Organization on Wikipedia that deals with content issues.

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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that dealswithcontentissues.

Peter Damian
From: "Andrea Zanni" <[hidden email]>
> NPOV is probably not so fascinating or useful for humanisties, or at least
> their inside culture/procedures/habits

I believe it was in history (or perhaps textual criticism) where the
distinction between primary and secondary sources was first made.  The idea
of NPOV is fundamental to the humanities.


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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals with content issues.

Peter Damian
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder-2
From: "Fred Bauder" <[hidden email]>
To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 8:05 PM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Organization on Wikipedia that deals with
content issues.


> We need to set up a regular mechanism which analyzes and searches for
> errors. Please see
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Error_management
>
> We need to make a science of it, Wikipedia:Error_management

How would this system correct the obvious error in this article?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro_hominem

Which has been there 3 years.


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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that dealswithcontentissues.

Andrea Zanni-2
In reply to this post by Peter Damian
> I believe it was in history (or perhaps textual criticism) where the
> distinction between primary and secondary sources was first made.  The idea
> of NPOV is fundamental to the humanities.


 I'm not really a humanist, but I have a little background both in
Humanities and STM (if you consider mathematics as STM)
and in the interview with Eco I tried to focus on the differences between
these two domains and their approach to collaboration.

I'm not saying that Humanities do not struggle for an objectivity/consensus,

but I just wanted to emphasize the difference between STM studies, in which
I do think it is easier
to understand and comprehend the procedures, ideas and mechanisms of
Wikipedia (for many reasons).
From what I've experienced, it is generally more difficult to explain these
things to humanities scholars
that stm scholars.
And I was wondering if Wikipedia, limiting the article to one, single and
neutral version,
is enough to some Humanities scholars, who maybe would prefer the
possibility of
many articles/monographies, one for interpretation.

Aubrey
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Re: Organization on Wikipedia thatdealswithcontentissues.

Peter Damian
From: "Andrea Zanni" <[hidden email]>
> I do think it is easier
> to understand and comprehend the procedures, ideas and mechanisms of
> Wikipedia (for many reasons).
> From what I've experienced, it is generally more difficult to explain
> these
> things to humanities scholars
> that stm scholars.

I'm very surprised at this.  When I started editing Wikipedia in 2003 I
immediately read the NPOV rules and was struck by their similarity to the
way I was taught to approach writing a paper.  Not surprising actually, as I
think Larry drafted the original rules, and he has the same background as I.
The same would be true for someone with a background in textual criticism or
history.

I think the real problem is that a subject like philosophy *appears* easier
to learn and to write about than mathematics.  I remember from teaching
students they would write acres of self-indulgent rubbish and you had to
gently explain that there were clear rules and principles, just like the
hard sciences. I'll quote this again from a well-known philosopher who left
Wikipedia some years ago

"Philosophy: I'm a philosopher; why don't I edit the article on my subject?
Because it's hopeless. I've tried at various times, and each time have given
up in depressed disgust. Philosophy seems to attract aggressive zealots who
know a little (often a very little), who lack understanding of key concepts,
terms, etc., and who attempt to take over the article (and its Talk page)
with rambling, ground-shifting, often barely comprehensible rants against
those who disagree with them. Life's too short. I just tell my students and
anyone else I know not to read the Wikipedia article except for a laugh.
It's one of those areas where the ochlocratic nature of Wikipedia really
comes a cropper".


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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals with content issues.

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Peter Damian
> From: "Fred Bauder" <[hidden email]>
> To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List"
> <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 8:05 PM
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Organization on Wikipedia that deals with
> content issues.
>
>
>> We need to set up a regular mechanism which analyzes and searches for
>> errors. Please see
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Error_management
>>
>> We need to make a science of it, Wikipedia:Error_management
>
> How would this system correct the obvious error in this article?
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro_hominem
>
> Which has been there 3 years.

It's a simple error that most proof-readers would find. It looks right at
first glance but is not. It is a type of error.

