Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Ziko van Dijk
Hello,

Today I found the time to read the messages about the "Oral Citations"
project and watch the film "People are Knowledge". I hope that we can
go on in this discussion without accusations about racism etc. In
science, it is the quality of the findings that should matter, not the
colour of the researcher's skin (may it be black, white, or green).

== Concerned ==
I must say that I am deeply concerned about the "Oral Citations". If
someone wants to set up a new Wikimedia project for oral traditions or
"oral history", I could live with that although I don't think that it
fits into the scope of Wikimedia. It certainly does not fit into the
scope of Wikipedia.

The film says that recorded "oral history" should be considered to be
a reliable souce "when there are some accessible printed sources on a
subjet, but the sources are incomplete or misleading by way of being
outdated or biased". So, when someone believes that those "accessible
printed sources" are "biased", he comes up with the video of his grand
uncle telling the truth?

== Problems of orality (of the human brain) ==
The film presents some carefully selected scholars supporting the film
makers' opinion, but if you ask the huge majority of historians they
will explain to you why they are so reluctant about "oral history".

Take an example described by Johannes Fried, Memorik, p. 215: The
Gonja in Northern Ghana told to British colonial officials that there
once was the founder of their empire, Ndewura Japka. He had seven
sons, each of them mentioned by name, and each of them administered
one of the seven provinces of the Gonja empire.

Then the British reformed the administration, and only five provinces
remained. Decennias later, when the British rule ended, scholars asked
the people again about the history of Ndewura Japka. Now, the founder
had only five sons. Those two sons, whose provinces were abolished by
the British, were totally erased from memory, if British colonial
records had not preseved their names.

I myself have interviewed people who claimed that they did not write a
peticular letter (which I found in the archives), that they met a
person at a peticular convention (although the person did not
participate at all) and so on. These people may not be liars, but
memory is flexible and unstable. By nature, man is not created to be a
historian, to preserve carefully information in his brain, but to deal
with the actual world he lives in.

== The way of historiography ==
* Historians collect primary sources and try to create a sound and
coherent narrative based on them. Those primary sources are written
records in archives, or already in printed or online editions, or
interviews recorded.
* Then the historians publish their findings in secondary sources.
* Later, text-book and handbook authors read those secondary sources
and create their tertiary sources. Wikipedia is such a tertiary
source.

It is not the task of Wikipedians or even readers to be confronted
with the mass of primary sources and figure out a good synthesis. That
is a work that must be let to scholars (in the largest sence) who have
a good overview on the subject.

Printed books may not be the answer in poor countries, but maybe
e-publishing is, and there are certainly at least some places on the
internet that are suitable for new primary and also secondary sources.
Wikipedia cannot solve all problems in the world, and even Wikimedia
cannot.

Kind regards
Ziko

--
Dr. Ziko van Dijk
The Netherlands
http://zikoblog.wordpress.com/

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson
In reply to this post by Thomas Morton

All sources can be cited without falling afoul of "original research"
Original research only covers claims without sources at all, or claims made from yourself as the source.
Any source, including citing to a video interviews, is never original research.

I don't really get by the way, why this is considered revolutionary.
These aren't "oral citations" in the standard sense, these are citations to a published video.










-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Morton <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 2:33 am
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


This is a really interesting and thoughtfully complete project.
As an editor I am cautious of how well these could be used as citations
ithout falling afoul of "original research".
The first problem I see is that presentation becomes difficult:
> "Interviews with members of the Sk8r
 tribe in 2011 indicated that they have a deep animosity towards the
 neighbouring Emos
Clearly marks the source, but does not clarify who made the interviews,
here the indication came from (i.e. did they say this outright, or did they
ust moan about the Emos constantly - the latter, of course, being a
roblematic conclusion), or who drew the interpretation (if applicable). On
op of that it is not a *great* way to write content - better to stick to
traight facts where possible ("the Sk8r tribe have a deep animosity toward
he Emos").
This can probably be addressed by working out a good way to cite oral
aterial.
The second issue I touched on above; in that editors may have difficulty
rawing purely factual material from the source, rather
han making interpretations. Whilst I could see an argument for a little
eeway on oral material being interpreted, I also think it is a bad idea to
ncourage too much.
Of course, material from academically qualified people (as much of this
articular project seems to be) could happily be treated in the same way as,
ay, an academic writing a book or an article (with the slight caveat of no
ndependent review). But from unqualified people - who is going to draw it
ogether? I've always been in favour of giving experts in a field some
eeway in how they record/report/source/present material in Wikipedia.
owever shifting that to an oral citation is not necessarily a simple task.
*What I do think is incredibly important though is that this material has
uge value in itself - and every effort to encourage more of the same should
e taken! *
In fact we should get as much material such as this as possible, host it,
ranslate it, make it accessible - and encourage secondary academic sources
o make use of it. This could work both as a "hack" to get around the issues
f citing oral material directly as well as contributing to the effort to
xpand knowledge of these areas of study.
I'm excited to see the next step for this... is there going to be more of
his work? Can we get some publicity for this in the relevant academic
ircles? Is there potential for the foundation to fund efforts to collect
ore and more material? Can we look at expanding it to other areas (for
xample - although I appreciate the focus is areas not covered by written
aterial, this would be equally valuable in some parts of the global north;
ven in the UK I could see advantages to recording interviews with different
eople).
Long term we could perhaps even consider a new project that is intended
pecifically to collect oral evidence, host it (through commons), translate
t and make it easy to cite/use. Such a project would be horrendously
aluable and provide insight into all manner of cultures.
Tom
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson
In reply to this post by Sarah Stierch-2

You should not create your own videos and then publish them on Wikipedia.
You should create videos or audio tracks of oral interviews, and then publish them.

Then allow others to add that material to Wikipedia where appropriate.
That's my two cents.








-----Original Message-----
From: Sarah Stierch <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 6:06 am
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


Hi all -
I came across a lighter version of this conversation on another Wikimedia
ist, and felt the need to share my similar thoughts and statements that I
ade previously.
For the past year, I have been examining opportunities involving Indigenous
ommunities of North America and opportunities to utilize Wikipedia and
elated websites as an affordable, unique and global form of cultural
reservation. I have my undergraduate in Native American Studies, and I am
btaining my masters currently. My final paper (not quite a thesis) for
raduation will be a strong examination of the opportunities related to
ndigenous communities and opportunities/pros/cons related to Wikipedia. I'm
ctually presenting on my preliminary observations and concerns at
ikimania, you can learn a bit more here:
http://wikimania2011.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/Wikimedia_%26_Indigenous_Peoples:_Pros,_Cons_and_Community
In the United States, as far as I am aware, I am the only person thinking
bout this on a higher level. While right now I am quite busy with other
atters, come this Fall I will be diving head first into my research. I will
e serving as Wikipedian in Residence at the National Museum of the American
ndian, where I will be working with staff to examine these concerns.  One
f our biggest concerns lies with *oral history*. We have had countless
onversations about the struggles with "no original research" however, in
ral history based societies, we will have a very hard time moving beyond
nything else. As stated previously, the majority of content created related
o Indigenous communities in North America was often written by (and still
s) Anglo anthropologists - some of that data is highly out of date and is
till being utilized on Wikipedia as a source today.
This project, Oral Citations, follows closely with the type of work I am
eeking to do. I have been planning to examine Wikipedia (English at first)
esearch policies and consider proposals or changes in relation to serious
esearch and Indigenous communities. Of course, it all comes down to
unding, and Native people of North American are often the first overlooked
roup - it will take a lot of work, years of effort, and a lot of buy in
hat is needed to be gathered from inside the community itself.
I'm babbling right now, but, this is a very passionate topic for me. I see
ikipedia as providing an affordable and unique way for Indigenous
ommunities to not only learn valuable skills - many of the communities here
n America are among the poorest in the world, you'd think you were in a
eveloping country, and kids barely receive beyond an elementary school
ducation - but to have a broad arena to share stories (that the community
hooses to share of course), beliefs, cosmologies, and traditions so that
hey are accessible and *vetted* for researchers and community members
round the world.
I do hope that some of you are attending Wikimania, I'd like to be able to
ave a break out session of sorts or an unconference to discuss this topic
urther. I'm hoping in the next year to have an international conference of
orts that brings together Indigenous people, open source gurus, and
iki-folks to examine opportunities, processes, and belief systems in
egards to opportunities.
Feel free to email me directly, again, right now I am unable to move quickly
n any major projects due to my already big work load, but, I'm hoping that
his will be large part of my career work as an advocate for Native rights,
 scholar, and an open source-lover.
-Sarah
[w:en:User:SarahStierch]]
On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 8:32 AM, CasteloBranco <
[hidden email]> wrote:
> And why does the people who speaks Malayalam, Hindi and Sepedi need to
 write in English in order to have those oral citations published?
 English is not as universal as some people think. I guess we need to
 find an answer in their own language, so the solution won't be another
 barrier. Also, the escope of this project is much more important for the
 projects on these languages, and for speakers of these languages, rather
 than the English Wikipedia or its readers.

