The cowards of Wikipediocracy

For serious discussion of the "major" forum for Wikipedia criticism and how it fails.
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AndrewForson
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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by AndrewForson » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:40 pm

The old-school way of incorporating this sort of data into an encyclopaedia would be for the organisation developing the encyclopaedia to work with the organisation holding the data to develop some sort of API which would allow the data to be transferred on the fly. It would require some code writing but would then have some realistic chance of being stable for years at a time. So why do it by hand? Surely the answer is, to create work for the addicts so they can delude themselves into thinking they're doing something useful: possibly even "creating knowledge". Instead they're doing rather badly what a computer does rather well.

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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by CrowsNest » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:07 pm

AndrewForson wrote:The old-school way of incorporating this sort of data into an encyclopaedia would be for the organisation developing the encyclopaedia to work with the organisation holding the data to develop some sort of API which would allow the data to be transferred on the fly. It would require some code writing but would then have some realistic chance of being stable for years at a time. So why do it by hand? Surely the answer is, to create work for the addicts so they can delude themselves into thinking they're doing something useful: possibly even "creating knowledge". Instead they're doing rather badly what a computer does rather well.
Granted, except it was a computer that caused this error. Why are they using a computer? Because nobody in their right mind wants to transfer a billion coordinate pairs from a US govt. database by hand.

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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by AndrewForson » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:56 pm

CrowsNest wrote:[...]except it was a computer that caused this error.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. It malfunctioned? It was incorrectly programmed? It was given incorrect data to start with?

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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by CrowsNest » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:36 pm

AndrewForson wrote:
CrowsNest wrote:[...]except it was a computer that caused this error.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. It malfunctioned? It was incorrectly programmed? It was given incorrect data to start with?
The last one. Although arguably this also falls under the middle one. It did exactly what it was asked to do, but the result was erroneous data finding its way onto Wikipedia.

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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by CrowsNest » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:56 pm

Malik_Shabbaz wrote:
AndyTheGrump wrote:Wikipedia 'popular culture' sections have always been bollocks, plain and simple. As for the 'satire' section in the MacArthur biography, unsourced negative content violates WP:BLP policy.
Agree, and agree. I just deleted the "Satire" section.
Sometimes these people make it so easy to show what I say about them is 100% accurate, and what cowards they are for not defending themselves, even when the shit they say is said on Wikipediocracy, a site which theoretically offers them no protection on grounds of them simply being faithful wiki-soldiers. Not for nothing do I regularly berate Andy for being a clueless gimp, and Malik for routinely lacking any kind of policy knowledge at all while never being afraid to make edits in pursuance of his own ignorance.

They're discussing this edit.....

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... ar_culture

I haven't seen the sitcom episode, but the idea this might plausibly be a false recounting of its content (or the sketch show), seems dubious. Whatever her Wikipedia biography says, especially now, in the British public consciousness, she is known for two things - sailing around the world, and appearing to lose her mind as she documented her trip. That is an indisputable fact.

The issue of sourcing is simple - it is not and likely never will be a requirement of BLP that if you want to relay the contents of a TV show that shows a living person in a negative light, you somehow need an extra source over and above the specific details of the show. People have of course tried, but because other people can see how that could be abused, it has always been resisted. A TV show, or any work of fiction, is the source for what it contains. Obviously, you can't use your own interpretations, and if they exist, secondary sources should be used, like the guidance says, but this is all already covered by existing policy, it has naught to do with, nor is it superseded by, BLP.

If it is true, i.e. if the source verifies it, the only valid reason anyone can offer to exclude this information, is if they can somehow argue it is trivial. And that is a hard sell when the shows are broadcast on major channels. The way Wikipediots usually get around that, is to demand evidence it was noted in secondary sources, so as to demonstrate it was deemed noteworthy (but if they ever utter the word WP:NOTABLE then that proves they're bullshitting, because that guideline does not apply to in-article text). They're entitled to believe this is how to prove non-triviality, but not if it is simply being done as a convenient workaround because they lack the support in policy to remove what they don't want to be in the article. Which in this case, it clearly would be.

