Wikipedia's destiny

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
On 2/24/06, Peter Mackay <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Pete, astonished to find that on Google China the medal tally for the Winter
> Olympics is very very different

Was this just a tongue in cheek remark? What do you mean the medal
tally "on Google China"? URL?

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Peter Mackay
> From: [hidden email]
> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Steve Bennett

>
> On 2/24/06, Peter Mackay <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Pete, astonished to find that on Google China the medal
> tally for the
> > Winter Olympics is very very different
>
> Was this just a tongue in cheek remark? What do you mean the
> medal tally "on Google China"? URL?

You can pretty much take it as read that if I say something as a mock-sig
line after "Pete," then it's intended to be amusing.

Pete, not always bang on target


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
Damn, I love a good conspiracy theory.

Steve

On 2/26/06, Peter Mackay <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > From: [hidden email]
> > [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Steve Bennett
>
> >
> > On 2/24/06, Peter Mackay <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > Pete, astonished to find that on Google China the medal
> > tally for the
> > > Winter Olympics is very very different
> >
> > Was this just a tongue in cheek remark? What do you mean the
> > medal tally "on Google China"? URL?
>
> You can pretty much take it as read that if I say something as a mock-sig
> line after "Pete," then it's intended to be amusing.
>
> Pete, not always bang on target
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
In reply to this post by John Lee-5
On 2/23/06, John Lee <[hidden email]> wrote:
> If people refused to AfD anything they didn't know anything about (who
> can really say they know anything about my local garage band?), we would
> be deleting a lot less crap, if less good articles. It's all a question
> of trading off false positives for false negatives. I have rarely seen
> an ignorance-based debate that didn't end up getting closed as a keep,
> or being overturned by DRV.

An excellent argument for why AfD should never be democracy-based (or
believed to be that way). In these situations, you almost need someone
to step up, say, "Look, I actually know something about entomology. I
believe this insect is notable", wipe all the existing votes, and say
"now, does anyone actually disagree?"

It also seems to me that "ignorance-based debates" are not in
themselves harmful, provided that there are mechanisms such that they
don't drown out the informed. Everyone's worst nightmare is the 10
pokemon fans drowning out the tenured professor in his own field. But
does it actually happen?

(PS if anyone here is a pokémon fan, just let me know and give me a
different demographic to pick on instead...)

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

BJörn Lindqvist
In reply to this post by John Lee-5
> If people refused to AfD anything they didn't know anything about (who
> can really say they know anything about my local garage band?), we would
> be deleting a lot less crap, if less good articles. It's all a question
> of trading off false positives for false negatives. I have rarely seen

It used to be that way. It was always considered better to keep a
crappy article than to delete a good one. The deletion policy used to
read "In case of doubt *don't delete*"

> an ignorance-based debate that didn't end up getting closed as a keep,
> or being overturned by DRV.

So you admit the existance of ignorance-based debates on AFD? :)
Sounds like a good reason to get rid of the whole thing. The ignorance
is time-consuming, even for those who do not wish to get involved in
the ignorance debates.

--
mvh Björn
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Tony Sidaway-3
On 2/27/06, BJörn Lindqvist <[hidden email]> wrote:
>It was always considered better to keep a
> crappy article than to delete a good one. The deletion policy used to
> read "In case of doubt *don't delete*"

"If in doubt, don't delete?"  It still does.  A fellow who tried
repeatedly to remove that without discussion was recently censured by
the arbitration committee.
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Daniel R. Tobias
In reply to this post by Joshua Griisser
On 27 Feb 2006 at 00:27, "Steve Bennett" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> It also seems to me that "ignorance-based debates" are not in
> themselves harmful, provided that there are mechanisms such that they
> don't drown out the informed. Everyone's worst nightmare is the 10
> pokemon fans drowning out the tenured professor in his own field. But
> does it actually happen?

It can cut both ways... would you want a bunch of tenured professors
passing judgment as to the notability of a Pokemon-related article?

One hopes that, in general, people of all levels of expertise and
interest use some common sense in their AfD participation and pay
some heed to the writings of others with more knowledge and interest
in the particular topic on which the article is written.

--
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
On 2/27/06, Daniel R. Tobias <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It can cut both ways... would you want a bunch of tenured professors
> passing judgment as to the notability of a Pokemon-related article?

A professor in Pokemonology, yes...

