Just this goy...

Friday, June 08, 2007


There are controversies regarding content. This guide points out an Important Point: although there are controversies regarding a subject, it only covers issues subject to ongoing professional or scholarly debate.

I cannot explain how important that subtlety is to avoiding becoming a platform for ideologues.

An example is global warming. The trend to global warming, and the acknowledgement it is caused in great measure by human actions, has not been a subject of professional or scholarly debate for more than a decade. Therefore an article regarding meteorological global warming should not include any mention of such a debate, but should link to articles which discuss such debate as it is carried on politically, economically, etc.

That said, the guide discusses the use of the encyclopedia by readers seeking accurate information about controversial topics. They ask authors to "illuminate for readers the complexity of the debate, at the same time avoiding advocacy."
Human Diversity

Believe it or not, there is a range of human diversity in health topics. And this particular encyclopedia has diversity as a core element, just as Wikipedia does. The guide mention the scope description of nearly every article includes a paragraph akin to this paraphrase:
With a focus on the [English language], make comparisons of societies, cultural traditions, and historical periods insofar as possible. As appropriate, consider gender, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and environmental variation related to this topic, as well as the short- and long-term consequences of such variation.
The guide goes on to explain these variables are ones the editors want all articles to consider, but that they are not only variables regarding diversity to consider. They re-iterate that the goal of inclusiveness must be balanced with the word count available. This is about the 5th time they have commented on word count: the only thing mentioned more often is the contact person to whom authors may address questions.
Navigational Tools

The Companion encyclopedia articles have 3 types of navigation tools, none of which are under the control of the authors.

These are used by the editors to list articles related
(in subject matter) to an article, by the authors to give "a sense of what needs to be treated" in their article as well as what will be covered in other articles.

On Wikipedia, this is akin to a category listing except there is no ability to cross-reference all the categories an article is a member of (well, there are a few extensions which can do this, but they are not available on wikipedia projects.) More importantly, without any clear editorial oversight articles tend to propagate on a given topic under a half-dozen and more related titles.

Blind entries
These are simple entries which redirect readers to entries where the topic is discussed.

It is quite possible redirects on Wikipedia should be categorized in some manner to allow a tree-view of what redirects where in a category format.

Topical index
This is the power-house search system of the encyclopedia, though more akin to wikipedia's categories in implementation.

It need hardly be mentioned that Wikipedia's search engine is rather less than optimal, and the usual approach by readers is to use Google minimally complex searches rather than the not-very-useful search system of Mediawiki.

Wikipedia clearly has more and better navigational tools than a dead-tree encyclopedia, but then it lacks the paper-turning options. A primary weakness, however, is the categorization system of Mediawiki which does not present a hierarchical view of categories, necessary for browsing related content. For category views it is likely an ajax-based dynamic breadcrumb navigator (including subcategories of viewed category) is the best option, although this would rely on JS being activated for the client browser.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Individual Articles

The articles in the Chicago encyclopedia will each have 5 common elements:

  1. A descriptive title ("entry term")

  2. A specific number of words of text on a carefully defined topic

  3. Cross-references to other articles

  4. List of further reading suggestions

  5. Signature of the contributor

That's a pretty good list, excluding the signature.

Most of the articles in this volume stand alone under their title, as is typical of a dead tree publication. However particularly large topics have "composite entries", where the most descriptive term is used with a sub texted descriptor to represent various specific coverage. Mediawiki supports the use of sub-pages, which would allow the strictly alphabetical sorting of composite entries, however the system is clumsy and does not currently allow for intuitive Go commands (would [[sloop]] find [[Sailboat: Rigs: Sloop]] without a redirect? can anyone reasonably expect to create redirects for every possible categorization scheme?)
Alphabetical and Conceptual Structure

All articles in this encyclopedia are organized Alphabetically, exactly as is Wikipedia. This organization is arbitrary, and irrelevant to the manner in which the encyclopedia is actually accessed.

However, of the infinite possible categories for articles in this volume, the editors have selected a limited number of "top-level" categories which undergird the work. Each article is developed in the context of a specific top-level category.

Clearly a broad encyclopedia cannot work at this level of categorical simplicity. However, knowledge itself has often been broadly categorized hierarchically, such as the Dewey Decimal system's approach of 10 primary categories, each with 99 sub-categories, each of which may be further sub-categorized with 999 sub-categories. The Universal Decimal system takes this further with cross-categorizing system which is extensively flexible.) A level may be defined as the "editorial category level" within these categories, and under this category level can be a finite number of categories - either standardized across all editorial categories or locally managed by the category's community - and all articles within the editorial category must be written in the context of one of these finite categories.

  • Overview

  • Theory

  • Application

  • Specialization #1

  • Application Specialization #1

  • History

  • Legal and Public Policy

  • Research

  • Publications on

  • Biographies
I have in my hands a hot little pamphlet, something most every Wikipedia contributor should have access to, a contributor's guide to submitting an encyclopedia article.

This particular encyclopedia is a "Chicago companion to the..."; part of the University of Chicago. It is a health subjects encyclopedia intended primarily for health professionals.

The pamphlet covers in precise language (and 20 pages) all primary elements regarding all encyclopedic articles, no matter the subject matter. It is quite generalizable to any encyclopedic content.

The first element of the pamphlet is a welcome/thank you note from the editors. All readers of this pamphlet will be invited authors, recognized specialists in their fields individually selected and recruited to create a specific article. This note explains the purpose of the guide, re-iterates the purpose of the encyclopedia, gives an overview of the content of the guide, and provides a contact person to whom questions may be addressed. Immediately following the note is contact information for the complete editorial board and the project officer (the primary contact person of whom questions may be asked.)

The table of contents follows, a 50-point outline of the pamphlet with three levels.

The first page of the guide itself is an overview of key points, with page numbers for where the topic is covered in more depth.
  • General contact person (third mention)

  • Audience for the encyclopedia

  • Scope of articles for this encyclopedia

  • Length of articles (the longest class is approximately 4,000 words)

  • Themes: I'd like to quote a portion of this, and I'll address it further later in this essay:
    We also encourage you to address any controversies of broad general interest related to your topic in a balanced, nonpartisan manner.

  • Professional advice: net message, do not provide any advice.

  • Quotations and citations: Do not use direct quotes. Use inline citations minimally.

  • Further reading: NOT a bibliography, rely on sources "useful and accessible to nonspecialist readers."

