by E. A. Barbour
The “digital culture” world that reached a peak during the dotcom boom of the late 1990s was an atrocity. The unhinged propagandizing and glorification of “being digital” became an embarrassment. It also resulted in the creation of endless reams of stupid jargon, not least of which was the ugly portmanteau word “digerati”, supposed to refer to people who “live their lives digitally”, meaning basically those who flop around on the Internet, smearing their massive egos into every nook and cranny in the online landscape. Usage of this word has declined in recent years, but the people it was applied to continue to spew comical “transhumanist” and “Singularity” propaganda everywhere today.
Not surprisingly, the “digerati” quickly discovered that Wikipedia was amenable to ego-smearing, if one used a few simple tricks — tag-teaming with friends, sockpuppetry, and lying about it later. The Jimbo Way of manipulation became the SOP of Wikipedia by 2005,
…continue reading The definition of a “Digerati”
By Gregory Kohs What do Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, and Miley Cyrus have in common? They, along with other famous and not-so-famous personalities help round out the Top 10 Most Contentious people list, as calculated from underlying Wikipedia data.
We engaged the volunteer services of Wikimedia Toolserver expert MZMcBride to uncloak a very interesting discovery — which English-language Wikipedia biographies of living people have generated the most back-and-forth discussion on their article “Talk” pages? As most Wikipedia insiders know, while the Wikipedia biography articles can be temporarily stocked with misinformation and libel, if you want a historically preserved glimpse at the really ugly stuff about notable people, you head to their Wikipedia Talk page. Because article Talk pages are where Wikipedia contributors publicly discuss their editing disagreements, these pages are a clear indicator of how contentious is the subject of the discussion.
…continue reading Wikipedia reveals Top 10 most contentious people
By Larry Sanger (see Wikipedia’s forgotten creator)
I want to start a conversation.
I. Problem? What problem?
Dr. Larry Sanger
So, you didn’t know that Wikipedia has a porn problem?
Let me say what I do not mean by “Wikipedia’s porn problem.” I do not mean simply that Wikipedia has a lot of porn. That’s part of the problem, but it’s not even the main problem. I’m 100% OK with porn sites. I defend the right of people to host and view porn online. I don’t even especially mind that Wikipedia has porn. There could be legitimate reasons why an encyclopedia might want to have some “adult content.”
No, the real problem begins when Wikipedia features some of the most disgusting sorts of porn you can imagine, while being heavily used by children. But it’s even more complicated than that, as I’ll explain.
(Note, the following was co-written by me and several other
…continue reading What should we do about Wikipedia’s porn problem?
One generally accepted fact about the Battle of Midway is that the air groups from the US aircraft carrier USS Hornet, under the direction of its skipper, Marc Mitscher, and air group commander, Stanhope Ring, generally performed abysmally. On the crucial first day of battle, three out of the carrier’s four squadrons failed to locate the Japanese fleet. The squadron which did locate the Japanese fleet carriers, Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8), was completely wiped-out during their attack without scoring a single hit (although their sacrifice did help enable the subsequently successful dive bomber attacks from the other two US carriers). Many of Hornet’s aircraft from the three surviving squadrons were unable to locate their carrier after the failed mission and either ditched in the ocean or barely managed to make it to and land on Midway. The aircraft which ditched in the ocean included 10 of Hornet’s fighter aircraft, leaving ten pilots floating
…continue reading The Battle of Midway: What is a “Reliable Source,” really?