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Monday, December 19, 2016

Destruction and redirection

A new user is impressed with what he finds at Infogalactic:
Today, I did a quick internet search (Google) for "Shiva" to verify a detail or two.  I clicked on the Wikipedia link.  By the end of the second brief paragraph, I was already informed of "the goddess tradition of Hinduism called Shaktism" and how it considers Parvati to be "the equal complementary partner" of Shiva.

Hmm.  Is Shaktism so prevalent or important that it must be introduced before we learn anything more of Shiva?  Also, I can understand how Parvati may be "complementary", but the addition of "equal" smelled too SJWish.  I went to Infogalactic to see how its page differs.

On Infogalactic, the offending lines are absent, among other changes.

I am impressed.  I am also encouraged.
This is a long marathon, not a sprint, but the Infogalactic team is gradually cleaning up one entry at a time, excising the ever-present SJW bias and transforming the narrative spin into subject-relevant facts. Compare the beginning of these two articles on Race and Intelligence.

Wikipedia, Race and Intelligence:
  • This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
  • The neutrality of this article is disputed. (October 2012)
  • This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (October 2012)
  • This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (October 2012)
The connection between race and intelligence has been a subject of debate in both popular science and academic research since the inception of IQ testing in the early 20th century. The debate concerns the interpretation of research findings that test takers identifying as "White" tend on average to score higher than test takers of African ancestry on IQ tests, and subsequent findings that test takers of East Asian background tend to score higher than whites.
Infogalactic, Race and Intelligence:
The existence of a link between race and intelligence has been repeatedly observed by scientists, but remains extremely controversial. Research suggests that the average IQ score of East Asians is higher than that of Europeans, and the average IQ score of Europeans is higher than that of Africans and African-Americans. Additional research has indicated that environmental factors such as socio-economic status and education can explain some, but not all, of these observed differences in IQ.
The problem with the Wikipedia article is that it is not actually about the purported subject, which is the scientific research that has repeatedly indicated a connection between race and intelligence, but rather, the debate concerning the legitimacy of the observations of that connection. Can you imagine the Wikipedia admins accepting a similar framing of the page on evolution as a debate rather than as a topic in its own right? They would never accept this even though, from the very start, evolutionary theory has been considerably more debatable than the observations, scientific, mundane, and logical, that the people of one race will always be more, or less, intelligent on average than the people of another race.

It's certainly proper to include criticism of the subject, of course, which Infogalactic contains in its Criticism section. But this practice is very different than the thought-police tactic often utilized on Wikipedia, which is to place the criticism in definitional sections, sometimes even in the very first paragraph. That tactic not only isn't honest, it doesn't even make sense. After all, the debate about evolution, and the various criticisms and doubts about the legitimacy of evolutionary theory, cannot possibly be intrinsic to the definition of what evolutionary theory is.

Also, Pale Moon users will be glad to know that an intrepid Pale Moon user has figured out how to redirect all Wikipedia links to Infogalactic. Instructions here. Also, expect some news on improved performance soon, possibly even this week.

Labels:

20 Comments:

Anonymous Just another commenter December 19, 2016 2:38 PM  

And government school districts will put Infogalactic on the "prohibited sites" list in 3... 2... 1....

Blogger Nate December 19, 2016 2:56 PM  

progress is being made... but I would be lying if I were to claim that at times the sheer scope is not discouraging. Wikipedia didn't get in this shape over night though... and we're not going to undo all that over night either.

Blogger SirHamster December 19, 2016 2:59 PM  

Have definitely noticed this.

I occasionally check wiki for introductory reading because it pops up first on a habitual Google search. Only to find that the wiki article is a nonsensical word salad that can't get to the freaking point.

I'm not even sure that the superior IG article was cleaned up; it may have simply been left intact where the wiki article let some zealous fanboy sperg about irrelevant details to the detriment of clarity.

It is certainly training me to use Brave browser's :i shortcut to cut out the time wasted with the Google search. SJW convergence will drive wiki's audience to a superior alternative.

Anonymous Faceless December 19, 2016 3:09 PM  

You, Rifleman, and the team should be proud of the progress so far in the marathon. The performance boosts are real, tangible, and make it so much easier for me to pass links along to people. In the last week, it's like you've not just turned the Queen Mary, you've got it headed full tilt. Even the Lua errors on a couple pages with the media are good to see as you're pushing down that path and escaping from some of the legacy PHP 4 code under Media Wiki. They aren't going to know what do with the changes if they try to switch to your code.