  • Editorial style: With exceptions, the Chicago Manual of Style, natch.

  • [Class of articles] which are non-encyclopedic but intended for this volume. (A fairly standard element of encyclopedias is to have special elements which set them apart from their competitors in some manner)

  • Due date: reminder to follow the due date.

  • Software and electronic file formatting: A request that formatting be kept to a minimum, use Word or WordPerfect if not submitting plain text.

  • Article submission and editing: submit both electronic and paper forms to the primary contact person (fourth mention). Mention of galley proofs, honorarium.

I'd love to reproduce the entire pamphlet here, but I'm not going to do so. I am going to reproduce the outline and, perhaps, links to notes relevant to Wikipedia.

  1. Placing Your Article in Context

    1. Organization of the Volume

      1. Alphbetical and Conceptual Structure

      2. Individual articles

      3. Navigational Tools

    2. Themes of the Volume

      1. Human Diversity

      2. Controversies

  2. Putting Your Article Together

    1. Content and Writing Style

      1. Title and Scope Description

      2. Length

      3. Audience

      4. Professional Advice: A Caveat

      5. Definition of "[primary topic of encyclopedia]"

    2. Authorship

      1. Quotations and Originality

      2. Collaboration

      3. Translation

      4. Signature

    3. Editorial Details

      1. Spelling, Punctuation, and Capitalization

      2. Bias-free Language

      3. Names

      4. Dates

      5. Numbers

      6. Abbreviations

      7. Foreign Languages and Special Characters

      8. Subheadings

      9. In-text Citations

    4. Further Reading Suggestions

      1. Number and Types of Sources

      2. Information to Include

      3. Sample Citations

    5. Illustrations

    6. [Class of articles]

      1. Elements and Relationship to Topical Articles

      2. Title, Scope Description, and Length

      3. Originality

      4. Writing Style and Editorial Details

  3. Preparing Your Article for Publication

    1. Manuscript Preparation and Submissions

      1. Due Date

      2. Software and File Naming

      3. Elements and Formatting of the File

      4. Submitting Electronic and Hard Copies

    2. Editing and Review

      1. Content Editing

      2. Copyediting

    3. Publication

Monday, May 14, 2007

[[Battle of Jackson (MS)]]

I love it when anon IPs sign an article. And it's still there even when the article has been edited after their edits.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

[[10 May]] has raised an interesting conundrum with this edit (and edit summary): to whit, at what point does someone's POV become accepted in Wikipedia?

According to the previous version, [[Paul Revere]] is both an American Patriot and an English Traitor, which is factually accurate. The day's record was edited to "remove POV", by suppressing a valid and reasonable viewpoint which is held today and was held in Mr Revere's own time.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

[[Essex class aircraft carrier]]
After the abrogation by Japan from disarmament treaties, the U.S. took a realistic look at its naval strength. With the Naval Expansion Act of Congress passed on May 17, 1938, an increase of 40,000 tons in aircraft carriers was authorized.

The United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan each violated the treaties they signed to limit war ship production ([[London Naval Treaty]] and [[Washington Naval Treaty]].) The United States appears to have done so first, failing to decommission enough tonnage to bring it into compliance and building ships it believed were not limited by the treaty such as so-called "[[Light cruiser]]". Although Japan announced in 1934 it would not be renewing the London Naval Treaty, the four remaining signatories each also stated they would no longer be restrained by either treaty. Stating here that only Japan abrogated the treaty is biased and not within NPOV.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Apparently, from the beginning of the rebellion in the British colonies onward, nothing the British Empire engaged in was related to anything but that rebellion...

Much to the shock and surprise of United Staters, their rebellion was only one of hundreds which were occurring in colonies of the European powers. It was the conflicts *between* European powers which allowed some of those rebellions to successfully fester into revolutions.

One of those conflicts was the [[Fourth Anglo-Dutch War]], in which Britain declared war on Nederland after growing trade difficulties led to Nederland abrogating a mutual aid treaty and declaring armed neutrality - effectively supporting France against the UK.

But the only sea battle of this war, the [[Battle of Dogger Bank (1781)]], is described by the US-centric Wikipedia as "part of the American War of Independence". Laughable, if it weren't so sad.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The United States involvement with the Dominican Republic fundamentally altered the course of the state with the 1905 [[Roosevelt Corollary]] to the Monroe Doctrine, when the US assumed control over the Dominican Republic's customs and withholding 55% of all revenues to repay foreign creditors. A few years later, in 1916, the USA invaded and occupied the country for 8 years, during which they dispossessed 80% of the population of the land they occupied. As a military occupier, the USA created a local military force whose leader, a few years after the US withdrawal, would take over the country and rule it as an autocrat for until assassinated with help from the USA's CIA in 1961.

In 1965 the USA invaded again, staying only a year during which they placed a new president in power through elections which were widely viewed as unfair. This president would repeatedly be elected every 4 years until 1996, with the exception of the 1978 elections which the Carter administration in the USA refused to recognize. In 1996 a US-raised Dominican was elected, who promptly privatized many state-run industries. It would be impossible at this point to determine the extent of US interventions in the 10 years since.

But perhaps the main [[Dominican Republic]] article might mention more than a brief comment regarding the 1965 invasion if it really were attempting to be neutral.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

by the way, there should be a disambiguation note on both [[Peter Island]] and [[Peter I Island]], to point out their differences.

[[Peter Island]]
The official site of Peter Island can be found here. Currently owned by JVA Enterprises, the history of the island can be found here.

Bad stub, no biscuit.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Similarly, the revisionists have been working over the History of Panama.

