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Monday, August 31, 2015

Why we need to replace Wikipedia

This technological innovator's experience is far from the only one of its type, and demonstrates that the Impossibility of Social Justice Convergence renders Wikipedia unfit for purpose:
My primary reasons for writing this article are to record a bit of personal history, describe programming before the personal computer, and reminisce a bit. But I have another reason — some of my regular readers know there's an article about me on Wikipedia, but that article is likely to be deleted (update: it's gone — see below). The stated reason for deleting it is because it doesn't have enough references for its claims — for example, that I wrote a solar system model that was used by JPL during the Viking lander mission. Wikipedia rightly requires documentation for any claims made in its articles, and until this article, the article you're reading, that claim wasn't documented. It is now, by this article and by its attached correspondence. Nevertheless, once I saw that the article was being considered for removal, I added my own vote in favor of deletion. Why? Because it had become a cheap sounding board for people annoyed at my positions on controversial topics, particularly psychology and stockbrokers.

That's the real reason the self-appointed editors over at Wikipedia moved to delete the article (remember that anyone can sign up and edit Wikipedia articles). I've been tracking the article since it first appeared in 2006, and there have been any number of efforts to delete or destroy the article by people of varying levels of skill. One of the cleverer tactics has been to delete the list of references, wait 24 hours, then argue for the article's deletion on the ground that the article's claims have no references — that's been tried several times.

What's behind this? Why does anyone care so much about a short article that describes my activities? Well, I've noticed a correlation between my publishing something about psychology (I'm a critic of psychology's theoretical basis and practice, example: The Trouble with Psychology) and a subsequent effort to delete the Wikipedia article. Apparently some psychologists or fans of psychology think it's an appropriate response to criticism of their field — not to debate the issues honestly in public forums — but to try to remove any references to the critic.

The single best thing about Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it. That's also the single worst thing. It was my hope that a Wikipedia editor, one who doesn't care that I'm a psychology critic, would add a footnote reference to this article's documentation in the Wikipedia article, thereby removing an excuse to delete the article. That wouldn't have solved the problem, because I plan to continue criticizing psychology, but it woiuld have made it harder to justify future attacks.

Update: Through a combination of my efforts and that of others, and since I couldn't protect it from vandalism, the Wikipedia article has been deleted. During my research on this topic, I encountered this almost identical incident:

    Seth Finkelstein reported in an article in The Guardian on his efforts to remove his own biography page from Wikipedia, simply because it was subjected to defamation:

        "Wikipedia has a short biography of me, originally added in February 2004, mostly concerned with my internet civil liberties achievements. After discovering in May 2006 that it had been vandalised in March, possibly by a long-time opponent, and that the attack had been subsequently propagated to many other sites which (legally) repackage Wikipedia's content, the article's existence seemed to me overall to be harmful rather than helpful. For people who are not very prominent, Wikipedia biographies can be an "attractive nuisance". It says, to every troll, vandal, and score-settler: "Here's an article about a person where you can, with no accountability whatsoever, write any libel, defamation, or smear. It won't be a marginal comment with the social status of an inconsequential rant, but rather will be made prominent about the person, and reputation-laundered with the institutional status of an encyclopedia."

    In the same article Finkelstein recounts how he voted his own biography as "not notable enough" in order to have it removed from Wikipedia.

As explained above, once I saw how often opponents of my views on psychology tried to rewrite or delete my Wikipedia article, I took the same action for the same reason. Those who want to read a short biographical note, one not subject to controversy or vandalism, may click here.

What does this mean about Wikipedia? It means that controversial issues and people won't be described fairly, or sometimes at all. The idea behind Wikipedia is that it's a people's encyclopedia, not an ivory tower production. The problem with this egalitarian ideal is that special interests can, and do, struggle to see their particular outlook become the only outlook in the pages of Wikipedia. And, since my view of psychology is quickly becoming the majority view, psychologists found themselves unable to argue against that position using reason and fair tactics. So, just as when they chose to study psychology in college, they took the low road, the easy path — they resorted to gangster tactics.
We're going to do this, the only questions are a) when, b) how much will it cost, and c) who is with me? I've had much the same experience. The three most notable and significant things I have done are completely absent from Wikipedia despite my being deemed notable by the editors and those three things being documented by reliable sources. And I'm far from alone in that.

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238 Comments:

1 – 200 of 238 Newer› Newest»
Blogger Aquila Aquilonis Fulminata August 31, 2015 3:21 PM  

What are those three things?

Anonymous Ain August 31, 2015 3:23 PM  

It's only a matter of time before wikipedia gets replaced. You're as good a spearhead for that as any, and better than most.

Anonymous AlteredFate August 31, 2015 3:23 PM  

Count me in for what it's worth. I figured we would get around to it again eventually in the monthly Brainstorm session (for all those hesitant to join in, you're missing out) but there has been a lot going on around here lately, so I thought it might have been back burnered.

Blogger buzzardist August 31, 2015 3:23 PM  

So who is going to supply the content for the Wikipedia replacement? Who is going to edit that content? One flaw I see with this plan is that, from my impression, many, if not most, of Wikipedia's contributors are omegas and gammas. (And, yes, most Wikipedia contributors and editors are men.) The omegas aren't the problem. They're usually contributors. They have one or two geek interests, and they want to create fanatically detailed (sometimes too-detailed) articles on those topics. Occasionally, they might express a bit of omega rage if people fiddle with their work, but generally they just want to be left alone to make their content.

The gammas, however, are a problem. They desperately want to be heard. They feel self-important by contributing. They tend to include a lot of SJWs. Those who gravitate toward editing other people's stuff are especially pernicious. Build something on a similar model, with people contributing and editing, and it's probably going to attract this gamma crowd if it is successful. Fail to attract either of these crowds, and the project is probably going to struggle to develop and edit content. So how do you make an online encyclopedia written by everyday people without relying on the gamma SJWs who flock to such kinds of projects, and without whom such projects might lack active contributors?

Anonymous Jasper August 31, 2015 3:24 PM  

How can I help?

Blogger Salt August 31, 2015 3:29 PM  

Like Jasper, how can I help?

Blogger Gareth August 31, 2015 3:32 PM  

I'll keep my ears open as to how I can help in small ways on this.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 31, 2015 3:33 PM  

I'm in.

Blogger ScottD August 31, 2015 3:38 PM  

I'm new here, so if off topics are frowned upon, let me know. I'm not great with computer graphics, but think it would be funny to have a picture of Mt. McKinley with the caption "Call me Caitlyn, Dammit!!!!"

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis August 31, 2015 3:39 PM  

Wikipedia started due to gate keeping by our societal/intellectual "betters" in formal editorial positions and was ruined by gate keeping by our societal/intellectual "betters" that took over the crowd editing group. What sort of system would be put in place to prevent both the former that happened to traditional encyclopedias and the latter that happened to Wikipedia?

Blogger Cail Corishev August 31, 2015 3:39 PM  

By the way, to those who might not think they can contribute to such a project: the software is the easy part. The hard part will be managing the thing. You can't amass that much content without allowing pretty much wide-open contributing, which means you need a lot of editors to ride herd over it all, which means you're going to need trusted admins to ride herd on them and keep SJWs entryists from taking hold at that level. It's a human problem more than a technical one, so it will need sensible people more so than programmers.

That's my take, anyway; I know Vox has some ideas of his own about it.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 August 31, 2015 3:39 PM  

Encyclopedia Galactica?

Blogger Shimshon August 31, 2015 3:41 PM  

Please keep me in the loop.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 August 31, 2015 3:41 PM  

How does conservapedia do it?

Blogger ScuzzaMan August 31, 2015 3:44 PM  

I'm up for it.

Be interested to hear your plans for navigating the pitfalls of Wikipedia. Then again, I am far too cynical to believe there is any objective perspective in human affairs: I am content if people declare their biases openly, as I do, and argue honestly, likewise.

Anonymous Nathan August 31, 2015 3:46 PM  

What's the deterrence against a Ryulong or a Phil Sandifer or any others of the legion of power mad Edit Warriors that plague Wikipedia and the less wikis?

Anonymous Mike T August 31, 2015 3:48 PM  

An OAuth kind of system would be a good start. Only people using their real names and on an approval basis should be allowed. If you want to be particularly nasty, just fork Wikipedia.

Anonymous A Visitor August 31, 2015 3:49 PM  

I'm in.

Anonymous AlteredFate August 31, 2015 3:51 PM  

@buzzardist

My very first thought when Vox brought this up was where could we obtain massive amounts of information (for free) and then run it through our own SJW-free editing and verification process, and what I keep coming back to is Wikipedia itself. Some of the information is usable as-is though almost every article needs at least some minor attention. All we really need is a better standard for editing and citation of references that each article would have to meet before it could actually be used, and BAM! you have a better more usable version of Wikipedia.

Blogger Mike Farnsworth August 31, 2015 3:51 PM  

I'd also like to help.

@Cail you are probably right, there is plenty of wiki-like software out there if that's how we wanted to go, and that managing people is the hard part.

Recognizing entryism so it can be efficiently stopped right out of the gate is where the gold is. Perhaps some machine learning, neural nets, etc to sift apart changes and recognize when someone is making inappropriate edits. It probably can't automatically reject changes, but it could grow to be a huge assist for moderators/editors in identifying quickly the crud as it happens, rather than waiting for someone else to notice it and speak up.

Proactive editing is better than reactive editing, I'd say.

Blogger Josh August 31, 2015 3:53 PM  

Encyclopedia Galactica?

At opposite ends of the globe?

Blogger Nate August 31, 2015 3:56 PM  

hasn't it already been done a few times already? Conservapedia and all that?

Blogger dlw August 31, 2015 3:57 PM  

I have several sets of printed encyclopedias here. Some American, some British, some relatively recent, some from the late 1800s.

Some things are basically the same in all of them. Some... aren't. Boy howdy, they aren't. The cultural/national/social/political slant not only isn't hidden, it has searchlights and a bullhorn.

Just because it was printed on Real Wood Pulp by a Real Publisher doesn't make it any more accurate than Wikipedia.

The problem isn't Wikipedia, it's the fucktards who click on the first link of a search (often Wikipedia), skim the article, and then assume they have all there is to know about the subject. "I know it's true becaue I read it on the internet." At Wikipedia, or MSNBC, or Faux...

Fixing or replacing Wikipedia would only be a band-aid over the real problem.

Anonymous Ain August 31, 2015 3:57 PM  

buzzardist @4

I anticipate it getting support from people that are sick of wikipedia editors' shenanigans. There's an undercurrent in academia of all flavors that's held down by SJWs for a myriad of petty reasons, and I expect their number is higher than most people realize.

Being cowed or squelched by an SJW-infested organization is by no means being in support of it. Many people just need an alternative.

"The gammas, however, are a problem. They desperately want to be heard. They feel self-important by contributing. They tend to include a lot of SJWs. Those who gravitate toward editing other people's stuff are especially pernicious."

This is why the altwiki needs to be built from the ground up to thwart entryism. As soon as somebody engages in petty nonsense as described in the article, their ass is out, no matter who they are.

Blogger RobertT August 31, 2015 3:57 PM  

Having had my time in the spotlight with private investigators digging into my past and reporters trying to put words in my mouth, I can't understand why anyone would want to be in Wikipedia or anywhere else where the content is completely out of your control. I can understand being on Yelp when you're driving the traffic to Yelp, but you have to understand, any one of these things could turn on you in a moment and eat you alive.

Blogger Atomic Agent 13 August 31, 2015 3:58 PM  

We're going to do this, the only questions are a) when, b) how much will it cost, and c) who is with me?

Let's do this shit, and for the love of God please let advertisers in, let the damn thing stand on its own without the PBS style begging.

Anonymous dh August 31, 2015 3:59 PM  

Consider an advanced fork. The problem with Wikipedia, and why others have failed, is that there is a lot of content out there. A whole lot.

And a lot of it isn't very bad. There are thousand of articles that are completely fine.

But it's also heavily skewed to things that rich-white people enjoy - from music, to technology, to arts and also skewed to what the powerful editors like.

