ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2017 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Why Wikipedia can't change

I received some questions from a tech site about Infogalactic. Here are a few of the interesting ones, since neither I nor most of you tend to read this particular site.
Do you think Wikipedia has a liberal bias? Why is that?

I know that Wikipedia has a very heavy left-wing bias. The 538 active admins are almost exclusively hard left, and they do not hesitate to impose their perspective on the editors. For example, there are three who camp on the page about me; just do an edit sometime and see how fast they act to revert it. The way they treat pages devoted to approved individuals is observably very, very different than the way they treat pages about those of whom they disapprove. There is no need to take my word for it, just look at the various Criticism sections. The page about the approved individual invariably reads as if it was written by his defense attorney and inevitably violates the reliable sources rule. The Sam Harris page is an excellent example.

Harris states that he advocates a benign, noncoercive, corrective form of intolerance, distinguishing it from historic religious persecution. He promotes a conversational intolerance, in which personal convictions are scaled against evidence, and where intellectual honesty is demanded equally in religious views and non-religious views. He also believes there is a need to counter inhibitions that prevent the open critique of religious ideas, beliefs, and practices under the auspices of "tolerance". He has stated on his blog that he has received death threats for some of his views on religion.

On the Sam Harris Talk page, an editor notes: I don't see how anyone can justify purging the article of almost all criticism of Sam Harris, since that would seem to be a rather obvious NPOV violation.

Is it possible for Wikipedia to become more nonpartisan? What would it have to do?

It is theoretically possible for Wikipedia to return to its nonpartisan mission, but it is very unlikely because the inmates are now fully in control of the asylum. The admins vet very carefully for ideological correctness; no matter how long or how well an editor has contributed, he will not be permitted to become an admin if he does not fit the approved ideological profile. It would probably be necessary to completely replace all of the current admins and most of the Wikimedia Foundation board with individuals committed to objectivity and neutrality. Needless to say, that is not going to happen.

How do you create an encyclopedia or reference source that people across the political aisle agree on? Is that possible? Should we want such a source? 

Your question indicates a failure to grasp how Infogalactic is designed to operate. Wikipedia is organized in a vertical, centralized, absolutist manner where there is One True Page over which the various editors war, and which the admins ultimately exert control. Infogalactic is designed to be organized in a horizontal, decentralized, relativist manner so that the user, through his perspective filters, will dictate which of the hundreds of versions of the page he wishes to see. This is not only possible, but you will see it in operation within nine months. And yes, we should want such a source, because there is no reason that anyone, from any point on the ideological spectrum, should be permitted to define what is, and what is not true, for everyone else.
Speaking of Infogalactic, you may wish to note that there are now two blue icons that appear on Infogalactic News and Infogalactic Tech. The logo indicates a link to the Infogalactic page about the subject. The letter A indicates a link to an archive version of the page, which can be used in lieu of the link to the media site, in case the media site changes the story or blocks your browser.

Support Infogalactic here.

Labels: ,

54 Comments:

Blogger APL May 25, 2017 5:42 AM  

"Infogalactic is designed to be organized in a horizontal, decentralized, relativist manner so that the user, through his perspective filters, will dictate which of the hundreds of versions of the page he wishes to see."

Have I misunderstood this? Because it implies to me, that you cannot use Infogalactic as a reference source, because two different individuals may see different texts on the same subject.

Blogger Sam May 25, 2017 5:43 AM  

You can use it as a reference but you have to give what perspective you are using; there is no 'neutral point of view'.

Anonymous Rocklea May 25, 2017 5:49 AM  

"Have I misunderstood this? Because it implies to me, that you cannot use Infogalactic as a reference source, because two different individuals may see different texts on the same subject."

I love this, who shot Kennedy?

Anonymous Gardner May 25, 2017 5:49 AM  

I have read in places that archive.is is untrustworthy. Are you planning to expand your archival system to rival archive.is

Blogger Double E May 25, 2017 5:54 AM  

Have I misunderstood this? Because it implies to me, that you cannot use Infogalactic as a reference source, because two different individuals may see different texts on the same subject.

What you don't understand is that with Wikipedia you just aren't getting to choose which perspective you are seeing. It is chosen for you and presented as unbiased truth.


Also, notice the "to me" Gamma tell. Next thing he will tell us is that he is just trying to make it better, by helping to fix these "problematic" issues.

Blogger VD May 25, 2017 5:54 AM  

Because it implies to me, that you cannot use Infogalactic as a reference source, because two different individuals may see different texts on the same subject.

