[WikiEN-l] BetacommandBot, (currently) centralized discussion

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Mon Feb 25 17:31:58 UTC 2008

On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 1:26 AM, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:

> Very few illustrations add significant information to any article at
> all, both in and out of Wikipedia.  An image of *any* person in a
> biographical article is only necessary to the physiognomists. People
> have just become accustomed to pretty pictures in books as well as in
> arttcles.  Most of those pictures mean nothing; they only serve to break
> up the monotony of solid text.

Argh.  We've done this before, but...

Images are a key, important role in learning and education.  The level of
text and fact retention after reading increases significantly on articles,
books, etc. which have a minimum density of included images.  That's common
education psychology theory and why normal print encyclopedias and textbooks
have a significant density of images for the most part.

In particular, the interest that people have in reading web pages from top
to bottom increases significantly if they have multimedia content (photos in
particular) which are easily visible as part of the initial view.

In terms of the role that we play as an educational tool, *which is why the
project is here in the first place*, images are a *key* part of that role.
They should not be downplayed or minimized.  A vast majority of our articles
have an image deficit at the current time.  Few have too many.

This viewpoint that images aren't that useful keeps resurfacing, but does
nothing to enhance the anti-fair-use arguments.

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

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