The obvious solution is to proof-read Wikipedia in a systemic way.

Fred Bauder



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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that dealswithcontentissues.

Nikola Smolenski-2
In reply to this post by Andrea Zanni-2
On 08/29/2010 11:52 PM, Andrea Zanni wrote:
> And I was wondering if Wikipedia, limiting the article to one, single and
> neutral version,
> is enough to some Humanities scholars, who maybe would prefer the
> possibility of
> many articles/monographies, one for interpretation.

There are no policies known to me that would prevent anyone from writing
articles about interpretations. In fact, there are dozens of such
articles already:
http://toolserver.org/~nikola/grep.php?pattern=+view+of+&lang=en&wiki=wikipedia&ns=0

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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that dealswithcontentissues.

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by Andrea Zanni-2
On Sun, Aug 29, 2010 at 23:52, Andrea Zanni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> From what I've experienced, it is generally more difficult to explain these
> things to humanities scholars
> that stm scholars.

As someone with background in humanities, I can say that it is often
hard to explain science to humanities scholars.

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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals with content issues.

Peter Damian
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder-2
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pro_hominem&oldid=369721624

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fred Bauder" <[hidden email]>
> It's a simple error that most proof-readers would find.

Well only if they can read Latin, which is not that usual these days.

>>It looks right at  first glance but is not. It is a type of error.

No: the error is more subtle in that it may be 'dog Latin' i.e. an error in
common use rather like 'strictu dictu'*.  How would the proof reader know
that?  The problem is that it has been there for so long that it is
difficult to tell whether the  Google search is turning up uses that have
actually been *caused* by Wikipedia, so that Wikipedia is actually degrading
human knowledge by introducing false information, in the manner of an urban
myth, or whether the error predates that.  Either way the issue would have
to be noted in the article.  I think it is beyond what simple proof-reading
would give you.

> The obvious solution is to proof-read Wikipedia in a systemic way.

Who is going to do that?  It comes back to my earlier point: there simply
aren't enough people with the right knowledge to do this.  There needs to be
some way of making Wikipedia more 'knowledge friendly', but hard to see how
that could be practically achieved.

Peter

*I have just noticed there is no entry on 'strictu dictu'!




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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals with content issues.

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 2:35 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ...This, btw, is how Citizendium
> became a pseudoscience haven:
>
> http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Citizendium#The_concept_of_expertise_on_Citizendium

On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 2:57 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 29 August 2010 17:52, David Moran <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Well, right.  That's kind of what I mean.  These things happened to
>> Citizendium because credentialism is the natural outcome of trying to create
>> a system of valuing a certain class of contributors more than others.
>
>
> I was amazed just how actively negative credentialism could be -
> Shirky posited it as merely putting a dead weight on the project, not
> actually driving it backwards. Did anyone actually predict it would
> result in CZ becoming a crank magnet?
>
> If anyone wanted to advocate credentialism on Wikimedia projects,
> they'd first have to work out how to fix the pseudoscience problem on
> CZ.

Irony.  David Gerard disparaging CZ using a rationalwiki page as evidence.

Pseudo-science, pseudo-humanities, etc are no stranger to Wikipedia,
and our processes have not always been victorious over it.  Simply
put, the rubbish on Wikipedia outweights the rubbish on CZ, and I
suspect that an academically sound study would indicate that,
proportionally speaking, Wikipedia pollutes the interweb more than CZ.

Compare the rationalwiki page for CZ and WP.  I wonder how large their
WP page would be if a similar level of critical analysis was applied.

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals with content issues.

David Gerard-2
On 31 August 2010 00:21, John Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Irony.  David Gerard disparaging CZ using a rationalwiki page as evidence.


The links are there if you want to read them.


> Pseudo-science, pseudo-humanities, etc are no stranger to Wikipedia,
> and our processes have not always been victorious over it.  Simply
> put, the rubbish on Wikipedia outweights the rubbish on CZ, and I
> suspect that an academically sound study would indicate that,
> proportionally speaking, Wikipedia pollutes the interweb more than CZ.