So a great way is to fork the content (which you can, because it's forkable), pare it down considerably, come up with a better way to manage editors, and then republish it. If you are smart about it, you could have some articles track the Wikipedia version closely, while other versions forked once and are done.

If you use the same platform, and produce a better product, you'll attract the editors you want and reject the rest.

Anonymous Alexander, #10 August 31, 2015 4:01 PM  

As a minion of not only the most vileness and faceless sort unimaginable but so numbered that his Most Evil can reach this one's number with but a second hand... that I was 'in' was a given.

Blogger Mike Farnsworth August 31, 2015 4:03 PM  

@22

A couple of potentials:

http://citizendium.org/
http://conservapedia.com/

Citizendium seems to have a reasonable setup as far as rules go, and conservapedia seems to be too restrictive in what it accepts. But neither seems to be gaining ground, as I had never heard of them before today.

Anonymous Crude August 31, 2015 4:05 PM  

Vox (and anyone else programming inclined concerned about the SJW issue),

I've been thinking about this recently, and I may have come up with a solution of sorts. Let me run it by the Ilk.

Wikipedia is fairly enormous. I'm guessing no one's going to question this, at least in the sense of 'How hard is it to replace the whole thing, from the ground up, with new data.'

A good share of Wikipedia is benign, I think most would agree. Though everything is subject to corruption of a sort if someone puts their mind to it, I highly doubt that basic demographic details of given villages in Eastern Europe or biological details about the lineages of the common cabbage are on the SJW radar.

The point is, it doesn't look like the problematic aspects of Wikipedia are all that huge. It's some dirt on the potato - you can clean off the dirt and save the potato. The main issue is wiki's editor gatekeepers are protecting that dirt. If they allowed it, it'd be pretty easy to eliminate the SJW-rot infesting it, in terms of edits and labor needed.

I think people have made the mistake of trying to replicate wikipedia - see conservapedia, etc. It doesn't work. There's too much to replace, and even if it were managed, the crowdsource aspect would introduce problems.

So, my thought: how about a hybrid solution. Browser plugins coded to work with Wikipedia.

Let's say you have the plugin, and you go to look up Vox Day on wikipedia. The plugin detects it - in fact, it detects any relevant 'SJW-Corrupted' term - and intentionally reroutes the browser to another site. One maintained, and far better policed, by anti-SJW contributors. A better rundown of Vox is provided there.

But if you look up 'cabbage', the plugin doesn't give a shit. On you go to the wikipedia entry for cabbage.

Granted, this solves the problem for everyone who uses the plugin, and the difficulty is 'getting people to use the plugin' (and 'getting good editors/submitters'). But I submit it's far easier to pull this off than to create a flat out wikipedia-alternative. It's more cost-efficient, it's more efficient in general.

Any input here would be appreciated.

Anonymous 334 August 31, 2015 4:06 PM  

@19. AlteredFate

That was the first thing that occurred to me: building from the ground up is a humongous task. Editing existing context is less time-consuming.

Oh, in case it isn't clear, I'd be in too.

Vox, as has probably already been mentioned, there would need to be serious gatekeeping involved or we'd just end up back in the same place.

Anonymous Tom August 31, 2015 4:09 PM  

See, there's a problem. I don't live in my parents' basement. In fact, I have children of my own. I believe that many of the saner folks out here in Interwebz land are like that. I don't know how many hours and hours of free time we've got to donate to a Wikipedia like project.

Also, isn't most of Wikipedia stolen from other sources? I've read numerous physics related topics that are clearly lifted straight out of a textbook with references to other parts of the book and such.

Blogger Were-Puppy August 31, 2015 4:10 PM  

I would like to help also.

I was reading the earlier post about Scalzi, and was unfamiliar with the Dunning-Kruger effect. So, after googling I saw Wikipedia, and then a rationalwiki. Thinking Wiki is already
bad, let me check out the rationalwiki. Under the locally relevant examples, we find Vox Day. So flush this site down the toilet also.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

Blogger Mike Farnsworth August 31, 2015 4:11 PM  

@Crude

That's very interesting. I can also see applying "diffs" over the content so that for certain pages there is only a paragraph where they spew their lies, and it will just correct that only.

Of course, getting a browser plugin or somesuch installed on a lot of computers would be an uphill battle, not to mention it simply won't happen on mobile.

Anonymous Amok Time August 31, 2015 4:12 PM  

I vote Truthpedia! And boycott the SJW one!

Blogger wrf3 August 31, 2015 4:13 PM  

I'll start working on the Voight-Kampff test, but for Dunning-Kruger. I think artificial intelligences should be able to contribute, just not incompetent intelligences of whatever origin.

Anonymous patrick kelly August 31, 2015 4:14 PM  

@4 - Dont' do it like that. Do something different, better.

What? I don't know, but I want to believe any serious effort in this direction by Ilkdom would result in something good and worthwhile, even if it fails to replace Wiki-whatevers....

Blogger Atomic Agent 13 August 31, 2015 4:15 PM  

So, my thought: how about a hybrid solution. Browser plugins coded to work with Wikipedia.

Not a bad idea.

Anonymous patrick kelly August 31, 2015 4:16 PM  

@38

Now that's the shit I'm talkin'bout. Ilk brain dump ---- EARTH SHATTERING KABOOOMS FELT IN SJW LAND !!

Anonymous Crude August 31, 2015 4:18 PM  

Mike,

You're right - mobile is an issue. Big blindspot I missed.

Maybe there's a way to kill both of the problems you mentioned in one swoop: a middleman website that functions as a kind of wrapper for Wikipedia itself. Go to the site, which is a wikipedia mimic. Type in 'cabbage', it checks your search criteria against its database. If there's no match, your browser gets directed to pull the search results from wikipedia, wrapped if possible. If there's a match, you get the site's results instead.

Better? More doable?

Blogger Atomic Agent 13 August 31, 2015 4:19 PM  

I highly doubt that basic demographic details of given villages in Eastern Europe or biological details about the lineages of the common cabbage are on the SJW radar.

Doesn't interest you, yet someone out there is interested enough maybe to write a new article for a different wiki. Just a matter of finding folks with disparate interests to write the articles.

Blogger Alexander Thompson August 31, 2015 4:21 PM  

It's a lot of work but there is a major short cut. Half of wikipedia is just cut and pasted from around the web or vice a versa. For articles without a political slant can just be taken wholesale.

Blogger Salt August 31, 2015 4:23 PM  

a picture of Mt. McKinley with the caption "Call me Caitlyn, Dammit!!!!"

I read where Obama is going to change the name to the local name - Denali. Not that it bothers me greatly, but it's Obama.

Blogger Mike Farnsworth August 31, 2015 4:23 PM  

@Crude,

Middleman website is probably better, although on android for example you can do a VPN that only captures wikipedia routes and handles it that way.

A middleman website can be more responsive, though; it contains all changes and additions, and when a given wikipedia page is requested it could cache it + edits to serve the page faster in the future. Have a fixed amount of articles in the cache, and via least-recently-used queue age the old content off (but keep the diffs for fixes).

What's more, is when a page is requested that has been updated at wikipedia but the diff is out-of-date or doesn't apply cleanly, that can be flagged and the older wikipedia page served up since all the history is available.

Blogger Atomic Agent 13 August 31, 2015 4:25 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous jdgalt August 31, 2015 4:25 PM  

I like the general idea, but would like to know more about what the rules are going to be. Do all the articles on the new one have to be anti-SJW? Conservative? or what? And who decides?

Anonymous Crude August 31, 2015 4:33 PM  

Mike,

Alright, so the same idea's still possible, pending other problems. A middleman website would have been necessary no matter what - just now it's more central, and we're losing the plugin difficulty.

There's a lot of potential here for diffs and comparisons and commentary, you're right. It could do for Wikipedia what those deepfreeze/archive sites do for twitter in theory, with the right submissions. And it allows the circumventing of Wikipedia editing antics (see the cultural marxism debacle) while still tapping into the actual useful parts of wikipedia.

To others: I have no doubt that some people may find those examples interesting, but what I'm looking for here is a solution to the problem that Vox is talking about, yet which is reachable. Seeking out and finding people to build a whole new wikipedia from the ground up is a laudable idea, but I think overkill and carries a higher risk of failure, barring a billionaire anti-SJW deciding to engage in a charity project.

This? This, barring glaring problems, seems actually doable by people who lack those resources.

Blogger VD August 31, 2015 4:35 PM  

hasn't it already been done a few times already? Conservapedia and all that?

Ineptly. Remember, Wikipedia does what it does with 600 admins. A little less, actually. We can bring those numbers. Advanced fork is the starting point.

Blogger David The Good August 31, 2015 4:35 PM  

"But if you look up 'cabbage', the plugin doesn't give a shit. On you go to the wikipedia entry for cabbage."

You know, the way lettuces have been identifying as cabbages lately... I'm thinking nothing is safe.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 31, 2015 4:37 PM  

@30 Don't bother with a browser plug-in; you need a name, and people will visit a URL far more readily than they'll install something.  If you are going to virtually fork Wikipedia, don't bother with "virtual".  You can even download and cache Wikipedia articles as people request them, but on anything where SJWs are active you have your own content.

It shouldn't be all that hard to be more attractive than Wikipedia.  Some articles have obviously been written by people whose first language is not English.  Clean those up and people will instantly want the better product.  Something else you can do is either scan out-of-copyright pieces from books, or just grab the Google Books versions of same.

If you really want to get an idea of what's possible there, imagine a entry on "Race science" with a child article "Race science (history of)" which has extensive excerpts from the 1868 book "Negroes in Negroland".  The OCR'ed version of that book has many errors.  Clean those up, get it indexed by the seach engines, watch "anti-racist" heads asplode.

Blogger Scott Rassbach August 31, 2015 4:37 PM  

Wikipedia: "A bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

Blogger Chris Mallory August 31, 2015 4:38 PM  

@43 "I read where Obama is going to change the name to the local name - Denali. Not that it bothers me greatly, but it's Obama."

He has this one right. The people of Alaska through their state government have been petitioning for years for this name change. A mountain in Alaska should be named by the locals, not a bunch of Ohioans or the Federal government. Just like roaming wolves, fishing or oil drilling should be decided by the locals, not the Feds.

Anonymous AlteredFate August 31, 2015 4:38 PM  

@dlw

You remind me of a quest I've been on to find a mint set of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. It would be top kek to use such a source as the only acceptable reference for race related subject matter.

Anonymous Crude August 31, 2015 4:46 PM  

Mr. Rational,

Don't bother with a browser plug-in; you need a name, and people will visit a URL far more readily than they'll install something. If you are going to virtually fork Wikipedia, don't bother with "virtual". You can even download and cache Wikipedia articles as people request them, but on anything where SJWs are active you have your own content.

Yeah, the plugin idea is inferior to the site idea. The only side-concern I have is making sure the bandwidth factor is minimized for whoever is hosting this - why bother downloading and caching every single page if it can be avoided. I assume it's pretty easy to, after an entry-check, have the user directly pull the results from wikipedia rather than having the site download the page, and then send that page to the user.

Blogger Underwater Operative August 31, 2015 4:47 PM  

I'm going to run it on VM on my workstation. See what it's like. If you're interested -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:FAQ/Forking

Anonymous Red Comet August 31, 2015 4:49 PM  

I find Wikipedia to be fine for most non-controversial topics and not to be trusted when it comes to anything with even a minimum of drama attached.

Off-brand versions like Conservapedia and Rational Wiki haven't really gone anywhere because they wear their bias on the sleeves, so the easiest thing to do would be to get Wikipedia to change its own rules.

One of the most obvious problems is how hard it is for individuals to set the record straight in articles about themselves when they have to contend with internet shut-ins who practically live on the site. Anyone like that Ryulong guy who reportedly spend over 12 hours a day babysitting the Gamergate article should face instant and permanent ban from all editing and input.

Blogger tridekka August 31, 2015 4:51 PM  

Get a heuristic together to scan articles for SJW language. Highly edited articles (back and forth) followed by a locked status or things like that. Find the editors who put in activist phrases and then lock an article, compile them into a possible list of activists, then flag all their edits for review/revert to the status before they purged the original info. Good amount of manual cleanup would be required, but that would give the new editors a solid starting point.

