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.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Stupid Wikipedia manual


Someone had the stupidity to write a manual for Wikipedia editors, "Wikipedia: the Missing Manual." [1][2]. The only thing that people need to know about editing Wickedpedia is that editing it is a waste of time. Wickedpedia is a lost cause. Many schools and teachers prohibit students from using Wickedpedia as a source, and one school district went so far as to block Wickedpedia on all of the school district's computers, with the result that the students can't even use Wickedpedia to find other sources. I just hope that the dog on the cover chews up the book real good.

A lot of people have the mistaken idea that the main -- or even the sole -- cause of bias and error in Wickedpedia is the open editing, but a bigger cause is censorship of good edits by the Wickedpedian control freak administrators. It is this censorship by the administrators that prevents Wickedpedia from being self-correcting. For example, once I tried to add the book "Of Pandas and People," a book that a federal judge banned from public school classrooms, to the Wickedpedia list of "banned books." The Wickedpedian control freaks refused to accept the entry. As a compromise, I proposed listing the book along with a note that the listing was disputed and links to external websites where the dispute was discussed or debated. No soap. The Wickedpedians finally completely rewrote the whole banned books article just to avoid listing the book.

"Wikipedia: The Missing Manual" does not mention the quickest, easiest, and fairest way of resolving many Wikipedia disputes: give a brief description of the disputed item along with a statement that the item is disputed and links to external websites where the item is discussed or debated. The alternatives are edit wars and arbitrary censorship by Wickedpedian control freak editors. A preview of "Chapter 10: Resolving Content Disputes" (subtopic "Resolving Content Disputes Informally") says,

The first part of this chapter focused on ways to decrease the probability of getting into a content dispute. But if you're editing articles, such disputes are almost inevitable, unless no one else cares enough to edit the same articles. This section shows you what to do if someone disputes one of your edits, or disagrees with how you responded to one of his edits. When you're in a content dispute, your goal should be to resolve the matter informally. You usually try to reach an informal resolution by discussing the matter on the article talk page, as discussed on page xx.

With any luck, both you and the other editors who get involved in the discussion about content are reasonable, respectful of the other editors (who are also unpaid volunteers), and focused solely on what's best for Wikipedia. Taking that approach improves the chances of a successful outcome. If you find yourself disagreeing with another editor about content, start with the following suggestions. You'll be much less likely to need to use more formal methods to resolve matters.

Discuss Edits, Not Editors (page XX) stressed the importance of avoiding incivility, and assuming good faith. Those objectives hold even more true once a dispute is underway. Don't make disagreements a personal matter if you want to easily resolve content disagreements.

Remember that your goal is improve an article, not to win an argument. As the guideline Wikipedia:Etiquette (shortcut: WP:EQ) puts it, "Concede a point when you have no response to it, or admit when you disagree based on intuition or taste. Ski instructors tell new students, If you"re not falling, you're not learning." In Wikipedia, when you edit articles, you should consider your errors (when pointed out) as an indication that youre learning. There's absolutely nothing wrong if your changes to an article weren't perfect. What's absolutely wrong is defending something because you did it and another editor didn't like it, and you think that somehow you have to defend the edit simply because it's yours.

The stupid author of this book is living in a dream world that has no connection to reality.
.

Labels:

20 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> The stupid author of this book is living in a dream world that has no connection to reality. <

The stupid author of this article (Larry) has shown that he is living in a dream world that has no connection to reality.

> but a bigger cause is censorship of good edits by the Wickedpedian control freak administrators. <

You have shown no censorship of good edits. They do edit out the trash that some idiots try to contaminate their articles with.

> For example, once I tried to add the book "Of Pandas and People," a book that a federal judge banned from public school classrooms, to the Wickedpedia list of "banned books." <

It wasn't banned. Not selecting a book is not banning it.

> The Wickedpedian control freaks refused to accept the entry. <

Which shows that they were on their toes.

> As a compromise, I proposed listing the book along with a note that the listing was disputed <

What about the Wikipedia claims that the Earth is an oblate spheroid? Should there be a disclaimer from the Flat Earth Society?

> and links to external websites where the dispute was discussed or debated. <

They have lots of links to relevant websites. They just leave out the ones that are non-notable and crappy.

Saturday, March 01, 2008 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> Not selecting a book is not banning it. <<<<<<

The book was selected by the Dover school board, idiot.

ViU, you are non-notable and your comments here are crappy, so give me one good reason why I should not censor them, dunghill.

Saturday, March 01, 2008 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

It's like this, dunghill. My method requires no judgments as to what is notable and non-notable and what is crappy and non-crappy.

Right now, the only stuff allowed on Wickedpedia is what the Wickedpedian administrators agree with. Does that make it right? And does that make the other stuff wrong?

Saturday, March 01, 2008 6:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry, you might have more credibility if you were to show some actual examples where Wikipedia's editing model did not work. Those do exist, but the "Pandas" case you trot out is not one of them.