[[History of Panama]]
>U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt convinced U.S. Congress to take on the abandoned works in 1902, while Colombia was in the midst of the Thousand Days War. During the war there were at least three attempts by Panamanian Liberals to seize control of Panama and potentially achieve independence, including one led by Liberal guerrillas like Belisario Porras and Victoriano Lorenzo, each of which was suppressed by a collaboration of Conservative Colombian and U.S. forces. By the middle of 1903, the Colombian government in Bogotá had balked at the prospect of a U.S. controlled canal under the terms that Roosevelt's administration was offering. The U.S. was unwilling to alter its terms and quickly changed tactics, encouraging a handful of Conservative Panamanian landholding families to demand a Panama independent from Colombia. The USS Nashville was dispatched to local waters around the city of Colón to deter any resistance from Bogotà and so, on November 3, 1903, with United States' encouragement and French financial support, Panama proclaimed its independence. Less than three weeks later, the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty was signed between the French and the United States, without a Panamanian in the room. The treaty allowed for the construction of a canal and US sovereignty over a strip of land 10 miles wide and 50 miles long, (16 kilometers by 80 kilometers) on either side of the Panama Canal Zone. In that zone, the U.S. would build a canal, then administer, fortify, and defend it "in perpetuity." The Panama Canal was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914; the existing 83-kilometer (50-mi.) lock canal is considered one of the world's greatest engineering triumphs. On January 5, 1909 the government of Rafael Reyes in Colombia signed and presented to its Congress a treaty that would officially recognize the loss of its former province, but the matter was dropped due to popular and legislative opposition, without any ratification being achieved. Different negotiations continued intermittently until a new treaty was signed on December 21, 1921 which finally and formally accepted the independence of Panama.

What this paragraph, which is reasonably accurate in its particulars, fails to point out is that Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla was a Frenchman who had drafted the Panamanian constitution, financed the revolution of Panama from Colombia, and was the Panamanian Ambassador to the United States. He was the "Panamanian in the room."

Putting the U.S.A.'s position in this manner is also extremely misleading. Another way to view events is: "During the 3 years of the Thousand Days War, the United States supported the Columbian government's suppression of at least three uprisings within Panama despite the Columbian Senate's unwillingness to negotiate acceptable terms for the United States' desire to acquire the interests of the New Panama Canal Company. Being assured of favourable terms in exchange for support of the fledgling Republic, the U.S.A. sent a single ship to Colón to deter Columbian retaliations against the nascent merchant oligarchy, assuring its success."

This does not change the fact the USA gained an unfairly favourable arrangement with Panama in exchange for their freedom from Columbia, or that it was morally suspect behaviour (and clearly the USA knew this, as it had not done so for the previous 3 uprisings.) But it does not imply the USA acted against the Panamanians of the time, which it did not do.
Does anyone understand the term "apologist"?

[[Draža Mihailović]]
The Chetniks were forced to move to eastern Bosnia where they engaged in heavy combat with the Ustaše, resulting in several incidents of war crimes against people who supported the other faction. It is unclear however how much say Mihailović himself had in these incidents. The Chetnik movement was highly decentralized, and in that way was more like a collective of many small regional guerrillas which shared the same name, rather than a unified army under complete control of Mihailović and his staff.

By the middle of 1943, the partisan movement had survived an intense period of Axis pressure. At the Tehran Conference in November 1943, a decision was made by the Allies to cease their support of the Chetniks, and switch support to Tito's Partisans. Several sources (especially Michael Lees 1991 and David Martin 1990) attribute the switch to falsefied reports processed by British Communists or Communist sympathizers in Cairo whose doctored reports of Chetnik "inactivity" or "collaboration" were believed by Churchill.

This biased section of the article attempts to remove culpability and minimize the harm done. It does not matter whether the subject engaged in the purported activity; Wikipedia reports the views held by legitimate parties regarding the subject. It does not accuse, apologize, dismiss, or condemn.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

As long as we're being annoyed and grumpy, let me extol upon the great writing and appropriate level of detail to be found in [[Benzion Freshwater]]. For a BLP it does not have the minimum level of information necessary, and is surprisingly filled with bias and opinion for so short a stub.

I keep getting invites to these blogger conferences.

I've been to a couple of blogger conferences. These schmoes are used car salesmen. Okay, no, I don't mean that, but seriously. Everything is about how to make money. Listening to the conversations, they don't care about the political/religious/moral/environmental/whatever viewpoint they are espousing, they laugh at their loyal fans and fervent followers.

They're cutting edge; brilliant marketing and technical skills. You would not believe the number of hours, and dollars, they put into their bleading edge blogwares and websites. They're constantly working on new and innovative concepts to show they're more informed, cooler, attractive. There is no doubt in my mind that the blogging industry represents some of the highest developments of IT.

There's this extreme cachet to being able to say one is a "pro blogger," I just don't get it. The ability to be cynical, often rude, and an obsession with what others are saying about you and your intellectual "turf"... well, I probably have the pre-requisites, but I usually prefer to not be rude. I guess what I really lack is the absolute drive to make money from a blog.

I'd rather focus on communicating than making money off my audience, thank you very much.


Friday, April 13, 2007

[[Mount Scopus]]
, Mount Scopus was held by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and existed as an exclave of Israel inside Jordanian territory. Israeli sovereignty over Mt. Scopus is internationally recognized. Today, Mount Scopus lies inside Israel's official borders for the city of Jerusalem.

The mountain is an element of the disputed territories captured by Israel, outside the UN described sovereignty of Israel. This is clearly biased.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

[[7 April]]
1985 - Kathryn Virginia Harmon, Beloved Sister and Daughter. Soul Mate, Confidant. Night Swimmer and Adventurer. Artist, Volunteer, Stargazer and Musician. Connoisseur of fine wines...and Wendy's Super Value Menu. Role Model and Philosopher, Lover and Friend.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

[[History of Surfing]]
China originated surfing in 2007. hn Ledyard, an American serving under explorer Captain Cook, was the first American to witness surfing in Hawaii in the late 1700s.

methinks, perhaps, a touch o' vandalism.

Monday, April 02, 2007

How odd, that a reference's title might be mis-spelt.

[[Samuel F. B. Morse#Further reading]]
Paul J. Staiti, Samuel E. B. Morse (Cambridge 1989).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

As part of the oldest religious order in the Western world, the St. John’s Benedictines have been among the most progressive forces in American Catholicism.

This potentially interesting but unsourced statement could conceivably be a useful POV statement in a Wikipedia article. But probably not in the article [[Eugene McCarthy]] where its use is merely to bias the article.

Monday, March 26, 2007

It's very reassuring to know that God has a birthdate, 27 March 1991, and of course is a United Stater.

[[27 March]]
1991 - God, American citizen
Hmmph, haven't time to point it out to someone, but [[Rumford fireplace]] and [[Benjamin Thompson]] both have text c/p from [[What is a Rumford Fireplace Anyway?]] Can anyone say copyvio?
[[26 March]]
March 26 is the 85th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (86th in leap years). There are 280 days remaining. Also known as "Make Stuff Up" day.