For the record, secondary sources have at least noted both portrayals.....

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2005/ ... features11

https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-previews ... ive-577506

And so it is proven, unless or until they can disprove it, that Wikipediocracy has just aided and abetted two absolutely clueless fuckwits, and not for the purposes of causing critic assisting vandalism. These are people they are happy to call respected and valued posters, and unless their entire lives are a sham, their aims are most certainly not vandalism. The state of decline of Wikipedia is such that the edit will likely stick, probably not even being challenged. Certainly regular editors know all about Malik's reputation for being a complete mental case, and that he has powerful Admin friends, so why would they bother, even though they can prove he is talking utter shite? And they can see not even Wikipediocracy would be a reliable source of support in that scenario.

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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by AndrewForson » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:48 pm

This illustrates quite neatly the dilemma that a project to write an encyclopaedia faces if it chooses to have its articles written by anonymous loons rather than experts with a reputation to lose. CN asserts that Ellen MacArthur is "known for two things - sailing around the world, and appearing to lose her mind as she documented her trip. That is an indisputable fact." Of course, like most bald assertions claimed to be "indisputable", it is pretty easy to dispute it. Why on earth should anyone else in the entire world accept CN as an authority on this issue? Does he claim to have carefully studied the media coverage of her life and the public perception of her achievements over time and done an analysis to show that these two things are not only true but also the only things that she is known for? No, of course not. What he means is that he vaguely remembers these things from the media coverage at the time. If I asserted that she is actually known for a third thing, namely having the largest collection of liquorice allsorts in the Western Hemisphere, or that she was actually known for the sang-froid and stiff-upper-lippedness of her video diaries, or that careful studies have shown that nobody in the entire world has ever heard of her, why should anyone prefer his version over mine? Wikipedia faces the dilemma of either publishing stuff like that with no obvious basis, and no reason to believe in it whatsoever, or plagiarising it from other people whom the public at large might have some reason to accept as knowing that they are talking about. I think that while Wikipedia continues to exist and to pollute the well of knowledge, it is more humane to try to minimise the damage it causes to individual people, such as Ellen MacArthur, who deserve better than to be mocked by anonymous cowards. Of course, from a HTD perspective, it would be better to leave it in, but in this case I prefer to err on the side of humanity.

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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by CrowsNest » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:46 pm

Look at this gimp....

http://wikipediocracy.com/forum/viewtop ... f=8&t=9426

What a shit way to start a thread. Because Wikipediocracy likes to protect cowards like Andy The Gimp, he never gets enough reminders as to what the purpose of the website actually is, and so he produces ill thought out and meandering garbage like that.

What a serious with critic would do in this situation, what I would have done, is outline the real problem. It took me five minutes to identify it - there is a policy based reason not to use miles and chains in this fashion, indeed someone on Wikipedia has already articulated it........
I refer you to Wikipedia's manual of style, under 'Technical language', especially "Do not introduce new and specialized words simply to teach them to the reader when more common alternatives will do". If you're unable to explain why this abstruse term must remain in the article, then it ought to be removed.
Euphiletos (talk) 12:54, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
The people he was talking to, simply ignored his policy based argument, and responded with their own justifications, which, while loosely related to general policy (consensus, verifiability), do not overcome his well made point, which trumps theirs because of its high degree of relevance in context.

That is the real issue here. The people who are being tendentious, defending a poorly supported WP:LOCALCONSENSUS, are indeed doing so because they are railway enthusiasts, but the more pressing problem is they are also Administrators.

Wikipedia's broken system of governance ensures that it is easy, very easy, for Administrators to exemplify the poorest standards of debate, especially if acting as a group who are claiming to be protecting the integrity of an article. And while I'm sure they would meticulously abide by WP:INVOLVED and not personally block the users who are mystefied by their stated content preference, the ease with which involved Administrators can find an uninvolved one who will simply assume the Admin is in the right, is a factor.