 But that's just me.

 Castelo


 Em 26/07/2011 16:16, whothis escreveu:
 > Looks like an excellent waste of effort.
 >
 > Maybe the problem of publishing non-publishable oral sources occurred to
 > someone on the team. Anyway the english wikipedia seems to be the
 > appropriate place for your original research. I can't wait to read all
 about
 > it.
 >
 > I still think a research project in emesis in the global south or
 something
 > would have suited english wikipedia better but that's just me.
 >
 > Your fan
 >
 > Elizabeth
 >
 >
 > On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 2:38 PM, Achal Prabhala<[hidden email]>
  wrote:
 >
 >> Dear friends,
 >>
 >> At the beginning of 2011, a group of us began working on a project to
 >> explore alternative methods of citation on Wikipedia. We were motivated
 >> by the lack of published resources in much of the non-Anglo-European
 >> world, and the very real difficulty of citing everyday aspects of lived
 >> reality in India and South Africa.
 >>
 >> We are now at a stage where the project is almost complete, and we'd
 >> like to share our work with the broader movement, especially within
 >> India and South Africa.
 >>
 >> There are three languages we worked within: Malayalam, Hindi and Sepedi.
 >>
 >> The project page documents the process and logistics employed, as well
 >> as the findings and results:
 >>
 >> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Oral_Citations
 >>
 >> A film made on the project is available here:
 >>
 >>
 >>
 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:People-are-Knowledge.ogv?withJS=MediaWiki:MwEmbed.js
 >> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:People-are-Knowledge.ogv
 >> or
 >> http://vimeo.com/26469276
 >>
 >> There have been discussions on oral citations for some time now within
 >> the language communities we worked with for the duration of the project.
 >> At this stage, we are really interested in *your* feedback, either on
 >> this list, or on the Discussion section of the project page.
 >>
 >> There are still some things to come, namely:
 >>
 >> - Updates on events, meetings and discussions held around the project
 >> (as they happen)
 >> - Updates on articles created in Malayalam, Hindi and Sepedi as a result
 >> of the project (as they happen)
 >> - English transcripts of the interviews and a full English subtitle
 track
 >> for further translation (we could use some help here).
 >>
 >> We would be very grateful to hear your feedback, and begin a broader
 >> discussion.
 >>
 >> Best wishes,
 >> Achal
 >>
 >>
 >> _______________________________________________
 >> foundation-l mailing list
 >> [hidden email]
 >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
 >>
 >
 >


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--
LAMWIKI Partnership Ambassador for the Wikimedia
oundation<http://www.glamwiki.org>
ikipedian-in-Residence, Archives of American
rt<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:SarahStierch>
nd
arah Stierch Consulting
Historical, cultural & artistic research & advising.*
-----------------------------------------------------
ttp://www.sarahstierch.com/
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=
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Achal Prabhala-2
Hallo, (responses inline)

On Wednesday 27 July 2011 11:36 PM, Wjhonson wrote:
> You should not create your own videos and then publish them on Wikipedia.
> You should create videos or audio tracks of oral interviews, and then publish them.
We did not "create our own videos and then publish them on Wikipedia"
(though it's not clear to me as to why that would be against the spirit
of the movement :)).

What we did is to put out a film that captures the spirit of the
research project.

And we did in fact only put out audio interviews as sources of citation,
which are recorded in full. As you suggest we should, we did: i.e. the
articles created out of the oral citations (posted near the bottom of
the page) use the audio files as citations, as you can see here:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Projects/Oral_Citations#Audio_Files.2FImages

(All of this is documented on the research page, btw).

> Then allow others to add that material to Wikipedia where appropriate.
> That's my two cents.
Once again, the research page is here:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Projects/Oral_Citations

and a link to the film on the project is here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:People-are-Knowledge.ogv

Thanks,
Achal

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sarah Stierch<[hidden email]>
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<[hidden email]>
> Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 6:06 am
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge
>
>
> Hi all -
> I came across a lighter version of this conversation on another Wikimedia
> ist, and felt the need to share my similar thoughts and statements that I
> ade previously.
> For the past year, I have been examining opportunities involving Indigenous
> ommunities of North America and opportunities to utilize Wikipedia and
> elated websites as an affordable, unique and global form of cultural
> reservation. I have my undergraduate in Native American Studies, and I am
> btaining my masters currently. My final paper (not quite a thesis) for
> raduation will be a strong examination of the opportunities related to
> ndigenous communities and opportunities/pros/cons related to Wikipedia. I'm
> ctually presenting on my preliminary observations and concerns at
> ikimania, you can learn a bit more here:
> http://wikimania2011.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/Wikimedia_%26_Indigenous_Peoples:_Pros,_Cons_and_Community
> In the United States, as far as I am aware, I am the only person thinking
> bout this on a higher level. While right now I am quite busy with other
> atters, come this Fall I will be diving head first into my research. I will
> e serving as Wikipedian in Residence at the National Museum of the American
> ndian, where I will be working with staff to examine these concerns.  One
> f our biggest concerns lies with *oral history*. We have had countless
> onversations about the struggles with "no original research" however, in
> ral history based societies, we will have a very hard time moving beyond
> nything else. As stated previously, the majority of content created related
> o Indigenous communities in North America was often written by (and still
> s) Anglo anthropologists - some of that data is highly out of date and is
> till being utilized on Wikipedia as a source today.
> This project, Oral Citations, follows closely with the type of work I am
> eeking to do. I have been planning to examine Wikipedia (English at first)
> esearch policies and consider proposals or changes in relation to serious
> esearch and Indigenous communities. Of course, it all comes down to
> unding, and Native people of North American are often the first overlooked
> roup - it will take a lot of work, years of effort, and a lot of buy in
> hat is needed to be gathered from inside the community itself.
> I'm babbling right now, but, this is a very passionate topic for me. I see
> ikipedia as providing an affordable and unique way for Indigenous
> ommunities to not only learn valuable skills - many of the communities here
> n America are among the poorest in the world, you'd think you were in a
> eveloping country, and kids barely receive beyond an elementary school
> ducation - but to have a broad arena to share stories (that the community
> hooses to share of course), beliefs, cosmologies, and traditions so that
> hey are accessible and *vetted* for researchers and community members
> round the world.
> I do hope that some of you are attending Wikimania, I'd like to be able to
> ave a break out session of sorts or an unconference to discuss this topic
> urther. I'm hoping in the next year to have an international conference of
> orts that brings together Indigenous people, open source gurus, and
> iki-folks to examine opportunities, processes, and belief systems in
> egards to opportunities.
> Feel free to email me directly, again, right now I am unable to move quickly
> n any major projects due to my already big work load, but, I'm hoping that
> his will be large part of my career work as an advocate for Native rights,
>   scholar, and an open source-lover.
> -Sarah
> [w:en:User:SarahStierch]]
> On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 8:32 AM, CasteloBranco<
> [hidden email]>  wrote:
>> And why does the people who speaks Malayalam, Hindi and Sepedi need to
>   write in English in order to have those oral citations published?
>   English is not as universal as some people think. I guess we need to
>   find an answer in their own language, so the solution won't be another
>   barrier. Also, the escope of this project is much more important for the
>   projects on these languages, and for speakers of these languages, rather
>   than the English Wikipedia or its readers.
>
>   But that's just me.
>
>   Castelo
>
>
>   Em 26/07/2011 16:16, whothis escreveu:
>   >  Looks like an excellent waste of effort.
>   >
>   >  Maybe the problem of publishing non-publishable oral sources occurred to
>   >  someone on the team. Anyway the english wikipedia seems to be the
>   >  appropriate place for your original research. I can't wait to read all
>   about
>   >  it.
>   >
>   >  I still think a research project in emesis in the global south or
>   something
>   >  would have suited english wikipedia better but that's just me.
>   >
>   >  Your fan
>   >
>   >  Elizabeth
>   >
>   >
>   >  On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 2:38 PM, Achal Prabhala<[hidden email]>
>    wrote:
>   >
>   >>  Dear friends,
>   >>
>   >>  At the beginning of 2011, a group of us began working on a project to
>   >>  explore alternative methods of citation on Wikipedia. We were motivated
>   >>  by the lack of published resources in much of the non-Anglo-European
>   >>  world, and the very real difficulty of citing everyday aspects of lived
>   >>  reality in India and South Africa.
>   >>
>   >>  We are now at a stage where the project is almost complete, and we'd
>   >>  like to share our work with the broader movement, especially within
>   >>  India and South Africa.
>   >>
>   >>  There are three languages we worked within: Malayalam, Hindi and Sepedi.
>   >>
>   >>  The project page documents the process and logistics employed, as well
>   >>  as the findings and results:
>   >>
>   >>  http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Oral_Citations
>   >>
>   >>  A film made on the project is available here:
>   >>
>   >>
>   >>
>   http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:People-are-Knowledge.ogv?withJS=MediaWiki:MwEmbed.js
>   >>  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:People-are-Knowledge.ogv
>   >>  or
>   >>  http://vimeo.com/26469276
>   >>
>   >>  There have been discussions on oral citations for some time now within
>   >>  the language communities we worked with for the duration of the project.
>   >>  At this stage, we are really interested in *your* feedback, either on
>   >>  this list, or on the Discussion section of the project page.
>   >>
>   >>  There are still some things to come, namely:
>   >>
>   >>  - Updates on events, meetings and discussions held around the project
>   >>  (as they happen)
>   >>  - Updates on articles created in Malayalam, Hindi and Sepedi as a result
>   >>  of the project (as they happen)
>   >>  - English transcripts of the interviews and a full English subtitle
>   track
>   >>  for further translation (we could use some help here).
>   >>
>   >>  We would be very grateful to hear your feedback, and begin a broader
>   >>  discussion.
>   >>
>   >>  Best wishes,
>   >>  Achal
>   >>
>   >>
>   >>  _______________________________________________
>   >>  foundation-l mailing list
>   >>  [hidden email]
>   >>  Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>   >>
>   >
>   >
>
>
>   _______________________________________________
>   foundation-l mailing list
>   [hidden email]
>   Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
>

