Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

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Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

David Gerard-2
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7962912.stm

" Primary school pupils should learn how to blog and use internet
sites like Twitter and Wikipedia and spend less time studying history,
it is claimed. A review of the primary school curriculum in England
will be published in a final report next month. "

(from WMUK list via Thomas Dalton)


- d.

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

Thomas Dalton
2009/3/25 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7962912.stm
>
> " Primary school pupils should learn how to blog and use internet
> sites like Twitter and Wikipedia and spend less time studying history,
> it is claimed. A review of the primary school curriculum in England
> will be published in a final report next month. "
>
> (from WMUK list via Thomas Dalton)

It should be made clear that this is just a proposal from the person
doing the review, it is some way off actually being included in the
National Curriculum. Hopefully WMUK will be able to get involved if it
is, though - we've been discussing working with schools for a while
already, so it looks like we'll have more schools interested in having
us visit if this goes ahead!

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

Angela Anuszewski
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
Until the UK decides to block access again because of some album cover
art. Then what do the teachers do?

Angela

--
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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

Thomas Dalton
2009/3/25 Angela Anuszewski <[hidden email]>:
> Until the UK decides to block access again because of some album cover
> art. Then what do the teachers do?

I don't think the IWF will make that mistake again. I never thought
I'd see so many people being so outspokenly against a charity
dedicated to fighting child pornography!

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

David Gerard-2
2009/3/25 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:

> I don't think the IWF will make that mistake again. I never thought
> I'd see so many people being so outspokenly against a charity
> dedicated to fighting child pornography!


Well, they know we can tell *instantly* when it happens. And they do
answer Mike Godwin's emails asking "are you blocking us?" I mean, I
don't like what they do or how they do it, but they're honest enough
about it.


- d.

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

WJhonson
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
In a message dated 3/25/2009 1:34:36 PM Pacific Standard Time,
[hidden email] writes:


> I don't think the IWF will make that mistake again. I never thought
> I'd see so many people being so outspokenly against a charity
> dedicated to fighting child pornography!>>

That response misses the point.
This "Charity" operates as a black box, not only censoring but refusing to
acknowledge that their acts are hidden, unknowable and possibly arbitrary.

We need this level of censorship?  No.  What this "charity" should do, is
operate in an open manner with appropriate levels of communication with the
public it claims to be serving.

Big brother is not what we crave.  It's what we seek to destroy.  It's what
we should all seek to destroy.  This charity needs to step forward, apologize
for their indecency and change their method of operation.

Will Johnson





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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

David Gerard-2
2009/3/25  <[hidden email]>:

> That response misses the point.
> This "Charity" operates as a black box, not only censoring but refusing to
> acknowledge that their acts are hidden, unknowable and possibly arbitrary.
> We need this level of censorship?  No.  What this "charity" should do, is
> operate in an open manner with appropriate levels of communication with the
> public it claims to be serving.


The IWF was created by the ISPs to keep the government from bugging
them. The IWF's biggest mistake was arguably thinking they should
actually attempt to do the impossible, rather than just claiming to.
Everyone who knows about them despises them.


- d.

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by WJhonson
2009/3/25  <[hidden email]>:

> In a message dated 3/25/2009 1:34:36 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> [hidden email] writes:
>
>
>> I don't think the IWF will make that mistake again. I never thought
>> I'd see so many people being so outspokenly against a charity
>> dedicated to fighting child pornography!>>
>
> That response misses the point.
> This "Charity" operates as a black box, not only censoring but refusing to
> acknowledge that their acts are hidden, unknowable and possibly arbitrary.
>
> We need this level of censorship?  No.  What this "charity" should do, is
> operate in an open manner with appropriate levels of communication with the
> public it claims to be serving.
>
> Big brother is not what we crave.  It's what we seek to destroy.  It's what
> we should all seek to destroy.  This charity needs to step forward, apologize
> for their indecency and change their method of operation.

No, I didn't miss the point. The point is that IWF will not block
access to Wikipedia again, so there is no problem with accessing it
being compulsory for school children. Censorship of the internet is a
completely different point and not one relevant to this thread.

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

WJhonson
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
In a message dated 3/25/2009 1:59:45 PM Pacific Standard Time,
[hidden email] writes:


> No, I didn't miss the point. The point is that IWF will not block
> access to Wikipedia again, >>
>
>

You were defending an organization that operates censorship police in a
closed manner.  That is not defensible.