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by Daniel R. Tobias
On Sun, 26 Feb 2006 23:08:16 -0500, you wrote:

>It can cut both ways... would you want a bunch of tenured professors
>passing judgment as to the notability of a Pokemon-related article?

Don't raise false hopes, it's not kind.
Guy (JzG)
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Joshua Griisser
Steve Bennett wrote:

>An excellent argument for why AfD should never be democracy-based (or
>believed to be that way). In these situations, you almost need someone
>to step up, say, "Look, I actually know something about entomology. I
>believe this insect is notable", wipe all the existing votes, and say
>"now, does anyone actually disagree?"
>It also seems to me that "ignorance-based debates" are not in
>themselves harmful, provided that there are mechanisms such that they
>don't drown out the informed. Everyone's worst nightmare is the 10
>pokemon fans drowning out the tenured professor in his own field. But
>does it actually happen?


It has already happened, on webcomics - a dedicated few editors worked
hard to alienate and drive off actual experts (while an actual
academic expert who's a Wikipedian tried to stop it happening), and
tried to force through that an expert could be outvoted by the proudly
ignorant. This led to Comixpedia forking the contributor base. Others
have seen this debacle and declared they want to have nothing to do
with Wikipedia while it perpetrates this sort of jawdropping idiocy,
and I'm having a very hard time convincing them otherwise. They don't
even want to use the GFDL because (2) it's complicated and unobvious
(1) it's too closely associated with Wikipedia. See past discussion on
this very list.


- d.
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
On 2/27/06, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It has already happened, on webcomics - a dedicated few editors worked
> hard to alienate and drive off actual experts (while an actual
> academic expert who's a Wikipedian tried to stop it happening), and
> tried to force through that an expert could be outvoted by the proudly
> ignorant. This led to Comixpedia forking the contributor base. Others

Ah, is *that* what the repeated hushed murmurs about webcomics being
evil is all about. Is there any kind of public "We're sorry, it won't
happen again"?

> have seen this debacle and declared they want to have nothing to do
> with Wikipedia while it perpetrates this sort of jawdropping idiocy,
> and I'm having a very hard time convincing them otherwise. They don't

What are the possible solutions? Can we give people cluestars when
they have formal expertise on a subject?

(on that note...I'm just thinking if I would deserve any cluestars. I
can think of one tiny area of human knowledge on which I'm an expert,
but that's it...very humbling)

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Block-3
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

> Steve Bennett wrote:
>
>> An excellent argument for why AfD should never be democracy-based (or
>> believed to be that way). In these situations, you almost need someone
>> to step up, say, "Look, I actually know something about entomology. I
>> believe this insect is notable", wipe all the existing votes, and say
>> "now, does anyone actually disagree?"
>> It also seems to me that "ignorance-based debates" are not in
>> themselves harmful, provided that there are mechanisms such that they
>> don't drown out the informed. Everyone's worst nightmare is the 10
>> pokemon fans drowning out the tenured professor in his own field. But
>> does it actually happen?
>
>
> It has already happened, on webcomics - a dedicated few editors worked
> hard to alienate and drive off actual experts (while an actual
> academic expert who's a Wikipedian tried to stop it happening), and
> tried to force through that an expert could be outvoted by the proudly
> ignorant.

I think they were advocates rather than experts, weren't they?
Webcomics haven't really been around long enough to have established
academic roots.  I think I'd bow to Scott McCloud if he deemed something
notable, but webcomics is such a new medium that it's impossible to
determine scholarly worth: there are few academic papers on the subject.
  It's a different field to etymology; we're not comparing like for
like.  Wikipedia isn't the place to be asserting the notability of
things, it's where we record the notability granted by other sources.
That was an aspect of the forking too.  I also think it's rather mean of
you to discuss people as ignorant.

Steve block


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Joshua Griisser
Steve Block wrote:

>I think they were advocates rather than experts, weren't they?


This is not the case and does them a great injustice. Though it's
possible such an assumption of bad faith from outsiders was behind the
dedicated attempts to drive them off.


>Webcomics haven't really been around long enough to have established
>academic roots.


This is not the case either. Try a websearch on "webcomics academic".