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Thomas Morton
In reply to this post by WJhonson
>
> All sources can be cited without falling afoul of "original research"
> Original research only covers claims without sources at all, or claims made
> from yourself as the source.
> Any source, including citing to a video interviews, is never original
> research.
>
> Ideally of course, yes. However it is quite hard to work with primary
sources of this nature (i.e. ones that are not summarising a subject) and
avoid interpretation (which is at the core of OR). It is perfectly possible
to cite an iron clad reliable source and still end up doing original
research :) It's just that the risk is greater with these forms of sources.


> I don't really get by the way, why this is considered revolutionary.
> These aren't "oral citations" in the standard sense, these are citations to
> a published video.


Reliability depends on a number of factors; for a video it depends on things
like the identity of the person speaking, the publishing body, etc.

Raw footage of this sort is very much primary sourcing
with potential reliability problems.

The key thing for reliable sources is the idea of *fact checking or peer
review*. This is why the very best sorts of sources are those published in
respected scientific journals - because they have been reviewed for
mistakes, bias, etc.

Ideally these videos would be published as a primary resource, interested
parties would synthesise material and write papers (or give lectures, or
publish a book) - secondary sources - which could then be cited by tertiary
sources, such as us :)

Currently you would have to treat these videos with a modicum of care, under
the usual guidelines for primary source material.

Tom
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson

For actual quotations from sources, you should quote the source exactly.
Then you will never be using original research.

You are going the next step and summarizing and interpreting.  Don't do that.






-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Morton <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 11:19 am
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


>
 All sources can be cited without falling afoul of "original research"
 Original research only covers claims without sources at all, or claims made
 from yourself as the source.
 Any source, including citing to a video interviews, is never original
 research.

 Ideally of course, yes. However it is quite hard to work with primary
ources of this nature (i.e. ones that are not summarising a subject) and
void interpretation (which is at the core of OR). It is perfectly possible
o cite an iron clad reliable source and still end up doing original
esearch :) It's just that the risk is greater with these forms of sources.

 I don't really get by the way, why this is considered revolutionary.
 These aren't "oral citations" in the standard sense, these are citations to
 a published video.

eliability depends on a number of factors; for a video it depends on things
ike the identity of the person speaking, the publishing body, etc.
Raw footage of this sort is very much primary sourcing
ith potential reliability problems.
The key thing for reliable sources is the idea of *fact checking or peer
eview*. This is why the very best sorts of sources are those published in
espected scientific journals - because they have been reviewed for
istakes, bias, etc.
Ideally these videos would be published as a primary resource, interested
arties would synthesise material and write papers (or give lectures, or
ublish a book) - secondary sources - which could then be cited by tertiary
ources, such as us :)
Currently you would have to treat these videos with a modicum of care, under
he usual guidelines for primary source material.
Tom
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Achal Prabhala-2
In reply to this post by Ziko van Dijk
Dear Ziko,

On Wednesday 27 July 2011 09:38 PM, Ziko van Dijk wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Today I found the time to read the messages about the "Oral Citations"
> project and watch the film "People are Knowledge". I hope that we can
> go on in this discussion without accusations about racism etc. In
> science, it is the quality of the findings that should matter, not the
> colour of the researcher's skin (may it be black, white, or green).
>
> == Concerned ==
> I must say that I am deeply concerned about the "Oral Citations". If
> someone wants to set up a new Wikimedia project for oral traditions or
> "oral history", I could live with that although I don't think that it
> fits into the scope of Wikimedia. It certainly does not fit into the
> scope of Wikipedia.
May I say, firstly, that this is an experiment - an experiment which
those of us working on it, and others around us, thought might lead to
interesting results. Secondly, may I also say that the project is not on
"oral history" - it's on using oral sources as citations.

> The film says that recorded "oral history" should be considered to be
> a reliable souce "when there are some accessible printed sources on a
> subjet, but the sources are incomplete or misleading by way of being
> outdated or biased". So, when someone believes that those "accessible
> printed sources" are "biased", he comes up with the video of his grand
> uncle telling the truth?
> == Problems of orality (of the human brain) ==
> The film presents some carefully selected scholars supporting the film
> makers' opinion, but if you ask the huge majority of historians they
> will explain to you why they are so reluctant about "oral history".
Obviously, the scholars and intellectuals we talked to were selected. We
don't pretend otherwise. I am personally not privy to what the "majority
of historians" think. But on that note - this project was about using
oral citations as sources, not about re-writing history. If you will
please take a look at the subjects we covered through the course of this
experiment, you will see that they are: recipes, religious ceremonies,
traditional liquor and folk games. All of these things relate to
everyday events that are practised by a large number of people and can
be observed by anyone....

> Take an example described by Johannes Fried, Memorik, p. 215: The
> Gonja in Northern Ghana told to British colonial officials that there
> once was the founder of their empire, Ndewura Japka. He had seven
> sons, each of them mentioned by name, and each of them administered
> one of the seven provinces of the Gonja empire.
>
> Then the British reformed the administration, and only five provinces
> remained. Decennias later, when the British rule ended, scholars asked
> the people again about the history of Ndewura Japka. Now, the founder
> had only five sons. Those two sons, whose provinces were abolished by
> the British, were totally erased from memory, if British colonial
> records had not preseved their names.
....and none of the articles thus created are about rewriting the
history of the last few centuries or undoing the work of the academy. We
are simply interested in these subjects because they are part of the
everyday life of millions of people like us, and because they haven't
been recorded in print in a form that is useful to Wikipedia.