Will Johnson




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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

Thomas Dalton
2009/3/25  <[hidden email]>:
> In a message dated 3/25/2009 1:59:45 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> [hidden email] writes:
>
>> No, I didn't miss the point. The point is that IWF will not block
>> access to Wikipedia again, >>
>>
> You were defending an organization that operates censorship police in a
> closed manner.  That is not defensible.

I don't recall defending them, I said they wouldn't make the same
mistake twice, that's all.

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

WJhonson
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
In a message dated 3/25/2009 1:34:36 PM Pacific Standard Time,
[hidden email] writes:


> I don't think the IWF will make that mistake again. I never thought
> I'd see so many people being so outspokenly against a charity
> dedicated to fighting child pornography!>>

This is what you said, which misses the point.
People weren't against them because they are dedicated to fighting child
pornography, so this is a straw man position.

People were against them because they operate censorship inside a black box.

Quite a different situation.  And why people were so vehement in their
condemnation.

Will





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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

Thomas Dalton
2009/3/25  <[hidden email]>:

> In a message dated 3/25/2009 1:34:36 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> [hidden email] writes:
>
>
>> I don't think the IWF will make that mistake again. I never thought
>> I'd see so many people being so outspokenly against a charity
>> dedicated to fighting child pornography!>>
>
> This is what you said, which misses the point.
> People weren't against them because they are dedicated to fighting child
> pornography, so this is a straw man position.
>
> People were against them because they operate censorship inside a black box.
>
> Quite a different situation.  And why people were so vehement in their
> condemnation.

Ah, this is simply a misunderstanding! What I meant was that one would
expect people to be thoroughly in support of a charity dedicated to
fighting child pornography so the fact that there was such outspoken
criticism shows how big a mistake blocking Wikipedia was.

I don't think people were against them due to the lack of
transparency, I think it was the fact that they blocked an
encyclopaedia that annoyed people. (The lack of transparency annoys
us, but I'm not sure the general public/media know much about those
details.)

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

geni
In reply to this post by WJhonson
2009/3/25  <[hidden email]>:
> That response misses the point.
> This "Charity" operates as a black box, not only censoring but refusing to
> acknowledge that their acts are hidden,

No the ISPs know they are being given the list and external audits
have been carried out.

>unknowable

False. We know quite a bit about their actions.

> and possibly arbitrary.

Only insofar as the law is.

> We need this level of censorship?  No.  What this "charity" should do, is
> operate in an open manner with appropriate levels of communication with the
> public it claims to be serving.

It is serving ISPs. And there is quite a high level of communication
between it and the ISPs. It talks to the government time to time and
has dealings with the media (which for the most part isn't
interested).

> Big brother is not what we crave.  It's what we seek to destroy.  It's what
> we should all seek to destroy.

Err no we are looking to create an encyclopedia. Government
surveillance is a separate issue.


--
geni

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

WJhonson
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
In a message dated 3/25/2009 2:59:55 PM Pacific Standard Time,
[hidden email] writes:


> What I meant was that one would
> expect people to be thoroughly in support of a charity dedicated to
> fighting child pornography so the fact that there was such outspoken
> criticism shows how big a mistake blocking Wikipedia was.
>>

But by saying it in this fashion you are mixing two arguments into one.

People *are* thoroughly in support of them.
But people *are also* thoroughly against unjust censorship.
It wasn't because they blocked Wikipedia.  It was because they excercised
utterly outrageous censorship powers.

And to this day, they really haven't learned anything except not to block
Wikipedia.  They will most likely happily block other sites, without recourse,
without openness, and without any attempt at fairness.  Wikipedia just happens
to have people monitoring it who can *do* something about these actions.  Not
every site owner does.







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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

WJhonson
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
In a message dated 3/25/2009 3:02:52 PM Pacific Standard Time,
[hidden email] writes:


>
> Err no we are looking to create an encyclopedia. Government
> surveillance is a separate issue.
>>

You are assuming that "we" means the project.
I used "we" to mean "all right thinking people".

Will





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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

Durova
Getting back to the original post.

How's Wikipedia's coverage of history, compared to the average British
school textbook?