Cute. And so appropriate for Wikipedia.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

MMmmph, very busy the past couple weeks, and everything is suffering.

But perhaps not so much as [[25 March]], which has weird redlinks.

Monday, March 12, 2007

[[Admiralty court]]
In recent years, some tax protesters in the United States have claimed that any American court displaying an American Flag with a gold fringe is in fact an Admiralty Court and thus has no jurisdiction. Courts have dismissed this as frivolous.[[:Template:(United States v. Mackovich, 209 F.3d 1227, 1233-1235, fn. 2 (9th Cir. 2000).)]]

Mmmm... one is almost tempted by that mutilated template call to find out what it's all about...

Friday, March 09, 2007

It seems odd to me...

[[Brewster's Millions]]
This book has been made into a play, and then into a movie... no, movies. A total of 9 different movies. Which is wonderful and so on. But the article tablifies the 7 U.S.A. movies and the 2 Bollywood movies are treated separately.
It would be sad is the Wikipedia articles related to Tibet continued to be dominated by persons who wish to suppress or remove information which does not support the PRC's claims to sovereignty over the nation. Especially since what is being added to the article instead is unsourced political propaganda.

[[History of Tibet]]
The PRC continues to portray its rule over Tibet as an unalloyed improvement from the pre-1950 era of Tibetan feudalism, and some foreign governments continue to make occasional protests about aspects of PRC rule in Tibet. All national governments (as members of the United Nations), however, recognize PRC sovereignty over Tibet, and no country in the world has recognized the Dalai Lama's government in exile in India. The Dalai Lama is widely respected as a religious leader, and is received by foreign governments as such, but observers and analysts of Tibetan affairs believe that it is unlikely that he will ever rule again in Lhasa.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

[[David Pogue]] begins with
This article is about the New York Times columnist. For the Irish band, see The Pogues. Pogue is also US Army slang for a person with a comfortable job.

His birthdate entry in [[9 March]] however states
1963 - David Pogue, Technology columnist and musician

The article does not state he's a musician, so that shouldn't be there. But what the heck is the definition of slang doing at the top of the bio article? I thought Wikipedia was not a dictionary?
One of the more interesting little snippets of trivia I know is that the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 was an influenza strain of the H1N1 subtype Influenza A.

And so I am confused that [[Spanish flu#Spanish flu research]] references only H5N1, which is a relatively modern variant more commonly known as Avian Influenza.
It is my opinion that Wikipedia is being relentlessly targeted to "spin" and market products, persons, and points of view. Not at all unexpected, given its massive popularity on the internet; it's the most important free medium of communication now, and possibly ever.

[[Martha Beck]] is a great example of a vanity article, and the awe-inspiring efforts of the Church of Latter-Day Saints to subvert Wikipedia's NPOV. No, really, you must read the article's history.

I forgot to mention the reason I was at the the Martha Beck article in the first place; Martha Beck is also the name of one half of [[The Honeymoon Killers]] duo, who were executed on 8 March, a much more historically significant personae than the one whose flawed bio article currently has the title.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

[[Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi]] is a copyright violation. It incorporates largely unchanged the contents of Robert Zoller's article "Abu Ma'shar: Prince of Astrologers"

Update: the article has been edited, removing the copyvio material. I've edited the link to point to the original version, but the issue has now been dealt with.
And speaking of [[Kepler's laws of planetary motion]], [[Wikipedia is not]] a mathematics reference, just as it is not a dictionary. It is an encyclopedia, that is,
Works of encyclopedic scope aim to convey the important accumulated knowledge for their subject domain. Works vary in the breadth of material and the depth of discussion, depending on the target audience. [[encyclopedia]]

The "target audience" of Wikipedia is generally agreed to be everyone. Given this, the article on Kepler's laws is absolutely inappropriate as only a tiny fraction of everyone could even begin to understand the mathematics used.

It is, in fact, an example of a crap article.
17:46, 7 March 2007 (UTC)RicefountianJohannes Kepler's primary contributions to astronomy/astrophysics were his three laws of planetary motion. Kepler, a brilliant German mathematician, derived these laws, in part, by studying the observations of the legendarily precise Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. The article on Johannes Kepler gives a less mathematical description of the laws, as well as a treatment of their historical and intellectual context. [[Kepler's laws of planetary motion]]

Isn't it nice to know we have such exact time stamps?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The biographical article on [[Edward Gibbon Wakefield]] is delightful! It's exciting, rollicking, gossipy... it uses innuendo and implication, third-person omniscient voice, and is everything a good popular press biography is which an academic biography is not.

Which is why it must not exist in this form for Wikipedia.

Monday, March 05, 2007


[[The Catcher in the Rye]]
Mark David Chapman, murderer of musician John Lennon, was carrying the book when he was arrested immediately after the murder and referred to it in his statement to police shortly thereafter.[5] John Hinckley, Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was also reported to have been obsessed with the book.[6] Charles Manson is said to own several copies of the book as well.

This is totally irrelevant, even in a section regarding controversy, because it is at best a correlational relationship: that is, random coincidence that these particular individuals should have this particular book. Did they have the book because they were nuts, or did they become insane because of the book? There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of violent events occurring daily, and unless there were study examining and finding a causal relationship between the book and such events there is no justification for including this random (and unproven) trivia in this section.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

I thought... "cool! a new word!"

[[Claude de Forbin]]
During the War of the Spanish Succession, he led a three-ship of the line division in the Adriatic, where he blockaded Venice, bombed Trieste and ramsonned Fiume. In 1703 and 1704, he hunted down the privateers from Vlissingen.

Alas, it appears this term is only found in Wikipedia, the Wikipedia-clones, and a rather largish collection of spam websites. Gods alone know why these two classes...
And, a couple lines later...
1998 - Government, naval and university computers running Windows NT across the United States crash as a result of a hacker. The crash affects computers running at MIT, Northwestern University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Irvine, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

No references to the specific event, the specific virus or worm. Pointless.
[[4 March]]
1994 - Oliver Robotham was crowned french king and was until he died in 1999.


Friday, March 02, 2007

I was checking for the date celebrated as Muhammad's birthday, and was struck by dramatic difference between the treatment the article receives compared with the article on Jesus:

Muhammad (Arabic: محمد‎ muḥammad; also Mohammed, Mohamet, and other variants[1][2]) (570-632 AD)[3][4] was an Arab religious, political and military leader who founded Islam and the Muslim community (Arabic: أمة Ummah). He united the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula into a federation of allied tribes with its capital at Medina.

