[Wikipedia-l] Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia

apogr info at apogr.hu
Thu Aug 26 05:58:02 UTC 2004

May I join in and say what wikipedia "looks to me" after about a year of
trying to "synchronize" my thoughts with the views of the existing
In case of a debate on labels, headings and titles, in fact, all names (or
in other words, categories), such as this one on hand is, the resolution of
conflict comes from two steps:
a) move one level up, and use a term that covers the items below (this case
reference book - which can only be used figurativey here)
b) change over to defining the phenomenon first, that may be done again
differently, e.g.
bb) metaphoricaly
cc) using a simile
dd) changing scale, etc.

In case of wikipedia, after tracking a number of branches, you will have
pardoned me, it is
a) a table of contents on "nothing", except that some lines in the TOC are
further pointers to URLS, etc. out in deep space
b) it is a semi-finished colouring book with clolours of uneven intensity
c) it is a number of  diligent tube-sighted people caught in the process of
lace-making, etc. with a constantly moving target in mind.

The problems, as I see them, include
a) uneven use of "scale"
b) no check for completeness on a particular level
c) the prosecution of thoughts and ideas embeded in free-flowing texts by
wikifying such passages.

an encyclopedia should give you the impression of the "whole", which is a
circle, a circular (loop) arrangement of the constituents as opposed to
branches the current dwelling on a hierarchy (TOC view). The idea of
recursion applied on HL level cannot be bypassed, neither can the circular
(roll round in one level)arrangement of data be unwisely spared.
If you do not believe me, look at your cellular phone.

"rots of rock",


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Anthere" <anthere9 at yahoo.com>
To: <wikipedia-l at wikipedia.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 7:29 AM
Subject: [Wikipedia-l] Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia

> Daniel Mayer a écrit:
> > --- Anthere <anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> >>Just for the record, I think Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia. ant
> >
> >
> > Just for the record, you are mistaken. Have you seen all the niche
topics we
> > cover in great detail?
> >
> > -- mav
> It is *not* because they exist that I approve them. My thoughts still
> have the right to be mine, and I do not believe you have the right to
> tell me that my thoughts are mistakes. A personal opinion is never a
> mistake, what would be a mistake here would be to force this opinion on
> others.
> My feeling is that Wikipedia *should* be a general encyclopedia, but I
> am certainly not gonna remove great articles which go into details. Of
> course not.
> Allow me to not necessarily agree by default with what is currently done.
> We obviously do not have the same feeling toward what Wikipedia should
> be exactly. On some points, we have consensus, such as Wikipedia is not
> a forum of discussion.
> On others, it is not so obvious. The claim en.wikipedia is not a
> dictionnary is not a claim I personnally recognise as valid, because the
> french tradition is to mix dictionnaries and encyclopedia much more than
> english-speaking people do. As far as I am concerned, all encyclopedic
> articles should contain dictionnary information.
> However, some people do not think so and I recognise they are benefits
> to the existence of wiktionnaries as well, mostly for translation I
> think. Still, the two projects, encyclopedia and wiktionnaries are
> strongly overlapping sometimes, and *two* projects exist nonetheless.
> And I saw very few people objecting to the wiktionary existence, nor to
> the overlap.
> Consequently, let me repeat I think Wikipedia SHOULD be a general
> encyclopedia, and articles thought for rather general public, ie, avoid
> going in length into jargon and very detailed information. Which is why
> I am not entirely happy with the idea of filling up the article on the
> tiger with all the information we are talking about. An article on tiger
> should be kept relativement simple itself.
> I perfectly agree for detailed semi-professional articles to stay in
> Wikipedia. I wrote a couple of them. However, they should be rather in
> separate articles, the main one staying readable for most readers. The
> more detailed ones being seen as "to go further".
> If you fill up the tiger article with very detailed information, you
> will flood the average reader. If the detailed information is in another
> article, more specialised, only the specialist will go and read it, and
> the casual reader will not get scared. The detailed article could be on
> Wikipedia or on another project, it does not matter very much, as long
> as the two projects are tightly linked. But all info in one article is
> just a bad idea. Imho.
> Anthere
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