[Wikipedia-l] Easton's Bible Dictionary / blocked an IP

koyaanisqatsi at nupedia.com koyaanisqatsi at nupedia.com
Wed Aug 7 17:13:04 UTC 2002

I have to wait for my tech professor to show up at 2:00 to help us resolve an audio problem with the camera we checked out.  So I'm back, as there's little else to do.

I've unblocked the IP.  I'm going to respond to several posts here so there's less crosstalk.

tarquin wrote (in part):
>I see no reason to block, (all part of the
>big tapestry, etc etc), but we should be on
>the lookout for general things which suddenly
>acquire very POV definitions.

The POV of it was an aspect that bothered me a bit, as it would require going through checking things over and NPOVing them.  That with the rate of addition was another big concern.  One every few minutes would (I think) allow people time to go over them.  Also, a list of all articles added might be helpful so we don't miss any, because they /will/ need work.  But it can be a valuable resource if used correctly.

Vicki wrote (in part):
>I'm relieved; I don't mind the entries on things
>found only in the Bible, but they're grossly
>inappropriate as articles on subjects like
>[[anise]]. (I did a quick once-over on that,
>putting a quick definition at the beginning,
>clarifying that the easton is about the bible,
>and making a few links. But it needs lots of
>work--the original author doesn't even seem to
>know which of two botanical names the article
>means when it says "dill."

Historical inaccuracy is another big concern.  I had this problem with the [[Algeria]] article I tried importing from the 1911 Encyclopedia--it required *hours* of fact-checking, and even then I couldn't verify everything, and only added a few paragraphs.  Not, in my mind, worth the trouble--though others may have more patience.

Neil wrote (and Jimbo wrote about the same thing):
>There's also no chance of killing existing
>articles: the script checks in advance, and
>refuses to over-write existing articles.

That was a concern too (one I forgot to mention).  I'm glad you thought of it, Neil, and took precaution against it.

Neil wrote:
>Is your objection
>a) the bias in many of the articles (in which
>case I can add a disclaimer, saying "This is
>from an old Bible Dictionary, and it has the
>biases of its author and period -- please use
>this material as a basis for a new article")
>b) the rate of the scripted additions
>c) auto-addition of any material, even when
>filtered for stubs and nonsense?

a) yes.  The disclaimer would be helfpul, though maybe not enough?  Better, IMO, to have works that are unobjectionable regardless of the religion or lack of religion that people subscribe to.  Would that statement imply a sense of endorsement?  I don't know.  Something to think about, anyway.  Would the disclaimer be a stopgap measure, or would we still work to have the article as NPOV as possible?

b) yes, that one too--I was worried others would not have a chance to go over them and update them, as the additions would quickly be lost in a few days of Recent Changes.  Would it be hard to keep a list of topics added so we can go over them?

c) no, provided (as Jimmy said) the server can handle it.  However, the /rate/ of addition might be slowed a bit.  And I do appreciate the filtering you've done already.

Danny wrote (in part):
>To me, a major part of the problem is that
>the material is so out of date. It fails to
>take into account the past hundred years of
>archeological research, which is essential.
>Furthermore, the statistics it gives about
>places are hopelessly outdated. For example,
>Anatoth, currently 'Anata, is a fair sized
>town today, not a hamlet with about 100 people.

Yes.  Many of the articles will be out of date--badly out of date--and we'll need to be vigilant in updating them.



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