Sure you can. You just have to tell them what the filter is. For what passes for neutrality, it would be a 5,5.

Are you planning to expand your archival system to rival archive.is

No, we're just using the existing systems.

Blogger VD May 25, 2017 5:56 AM  

Also, notice the "to me" Gamma tell.

Perhaps, but I suspect non-native English speaker instead.

Anonymous Icicle May 25, 2017 5:58 AM  

I love this, who shot Kennedy?

Roger Stone.

Anonymous Rocklea May 25, 2017 6:03 AM  

@Icicle wrote:
"Rogers Stone"

How did you know? Set filters to maximum Alex Jones/Jim Marrs

Blogger Phillip George May 25, 2017 6:50 AM  

The CIA invented the slur "conspiracy theorist".
They didn't invent "tolerance" - but has anything been as intellectually damaging?
You don't need to know who the editors are, you simply need to understand you are at war with them.
... for all the victims of 911.
The Ministry of Truth, has blood red corridors, Wiki is just one floor.

Blogger JGP May 25, 2017 6:53 AM  

I try to use Infogalactic for reasons of solidarity with the movement but most of what I go to Wikipedia for has little political content mostly stuff about musical harmony with the occasional question about astronomy. But maybe I should check for bias on those subjects?

Blogger VD May 25, 2017 6:54 AM  

But maybe I should check for bias on those subjects?

Just keep your eyes open. Most non-political content is more or less okay.

Anonymous Mister M May 25, 2017 7:02 AM  

Most non-political content yes. For a good look at what wikipedia has become, look over the entry on "Apocalypto" - the Mel Gibson movie. The 'criticism' is from some woman who wails about how the movie sux because it doesn't show the good things the Mayan people were doing, only the horrible things.

How dare they show the beheadings and backwardness of one of our pet / protected groups??!!

As if the thing were a documentary.

Blogger Shimshon May 25, 2017 7:07 AM  

"Just keep your eyes open. Most non-political content is more or less okay."

As long as you ignore subsections like "Women in [subject]" and the like.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 25, 2017 7:15 AM  

APL you should NEVER use a wiki as a reference except when discussing the wiki itself.

Blogger Michael Neal May 25, 2017 7:24 AM  

vote no in this poll if confederate monuments should be removed http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/poll-should-richmond-remove-its-confederate-monuments/poll_70452265-9c50-587f-886e-10bcb46dd990.html

Anonymous Magus May 25, 2017 7:34 AM  

" Infogalactic is designed to be organized in a horizontal, decentralized, relativist manner so that the user, through his perspective filters, will dictate which of the hundreds of versions of the page he wishes to see. This is not only possible, but you will see it in operation within nine months."

Holy shit. You said before that people would be able to switch between the Wiki and the IG version. I had no idea *this* was the ultimate goal though. This is VERY exciting.

Blogger Lucas May 25, 2017 7:37 AM  

Cultural war: Infogalactic

Creation vs Evolution war: Conservapedia.

Blogger Johnny May 25, 2017 7:39 AM  

>> The admins vet very carefully for ideological correctness;

The correct word for this is culture, and culture is remarkably durable. A change would require a wholesale shift in personnel, maybe all of them.

Blogger VD May 25, 2017 7:40 AM  

I had no idea *this* was the ultimate goal though.

That's just the starting point. We have no intention of stopping there. Everything we have done to date is just the bare minimum for the foundation of the infrastructure.

Blogger Nate May 25, 2017 7:48 AM  

"I had no idea *this* was the ultimate goal though. This is VERY exciting."

mate.... we're building the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The wikipedia page on alcohol will tell you the chemical breakdown of it.

The IG pages on alchohol well tell you what bourbons are sweet and what bourbon's are spicy... and how to make a really good margarita.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 25, 2017 8:27 AM  

What is amazing, however, is how politics touches the non-political content. For example, Wikipedia has completely scrubbed any mention, ANYWHERE within itself, of the fact that water vapor is a greenhouse gas, that it's effect, per unit mass, is 150x greater than that of CO2, that per molecule, 400x greater, and that within the atmosphere, water vapor is responsible for over 99% of the greenhouse effect of our atmosphere. Because such information reveals that the war on CO2 is both meaningless, and sadistic.

Blogger Phillip George May 25, 2017 8:34 AM  

the separation of politics religion and science is one of the most persistent myths of the 20th century. Isaac Newton was unencumbered.