Wikipedia has the help of LOTS of people to get closer to NPOV. CZ
artificially limited its contributor pool in important ways.


> Compare the rationalwiki page for CZ and WP.  I wonder how large their
> WP page would be if a similar level of critical analysis was applied.


The WP article is about dealing with an imperfect successful thing,
not analysing a failure. Your point is unclear.


- d.

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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals with content issues.

David Gerard-2
On 31 August 2010 00:55, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 31 August 2010 00:21, John Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> Irony.  David Gerard disparaging CZ using a rationalwiki page as evidence.

> The links are there if you want to read them.


Or, if you prefer: of course the wiki is fluff and amusement with a
huge helping of rubbish. That article is IMO pretty solid however.


- d.

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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontent issues.

Peter Damian
In reply to this post by John Mark Vandenberg

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Vandenberg" <[hidden email]>
To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:21 AM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontent
issues.


>Irony.  David Gerard disparaging CZ using a rationalwiki page as evidence.

Actually David wrote the page.  I thought it was interesting ...

>Pseudo-science, pseudo-humanities, etc are no stranger to Wikipedia,
>and our processes have not always been victorious over it.  Simply
>put, the rubbish on Wikipedia outweights the rubbish on CZ, and I
>suspect that an academically sound study would indicate that,
>proportionally speaking, Wikipedia pollutes the interweb more than CZ.
>Compare the rationalwiki page for CZ and WP.  I wonder how large their
>WP page would be if a similar level of critical analysis was applied.

... but as you say, byte for byte, there may be a similar level of
'pollution'.  I wonder if it was 'credentialism' that was the problem, or
just the lack of editors.  I joined CZ when it was formed, with one other
philosophy editor http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/User:Peter_J._King who had
defected from Wikipedia.  He was a good philosopher but had some kind of
stupid row with Larry and left. I found it difficult to edit in a vacuum so
I left also.  And that was the end of "credentialled" philosophy on CZ.
Larry is not a bad philosopher himself and has credentials but he was in a
management role. He has this naive faith that academic philosophers would
come flocking to CZ and fill the gap but they didn't. So in the end he
lowered the entry barrier and the rest is history.

In summary, the evidence as far as my discipline is concerned is that Sanger
wrongly expected the project to attract credentialled academics. It didn't.
He allowed a number of uncredentialled or 'less credentialled' editors in,
and the results are much as David Gerard describes them.

Peter


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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontent issues.

David Gerard-2
On 31 August 2010 20:16, Peter Damian <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Actually David wrote the page.  I thought it was interesting ...


No, that section was substantially written by Trent Toulouse.


- d.

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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontentissues.

Peter Damian
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Gerard" <[hidden email]>
To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:23 PM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Organization on Wikipedia that deals
withcontentissues.


> On 31 August 2010 20:16, Peter Damian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Actually David wrote the page. I thought it was interesting ...
>
>
> No, that section was substantially written by Trent Toulouse.

A large number of edits to that article were by you.  If not the majority of
edits, but I am not going to get out a calculator.

And this chunk of edits, about about expertise, seems to be by you.  Is that
correct?
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/index.php?title=Citizendium&diff=564956&oldid=564925



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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontentissues.

Peter Damian
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
From: "David Gerard" <[hidden email]>
>> Actually David wrote the page. I thought it was interesting ...

> No, that section was substantially written by Trent Toulouse.

I did get the calculator out (sorry).  There are 608 edits to the article.
252 were by you. I don't know what section you are referring to. I said
'page'. I concede you didn't write all the page, though.

Peter


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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontent issues.

Peter Damian
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
Hoping I am not straying too far off-topic.  I looked at the article on
Young Earth Creationism in CZ
http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Young_earth_creationism . It comes in from
some heavy criticism in the RationalWiki article
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Citizendium for being "heavily (and "expertly")
edited by Conservapedia sysop RJJensen".