According to Islamic traditions, Muhammad began receiving revelations from God (Arabic: ألله Allah) from the age of 40, delivered through the angel Gabriel over the last 23 years of his life. The content of these revelations, known as the Qur'an,[5] was memorized and recorded by his followers and compiled into a single book shortly after his death. The Qur'an, along with the details of Muhammad’s life as recounted by his biographers and his contemporaries, forms the basis of Islamic theology. Within Islam, he is considered the last and most important prophet of God.[6] Muslims do not regard him as the founder of a new religion but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham and other prophets, [7][8][9][10][11] whose messages, according to some, had become misinterpreted or corrupted over time. [12]

Jesus (8–2 BC/BCE to 29–36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. He is commonly referred to as Jesus Christ, where "Christ" is a title derived from the Greek christós, meaning the "Anointed One", which corresponds to the Hebrew-derived "Messiah". The name "Jesus" is an Anglicization of the Greek Iesous, itself believed to be a transliteration of the Hebrew Yehoshua or Aramaic Yeshua, meaning "YHWH is salvation".

The main widely-accepted sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Most scholars in the fields of history and biblical studies agree that Jesus was a Jewish teacher from Galilee, who was regarded as a healer, was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on orders of the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate under the accusation of sedition against the Roman Empire.[2][3] A small number of scholars and authors question the historical existence of Jesus, with some arguing for a completely mythological Jesus.[4]

The comparison is startling, imo. Read the words carefully, and examine them for emotional focus as opposed to academic focus. Note the complete lack of references/citations for the names of Jesus section of the opening paragraph of that article.

And note the differences in original sources: for Muhammed we know precisely who wrote the book, and we have contemporary commentators. For Jesus the references are the "canonical" gospels; in short the religious books prove the religion.

Very sad.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Yet again the "World Day of Prayer" activists/spammers have added their links/material to Wikipedia, [[March 1]] (Unexpectedly, their pet article is currently under copyvio.)
Conspiracy theories are spun on extremely limited evidence, or the unprovable negative event. A single notation, unsupported by citation or actual fact, can develop into a widely-believed myth. The notation may have been created for the best of intentions, such as "balanced reporting" (another myth, btw) to present a possible justification for an action, and yet create or support a conspiracy theory.

Lenin's suspicion of an international conspiracy linked up with the Kronstadt events has been supported by the discovery of a handwritten memorandum preserved in the Columbia University Russian Archive, dated 1921 and marked 'Top Secret.' The document includes remarkably detailed information about the resources, personnel, arms and plans of the Kronstadt rebellion. It also details plans regarding White army and French government support for the Kronstadt sailors' March rebellion. Its title is 'Memorandum on the Question of Organising an Uprising in Kronstadt.'

The memorandum was part of a collection of documents written by an organisation called the National Centre, which originated at the beginning in 1918 as a self identified 'underground organisation formed in Russia for the struggle against the Bolsheviks.' After suffering military defeat and the arrest of many of its central members, the group reconstituted itself in exile by late 1920. General Wrangel, with a trained army of tens of thousands ready and waiting, was their principal military base of support. This memorandum was written between January and early February of 1921 by an agent of the National Centre in Finland.

This segment from the [[Kronstadt rebellion]] has no citation or evidentiary support, and its only purpose is to lend a possible justification for the government's actions. Exclusive of it's solitary nature and questions regarding its veracity, the question is its relevance to this article.

For example, if one were to accept the primae facie argument that the memo did exist at the time and was known to the government, then the entire action including:
Official Soviet figures claim approxmiately 1000 rebels were killed, 2000 wounded, 2500 captured, and 8000 defected to Finland, while the Red Army lost 527 killed and 3285 wounded.[9]
All this was done on the basis of a single uncorroborated memo. A government which would do so much on such limited information would be far more despicable than one which, instead, over-reacted purposefully to quell yet another potential rebellion in a long list of recent strikes and uprisings which were themselves the not-unexpected result of a war-shattered economy and two years of famine.

In short, this is a conspiracy theory with no attempt to present support for the apologetist claims.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This one's only semi-cute, as it shows a lingering bias within the USA between the north and the south which is more than sad.

CSS Nashville (1871)

For other ships named Nashville, see USS Nashville.

First of all, this may come as a complete surprise, but there have been non-warcraft named Nashville. But exclusive of that, there is a disambiguation page already in existence for the CSS Nashvilles.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Absolute monarchy, a form of government found in Saudi Arabia, Nepal and Swaziland

While I'm unsure regarding Saudi Arabia and Swaziland, it's my understanding the events of the past year included a renunciation of absolute monarchy by the king of Nepal.
How unstartling, en.Wikipedia still has cross-namespace redirects. Empress of China should be a disambiguation page: of course there have been many Empresses of China, but this was also the name of at least one locomotive engine and several sailing vessels including the historically significant Empress of China owned by Robert Morris which was the first United States vessel to visit China, and thus established both diplomatic and commercial links between the countries. It was so significant a voyage that the current government of China still refers to the ship in official speeches.[1]

But en.wp redirects everything to the category Chinese Empresses.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hmm... interesting...

The HTML element article fails to mention lists of any form. I believe they're a block-level element. Not that I'd expect the Wikipedia article to be comprehensive, but still...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

17 February:
1977 - Sean Watkins, American guitarist and songwrite

I've always wanted to be a songwrite, too.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lovely. It seems Wikipedia is also a purveyor of rumour and conspiracy theories: Alleged theft of remains

While I do not dispute the facts, or lack there of, regarding the accusation, the point is that it's a rumour. It's unproven. If I accuse Premier Putin's grandfather of having necrophilial relations with Lenin's body, it should not be reported in Wikipedia until there is evidence that it happened. Even if a hundred thousand people demand an examination of Lenin's cavities. Because it is a verifiable fact which has not been verified.

The simplest and most obvious method of giving this story justification is if the gravesite of Goyaałé (Geronimo) were opened and examined. If Harlyn Geronimo had an honest interest in resolving this it would be the first step. It would determine *if* the skull or femurs were missing.
Hmm... this is interesting for the wrong reason of course:
1867 - The first ship passes through the Suez Canal.17 February

Mind you, I don't necessarily dispute the claim. It's just there's no corroboration in the article, no sources, no support. The Suez Canal officially opened 17 November 1869.
1568 - The entire population of the Netherlands - three million people - was sentenced to death by the Roman Catholic Church for heresy; see Eighty Years' War.

