Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

David Gerard-2
The great thing about an oral history citations project is that it is
a first and active method to remedy one of the big problems with
English Wikipedia: the epistemology - how we decide we know what we
know - really is completely and utterly broken at the edges.

(I realise this is foundation-l, but en:wp is a third of Wikimedia by
most measures, and this discussion shows its ways of doing things
getting into everywhere else.)

The trouble is that all through history, turning information into
knowledge has required human judgement and nuance. People do four-year
humanities degrees to *start* getting *any good at all* at this stuff.
But Wikipedia being Wikipedia, the whole thing has to be (a) reduced
to a three paragraph guideline (b) which calcifies into policy (c)
misinterpreted by socially-inept teenagers (d) with the
misinterpretations being perpetuated well past the point of actual
failure.

Thus we end up with blithering insanity like the phrase "reliable
sources" being used unironically, as if being listed on WP:RS
*actually makes a source humanly reliable*. This is particularly
hilarious when applied to newspapers - no-one who has *ever* been
quoted by the media would think this way.

(For those of you aware of the hip Bayesian way to calculate
uncertainty, this is what happens when your network has allowed
probabilities of 1 or 0.)

Now, the sourcing method we have almost works. Its successes are
important and useful. But there's a lot of denial that it breaks
really badly when misapplied, and that the misapplications are even a
problem. WJohnson's earnestly put forward this viewpoint in this
thread; his argument appears to be that we don't have a perfect
solution so therefore this must not be a problem and doing something
that doesn't work *harder* must be the right answer.

Somehow we have to get the nuance back. All this stuff is produced by
humans, and working assumptions that it isn't are *broken*.

The oral citations project appears to be a first step to even
acknowledging that the present methods actually break at the edges.
This alone makes it a good and useful thing. And, y'know, we might
actually learn something.


- d.

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Sarah Stierch-2
 From the perspective of Wikimedia Canada, this sounds exciting.  Many
of us believe that work with the First Nations is an important element
in Wikimedia Canada's tasks.  I look forward to meeting you in Haifa.
Thanks for providing the RRN link; since I am in the Greater Vancouver
District they should be more accessible to me.

Ray


On 07/27/11 6:06 AM, Sarah Stierch wrote:

> Hi all -
>
> I came across a lighter version of this conversation on another Wikimedia
> list, and felt the need to share my similar thoughts and statements that I
> made previously.
>
> For the past year, I have been examining opportunities involving Indigenous
> communities of North America and opportunities to utilize Wikipedia and
> related websites as an affordable, unique and global form of cultural
> preservation. I have my undergraduate in Native American Studies, and I am
> obtaining my masters currently. My final paper (not quite a thesis) for
> graduation will be a strong examination of the opportunities related to
> Indigenous communities and opportunities/pros/cons related to Wikipedia. I'm
> actually presenting on my preliminary observations and concerns at
> Wikimania, 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
> about this on a higher level. While right now I am quite busy with other
> matters, come this Fall I will be diving head first into my research. I will
> be serving as Wikipedian in Residence at the National Museum of the American
> Indian, where I will be working with staff to examine these concerns.  One
> of our biggest concerns lies with *oral history*. We have had countless
> conversations about the struggles with "no original research" however, in
> oral history based societies, we will have a very hard time moving beyond
> anything else. As stated previously, the majority of content created related
> to Indigenous communities in North America was often written by (and still
> is) Anglo anthropologists - some of that data is highly out of date and is
> still being utilized on Wikipedia as a source today.
>
> This project, Oral Citations, follows closely with the type of work I am
> seeking to do. I have been planning to examine Wikipedia (English at first)
> research policies and consider proposals or changes in relation to serious
> research and Indigenous communities. Of course, it all comes down to
> funding, and Native people of North American are often the first overlooked
> group - it will take a lot of work, years of effort, and a lot of buy in
> that 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
> Wikipedia as providing an affordable and unique way for Indigenous
> communities to not only learn valuable skills - many of the communities here
> in America are among the poorest in the world, you'd think you were in a
> developing country, and kids barely receive beyond an elementary school
> education - but to have a broad arena to share stories (that the community
> chooses to share of course), beliefs, cosmologies, and traditions so that
> they are accessible and *vetted* for researchers and community members
> around the world.
>
> I do hope that some of you are attending Wikimania, I'd like to be able to
> have a break out session of sorts or an unconference to discuss this topic
> further. I'm hoping in the next year to have an international conference of
> sorts that brings together Indigenous people, open source gurus, and
> Wiki-folks to examine opportunities, processes, and belief systems in
> regards to opportunities.
>
> Feel free to email me directly, again, right now I am unable to move quickly
> in any major projects due to my already big work load, but, I'm hoping that
> this will be large part of my career work as an advocate for Native rights,
> a scholar, and an open source-lover.
>
> -Sarah


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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
This is spot on.

