[WikiEN-l] deletionism in popular culture

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sat Oct 10 01:02:24 UTC 2009

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
> I gave up. Eventually I came across a controversial topic that 
> particularly interested me, where I had the background to understand 
> the sources and where my research radically changed my mind. So I 
> started working on it, I even bought a pile of books about it (on all 
> sides of the controversy), and a major recent and very expensive 
> mainstream work on it was donated to me, and I became much more 
> vulnerable as a result, since I now had an opinion and a POV, based 
> on reading the sources, and I started asserting content based on the 
> most reliable of the sources, especially peer-reviewed secondary source.
> The information necessary for my major shift of POV is much more than 
> most editors could absorb with some light reading. There exist 
> secondary sources that cover the field that, if editors would trust 
> them, would make it easy, but .... they don't trust these sources, 
> even when published by independent, non-fringe publishers, since what 
> they say contradicts the easy positions of ignorance. After all, 
> doesn't everybody with a background in science know....? Reliable 
> source guidelines, if followed, would address the problem, but are 
> useless against entrenched opinion, because editors will invent this 
> or that excuse for disregarding them, so that the article doesn't 
> fall into their view of undue weight.
> So ... I'm no longer a Wikipedia editor, I'm now working off-wiki, 
> with real knowledge and research in the field that interested me, 
> and, as well, on the kind of voluntary structure that I see as the 
> only way out of trap that Wikipedia has fallen into. It's much 
> easier, though, of course, it all takes time. I still have an 
> account, and the block will expire, and I'm not burning any bridges, 
> but .... once I realize that a wall definitely exists, I don't butt 
> my head against it. I walk around it or dig under it or climb over 
> it, if I actually want to get to the other side, or I do something else.
So rather than address the problems inherent in this narrative so as to 
retain editors, we have a "Bookshelf project" to recruit cannon fodder.


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