> I myself have interviewed people who claimed that they did not write a
> peticular letter (which I found in the archives), that they met a
> person at a peticular convention (although the person did not
> participate at all) and so on. These people may not be liars, but
> memory is flexible and unstable. By nature, man is not created to be a
> historian, to preserve carefully information in his brain, but to deal
> with the actual world he lives in.
>
> == The way of historiography ==
> * Historians collect primary sources and try to create a sound and
> coherent narrative based on them. Those primary sources are written
> records in archives, or already in printed or online editions, or
> interviews recorded.
> * Then the historians publish their findings in secondary sources.
> * Later, text-book and handbook authors read those secondary sources
> and create their tertiary sources. Wikipedia is such a tertiary
> source.
>
> It is not the task of Wikipedians or even readers to be confronted
> with the mass of primary sources and figure out a good synthesis. That
> is a work that must be let to scholars (in the largest sence) who have
> a good overview on the subject.
I don't think that anything in this project suggests otherwise. The
system on Wikipedia (including a respect of traditionally published
history) works. It doesn't work, however, for large parts of the world,
and that is something you seem to agree with. Given the everyday aspects
of life that we've run oral citation experiments with here, you might
agree that the experts on recipes would be people who cook; that the
experts on traditional liquor might be the women who make and drink it.
So it isn't clear why "scholars" are necessarily the last word on all
subjects of knowledge - currently, on Wikipedia, even we acknowledge
various levels of expertise outside the academia, for instance, journalists.
> Printed books may not be the answer in poor countries, but maybe
> e-publishing is, and there are certainly at least some places on the
> internet that are suitable for new primary and also secondary sources.
> Wikipedia cannot solve all problems in the world, and even Wikimedia
> cannot.
I'm simplifying your question here, but I think we must consider what is
- to some extent - a fetish with form. If I turned all the audio
interviews we recorded into "e-books" (in itself, simply a matter of
transcribing them, putting them in a pdf file and uploading them
somewhere on the www) - how would that alter the basis of the source?
> Kind regards
> Ziko
Thank you - my response here is in the spirit of discussion, as we
believe there is something useful to take away from this project.


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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Achal Prabhala-2
In reply to this post by WJhonson
Hallo, (responses inline)

On Wednesday 27 July 2011 11:57 PM, Wjhonson wrote:
> For actual quotations from sources, you should quote the source exactly.
> Then you will never be using original research.

I don't actually understand what this means. If you look at the articles
created:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Oral_Citations#Articles.2F_Discussions_.28in_development.29

you can see exactly how the citations are used. In the articles, each
statement that can be attributed to a particular audio interview is
cited to that audio interview. Do you mean also using quotes for actual
words in the text of the article itself?

> You are going the next step and summarizing and interpreting.  Don't do that.

Actually, no. We are not summarizing or interpreting, merely reporting
the content of the cited audio interviews (and the accumulated reports,
sometimes conflicting, gathered in the course of several audio
interviews) in exactly the same way one would do if the sources were
journal articles instead.

But if I haven't understood your questions correctly, please elaborate
and explain further.

Thanks,
Achal

>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Thomas Morton<[hidden email]>
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<[hidden email]>
> Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 11:19 am
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge
>
>
>   All sources can be cited without falling afoul of "original research"
>   Original research only covers claims without sources at all, or claims made
>   from yourself as the source.
>   Any source, including citing to a video interviews, is never original
>   research.
>
>   Ideally of course, yes. However it is quite hard to work with primary
> ources of this nature (i.e. ones that are not summarising a subject) and
> void interpretation (which is at the core of OR). It is perfectly possible
> o cite an iron clad reliable source and still end up doing original
> esearch :) It's just that the risk is greater with these forms of sources.
>
>   I don't really get by the way, why this is considered revolutionary.
>   These aren't "oral citations" in the standard sense, these are citations to
>   a published video.
>
> eliability depends on a number of factors; for a video it depends on things
> ike the identity of the person speaking, the publishing body, etc.
> Raw footage of this sort is very much primary sourcing
> ith potential reliability problems.
> The key thing for reliable sources is the idea of *fact checking or peer
> eview*. This is why the very best sorts of sources are those published in
> espected scientific journals - because they have been reviewed for
> istakes, bias, etc.
> Ideally these videos would be published as a primary resource, interested
> arties would synthesise material and write papers (or give lectures, or
> ublish a book) - secondary sources - which could then be cited by tertiary
> ources, such as us :)
> Currently you would have to treat these videos with a modicum of care, under
> he usual guidelines for primary source material.
> Tom
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> oundation-l mailing list
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> nsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

CasteloBranco
In reply to this post by Thomas Morton
Tom,

The fundamental difference in our views is that you talk about
translation, and i'm talking about another thing. The projects are not
bare translations of another language version (let's say, the English
version). Every project (en.wiki, pt.wiki, eo.wiki) has its own
community, which is not a group of translators. They produce the
articles that are interesting for them, and write in a style which is
neutral for its community. Maybe the result wouldn't be the same for
another project, and not because i say it, but simply because these
things take place in parallel. What i said is that the result of a
discussion on an article in a project doesn't apply for the other
projects, so the same article can have a version deleted in a project
and featured in another.  The choice itself of articles which are
considered "encyclopedic" enough to be kept may vary a lot from
community to community.

About using English as the "transfer language", well... the knowledge
already exists in another language, the interviews are recorded in
native languages. Why don't we use the original language as a source? Or
shall we ask people to make those oral citations in English, just
because it "is the predominantly spoken language of Wikimedia"? What if
those people can't speak English? Should they learn it first, to have
those oral citations published? It doesn't seem very reasonable.

I think this is a very interesting project, in order to improve quality
*specially* for other projects than en.wiki, but also - why not? - in
en.wiki. "Specially" because the subject of those citations are surely
interesting for those people, but maybe not for another ones.  For now,
this is hard because of the lack of written sources, but with the Oral
Citations projects, this can more frequently happen.

One question: with the videos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, will the
transcriptions be made on the respectives Wikisources (in Zulu, Swahili,
Malagasy, etc.) with translations to the other versions? Or should we
use the Wikinews, once they are interviews?

Castelo

Em 27/07/2011 12:49, Thomas Morton escreveu:

>> How about Brazilian "caldo de sururu", which is missing on en.wiki (and
>> also
>> on pt.wiki)? It's surely a lack for pt.wiki, but maybe not for en.wiki,
>>
> Perhaps this is the fundamental difference in our views; because I consider
> that a lack on *any language Wikipedia* whether pt, en, de, fr etc....
>
>
>> On wikipedias, people doesn't look for other discussions (AfD) on the
>> same article in another language before deleting an article for lack of
>> notability. So you can expect that some valid unit of knowledge in one
>> language is not surely (or automatic) valid in another.
>>
> This is not so much a problem to be looked at from the perspective of "oh
> their just not interested in X cultural articles", but from the perspective
> of how to convince editors to accept a less Y-centric viewpoint and include
> articles of relevance to X culture. This idea needs directing at en.wiki
> certainly, and probably at other language Wiki's too (because they also tend
> to have centric-attitudes needing to be overcome).
>
>
>
>> And English is not that 'global lingua franca'.
>
> It is, though, the predominantly spoken language of *Wikimedia*, at the
> moment (and that is not likely to change soon). So as a transfer language it
> is often our best bet.
>
> The point I was trying to make is that to get the material translated into *as
> many languages* as possible it needs a path of least resistance - whereby
> you have the maximum amount of translators available to process material. If
> English is no good as a "common" language from which to work on that then,
> fine, lets consider other options!
>
> There is no ideal solution yet available where we can all use our own
> languages and still interact effectively - grumping about translation
> efforts in light of that doesn't seem very constructive...
>
> Tom
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson
In reply to this post by Achal Prabhala-2

Achal I was responding to Thomas not to you.
However yes, if you are quoting what an interviewee is saying, you should use quotation marks to offset their statements.
Or even use the blockquote markup for a lengthy quotation.

If you do something like decide that because three people said "King Makambo ruled from 800 to 840" that you can simply state this in an article and cite the video, I would suggest that is a decision not well-founded on our editing principles.

Citations to primary sources should, in my opinion, always use quotation marks.  And never fail to do so.