Anonymous Greg Gee December 19, 2016 3:10 PM  

Infogalactic is made by deplorables

http://verysmartbrothas.com/its-bad-that-russia-influenced-the-election-but-its-even-worse-that-60-million-deplorables-did-too/

In other words, bad people

Anonymous Philalethes December 19, 2016 3:36 PM  

Inspired by this article, The Curious Origins of the Poop Emoji, I went to Infogalactic to learn more about Emoji and Emoticons. Out of curiosity, I also went to Wikipedia's pages on Emoji and Emoticons.

I noticed some significant differences, including the inclusion of emoji equivalents on Wikipedia's emoticon page (but not on Infogalactic's), and the fact that both Wikipedia pages referred to Unicode 9.0, while Infogalactic's cover only Unicode 8.0. The Wikipedia pages say they were last modified on 19 December and 12 December 2016, while Infogalactic's pages say 13 January and 31 May 2016.

Is there a way to force Infogalactic to grab the latest version of a page at Wikipedia? I suppose that might end up causing trouble by replacing modified Infogalactic pages with newer but SJ-converged Wikipedia versions (as in the example in the OP). But in this case Infogalactic is definitely running behind. Don't mean to carp, but thought I'd bring it to your attention. And I wonder how this kind of problem is being handled.

Anonymous kfg December 19, 2016 3:37 PM  

@5 From the article:

"Ok, I see a few of you in the back with your hands up, and I commend you wonky motherfuckers for staying awake that day in 10th grade civics class and retaining that lesson for the last 20 years."

Given how important this is to the function of American government and that you didn't find it important enough to remember beyond maybe regurgitating it back out on a test, I'm supposed to feel that anything else you might say about politics is based on any more thought . . . 'cause why?

The headline of a linked article by the same author:

"I’M SCARED TO DEATH OF RANDOMLY DYING AND THIS EMBARRASSES THE FUCK OUT OF ME"

Yeah, I know. It's evident from your politics. Fucking rabbits.

Blogger pyrrhus December 19, 2016 3:52 PM  

The problem with the Infogalactic entry is that it still pussy foots around on intelligence. Subsaharan Africans are more than two SD less intelligent than Northern Europeans, for example. Most third world countries are better than that, but still much less intelligent than westerners or East asians. There are fact sheets listing the results of intelligence tests in every country. Why not use them?

Blogger VD December 19, 2016 3:52 PM  

But in this case Infogalactic is definitely running behind. Don't mean to carp, but thought I'd bring it to your attention. And I wonder how this kind of problem is being handled.

Come on. Do you really think people who are as technologically astute as we are could POSSIBLY be unaware that people have continued to edit Wikipedia since we forked it? I'm genuinely curious.

First, it's on the Roadmap. Second, I have made it very clear that we address things in the order of priority. The speedups are the top priority, because it doesn't matter if some of the 5 million pages are a few weeks, or months, out of date if they're all too slow to use.

We'll get to the dynamic forking, or if you prefer, updating, soon enough.

Blogger VD December 19, 2016 3:54 PM  

There are fact sheets listing the results of intelligence tests in every country. Why not use them?

Because people like you would rather bitch about what other people haven't done than simply do it yourself.

If it's legitimate, relevant, and credibly sourced, then put it up.

If you can't be bothered, then don't expect anyone else to be either.

Blogger tz December 19, 2016 4:10 PM  

The race is not always won by the SWJiftest.

Thanks for the palemoon redirector.

(once Brave has extensions... I might open a Patreon, or whatever the alt-right version is)

Blogger Yollo December 19, 2016 4:25 PM  

Being from the general area, I could perhaps shed some light on the Shiva issue.

Basically, as far as the backstory goes, gods like Shiva and Vishnu were initially not worshiped in Vedic Hinduism traditions. In these traditions, more formless, abstract gods like Agni, Indira and Soma were invoked in a variety of rituals that only the male head of the family participated in.

Then there was an emergence of a popular movement which is now broadly called Puranic Hinduism. Basically, this was a tradition in which the popular ideas of the lower caste population was integrated into the existing mythology. These were more accessible gods to women and untouchables who were previously excluded from the nebulous rituals and teachings of Hinduism at the time.