At times I wonder if some Wikipedians have ever heard of epistemology.  
I also have taken note that there is a tendency among some editors to
truncate probability calculations to the nearest whole number.

Ray

On 07/29/11 2:50 AM, David Gerard wrote:

> The great thing about an oral history citations project is that it is
> a first and active method to remedy one of the big problems with
> English Wikipedia: the epistemology - how we decide we know what we
> know - really is completely and utterly broken at the edges.
>
> (I realise this is foundation-l, but en:wp is a third of Wikimedia by
> most measures, and this discussion shows its ways of doing things
> getting into everywhere else.)
>
> The trouble is that all through history, turning information into
> knowledge has required human judgement and nuance. People do four-year
> humanities degrees to *start* getting *any good at all* at this stuff.
> But Wikipedia being Wikipedia, the whole thing has to be (a) reduced
> to a three paragraph guideline (b) which calcifies into policy (c)
> misinterpreted by socially-inept teenagers (d) with the
> misinterpretations being perpetuated well past the point of actual
> failure.
>
> Thus we end up with blithering insanity like the phrase "reliable
> sources" being used unironically, as if being listed on WP:RS
> *actually makes a source humanly reliable*. This is particularly
> hilarious when applied to newspapers - no-one who has *ever* been
> quoted by the media would think this way.
>
> (For those of you aware of the hip Bayesian way to calculate
> uncertainty, this is what happens when your network has allowed
> probabilities of 1 or 0.)
>
> Now, the sourcing method we have almost works. Its successes are
> important and useful. But there's a lot of denial that it breaks
> really badly when misapplied, and that the misapplications are even a
> problem. WJohnson's earnestly put forward this viewpoint in this
> thread; his argument appears to be that we don't have a perfect
> solution so therefore this must not be a problem and doing something
> that doesn't work *harder* must be the right answer.
>
> Somehow we have to get the nuance back. All this stuff is produced by
> humans, and working assumptions that it isn't are *broken*.
>
> The oral citations project appears to be a first step to even
> acknowledging that the present methods actually break at the edges.
> This alone makes it a good and useful thing. And, y'know, we might
> actually learn something.
>
>
> - d.


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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

David Gerard-2
On 29 July 2011 11:25, Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]> wrote:

> At times I wonder if some Wikipedians have ever heard of epistemology.


Larry Sanger was no great shakes as a philosopher, but at least he'd
heard of the stuff.

Here's essays from Tom Morris (another philosopher):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tom_Morris/The_Reliability_Delusion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tom_Morris/The_Definition_Delusion

Basically, the fact of "Wikipedia's epistemology is broken" is
becoming better-known.


> I also have taken note that there is a tendency among some editors to
> truncate probability calculations to the nearest whole number.


This is Wikipedia-induced aspergism, which turns
otherwise-socially-able people into annoying doctrinaire nerds, who
CANNOT STAND UNCERTAINTY.

This is where Wikipedia's epistemology is broken: the real world is
made of uncertainty. And the grey areas are what people are actually
interested in.

None of what I'm saying here is new, it's been circulating since 2004.
That doesn't mean it isn't in urgent need of being fixed, now that
Wikipedia is *the* reference work and we've dodged the Expert Problem
by being so big the experts are now coming to us.


- d.

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 29 July 2011 10:50, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thus we end up with blithering insanity like the phrase "reliable
> sources" being used unironically, as if being listed on WP:RS
> *actually makes a source humanly reliable*. This is particularly
> hilarious when applied to newspapers - no-one who has *ever* been
> quoted by the media would think this way.
> (For those of you aware of the hip Bayesian way to calculate
> uncertainty, this is what happens when your network has allowed
> probabilities of 1 or 0.)