-----Original Message-----
From: Achal Prabhala <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 11:53 am
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


Hallo, (responses inline)
On Wednesday 27 July 2011 11:57 PM, Wjhonson wrote:
 For actual quotations from sources, you should quote the source exactly.
 Then you will never be using original research.
I don't actually understand what this means. If you look at the articles
reated:
ttp://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Oral_Citations#Articles.2F_Discussions_.28in_development.29
you can see exactly how the citations are used. In the articles, each
tatement that can be attributed to a particular audio interview is
ited to that audio interview. Do you mean also using quotes for actual
ords in the text of the article itself?
> You are going the next step and summarizing and interpreting.  Don't do that.
Actually, no. We are not summarizing or interpreting, merely reporting
he content of the cited audio interviews (and the accumulated reports,
ometimes conflicting, gathered in the course of several audio
nterviews) in exactly the same way one would do if the sources were
ournal articles instead.
But if I haven't understood your questions correctly, please elaborate
nd explain further.
Thanks,
chal
>




 -----Original Message-----
 From: Thomas Morton<[hidden email]>
 To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<[hidden email]>
 Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 11:19 am
 Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


   All sources can be cited without falling afoul of "original research"
   Original research only covers claims without sources at all, or claims made
   from yourself as the source.
   Any source, including citing to a video interviews, is never original
   research.

   Ideally of course, yes. However it is quite hard to work with primary
 ources of this nature (i.e. ones that are not summarising a subject) and
 void interpretation (which is at the core of OR). It is perfectly possible
 o cite an iron clad reliable source and still end up doing original
 esearch :) It's just that the risk is greater with these forms of sources.

   I don't really get by the way, why this is considered revolutionary.
   These aren't "oral citations" in the standard sense, these are citations to
   a published video.

 eliability depends on a number of factors; for a video it depends on things
 ike the identity of the person speaking, the publishing body, etc.
 Raw footage of this sort is very much primary sourcing
 ith potential reliability problems.
 The key thing for reliable sources is the idea of *fact checking or peer
 eview*. This is why the very best sorts of sources are those published in
 espected scientific journals - because they have been reviewed for
 istakes, bias, etc.
 Ideally these videos would be published as a primary resource, interested
 arties would synthesise material and write papers (or give lectures, or
 ublish a book) - secondary sources - which could then be cited by tertiary
 ources, such as us :)
 Currently you would have to treat these videos with a modicum of care, under
 he usual guidelines for primary source material.
 Tom
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Achal Prabhala-2
Hallo, (responses inline)

On Thursday 28 July 2011 12:27 AM, Wjhonson wrote:
> Achal I was responding to Thomas not to you.
> However yes, if you are quoting what an interviewee is saying, you should use quotation marks to offset their statements.
> Or even use the blockquote markup for a lengthy quotation.

My own understanding is that this is not a requirement of a print
article (say, a journal essay or a NYTimes report).

> If you do something like decide that because three people said "King Makambo ruled from 800 to 840" that you can simply state this in an article and cite the video, I would suggest that is a decision not well-founded on our editing principles.
It is therefore not clear why on the oral citations we make (linked to
the audio interview source) we should therefore do that. Two quick
clarifications again, because I fear that these are causing some confusion:

1) We don't have any video citations, only oral citations, linked to
audio interviews.

2) None of the articles created (or in creation) are about things
related to fictional Kings & Queens in the 9th century AD. In short:
we're not wading into the murky territory of rewriting events that
happened 13 centuries ago. I think the distinction is important because
there is an underlying feeling one gets here - and from a few other
posts - that somehow this experiment with oral citations opens up the
opportunity to write fictionalised accounts of the history of the world,
which would make for good science fiction, which is in itself a good
thing - but also far above our pay grade. :)


> Citations to primary sources should, in my opinion, always use quotation marks.  And never fail to do so.
>
>
>
While this is a possibility, there is no policy on citation of primary
sources on Wikipedia. In academia, field work and interviews are often
paraphrased; they definitely do not have to be reported inside quotes,
though of course, they may be.

>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Achal Prabhala<[hidden email]>
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<[hidden email]>
> Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 11:53 am
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge
>
>
> Hallo, (responses inline)
> On Wednesday 27 July 2011 11:57 PM, Wjhonson wrote:
>   For actual quotations from sources, you should quote the source exactly.
>   Then you will never be using original research.
> I don't actually understand what this means. If you look at the articles
> reated:
> ttp://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Oral_Citations#Articles.2F_Discussions_.28in_development.29
> you can see exactly how the citations are used. In the articles, each
> tatement that can be attributed to a particular audio interview is
> ited to that audio interview. Do you mean also using quotes for actual
> ords in the text of the article itself?
>> You are going the next step and summarizing and interpreting.  Don't do that.
> Actually, no. We are not summarizing or interpreting, merely reporting
> he content of the cited audio interviews (and the accumulated reports,
> ometimes conflicting, gathered in the course of several audio
> nterviews) in exactly the same way one would do if the sources were
> ournal articles instead.
> But if I haven't understood your questions correctly, please elaborate
> nd explain further.
> Thanks,
> chal
>
>
>
>   -----Original Message-----
>   From: Thomas Morton<[hidden email]>
>   To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<[hidden email]>
>   Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 11:19 am
>   Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge
>
>
>     All sources can be cited without falling afoul of "original research"
>     Original research only covers claims without sources at all, or claims made
>     from yourself as the source.
>     Any source, including citing to a video interviews, is never original
>     research.
>
>     Ideally of course, yes. However it is quite hard to work with primary
>   ources of this nature (i.e. ones that are not summarising a subject) and
>   void interpretation (which is at the core of OR). It is perfectly possible
>   o cite an iron clad reliable source and still end up doing original
>   esearch :) It's just that the risk is greater with these forms of sources.
>
>     I don't really get by the way, why this is considered revolutionary.
>     These aren't "oral citations" in the standard sense, these are citations to
>     a published video.
>
>   eliability depends on a number of factors; for a video it depends on things
>   ike the identity of the person speaking, the publishing body, etc.
>   Raw footage of this sort is very much primary sourcing
>   ith potential reliability problems.
>   The key thing for reliable sources is the idea of *fact checking or peer
>   eview*. This is why the very best sorts of sources are those published in
>   espected scientific journals - because they have been reviewed for
>   istakes, bias, etc.
>   Ideally these videos would be published as a primary resource, interested
>   arties would synthesise material and write papers (or give lectures, or
>   ublish a book) - secondary sources - which could then be cited by tertiary
>   ources, such as us :)
>   Currently you would have to treat these videos with a modicum of care, under
>   he usual guidelines for primary source material.
>   Tom
>   ______________________________________________
>   oundation-l mailing list
>   [hidden email]
>   nsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson

So you wish to claim that you can make factual statements, based on oral interviews which are primary sources.

I find that position troubling.
I would suggest, should you actually present such a theory at our policy pages, you'd find strong opposition to this unique perspective.

Our policy does not mimic the policy of a print journal.  Wikipedia is not a secondary source in that sense.
It has rather been described as a "tertiary" source.
Encyclopedias in a general sense summarize and interpret multiple secondary sources with some primary source as well.

However this appears to be a leap that we should not make, IMHO.
I don't think requiring the use of quotations when you are quoting is much of a leap.
I do think, presenting facts, conclusions and positions based on a few data points only is irregular.






-----Original Message-----
From: Achal Prabhala <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 12:09 pm
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


Hallo, (responses inline)
On Thursday 28 July 2011 12:27 AM, Wjhonson wrote:
 Achal I was responding to Thomas not to you.
 However yes, if you are quoting what an interviewee is saying, you should use
uotation marks to offset their statements.
 Or even use the blockquote markup for a lengthy quotation.
My own understanding is that this is not a requirement of a print
rticle (say, a journal essay or a NYTimes report).
> If you do something like decide that because three people said "King Makambo
uled from 800 to 840" that you can simply state this in an article and cite the
ideo, I would suggest that is a decision not well-founded on our editing
rinciples.
t is therefore not clear why on the oral citations we make (linked to
he audio interview source) we should therefore do that. Two quick
larifications again, because I fear that these are causing some confusion:
1) We don't have any video citations, only oral citations, linked to
udio interviews.
2) None of the articles created (or in creation) are about things
elated to fictional Kings & Queens in the 9th century AD. In short:
e're not wading into the murky territory of rewriting events that
appened 13 centuries ago. I think the distinction is important because
here is an underlying feeling one gets here - and from a few other
osts - that somehow this experiment with oral citations opens up the
pportunity to write fictionalised accounts of the history of the world,
hich would make for good science fiction, which is in itself a good
hing - but also far above our pay grade. :)

 Citations to primary sources should, in my opinion, always use quotation
arks.  And never fail to do so.



hile this is a possibility, there is no policy on citation of primary
ources on Wikipedia. In academia, field work and interviews are often
araphrased; they definitely do not have to be reported inside quotes,
hough of course, they may be.