Among some of these commonfolk was the worship of the goddess. This is, again, another broad term signifying various cults established in the area at the time, worshiping just the form of womanhood, usually as a rock with some ochre smeared on it. Under Puranic integration practices, these were converted into the wives of Gods in the existing pantheon. Lakshmi for Vishnu and Parvati (Sati) for Shiva. Given male-female relationships at the time, it is highly unlikely that any form of equality existed in the minds of the people between these gods and goddesses. The Shakti movement represented a very small part of very large changes in the religious patterns. It does not come close to being an important aspect of Shiva.

tl;dr

Parvati and the Shakti tradition are not at the forefront of Puranic hinduism and Bhakti traditions. Perhaps if one were looking up either of those things, the issue of Shakti should be raised. But in the context of Shiva, it makes little sense that Parvati's relationship with him should be addressed so prominently.

Blogger Doom December 19, 2016 6:49 PM  

Yollo,

This comment seems out of place, unless I missed something (very easy, I'm older and mostly dead). I looked again but either am not or can't see it if it isn't there. Just... curious about more of the 'story', or the link to the reply. Pardon me if I am merely being blind. I... can be blind, in ways.

Some of this is... of interest. I like to see what others think on these matters. And, yes, that... is all it is. The truth is, we merely get to think about it, even if of a grander nominal form, or lessor. Only others, for sure, can recognize that, and in time. Hmm? Oh, never mind, though a link to more would be kind.

Anonymous Revan December 19, 2016 7:37 PM  

The school district I work for now redirects all wiki articles to Infogalactic. Not all of us are converged.

Anonymous jack arcalon December 19, 2016 8:13 PM  

Agree it would be a good idea to grab the latest Wikipedia article for each request, provided the Infogalactic version wasn't updated since the forking. (And not a meaningless small update like a semicolon automatically replaced by a hyphen)

Blogger Nate73 December 19, 2016 10:25 PM  

I found a typo in an infogalactic article and corrected it, before I realized I was actually correcting the typo on wikipedia! As of now the change hasn't been propagated from wiki to InfoG. Which makes me wonder if/when updates and changes to wiki will be reflected in InfoG?

Blogger Scott6584 December 20, 2016 10:04 AM  

I don't accept the current thinking on race-identity. There are more races than just black, white, red, brown and yellow.

God divided the people into 70 nations in Genesis 10 after the tower of Babel. I happen to be a Gomerite, which corresponds to those who settled in England, and parts of northern France and Germany. I am a different race from those who settled the Iberian Peninsula, or Scandinavia, or Russia, or Ukraine, or the Slavic regions of Europe.

If we are going to get into characteristics of race, let's get all the way into them. Personally, I think the pollution of the American idea came when Lincoln allowed the mass infiltration of Irish in order to provide soldiers for the North in the War. (This doesn't mean I am sympathetic to slavery of East Africans. In fact, many of my ancestors fought on the side of the north.) That was followed by allowing further waves of those who followed Papian religion, including Poles and Italians. The influx of people who subscribed to a world view where people relied on Priests rather than directly on God, and where authority flowed from a Central Authority (the Pope) transformed American political life.

Also, please try to explain to me why Minnesota consistently is one of the most liberal states in the USA apart from their Nordic/Scandinavian heritage. Minnesota has much in common with the Scandinavian states of Sweden and Norway. Why, if not race?

And I'm just talking about division within what is currently considered a homogeneous white race. I will laugh in your face if you tell me that East Africans, Central Africans, West Africans, South Africans, and North Africans are all the same. Ethiopians and Sudanese are completely different from the East Africans of Liberia and the Ivory Coast. Similarly, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, and Mongolians are very different in kind. And I'm not sure the southern Asiatics are comparable in intelligence, and many other attributes.

So, let's really talk about race intelligently, and quit pushing people into racial categories based solely on the hue of their skin. Although that may be a decent starting place, our discussion needs to go much more in depth to capture the variations in behavior, belief, culture, attitude, intelligence, athletic prowess, susceptibility to disease, political action, religious belief, etc.

Blogger Scott6584 December 20, 2016 10:06 AM  

I typed the previous comment, and then realized the subject matter in Infogalactic vs. Wikipedia, not the example that was used. Fell free to delete the comment. I apologize for getting off subject.

Blogger Aeoli Pera December 20, 2016 12:52 PM  

Clever title.

Anonymous Instasetting December 20, 2016 2:22 PM  

Glad to hear the fail of evolution is getting a better treatment.

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