A lot of people (think) the main ... cause of ... error in Wickedpedia is the open editing, but a bigger cause is censorship of good edits by the (admins).

Both of those are problems, but the open editing is the bigger one.

Wikipedia's model does not deal adequately with controversial issues. For those, you are better off going to the (admittedly biased) sources, who will at least present a consistent argument. At Wikipedia you'll get a snapshot of the last edit and have to detect the bias yourself.

Saturday, March 01, 2008 10:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. The author of Wikipedia: The Missing Manual describes good procedure (which does often happen) for non-controversial issues. He is indeed pollyannaish when it comes to contentious matters.

Saturday, March 01, 2008 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous lyons said...

I find it funny that you have this sort of rant about censorship in your prolugue and yet you extol school districts who ban the use of wikipedia, which is, ummm, censorship.

Sunday, March 02, 2008 6:39:00 AM  
Anonymous lyons said...

"prologue" that is.

Sunday, March 02, 2008 6:40:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said,
>>>>>> you might have more credibility if you were to show some actual examples where Wikipedia's editing model did not work. <<<<<<<
Wrong -- it is a perfect example. King Jimbo Wales himself said,

If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents

Both the Discovery Institute and William Dembski were in support of listing "Pandas." Prominent enough for you? Both are considered prominent enough to have their own Wikipedia articles, and the Wickedpedians can't have it both ways -- i.e., prominent for one purpose and non-prominent for another. Anyway, it would be impractical to conduct a formal public opinion poll on every disputed item to determine what viewpoints are held by "significant" minorities -- or even majorities. IMO a majority of people would hold that "Pandas" should have been listed.

The non-prominent adherents were actually the Wickedpedian control freak administrators who opposed listing the book even if it was clear that there was no Wickedpedia endorsement of listing the book. These control freaks did not even give their real names.

Anyway, why should Wikipedia care whether a viewpoint is held by a "significant" group or not, so long as there is no suggestion of Wikipedia endorsement and Wikipedia is not cluttered up with a long discussion or debate of the viewpoint? Wikipedia's big mistake was in trying to look like a printed encyclopedia -- that can't work where you have an online encyclopedia with open editing.

Vague terms like "notable" and "significant' invite the Wickedpedian "lawyering to death" that radio talk show host Bill Greene spoke of.

BTW, Wikipedia rewrote the whole "banned books" article in a futile attempt to justify not listing the "Pandas" book.

>>>>>>A lot of people (think) the main ... cause of ... error in Wickedpedia is the open editing, but a bigger cause is censorship of good edits by the (admins).
Both of those are problems, but the open editing is the bigger one. <<<<<<<

I disagree. The admins can lock up the articles to maintain their own errors and biases.

>>>>> Wikipedia's model does not deal adequately with controversial issues. <<<<<<

If you believe that, then why do I need to show you "some actual examples where Wikipedia's editing model did not work"?

>>>>> For those, you are better off going to the (admittedly biased) sources, <<<<<<

That is exactly what I proposed -- instead of discussing or debating the issue on Wikipedia itself, there should just be (1) a brief description of the disputed item, (2) a note that the item is disputed, and (3) links to external websites where the item is discussed or debated.

>>>>>At Wikipedia you'll get a snapshot of the last edit<<<<<<<

The "last edit" will be by the Wickedpedian control freaks. Why is their opinion always the only valid one? What reason is there to give their opinions any extra weight at all?

>>>>> and have to detect the bias yourself. <<<<<<<

One often can't detect what is not visible -- e.g., the missing book "Pandas" -- and what is the point of an encyclopedia where the readers have to be experts? Also, the Wickedpedians have even resorted to censoring comments on the discussion pages.

>>>>> P.S. The author of Wikipedia: The Missing Manual describes good procedure (which does often happen) for non-controversial issues. He is indeed pollyannaish when it comes to contentious matters. <<<<<

"Pollyannaish" is not a strong enough word -- "hallucinatory" is better.

Wikipedia should not be regarded as just another "private" website where the administrators are entitled to set their own rules. Thousands of volunteers have spent many hours editing Wikipedia for free and these people are owed something: a decent online open-editing encyclopedia.

Sunday, March 02, 2008 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

lyons said...

>>>>> I find it funny that you have this sort of rant about censorship in your prolugue and yet you extol school districts who ban the use of wikipedia, which is, ummm, censorship. <<<<<

I didn't "extol" anything -- I just pointed out fact.

Sunday, March 02, 2008 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Enough is enough. I said that anything concerning my private affairs -- whether true or not -- will be censored. My no-censorship policy does not extend to comments about my private affairs.

Monday, March 03, 2008 12:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, March 03, 2008 9:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> My no-censorship policy does not extend to comments about my private affairs. <

Nor does it extend to questions that you can't answer. I am surprised that anything remains here.

Monday, March 03, 2008 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViU, damn you, I said no gossip about my private affairs. That is a perfectly reasonable request.

