How can I "notify the developers" with this kind of response?
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>--- koyaanisqatsi(a)nupedia.com wrote about attributions:
>> *but* he should know that, as a
>> wiki, we currently can't guarantee that the citation will remain
>> there permanently since anyone could remove it.
>I don't think that's a big concern: if somebody removes the
>attribution, then that's a violation of copyright law and we would
>to revert. It's the same as if somebody uploads copyrighted materials
>without permission: we are in violation and have to revert.
well, I think it's a big concern, because we have no guarantee that
anyone will notice the removal, much less revert it.
I wish Larry would stay on the soapbox a little longer. I'd be happy to bring him coffee and donuts...
I see two parallel and complementary ideas regarding certification being discussed here:
1. Improving signal to noise ratio
2. Verifying quality of scholarship
Simple, mechanical schemes like "some signed-in user read or wrote this" can help distinguish between sheer vandalism (noise) and someone's sincere attempt to write useful stuff. This is like the squelch control on a radio.
On a higher level, we need to verify content on important matters that only expert reviewers are competent to judge. This is roughly analogous to what the military calls "authentication" (like a PGP key).
There's no way I would want Wikipedia degenerate into a back-patting, incestuous, self-congratulatory mutual admiration society. Like a newsgroup where everyone agrees with each other. That way madness lies.
Nor do I want to see Wikipedia become the victim of its own success. With 100,000 signed-in users and 10,000,000 hits per day, how will we be able to stop the graffiti artists and script kiddies? Once the goat man gets a following...
I still think we should offer our "customers" advanced filtering features. Libraries and moms will want a no-porn guarantee. A CD-ROM publisher donating to the third world (maybe a Unificationist organization like Professors for World Peace) might want to focus more on scholarly topics, and not care about pop music reviews.
We can make the filters as sophisticated as we want. I haven't volunteered (yet) to be a developer, but I'm actually quite good with pattern matching and SQL joins. What I mean is, I'm willing to write code. But it's more a problem of deciding on features than figuring out how to implement them.
So let's take some more about these (and other) kinds of certification. What do we think the public wants and needs?
>> I understand your point, and I agree with it to some extent: People who
write articles aren't typically the best judges of their own work. But I
think you're making a mistake by assuming that someone who would take part
in a certification project that is a subset of Wikipedia would necessarily
also be a) a contributor to the specific article/subject he certified, or
even b) a contributor to Wikipedia at all. The experts you want could well
use the system, see below.
I re-read my post and I do see how you might think that my main objection
was that people who write articles aren't typically the best judges of
their own work. That wasn't exactly my point, though (while I agree with
that point, too). My point was that (to oversimplify) the results of
certification-by-general-vote would not be trustworthy from the point of
view of your school librarian. This is not because people would have
judged their own work but because the certification process were not
staffed and led by the sort of experts that your school librarian has been
taught to trust.
(And perforce I wasn't assuming those other things you said I was
>> Elian suggested a scheme where we would simply get aggregated ratings
from everyone. I am familiar with such schemes (Kuro5hin uses it), and I
have considered that option and decided to submit a different proposal,
the team system. The idea here is that teams can make their own rules, and
by selecting a team to trust, I select a whole ruleset according to which
I want to view articles.
This, like my proposal and Elian's, is not new, and in the past I was
lukewarmly in favor of it. I'm now lukewarmly against it. One thing
would have to go: names like "Team Nupedia," as if we were engaged in
My fundamental objection to the team proposal is that it would make
Wikipedia smack of the amateurism and, worse, the insularity and
in-crowdishness that I detect on Kuro5hin, Slashdot, and other self-rated
websites. There's already too much of that on Wikipedia. That's all
right for K5 and /. but not for the world's largest *encyclopedia*
project. We might let everyone *work* on articles, but I don't see how
that entails that we should therefore set up a system whereby everyone
*rates* the articles.
If the rating website were completely separate from Wikipedia, I think I'd
have little to complain about. There are separate reasons, which someone
rightly pointed out, not to do it on Wikipedia itself: it complicates
things far more than they are already.
>> I think the modus operandi here would not necessarily be different from
what you envision for a separate project, but have the advantage to be
directly and visibly integrated into WP, thereby attracting more people
(even if you want an expert-centric team, you will probably get more
experts by addressing a larger sample of users).
Repeated experience with Nupedia confirmed what I knew already, that
experts are very careful about who they associate with. I predict that
most experts *wouldn't* be interested in participating in a certification
project where they are on "just another team." I'd much prefer that the
"expert-centric" team have its own website and own project.
