"Thus, to avoid future problems, Wales plans to bar anonymous users from
creating new articles; only registered members will be able to do so.
That change will go into effect Monday, he said, adding that anonymous
users will still be able to edit existing entries."
Why were Wikipedians the last to know about this? I only saw some
discussion on the mailing list about this, but nothing final. Why do we
have to learn of this from the media instead of straight from Jimbo?
This is really disturbing.
It is natural that as we grow our values take more certain form, and our
understanding of them, and the reasons for them, develop.
I believe that Verifiability and No original research are two policies
essential to the future of the project, which is to produce a high-quality
encyclopedia. If other encyclopedias are not rigorous on these matters, it
is because their articles are generally written by PhD.s or graduate
students, and are peer-reviewed. I do not want our articles to have to be
written by PhD.s or go through mandated and rigorous
peer-review. Therefore, I think these two policies are necessary. And
hand-in-hand with them, our Cite sources guideline is just as important.
If I have been following this discussion adequately (and I admit I often
miss things) many people have concerns about how realistic it is to expect
every editor, especially newbies, to comply with these standards. And I
appreciate these concerns. However, I do not think the issue is compliance
with these standards as such. I think there is a different issue.
Specifically, it is our articles that must comply with these
standards. This I think is important for one simple reason that gets at
the heart of our project: it is a collaborative work in process.
If Wikipedia is as I believe it is and ought to be a collaborative work in
process, then our policies are ideals to which we expect our articles to
aspire, but no one editor can bear the full responsibility of achieving this.
This, at least, has always been my understanding of our prized NPOV
policy. For example, I just added considerable material on the role of
"love" in Judaism in the "Judaism and Christianity" article. I have no
doubt that I have failed to express the full range of Jewish
views. Moreover, I am not qualified to explain the Christian views. Does
this mean I have violated NPOV? I do not think so, because I have
identified which point of view I have represented (and here, citing sources
is practically a requirement). And I have left notices on a variety of
talk pages, of both articles and users, inviting them to add more Jewish
views and Christian views. This is what I mean by a collaborative
effort. It may not be this week or this month but I have no doubt that in
a year this section of the article will represent a variety of views fairly.
In other words, I wrote my contribution so as not to break our NPOV policy,
and so as to leave room for others to contribute.
I just think we should take the same approach to Verifiability. No one
should deliberately add unverifiable information in an article, and if they
do, it should be deleted. Moreover, no one should bear the bull
responsibility of providing all sources. In the Capitalism article someone
has made claims about communism. I did not immediately demand that they
provide a source. I first when to my books by Marx, Engels, Lenin,
Trotsky, and Mao. I could not find confirmation in any of the books for
some of those claims added by another editor. Had I, I would have added
the sources myself -- this is what I mean by collaboration.
In one case I could not find a source and said so, and another contributor
provided the source -- this is what I mean by collaboration.
I would demand that the specific editor adding specific information provide
the source only if I could not find the source myself and suspected that
the information were unverifiable. If the contributor in question, as well
as other contributors, cannot find a verifiable source, I do believe that
warrants deletion. But my point is this: I believe verifiability should
and will be achieved through a collaborative process.
That said, I also insist on the corollary: our collaborative process should
be dedicated to producing articles based on verifiable sources. A
collective process requires a collective commitment.
Steven L. Rubenstein
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Athens, Ohio 45701
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Apparantly people who think that consensus on AfD means "70-75% with at
least 10 clear non-sock/meatpuppet votes, with votes without clear
reason being disregarded" aren't suitable to be admins.
AfD is evil. Long may it and the people who play there burn in wikihell.
Alphax | /"\
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OpenPGP key ID: 0xF874C613 | X Against HTML email & vCards
http://tinyurl.com/cc9up | / \
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Something else to talk about:
Some of our rather intelligent sciency people seem to
have an unusual inability to distinguish science from
neutrality. Ultimately, they tend to argue that
articles should hold a defacto deference to what is
essentially a Scientific Point of View, rather than a
Neutral Point of View.
How best to single these people out and correct their
behaviour? Any examples of articles in question? Isnt
the term "pseudoscience" a POV pejorative from the
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
If you're feeling particularly strong and have a fresh pack of
[[Kretek|Gudangs]] and a bottle of whisky to hand, there's a Metric
Shitload of stuff in that category that can only be fixed by hard
editorial slog. Call them the "unfeatured articles" ... the polar
opposite of [[WP:FA]].
(Worst is when it's an article about something clearly article-worthy,
but just thinking about how to fix the crappy prose makes your brain
seize up ...)
[Note that I'm not saying "OMGWTFBBQ WESUCKANDWE'RED0000MED" ... I'm
pointing out a practical thing that people can do if they're feeling
inspired to hard unglamorous slog. I'm not sure I am right now; I'll
let you know when I'm back on Sunday.]
Some food for thought:
In an interview, Jimbo discusses the possibilities of ads eventually on the
Wikipedia, due to the huge number of page views that we get.
Also mentioned is the large-scale rejection of ads by the "wikitopeans"
[sic] in the community.
Wikipedia - User:Bratsche
"A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees."