You should read up on the arbitration case:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Webcomics


- d.
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Mark Gallagher-5
In reply to this post by Steve Bennett-4

G'day Steve,

> On 2/23/06, John Lee <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>If people refused to AfD anything they didn't know anything about (who
>>can really say they know anything about my local garage band?), we would
>>be deleting a lot less crap, if less good articles. It's all a question
>>of trading off false positives for false negatives. I have rarely seen
>>an ignorance-based debate that didn't end up getting closed as a keep,
>>or being overturned by DRV.
>  
> An excellent argument for why AfD should never be democracy-based (or
> believed to be that way). In these situations, you almost need someone
> to step up, say, "Look, I actually know something about entomology. I
> believe this insect is notable", wipe all the existing votes, and say
> "now, does anyone actually disagree?"
>
> It also seems to me that "ignorance-based debates" are not in
> themselves harmful, provided that there are mechanisms such that they
> don't drown out the informed. Everyone's worst nightmare is the 10
> pokemon fans drowning out the tenured professor in his own field. But
> does it actually happen?

At least half the battle is having a closer who is on their toes.  One
who believes "it's not my place to creatively interpret the discussion",
or "I can't buck consensus" (with "consensus" defined numerically) is
likely to enable votes-cast-out-of-ignorance.  One who knows that AfD is
not a vote and therefore that the ignorant can't cast a single bloody
thing and may as well sit at home nibbling on their own toenails is far
less likely to encourage AfD to do damage.  Admittedly, there's a good
chance we could be *wrong*, and then we look much sillier than Mr
Tally-is-King, but you can't have everything.

My personal brush with out-of-control rogueness is at[0], and I note
with some pride (in Wikipedians, not myself) that it hasn't even been
nominated at DRV, let alone overturned.


[0]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Jonathan_Smith_%28games_programmer%29

<snip />

--
Mark Gallagher
"What?  I can't hear you, I've got a banana on my head!"
- Danger Mouse


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Block-3
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:
> Steve Block wrote:
>
>> I think they were advocates rather than experts, weren't they?
>
>
> This is not the case and does them a great injustice. Though it's
> possible such an assumption of bad faith from outsiders was behind the
> dedicated attempts to drive them off.

That's not a bad faith assumption.  Eric Burns is, on one level, a
blogger who writes about webcomics.  Are we suggesting any blogger is a
reputable expert on a given field?  There's a real problem with deciding
the reliability and reputability of online content.  Eric Burns is also
still an advocate on wikipedia.  The history of webcomics has not yet
been written, so how can he be anything but?  And given his involvement
in the webcomics field, how does one determine whether he is a partisan
source?


>> Webcomics haven't really been around long enough to have established
>> academic roots.
>
>
> This is not the case either. Try a websearch on "webcomics academic".

I get two hits.
http://www.google.com/search?hs=5Z1&hl=en&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=%22webcomics+academic%22&btnG=Search

> You should read up on the arbitration case:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Webcomics

I have.  I agree with the result.  Things were handled badly, but
there's no ruling on the notability of anything.  Part of the rationale
behind the rewrite of WP:WEB on my part was to move it away from the
problems that caused that situation.  The arguments should be about the
reliability of sources, not the people writing the articles.  If Eric
Burns believes something is worth keeping, he should be able to source
that belief, otherwise explain to me why it isn't original research?

Steve block


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Phil Boswell
"Steve Block" <[hidden email]> wrote in
message news:[hidden email]...
> David Gerard wrote:
>> Steve Block wrote:
>>> I think they were advocates rather than experts, weren't they?
>> This is not the case and does them a great injustice. Though it's
>> possible such an assumption of bad faith from outsiders was behind the
>> dedicated attempts to drive them off.
> That's not a bad faith assumption.  Eric Burns is, on one level, a
> blogger who writes about webcomics.  Are we suggesting any blogger is a
> reputable expert on a given field?

Not necessarily, but we are in danger of declaring that an Expert with a
Blog is no longer to be considered an Expert.

Which croggles the mind...

HTH HAND
--
Phil
[[en:User:Phil Boswell]]



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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 2/23/06, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> >I think I'm going to have to take a serious look at AfD, because if it
> >is this far broken, there's something seriously seriously worse about it
> >than I thought.
>
>
> Well, uh, yeah, that's what I've been saying for a year ;-)
>
> I suggest first going to and participating in [[WT:AFD]], outlining
> the problems and asking for AFD regulars to come up with in-house
> solutions.