Add to that a way to merge in edits or new pages from approved/non flagged Wikipedia editors and you're good to go. For an advanced warning system, monitor Wikipedia editors' twitter feeds and blogs for SJW language. If we're going to no platform the liars, we may as well be up front about it all. Web crawling and APIs should make that part of the software easy enough to tune and get going. This would provide a task list of specifics to editors, and would provide something interesting for those who'd rather smack down SJWs than dig into the depths of a subject to ensure its correctness on the new wiki.

For a name, I'll throw out "Veripedia". Capital T Truth.

Blogger Were-Puppy August 31, 2015 4:54 PM  

One problem to be solved is determining which things are suspected of being edited by SJWs. Would it be feasible to search wikipedia for the editors names that are known SJWs? Or even to indicate why you switched out from Wikipedia to Awesomepedia, like "This article redirected because it was edited by known Bearded Marxist Che "Pink" Twink"

Anonymous HardReturn¶ (30) August 31, 2015 4:59 PM  

I used to develop and edit reference books and encyclopedias in the '90s at a tiny company. Sometimes I'd have to deal with an expert contributor whose agenda clouded the usefulness of the contribution, or an academician who couldn't write succinctly enough for the target audience. The owners used to say "an editor needs to care, but not too much" and kept me around. A few times they sacked editorial staff for being so political they couldn't produce a usable product. My take on the problem with steady SJW infiltration into Wikipedia over the years has been like a Gresham's Law effect--bad editing drives out good editing. For the SJW the zealotry is all they've got--being informative or accurate is coincidentally serendipitous--just push the propaganda and infect somebody else with the same toxic worldview. It's short-term orientation and unsustainable. Resolving the "needs to care, but not too much" dilemma is key. The on-the-ground expert with useful knowledge and experience has a life to live and adult responsibilities that require budgeting time and money. The SJW has insatiable zealotry.

Blogger Mike Farnsworth August 31, 2015 5:00 PM  

@55

Veripedia -- yes!

Or maybe verapedia, not sure which spelling is better.

Blogger Scott Rassbach August 31, 2015 5:05 PM  

Verapedia 2115: "Wikipedia, A bunch of mindless jerks who were first up against the wall when the revolution came."

Anonymous Donn #0114 August 31, 2015 5:06 PM  

Couple of comments and solutions. Every area has a super mod who can alter ban or change lower level mods stuff. Say Stickwick for science etc. If a user or mod shows SJW trends or language simply ban them. Invite people who you trust and know to start with.

Problems, google, bing, etc may bury it. They unpersoned Pat Buchanan, they no longer offer some of the most popular questions on auto fill. You might have to specifically put in the whole name of the site to find it.

Blogger maniacprovost August 31, 2015 5:06 PM  

I'm not sure there is one thing that can totally replace Wikipedia without sharing its flaws. The system works well for many topics, and abysmally for others.

One thing I have been thinking about for years is a graph database of pedagogical information. It would be the ultimate textook; each topic would be linked to it prerequisites, and could contain the definition, etymology, epistemiology, videos, simulations, example problems, solutions... and links to related topics that are not necessarily prereqs.

Using a graph representation would allow topics to be divided, combined, and inserted, and allow algorithmic elimination of loops. It would allow someone to pick "CS Degree" and have every piece of knowledge from "Phonics" to "Prime Numbers" to "Bubble Sort" automatically laid out in a course of study. Students could follow their interests randomly and get a logical, sequential education.

Now, I don't know if this architecture would work well for a pure encyclopedia that includes topics like "Taylor Swift Discography" and "Sad Puppies." But it would replace a large chunk of Wikipedia, and all the failed wiki books out there.

Blogger Auriga Spacecoach August 31, 2015 5:08 PM  

It should be a middleman site, because a new encyclopedia would have to start with two million articles to compete with wikipedia. It should display articles from wikipedia for non political articles, and display from conservapedia, wikispooks or other wikis for anything political. Eventually an outright reactionary wiki should be made, as an extra site to pull from, because even conservapedia will try to tone down controversial articles about race or religion.

After this, a reactionary search engine should be made. All the corporate search engines push reactionary articles to the bottom of the search results, if they list them at all. The search engine should also be a middleman site, like duckduckgo, there is no need to try to reproduce google's infrastructure. The search engine would pull from google, bing, etc for non political subjects, but for political topics it would first display the reactionary encyclopedia entry, and eventually it would list many reactionary sites on the first page of results.

To weed out SJW infiltration, authors who have written a lot of reactionary stuff on their blogs should be invited to be the chief editors. Reactionary commenters should be invited to be in the second rank of editors.

If anyone has a good name for the site, please send it to Vox or whoever Vox nominates to organize the site, because domain name squatters and SJWs will try to grab names if they see them posted. This will be a huge project, it will be someone's full time job to organize it.

Blogger Russell (106) August 31, 2015 5:10 PM  

ELOEpedia

Blogger James Dixon August 31, 2015 5:15 PM  

> You remind me of a quest I've been on to find a mint set of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

https://archive.org/details/EncyclopaediaBritannica1911HQDJVU

Blogger Cail Corishev August 31, 2015 5:16 PM  

So a great way is to fork the content (which you can, because it's forkable)

Right. All the original content is usable under an attribution license, meaning you have to link back to the original at WP, and that would continue to be true even if you amended it (but not if you replaced a page completely). But so what? A lot of the content is okay. You'd prefer not to link to them, but WP already comes up first on a lot of web searches anyway, so it's not like you're going to be helping them out there.

Blogger James Dixon August 31, 2015 5:21 PM  

The 1911 version is apparently also available atL

http://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/bri/
http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/
http://theodora.com/encyclopedia/

It looks like there are others, but that was just a quick search. If you want a dead tree version, that's a bit more problematic.

Blogger Danby August 31, 2015 5:24 PM  

Count me in.
1) fork wikipedia.
2) editors are vetted, must provide name, physical address, email address (for legal purposes.
3) disputes about content go up the chain, not to a volunteer committee, but to professionals. Where the dispute is about technical material, go to outside experts.
4) advertising supported. No begging for money on the front page.
5) No ban on individuals contributing material about themselves.
6) when you're removed for bias, trolling, slander, dishonesty, no coming back. You're IP banned and you don't get a second chance.

Blogger Doom August 31, 2015 5:24 PM  

On this? There may or may not be much I could do. I can slowly sift, I wouldn't mind putting in some money if I believe the objective is to be objective, I would certainly advertise for what it is worth. It quite depends on needs and wants, and my abilities and capacities. I am as motivated on this as anything. I don't expect personal notices, but keep updates going, and figure out what you, or whoever, needs. I'll then see what I can do.

Blogger Danby August 31, 2015 5:24 PM  

Veripedia

Blogger IM2L844 August 31, 2015 5:27 PM  

@51 "He has this one right. The people of Alaska through their state government have been petitioning for years for this name change."

Coming from the SJW-in-Chief, when there are so many more important things he should be consumed with, I'm skeptical. Which people of Alaska petitioned for this? Was there a referendum? Looks like something straight of an SJW handbook to me (see Microaggresion Theory). McKinley, a Republican, was a champion of the gold standard and Carter renamed the national park after losing to Reagan in 1980.

Blogger maniacprovost August 31, 2015 5:27 PM  

Verapedia could have a cute manga mascot, though.

Blogger Jack Ward August 31, 2015 5:27 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger maniacprovost August 31, 2015 5:29 PM  

"Pediaphilia: We love encyclopedias and the truth."

Blogger Russell (106) August 31, 2015 5:29 PM  

"a new encyclopedia would have to start with two million articles to compete with wikipedia"

Don't attack where Wikipedia is the strongest, attack where it is weak: the SJW Thought Police.

The implementation will have to be disruptive enough to kill that aspect. If we're lucky, that will be enough to get the ball rolling.

If not, then let's fail faster and try something else. Trying to amass a huge body before we leave the starting gate is a good way to waste time and effort and increase the chance of failure.

Blogger maniacprovost August 31, 2015 5:34 PM  

So, would focusing on high quality biographies be an attack vector?

OpenID artraccoon August 31, 2015 5:43 PM  

Maybe the name should be something with less "pedia" in it?

Something like...InfoPortal, or Cosmolink, or Brainstorm, Infoplex...

Blogger William Hughes August 31, 2015 5:45 PM  

Edit patterns could be used to filter. Something like only allowing edits after one other living human has seen them and agreed. Only allow one person to edit an article once per month or some such. Just slowing down the rate of change would help a lot.

Blogger Russell (106) August 31, 2015 5:48 PM  

@75 maniacprovost "So, would focusing on high quality biographies be an attack vector?"

Yes, that is a problem area.

More importantly, an editorial board that seeks and promotes the truth, regardless of the fallout.

Blogger Danby August 31, 2015 5:56 PM  

many people don't know how deep the rot in Wikipedia extends. I was reading an article a few months back written by a community college physics instructor. There was a completely incorrect formula on one of Wiki's pages, so he tried to fix it and ran into his own edit police. Literally half a dozen people who watched that particular article and reverted it any time somebody corrected the formula. After months he gave up and now, he gives that particular problem to all his first year students. That way he can correct the student when they get the wrong solution from Wiki, and maybe provide a lesson about doing proper work.

My son is an editor, as an expert in miniatures wargaming. Same damn thing, there are small groups of editors who obsessively monitor the articles about their obsession, and revert to errors and lies whenever a sane person tries to change it.

So the middleman thing could work, but you'd best be prepared for the deltas to be yuuuggggeee. The idea of rewriting the articles programatically is simply not happening. We're talking about people who would figure out how to game your rewriter with their edits to make sure that your article is incorrect as well.

Blogger Russell (106) August 31, 2015 6:00 PM  

Dump the wikipedia software. The model is too broken to prevent SJW enterists.

Blogger Crude August 31, 2015 6:09 PM  

So the middleman thing could work, but you'd best be prepared for the deltas to be yuuuggggeee. The idea of rewriting the articles programatically is simply not happening. We're talking about people who would figure out how to game your rewriter with their edits to make sure that your article is incorrect as well.

Yeah, I don't think programmatic rewriting is feasible. Nice idea, but I think at the end of the day we're going to have to write these articles ourselves. Or at the very least, require all rewrites to be manually approved by some editors. One more reason why I favor sidestepping the entire issue of duplicating Wikipedia, or even forking it, if that's taken to mean 'copy it, frozen in time, and start updating the whole shebang from that point on'.

Blogger Doktor Jeep August 31, 2015 6:14 PM  

Instead of "just another organization" that in due time will fall to entryists and SJW change agents who will work tirelessly to subvert it, how about something more automatic and controlled by a computer?

I have long theorized that even Human Resources fields can be done by a computer, so a computer program that can disseminate information without bias could also be the development platform to handle HR tasks without bias and ultimately kick SJWs out of HR fields as employers would be happy to have less liability for discrimination liability (in both ways: ending up with crappy employees because HR had "good feels" and other human weakness).

Think about that.

I have written lots of code in my day, and would be happy to be involved in such a project.

Blogger David-093 August 31, 2015 6:21 PM  

You can't search for Mt. McKinley under that on Wikipedia. You have to search for Denali. It's amazing how fast SJWs act when it's something they approve of.

Blogger Jim August 31, 2015 6:30 PM  

"Denali" isn't a name; it's a description in another language.

What I'd like is a Metapedia, where you search and it gives you links to articles from a dozen competing wikis, with ranking controlled by user preferences (maybe a default based on number of unique sources). That stated, I see Vox's project as an intermediate goal. The method that he comes up with is not as important as long as it is different than Wikipedia's.

Anonymous 334 August 31, 2015 6:35 PM  

@65. Cail Corishev

Okay, so we fork and gradually replace. Articles that have been totally rejigged would no longer need to link back to their original source, presumably? Articles that are less contentious could be back-burnered, but the object would be to replace all the existing content with better-written and more accurate content eventually.