-Durova

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 4:08 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In a message dated 3/25/2009 3:02:52 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> [hidden email] writes:
>
>
> >
> > Err no we are looking to create an encyclopedia. Government
> > surveillance is a separate issue.
> >>
>
> You are assuming that "we" means the project.
> I used "we" to mean "all right thinking people".
>
> Will
>
>
>
>
>
> **************
> Feeling the pinch at the grocery store?  Make dinner for $10 or
> less. (http://food.aol.com/frugal-feasts?ncid=emlcntusfood00000001)
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
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>



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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

WJhonson
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
In a message dated 3/25/2009 3:09:46 PM Pacific Standard Time,
[hidden email] writes:


> How's Wikipedia's coverage of history, compared to the average British
> school textbook?>>

It's certainly more in-depth in certain areas.  What modern textbook will
mention three children of Henry IV who died as children?  Also it tends to make
research easily as it links related topics to each other so you can smoothly
jump forward through relevant or even tangential articles and then back to where
you started.




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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

Phil Nash-2
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

>> 2009/3/25  <[hidden email]>:
>>> In a message dated 3/25/2009 1:34:36 PM Pacific Standard Time,
>>> [hidden email] writes:
>>>
>>>
>>>> I don't think the IWF will make that mistake again. I never thought
>>>> I'd see so many people being so outspokenly against a charity
>>>> dedicated to fighting child pornography!>>
>>>
>>> This is what you said, which misses the point.
>>> People weren't against them because they are dedicated to fighting
>>> child pornography, so this is a straw man position.
>>>
>>> People were against them because they operate censorship inside a
>>> black box.
>>>
>>> Quite a different situation. And why people were so vehement in
>>> their condemnation.
>>
>> Ah, this is simply a misunderstanding! What I meant was that one
>> would expect people to be thoroughly in support of a charity
>> dedicated to fighting child pornography so the fact that there was
>> such outspoken criticism shows how big a mistake blocking Wikipedia
>> was.

On the face of it, yes. However, when, presumably on the basis on an
anonymous complaint, they pass forward a URL to the ISPs who use their
services, without performing anything approaching "due diligence", that
demonstrates to me that not only do they operate in a cultural and political
vacuum, but also that they take on trust any and every report made to them.
That cannot be objectively correct, and they were rightly pilloried for it.
If they have had advice and training from CEOP, either they've ignored it or
that advice they've received is flawed.

It's difficult to blame the ISPs for this, because they take the IWF reports
on trust, and rightly so, to avoid forcibly-imposed regulation, and also to
avoid liability under http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubby_v._CompuServe 
whereby knowledge is fixed if they actually make the decision themselves.

>> I don't think people were against them due to the lack of
>> transparency, I think it was the fact that they blocked an
>> encyclopaedia that annoyed people. (The lack of transparency annoys
>> us, but I'm not sure the general public/media know much about those
>> details.)

Not so much that the whole encyclopedia was blocked, more that the
collateral effect as a result of blocking vandalism was that a bottleneck
handful of re-routed proxy IP addresses was blocked; however, there was no
block on the image page itself, and anyone who knows the basics of the http:
protocol could work round it; and, of course, it only applied to en:wiki.

All in all, people should stick to things they understand, be it
basket-weaving, medieval history, or drainage.



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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

geni
In reply to this post by Durova
2009/3/25 Durova <[hidden email]>:
> Getting back to the original post.
>
> How's Wikipedia's coverage of history, compared to the average British
> school textbook?
>
> -Durova

Probably more comprehensive in that no one has yet worked out how to
make a text book 30 foot thick. On the other hand in say the case of
WW1 wikipedia tends to focus on the battles, the tactics, the weapons
and to an extent the politics rather than what life was like for the
average solider.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trench_warfare#Life_in_the_trenches

probably comes closest.

Compare that with the length of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Chamond_(tank)


--
geni

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Re: Wikipedia isn't just a good idea - it's compulsory

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Durova
2009/3/25 Durova <[hidden email]>:
> Getting back to the original post.
>
> How's Wikipedia's coverage of history, compared to the average British
> school textbook?

Almost certainly broader and deeper, but probably harder to
understand. Our articles aren't really aimed at primary school
children. Textbooks focus on just what school children are expected to
study, which makes them far easier to teach from. I don't think
Wikipedia will ever replace textbooks, that is Wikibooks job.
Wikipedia will be used for school research projects.

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