Sun 27th May 2007, 4:37am
QUOTE(JTM @ Sun 27th May 2007, 2:34am)
As someone who has brought a few articles to featured status myself, I appreciate your efforts. Nonetheless, seeing all the perturbations and the time you and many others spent dealing with the "Little Fatty" article, I believe this is a fair question: WTF?/
Seriously, in the midst of defending and debating the merits of this article, did you ever consider that your obvious abilities could have been used elsewhere on the project? The kid sound like this week's internet fad. Three months from now, he will all be all but forgotten, just another meme that someone might wistfully recall. Even if the kid comes arguably within the definition of notability, extremely few people care.
To make a not-so-apt analogy, why defend the indefensible in court? Wouldn't that time be better spent defending the falsely accused? Or, even better, if we can't be bothered with making sure we get the right answer properly on the cases that aren't contested as much, how can we possibly protest when more contentious situations matter. In the case of "Little Fatty," any subject where multiple references call him "the most famous face in China" needs to be in a general interest encyclopedia, period. There are many, many things in history that may have been "forgotten" at one point just to pop up again later. When an article does no harm to anyone, and reflects a situation that undoubtedly meets any reasonable person's standard of "importance," there's no reason not to fight for it.
And even fighting for it, we're seeing the situation take a turn for the worse, with administrators (always the same crew, isn't it?) deciding they now have a mandate to make policy on their own. This is why we have to fight that. I know this place seems to side with them on the BLP issue - that's your prerogative, but a line exists somewhere, and I don't think that's up to a couple people to make.
Please don't take this personally. it is certainly not meant to be. Rather, I think all the time, effort and energy on the part of both sides arguing whether the article should be kept constitutes a monumental waste of talent and it reflects on how Wikipedia gets perpetually bogged down in Process. In the meantime, hundreds of new articles are appearing, poorly sourced and increasingly obscure, and fewer and fewer seem to want to do anything about the existing articles. My God, I can't help but believe a few years from now people will look back and wonder what the heck they were doing with their time.
To be honest, this is really the first time a meta issue has actively taken me away from a project I've been intent on working on, which is kind of surprising. Wikipedia has a lot of growing up to do, yes - but part of that has to do with its resistance to structure and process. It can't keep existing as the pseudo-anarchy it is. The Foundation is MIA except when it comes to fair use (and they can't even get that straightened out), Jimbo only pops up when wheel warring occurs, and, before you know it, it's crazy.
This is the closest to critical mass I've seen yet, and the first time I've seriously felt the project may be in some significant jeopardy. More and more projects are unafraid to do what Wikipedia's worst are afraid of doing - you have one project cataloguing all people, you have another cataloging all species, we've already lost the webcomics, and Wikipedia's public star isn't exactly getting brighter since the Essjay fiasco.