That, Dear Andy, is how Wikipedia ended up with stuff in articles that your tiny little brain doesn't understand. "Why don't you just click the link?" is also an argument that appears with some frequency in this issue. It is invalid, people are not required to click the links before being able to understand the basics of an article, but because Wikipediocracy provides a natural home for the sort of lazy asshole who thinks this is a well made point, you'd be more likely to see it put forward as a reply to Andy's shit thread, not included in his OP as further context as to what really prevents Wikipedia being an accessible, useful, encyclopedia.

On a final related point, serious crtics would never forget that Wikipedia is, theoretically at least, both for general and specialist readers. So, while you should not use technical language in the opening line, if the units used have relevance to the field for specialsts, as these do (easy to verify, if the discussion didn't help Andy figure it out), they should appear somewhere in the article.

Or, as one Wikiepdia editor put it.....
The lead is not meant to be detailed, so giving an exact measurement there is not necessary. In the body however the specificity is useful, but adding a note (because the man on the street speaks in fractional miles) is helpful for comprehension. -mattbuck (Talk) 20:02, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Will that user's perfectly sound interpretation of policy be respected by these trainspotting Administrators who are edit warring to retain their preferences? The answer is no, for two reasons. One, that user is not an Administrator. And two, the user spends little time on en.wiki, devoting most of their attention to Commons (where you will see, ironically, that they are a trainspotter).

So as a final humiliation for Andy, it is clear from a few minutes reading the source code of the Matrix, that this failing of Wikipedia isn't easily explained by simply casting trainspotters as the problem users, the people who don't understand what Wikipedia is for. Critics are meant to be able to read the source code.

Andy isn't a serious critic. He's a basic bitch. He's my bitch.

Zoloft is still missing. Quite right too. Fancy defending this garbage. For shame.

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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by AndrewForson » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:13 pm

You need to focus that anger a little more carefully. There are three things you're railing against at once here, and it damages the effectiveness of your attack on each of them:
  1. The stupidity of a debate on Wikipedia over how to write articles on ralways, when that could and should have been decided once and for all ten years ago;
  2. The stupidity of the choice made in that discussion, when you prsonally think miles and chains a stupid system of measurement;
  3. The stupidity of the discussion of points (1) and (2) at Wikipediocracy.

The effective criticism on (1) is that a proper encyclopaedia would have an editorial authority who decided these issues once and for all, but Wikipedia and Wikipedians pretend that they can dispense with any form of editorial control in favour of content control, and this dispute is yet another piece of evidence for the proposition that this is an irrecoverably bad idea. There's no point in trying to analyse this as a dispute over whether or not the usage follows policy, because there is always a policy argument to support any side in a Wikipedia dispute, and a further policy to say that you don't need to follow policy. The only true rationale for deciding a debate is, which side has more political clout. Each side will find policy arguments, and the alpha side will win. There's no more to it than that.

The effective criticism on (3) is that simply rehearsing Wikipedia disputes in a forum where they can be of no effect whatsoever, and which was intended for criticism of Wikipedia as an entity, is a waste of time and electrons.

The effective criticism on (2) is to take another sip of tea and then see that if there is no point rehearsing the dispute on Wikipediocracy, there can surely be even less point, if that were possible, in replaying here in a thread devoted to criticising Wikipediocracy.

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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by CrowsNest » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:00 pm

It's your assumptions leading you astray again. The content and location for the post were deliberately chosen to match the topic.

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Re: The cowards of Wikipediocracy

Post by AndrewForson » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:08 pm

CrowsNest wrote:It's your assumptions leading you astray again. The content and location for the post were deliberately chosen to match the topic.

I don't think I suggested that the content and location had been chosen other than deliberately: but that the choice was sub-optimal and tended to make them ineffective. Still, it will doubtless be easy for you to refute my suggestion of ineffectuality, by stating now what the effect is that was intended and subsequently demonstrating that that intended effect did actually occur. As they say at Wimbledon, the ball is in your court.

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