Admittedly total replacement would have to be a VERY long-term goal.

Anonymous Donn #0114 August 31, 2015 6:38 PM  

After surfing around a bit and looking for controversial subjects I do believe google is the worst enemy. Their suggestions will bury the website deep and will never auto fill once it is discovered the nature of the site.

I'm still willing to contribute what I can.

Blogger VD August 31, 2015 6:52 PM  

Problems, google, bing, etc may bury it.

Then they're next. Remember, we have one vital advantage: the Impossibility of Social Justice Convergence. The more they socjus, the less they can perform their primary function.

Blogger VFM bot #188 August 31, 2015 6:53 PM  

Jim @84 seems to have a good idea; it bypasses the problem of reproducing a zillion articles. But the ranking of articles in such a service wouldn't be controlled by "user preferences," but rather by "truth-monitors" who would monitor the various link sites, ranking the most accurate and truthful up at the top (thus Wikipedia could sometimes be at the apex, and in other situations, down at the bottom). This idea bootstraps from the fact that there's nothing on the Internet where Wikipedia is the final word, and for entries infected and skewed by the SJW disease, a service like this would be hugely helpful.

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 31, 2015 6:55 PM  

I can write content like a motherfucker, and I can follow simple instructions up to 70% of the time.

Vote Aeoli for Rabidwiki Prez 2016

(I probably can't help you to make a search engine though.)

Anonymous Smilin' Johnny Walker August 31, 2015 6:55 PM  

I think this is a great idea for this group! In fact, you should spend all of your time specifically on this one endeavor, and let all other initiatives be set aside until this is complete.

Seriously, the fact that you feel persecuted by Wikipedia tells the rest of the public everything that they need to know about this group.

But the knowledge that you're working (like hamsters on spinning wheels in a cage) on such an exercise in futility offsets matters, as it will likely ward off any serious concerns about the ilk's ability to be as toxic as possible in public.

Sign them all up, Vox! Fix that evil Wikipedia website, expunging its lies and bringing freedom to the enlightened! Forget about the Hugos and devote all resources to this very serious assault on rational thinking!

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 31, 2015 6:58 PM  

Remember, we have one vital advantage: the Impossibility of Social Justice Convergence.

For the slower folks: what he's saying is that SJW land is like Soviet Russia. Communism had big abstract problems, so they never had a chance in the long run. Same goes for SJW land.

Blogger VFM bot #188 August 31, 2015 6:58 PM  

For those (such as myself) who are unaware of the meaning of "the impossibility of social justice convergence," it means basically that "any organization which is invaded by SJWs and directed towards social justice goals loses its ability to perform its primary function as a direct consequence of its new SJW-imposed priorities." I think.

Blogger Russell (106) August 31, 2015 7:00 PM  

Smilin' Johnny Walker, I suspect a member of Mensa can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Blogger lis2984 August 31, 2015 7:03 PM  

I am sure that the Intelligent Design (ID) community will agree that Wikipedia need to be replaced ASAP. See an article they released over the weekend: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/08/in_covering_int098841.html

Anonymous LurkingPuppy August 31, 2015 7:06 PM  

@67: 6) when you're removed for bias, trolling, slander, dishonesty, no coming back. You're IP banned and you don't get a second chance.

Be careful about that:

(a) IP addresses do not correspond to individuals, even if an individual is not trying to conceal his identity at that level.

(b) Christianity's biggest benefit to human civilization was its admonition to forgive sinners who repent and stop being evil. There must be some chance of forgiveness if someone gets over their SJWism.

(c) It is possible that the Veripedia Un-truthful Activities Committee (VUAC) will make mistakes. It's not likely, but it is possible, and there must be some way to recover from a mistake.


@77: Only allow one person to edit an article once per month or some such. Just slowing down the rate of change would help a lot.

NO. One of my pet peeves as a programmer is when people do typo fixes, whitespace fixes, or copy-and-paste code movement in the same VCS commit as a substantive change, thus making any meaningful review of the substantive change a royal pain in the Sasquan Asterisk. And that's in a context where commits can be published for review and merged days or weeks later; a wiki typically won't provide useful merge capabilities when two people edit the same page. There are plenty of good reasons to edit a wiki article ten times in a single hour.

Blogger Crude August 31, 2015 7:06 PM  

"Denali" isn't a name; it's a description in another language.

They named the mountain after the dinosaur on Gumby!

Blogger Cail Corishev August 31, 2015 7:07 PM  

One thing about WP: there are a lot of pages that aren't really much more than links and data pulled in from other places and stuck together with a bit of boilerplate. Like many of the pages for small towns and counties, for instance. You pull in Census data, grab the links off the WP page and get data from those, linking properly to the original sources, plug it all into a template, and you have a page. Over time, people who care about the page add the meat to it. That's how WP did it, after all. So you don't necessarily need to use their content at all for pages like that.

Anonymous MEC (VFM#374) August 31, 2015 7:07 PM  

A lot of homeschoolers I know use this instead.
http://www.conservapedia.com/Main_Page

Anonymous patrick kelly August 31, 2015 7:09 PM  

@90 "let all other initiatives be set aside until this is complete."

yeah, would be a damn shame to take all that attention away from NFL, guns, whiskey, cigars, n' womenz and ??.

Anonymous 334 August 31, 2015 7:13 PM  

Forget about the Hugos and devote all resources to this very serious assault on rational thinking!

Ah, yes. Johnny thinks a community built around an internet provocateur who has written epic fantasy, space opera, hard economics and worldview criticism; who plays soccer, writes, edits, develops videogames, enjoys a good wine and family life (Am I leaving anything out here? Probably.) -- that a community of some of the smartest, hardest-working, multi-tasking, generally like-minded creative individuals I have ever encountered -- is going to have trouble working on several fronts at the same time.

Good luck with that. You'll never see us coming.

Anonymous 1for1 August 31, 2015 7:17 PM  

1. Bias in the name is a non-starter.
2. Bias in practice is a non-starter.
3. It must show both sides.

I would call it something like FactuallyChallenged, and I would display the wikipedia article next to a challenge made by the subject of a biographical entry or a credentialed expert in the relevant field. I would require challengers to register and create a profile, and allow experts to officially agree with any challenges. For example, under a challenge, instead of upvotes and downvotes you would see something like 51 EXPERTS AGREE, with links to their profiles. Crucially, it will be immune to SJW entryism, because only challenges to the wikipedia article itself will be posted, not endless debate and digressions on the challenges themselves.

Blogger Danby August 31, 2015 7:17 PM  

@96 Lurking Puppy
Forgive all you want. forgive each and every one of them from here to doomsday. But don't trust someone who has violated that trust.

If your brother steals from you, but repents, you should forgive him, yes. But you don't give him the combo to your safe.

Forgiveness and trust are very different things. Only God forgives and forgets. The rest of us can't afford to.

Blogger Mike Farnsworth August 31, 2015 7:23 PM  

@90

You're funny. You don't seem to grasp that a central theme of this discussion is how to make this stuff happen without gobs of human intervention. Will there be a need for some human intervention? Surely. Will there be less required than the ninnies sitting on articles at Wikipedia making sure they retain their bent? Surely.

You SJWs lack imagination.

Blogger Mike Farnsworth August 31, 2015 7:30 PM  

This all has me thinking about what a fun project it would be to create either a bayesian filter or a neural net to recognize SJWs and proggies. It's complicated by the fact that we love to use their own language against them and with so much sarcasm, and machine learning techniques might have a tough time sussing stuff like that out.

It's a project that stands independent of any wikipedia replacement, and has utility in far more places. Once there's a framework in place, you can train instances of a it to recognize specific flavors of spitballs like race-baiters, 3rd-wave feminists, etc. Generally the more specific the training you give them, the better these algorithms perform. A small handful of BS detectors would probably catch most things, although you'd have to periodically re-train them because SJWs can't actually pick a platform and hang on to it for more than two years anyway.

Blogger pdwalker August 31, 2015 7:30 PM  

I've not read your latest book yet VD (I will, once the paycheck comes in), but how do you police this new thing to allow truth in and lies out? How do you prevent the subversion of the repository? I'm guessing you already have ideas

Anonymous Aurelian August 31, 2015 7:32 PM  

I believe the key to a successful venture to dethrone Wikipedia will need to be automation heavy to succeed. This cuts down on the ilk-power required, which also means less opprotunity for entryism. It increases the transparency, which negates the "Vox Day ==> disqualify!!!" reaction.

A crawling program which scanned articles for facts, found the most primary source of the information, and made the facts with references available to users would be something which would exceed Wikipedia in some ways, and make information easier to find within an article.

One could browse at a specified level of detail on the subject. You could monetize by selling custom tailored pages of generated facts with references based on user parameters.

Just my quick thoughts on the subject, I will follow the Dark Lord on this one.

Anonymous Donn #0114 August 31, 2015 7:49 PM  

Bunch of Alcoholic casino owners want to rename Mt. Rainier like their language was the only one used in the region. I bet there are only a handful of people who remember enough of the language to call their kids to supper or say anything more than good morning (most tribal schools teach their kids to say something like that). When the Salish ran this area they called it what they called it. Now it's called Mt. Rainier because that's what the majority call it. If we don't stop the criminal invaders it's going to be called whatever Mt. Rainier is in Spanish anyway.

Blogger Were-Puppy August 31, 2015 7:49 PM  

@90

Weak Concern Troll. To much mockery (i know they can't help themselves).

Blogger Jim August 31, 2015 7:57 PM  

But the ranking of articles in such a service wouldn't be controlled by "user preferences," but rather by "truth-monitors"

No, thank you. I trust myself to find reliable sources much more than any contingent of "truth-monitors," and I would rather train a bot to "think" as I do.

Blogger Were-Puppy August 31, 2015 8:00 PM  

I wonder how it would it be possible to convince the SJWs to burn Wikipedia down from within.

Then, as the spectacle begins, the new way could be released.

Anonymous AlteredFate August 31, 2015 8:00 PM  

I disagree with some of you on what you seem to believe to be point of this endeavor. In my opinion, it should not serve as a replacement of the SJW ran Wikipedia with a Cuckservative run Wikipedia. Articles on evolution should be as welcome as articles on ID, each held to the exact same standard. Articles on Scalzi and Obama should be treated as apolitically as those on Vox Day and Reagan. Information filtered through one ideological prism is just as useless as that filtered through any other prism. This is essentially what is ruining Wikipedia. Truth requires no filter. It stands on it's own. Recognizing truth depends on the discernment of the reader, not the editor. The editor's only job is to ensure that that the information presented mirrors as closely as possible all knowable facts, with supporting evidence and references cited, not as proof of truth, but as proof that the information contained therein is presented in good faith and based on the facts available and must be further researched by the reader if they feel it is in error.

Blogger SmokeyJoe August 31, 2015 8:09 PM  

@ 12. Blogger Stilicho #0066

"Encyclopedia Galactica?"

Oh hell yes, I will " Traveller" down that road and "Jump" in with my spare time!

Blogger Steveo #238 August 31, 2015 8:12 PM  

I'm down with it...
It needs some serious outside the box thinking.

Anonymous physphilmusic August 31, 2015 8:13 PM  

The question is, what are we trying to achieve with this alternative to Wikipedia? Is it:

1) Having a Wiki that presents the alt-right viewpoint thoroughly and fairly on several important issues?
(including but not limited to race, immigration, religion, government, feminism)
or
2) Having a Wiki which is truly neutral

I think achieving 1) is a more realistic goal. Achieving 2) is more difficult because once we become enmeshed in a war against SJWs (which we are right now), it's almost impossible to present a truly neutral viewpoint. The end result would be like Conservapedia.

Wikipedia is perfectly fine with the current rules. The problem is people who openly go against those rules for SJW-reasons, and keep reverting edits whenever they are challenged by the few die-hard Wikipedians who will stick to the rules no matter what. As some people pointed out, if we kicked out all the gammas, Wikipedia would be fine.

Anonymous Donn #0114 August 31, 2015 8:22 PM  

After reading 95 Lurking Puppy I can see VD is exactly on target. Already pushes being made to reinstate SJW who are banned before the site is even up? Fast work on the entryists part already trying to find ways to be unbanned.

