[Foundation-l] Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Thu Jun 24 20:30:42 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 4:08 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> I strongly disagree. There is a big difference between simple language
> and simple concepts. Children need simple concepts (basically, you
> can't assume as much prior knowledge because they haven't had time to
> learn things that adults consider to be common knowledge). Adults that

Full agreement on simple language vs simple concepts but
I think drawing the line on children vs not for simple concepts is bogus.

If you don't have a strong background in a field then drinking from
the fire hose of full-complexity concepts is hard no matter if you are
a child or not. If you do have a reasonable background a simplified
article will be patronizing and, worse, not especially useful.

Children do tend to have a solid background on fewer subjects than
adults but not universally so. Children frequently have decent
understandings in the areas where they have had interest and exposure—
in some topic areas like modern game things (Pokemon) or modern
youth-target pop culture subject your typical 5th grader is
substantially more informed, and thus able to handle the full detail
in all its complexity, than a typical 40 year old.

So rather then trying to sterotyping children as universal idiots we
should just admit that people come from a diversity of backgrounds and
skills and that an article well suited to someone who is serious about
a subject area isn't always the same as an article which is suitable
to a complete neophile.

... though I don't know how you get people to write good articles for
the less informed.  It's not like simple (concept / language ambiguity
aside) has been all that successful.   and I think if you're going to
have the wrong article for your needs the too complex one is usually
superior (because you can take the additional effort to supplement
your knowledge until you are capable of understanding, but no similar
solution exists when the information you seek simply isn't there, or
where the article's simplifications have deceived you).

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