I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

London Times article about Wikipedia rival Citizendium

A London Times article titled "Web rivals plot the answer to Wikipedia" says,

A project has been set up with the aim of usurping Wikipedia as the web’s leading reference work.

Like its rival, the Citizendium site will solicit input from the public. But in a departure from the standard “wiki” model, it will be directed by expert editors, and contributors will be expected to use their real names.

The changes are designed to stamp out the inaccuracies and mischief-making that have blighted Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia that “anybody can edit”.

The venture reflects a general revolt against unchecked user-generated online content, amid fears that efforts to tap the wisdom of crowds have unleashed a tyranny of the masses.

Almost all of my problems with Wikipedia have not been with the "tyranny of the masses," but with the tyranny of the Wikipedia administrators.

The London Times article continues,

If it succeeds Citizendium may owe a large debt to Wikipedia, which was founded in 2001 and now has more than eight million articles in 253 languages – from Afrikaans to Zazaki.

It was proposed that the new project will begin life by “mirroring” – or reproducing – Wikipedia’s content, a process allowed under the site’s copyright conditions. “Contributors [to Citizendium] will then be able to edit articles,” a spokesman said. “The eventual goal will be to either improve or replace all Wikipedia-sourced content.”

Citizendium’s expert editors will then “bless” versions of articles as “approved” or trustworthy.

The aim is to stamp out the anonymous and sometimes malicious edits that have undermined Wikipedia’s reputation. In 2005 John Seigenthaler, the founding editorial director of USA Today, discovered that he had been linked to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by a Wikipedia article.

. . . .Last month it emerged that computers linked to politicians and large companies had made sweeping edits of Wikipedia to rewrite or erase embarrassing entries.

For the following reasons, I think that Wikipedia's day has come and gone --

People will not want to waste time researching, writing, and editing Wikipedia articles when: (1) their work is likely to be censored, (2) many students are not allowed to cite Wikipedia as an authoritative reference, and (3) Wikipedia has such a bad reputation in general. I have been tempted to make some non-controversial edits of Wikipedia articles but then decided that I shouldn't bother because Wikipedia is such a bad encyclopedia.

IMO, Wikipedia made the following big mistakes:

(1) -- trying to look like a printed encyclopedia. Online encyclopedias can contain much larger numbers of controversial items than printed encyclopedias because online encyclopedias can instantly link to external sites where controversial items are discussed or debated.

(2) -- Wikipedia has too many rules. Most of these rules are subject to distortion and discriminatory application by the Wikipedia administrators. Examples of such rules are (1) no original research, (2) no self-promotion, and (3) no citations of "non-notable" people. The fundamental rule for all "wiki" (open editing) encyclopedias should be that there should be efforts to resolve disputes by adding a brief statement of the disputed item along with a note that the item is disputed and links to external websites where the item is discussed or debated.

(3) -- appointing nameless, unaccountable administrators who tyrannize Wikipedia by locking up articles and blocking the IP addresses of contributors. I have no idea how the central Wikipedia staff ever decided that these administrators were trustworthy.

Wikipedia's efforts to reform itself have been too little and too late. Wikipedia has reached the point of no return where good, honest people are not willing to do any volunteer work for it.

Citizendium is repeating many of the same mistakes as Wikipedia.

My thanks to Denyse O'Leary of Post-Darwinist and Uncommon Descent for bringing this London Times article to my attention.

Other alternatives to Wikipedia are discussed here.
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Labels:

9 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> The aim is to stamp out the anonymous and sometimes malicious edits that have undermined Wikipedia’s reputation. <

Such as the "edit war" promoted by the well known jackass, Larry Fafarman.

> (1) their work is likely to be censored <

"Likely"? This rarely happens. Then again people are rarely blocked from blogs and it happens repeatedly with you. It is like the person who has ten divorces and blames his ex-wives.

> (2) many students are not allowed to cite Wikipedia as an authoritative reference <

This speaks only of the teachers or professors who make such rules, not of Wikipedia itself.

> (3) Wikipedia has such a bad reputation in general. <

It seems to have a good reputation overall. There are a few whiners who have been unable to hijack it.

> Wikipedia is such a bad encyclopedia. <

Then why do you obsess over it?

Thursday, September 13, 2007 6:06:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Such as the "edit war" promoted by the well known jackass, Larry Fafarman. <<<<<<

It takes two sides to edit war, dunghill. The Wickedpedian's tag-team edit warring is still edit warring.