If this gets off the ground it will be big.

Anonymous Donn #0114 August 31, 2015 8:27 PM  

Don't know if this is a double post. Lurking puppy is proof VD has picked the right target. Already they are looking for a way for SJW to be unbanned if they mend their ways. The entryists are looking for ways to game the system before one line of code has been written.

Anonymous Hrw-500 August 31, 2015 8:33 PM  

@55 and @58

I like the name Veripedia or Verapedia.

@84 Jim

There's already a site called Metapedia but it's not the kind of site we wish for.

I also know an other site called Speedy Deletion Wiki who compiled most of the articles then Wikipedia deleted.

Anonymous Donn #0114 August 31, 2015 8:37 PM  

physphilmusic @112 The truth is neutral. Don't write from an ideological viewpoint. Write the truth. Write the truth that can be verified and back it up. Us the source documents if you need to. On biographies, if the subject wants something changed ask them to provide a source even their own words. You can even word it that way, "So and so was arrested and booked for murder however he was sentenced on related drug charges. So and so states that he was charged with murder in order to force him to plea bargain on the drug charges. The evidence presented at arraignment did (or did not) support this statement"

Something like that. There are lawyers that hang around here. Two of them are all right guys and don't even need to get into the bus that will be shortly going over a cliff causing no one anywhere any grief whatsoever. The important part is that you be dedicated to the truth. And the truth is always against the SJW. The truth will set you free.

Anonymous Donn #0114 August 31, 2015 8:41 PM  

I suppose the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is already taken? For pity's sake if this system can't tell I'm not a robot without showing me a series of pictures "select all the pictures with trees" and every damn picture has a tree somewhere in it, I don't think we should have a passive system hunting robot entries.

You know if you have a picture of a car with a tree behind it there's still a tree in the picture.

Blogger SciVo August 31, 2015 8:41 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger SciVo August 31, 2015 8:42 PM  

maniacprovost @73: "Pediaphilia: We love encyclopedias and the truth."

Perfect! Our symbol could be a windowless van with puppies and candy painted on the side.

Or, you know, we could go with Metabrain Unchained or something like that.

Blogger Jim August 31, 2015 8:42 PM  

There's already a site called Metapedia but it's not the kind of site we wish for.

The Internet ruins everything.

Blogger James Dixon August 31, 2015 8:44 PM  

> We're going to do this, the only questions are a) when, b) how much will it cost, and c) who is with me?

As others have pointed out, the code for Wikipedia and the current factual information is already available to be used. It's a people problem, not a code problem. I agree with them that it's probably not necessary to throw out the entire Wikipedia base.

Assuming you can get enough volunteers to do the work, the only real monetary cost is that for the servers and bandwidth. While not insignificant, that's readily doable.

I have no idea how doable a good AI to recognize and filter for changes on Wikipedia would be. If you could develop one, it would be a god send to this project and a number of others facing the same issues.

Anonymous karsten August 31, 2015 8:49 PM  

"There's already a site called Metapedia but it's not the kind of site we wish for."

Actually, it's exactly the kind of site "we" wish for. Of course, your definition of "we" might differ from mine.

It never fails to amaze me how some people use "we" in presuming to speak for all of Vox Day's readers.

Blogger parselmouth August 31, 2015 8:51 PM  

Some thoughts...

(1) in general Wikipedia isn't bad and it would be a monumental task to start over from scratch. How many man-hours of content are already invested? Forking or mediating Wikipedia is definitely the way to go.

(2) like a lot of Internet woes, much of the Wikipedia problem is due to the cost of interaction. In this case the cost of interaction is too cheap. What we need instead are identities (like randomly generated crypto keys). Browsing is free. To edit, you need an identity and you have to invest in that identity...a kind of collateral. This could be monetary, and help finance the operations of the site, or it could be "in kind". Some have suggested using computation as a kind of collateral....use your computer to participate in a BOINC problem or some such, and after you've accumulated so many work-unit credits, you earn your key. Keys must have some kind of (economic) cost that is greater than zero. Highly trusted keys might be able to trade in some reputation for referrals to other keys, as well. The specifics of the cost would need to be worked out and might even be dynamic.

(3) use the keys to build trust and association networks. These can be explicit or tacit. Use these networks and preference matching algorithms (like those on Netflix, Amazon, etc.) to give some visual indication of the alignment of each page - like a system of badges or icons. I don't think hiding content is good, but the default option might be to show the most recent edit and for pages that the system determines to be "at risk", along with the badge or icon, it has a visible link back to a previous version that is a better fit given your peer group or observed site behavior. When these versions are very different, make it very easy to see what's been changed between the two. Not necessarily a diff viewer, but some kind of dashboard overview. The edit warriors are often shielded from the full fury of the public because previous edits and page states are largely invisible. (Yes, I know you can go back through the history, but we want some indication of how MUCH this has changed or in what way, and wikipedia does not have this.) Make these previous versions and the VOLUMES of change made more explicit and call them out for public shaming.

The profiling technique can even be done to some extent without any knowledge of the specific user. So long as editors need keys to edit, browsing can be completely anonymous. We heuristically partition the editor network into cliques and see how the page looks from the perspective of these cliques. If there is a large disparity between them, we might flag the page as less trustworthy and show the appropriate badge or icon.

(4) Make identities mean something. You can still preserve anonymity, but if an editor is widely trusted and then gives into an impulse to abuse a page, his reputation should suffer by discounting. His peers might still "like" his identity, but anyone not a peer nor inclined to his type of abuse can discount his reputation relative to themselves. This discount propagates and can more-or-less partition the social network of editors into a clique of SJW page abusers and the remaining graph of non-abusers. We might also couple the reputation associated with an identity to the history of page edits so that the system requires more reputation to directly edit a page that is highly contentious or can require certain users more reputation to edit a page than others.

Like others mentioned above, the problems are human ones....but, there is already a lot of technology invented to *help* mitigate some of these risks.

Anonymous karsten August 31, 2015 8:52 PM  

Also, I noticed that you linked to the snarky TV Tropes page to introduce Metapedia. (Because the Wikipedia entry on Metapedia wasn't liberal enough?) How about linking to the real thing and letting readers judge it for themselves:

http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Blogger Tom Kratman August 31, 2015 8:53 PM  

Running a little experiment in wiki-based, crowd-sourced punishment even as I write.

Anonymous Tom B August 31, 2015 8:54 PM  

I would contribute to articles on subjects within my scope of knowledge and formal training; religion, philosophy, and motion picture production. This sounds like a good idea!

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 31, 2015 8:57 PM  

This all has me thinking about what a fun project it would be to create either a bayesian filter or a neural net to recognize SJWs and proggies.

IBM's Watson could do it without breaking a sweat. I hear Tex has one of those just sitting around in his batcave.

Blogger kjrose August 31, 2015 9:03 PM  

It's easy enough to do, the mediawiki code is open source and you have a starting point. The issue is simply getting a large enough mass of dedicated editors and such to work with you to get it together.

Blogger rycamor August 31, 2015 9:15 PM  

Vox, I'm actually working on a project to make a curated wiki-style site (albeit on a specific topic), because my client found himself burned by Wikipedia. I can't say who the client is yet but it's a name you'll recognize.

NOTE: all information on Wikipedia is (theoretically at least) public domain, and all or any part of it can be exported to be used as one sees fit on any other website. I have been experimenting with doing exactly that recently.

So yes, count me in, in whatever way I can help (databases, servers, web applications).

Anonymous Toby Temple August 31, 2015 9:15 PM  

Vox. I would love to help in creating a replacement for wikipedia.

Blogger Jeff Y August 31, 2015 9:18 PM  

It's not the technology. That's open source and easily available. You can probably reuse Wikipedia content under the Creative Commons license, and you can likely rewrite it to create a derivative work. You could essentially have all of Wikipedia, with control over future edits.

The problem is excluding leftist entryists. How to do that?

Blogger Russell (106) August 31, 2015 9:24 PM  

Sounds like a brainstorm session a-brewin'

Blogger rycamor August 31, 2015 9:28 PM  

I say there's a fairly good chance we can control leftist entryists through statistical/AI means. The patterns are observable.

Blogger maniacprovost August 31, 2015 9:31 PM  

how do you police this new thing to allow truth in and lies out?

You can create an algorithm that finds statements most likely to be false by various methods. This would allow the most trusted editors to home in on problem areas.
1) Weasel word / word ratio
2) Expert system - of the set of statements, which ones contradict more statements than they agree with? This is somewhat computationally intensive, but it can be optimized by selective sampling. This is how humans determine truth value, and it requires no comprehension of meaning on the part of the algorithm.
3) Improve #2 by algorithmic rewriting of sentences, which also makes it easier to understand / critique articles.

Sadly, many methods of algorithmically determining truth require natural language processing, which is mired in the sea of mediocrity that characterizes the field of AI research.

Blogger maniacprovost August 31, 2015 9:35 PM  

The problem is excluding leftist entryists. How to do that?

Seems like the consensus is to have trust levels for editors, which are determined by various factors including crowdsourcing, but to give "the right people" high trust levels, thus creating a self sustaining community. It works like an aristocracy, which is to say, OK if you start out with the right values, but it will eventually be corrupted and fail. May take centuries. As various mathematical / algorithmic methods of determining trust levels are discovered, that may be averted.

Blogger Crude August 31, 2015 9:35 PM  

The problem is excluding leftist entryists. How to do that?

I've got a very basic, rough solution to this.

1) Only allow editors who give their RL name, or an alias with a pretty long and established pedigree.

and

2) Get them on record responding in a non-leftist manner to one of a number of litmus test questions.

This is probably too specific to swing, but as an example: leftists at this point would rather gnaw off their own arms than publicly oppose same-sex marriage. They have trouble even doing this anonymously at times. Taking this stance, attached to their RL names or their long-time aliases, is pure poison to most of them. There's other tests that work about as well.

I repeat: basic, rough solution. But it's effective. This isn't something even subversives feel comfortable lying about anymore a la Hillary Clinton and Obama.

Anonymous Difster August 31, 2015 9:41 PM  

I'm in. Rycamor and I are discussing the possibilities right now.

Blogger SirHamster (#201) August 31, 2015 9:46 PM  

1) Only allow editors who give their RL name, or an alias with a pretty long and established pedigree.

and

2) Get them on record responding in a non-leftist manner to one of a number of litmus test questions.


A downside is that you've created a centralized Enemy List in our current PC climate. That'll matter less if the current system collapses or we start crushing SJWs, but it looks like a vulnerability at this moment.

Blogger Crude August 31, 2015 9:57 PM  

A downside is that you've created a centralized Enemy List in our current PC climate. That'll matter less if the current system collapses or we start crushing SJWs, but it looks like a vulnerability at this moment.

Yep, it is. Double-edged sword, but that's why it works.

I'm not floating it as a perfect solution. Rough, basic. Perhaps someone will think of something better. And really, you don't need every submission to pass this test - just your core users. Editors, people who will screen edits and submissions.

Anonymous Amok Time August 31, 2015 9:59 PM  

Pravdapedia! For all things good and truthful about Premier Putin!

Oh, and i am NOT a robot. Maybe a little cyborg but definitely not a bot.

Anonymous physphilmusic August 31, 2015 9:59 PM  

@120
Actually, it's exactly the kind of site "we" wish for. Of course, your definition of "we" might differ from mine.

I'm not sure that the majority of the people here would agree that putting a Star of David after every mention of a Jewish person makes a great encyclopedia. Maybe I'm wrong.

Anonymous The Deuce August 31, 2015 10:06 PM  

I'd be willing to help with this. One thing that I think could help guard against SJW takeover is to have some means of having identifying information of editors on file, and setting up the rules such that they can be personally held legally liable for uncorrected libel if at all possible.

Blogger IM2L844 August 31, 2015 10:08 PM  

I don't know that I've ever seen so many of the Ilk agree on something. Yes, this needs to be done. I'm in.