This lovely entry in the 16 February is, of course, completely unsupported in the current version of the article. Did the Pope excommunicate the 17 provinces, and condemn the inhabitants to death? I don't know, though I think it possible and even likely.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Goodness! The Dreyfus Affair article is in full spin cycle. It now qualifies, imltho, as a prime example of pro-judaism propaganda, with little or no attempt to source or support gross generalizations and hyperbole.
1873 - Feodor Chaliapin, Russian bass (d. 1938)(13 February)

What is a Russian bass? is it some variety of fish? (insert a dozen more witty quips based on the disambiguation page) No, it is a vocalist who sings in the bass vocal range.

So why not say "Russian bass vocalist"?
# 1901 - May be the day after a truncated January 19, 2038 on Unix and Unix-like computer systems still suffering from the year 2038 problem

Yes, there may be a problem with unix-like OSes in 20+ years. It may, in fact, cause them to show the date as 13 February 1901. But it does not support mention in a page of historical events. If it deserves mention at all, it would be under the date at which the event would happen, 19 January 2038, in a page of future events.
Well, it's pretty clear the same person who worships Sir Samuel Hood in that article also wrote the Battle of St. Kitts article. Just for accuracy's sake, in 1782 there was no island called "St. Kitts". The island was St. Christophers (name changed in 1968, iirc.)

And as long as we're questioning the clear and obvious bias of the Hood fan, let's at least mention the undeclared bias of
Both islands, despite being only 2 miles apart and quite diminutive in size were widely recognized as being separate entities with separate identities, until they were forcefully unified in the late 19th century.

While I'm as supportive as possible of local determination, the facts of the matter are that St. Kitts and Nevis (also not its name for much of the time under discussion) were settled by the same group of people (Nevis by europeans from St. Kitts), and have spent the vast majority of their modern history in constant exchange of culture and people due to their close proximity to each other, and in joint governance. They were not "forcefully unified" in any way, in that no force was used. Their independence was negotiated, as a group (St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla), which does not support that line from the opening of the article.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

There are many very poorly written articles in Wikipedia. This does not make it a poor resource; it just makes it a starting point to be viewed extremely skeptically, as every resource should be viewed.

But a good example of a bad article on so many levels is the History of Martinique. Even if you ignore the uncorrected vandalism, it's just... bad. Bad writing, unsourced, inaccurate, even plain wrong.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Thomas Edison was born(he sdfgsdfgsdfg sdf in Milan, Ohio, the seventh and last child of Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. (1804–1896) (born in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia, Canada) and the former Nancy Matthews Elliott (1810–1871).

And thus spake Zarathustra in [[Thomas Edison]], and yet I cannot find this edit in the history of the article.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

1998 - A college dropout becomes the first person to be convicted of a hate crime committed in cyberspace. (10 February)

It contains no verifiable information, no link to a relevant Wikipedia article.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Gotta love advertisements in day's history...
2007 David Lam and the Pistols takes on Tommy in the Geno Bowl (9 February)

Lovely. Yet again the edit has been oversighted, only in this case there is no possible justification for it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Very strange... I clipped this from 7 Feb. on Wikipedia:
1986 - XXXXXXXXXXX, Malaysian student

to comment on it. Now I cannot find it anywhere in the article's history. One presumes it has been deleted from the history using Oversight. The reason being there was a person's real name where the Xs are. What bothers me is not that it was done, but that it happened so rapidly. It suggests that not only is Oversight used regularly, it's "instant on", with no questions being asked.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

How wonderful! Nigel Tufnel is a member of the Mandolinists category! Why is this bad? Nigel Tufnel is a fictional character in the comedic mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap" and should neither have his own article nor should he ever be in a category of real people.
The article on Belle Starr is a fine example of excrable writing, and pointless/bad trivia.

The latter is particularly awful. The "historical fiction" section, which doesn't even begin to list the dozens-to-hundreds of references to Belle Starr, spends 280 words and 3 paragraphs talking about a Manga which has never been completely translated to any other language, is barely related to the subject of the article, and is doubtless otherwise completely un-notable. Yet it accounts for fully 25% of this article.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I love shit like this...

This is an entry in the Son Volt discography. It links to an article about a film of the name, but the name of the album is included in the disambig... Needless to say this is pure crap since the album hasn't been released and won't be for a couple months.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Gotta love this IP tagging the article they edited...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

3 February:
In the Northern hemisphere, there are 88 days in winter (in a non-leap year, 89 in a leap year). We are considered halfway through winter on February 3.
Not! There are 89 days in northern winters. Or at least there will be for the next 5 years, since I *just* finished calculating this from the solar ephemera. Winter doesn't follow calendars; it's rather the other way around. The cross-quarter days fall on 4 February (in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011) or 5 February (2009 and 2012).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lovely. Opposite Day is in Wikipedia's list of holidays for 25 January.
Substubs bug me. The Corsair doesn't even mention it's a poem!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pachena Point Lighthouse is where k-kay kickflip resides.
Isn't that nice to know? Really enccyclopedic.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Oh, and the whole mis-placed paragraph about the invention of water-skiing... which is currently lodged in the 1800s section, but should be in the 1900s section as it happened in 1922.
The first steamboat to travel the full length of the Mississippi from the Ohio River to New Orleans, Louisiana, was the New Orleans in December 1811.*

That's not the full length of the Mississippi!! That's the length of the Lower Mississippi!
Of what possible relevance is this to the article on Felipe, Prince of Asturias?
He is also the 10th cousin, 6 times removed of Manfred von Richthofen, or the Red Baron.
What, a republican attack on the Clinton administration in Wikipedia? Say it isn't so!
In the United States this story generated predominantly negative publicity, with some notable exceptions, e.g. Robert Reich's comment "where were teachers like she [Mary Letourneau] when I went to school?"[citation needed]. Reich was at that time the Secretary of Labor in President Clinton's administration.*
Gotta love those unsourced, clearly irrelevant statements being saved in the article but challenged...
Of all the POVioring factions on en.Wikipedia, the ones which make me the most angry are holocaust POViors.