Blogger Student in Blue May 25, 2017 8:38 AM  

The letter A indicates a link to an archive version of the page

Bravo, sirs. Absolutely necessary implementation and I'm not being sarcastic.

Blogger Cail Corishev May 25, 2017 8:54 AM  

What is amazing, however, is how politics touches the non-political content.

Yes. If you don't already know a topic well, you never know where politics might be skewing it. So basically, it's useful if you're already solid on the topic, enough to spot that sort of thing, but you just need to confirm some dates or something.

Also, angry Gammas can get obsessed about things other than politics. You could be reading about something as dry as computer language design, and someone important could be scrubbed from the page because the most obsessed editor squatting on that page had a big fight with the guy over curly braces versus whitespace one time.

The funny thing is, I remember when we had official Encyclopedias at home. You couldn't get away with using Britannica as your only source for a research paper, even though people generally trusted it. You were always required to use multiple sources and cross-reference things.

Somewhere along the line, people got the idea there could be one authoritative source that would have the "facts" about everything by using crowd-sourcing to somehow transcend differences of opinion, but that's just crazy. Even the structure of Wikipedia with its emphasis on references to other sources belies that idea, but they found a way around that by defining some kinds of sources as off-limits.

Anonymous Sagramore May 25, 2017 9:11 AM  

@25 Also, angry Gammas can get obsessed about things other than politics.

There's an angry manlet who insists Christ healed with DUDE WEED LMAO who gets very irritated if you challenge him. He tends to sperg out about 'credibility' mostly.

I knew his ex-wife.

Blogger Elocutioner May 25, 2017 9:21 AM  

I like the update to IG News and Tech, especially the mutual links on the left, on my tablet that's much faster than pulling up a bookmark.

Feature request - can you mark new articles for a while after you add or modify them? It will cut down on re-scanning the headlines that haven't changed in a few days. The "last updated" timestamp is a step in the right direction.

Anonymous Just another commenter May 25, 2017 9:35 AM  

One of the brilliant side-effects of the perspective filters is that it will make some people aware there IS another perspective. I foresee this being a reason that many school districts will filter off their networks Infogalactic as a browsable site within a year of the perspective filter coming on-line, to protect young eyes from such "unreliable" information, and because they won't have a good way to cite it properly in a bibliography. (Technical question: how WILL you cite / hyperlink to a specific perspective-filter of a page?)

Blogger Nate May 25, 2017 9:36 AM  

generally speaking the new articles go on the top of the columns and everything moves down. So really... most of the time you can just scan the headlines at the top of the columns.

Blogger VD May 25, 2017 9:36 AM  

Technical question: how WILL you cite / hyperlink to a specific perspective-filter of a page?

It will have its own URL, just like a previous version of a Wikipedia page.

Anonymous Millenium May 25, 2017 9:54 AM  

Speaking of wikipedia bias, have a look of this

https://i.redd.it/7axpnadeenzy.jpg

Anonymous Rfvujm May 25, 2017 10:03 AM  

I've been using IG news as my primary source of headlines, regularly checking for updates on a daily basis.

I'm happy to see the blue icon addition, for a reason not cited in the OP: avoiding giving clicks and views to MSM outlets.

Anonymous Just another commenter May 25, 2017 10:04 AM  

@29 - Oh. Duh. (forehead smack). I was thinking of something comparable to "frames" for some reason, which frequently don't handle citation well. Not enough coffee yet.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 25, 2017 10:13 AM  

If you are citing a wiki in a bibliography, you deserve all of the resultant abuse which you get.

Blogger Nate May 25, 2017 10:14 AM  

"I'm happy to see the blue icon addition, for a reason not cited in the OP: avoiding giving clicks and views to MSM outlets. "

there are still some growing pains with the archive feature but you'll see that A showing up more and more.

for my own info... do you prefer to use archive links for AP and Reuters? I generally don't lump them in with CNN and NYT and such. but if you guys do we can make sure those get As too.

Blogger Nate May 25, 2017 10:18 AM  

"If you are citing a wiki in a bibliography, you deserve all of the resultant abuse which you get."

10 yeas ago you would have gotten that abuse. Today Wikipedia is sited on practically tons of college papers.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 25, 2017 10:48 AM  

SAD.

Blogger BassmanCO May 25, 2017 10:49 AM  

@35 Nate, I think you just noted one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

That is both depressing and hilarious at the same time.

Blogger Nick S May 25, 2017 10:52 AM  

What? There are actually different perspectives?

I can't...

Switching to maximum solipsism mode...