Blogger Stephen St. Onge August 31, 2015 10:13 PM  

Having been on the receiving end of biased Wikipedia editors, I'll be glad to help.

One thing we should do. People should read Wikipedia articles, separate out the unbiased ones, and just copy them outright. That limits our necessary work.

Anonymous Ian McLeod August 31, 2015 10:35 PM  

I'm down.

Blogger Danby August 31, 2015 10:39 PM  

For the first cut:
fork Wikipedia,
Cull the top 5% of articles by edit activity. chances are that's where most of the SJW BS is going to be centralized. Those all get curated by hand
Contact every person we can locate to check their own biography. Maybe even advertise this part.
Governance is top-down, not bottom-up Anyone can contribute an edit or an article, but it doesn't get posted till approved. The editor makes the decisions about the articles in his area. A showing of bias or dishonesty gets you a visit to the review board and probably gets you the boot.
Constant sweeps for SJW attitudes or behavior. Constant. Maybe even an inquisition.
Participants have to sign a statement that reality is objective, and that honesty and accuracy are the most important qualities in an encyclopedia.
Alexandra Erin is not allowed within 200 parsecs.

Blogger Thucydides August 31, 2015 10:46 PM  

I see several issues to address in order for this to be successful:

1. Already extensively commented on is the need to exclude SJW "entryism". The use of "expert systems" seems promising, because of issue 2

2. Where are we going to get all these people? Yes, Vox has a small army of Dread Ilk, VFM's and so on, but these people probably have day jobs. *We* will be up against the Troll army of people who hang out in Mom's basement and obsessively rewrite Wikipedia articles, post on social media websites and generally contaminate the Internet with Progressive memes. The person who wrote or edited 5000+ Wikipedia articles on "Global Warming" is obviously being supported somehow, I have a day job and have a few minutes in the evening to read this blog. So we will be going against an army of full time SJW's

3. Getting on the Internet in the first place. Wikipedia is already the default "go to" place on the Internet for looking up stuff (mostly because people have not realized what Wikiedia actually is anymore), so "VOX's VFMpedia" will score very low on the ranking of most search engines. If enough people start going to it, the "Do Evil" crowd at Google and other search engines will be able to manipulate the algorithms or "policy" to push it back down or eliminate it altogether. VFMpedia may have to be some sort of Dark Net or mesh net product that flies below the radar, but that automatically limits its use to the initiated. This may be its intended use, but limits its ability to become a tool against the Progressives and SJW's.

Some thoughts.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy August 31, 2015 10:52 PM  

@102: Forgive all you want. forgive each and every one of them from here to doomsday. But don't trust someone who has violated that trust.

Merely being allowed to submit changes to a page should not be a position of significant trust. I certainly wouldn't make a former SJW an admin, or let them patch the source code without serious supervision, but they should be allowed to regain the privileges that a new user would have if they learn to stop lying, embrace the truth, and generally behave themselves.


@113: Lurking puppy is proof VD has picked the right target. Already they are looking for a way for SJW to be unbanned if they mend their ways. The entryists are looking for ways to game the system before one line of code has been written.

* I'm not an SJW, nor an entryist.

* There is no feasible technical way to permanently ban a person from using a service. I would prefer to reward a repentant former SJW an incentive for being honest with the admins, identifying themselves, showing that they are truly repentant and asking for forgiveness. If they will be treated better if they lie about their identity, then the system rewards evil instead of good.

* I mean “repent” quite seriously; I don't expect it to happen often, and I don't expect any claim of repentance to be accepted lightly.

* I assume that this site would start out using existing wiki software; if the project requires writing a non-trivial amount of code before it goes operational, it's doomed.

* Some of the SJWs are experts at twisting rules toward their own evil goals. Someday, you will have a case where a user should be allowed to repent; if your policy forbids you from allowing them to return to the site, and you violate that written policy, the SJWs will use that against you.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy August 31, 2015 10:54 PM  

@112: it's almost impossible to present a truly neutral viewpoint. The end result would be like Conservapedia.

It has been observed that ‘the truth is conservative’.

Wikipedia is perfectly fine with the current rules.

On the contrary, I think Wikipedia's biggest problem is that its rules explicitly reject any attempt to decide what is true, and substitute a ‘consensus’ among the people who edit Wikipedia. (Sorry; I haven't cared much about Wikipedia in quite a while, so I don't have a link for that.)

Specifically:

* Wikipedia is only supposed to cover ‘notable’ facts. And notability is defined in terms of coverage by ‘reliable’ ‘secondary sources’ (e.g. the press, or textbooks), so a libel repeated by 17 news outlets is far more notable than a truth that the popular press refuses to print.

* Wikipedia is not supposed to contain ‘original research’. Thus, stating an approximate formula for the speed of sound in an ideal-ish gas, under the assumption that the acoustic wave is of low enough amplitude to obey a linear dispersion relation, is okay (as long as the citations used to support it are secondary sources, not a primary source which derives it), but deriving the formula and explaining why it is approximate is not okay. And woe unto thee who tries to say that the formula is an approximation for low-amplitude waves, because the formula doesn't depend on the amplitude!

* Wikipedia defines a ‘reliable’ source vaguely, but IIRC explicitly excludes any venue that publishes ‘crackpot’ theories, like the late-19th-century aether theories that are making a comeback now because they explain why certain predictions of the Scientific Consensus are not coming true. Therefore, none of those theories can ever become ‘notable’ enough to be mentioned on Wikipedia. (Essentially, the requirement for ‘reliable sources’ is meant to delegate Wikipedia's responsibility for determining the truth to the Established (i.e. SJW-occupied) gatekeepers.)

Anonymous LurkingPuppy August 31, 2015 10:55 PM  

@134: 1) Only allow editors who give their RL name, or an alias with a pretty long and established pedigree.

Some SJWs have aliases with pretty long and established pedigrees.

2) Get them on record responding in a non-leftist manner to one of a number of litmus test questions.leftists at this point would rather gnaw off their own arms than publicly oppose same-sex marriage.

So how do you deal with people who, as a practical way to both prove that the poor gays aren't being oppressed anymore and reduce the spread of HIV and other STDs, would tolerate bugger marriage in exchange for criminalizing bugger adultery and premarital buggery and closing all the bathhouses?


@142: One thing we should do. People should read Wikipedia articles, separate out the unbiased ones, and just copy them outright.

But beware of the Wikipedia articles that are just cut-and-paste plagiarism and ‘copyvio’ jobs from a mish-mash of uncredited sources. (“copyvio” is a Wikipedia abbreviation for “copyright violation”, because they have so much of it. Ilkipedia shouldn't have that problem.)

Blogger Crude August 31, 2015 11:13 PM  

Lurk,

Some SJWs have aliases with pretty long and established pedigrees.

Yep. It's the combination that helps here, not either isolated idea.

So how do you deal with people who, as a practical way to both prove that the poor gays aren't being oppressed anymore and reduce the spread of HIV and other STDs, would tolerate bugger marriage in exchange for criminalizing bugger adultery and premarital buggery and closing all the bathhouses?

Pretty easily, since a clear public moral condemnation of same-sex sexual acts is not going to pass muster. Likewise for making it clear that a same-sex 'marriage' is - even if legal - fundamentally different from, and inferior to, traditional unions.

It's not like modern SJWs can make these condemnations but pull off something like 'But I think it should be left up to the states' and get off the hook. It's a price that most simply cannot and will not pay at this point. It's a ticket to pariah status among SJWs.

And I'll be the first to admit that what I'm saying isn't a perfect solution, much less foolproof. But to address the problem raised, I think it's the most effective on offer so far.

Blogger Danby August 31, 2015 11:13 PM  

@ Lurking puppy
Merely being allowed to submit changes to a page should not be a position of significant trust. I certainly wouldn't make a former SJW an admin, or let them patch the source code without serious supervision, but they should be allowed to regain the privileges that a new user would have if they learn to stop lying, embrace the truth, and generally behave themselves.
Fuck you. We don't care.

"I'm not an SJW, nor an entryist."
no, you're a moderate.

There is no feasible technical way to permanently ban a person from using a service.
Bullshit. content authoring and editing rights are not a service. Those require verified ID Period, full stop

I would prefer to reward a repentant former SJW an incentive for being honest with the admins, identifying themselves, showing that they are truly repentant and asking for forgiveness. If they will be treated better if they lie about their identity, then the system rewards evil instead of good.
Fuck you, we don't care what would make you feel better about banning an SJW. They want to destroy me, I won't feel bad about excluding them. and if they want to come back, so the fuck what? Life isn't fair, I'm not fair. God is fair, but He has all pertinent knowledge, so He can be. Anti-fragility 101. Nobody is irreplaceable. The moment they make themselves irreplaceable is the very moment you MUST get rid of them.

Anonymous karsten August 31, 2015 11:13 PM  

"I'm not sure that the majority of the people here would agree that putting a Star of David after every mention of a Jewish person makes a great encyclopedia. Maybe I'm wrong."

The "majority"? Including readers, not just frequent commentators? I might take that bet. Regardless, it strikes me as an informative practice that might open up people's eyes to issues about which they are either in denial or would rather not consider due to their Buckleyean sense of being comfortably "above such crude things." (This is not counting those who do not wish such indications to be made for self-interested political purposes.)

But judge on the content of the site itself, not on a snarky "hip" site like TVTropes, which is even more vulnerable to leftist rigging than Wikipedia. Consider Metapedia's article on Cultural Marxism (an entry that, Metapedia notes, was deleted from Wikipedia "due to GamerGate controversy):

http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Marxism

I'd say that's about right.

Blogger Jim August 31, 2015 11:22 PM  

I'm not sure that the majority of the people here would agree that putting a Star of David after every mention of a Jewish person makes a great encyclopedia. Maybe I'm wrong.

It's not every Jewish person. It's too poorly edited for that level of consistency.

Anonymous physphilmusic August 31, 2015 11:24 PM  

@147
I think Wikipedia's biggest problem is that its rules explicitly reject any attempt to decide what is true, and substitute a ‘consensus’ among the people who edit Wikipedia.

I guess what I mean is that the various WP:something principles are mostly quite sound. An example is the recent debate about whether to rename the article about Mt. McKinley to Mt. Denali. A user invoked the principle WP:COMMONNAMES to argue that since the majority of written sources still refer to it as McKinley, it would be good to keep it that way for now, until most written sources change to Denali (if the new name sticks). But immediately another user invoked the much more general WP:IAR (ignore all rules), saying that "Obama has righted a great wrong" and that the article name has to be changed. Regardless of what you believe, you can see that the first user is much more reasonable, but unfortunately there are crowds of SJWs who are like the latter.

The principle of consensus is indeed problematic, but as you can see it really a problem with the user base. One of the original aims of the Wikipedia was to break the stranglehold of gatekeepers that used to control Britannica and all the other older encyclopedias. Are we willing to anoint new gatekeepers which we believe to be the "right" ones in order to overcome the weaknesses of consensus?

but deriving the formula and explaining why it is approximate is not okay.

Seriously? I just took a look at the talk page for the speed of sound article and the debates are mostly centered on the correctness of the formulas and whether the explanations are clear, not what kinds of content are permitted.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 31, 2015 11:35 PM  

You're IP banned and you don't get a second chance.

Ahem.  TOR (no, not the publisher).

If the what-Conservapedia-should-have-been editors are supposed to stick strictly to the facts, will they be forced to admit that evolution (not just "microevolution") occurs and CO2 is a key modulator of Earth's greenhouse effect?  Or will they be forced to stick to dogma on "controversial" issues?  I guarantee that if there's any significant shift toward the second, the usefulness and credibility of the result will send it the same way as all the previous efforts.

The real world doesn't fit into left/right divisions, and doesn't care about your politics.  If we don't have big enough real-world problems to get our attention away from SJW nonsense yet, just wait.  Yes, destroying the free energy/labor that lets SJWs exist is a likely consequence of SJWism.  It's also an utter disaster for everything Western Civ has tried to accomplish for the last several centuries.

Anonymous physphilmusic August 31, 2015 11:39 PM  

@151
Regardless, it strikes me as an informative practice that might open up people's eyes to issues about which they are either in denial or would rather not consider due to their Buckleyean sense of being comfortably "above such crude things."