But when I look at the article it is not so bad.  It is actually quite
refreshing.  It is mercifully short, and tells me the basic facts I need to
know about YEC, i.e. what it is, who has defended it and why, and a bit of
history. I expect the same article in WP would come with a pack of
disclaimers like the health warning on a fag packet, skull and crossbones
and all, thousands of citations, statements that practically all scientists
say it is complete rubbish, plus a few sentences later on by a rogue YEC
that was not spotted by the police, together with other conflicting
statements so it all reads like a confusing usenet thread.  As I say, the CZ
article quietly says what it needs to, and does not attempt advocacy. Indeed
it says

"The Biblical story was not a contentious issue until the 19th century, when
theologians started reinterpreting the Bible as a historical document
(rather than divine revelation), and geologists such as James Hutton and
Charles Lyell developed evidence, based on their analysis of geological
processes and formations, the earth was not a few thousand years old but, in
fact, several millions of years old. The appearance of Charles Darwin's On
the Origin of Species in 1859 and the associated Theory of Evolution,
provided evidence that life was much older than 6,000 years. Most Protestant
theologians by 1900, including those opposed to the theory of evolution,
rejected the 4004 BC model and argued the earth was very old. Many
evangelical theologians adopted a figurative interpretation of the first two
chapters of Genesis."

Quite right.  I shall look at the Scientology article next.

Peter





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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontent issues.

Michael Snow-3
Peter Damian wrote:
> Hoping I am not straying too far off-topic.
You are. Are the Citizendium forum and mailing lists so completely dead
that issues with its articles cannot be discussed there?

--Michael Snow

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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontent issues.

Peter Damian
In reply to this post by John Mark Vandenberg
From: "John Vandenberg" <[hidden email]>

>Pseudo-science, pseudo-humanities, etc are no stranger to Wikipedia,
>and our processes have not always been victorious over it.  Simply
>put, the rubbish on Wikipedia outweights the rubbish on CZ, and I
>suspect that an academically sound study would indicate that,
>proportionally speaking, Wikipedia pollutes the interweb more than CZ.

I looked at the two following two pages

http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Alice_Bailey
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Bailey

The first of which (the CZ version) is mentioned in the RationalWiki page as
an abomination.  The CZ version is better.  It is still too long for such a
silly subject, but minute in comparison to the Wikipedia page, which is
endless.  So yes, a serious study comparing the "crank quotient" between the
two encyclopedias would be interesting. I suspect WP would win (for
crankiness, I mean) hands down.  I attempted to document some of it here

http://www.mywikibiz.com/Directory:The_Wikipedia_Point_of_View/Cranks

but gave up, there is just too much.  There are whole categories of it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Theosophical_philosophical_concepts .
And don't get me onto the subject of the gurus who are using the project to
self-advertise http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilber . That gets me very
close to what got me banned in the first place.  (End of rant, sorry).

Peter


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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontent issues.

Peter Damian
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-3
From: "Michael Snow" <[hidden email]>
> Peter Damian wrote:
>> Hoping I am not straying too far off-topic.
> You are. Are the Citizendium forum and mailing lists so completely dead
> that issues with its articles cannot be discussed there?
>
> --Michael Snow

Sorry.  It began with the David Gerard's assertion that 'credentialism'
leads to crank-magnetism, and a link to an article he wrote (with some other
RationalWiki editors) comparing Wikipedia with Citizendium. You think this
is not relevant?  John Vandenberg also questioned whether a serious study
comparing the quality of articles between the two projects would not find
more problems with Wikipedia (I think he is right).

Peter


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Re: Organization on Wikipedia that deals withcontent issues.

Peter Damian
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-3
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Snow" <[hidden email]>

You are this Michael Snow, correct?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Michael_Snow

You are currently on the Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation and
previously served as chair of the Board of Trustees.  You take exception, in
a thread which is explicitly about content issues in Wikipedia, with a post
that makes unfavourable comparison between Wikipedia and one of its
competitors. Why is this?

Peter


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