...Recalculating...

It seems to me, you are all just products of my imagination.

Anonymous Azimus May 25, 2017 10:56 AM  

VD:
The logo indicates a link to the Infogalactic page about the subject.


THAT is a very good idea.

Blogger Feather Blade May 25, 2017 11:17 AM  

APL wrote:that you cannot use Infogalactic as a reference source,

The instructor of any course with any kind of intellectual honesty and academic rigor will tell students straight out that Wikipedia cannot be used as an academic reference in a research paper.

If the instructor gives the students a target number of sources, Wiki references will not count toward the target.

Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias are where you go to find sources.

Blogger Nate May 25, 2017 12:56 PM  

"
"The instructor of any course with any kind of intellectual honesty and academic rigor will tell students straight out that Wikipedia cannot be used as an academic reference in a research paper."

academic rigor...

****snick**** oh sweet innocent friend...

Anonymous Mr. Rational May 25, 2017 1:10 PM  

Dirk Manly wrote:For example, Wikipedia has completely scrubbed any mention, ANYWHERE within itself, of the fact that water vapor is a greenhouse gas, that it's effect, per unit mass, is 150x greater than that of CO2, that per molecule, 400x greater
Because those are lies.  No, it is not a matter of opinion.  At 80 F, water has a vapor pressure of about half a PSI (go look it up in the steam tables, the ones used by engineers to design power plants—the ones that HAVE to be correct or the machinery doesn't work).  Saturated air at 80 F is about 3% water vapor by volume, around 2% by mass; that's 20,000 ppm.  If what you wrote was true, the earth would either be in a runaway greenhouse warming or an iceball as it fell off equilibrium one way or the other.  Obviously, it's not.  That's because H2O is a FEEDBACK effect, not a primary forcing function.  It's also far weaker per unit mass than you claim.

If you put actual lies about physical phenomena in an encyclopedia page, and do not have a mechanism to purge them and ban the liars, your encyclopedia quickly becomes worthless (save perhaps as unintentional humor).  Lies about political things are bad enough (see Wikipedia), but lies about physics?

Anonymous Zion's Paladin May 25, 2017 1:25 PM  

Nate wrote:for my own info... do you prefer to use archive links for AP and Reuters? I generally don't lump them in with CNN and NYT and such. but if you guys do we can make sure those get As too.

I don't know enough about AP, but I consider Reuters to still be reliable for now.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 25, 2017 1:46 PM  

Mr. Rational wrote:Lies about political things are bad enough (see Wikipedia), but lies about physics?
Actually, wikipedia has plenty of those as well. See Gamma Wiki Camping effect mentioned above.

Blogger beerme May 25, 2017 2:08 PM  

Nate wrote:for my own info... do you prefer to use archive links for AP and Reuters? I generally don't lump them in with CNN and NYT and such. but if you guys do we can make sure those get As too.
I consider the AP to be one of the foremost purveyors of fake news. Some of the stories from their stringers are hilariously fake, especially ones from the Middle East. I don't have an opinion on Reuters, but the inherent unreliability of wire services would make archiving a positive in my view.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 25, 2017 2:37 PM  

I can't remember why, but Reuters and AP were both added to my personal list as Fake News a while back.

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 25, 2017 3:33 PM  

Citing to Wikipedia is no worse than citing to an academic journal or mainstream news site.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 25, 2017 4:39 PM  

VFM #6306 wrote:Citing to Wikipedia is no worse than citing to an academic journal or mainstream news site.
I can't tell if you're clueless or denigrating academic journals and news sites.

Blogger Feather Blade May 25, 2017 5:24 PM  

Nate wrote:academic rigor...

****snick**** oh sweet innocent friend...


Hey, Not All College Professors Are Like That. ^_^

Anonymous Longtime Lurker May 25, 2017 6:42 PM  

Perspective Filter. Going where Wikipedia fears to tread.

Blogger Nate May 25, 2017 8:11 PM  

"I can't tell if you're clueless or denigrating academic journals and news sites."

He's right. most of the shit in academic journals is also made up bullshit.

Blogger The Pepe report May 25, 2017 11:25 PM  

Speaking of sources of information i cant believe on the heels of Oreiily Shepherd Smith now says he was gay all these years. As an aside ever notice how there are many extremely good looking gay guys as if maybe God takes them off the market to give mediocre looking guys more of a chance.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 25, 2017 11:33 PM  

Shepard Smith's homosexuality was an open secret for at least the last 10 years. It's obvious.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts