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« FIC '09: M, Save Our Sims! | Main | The History of Group Tool Reform »

December 31, 2008

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Crap Mariner

Hamas is on the list of terrorist organizations at the US State Department.

Linden Lab uses servers located in the US to run Second Life.

Support for Hamas in Second Life is just as much a violation of US law as, say gambling or child pornography.

It's just that simple. Even if a Governance/Abuse employee is located outside of the US, this is not up for debate or discussion or negotiation.

End of story.

Dale Innis

Go ahead and set up a website where people can vote non-anonymously on the quality of Wikipedia pages, and a filter site that will show only the voted-good pages. That would be interesting! (Or if you don't have the resources to set it up yourself, start a coalition to get it done.)

fwiw, you're quoting the Wikipedia entry on Hamas out of context. It says that Hamas is "a Palestinian Sunni paramilitary organization and political party" and it notes that "Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan, and the United States, and is banned in Jordan. Australia and the United Kingdom list only the military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, as a terrorist organization. The United States and the European Union have both implemented restrictive measures against Hamas on an international level". So it's not really closing its eyes to the terrorism?

It really is true that anyone can make changes to Wikipedia. But it's also true that when there are edit wars or ongoing controversies it's a much smaller group who decide how to deal with it. Doing it by worldwide non-anonymous voting would be a fascinating alternative method. I look forward to seeing your implementation...

Prokofy

Can't do anything about the "non-anonymous" for now, because I don't know of a free polling service that takes IPs or account names.

But here's a start:
http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/voting_wikipedia/

Carl Metropolitan

Most of your criticisms of Wikipedia are justified. I've worked on Wikipedia in the past and seen the sausage made. Most frustratingly, being involved with an edit war on the AIDS Origin article from an editor who's agenda was "HIV doesn't cause AIDS".

However, I still trust Wikipedia more than the mainstream media or most other internet sources. I'm aware that sounds bizarre. But here's why: If I'm skeptical of a fact claim on Wikipedia, I can drill down to source materials, both via linked footnotes and sources listed in the further reading section. I can also read the Discussion page and look at the Edit history to see a history of the creation of the article and determine the biases of the editors and writers involved.

Try doing that with the New York Times.

I can see how using Wikipedia might present problems for someone who blindly believes everything they read or lacks critical judgment and skepticism. But for a person like that EVERYTHING they read will present the same problem. Such people are really better off not reading. Fortunately, most don't.

Ann Otoole

Anyone that puts any faith in anything off of wikipedia is an idiot that is too lazy to perform due diligence in research.

So if you see anyone citing wikipedia then you know it is garbage and can toss it in the round file and mark the author off the list of credible sources for any information on any topic.

Eventually wikipedia will fuck up and be killed off by a court order. Sooner if they piss off one of the 2 major political parties. The only reason wikipedia will be allowed to exist is if they allow control by the DNC/GOP anyway. Consider wikipedia to be a form of Pravda. Then you will have it in the right context.

Wikis, on the other hand, can be quite useful. Such as the LSL wiki. That is a useful tool. Inaccurate entries can be proven to be inaccurate by technical means.

Wikipedia, on the other hand, has no means of technical verification and therefore will never be a reliable source of anything.

Desmond Shang

Wikipedia's a bit like the bickering couple that always shows up to the in-law's parties - you know there's never one recollection, or opinion held the same way between them for long, and as such you sort of stop caring.

That said, you could probably trust either of them to tell you if the soup was cold, or if someone let the dog out.

Not every listing is a hot-button issue. You can look up felis catus or rattus norvegicus without too much trouble, and generally find sensible information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rattus_norvegicus

Of course, if you are a renegade taxonomist, you may object strongly to the notion that felis catus could possibly be conspecific with felis silvestris.

In spite of such raging controversy, the article serves. As with absolutely anything else, 'consider the source' and 'consider the topic' applies.

* * * * *

The bigger travesty is not who might be participating in Wikipedia, but who isn't. Consider that a significant fraction of the world purposefully isolates itself from the public commons of the Western internet.

Perhaps it could be argued the other way, too: that the Western world isolates itself comparably. Not via technology, but ideology. How could we know? We've always been at war with Eastasia.

Regardless, any consensus reached 'on the internet' would likely be as predictable as a consensus reached within any particular temple, church, or mosque. Different conclusion perhaps, but just as predictable.

