them. Isn't that the real problem , pie in the sky style explications about "freeing information" and "sum of human knowledge" and other stirring, exhilarating melodramatic bullshit?

Not that I'm bitter.
the fieryangel
QUOTE(Elara @ Sat 10th February 2007, 1:16pm) *

Publically editable online encyclopedias are fine, if you are realistic about what you expect from them. Isn't that the real problem , pie in the sky style explications about "freeing information" and "sum of human knowledge" and other stirring, exhilarating melodramatic bullshit?

Not that I'm bitter.


Well, Elara, the whole point of bothering to actually work on these sorts of messes has to do with the "sum of human knowledge". Otherwise, why bother? Can we take that as a given, at least for my part of the discussion here?

If we do that, then what exactly is this "sum of human knowledge" that we are supposed to be collecting? What does this idea mean?

I take the position that this is supposed to mean exactly that: the sum of all human knowledge: meaning everything that everybody knows, without saying whether or not that these things are important or not.

Well, you see the problem, obviously. This idea, which is what I think that the Wiki folks started out doing, leads to a lot of articles about japanese cartoons, obscure opera singers that nobody has thought of in centuries (much less ever heard or even heard of), American sitcom plots and the like....what some of us would like to call junk.

Unfortunately, "the sum of all human knowledge" includes a bunch of stuff that most of us would like to forget. People start noticing that the garage band from down the street has a longer article than the one about President McKinley. People start wondering if that porn actress who has only made two films should really have an article, whether the theory of UFO propulsion in the latest edition of the Weekly World News should really be in an encyclopedia. So, people start making rules....and then start using those rules to make other rules.

What ya finally end up with here is that the only things that are acceptable are things which are already out there and easily available to begin with. It ends up by being "this is the sum total of knowledge that WE know and which WE have judged to be important for our particular culture". Nothing new. Nothing original. Nothing groundbreaking. Just "WHAT WE THINK".

The plan is then to box the whole thing up and ship it off to places like Africa where WHAT WE THINK can be taught to everybody in the third and fourth world so that we all think alike. I can just imagine the entire continent of Africa thumping their heads and saying "Oh, Man, why did ya wait so long to clue us in? Now, we can have the three bedroom house, the jag and the hot tube too! Now we can be cool and memorize every plot of the Simpsons and know the title of every Britney Spears record! Gee Thanks!"

The main question that I have for you (or for anyone editing on Wikipedia) is this: Does this sound like a GOOD thing to you?

....and if the answer is what I think it is, then why do you keep doing it? It is really not enough just to say "because it passes the time"....The repercussions of all of this are potentially much greater than anybody can imagine at this point.

And that goes for all wikis.
Nathan
Amusingly enough, Elara said what I wanted to say.
Everyone else thinks of the good comments before I say them wink.gif
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(Nathan @ Sat 10th February 2007, 2:34pm) *

Amusingly enough, Elara said what I wanted to say.
Everyone else thinks of the good comments before I say them wink.gif


i^2.

But then, that deep in the left atrium of Texas would put her mighty close to Aubrey.

But you do bring up one of the few nice features of Wikipedia. Duly devious pen enviers can always perish the pensées of those who publish before them and then promulgate them as their pwn.

Jonny cool.gif
Somey
QUOTE(Elara @ Sat 10th February 2007, 6:16am) *
Publically editable online encyclopedias are fine, if you are realistic about what you expect from them. Isn't that the real problem , pie in the sky style explications about "freeing information" and "sum of human knowledge" and other stirring, exhilarating melodramatic bullshit?

First of all, so many people misspell the word "publicly" now that the misspelling has actually been listed as a variant by Webster's! I find this extremely disconcerting! mad.gif

The whole issue of expectations and the associated melodramatic BS is a good one to bring up, though. We have to look at Wikipedia's growth process in more "organic" terms, and doing that is made much more difficult by the tendency of Wikipedians to express it purely numeric and/or statistical terms - article count, edit count, user count, and the rates of growth for each.

Y'see, the "early adopters" of Wikipedia were "high-volume special-interest" people - i.e., folks who were obsessively into things like pop music, sports, porn stars, video games, cult movies, and TV shows. Just as an example, one of the first websites to fall into near-disuse once WP became popular was ubl.com, the Ultimate Band List. Back when the UBL was started, it was quite popular and grew very quickly. But since each artist could really only have one page, the really serious pop music fans all started moving to Wikipedia, where there were far fewer limitations. Wheee! More link-spamming opportunities than ever! So now, the UBL is trying to redefine itself as a haven for unknown/unsigned acts who, by sheer coincidence, have been the subject of a long-term "non-notability" deletion campaign on WP over the course of the last year or so. It's a nice idea, but it's not likely to restore UBL to its former glory, is it?

Anyhoo, Wikipedia is strong on pop-culture articles because that's what its foundation was. The people running it now don't want to admit that, but it's true. That's what kick-started its growth, gave it name recognition, and it also drew in younger people who gradually started getting older and more interested in so-called "serious" topics. (Not to mention their attachment to the WP community as a replacement for real life, in some cases.)

So... how does this all tie in? I guess I see it as a bait 'n' hook scheme - young, energetic kids are brought into the system by their attraction to the articles on Metallica or Kobe Bryant or Survivor:Palm Beach, but they're hooked by the "sum of all human knowledge" rhetoric that's bandied about to make them feel like they're doing something good and/or important, if not vital in some way. Eventually they start getting into headier topics - which is good for them and their personal development, but perhaps not so good for the topics.

Finally, when Citizendium comes along, people who have been made to feel special in this way have already developed a sense of entitlement. When Larry Sanger tries to take the entitlements away, this is seen as mean-spirited and unfair. In fact, it is mean-spirited and unfair - Sanger and CZ owe at least some of whatever success they're going to have to that very same bait 'n' hook process, and to jettison all of that shows disrespect for the project's real origins.

But at the same time, I'd have to say that if he can get away with it, he should do it. Aside from the fact that it's what he wants, it should also have the effect of more clearly defining the differences between CZ and WP, which is probably a good thing - even if you prefer the WP approach to his.

I do go on, don't I?
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 10th February 2007, 3:25pm) *

The whole issue of expectations and the associated melodramatic BS is a good one to bring up, though. We have to look at Wikipedia's growth process in more "organic" terms, and doing that is made much more difficult by the tendency of Wikipedians to express it purely numeric and/or statistical terms -- article count, edit count, user count, and the rates of growth for each.

<...>

I do go on, don't I?


This has been an organicly statisticly stimulating thread -- to the point of inciting that manifesto you've all been waiting for -- but I will have to ruminate a little while longer on just the right title, as I seldom get much further than the auspicious gut-spilling part.

Jonny cool.gif
Daveydweeb
QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 10th February 2007, 6:12am) *

If you read the initial "suggestion" post carefully, you can see that David Still is sneering derisively at the way CZ has chosen to operate, at least WRT the article-approval process. (Or, rather, the way Sanger has chosen to operate.) Mind you, Still's suggestions are constructive, but constructive suggestions don't always have to be collegial or nicely-worded, and these really weren't, were they?

So it's hard to say who's in the right on this one... it's easy to criticize Sanger for stuff like this, but the fact is it's an awfully big cake, and he's going to have to break a lot of eggs before it's baked and ready for the chocolate icing and colorful little sprinkles. That's assuming he doesn't just set fire to the kitchen... On the other hand, I personally just happen to think publicly-editable online encyclopedias are a bad idea in general, and to some extent they're his idea, so I really shouldn't be so concerned about sparing his feelings, should I?

So... ehh, whatever! dry.gif


First off: As my username probably indicates, I'm Daveydweeb of daveydweeb-dot-com fame. Bow before me, and all that.

You're quite right about the nature of my original post; although, if you'd looked back even further (that is, further than could be reasonably expected smile.gif ), you'll see how much it contrasts with my original tone. In that forum thread, I was going by the name 'stigmata', while 'johnsonmx' is Mike Johnson, a member of the Citizendium executive committee.

Moving back to the original post, it was deliberately written not only to get my point across, but to be as confronting as possible (within reasonable limits). Call me an unsubtle bastard, but I'm not a strong believer in withholding criticism unless it's really necessary; Citizendium was and is a joke, and I'm happy enough to laugh.

The real problem seemed to flare up when Larry saw the original post on my blog, and reacted very strongly against it. I've posted a number of emails from him, but not the first ones in the series -- a lot of the story hasn't really been told, and I don't intend to tell it unless it's actually necessary. The tl;dr version is simply that, after reading the original blog post, Larry immediately contacted me to denounce it.. and, more bizarrely, to refuse to appear in any future episode of Wikipedia Weekly (we hadn't invited him).

Defensiveness was a prime cause of this particular little debate.
Nathan
Welcome to WR, Daveydweeb.

We all know that Larry Sanger is completely out of order but in his own little world, he's right.

Sounds like Jimbo. "Great" minds think alike, don't they?