It's one thing to note the fact that many Jews have been a major driver of leftist causes throughout the last 100 years; it's quite another thing to implement an encyclopedic system where this observation is enshrined into all the text. The fact that you singled out Jews kind of immediately boxes in the entire encyclopedia into being made for people who believe earnestly in Jewish conspiracies theories, i.e., that the world is secretly controlled by a bunch of Jews who are responsible for most of the evils of the world. That immediately restricts the target audience because I don't think even most people in the alt right believe that (interestingly, I would think that a greater percentage of Muslims would believe that).

Consider Metapedia's article on Cultural Marxism
I read the article, and one can immediately see multiple problems. Apart from the fact that it's not really a finished article (way from featured-article level in Wikipedia, simply judging from the writing style and organization of content alone), the article would perhaps be more aptly named "Critiques of Cultural Marxism" or "Assessments of Cultural Marxism". A truly good article on Cultural Marxism would spend a section detailing the history of the Frankfurt school, quoting some of their works and properly referencing them. It would then have a section about cultural Marxism seeping into politics and everyday lives, complete with references to scholarly analyses (conservative ones are fine too). Then we would have a criticism section, and perhaps after that an analysis section which details MacDonald's theory of cultural marxism as a Jewish evolutionary strategy.

Right now, the Wikipedia article on the Frankfurt school is way more informative than the metapedia article on Cultural Marxism, despite the fact that the former attempts to box cultural marxism as a conspiracy theory. I mean I would genuinely learn much more about Cultural Marxism from reading the Wikipedia article than the Metapedia one.

Anonymous dh August 31, 2015 11:40 PM  

There are a few real problems with Wikipedia, and those are really related into three categories:

1. Sourcing. The policy on when something is "notable" and when something is published by a "reliable source" all boil down to lists of what publications are known to be reliable, and threshold of publicity make something "notable". The admins and editors have long-running, in some cases years long, battles to establish which publications a mention in will trigger "notability", and therefore permissability of having an article on Wikipedia, as well which publications can be used to source a claim.

The problem with these two policies are manifold, but it essentially means that once considered "generally reliable", any claim can be listed in Wikipedia as fact, referenced to that source. The New York Times is a reliable source, so anything published anywhere in it's pages or online is always able to be cited as fact. The same is true of Popular Science. Both are reliable sources, anything that is printed therein is a reliable source, and therefore even if the claim is otherwise falsifiable, it can be linked. At best, if the fact is contradicted, the editor could make note of the conflict and any two reliable sources are basically given equal weight when there is a disagreement.

The tributary problems with this policy is that it allows "fact stacking". A marginally reliable source, say a magazine, publishes a short-article with a dubious claim. That fact is then cited by another reliable source, and then another, and the another. The entire chain of citations lead back to the one dubious claim, and it's all on the up-and-up because of the sourcing policy. An editor is generally not permitted to "fact check" a reliable source.

2. Editors. Anonymous editors and pseudonymous editors can do whatever they like within reason. This is both a bug and feature. The result is sometimes a good article, but also sometimes a silly compromise, where two or three editors war back and forth over the exact turn of phrase, fighting long-term battles for inches, and feet and never yards. In this regard, tenacity is the primary virtue. A tenacious editor can over time take control of a topic or article, and influence it directly and indirectly.

The system of collegiality that does sometimes work rings very false and trite most of the time. Factions are fluid and running, and infighting is common. There is a grievance and an arbitration process, both of which are legalistic and produce results that are uneven and often overly technical. There are many who volunteer on these committees who would love nothing more than being the chief red-tape officer of Wikipedia. There are battles that fight through the system that take years.

A down line problem is that editors gain respect and traction in the system not by the quality of their edits but really adherence to rules and dogmatic practices. There are policies that are more strict for living people, mainly for the sole purpose of avoiding libel and slander problems, but other than that, editors and admins build vast webs of rules that seem to be based only on precedent and tenuous principles that are both grand and feeble.

(continued)

Anonymous Soga August 31, 2015 11:52 PM  

If the what-Conservapedia-should-have-been editors are supposed to stick strictly to the facts, will they be forced to admit that evolution (not just "microevolution") occurs and CO2 is a key modulator of Earth's greenhouse effect?

Admit? Now you're being dogmatic. I don't see anything wrong with articles on evolution or anthropological global warming explaining the leading theories in these areas, but if you think Verapedia's gonna "admit" TENS or AGW, think again.

Anonymous physphilmusic September 01, 2015 12:00 AM  

Admit? Now you're being dogmatic. I don't see anything wrong with articles on evolution or anthropological global warming explaining the leading theories in these areas, but if you think Verapedia's gonna "admit" TENS or AGW, think again.

Every encyclopedia's gotta make choices. How much space is going to be devoted to ID vs TENS? How much space is going to be devoted to articles from people who deny special relativity? Are we going to allow them to add a footnote to every physical theory that depends on special relativity?

At least in Wikipedia, one could argue for TENS being given a much more prominent spot by the fact that there are way more "reliable sources" (i.e., textbooks and articles) by professional scientists who believe in TENS. Now we don't have that standard anymore.

Anonymous Jack Amok September 01, 2015 12:13 AM  

I'm in.

A few thoughts.

1) We don't have to start by replacing everything. As someone suggested, maybe start with biographies and specialize in getting those right (or at least fair). Branch out to science topics where varioius gatekeepers have been enforcing leftist slants.

2) We can start by forking a bunch of content and gradually cleaning it up.

3) Gaining adoption will take time, but that's okay.

4) Regarding The problem is excluding leftist entryists. How to do that?. The solution is to ensure that overall control is retained by people we trust with the right motives, and essential to that is allowing for oversight that doesn't require a great deal of time invested. As people have pointed out, the SJWs have more free time than us, so we need to make sure free time never becomes the currency of control. The Evil League of Editorial Oversight needs to be set up to require minimal time without losing control.

Anonymous Jack Amok September 01, 2015 12:19 AM  

The principle of consensus is indeed problematic, but as you can see it really a problem with the user base. One of the original aims of the Wikipedia was to break the stranglehold of gatekeepers that used to control Britannica and all the other older encyclopedias. Are we willing to anoint new gatekeepers which we believe to be the "right" ones in order to overcome the weaknesses of consensus?

We have to, otherwise the effort is doomed via Pournelle's Iron Law of the Bureaucracy. The "consensus" won't be a consensus of rational, fair-minded people. It will be a "consensus" of a handful of activitsts who care enough to invest the resources required to dominate the discussion. That will happen - there is no avoiding it.

The only question is whether we shut out the SJWs or let them in so they can ruin it.

Anonymous dh September 01, 2015 12:21 AM  

3. Immediacy. Editors are rewarded immediately for edits. They get the publish done instantly, and often it will sit forever unchallenged. Edits can be tiny or huge, and the site proclaims to ask for boldness in edits. A bold edit might be one where 10% of a lengthy article is chopped or re-written, or on a short-article, a new section added or an old one deleted or merged into an existing one. Compared to source control and programming, "being bold" is akin to a minor refactor or reorg of the structure, not a re-implementation from spec or a port to a new platform.

The immediate nature of Wikipedia is the root cause of many personality and content based disputes. People with short-time preferences will seize articles that are in the news or topics that are presently hot button. Events in progress are updated many times, and because of the size and scope of Wikipedia, articles, despite rules against it, are a form of evolving real-time news coverage. One of the worst things that can happen to an activist editor is for an admin to semi-protect or protect a page, which will cause the topic to become essentially automatically frozen for a period of time. This is something akin to a shot across the bow of an out of control editor, and it will often cause the editor to move onto other topics that are in his or her control and sights.

The ways to fix Wikipedia could come from a many directions. My proposals would be to keep what works well and what doesn't work well. One thing that doesn't work well is the grievance and appeal and arbitration process. It's no way to run anything. Nothing is ever settled. Editors are also prone to warring for this reason.

Proposals for New Wikipedia:

A. Editors and admins are associated to a real identity but still retain their pseudo-anonymity.

B. Revisions for things other than formatting and grammar (i.e. not small edits) are not immediate and become release candidates. Many editors can work on a release candidate. Each release candidate has a publish date that is voted upon by editors who are involved in the edit, but would always be at least several days in the future. To be promoted from release candidate to production, a majority of editors who are interested in the edit must agree that the release candidate has passed standards. Voting first requires a motion for cloture, which must pass with a super-majority. Votes against cloture expire after 24-hours and must be re-authorized thereafter every 24-hours. This will permit a limited filibuster for a committed block of editors in the minority, but one which requires effort to continue. After cloture a straight-majority vote will carry the motion to promote to production. After 24-hours, any editor who has not voted to affirm to deny a proposed release candidates promotion will be assumed to have given assent.

C. Release candidates that are promoted to production are subject to review by the Board of Publishers. The Board of Publishers are made up shareholders in the limited-liability corporation who have made a current-year donation equal to at least 1% of the operating costs of the corporation. The Board of Publishers may by majority vote veto a release candidate, or send it back to the editors for revisions with a notice of disapproval. If no action is taken within 24-hours, the Board of Publishers gives it's assent automatically and the promotion is final. Debate and comments from the Board of Publishers is open and part of the process.

(continued)

Blogger IM2L844 September 01, 2015 12:21 AM  

@144 "A showing of bias or dishonesty gets you a visit to the review board and probably gets you the boot."

And public humiliation. Flogging, preferably.

Anonymous dh September 01, 2015 12:21 AM  

D. Sourcing for articles is based upon three competing methods, in preference order: consensus in widely available published sources, publication in a reliable source with substantive dispute, non-falsification of generally available information and facts.

These methods will allow information which is agreed upon by wide consensus to be featured first, then information which is reliably sourced and without substantive dispute to be published secondly, and finally for information which is not well sourced but also not classifiable by deduction or published sources to be published. This will largely solve the problem of minor topics containing only information which is of specific interest.

E. Qualification for inclusion in the encyclopedia will not be based on notability, but instead will hinge on the answering the question: "Does the topic or subject answer an epistemological question relating to history, fact, natural philosophy or other pursuit that a person who is reasonably curious and open to new ideas finds compelling and of significant import?" This will eliminate about 2/3 of the articles on Wikipedia, which serve no purpose but the fulfill the need of people to document their hobby, pet project, or privileged pursuit. It will eliminate huge swaths of topics that server no intellectual purpose - articles on the (fake) history of various Pokemon characters who themselves are fake, biographies of fictional TV characters, backstories for television shows, and the like.

Blogger Jim September 01, 2015 12:22 AM  

I'm in

To my mind, there are 3 'problems'

Getting the content (mostly by forking wikipedia)
Getting the content editors (and keeping the sjws in line)
Getting the page views.

What about figuring out a way to buy/takeover Wikimedia Foundation, Inc? How much "fuck off" money would Jimmy Wales require? (or whomever is relevant to such a path) Their Q4 report (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Report,_April-June_2015) says they had about $9M in funding. Maybe there's someone who can be bought out for a few hundred K to flip. Or maybe it's a no go from the git go.

Anonymous Tim the Enchanter September 01, 2015 12:36 AM  

When I first read through this posting, I thought "too technologically ambitious". But as I read the comments, a plan started to gel. Maybe this is doable. Maybe a "VeriPedia" (thanks @55, or TruthPedia @35) could be done. These are my first thoughts (maybe a slightly fleshed out version of @40, @44, and others), but they have helped me to brainstorm the process. Yes, I am a software developer, and so I think in terms of the technology, but technology must serve the ends.

The first problem is matching Wikpedia (WP - yeah, I know WordPress) itself. @19, @27 brought up this problem, i.e., how to get VeriPedia up to speed. @30 had the idea that you could intercept WP requests at the browser with a browser plugin and reroute to the VeriPedia article -- kind of the Clean Flicks model. I suggest this would work better if implemented on the server side with WP acting as a backing store.