1943 - Holocaust in Letychiv, Ukraine: German Gestapo organises mass shootings of Jews from Letychiv Ghetto. 200 surviving Jews from Letychiv slave labor camp were ordered to undress and were shot with machine-gun into a ravine. Some 7.000 Jews were murdered in Letychiv.

Nearly every other day of the Wikipedia calendar of daily historical events has one or two "holocaust events". Very few of them follow the Days of the year guidelines or style. Almost all of them go on to make unsupported comments. All of them make me think the Holocaust was far less than it is being made out to be. None of them mention the millions of non-jews who were murdered.

The promotion of the Holocaust on Wikipedia appears to be fascist and racist in nature. Clearly the people involved have learned from the Holocaust.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Well... Stamford Raffles may need to answer for many things, but I don't believe this is one of them:

He also changed the Dutch colonies to the British system of driving on the left.

Why do people not simply delete what is apparently bogus, un-sourced information?

Friday, January 19, 2007

"The attempt Hood made in January 1782 to save them from capture, with 22 ships to 29, was not successful, but the series of bold movements by which he first turned the French out of their anchorage at the Basse Terre of St Kitts, and then beat off the attacks of the enemy, were the most brilliant things done by any British admiral during the war."*

I really rather dislike apologetists generally. At least, if they are unsourced and appear, on the surface, to be simple bias and poor writing.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How cute, that A.B. redirects to Bachelor of Arts instead of Able Seaman, even though no one has ever heard of its use as an acronym for the latin Artium Baccalaureus yet most everyone has heard its use as an acronym for the British Navy Able-bodied.
Egads! While I tend to agree with the sentiments expressed, the biography of Joseph Hewes is clearly biased and written from a very non-neutral point of view.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ugh. The 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii, often known as the Bayonet Constitution, copy-paste moved on July 6, losing the history of nearly 100 contributions.
Oh, and back on the 19th of January...
1847 - Charles Bent, New Mexico pioneer (assassinated)

Has anyone thought to mention that Charles Bent was the appointed governor of the newly-formed New Mexico Territory, or that he was assassinated during the Taos Revolution? (Incidentally, the succession box at the bottom of the Charles Bent article is wrong: Stephen W. Kearny succeeded Juan Bautista Vigil y Alarid, as a military governor, before appointing Charles Bent as a civilian governor.)
Okay, this is offensive. The term "revolutionary war", according to the English Wikipedia, always and only refers to the revolution of the United States against the United Kingdom. Do I need to explain why this is offensive?
Yes, it will happen. But no, it has not happened yet. So it should not be listed in a record of historic events.
2038 - The UNIX timestamp (a format used for decades to store dates on computers) becomes technically obsolete.*

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Gah... there are people who, with purely the best intents at heart, manage to completely and utterly miss the point. And leave really really lame summaries.

(cur) (last) 16:07, 20 November 2006 J Di (Talk | contribs) (Protected pages considered harmful moved to Pages that are protected are considered harmful: do they bite?)*

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Well, it's been a weird blogging morning... first the server was gone, then it wouldn't let me sign in to my google account... Now I've forgotten all the annoying mistakes and errors I found on Wikipedia from the date tasks. Ah well, I'll just have to find more.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Okay, can someone explain this for me?

The naval Battle of Cape St Vincent, or Battle of Cape Santa Maria, took place on 16 January 1780, during the American Revolutionary War and was a victory of a British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney over a Spanish squadron under Don Juan de Lángara.Wikipedia

The thing I'm wondering is about the green text... in what way is it relevant to this specific battle that the north american colonies were revolting? Wouldn't it be far more important to mention that Britain was currently at war with France as well as Spain?
I'm quite intrigued by Erling Kagge's article. It's not that I've never heard of him (which I haven't); he's active in a field I'm not too aware of. It's that his article reads like an advertisement for his many books, which are apparently the only references there are concerning him.
Unbelievably bad. Ilse Koch was almost certainly an evil person, but the text of the article would have done Goebbels proud: it contains extensive damning statements which are not directly sourced and which are otherwise completely unbelievable.

She may or may not have possessed lampshades made from human skin, however her family dinner table is reputed to have been decorated with shrunken human heads

This statement alone is worthy of condemning the entire article. This is crap writing, as evil as any alleged action taken by Ilse Koch. I'm hardly a holocaust denier, but if holocaust educators must stoop to lies and innuendo to make the Nazis appear evil, then they must not have been very evil. At least that's the message I get. If the facts do not speak for themselves, lies will not serve; they will only harm the message being transmited.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

It is interesting to note that the royalty of Hawai'i articles are not titled according to Wikipedia naming standards:
1. Pre-emptively disambiguate the names of monarchs, of modern countries in the format "{Monarch's first name and ordinal} of {Country}". Examples: Edward I of England; Alfonso XII of Spain; Henry I of France.*

And yet:

I wonder if this is due to the need to recognize the USA's gunpoint diplomacy in capturing Hawai'i if Wikipedia recognized Hawai'i as a kingdom no greater or lesser than any European throne.
Cute, a broken image in the Dreyfus Affair article.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Clemenceau (R 98), a French aircraft carrier article on Wikipedia, shows a classic example of the problem of a lack of editorial vision: 688 words of the 1053 word document are a diatribe about the French government's attempt to have the ship broken up in India in 2006 (where about 80% of all ships are in fact broken up.) The remaining 375 words cover the ship's 40 year career, service in at least 5 wars, and more than one million nautical miles.

Is this final chapter really appropriately balanced against the coverage of the entire history of the vessel? Why is the date the vessel was delayed in passage through the Suez Canal listed in the Wikipedia page for 12 January, but not the day the vessel was christened, commissioned or decommissioned? Bias, perhaps?
And another date conflict... the 12 January entry lists Gustav I of Sweden as being crowned on that date in 1528, but the article reports him being elected king on 6 June 1521 and being crowned 21 January 1528.
A lovely example of complete bias and bullshit:

On 11 January 1863 Hatteras encountered the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama under Captain Raphael Semmes flying the British flag (an acceptable practice under the law of the sea at the time) and indicating that she was HMS Spitfire.

As a boarding party approached Alabama she broke out the Confederate ensign and commenced firing.

