Amateur Wikipediots and their Wermacht glorification ways

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Amateur Wikipediots and their Wermacht glorification ways

Post by CrowsNest » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:28 pm ... =837308286

Hard hitting peice being lined up by User:K.e.coffman as an Op-Ed in the SignPost. Should revive their circulation figures if nothing else.

I'm uncertain on the whole content issue he alleges, largely because I myself am not a recognised historian and my brain is indeed polluted by years of lazy consumption of the History channel. Although I note from the contents of one recent and newly commissioned programme therein, I was able to deduce that one of Wikipedia's articles is indeed seemingly overplaying the SS angle to the detriment of fully contextualizing the Wermacht's level of potential indoctrination.

I am left wondering if that particular expert's credentials would pass muster for what seems like an attempt to lay this groundwork for a Milhist version of WP:MEDRS.

That potential source of entertainment aside, I was rather amused by his evident hope that there is some reason to believe any of these issues are fixable. That the nature and skillset of Wikipedians is somehow going to evolve. More likely, they will simply get even further bogged down in pointless arguments that will perplex actual historians. Just as I imagine their interminable squabbles over MEDRS just perplex actual doctors.

His basic error, the reason he could be wasting the next ten years of his life on this fool's errand if he isn't careful, is not recognising Wikipedia simply isn't an exercise in building an encyclopedia except in the most crude of terms - i.e. that stuff needs to go in, and the pile of stuff needs to get bigger over time.

Their claimed openness to academic experts as long as they play by their rules (a big ask), and their claimed devotion to use of only the highest quality sourcing in the most appropriate ways, where all disputes are resolved through calm formation of consensus around the sensible interpretation of policy, is purely the theory. In practice, it doesn't work. That's not even how it works in academia, but crucially, it probably is how it works in the offices of Brittanica. And therein lies the difference.

In the words of one of the historians he emailed.......
The nature of Wikipedia is a large part of the problem, because "enthusiasts" are the ones who tend to spend the most time writing and editing.
You can't fight the inherent nature of Wikipedia. You can make the policies as good as you like, and they are already quite good - the issue is the people they're being read by, or rather argued over. Wikipedia is just a less hilarious version of what it might be like to watch a group of monkeys try and have a debate according to written Parliamentary rules of conduct. Although to be completely accurate, you'd need to add into that mental image a large majority of intelligent monkeys who are well aware of the farce they are a party to, but whose entreaties for good conduct go unheard by their less evolved so called peers. When you pay peanuts (and leave shit all over the floor), well....

I also noted that there is some talk that he might himself have a closer level of interest in all this than merely being a concerned Wikipedian. As always, Wikipedia's insistence on anonymity (an anathema to academics) means it is impossible to say either way. We also of course don't know the precise nature of the emails he sent. Seems to me like he'd have to be very careful there, to avoid any accusations of impropriety.

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