Monday, March 03, 2008 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, March 03, 2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Dunghill ViU is a pest who is trying to sabotage this blog by repeatedly re-posting gossip about my private affairs. ViU is frustrated because of his inability to make intelligent comments here and this is his way of taking out his frustration.

ViU, we don't gossip here about your private affairs -- so let's have no gossip about mine.

ViU is a hypocrite who takes advantage of my reasonable no-censorship policy while approving arbitrary censorship such as practiced by Fatheaded Ed Brayton, Wickedpedia, et al..

Monday, March 03, 2008 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> ViU is frustrated because of his inability to make intelligent comments here <

More likely he is frustrated because you are unwilling (or more likely incapable) to respond to his intelligent comments here.

> my reasonable no-censorship policy <

Does not exist. While his latest posts do have what could be considered to be personal information about your treatment of your mother, many posts have been removed that say nothing personal about you by any stretch of the imagination. The only offense seems to be that they asked questions that you can't answer. Nearly everyone does that so what is your problem with ViU?

> while approving arbitrary censorship such as practiced by Fatheaded Ed Brayton, Wickedpedia, et al.. <

Bullshit!

1. There is no evidence that VIU approved arbitrary censorship anywhere.

2. You have repeatedly been challenged to give examples of arbitrary censorship on other sites and have always failed to do so.

Monday, March 03, 2008 2:35:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> While his latest posts do have what could be considered to be personal information about your treatment of your mother, <<<<<

Listen, dunghill, I don't want even the topic of the gossip to be mentioned again -- understand?

>>>>> many posts have been removed that say nothing personal about you by any stretch of the imagination. <<<<<<<

Dunghill, I -- unlike Wickedpedia, Fatheaded Ed Brayton, et al. -- have not removed any comments merely because I disagree with them or merely because I dislike the commenter or suspected commenter.

>>>>> The only offense seems to be that they asked questions that you can't answer. <<<<<<

Dunghill, this does not excuse posting gossip about me on this blog. Your stupid comments have made ViU feel aggrieved, so he is now getting revenge by posting his crap all over this blog.

Furthermore, no one can answer ViU's stupid questions -- they are completely inane.

>>>>> There is no evidence that VIU approved arbitrary censorship anywhere. <<<<<<

You are so full of living crap it is coming out your ears.

Monday, March 03, 2008 4:27:00 PM  
Anonymous The evilutionist said...

Ever think that your entry was rejected due to the fact that it was you, a person who has been caught multiple times trolling/vandalizing wiki articles, and was banned from making any further contributions along with your various sockpuppet accounts, making this entry? Wiki admins may have their prejudices against content, but one thing they will not tolerate is the re-emergence of trolls and vandals.

I looked at the list of banned books article and found further references to a "list of controversial books" article, which does include a section on biology and creationism in the non-fiction section. Try adding it over there and prove my theory wrong. Maybe this whole snafu was you (once again) not reading the criteria for the entry and going off your head with your rants and other off-topic garbage.

Monday, March 03, 2008 5:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Listen, dunghill, I don't want even the topic of the gossip to be mentioned again -- understand? <

So ViW and Real Dave were right?

>>>>> many posts have been removed that say nothing personal about you by any stretch of the imagination. <<<<<<<

> I -- unlike Wickedpedia, Fatheaded Ed Brayton, et al. -- have not removed any comments merely because I disagree with them or merely because I dislike the commenter or suspected commenter. <

Several comments have disappeared that said nothing about you at all. The only things that they had in common was that they asked questions you could not answer. Incidentally, why did you block ViW?

You have been challenged endlessly to back up your lie about Ed Brayton and/or Wikipedia censoring something because of disagreement. You have failed.

Either come up with proof or stop lying about it.

>>>>> The only offense seems to be that they asked questions that you can't answer. <<<<<<

> Dunghill, this does not excuse posting gossip about me on this blog. <

Dimwit. I said specifically that you censored posts that said nothing about you but asked questions that you can't answer.

> Your stupid comments have made ViU feel aggrieved, so he is now getting revenge by posting his crap all over this blog. <

Your stupid actions may have made ViU feel aggrieved but I would bet that he is enjoying annoying you. He also may be doing it so that others may make their own judgements about your alleged reasons. I see that you also dropped off your brother's post.

> Furthermore, no one can answer ViU's stupid questions -- they are completely inane. <

You must have censored ViU's stupid questions. All that I have seen here is intelligent ones. Obviously you can't answer them.

>>>>> There is no evidence that VIU approved arbitrary censorship anywhere. <<<<<<

> You are so full of living crap it is coming out your ears. <

In other words, you can't back that inane statement either.

Monday, March 03, 2008 5:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Larry fails to mention in his criticisms of Wikipedia that he is banned from Wikipedia by the community for "Attempting to harass other users: Edit warring, personal attacks, disruptive editing, encouraging meat puppetry."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 7:27:00 AM  

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