Typical megalomaniac mentality; you're in control of a huge project and everything goes to your head. In your own little world, you're God. Power corrupts and all that jazz, nothing we haven't seen before again and again ad infinutum.
Poetlister
Welcome to Daveydweeb.
Jonny Cache
One of the red herrings that we find in this ruckus is this business about posting "private" emails. I haven't followed all of the innings and outings of this incident enough to sort them through, but as the First Banned Citizendian I know enough about Larry Sanger's manipulations to guess how it went.

When a person joins an ostensibly "open" forum or list -- and Larry Sanger's venues are about as "ostensible" as they come -- that person is not required by etiquette to maintain the confidentiality of every off-list message that he gets. It is entirely optional to do so.

The reason for this is that a certain type of manipulative person -- and Larry Sanger is about as manipulative as they come -- will often use the "dirty pool" tactic of zinging you off list, and then exploit the bank shot of your inevitable reaction on list. The only way to counter such manipulation is to make it clear that anything you receive from them pursuant to forum business can be posted back to the open forum, or anywhere else that you choose.

Jonny cool.gif
thekohser
I would like to know what WR's reactions are to the comment thread that gets going right here and continues for a couple of volleys.

Am I out of line? Is Guy Chapman out of line? Are we both? Neither?

I'm having trouble remembering whether I am a decent person any more, or whether Guy is, for that matter.

Greg
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 16th February 2007, 2:28pm) *

I would like to know what WR's reactions are to the comment thread that gets going right here and continues for a couple of volleys.

Am I out of line? Is Guy Chapman out of line? Are we both? Neither?

I'm having trouble remembering whether I am a decent person any more, or whether Guy is, for that matter.

Greg


Guy Chapman is a Giga Zit Jerk.

Sorry, best I could do on my way to a very late lunch.

Jonny cool.gif
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Fri 16th February 2007, 2:36pm) *

Guy Chapman is a Giga Zit Jerk.

Sorry, best I could do on my way to a very late lunch.


Allow me to elaborate ...

What you probably didn't know -- cuz nobody there will tell you until it's way too ex post facto to do you any good -- is that Guy Chapman, aka Jimbo's zit Gopher (JzG) , is a 2nd Looey in Walesipedia's WikiPrecog Precrime Unit, and you, my friend, have just been made a Minority Reporter.

Jonny cool.gif
Somey
QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 16th February 2007, 1:28pm) *
Am I out of line? Is Guy Chapman out of line? Are we both? Neither?

Probably both, FWIW. But hey, if Daveydweeb doesn't mind, why should you? smile.gif

The politeness thing isn't really the issue, of course. The crucial thing is whether or not articles about companies are "encyclopedic," or only suitable for a so-called "business directory." In other words, if they admit that articles about marginally-significant commercial entities are "encyclopedic," and I think many of them probably are, then they have to accept the fact that the reason they don't want paid editing is simply because it would damage their community-interaction model, which is in bad enough shape as it is.

Remember, the phrase "conflict of interest" refers to a conflict with their fantasy ideal, not their reality. As has been mentioned here and elsewhere, there is no such thing as a complete lack of bias or a completely neutral perspective, at least not for any given person. They try to achieve lack of bias and "neutrality" by having multiple individuals agree on a so-called "consensus" version of whatever it is they're writing about - not by demanding that writers be unpaid, which is something they could never really enforce anyway. That often doesn't work, obviously, and sometimes fails in quite spectacular fashion.

Anyway, you just made the mistake of being honest with them... That disrupts their fantasy ideal, you see!
gomi
To perhaps turn this back into a serious discussion, I must say that:

1) It seems perfectly reasonable to require authors and editors of an encyclopedia to have college degrees (for reasons expressed elsewhere on this forum, long ago). This tends to mean they're usually going to be 21 years old or more;

2) If Larry Sanger thinks that there is such a thing as a "private" email, he's much dumber than I thought.

3) Yes, User:JzG is certainly a bit of a self-satisfied prick, isn't he? I guess the lack of ability to question oneself goes with the Wiki territory.



Nathan
1) Yes, as long as you're not condescending about it - which is why I made such an off-hand comment to LS.
2) IMNSHO (In my not so humble opinion), that makes him an idiot.
3) Fortunately, I've had no personal dealings with JzG (that I can remember) but he does seem to come off to others as quite the prick.
guy
I'm no fan of that Guy - he plagiarised my name, after all - but he's decidedly C-list compared with some of the people we discuss.
Cobalt
Meh, I don't see why it was a big deal in the first place. So they don't want your suggestion. Nothing to lose sleep over. But that's the internet for you.
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