>>>>>their work is likely to be censored

"Likely"? This rarely happens. <<<<<<

Wrong again, dunghill. You obviously have not been reading my posts about Wickedpedia.

>>>>>> (2) many students are not allowed to cite Wikipedia as an authoritative reference <

This speaks only of the teachers or professors who make such rules, not of Wikipedia itself. <<<<<<<

Unfortunately for Wickedpedia, the teachers and the professors are the ones who make the rules. Also, the legal profession has been questioning whether it should be citing Wickedpedia.

>>>>>> It seems to have a good reputation overall. <<<<<<<

Wrong again, dunghill. Look at all the efforts to offer alternatives. Look at the websites dedicated to attacking Wickedpedia, like Wikitruth.

Often, reputations are lost more because of an accumulation of bad personal experiences of many individuals rather than because of an organized campaign.

>>>>>> Wikipedia is such a bad encyclopedia.

Then why do you obsess over it? <<<<<<

Why do you obsess over it? I would be much happier if you just ignored my posts that condemn it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 8:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what point are you trying to make? That you have a problem with online user-editable encyclopedias in general? It seems that the major problems with wiki are caused by people like yourself whose attempts at vandalism have resulted in all the so called extra vigilance and heavy-handiness of the administrators.

When you vandalize the wall of a public building, the building manager isn't obligated to attach an addendum to your little contribution stating that it is being disputed or discussed. It is simply scrubbed out or painted over. Your so-called contributions to wiki are nothing more than vandalism since there is not a shred of evidence to support your statements and opinions. It's also clear that your motivation for posting this misinformation was due to self-promotion (whining about how your own blog of opinions was just as important as the other blogs cited in wiki articles, despite the other blogs having actual documented sources to back up their statements) and intentionally deceiving readers with false and unsupported statements.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 3:10:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Once again, Anonymous shamelessly ridicules my opposition to Internet censorship while taking advantage of my no-censorship policy.

Under the Social Darwinism that he loves so much, he would be among the first to be euthanized as a mental defective.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 3:22:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

You're right Larry: your contributions to your blog clearly demonstrate that under the Social Darwinism beloved by you and creationists everywhere, and despised by those who support the modern theory of evolution and Darwin himself, you would be euthanized for extreme stupidity.

You know, throughout public school and college, I was never allowed to reference an encyclopedia as a primary source. So it doesn't surprise me that such a restriction would be placed on an online encyclopedia. It just makes sense. The knowledge in encyclopedias are just too general to be very useful other than as an overview.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 3:53:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> your contributions to your blog clearly demonstrate that under the Social Darwinism beloved by you and creationists everywhere, <<<<<<

I never said I loved Social Darwinism, dunghill.

>>>>> You know <<<<<<

No, I don't know.

>>>>>> throughout public school and college, I was never allowed to reference an encyclopedia as a primary source. <<<<<<

Wrong again, dunghill. Using encyclopedias in general as references is sometimes discouraged, but normally not prohibited. Use of Wikipedia has been prohibited. It has been all over the news. If Wikipedia were being treated as just another encyclopedia, the ban on its use would not have been newsworthy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 4:27:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>I never said I loved Social Darwinism, dunghill.<<<

Yet you obviously do, you Social Darwinist.

>>>Wrong again, dunghill.<<<

In first grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In second grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In third grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In fourth grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In fifth grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In sixth grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In seventh grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In eighth grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In ninth grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In tenth grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In eleventh grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
In twelfth grade, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
As a freshman in college, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.
When I transferred to a different university, I was told I could not reference an encyclopedia as a primary source.

I of course followed directions, but every year, someone did not, and their grade suffered as a result.

You are in fact quite spectacularly wrong about my personal history, you lying sack of shit.

>>>If Wikipedia were being treated as just another encyclopedia, the ban on its use would not have been newsworthy.<<<

It is only newsworthy because students have a new medium in which to whine. Encyclopedias have always been frowned on when used in academic papers. But the internet is relatively new, and as always, new controversy, even if the topic is old, gets lots of play.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 8:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

The jackass brayed:

> You obviously have not been reading my posts about Wickedpedia. <

I have read them. I was talking about reality, not the fantasies in your posts.

> Look at all the efforts to offer alternatives. <

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

> Look at the websites dedicated to attacking Wickedpedia <

They speak for themselves, not Wikipedia.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 9:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The air seems to be getting thinner on Larry's planet.

Friday, September 14, 2007 1:08:00 PM  

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