[WikiEN-l] Trivia and popular culture sections

Matt R matt_crypto at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Feb 27 16:20:08 UTC 2006

--- John Lee <johnleemk at gawab.com> wrote:
> Information in trivia sections should not be there at all -- it either 
> belongs elsewhere in the article, or it does not belong there at all. 
> While I accept that people will just add the trivia section back (with 
> more indiscriminate information), that doesn't mean the section should 
> be kept. Ideally the information in it should be merged with another 
> section of the article (or used as the basis for a new section), or 
> removed entirely. I've never found a piece of trivia that didn't fall in 
> either of the latter categories.

I agree, and we might be at the stage where formalising this as a
policy/guideline has become necessary. Moving things to a [[Harry Potter
trivia]] or [[The Lord of the Rings in popular culture]] article works just as
well for me instead of removing it outright. We're meant to be producing a
concise summary of the important aspects of a topic, so we have to be
selective. If something is genuinely trivial with respect to its topic, then it
has no business inside the article. We certainly shouldn't be including things
like the following:

* "In White Wolf Game Studio's World of Darkness role-playing universe, Turing
was a leading member of the mage faction known as the Virtual Adepts." --
[[Alan Turing]]
* "His favorite fast food chain is [[Taco Bell]]" -- formerly [[Eminem]]
* "In the 1999 Highlander: The Raven episode The Rogue, Bert Myers claims to be
from the NSA." -- formerly in [[NSA]], now [[NSA in fiction]]
(etc etc)

I think this is a somewhat different problem to deleting articles. Personally,
I find the inclusionist argument that "if you don't think a topic is worth
having an encyclopedia article about, but some others do, then simply ignore
the article; it's not hurting you" to be quite convincing much of the time.
It's much harder to simply ignore the trivia/in popular culture section of an 
article, however.

-- Matt

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Matt_Crypto
Blog: http://cipher-text.blogspot.com

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