It has never been either acceptable or legal for a Naval vessel to impersonate either a civilian vessel of another sovereign state or a naval vessel of a foreign sovereign state. Ever. The closest thing to it is to refuse to fly any colors when in international waters.
This one is kinda cute... in 11 January:
* 1938 - Frances Moulton is the first woman to become president of a U.S. national bank.[citation needed]

Now, imagine this... you run accross a statement which has no supporting facts, and is completely unrelated to the project on a page which is excessively cluttered yet barely scratches the possible content which could be listed there... do you A) remove it, B) link the page to the ongoing citation project which is focused on something else entirely?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Living la vida buena...

Two years ago I bought a small old-fashioned coffee grinder. You know, the silly wooden box with a drawer in the side and a little cup at the top with a crank. Pure nostalgia, theoretically justified by an upcoming cruise around Vancouver Island. (I also bought a mongo-huge coffee press for the trip, far larger than my kettle could possibly service but the only carbonate plastic one I could find at the time.)

This year's most-prized Winter Solstice gift is a tiny stovetop espresso, designed for yuppie backpackers who can't leave their starbucks addiction behind. (I, he said primly, am not addicted to starbucks; I much prefer Pané e Fromaggio's coffee. And I visit fair trade coffeeshops as a cheesy sop to my conscience.)

120 cranks on grinder (which has become steadily finer in grind over the two years, until it's really much too fine for the coffee presses, but that doesn't stop me using it for them as well) and I have just enough of my blended fair trade beans (two dark roasts and a medium roast, about equal) to make one espresso. I very lightly tamp it, with a spoon. Then turn on the burner and fire it up.

(One thing I'm missing is one of those cute little espresso pitchers the barristas at the coffee houses have; maybe for Summer Solstice, if I hint strongly enough to the family... a cute double-walled stainless insulated one, like they have at MEC...)

The cool thing about this set up, of course, is that it works entirely without electricity. It does need a stove. I mean, theoretically I could do this over a campfire, but realistically it aint happening without a focused small spot of really high heat.

So, my personal la vida buena? firing off the espresso, toasting two slices of raisin bread (yah, I can make that too), heating almost a pint of whole milk, pouring the espresso into the milk (and a teaspoon or so brown sugar or maple syrup), slathering a bit of butter on the toast and shaking cinnamon sugar over it... and calling it breakfast. I'm usually good for about 4 hours of work on that.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007









































Okay, I don't believe you. In fact, I think you're a loony when it comes to this particular subject. And yah, it's seriously harmed your credibility with me.

I'm talking about someone's flat out insistence to me that the Wikimedia Foundation's multimedia storage accounts for some 365 GB.

That number seemed way off. I mean, there are well over 1,000,000 media files on Commons alone. Even if Commons did account for every single media file in the Wikimedia Foundation, each media file would be an average of 358KB in length. Not including the fact that Mediawiki stores a resized copy of every image which has ever been resized. And last I'd heard Wikipedia's media file collection was a touch larger than that on Commons.

On commons alone there are more than 133,194 KB of just the .djvu media type. While this file type may seem a bit fat as a reasonable comparison (the above number accounts for only 41 files, an average size of 3,248 KB) it's actually quite lean compared with .ogg song files. It would be difficult to make reasonable estimates, however, as there are several thousands of word pronunciation files on commons, still it's not unreasonable to expect the average is 3 MB. And Google finds nearly 90,000 hits of .ogg [1]

So, do I think that the average file size, including all image resizes, video and music files, averages less than 179KB? It's possible, but I don't think so, no. But exclusive of storage volume, what about when we talk about bandwidth?

A number tossed at me said 50% of bandwidth use is html text. Oddly, I actually believe that. Relatively speaking the wikis are extremely low on gaphics. They don't have a billion and one tiny images, rollover images, flash interfaces, etc. Even with gzip transmission this undoubtedly means that text is going to be the largest percentage of the bandwidth.

But the other number tossed at me was that en.wikipedia images account for 44% of the remaining bandwidth. Again, this is unbelievable bullshit. They may be images in en.wikipeda pages, but that doesn't mean they are held exclusively on that website. That 44% includes all the images which are uploaded to commons.wikimedia, which is a senseless waste of a wiki.

Think about it this way: with further coding, all media files from any WMF project could be available to every other project, without requiring a separate bureaucracy to "manage" images for them. It should not be excessively difficult to externalize the binary namespace from the wikis, and make all media pages available on all the projects simultaneously.

Instead the only system which is available to all wikis is commons, which externalizes image deletion control, as well as the policy-making regarding every element of binary management. And, instead of improving the software and creating greater opportunity and sharing, commons divisively engages in turf wars, and writes software which increases project dependency on them rather than attempting to reduce that dependency.

And it hasn't worked in the past. Historically commons has enforced its own rules arbitrarily; abusing it contributors on some occasions, abusing its missions on others. Its administrators, unaccountable to the projects and equally to their own community, have repeatedly engaged in hostile arguments with representatives of other projects and people attempting to join its efforts. Whether it is the culture which has developed there or its unique position of de facto authority over the content of the WMF projects, it is harmful to the development of the projects it is supposed to support.

Since there is not a need for commons, effort should be put forth not to improve it further but to make it redundant, simultaneously reducing the actuality of redundant binary files. And, WMF-wide, a policy requiring binaries be actually used in projects in order to justify their storage should be implemented.

Of course, that only applies if there is a desire to reduce the number redundant binary files, reduce the complexity and hostility related to contributing media files, eliminate a layer of bureaucracy, and/or to simplify rather than complicate. In short, this entire essay was a waste of time.

Update: Having spoken with the person in charge of the network system for the Wikimedia Foundation, Media file transfers account for more than half of bandwidth usage, roughly 60% vs 40% text. He also says the estimated storage is about 1 TB, but doesn't want to risk slowing down the server to actually get a precise figure. (Actually, he thinks more like 1.5 TB, since it was 1.3 TB a couple months ago)

Which pretty much makes my case, in some respects.
1 BC (O.S.) - Jesus of Nazareth, central figure of Christianity, (date celebrated by Eastern Orthodox churches as Christmas)[1]

And with such listings Wikipedia supports unequivocally a matter of faith.


Philips van Almonde, or is it Philipp van Almonde? born 29 December, or 30 December? 1644, or 1646?* Died 6 January, or 8 January?**

Consistency, obviously not the hobgoblin of Wikipedia's maritime-related articles.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Good gods! Not only is this pure political propaganda, the article Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People is linked as a holiday for 4 January!

Blog Archive

About Me

Owned by Njørđson, a Cape Dory 25D.