Also, I must note: everything Wikipedia gets right is when it's doing
it to be useful to the readers, and everything Wikipedia gets wrong is
when it's doing it to appease battling editors. The binary nature of
"reliable sources" is largely an attempt to get editors to stop
arguing, at the cost of doing increasing disservice to readers.

It gets worse when editors internalise the no-shades-of-grey
black-and-white ideal of "reliable sources" and suggest blithering
insanity such as that supplying a quote translation is forbidden as
"original research".

This is put up with because editors think it's better than editors
fighting. While editors fighting is bad (although, as Alex Curran has
noted, we drop editors into an arena then we're surprised when they
fight), I suggest we really need to consider whether what it's doing
to our epistemology is worse.

It's an attempt to solve the problems with people by turning yourself
into a robot. Funnily enough, doing this leads to really bad and
stupid results.


- d.

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Thomas Morton
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
> Here's essays from Tom Morris (another philosopher):
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tom_Morris/The_Reliability_Delusion
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tom_Morris/The_Definition_Delusion
>
>
While some editors do tend to argue binary options over sources, in general
this is not the case (and if you are observing it as so, it's probably one
of the battlefield areas where such things do occur).

WP:RS has always struck me as being quite carefully worded to suggest
factors of a source that editors should critically consider in
determining reliability (publisher, author, content).

Take for example the Daily Mail, which we quite often discuss in relation to
BLP articles. This is treated as potentially reliable media source as it is
published and edited, on the other hand it has a reputation for tabloid
sensationalism so naturally it's not the best of sources to use in
biographical articles on its own.

There are other examples too. For example Torrent Freak is considered fairly
unreliable as a source, but specifically for factual information about the
Torrent community (and associated) it is explicitly considered
acceptable. TechCrunch is considered fairly reliable for technology news -
but has a recognised tendency for sensationalism which requires caution.

In the "Context sensitivity" portion of that essay Morris makes some good
suggestions - but I see that approach taken literally all the time... sure
in some areas (and for some editors) the idea of a reliable source is very
absolute. But largely this is not the case. In contentious areas it is
applied much more uncritically, of course, as all policies are - which is
why you will see much more binary classification in those areas.

:)

Tom
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Sarah Stierch-2
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
Thanks Ray! I actually met with developers from RRN and a few First Nations advocacy groups (regarding cultural preservation) - RRN is really amazing, and I look forward to exploring how opportunities can open from it. We will talk more in Haifa!

(I lived in Van for a year, give my best to Commercial Drive ;-))


-Sarah

Sent via iPhone - I apologize in advance for my shortness or errors! :)


On Jul 29, 2011, at 6:08 AM, Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From the perspective of Wikimedia Canada, this sounds exciting.  Many
> of us believe that work with the First Nations is an important element
> in Wikimedia Canada's tasks.  I look forward to meeting you in Haifa.
> Thanks for providing the RRN link; since I am in the Greater Vancouver
> District they should be more accessible to me.
>
> Ray
>
>
> On 07/27/11 6:06 AM, Sarah Stierch wrote:
>> Hi all -
>>
>> I came across a lighter version of this conversation on another Wikimedia
>> list, and felt the need to share my similar thoughts and statements that I
>> made previously.
>>
>> For the past year, I have been examining opportunities involving Indigenous
>> communities of North America and opportunities to utilize Wikipedia and
>> related websites as an affordable, unique and global form of cultural
>> preservation. I have my undergraduate in Native American Studies, and I am
>> obtaining my masters currently. My final paper (not quite a thesis) for
>> graduation will be a strong examination of the opportunities related to
>> Indigenous communities and opportunities/pros/cons related to Wikipedia. I'm
>> actually presenting on my preliminary observations and concerns at
>> Wikimania, 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
>> about this on a higher level. While right now I am quite busy with other
>> matters, come this Fall I will be diving head first into my research. I will
>> be serving as Wikipedian in Residence at the National Museum of the American
>> Indian, where I will be working with staff to examine these concerns.  One
>> of our biggest concerns lies with *oral history*. We have had countless
>> conversations about the struggles with "no original research" however, in
>> oral history based societies, we will have a very hard time moving beyond
>> anything else. As stated previously, the majority of content created related
>> to Indigenous communities in North America was often written by (and still
>> is) Anglo anthropologists - some of that data is highly out of date and is
>> still being utilized on Wikipedia as a source today.
>>
>> This project, Oral Citations, follows closely with the type of work I am
>> seeking to do. I have been planning to examine Wikipedia (English at first)
>> research policies and consider proposals or changes in relation to serious
>> research and Indigenous communities. Of course, it all comes down to
>> funding, and Native people of North American are often the first overlooked
>> group - it will take a lot of work, years of effort, and a lot of buy in
>> that 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
>> Wikipedia as providing an affordable and unique way for Indigenous
>> communities to not only learn valuable skills - many of the communities here
>> in America are among the poorest in the world, you'd think you were in a
>> developing country, and kids barely receive beyond an elementary school
>> education - but to have a broad arena to share stories (that the community
>> chooses to share of course), beliefs, cosmologies, and traditions so that
>> they are accessible and *vetted* for researchers and community members
>> around the world.
>>
>> I do hope that some of you are attending Wikimania, I'd like to be able to
>> have a break out session of sorts or an unconference to discuss this topic
>> further. I'm hoping in the next year to have an international conference of
>> sorts that brings together Indigenous people, open source gurus, and
>> Wiki-folks to examine opportunities, processes, and belief systems in
>> regards to opportunities.
>>
>> Feel free to email me directly, again, right now I am unable to move quickly
>> in any major projects due to my already big work load, but, I'm hoping that
>> this will be large part of my career work as an advocate for Native rights,
>> a scholar, and an open source-lover.
>>
>> -Sarah
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Thomas Morton
On 29 July 2011 11:58, Thomas Morton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> While some editors do tend to argue binary options over sources, in general
> this is not the case (and if you are observing it as so, it's probably one
> of the battlefield areas where such things do occur).


They do tend to be noisiest, and they do tend to poison the
epistemology of the project. Look at the remarkable hostility seen in
this thread to changing anything whatsoever.

In this case, "mostly okay" means "only slightly poisoned".


- d.

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge

The logical flaw here comes between "use" and "translate".
Although Wikipedians may and probably sometimes do, translate Wikipedia pages, from English to French etc, translating a source citation is something quite different.

I would agree with Ray that we should quote Latin texts in Latin, Spanish texts in Spanish no matter what language-page we are using.  IF the text is that important to English speakers then there should be or probably will soon be, a verifiable English language translation *not* created in-project, but rather by a reputable author publishing just such a translation.






-----Original Message-----
From: Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 12:03 am
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


LOL. If that's the case it would be a good reason for changing the OR
olicy. It would also make sense to quote non-English sources in their
riginal language unless the translation itself is verifiable.
Ray
On 07/27/11 4:36 PM, M. Williamson wrote:
 Well then, Ray, en.wp would not be able to use non-English sources since all
 translation is interpretation and would therefore be considered OR which is
 not allowed at Wikipedia.

 2011/7/27 Ray Saintonge<[hidden email]
> On 07/27/11 12:42 PM, Wjhonson 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.
> If that is to be the case the exact quote MUST be in its original
> language.  All translations require interpretation.
>
> Ray

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

geni
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
On 29 July 2011 11:25, Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This is spot on.
>
> At times I wonder if some Wikipedians have ever heard of epistemology.

Some have some haven't.

However the field of epistemology tends to have so little relation to
what people actually do that it's not particularly critical.

--
geni

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by WJhonson
On 29 July 2011 17:39, Wjhonson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I would agree with Ray that we should quote Latin texts in Latin, Spanish texts in Spanish no matter what language-page we are using.  IF the text is that important to English speakers then there should be or probably will soon be, a verifiable English language translation *not* created in-project, but rather by a reputable author publishing just such a translation.


This would mean that only English-language references are acceptable
in en:wp, which is of course false. Your statement takes a useful idea
(no original research), extrapolates it until it really obviously
breaks, and then puts forward the broken version as a good thing.

You appear to be mixing up policy, guidelines, practice and how you
personally think things should be, without distinguishing which you
are describing at any given time; this leads only to confusion.


- d.

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson

No that's not what it would mean.
It would mean that if a Spanish language source is used on an English language page, we should quote that source in Spanish, and not quote it using our OWN translation.  As editors we should not be creating publications, only quoting publications.






-----Original Message-----
From: David Gerard <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 10:37 am
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


On 29 July 2011 17:39, Wjhonson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I would agree with Ray that we should quote Latin texts in Latin, Spanish
exts in Spanish no matter what language-page we are using.  IF the text is that
mportant to English speakers then there should be or probably will soon be, a
erifiable English language translation *not* created in-project, but rather by
 reputable author publishing just such a translation.

his would mean that only English-language references are acceptable
n en:wp, which is of course false. Your statement takes a useful idea
no original research), extrapolates it until it really obviously
reaks, and then puts forward the broken version as a good thing.
You appear to be mixing up policy, guidelines, practice and how you
ersonally think things should be, without distinguishing which you
re describing at any given time; this leads only to confusion.

 d.
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

M. Williamson
And what if readers don't understand Spanish? As a translator, I have to say
I am strongly against the idea that a translation counts as original
research. Translating quotes has been practiced in academia for a very long
time, and just in the last month I must've read several papers with quotes
in languages I didn't understand well enough to read without the translation
by the author (German, Latin, etc). If I want to quote an academic paper in
Spanish for an article where there are few or no English-language sources
available, I should be able to quote directly from the paper but provide a
translation so that English speakers who do not speak Spanish can benefit
from the quote. The great thing about the wiki process is that if someone
disagrees with my translation, it can be fixed (I have fixed a few
translations on en.wp myself).
2011/7/29 Wjhonson <[hidden email]>

>
> No that's not what it would mean.
> It would mean that if a Spanish language source is used on an English
> language page, we should quote that source in Spanish, and not quote it
> using our OWN translation.  As editors we should not be creating
> publications, only quoting publications.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Gerard <[hidden email]>
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 10:37 am
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge
>
>
> On 29 July 2011 17:39, Wjhonson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I would agree with Ray that we should quote Latin texts in Latin, Spanish
> exts in Spanish no matter what language-page we are using.  IF the text is
> that
> mportant to English speakers then there should be or probably will soon be,
> a
> erifiable English language translation *not* created in-project, but rather
> by
>  reputable author publishing just such a translation.
>
> his would mean that only English-language references are acceptable
> n en:wp, which is of course false. Your statement takes a useful idea
> no original research), extrapolates it until it really obviously
> reaks, and then puts forward the broken version as a good thing.
> You appear to be mixing up policy, guidelines, practice and how you
> ersonally think things should be, without distinguishing which you
> re describing at any given time; this leads only to confusion.
>
>  d.
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson

Yes of course translating documents "has been practiced in academia for a very long time."

We however are not a first publisher of translations.  We are an aggregator of sources.
That is the point of RS.
We don't publish first.






-----Original Message-----
From: M. Williamson <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 10:59 am
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


And what if readers don't understand Spanish? As a translator, I have to say
 am strongly against the idea that a translation counts as original
esearch. Translating quotes has been practiced in academia for a very long
ime, and just in the last month I must've read several papers with quotes
n languages I didn't understand well enough to read without the translation
y the author (German, Latin, etc). If I want to quote an academic paper in
panish for an article where there are few or no English-language sources
vailable, I should be able to quote directly from the paper but provide a
ranslation so that English speakers who do not speak Spanish can benefit
rom the quote. The great thing about the wiki process is that if someone
isagrees with my translation, it can be fixed (I have fixed a few
ranslations on en.wp myself).
011/7/29 Wjhonson <[hidden email]>
>
 No that's not what it would mean.
 It would mean that if a Spanish language source is used on an English
 language page, we should quote that source in Spanish, and not quote it
 using our OWN translation.  As editors we should not be creating
 publications, only quoting publications.






 -----Original Message-----
 From: David Gerard <[hidden email]>
 To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
 Sent: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 10:37 am
 Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


 On 29 July 2011 17:39, Wjhonson <[hidden email]> wrote:
 > I would agree with Ray that we should quote Latin texts in Latin, Spanish
 exts in Spanish no matter what language-page we are using.  IF the text is
 that
 mportant to English speakers then there should be or probably will soon be,
 a
 erifiable English language translation *not* created in-project, but rather
 by
  reputable author publishing just such a translation.

 his would mean that only English-language references are acceptable
 n en:wp, which is of course false. Your statement takes a useful idea
 no original research), extrapolates it until it really obviously
 reaks, and then puts forward the broken version as a good thing.
 You appear to be mixing up policy, guidelines, practice and how you
 ersonally think things should be, without distinguishing which you
 re describing at any given time; this leads only to confusion.

  d.
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Dan Rosenthal
Why can't you do both?

Provide the original text in the original language in the citation, followed by a translation. Any bickering over the quality of the translation can be dealt with through consensus on the talk page, while the original is still there for those who want the original to do their own verification of the translation.

-Dan
On Jul 29, 2011, at 9:06 PM, Wjhonson wrote:

>
> Yes of course translating documents "has been practiced in academia for a very long time."
>
> We however are not a first publisher of translations.  We are an aggregator of sources.
> That is the point of RS.
> We don't publish first.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: M. Williamson <[hidden email]>
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 10:59 am
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge
>
>
> And what if readers don't understand Spanish? As a translator, I have to say
> am strongly against the idea that a translation counts as original
> esearch. Translating quotes has been practiced in academia for a very long
> ime, and just in the last month I must've read several papers with quotes
> n languages I didn't understand well enough to read without the translation
> y the author (German, Latin, etc). If I want to quote an academic paper in
> panish for an article where there are few or no English-language sources
> vailable, I should be able to quote directly from the paper but provide a
> ranslation so that English speakers who do not speak Spanish can benefit
> rom the quote. The great thing about the wiki process is that if someone
> isagrees with my translation, it can be fixed (I have fixed a few
> ranslations on en.wp myself).
> 011/7/29 Wjhonson <[hidden email]>
>>
> No that's not what it would mean.
> It would mean that if a Spanish language source is used on an English
> language page, we should quote that source in Spanish, and not quote it
> using our OWN translation.  As editors we should not be creating
> publications, only quoting publications.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Gerard <[hidden email]>
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 10:37 am
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge
>
>
> On 29 July 2011 17:39, Wjhonson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I would agree with Ray that we should quote Latin texts in Latin, Spanish
> exts in Spanish no matter what language-page we are using.  IF the text is
> that
> mportant to English speakers then there should be or probably will soon be,
> a
> erifiable English language translation *not* created in-project, but rather
> by
>  reputable author publishing just such a translation.
>
> his would mean that only English-language references are acceptable
> n en:wp, which is of course false. Your statement takes a useful idea
> no original research), extrapolates it until it really obviously
> reaks, and then puts forward the broken version as a good thing.
> You appear to be mixing up policy, guidelines, practice and how you
> ersonally think things should be, without distinguishing which you
> re describing at any given time; this leads only to confusion.
>
>  d.
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

David Gerard-2
On 29 July 2011 19:19, Dan Rosenthal <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Why can't you do both?
> Provide the original text in the original language in the citation, followed by a translation. Any bickering over the quality of the translation can be dealt with through consensus on the talk page, while the original is still there for those who want the original to do their own verification of the translation.


This is what is usually done at present. Hence my boggling at
WJohnson's bizarre suggestion to overuse a rule to break usefuless to
the reader.


- d.

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Michael Snow-5
In reply to this post by WJhonson
On 7/29/2011 11:06 AM, Wjhonson wrote:
> Yes of course translating documents "has been practiced in academia for a very long time."
>
> We however are not a first publisher of translations.  We are an aggregator of sources.
> That is the point of RS.
> We don't publish first.
Translating a quotation from a foreign-language source in a Wikipedia
article is functionally no different from translating the contents of a
Wikipedia article in one language to create an equivalent Wikipedia
article in a different language. The latter is an utterly routine and
fairly common practice (though I'm not suggesting that any Wikipedia
article *needs* to be based on translations this way). Obviously
translation needs to be done with care, just like synthesizing source
material to write an article requires care. And some people may be
better at one or the other, so it may be possible to improve on the work
as Mark describes, as long as the original also remains available, as it
should.

Stretching a guideline about using reliable sources to the point that it
conflicts with unobjectionable standard practices suggests that the
guideline is being stretched too far. Even the most reliable sources do
not need to be treated like some people treat the Quran, as if it's
inappropriate to render them in any language but the original. That's a
religious belief, and in a religious context I fully respect that people
may believe such things, but in the context of writing Wikipedia
articles, our beliefs about the sources we use should not be religious,
they should be based on analysis and editorial judgment.

--Michael Snow

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

WJhonson
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2

Nope, never said that.
I disagree with the idea that this is "usually done" however I have no objections to it's being done.
Never did.
My point is, and was that the source should be quoted in its original language.






-----Original Message-----
From: David Gerard <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 11:26 am
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge


On 29 July 2011 19:19, Dan Rosenthal <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Why can't you do both?
 Provide the original text in the original language in the citation, followed
y a translation. Any bickering over the quality of the translation can be dealt
ith through consensus on the talk page, while the original is still there for
hose who want the original to do their own verification of the translation.

his is what is usually done at present. Hence my boggling at
Johnson's bizarre suggestion to overuse a rule to break usefuless to
he reader.

 d.
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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Thomas Morton
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-5
For what it is worth....

I think this approach exists on en.wiki on the premise that by using foreign
sources with no independent translation available:

a) It makes it easier to push a POV or miss-interpretation via that source
(because other editors are generally not able to understand it)
b) There is more potential for mistakes or miscomprehension - for example if
editors resort to using Google translate (not at all uncommon)

I for one consider this much akin to cracking a nut with a sledgehammer -
but I can see the reasoning behind it. It would be interesting to see a
working group dedicated to looking into ways to approach the "foreign
language source" issue.

English Wikipedia is pretty bad at considering foreign language sources. But
I have seen other language projects which appear worse still at accepting
them... and it is worse than just a language issue - often it feels like a
case of people thinking "well that culture is not the same as ours, so not
likely to be as reliable". (I criticise myself here too for this thinking,
even when I try to avoid it!)

I can never help feeling that this is often the core of our cultural
centrist bias (for all Wikipedias). Way before I learned my first foreign
language, back when young and naive, I believed that most  countries were
functionally the same as mine, just with different words. My first trip the
to US disabused me of this notion. I have never been hot-shot with languages
but always make a point, now, of learning at least a little of the native
language of wherever I travel - because the difference you see when using
that language is insane.

Anyway; the point is that we are in an interesting position to help advocate
this amazingly different cultural views to each other. Does anyone have idea
to address these issues of centrism and lack of trust in other cultures? I
think this would be a really interesting thing to explore!

Tom

On 29 July 2011 19:31, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 7/29/2011 11:06 AM, Wjhonson wrote:
> > Yes of course translating documents "has been practiced in academia for a
> very long time."
> >
> > We however are not a first publisher of translations.  We are an
> aggregator of sources.
> > That is the point of RS.
> > We don't publish first.
> Translating a quotation from a foreign-language source in a Wikipedia
> article is functionally no different from translating the contents of a
> Wikipedia article in one language to create an equivalent Wikipedia
> article in a different language. The latter is an utterly routine and
> fairly common practice (though I'm not suggesting that any Wikipedia
> article *needs* to be based on translations this way). Obviously
> translation needs to be done with care, just like synthesizing source
> material to write an article requires care. And some people may be
> better at one or the other, so it may be possible to improve on the work
> as Mark describes, as long as the original also remains available, as it
> should.
>
> Stretching a guideline about using reliable sources to the point that it
> conflicts with unobjectionable standard practices suggests that the
> guideline is being stretched too far. Even the most reliable sources do
> not need to be treated like some people treat the Quran, as if it's
> inappropriate to render them in any language but the original. That's a
> religious belief, and in a religious context I fully respect that people
> may believe such things, but in the context of writing Wikipedia
> articles, our beliefs about the sources we use should not be religious,
> they should be based on analysis and editorial judgment.
>
> --Michael Snow
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-5
On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 20:31, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 7/29/2011 11:06 AM, Wjhonson wrote:
>> Yes of course translating documents "has been practiced in academia for a very long time."
>>
>> We however are not a first publisher of translations.  We are an aggregator of sources.
>> That is the point of RS.
>> We don't publish first.
> Translating a quotation from a foreign-language source in a Wikipedia
> article is functionally no different from translating the contents of a
> Wikipedia article in one language to create an equivalent Wikipedia
> article in a different language.

That's, actually, different. Encyclopedic text is our work; or, if we
talk in the sense of OR, our own OR, no matter if it's been written
originally or translated. So, when you translate an article from one
language to another, you do that as encyclopedist, not as researcher.

In other words, if you miss something in encyclopedic text, that would
affect just encyclopedic text itself. If you claim that you've
translated the source, that affects validity of the source itself.

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