The VeriPedia server would maintain a black list of "bad" content, and substitute "good" content to the user. A comparison of the Veripedia and WP versions could be requested. The black list could be curated by a select committee, and requests by interested parties could be considered. I imagine the black list would build up rapidly consequent with the ever-building demand. Some forms of AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing, not Neuro Linguistic Programming) could be applied at some point to identify articles in need of rewriting, but they would be considered somewhere down the line, after the MVP is in place and in a position to be evaulated.

In this scenario, WP would provide VeriPedia with a continual upgrading of neutral content which would simply be passed through, while work on VeriPedia original content would focus on fixing and/or replacing the bad stuff. I'm not sure how tolerant WP is of this kind of resource utilization. There are other ways of keeping up, however. WP could be downloaded on a regular schedule and then merged with the VeriPedia article base.

I also suggest VeriPedia be limited at first to the English language. Other languages could be added later with demand and resources. Obviously I'm skipping over lots of issues, like storage, access, bandwidth, etc., but with some $$ these problems are surmountable (at AWS for example).

And O'Sullivan's law: Any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=O%E2%80%99Sullivan%E2%80%99s%20Law

Or, maybe Conservapedia can be improved.

Anonymous Tim the Enchanter September 01, 2015 12:44 AM  

@158 Set up a curation committee. They can take suggestions, assign work, and maintain a black list. Veripedia gets improved incrementally over time. Until a rewritten article gets written, questionable content gets flagged with a warning.

Anonymous Tim the Enchanter September 01, 2015 12:46 AM  

Wikipedia remains the base resource, and only black listed articles get replaced. Both the original WP article and the new Veripedia article can be had upon request.

Blogger Unknown September 01, 2015 12:49 AM  

O'Sullivan's Law: Any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.

Blogger Danby September 01, 2015 12:49 AM  

Hell, if you flag everything at first and invite people to submit (not to POST, but submit) corrections, you can pretty readily identify not only the most warped articles, but the most trustworthy editors.

WARNING: This article is copied directly from Wikipedia and has not been checked by our editors. If you think it is faulty, please click here to submit corrections.

Blogger Were-Puppy September 01, 2015 12:58 AM  

@144 Danby
For the first cut:
fork Wikipedia,
Cull the top 5% of articles by edit activity. chances are that's where most of the SJW BS is going to be centralized. Those all get curated by hand
Contact every person we can locate to check their own biography. Maybe even advertise this part.
Governance is top-down, not bottom-up Anyone can contribute an edit or an article, but it doesn't get posted till approved. The editor makes the decisions about the articles in his area. A showing of bias or dishonesty gets you a visit to the review board and probably gets you the boot.
Constant sweeps for SJW attitudes or behavior. Constant. Maybe even an inquisition.
Participants have to sign a statement that reality is objective, and that honesty and accuracy are the most important qualities in an encyclopedia.
Alexandra Erin is not allowed within 200 parsecs.
---------------

A couple things.
When you guys are saying fork Wikipedia, could this entire thing be screwed if Wikipedia somehow blocks the IP or domain of the fork? Is that even a possibility?

Regarding the policing of the editors, and what to do if an SJW is detected sinking its tick like nose into a topic.

It would be nice if there was an "SJW Hall of Shame" section devoted to these very people and their edits. That way anyone could look at that individual editor and the edits they have been attempting.

And if they attempt to keep reverting code about a topic, there should be a way for people with a lot of knowledge in that topic to shoot that editor down. Say in the appeal process, if an editor gets shot down so many times, they go into the SJW Hall of Shame section, and are relieved of their duties.

I think it would also be important to separate out an SJW Hall of Shame from other bad editors, who might just be lazy or incompetent. We want the SJWs to stand out for their exemplary ignorance and stupidity.



Just a thought. Having spent plenty of years of my life writing varying types of parsing code, I also have some concern of code being written to hunt for SJW terms. For instance, POC would mean to a non-SJW "Proof of Concept". But for an SJW, it would mean "people of color".

But I would definitely do what I can for coding, analyzing, or whatever is needed.

Anonymous Anonymous Something September 01, 2015 1:03 AM  

@1for1 Mencius had some interesting ideas for various Wikipedia alternatives, under the general heading of "antiversity". See e.g. A gentle introduction to Unqualified Reservations (part 9b). None of them ever went anywhere, AFAIK, but there might be something interesting to mine from his musings.

Anonymous Anonymous Something September 01, 2015 1:06 AM  

@Jim Jimbo is, or at least was, apparently an Objectivist (Kellyite branch, IIRC, for those of you who know what that means), which suggests at least a small chance he'd actually be sympathetic.

Blogger rho September 01, 2015 1:08 AM  

I concur with @27 dh: So a great way is to fork the content (which you can, because it's forkable), pare it down considerably, come up with a better way to manage editors, and then republish it. If you are smart about it, you could have some articles track the Wikipedia version closely, while other versions forked once and are done.

I don't have any numbers to prove it, but it seems to me that quite a lot of content on WP is filler. You don't need an episode-by-season breakdown of Babylon 5, or a plot summary of every Final Fantasy game.

HardReturn @57 covers this pretty well: The owners used to say "an editor needs to care, but not too much" and kept me around.

It's been quite a while since I looked at the WP code, but the major problem with WP lies with how it was designed. Wikis are, by definition, crowd sourced. If you're going to offer an alternative to Wikipedia, your options are either A) airtight crowd control, or B) drop the Wiki paradigm altogether.

(It would be interesting to know whether if an alternative went with B) would be legally allowed to raid WP content. I'd think so, but lawyers are paid to be persnickety.)

dh's idea is pretty good, IMO. Fork, trim, implement OpSec practices, track and re-publish WP per established rules. This could get something up and running at low- to moderately-low traffic within 9-18 months.

My suggestion would be to start with the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica (P.J. O'Rourke's most trusted resource). Then scan the WP topic heads and insert them as placeholders within the 1911EB alphabetical structure. Have eight one-week voting periods where the current bottom 10% of WP articles are dropped unceremoniously. (All votes are comparatively weighted according to initial participation, so if you vote in the first round and go all apathetic, your vote is diluted in subsequent votes. Any detected gaming of this metric, judged by angry and suspicious arbitrators, will invalidate a voting round.) The remaining articles are open for content submission, with the stipulation that submissions cannot be longer than the longest 1911EB article. Final submissions are subject to a community vote, with the editorial cabal free to enact the "Y'all Are Stupid" veto.

Anonymous Gen. Kong September 01, 2015 1:12 AM  

Interesting. For starters, what counrty would the proposed servers be based in? The EUSSR where Vox resides has much more restrictive notions about the ability to claim copyright (creative commons is still under copyright, btw) than Obamaland does at present.

Blogger Were-Puppy September 01, 2015 1:18 AM  

Servers seem pretty safe in Hillarys basement. I kid, I kid.

Anonymous Gen. Kong September 01, 2015 1:24 AM  

Having done some minor editing on Wikipedia (albeit on a very arcane subject), I can say that the thought police are very heavily in force there. As others have noted, vast swaths of the thing are ok. Another wiki project we have worked on is fairly heavily linked in. You might not be able to simply rip sections of the thing wholesale without facing an infringement suit claiming violation of the cc license terms. (Creative Commons licenses terminate automatically upon violation) - especially in the EUSSR. Lawrence Lessig, the inventor of cc license, is of course something of an SJW himself.

Blogger rho September 01, 2015 1:24 AM  

@170 Interesting. For starters, what counrty would the proposed servers be based in? The EUSSR where Vox resides has much more restrictive notions about the ability to claim copyright (creative commons is still under copyright, btw) than Obamaland does at present.

All servers will be based in the cloud, or the Darknet. This will be the Ashley Madison leak of encyclopedias, or the Wikipedia of encyclopedias.

Blogger Danby September 01, 2015 1:25 AM  

Bluntly, forking is grabbing a copy of the content.
The other option being discussed is interposing, where we leave the data there, and somehow trust WP to curate it and allow us access, but put together some program that filters for SJW content. I think that's a remarkably silly idea, starting with "Trust WP" but some think it will work.
All the content on WP is collected and distributed under the Creative Commons License, which is an open-source content license. WP cannot claim ownership because they explicitly don't own it. Whoever wrote it still owns it and licensed it to them under the CC license. Which license says we can use it too, with some minor restrictions, like not being able to claim ownership of it.

This should be doable, because WP's defining trait is their own version of "openness", but the most important trait for a reference site is accuracy. If we can be more accurate, more fair, and more reliable than WP, the users will normally follow.

Anonymous dh September 01, 2015 1:35 AM  

On pageviews. If the process is good enough to be cite-able, the page views will follow. That could be a good view. Which is to say, sufficent rigor and process that it is an accepted academic source in itself for certain topics. We could nominate and promote exceptionally good pages and submit them to an additional process that will, once passed, indicate community support for the quality of the piece.

That would catapult the credibility of the context above Wikipedia in very short-time.

Blogger Torial (#170) September 01, 2015 1:37 AM  

In addition to culling by edit activity (and really, identifying the problem editors will probably point to the problem articles), you could also come up w/ a list of unreliable sources (Salon, EW, Gawker) that if they are listed, flag that area of content as being unreliable.

Blogger Auriga Spacecoach September 01, 2015 1:46 AM  

Pseudonyms must be required to contribute, to stop spam as well as SJWs. Otherwise policing spam takes a lot of admin work, which can't let up for even a day because spammers attack harder if they see an opening.

If possible, the site should be on a free speech web hosting service, because SJWs will try to get the host to drop the site. Also, DDOS protection may be needed, if so cloudflare is good for that.

Big corporate advertisers will not advertise on politically incorrect sites. Politically incorrect advertisers, like gun shops, should be found. Also, SJW groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) will try to get Paypal and even banks to block payments to the site:
http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/activism/splc-a-poverty-of-integrity/
http://americanfreepress.net/?p=13426

Bitcoin is proof against payment blocks, I think advertisers should be given a discount or some kind of bonus if they pay through bitcoin.

Blogger Groot September 01, 2015 1:56 AM  

@73. maniacprovost:
"Pediaphilia"

Try this: Say it out loud three times. "Pedophilia" results, to unfortunate effect.

Blogger Auriga Spacecoach September 01, 2015 2:10 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Doktor Jeep September 01, 2015 2:16 AM  

I think that is possible.

Blogger rho September 01, 2015 2:24 AM  

Quick question, which is more likely? Control of the Hugos, or control of Wikipedia?

Blogger Doktor Jeep September 01, 2015 2:32 AM  

There you go. " phraseology". Call it a snark detector.

Blogger Doktor Jeep September 01, 2015 2:35 AM  

You see this issue is why "they" tout "free speech" all of the time. Free speech has been the shield culteral marxists used this entire time.

Nothing wrong with an aristocracy of privileged to control a site. Let the leftoids howl at the gate.

Blogger ScuzzaMan September 01, 2015 2:35 AM  

Ther's some awesome irony in that rationalwiki page on Dunning-Kruger. It is worth reading for these alone:
-quoying Darwin on ignorance conveying certainty, when his entire argument against fhe fossil evidence was based on ignorance, and his followers could not be more certain, even tho we know he was wrong.
-referencing other pages, such as the groupthink page, without a shred of self-awareness or irony.
-etc

Every klk should read that article, for the educational benefit of identifying such elements.

Blogger Auriga Spacecoach September 01, 2015 2:37 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Auriga Spacecoach September 01, 2015 2:44 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Auriga Spacecoach September 01, 2015 2:47 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Robert What? September 01, 2015 3:00 AM  

Personally I don't use Wikipedia except occasionally for the most mundane, fact-based lookups like the distance of Mercury from the Sun or the atomic weight of BaNa2. For anything even mildly controversial it is completely untrustworthy. Unfortunately Google spams many search results with Wikipedia as the number one entry. I usually skip right over that.

Blogger maniacprovost September 01, 2015 3:04 AM  

Groot, so "Pediafiles" is also out? Hmm.

Anonymous VD September 01, 2015 4:06 AM  

Are we willing to anoint new gatekeepers which we believe to be the "right" ones in order to overcome the weaknesses of consensus?

Yes. Absolutely.

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