 -----Original Message-----
 From: Achal Prabhala<[hidden email]>
 To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<[hidden email]>
 Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 11:53 am
 Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


 Hallo, (responses inline)
 On Wednesday 27 July 2011 11:57 PM, Wjhonson wrote:
   For actual quotations from sources, you should quote the source exactly.
   Then you will never be using original research.
 I don't actually understand what this means. If you look at the articles
 reated:
 ttp://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Oral_Citations#Articles.2F_Discussions_.28in_development.29
 you can see exactly how the citations are used. In the articles, each
 tatement that can be attributed to a particular audio interview is
 ited to that audio interview. Do you mean also using quotes for actual
 ords in the text of the article itself?
> You are going the next step and summarizing and interpreting.  Don't do that.
 Actually, no. We are not summarizing or interpreting, merely reporting
 he content of the cited audio interviews (and the accumulated reports,
 ometimes conflicting, gathered in the course of several audio
 nterviews) in exactly the same way one would do if the sources were
 ournal articles instead.
 But if I haven't understood your questions correctly, please elaborate
 nd explain further.
 Thanks,
 chal



   -----Original Message-----
   From: Thomas Morton<[hidden email]>
   To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<[hidden email]>
   Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 11:19 am
   Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


     All sources can be cited without falling afoul of "original research"
     Original research only covers claims without sources at all, or claims
ade
     from yourself as the source.
     Any source, including citing to a video interviews, is never original
     research.

     Ideally of course, yes. However it is quite hard to work with primary
   ources of this nature (i.e. ones that are not summarising a subject) and
   void interpretation (which is at the core of OR). It is perfectly possible
   o cite an iron clad reliable source and still end up doing original
   esearch :) It's just that the risk is greater with these forms of sources.

     I don't really get by the way, why this is considered revolutionary.
     These aren't "oral citations" in the standard sense, these are citations
o
     a published video.

   eliability depends on a number of factors; for a video it depends on things
   ike the identity of the person speaking, the publishing body, etc.
   Raw footage of this sort is very much primary sourcing
   ith potential reliability problems.
   The key thing for reliable sources is the idea of *fact checking or peer
   eview*. This is why the very best sorts of sources are those published in
   espected scientific journals - because they have been reviewed for
   istakes, bias, etc.
   Ideally these videos would be published as a primary resource, interested
   arties would synthesise material and write papers (or give lectures, or
   ublish a book) - secondary sources - which could then be cited by tertiary
   ources, such as us :)
   Currently you would have to treat these videos with a modicum of care, under
   he usual guidelines for primary source material.
   Tom
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

David Goodman-2
In reply to this post by WJhonson
On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 2:27 PM, Wjhonson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> For actual quotations from sources, you should quote the source exactly.
> Then you will never be using original research.
>
> You are going the next step and summarizing and interpreting.  Don't do that.

But selecting what quotations to use, what parts of them to use, and
in what context one uses them, and the language one uses to present
them, is a not a mechanical or necessarily neutral endeavor. It cannot
be done without summarizing and interpreting.

Certainly in Wikipedia and everywhere else the world also,
unrepresentative of partial quotations are used to propagandistic or
controversial effect--sometimes even deliberately, but more often
because the particular quotation and manner fits what the editor
desires to express. A person in the course of a long career will say
many things on their main interests, and some will be  at  least
partially contradictory. Selecting what represents the person's true
views, what represents a true change of opinion, what represent
erratic misstatements --all of this require decisions which amount to
what we call original research and synthesis. It is not possible to
write any but the most trivial article without research and synthesis.
Preparing a summary of the state of a question intrinsically requires
it. Deciding of the balance of an article necessarily involves having
a POV--if one approaches a subject where one has none initially, by
the time the article has been finished, one or the other position is
sure to have been found more appealing, and a non-neural POV is sure
to have developed.

The writing of secondary and tertiary works   are inevitably
associated with bias.  The way by which we avoid its worst
manifestations in Wikipedia is not by being free from bias, but by
having articles written collectively by a diverse group of people.
What we lose in elegant prose we gain in objectivity. This is why it
is important to  continually increase the number of active
editors--not just to increase the scope, but to ensure adequate eyes
on the articles.

But even so, the different Wikipedias will be inevitably different.
(Attention has recently been called on the  list to
http://manypedia.com/.)  We need in particular more people with
multiple language ability to incorporate the diversity in the
individual encyclopedias.    This is one reason why it is critically
important to develop Wikipedias in the non-Western languages, so their
views too can be represented not just in their own language, but
throughout the project.

 --
David Goodman

DGG at the enWP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson

David how is an exact quote a summary or interpretation?
An exact quote, backed up by the actual audio track is... exact.
You are not summarizing it, and you are not interpreting it either.
You are presenting it.






-----Original Message-----
From: David Goodman <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 12:39 pm
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 2:27 PM, Wjhonson <[hidden email]> wrote:

 For actual quotations from sources, you should quote the source exactly.
 Then you will never be using original research.

 You are going the next step and summarizing and interpreting.  Don't do that.
But selecting what quotations to use, what parts of them to use, and
n what context one uses them, and the language one uses to present
hem, is a not a mechanical or necessarily neutral endeavor. It cannot
e done without summarizing and interpreting.
Certainly in Wikipedia and everywhere else the world also,
nrepresentative of partial quotations are used to propagandistic or
ontroversial effect--sometimes even deliberately, but more often
ecause the particular quotation and manner fits what the editor
esires to express. A person in the course of a long career will say
any things on their main interests, and some will be  at  least
artially contradictory. Selecting what represents the person's true
iews, what represents a true change of opinion, what represent
rratic misstatements --all of this require decisions which amount to
hat we call original research and synthesis. It is not possible to
rite any but the most trivial article without research and synthesis.
reparing a summary of the state of a question intrinsically requires
t. Deciding of the balance of an article necessarily involves having
 POV--if one approaches a subject where one has none initially, by
he time the article has been finished, one or the other position is
ure to have been found more appealing, and a non-neural POV is sure
o have developed.
The writing of secondary and tertiary works   are inevitably
ssociated with bias.  The way by which we avoid its worst
anifestations in Wikipedia is not by being free from bias, but by
aving articles written collectively by a diverse group of people.
hat we lose in elegant prose we gain in objectivity. This is why it
s important to  continually increase the number of active
ditors--not just to increase the scope, but to ensure adequate eyes
n the articles.
But even so, the different Wikipedias will be inevitably different.
Attention has recently been called on the  list to
ttp://manypedia.com/.)  We need in particular more people with
ultiple language ability to incorporate the diversity in the
ndividual encyclopedias.    This is one reason why it is critically
mportant to develop Wikipedias in the non-Western languages, so their
iews too can be represented not just in their own language, but
hroughout the project.
 --
avid Goodman
DGG at the enWP
ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Achal Prabhala-2
In reply to this post by CasteloBranco
Dear Castelo,

On Thursday 28 July 2011 12:25 AM, CasteloBranco wrote:

> Tom,
>
> The fundamental difference in our views is that you talk about
> translation, and i'm talking about another thing. The projects are not
> bare translations of another language version (let's say, the English
> version). Every project (en.wiki, pt.wiki, eo.wiki) has its own
> community, which is not a group of translators. They produce the
> articles that are interesting for them, and write in a style which is
> neutral for its community. Maybe the result wouldn't be the same for
> another project, and not because i say it, but simply because these
> things take place in parallel. What i said is that the result of a
> discussion on an article in a project doesn't apply for the other
> projects, so the same article can have a version deleted in a project
> and featured in another.  The choice itself of articles which are
> considered "encyclopedic" enough to be kept may vary a lot from
> community to community.
>
> About using English as the "transfer language", well... the knowledge
> already exists in another language, the interviews are recorded in
> native languages. Why don't we use the original language as a source? Or
> shall we ask people to make those oral citations in English, just
> because it "is the predominantly spoken language of Wikimedia"? What if
> those people can't speak English? Should they learn it first, to have
> those oral citations published? It doesn't seem very reasonable.
>
> I think this is a very interesting project, in order to improve quality
> *specially* for other projects than en.wiki, but also - why not? - in
> en.wiki. "Specially" because the subject of those citations are surely
> interesting for those people, but maybe not for another ones.  For now,
> this is hard because of the lack of written sources, but with the Oral
> Citations projects, this can more frequently happen.
>
> One question: with the videos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, will the
> transcriptions be made on the respectives Wikisources (in Zulu, Swahili,
> Malagasy, etc.) with translations to the other versions? Or should we
> use the Wikinews, once they are interviews?