Prokofy

Desmond, I disagree. There is so much tampering, so much meddling from the PC gang - it's atrocious. Even a seemingly benign and un-tweakable topic like "marzipan" finds itself in the clutches of some weird PC pro-Arab lobby trying to prove that the word came not from "march bread" in the Romance languages but from "king who sits" in Arabic. Sigh.

275 million visitors -- it's only the size of the United States. But it's 275 million literate visitors. And look at the dozens of fan groups on Facebook. That's the scary thing. All these kinds knowingly in the thrall of Wikipedia and saying "I owe my decree to Wikipedia" etc. Yuck.

I was just scanning the Soviet Union and CPSU and Politburo entries. They can never just tell you what democratic centralism is, or how many people ruled, and what they did. It's beyond them. And they say, falsely, that Yeltsin banned the party. He didn't. He wanted to. But couldn't. Even the U.S. told him not to.

It's good that we are at war with Eastasia. Eastasia is filled with despots and human traffickers and opium dealers. Some wars need to be fought, Desmond.

I don't think that the 150,000 have the consensus. There is no place for that to happen. I think the 800 don't even have one, but a horrid few rule the thing with sick glee. It will fall. Such things always do. It needs help falling.

Lum Lumley

Actually, Hamas is a poor example of Wikipedia-bias - it *is* a political party, which won parlimentary elections, it's prior and post-election conduct notwithstanding. It just happens to also be a social movement *and* a terrorist org. Wikipedia's entry defines all that pretty well, and the constant back and forth between pro- and anti- forces of various stripes on such a hot topic keeps things relatively honest, all things considered.

No, if you *really* want an example of Wikipedia gone horribly, horribly wrong:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_LaRouche

That's just one of many articles on Lyndon LaRouche, which paint him in a *very* flattering light - mainly because his cultists aggressively invade Wikipedia and he's a fringe enough character that not enough people bother to challenge them. The main article for LaRouche is as long, and as lovingly 'sourced' with LaRouchie propaganda, as the article for Bill Clinton.

Which just means that like any other source, you view it with a critical eye and in this case, realize that Lyndon LaRouche just might not be as important an American political figure as Bill Clinton.

Prokofy

Hi, Lum, Happy New Year.

No, it's a terrorist group that won elections because Westerners thought they could get a terrorist group to renounce violence by having them be "elected". Bad idea.

That's terrible about Lyndon Larouche, and of course, that's the creepy thing about Wikipedia, any entry is vulnerable to such invasions, and this ceaseless invocation of wikiculture doesn't fix it. Which is why it is doomed. Adding voting to all this would help, seems to me.

I'm willing to bet the Bill Clinton entry has been tugged back and forth as well.

I don't see that tugs of war and editing persecution saves the day. You would do better by collecting the 150,000 and have them write in their area of knowledge, and have the public truly correct it, and voting is one way to do that, even with its problems.

Gregory Kohs

One of the most interesting pieces of evidence about the "Politburo" Arbitration Committee on Wikipedia is how they have been CAUGHT putting "uncomfortable" evidence about its members down the memory hole. I don't seem able to post a link, so just look up on Google:

FT2 Gerard brouhaha

So, the ArbCom had a candidate who seemed to have first-hand experience with intimate animal love, but the Wikimedia UK head honcho, goth-dressing David Gerard, was readily available to make that info quietly "disappear".

That's Wikipedia for you. No concept within its culture that its leaders should set a higher example of proper and transparent behavior. Nope, they are devious to the core.

Prokofy

There are...furries...on Wikipedia? So it *is* like Second Life!

Gareth Nelson

"Wikis, on the other hand, can be quite useful. Such as the LSL wiki. That is a useful tool. Inaccurate entries can be proven to be inaccurate by technical means."

Inaccurate entries on wikipedia can be proven to be inaccurate too, and in fact are routinely. Wikipedia is NOT a good primary source for anything, but it is still a valid place to get an overview on a subject and find some links for further reading.


"Wikipedia, on the other hand, has no means of technical verification and therefore will never be a reliable source of anything."

Scroll to the bottom of any reasonable article and you'll find links to all the cited sources - read them.

Not to mention that being merely inaccurate does not make something "evil".

Prokofy

I don't find wikis useful in the slightest. Wikiculture is a great evil.

There's an easy way to have collaboration on a website -- I've done it many times. It can be done on blogs like this. Create a list of friends/fellow authors/guests with log on rights. That's all.

By enabling the entire world to edit and tug and vandalize and destroy, you don't promote excellency you only promote crime and the need for increasingly arcane rules to undo the fake openness you flog as the shill for the entire project, but which you can't really guarantee.

It's like having open group tools in SL and open land, and then bitching that people grief, and then demanding that "no payment on file" accounts be destroyed or blockable to undo the results of your openness. It's like you have to hang on to the shred and the shill of your thin veneer of hippie belief instead of designing rational systems coherently.

In SL, group tool granularities, and land management options, makes it possible both to invite in the public, and even have the public build, but not have them do things like grief by destroying builds or returning objects.

The war for Web 382 was a war against collectivist and destructive wiki-culture. Wikis are pernicious and evil, and form the root of the evil of Wikipedia. Collaboration, not collectivism. Collaboration in fact is better encouraged by not having the folly of forced collectivism, which is what the wiki culture is.

Gareth Nelson

"I don't find wikis useful in the slightest. Wikiculture is a great evil."

Then why do you keep citing wikipedia?
http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=site%3Asecondthoughts.typepad.com+en.wikipedia.org&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

AlterEgoTrip Svenska

I have never seen someone so quote something that they themselves have deemed "evil" in my entire life.. its like an Atheist quoting acts of faith and miricals from the bible as if it were the daily newspaper as if it were a trusted and loved source of information and then ranting in the next breath how "evil" it is..

Prokofy, can you not see how hypocrical you seem to the naked eye, even if perhaps the so called "irrelavant" or "unintelligent" eye..;)

AlterEgoTrip Svenska

oooh wait, this had NOTHING to do with "Wikiculture is a great evil" this was about finding controversial in HUGE key words and getting google results.

Nicholaz Beresford


Btw, the reference to rewriting history reminds me of the book The Black Swan. The book focuses on predictability (or lack thereof) but on the way there covers a lot of topics, among them how media shapes the view of reality.

Dunno, maybe you will like it, maybe you will hate it ... or maybe you know (and like/hate) it already but I thought I'd mention it.

Happy new year anyway ...

Prokofy Neva

I suppose it shouldn't require explanation, but for those weak and confused minds out there: Wikiculture is a great evil. Yes, you don't have a choice, using Google, but to get any other returns but Wikipedia. You can try clawing your way down the list, or using Yahoo, and going to Yahoo Answers or other pages, but more often than not, you'll find they've copied or incorporated Wikipedia -- or rather, the original expert's essay off some individual website has been swiped by Wikipedia, and now replicated everywhere.

When an entire generation too lazy to look in books or other sources online grows up, graduates high school and college using this lazy men's web, you have no choice but to use it in part to convince them of its shortcomings. Virtually any entry in Wikipedia shows the marks of the technocommunistic ideology behind it. A simple entry like "marzipan" is a battle ground.

Even an entry on cats has the arch cynical humour of the lolcats lurking behind it, and not the Hallmark card.

Unless you want to spend hours yourself finding another point of view, and assiduously correcting all the numerous mistakes each time you link, you are forced to use it. And often, when the weak minds of this generation see something referenced from Wikipedia, they shut up, they are soothed by the invocation of their authority.

Meanwhile, the entire culture is being dumbed down, and everyone is wily-nily drawn into the destructive project.

Voting on Wikipedia as you can on so many other social media sites would help bring Wikipedia kicking and screaming into the modern world of social media. Currently, it is a form of broadcasting by the few to the many.

AlterEgoTrip Svenska

it must certainly be the things you look up, I guess if you want SIMPLE unthinking research for a child's term paper sure you go look at every return you get from Wikipedia. Its up to you, sorry if you feel so challanged to call it a killing of culture when its just perpetuating what some people would rather have as a referance.

Do you feel bothered that you actually can Google Prokofy Neva and get an entry for Wiki or something like that.. I recall reading something, but if I wanted THAT kind of information I could actually TRY to address Prokofy and ASK (not that she/he would answer)

I have close connections with actual sources of things I am curious about at this point in my life, its just better to make a few telephone calls, even if long distance and in the middle of the night.

John

Wikipedia is totally, totally EVIL! They won't let you say what you like, they won't let you say what you hate... As soon as you try to challenge them, they either threaten you with warnings, do not post what you write or just totally block you out... How is this fair? How is this freedom of speech? It's not!!! Wikipedia is controlled by the Jews and by The Zinoists... Say anyting bad about the Jews get deleted say anything bad about Communism/Socialism, get deleted... Say anthing, anyting about any subject and the way they portray it, and if you disagree with it... IT get's deleted!!! WIKIPEDIA IS EVIL! Wikipedia is also Watching you!!! Tracing you!!! Like BIG BRORHER!!!! SMASH WIKIPEDIA!!!

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