-- William Blake
Hi, a group of us have decided to found a micronation, formed of the
Wikipedia community. Currently we've only chosen our country's name, Tirben,
so if you want to get involved in the forming of our constitution (hopefully
it'll be easier than the founding fathers found it) then you're welcome to
drop by and help out. Our IRC channel is #tirben on Freenode, and our
website is at http://tirben.starglade.org/
Everyone's invited to drop by, and please spread this message. I hope this
will be a great community builder!
> MacGyverMagic/Mgm wrote:
> >We should teach people to be critical.
> >Far too often people take what they read for granted without any
> >thought or double-checking. We should work to keep featured articles
> >accurate (because they're supposed to be the best). To get rid of
> >other inaccuracies we should look for sources. If we don't have any,
> >people should be naturally untrusting and try to verify the info
> >another way.
> >NO ONE can guarantee absolutely correct info. Look at Britannica.
> Teaching people to be critical is itself a process. In all but the most
> advanced educational systems that is contrary to centuries of
> established habit. Before a person can be effectively critical he needs
> to believe that his opinions matter.
The process isn't helped when most of the education system we have in
this world frown upon any student below postgraduate level from making
any opinion whatsoever. How can we teach a person to be effectively
critical when everyone else is saying you can't have your own opinion
unless you have a PhD (or are working on one), all you can do is
summarize what others have said already.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite
you. This is the principal difference between a man and a dog.
- Mark Twain
I once registered as a user of Wikipedia, and I know that anything I write there *may* be copied and re-used according to the GFDL. However, I did not sign up for the Pornopedia, Nazipe dia or Spamopedia.
What is written on user pages and user talkpages is also released under the GFDL, and if somebody wants to copy it or quote it, fine (as long as it is attributed)! But there is no reason to automate this process or make it easy for webspammers and other creeps to do so. I do not want my user page to be copied to various Wikipedia mirrors, as happened a while ago with the Nazi copy of Wikipedia. I would be even less happy if I had signed up under my real name. The appearance of a name in such a context may actually be harmful to somebody's reputation.
1. My first suggestion: just *make sure that when the database is copied, user information does not come along with it, including userpages, user talkpages and even the history of a page*. I notice from some of the mirrors out there, that the only contributor visible in the history of an article is the last one before the dump, somebody who may just have corrected a typo. As it doesn't give proper attribution in any case, we may just as well get rid of that too. Just make sure the history page of every downloaded article refers back to Wikipedia, where the full history can be found.
2. Second suggestion: is there any reason why *any* discussion pages need to come with the normal database dump? The nazi 'pedia (which is down now) took these and search-and-replaced "Wikipedia" with its own name everywhere, giving the misleading impression that a lot of Wikipedia users had been active in discussions on a Nazi website. This may be seriously harmful to somebody's reputation if found through a Google search by somebody not familiar with the GFDL and how Wikipedia works. It is probably illegal in some way to do what they did (as Wikipedia will no longer be properly credited) but I just don't see anybody going to court to stop it, and we certainly don't need to facilitate abuse of mirrored discussion pages with consequences for the reputation or privacy of individual users. Again, please *replace all discussion pages in the database dump with a very clear and visible link back to Wikipedia*, not just the miniscule one down at the bottom of every page. Most downloaders
are not going to bother removing that link, as all they want Wikipedia content for, is to get Google hits and drive traffic to their websites.
3. Remove the user namespace from the reach of Google's indexing bots. It should be available to our internal search, but there is no reason it should get hits from Google. Userspace contains all kinds of semi-private conversations and unfinished drafts which are really only of internal use and interest.
I question whether some other type of free but non-commercial license wouldn't be more suitable for user pages, but that may not be realistic for various reasons. But the removal of these pages from the dump really shouldn't require a change in license. It will just force somebody who wants to copy the content to do so manually. The webspammers obviously won't bother with that.
Yahoo! for Good - Make a difference this year.
I would like to know who, if anyone, can help my IP (188.8.131.52) get
I have apparently been blocked for spreading rumours without them being
documented. I would like, however, to offer the following points.
1. on the issue of the Conservative Party moving the airborn to CFB Trenton
and out of my MPs riding (who has been fighting to bring it here) I noted
that my MPs own party has stolen an issue right out from underneath her.
The following was noted in the edit history: "PLEASE Document rumours before
you put them in. The CPC website doesn't mention moving the airborne to
Trenton anywhere. It's JUST A RUMOUR unless its documented)" I would kindly
ask you, however, check out
where you will find in the December 13, 2005 video of Talk Politics , at the
32 minute 15 second mark of the video, the Conservative Party's Defence
Critic, Gordon O'Connor, stating that his party wishes to reincarnate the
airborn in CFB Trenton.
2. Another issue facing this MP is an investogation by the Privacy
Commissioner of Canada related to how her office received and then used
personal information - likely from passport applications. I cited the
Pembroke Observer Newspaper
that clearly shows that a Deep River couple has contacted the Privacy
Commissioner of Canada. I will admit that the online article does not have
100% of the article showing, however that is not the point. I was asked to
provide proof and I have. If the administrators are so concerned about
whether my edit was truthful then they can buy a copy of the Pembroke
Observer and see that the edit reflects the truth and that residents have
asked, in the middle of an election, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to
investogate their MP - I would suggest that this worth posting.
Could someone please help. I believe I have tried, very hard, to meet the
standards asked of me - ie providing proof, and yet still they block me.
Please help :)