I was going to suggest some text like the following at the top of
deletion policy:

The priorities for participants in Articles for Deletion are as
follows, '''in this order''':
#Removing articles harmful to Wikipedia and its goals, such as
copyright violations and libellous material.
#Improving badly-written articles on suitable topics, to produce
articles worthy of inclusion.
#Keeping all articles on suitable topics
#Removing articles whose topics are not notable enough or otherwise
suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia.
#Following deletion process with good faith and civility.

...followed by some examples of conflicting priorities, and how it's
ok to occasionally violate policy when it is clear what the best end
result would be.

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Block-3
In reply to this post by Phil Boswell
Phil Boswell wrote:

> "Steve Block" <[hidden email]> wrote in
> message news:[hidden email]...
>>Are we suggesting any blogger is a
>> reputable expert on a given field?
>
> Not necessarily, but we are in danger of declaring that an Expert with a
> Blog is no longer to be considered an Expert.
>
> Which croggles the mind...
>
> HTH HAND

I don't intend any such thing.  But given Burns' writing on webcomics is
online, it makes it hard to quantify the credentials of his asserted
claim to expertness.  I have no problem with established experts having
blogs, as long as guidance at [[WP:RS]] is noted.  I have a problem with
someone who is cited as an expert because they have a blog on a topic.
Burns falls between the two stools, having also written for Comixpedia,
an online magazine which whilst I am happy to entertain as a source
others have indicated a refusal to do so.  I would not describe Burns as
an expert in the field anymore than I would describe Andrew Johnson of
ninth art an expert in the comics field.  I would describe them as
advocates.  Their position is in advocating their particular field of
interest to respectability.

Steve block


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Michael Snow
In reply to this post by Joshua Griisser
Steve Block wrote:

> David Gerard wrote:
>
>> Steve Block wrote:
>>
>>> I think they were advocates rather than experts, weren't they?
>>
>> This is not the case and does them a great injustice. Though it's
>> possible such an assumption of bad faith from outsiders was behind the
>> dedicated attempts to drive them off.
>
> That's not a bad faith assumption.  Eric Burns is, on one level, a
> blogger who writes about webcomics.  Are we suggesting any blogger is
> a reputable expert on a given field?

No, we're not, but in the field of webcomics, it's quite plausible for
the reputable experts to come from the world of blogging. Perhaps after
we've dealt with irrational prejudices against webcomics, we can move on
to the problems caused by irrational prejudices against bloggers.

> There's a real problem with deciding the reliability and reputability
> of online content.  Eric Burns is also still an advocate on
> wikipedia.  The history of webcomics has not yet been written, so how
> can he be anything but?  And given his involvement in the webcomics
> field, how does one determine whether he is a partisan source?

If the history of webcomics has not yet been written, that would be a
good reason to write it on Wikipedia. Someone who understands the field
well enough to write a proper history can figure out who's a partisan
source, what information they're still useful for, and how to balance
their partisanship with other sources. It just requires critical
thinking and editorial judgment.

--Michael Snow
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

John Lee-5
In reply to this post by BJörn Lindqvist
BJörn Lindqvist wrote:

>>If people refused to AfD anything they didn't know anything about (who
>>can really say they know anything about my local garage band?), we would
>>be deleting a lot less crap, if less good articles. It's all a question
>>of trading off false positives for false negatives. I have rarely seen
>>    
>>
>
>It used to be that way. It was always considered better to keep a
>crappy article than to delete a good one. The deletion policy used to
>read "In case of doubt *don't delete*"
>  
>
AFAIK it still does. It doesn't say "In case of doubt don't nominate for
deletion".

>  
>
>>an ignorance-based debate that didn't end up getting closed as a keep,
>>or being overturned by DRV.
>>    
>>
>
>So you admit the existance of ignorance-based debates on AFD? :)
>Sounds like a good reason to get rid of the whole thing. The ignorance
>is time-consuming, even for those who do not wish to get involved in
>the ignorance debates.
>  
>
Wikipedia is full of editors generally ignorant in anything other than a
few fields. Any decision involving community input would necessarily
involve a lot of ignorance. If you can find something that cuts out
community input with creating excessive elitism, or permits community
input but avoids ignorance, feel free to put forth a proposal. Until
then, I'll presume that this is the best we can do. A wiki is about
letting people make mistakes (whether by fucking up an edit or fucking
up a deletion nom), in the knowledge that others will correct them later on.

John
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