>> Other teams might adopt more liberal approaches, trying to separate
obvious low quality articles from possibly high quality articles (i.e.
detecting egregious NPOV violations, spam, bad writing etc.). These teams
might produce more output and be valuable to do basic filtering (which
might go both ways -- I think it might be valuable to have negative
certification, too, to detect bad articles; I believe it was Ed who
suggested something similar). This is useful, but a separate goal from
creating a truly trustworthy encyclopaedia -- in the team system, it can
be accomplished within the same framework.
I see absolutely nothing to object to there!
"We have now sunk to a depth at which the re-statement of the obvious is
the first duty of intelligent men." --George Orwell
I deleted the lyrics of all but one short one. Quite nice lyrics, actually. So good, in fact, that the copyright holder might consider them rather valuable.
Maybe an external link to some other site which has the lyrics legally or is willing to take a chance on liability, eh?
I'm not really too sure about this one, but thought I'd better throw it in
to your current copyright/fair use debate. Someone at 184.108.40.206 has
just posted all the lyrics to the songs from an album called cowboys from
hell (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboys_From_Hell). Apart from the
fact this doesn't seem like encyclopedia material, is it fair use to put
these here? It doesn't seem safe ot me. I've heard that quite a few large
lyric repositories have been shut down over the past few years.
There are only 10 types of people in this world;
Those that know binary...and those that don't
I've gotten some frantic "Talk" from RK claiming Ezra Wax is "vandalizing" the Wikipedia Judaism articls "faster than we can correct" them. He wants me to "ban" him.
I don't think I can do that. Isn't it true that as a sysop I have neither the power nor the authority to ban a signed-in user?
Anyway, I don't see the urgency. The contributor in question isn't malicious; he's just annoying the hell out of RK and Slrubenstein with his POV. It's not like he's using a bot.
Neither of the scenarios you suggest is likely to occur with me, or with any of the dozens of others whose work I've come to repect.
If I see the "hidden changes exist" flag, then of course I will either:
* read the current version, or
* use the "History" and "Diff" links
to see what you call the wild changes, before editing.
But if a shortcut to 'edit the version currently displayed' would cause more harm than good, I have no objection to its being omitted. When I need to revert vandalism, I can just use the "History" link as always.
Do you still think there still something fundamentally, um, bad about the way of creating an encyclopedia that Erik and I are discussing?
On Thursday 31 October 2002 04:31 pm, Koyaanisqatsi wrote:
> Ortolan88 wrote:
> >We have no guarantee that the entries will remain the same either.
> >The bioastropedia is an excellent web site, but we aren't going to
> >import their articles wholesale and leave them untouched forever, are
> Well, no, I didn't expect us to. I guess the question is "at what point
> have articles changed enough from the source that it's ok to remove the
> citation"? I would (today, anyway) urge people to leave the citations in
> and change "works cited" to "works consulted"--if for no other reason than
> that several notable academics have been caught plagiarizing lately.
What really is so wrong with giving this attribution information in the edit
summary that actually adds the info to the page? That way we know for sure
just what the attribution is for and somebody can hit the 'cur' link to find
out just how much has changed since that text was added.
We could have another check box for saving edits stating 'major edit',
'attributed source' or something else that would highlight that edit in the
article's history. We could also allow URLs placed in these edit summaries to
work - thus we have a link-back.
In a longish article having attributions in the article text could become
unwieldy and ugly - thus prompting the natural wiki habit of taking-out the
ugliness by removing the attributions. We already have a mechanism for
attributing work and we should use this in these cases.
I don't think we should be giving special treatment to externally generated
text by allowing those attributions in the article text when we don't allow
Wikipedia users to similarly attribute their own work. The history is for
logging attribution metadata, no? So then let's use it.
-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)
Like Erik, I don't feel I can send some people a link to Wikipedia. The "notorious goat-man" can strike at any time. This means that no matter how bright my little girls get, I don't dare tell them about Wikipedia.
So far, my family has not needed to use NetNanny, SafeSurf or anything like that. I gave my girls a start page, and they click links from it. www.pbs.org/kids is a safe starting point, and I've collected Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony links (no Powerpuff Girls) for them.
But until the 'pedia creates a filtering mechanism, it remains (in my mind) an experiment: we are several dozen or maybe a few hundred people TRYING to build an open, free encyclopedia. We are SEEING IF it can be done.
I don't know how to filter out vandalism and maintain openness.
I don't know how to certify quality and maintain openness.
But I think we should keep trying to figure it out. Larry, Elian, and Erik have come up with good ideas. And Cunctator has come up with some good objections :-) But it ain't over yet.