We currently have several audio interviews up on commons. The Sepedi
interviews (from South Africa) are simultaneously translated in the
audio to English, so you should be able to understand them. The
Malayalam and Hindi interviews are in those languages only, so harder
for you to understand.

We are working on transcripts, in each of the three languages + English,
for all these audio files, but that will take some time (it is on our
to-do list). Once they are done, perhaps you can make more sense of them.

For the moment, here are the files if you wish to check them out:

Sepedi:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Kgati_Interview1.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Kgati_Interview2.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Kgati_Interview3.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mogkope_Interview1.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mogkope_Interview2.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mokgope_Interview3.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mokgope_Interview4.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mopani-Worms-Recipe_Interview1.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Tsere_tsere_Interview1.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Tsere_tsere_Interview2.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Tsere_tsere_Interview3.ogg


Malayalam:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Dabba-Kali_Interview1.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Neeliyar-Bhagavathi_%28Theyyam%29_Interview1.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Neeliyar-Bhagavathi_%28Theyyam%29_Interview2.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Neeliyar-Bhagavathi_%28Theyyam%29_Interview3.ogg


Hindi:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Gillidanda_Interview1.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Sur_Interview1.ogg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Sur_Interview2.ogg


Cheers,
Achal

> Castelo
>
> Em 27/07/2011 12:49, Thomas Morton escreveu:
>>> How about Brazilian "caldo de sururu", which is missing on en.wiki (and
>>> also
>>> on pt.wiki)? It's surely a lack for pt.wiki, but maybe not for en.wiki,
>>>
>> Perhaps this is the fundamental difference in our views; because I consider
>> that a lack on *any language Wikipedia* whether pt, en, de, fr etc....
>>
>>
>>> On wikipedias, people doesn't look for other discussions (AfD) on the
>>> same article in another language before deleting an article for lack of
>>> notability. So you can expect that some valid unit of knowledge in one
>>> language is not surely (or automatic) valid in another.
>>>
>> This is not so much a problem to be looked at from the perspective of "oh
>> their just not interested in X cultural articles", but from the perspective
>> of how to convince editors to accept a less Y-centric viewpoint and include
>> articles of relevance to X culture. This idea needs directing at en.wiki
>> certainly, and probably at other language Wiki's too (because they also tend
>> to have centric-attitudes needing to be overcome).
>>
>>
>>
>>> And English is not that 'global lingua franca'.
>> It is, though, the predominantly spoken language of *Wikimedia*, at the
>> moment (and that is not likely to change soon). So as a transfer language it
>> is often our best bet.
>>
>> The point I was trying to make is that to get the material translated into *as
>> many languages* as possible it needs a path of least resistance - whereby
>> you have the maximum amount of translators available to process material. If
>> English is no good as a "common" language from which to work on that then,
>> fine, lets consider other options!
>>
>> There is no ideal solution yet available where we can all use our own
>> languages and still interact effectively - grumping about translation
>> efforts in light of that doesn't seem very constructive...
>>
>> Tom
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
>
> _______________________________________________
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>

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Thomas Morton
In reply to this post by WJhonson
>
> David how is an exact quote a summary or interpretation?
> An exact quote, backed up by the actual audio track is... exact.
> You are not summarizing it, and you are not interpreting it either.
> You are presenting it.
>
>
The point David is making is that you are selecting material to quote and
add.

This is a problem that happens a lot anyway; you might have a lengthy piece
of audio, video or text that discusses material - picking a few points to
quote is in itself interpreting what it important. This is why secondary
sources are better - because they do the selection for us :)

Tom
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson

Linking the full audio allows the user to dig into the material without trusting your selection.
Then other editors can select other pieces, or remove your selection.

I personally don't equate "Selection" with "Interpretation".
To me interpretation is modifying the original source using other words.






-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Morton <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 12:45 pm
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


>
 David how is an exact quote a summary or interpretation?
 An exact quote, backed up by the actual audio track is... exact.
 You are not summarizing it, and you are not interpreting it either.
 You are presenting it.


he point David is making is that you are selecting material to quote and
dd.
This is a problem that happens a lot anyway; you might have a lengthy piece
f audio, video or text that discusses material - picking a few points to
uote is in itself interpreting what it important. This is why secondary
ources are better - because they do the selection for us :)
Tom
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Keegan Peterzell
In reply to this post by WJhonson
On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 2:42 PM, Wjhonson <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> David how is an exact quote a summary or interpretation?
> An exact quote, backed up by the actual audio track is... exact.
> You are not summarizing it, and you are not interpreting it either.
> You are presenting it.
>
>
<light hearted>

We shut down simple quote, right?

</light hearted>

--
~Keegan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

CasteloBranco
In reply to this post by Achal Prabhala-2
Yes, Achal, i was listening to them right now. And reading the Meta
page. My question is about the transcription. Should we use Wikisource
(because it is an authoral work) or Wikinews (because it's an interview)
for the written version? Or should we cite the audio file directly?

I'm asking this because Wikinews can maybe be reliable [1] enough. It
has a process for original reports [2] and also for accredited
contributors. [3] With the transcription in Wikinews, following these
policies, we can assume we are using a neutral source, and therefore we
can use news citations ({{cite news}}, for instance, or a specific one).
This is what we would do if we were using any interview in some news
magazine available on internet as a source for Wikipedia, isn't?

We can also develop something similar for Wikisource (which is already
used for transcriptions, in general). What do you think?

Well, maybe the better place for that is Meta talk page.[4]

Castelo

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOURCES#Reliable_sources
[2] http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Original_reporting
[3] http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Accreditation_policy
[4] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research_talk:Oral_Citations

Em 27/07/2011 16:42, Achal Prabhala escreveu:

> Dear Castelo,
>
> On Thursday 28 July 2011 12:25 AM, CasteloBranco wrote:
>> Tom,
>>
>> The fundamental difference in our views is that you talk about
>> translation, and i'm talking about another thing. The projects are not
>> bare translations of another language version (let's say, the English
>> version). Every project (en.wiki, pt.wiki, eo.wiki) has its own
>> community, which is not a group of translators. They produce the
>> articles that are interesting for them, and write in a style which is
>> neutral for its community. Maybe the result wouldn't be the same for
>> another project, and not because i say it, but simply because these
>> things take place in parallel. What i said is that the result of a
>> discussion on an article in a project doesn't apply for the other
>> projects, so the same article can have a version deleted in a project
>> and featured in another.  The choice itself of articles which are
>> considered "encyclopedic" enough to be kept may vary a lot from
>> community to community.
>>
>> About using English as the "transfer language", well... the knowledge
>> already exists in another language, the interviews are recorded in
>> native languages. Why don't we use the original language as a source? Or
>> shall we ask people to make those oral citations in English, just
>> because it "is the predominantly spoken language of Wikimedia"? What if
>> those people can't speak English? Should they learn it first, to have
>> those oral citations published? It doesn't seem very reasonable.
>>
>> I think this is a very interesting project, in order to improve quality
>> *specially* for other projects than en.wiki, but also - why not? - in
>> en.wiki. "Specially" because the subject of those citations are surely
>> interesting for those people, but maybe not for another ones.  For now,
>> this is hard because of the lack of written sources, but with the Oral
>> Citations projects, this can more frequently happen.
>>
>> One question: with the videos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, will the
>> transcriptions be made on the respectives Wikisources (in Zulu, Swahili,
>> Malagasy, etc.) with translations to the other versions? Or should we
>> use the Wikinews, once they are interviews?
> We currently have several audio interviews up on commons. The Sepedi
> interviews (from South Africa) are simultaneously translated in the
> audio to English, so you should be able to understand them. The
> Malayalam and Hindi interviews are in those languages only, so harder
> for you to understand.
>
> We are working on transcripts, in each of the three languages + English,
> for all these audio files, but that will take some time (it is on our
> to-do list). Once they are done, perhaps you can make more sense of them.
>
> For the moment, here are the files if you wish to check them out:
>
> Sepedi:
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Kgati_Interview1.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Kgati_Interview2.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Kgati_Interview3.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mogkope_Interview1.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mogkope_Interview2.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mokgope_Interview3.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mokgope_Interview4.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Mopani-Worms-Recipe_Interview1.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Tsere_tsere_Interview1.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Tsere_tsere_Interview2.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Tsere_tsere_Interview3.ogg
>
>
> Malayalam:
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Dabba-Kali_Interview1.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Neeliyar-Bhagavathi_%28Theyyam%29_Interview1.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Neeliyar-Bhagavathi_%28Theyyam%29_Interview2.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Neeliyar-Bhagavathi_%28Theyyam%29_Interview3.ogg
>
>
> Hindi:
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Gillidanda_Interview1.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Sur_Interview1.ogg
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PeopleAreKnowledge_Sur_Interview2.ogg
>
>
> Cheers,
> Achal
>> Castelo
>>
>> Em 27/07/2011 12:49, Thomas Morton escreveu:
>>>> How about Brazilian "caldo de sururu", which is missing on en.wiki (and
>>>> also
>>>> on pt.wiki)? It's surely a lack for pt.wiki, but maybe not for en.wiki,
>>>>
>>> Perhaps this is the fundamental difference in our views; because I consider
>>> that a lack on *any language Wikipedia* whether pt, en, de, fr etc....
>>>
>>>
>>>> On wikipedias, people doesn't look for other discussions (AfD) on the
>>>> same article in another language before deleting an article for lack of
>>>> notability. So you can expect that some valid unit of knowledge in one
>>>> language is not surely (or automatic) valid in another.
>>>>
>>> This is not so much a problem to be looked at from the perspective of "oh
>>> their just not interested in X cultural articles", but from the perspective
>>> of how to convince editors to accept a less Y-centric viewpoint and include
>>> articles of relevance to X culture. This idea needs directing at en.wiki
>>> certainly, and probably at other language Wiki's too (because they also tend
>>> to have centric-attitudes needing to be overcome).
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> And English is not that 'global lingua franca'.
>>> It is, though, the predominantly spoken language of *Wikimedia*, at the
>>> moment (and that is not likely to change soon). So as a transfer language it
>>> is often our best bet.
>>>
>>> The point I was trying to make is that to get the material translated into *as
>>> many languages* as possible it needs a path of least resistance - whereby
>>> you have the maximum amount of translators available to process material. If
>>> English is no good as a "common" language from which to work on that then,
>>> fine, lets consider other options!
>>>
>>> There is no ideal solution yet available where we can all use our own
>>> languages and still interact effectively - grumping about translation
>>> efforts in light of that doesn't seem very constructive...
>>>
>>> Tom
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> foundation-l mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Ziko van Dijk
In reply to this post by Achal Prabhala-2
Dear Achal,

I don't have a form fetishism :-) although I highly prefer written to
oral sources for many practical reasons. You know that in oral history
projects the transcription is an essential part of the work, by the
way.

What I am pointing to is the difference between primary sources and
secondary sources. It is the utmost important distinction in history
science. I am sure that any introduction to historiography will agree
with me on that.

Kind regards
Ziko




2011/7/27 Achal Prabhala <[hidden email]>:

> Dear Ziko,
>
> On Wednesday 27 July 2011 09:38 PM, Ziko van Dijk wrote:
>> Hello,
>>
>> Today I found the time to read the messages about the "Oral Citations"
>> project and watch the film "People are Knowledge". I hope that we can
>> go on in this discussion without accusations about racism etc. In
>> science, it is the quality of the findings that should matter, not the
>> colour of the researcher's skin (may it be black, white, or green).
>>
>> == Concerned ==
>> I must say that I am deeply concerned about the "Oral Citations". If
>> someone wants to set up a new Wikimedia project for oral traditions or
>> "oral history", I could live with that although I don't think that it
>> fits into the scope of Wikimedia. It certainly does not fit into the
>> scope of Wikipedia.
> May I say, firstly, that this is an experiment - an experiment which
> those of us working on it, and others around us, thought might lead to
> interesting results. Secondly, may I also say that the project is not on
> "oral history" - it's on using oral sources as citations.
>> The film says that recorded "oral history" should be considered to be
>> a reliable souce "when there are some accessible printed sources on a
>> subjet, but the sources are incomplete or misleading by way of being
>> outdated or biased". So, when someone believes that those "accessible
>> printed sources" are "biased", he comes up with the video of his grand
>> uncle telling the truth?
>> == Problems of orality (of the human brain) ==
>> The film presents some carefully selected scholars supporting the film
>> makers' opinion, but if you ask the huge majority of historians they
>> will explain to you why they are so reluctant about "oral history".
> Obviously, the scholars and intellectuals we talked to were selected. We
> don't pretend otherwise. I am personally not privy to what the "majority
> of historians" think. But on that note - this project was about using
> oral citations as sources, not about re-writing history. If you will
> please take a look at the subjects we covered through the course of this
> experiment, you will see that they are: recipes, religious ceremonies,
> traditional liquor and folk games. All of these things relate to
> everyday events that are practised by a large number of people and can
> be observed by anyone....
>> Take an example described by Johannes Fried, Memorik, p. 215: The
>> Gonja in Northern Ghana told to British colonial officials that there
>> once was the founder of their empire, Ndewura Japka. He had seven
>> sons, each of them mentioned by name, and each of them administered
>> one of the seven provinces of the Gonja empire.
>>
>> Then the British reformed the administration, and only five provinces
>> remained. Decennias later, when the British rule ended, scholars asked
>> the people again about the history of Ndewura Japka. Now, the founder
>> had only five sons. Those two sons, whose provinces were abolished by
>> the British, were totally erased from memory, if British colonial
>> records had not preseved their names.
> ....and none of the articles thus created are about rewriting the
> history of the last few centuries or undoing the work of the academy. We
> are simply interested in these subjects because they are part of the
> everyday life of millions of people like us, and because they haven't
> been recorded in print in a form that is useful to Wikipedia.
>> I myself have interviewed people who claimed that they did not write a
>> peticular letter (which I found in the archives), that they met a
>> person at a peticular convention (although the person did not
>> participate at all) and so on. These people may not be liars, but
>> memory is flexible and unstable. By nature, man is not created to be a
>> historian, to preserve carefully information in his brain, but to deal
>> with the actual world he lives in.
>>
>> == The way of historiography ==
>> * Historians collect primary sources and try to create a sound and
>> coherent narrative based on them. Those primary sources are written
>> records in archives, or already in printed or online editions, or
>> interviews recorded.
>> * Then the historians publish their findings in secondary sources.
>> * Later, text-book and handbook authors read those secondary sources
>> and create their tertiary sources. Wikipedia is such a tertiary
>> source.
>>
>> It is not the task of Wikipedians or even readers to be confronted
>> with the mass of primary sources and figure out a good synthesis. That
>> is a work that must be let to scholars (in the largest sence) who have
>> a good overview on the subject.
> I don't think that anything in this project suggests otherwise. The
> system on Wikipedia (including a respect of traditionally published
> history) works. It doesn't work, however, for large parts of the world,
> and that is something you seem to agree with. Given the everyday aspects
> of life that we've run oral citation experiments with here, you might
> agree that the experts on recipes would be people who cook; that the
> experts on traditional liquor might be the women who make and drink it.
> So it isn't clear why "scholars" are necessarily the last word on all
> subjects of knowledge - currently, on Wikipedia, even we acknowledge
> various levels of expertise outside the academia, for instance, journalists.
>> Printed books may not be the answer in poor countries, but maybe
>> e-publishing is, and there are certainly at least some places on the
>> internet that are suitable for new primary and also secondary sources.
>> Wikipedia cannot solve all problems in the world, and even Wikimedia
>> cannot.
> I'm simplifying your question here, but I think we must consider what is
> - to some extent - a fetish with form. If I turned all the audio
> interviews we recorded into "e-books" (in itself, simply a matter of
> transcribing them, putting them in a pdf file and uploading them
> somewhere on the www) - how would that alter the basis of the source?
>> Kind regards
>> Ziko
> Thank you - my response here is in the spirit of discussion, as we
> believe there is something useful to take away from this project.
>
>
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--
Ziko van Dijk
The Netherlands
http://zikoblog.wordpress.com/

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