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Press Releases

  • Please click here for recent Wikipediocracy press releases.

How Wikipedia screws up an article – the Hannah Anderson Kidnapping

By Cornpone T. McGillicutty


Well, folks, it’s time again to see how the sober, competent, and respected editors of the world’s free encyclopedia, Wikipedia, are handling their job—compiling and curating the “sum of human knowledge,” as Mr. Jimmy Wales once put it. As an aside, Jimmy is actually his first name, says so right there on his user page, so it ain’t disrespectful to be calling him that. Jimmy’s just folks.

Back ’round last August I was turning the pages of a newspaper, and read about some terrible goings-on out in California. The LA Times article was well-written enough, but I had a whole bunch of unanswered questions, so I fired up my computer, and visited Wikipedia. It’s durn near my favorite website, it just has so much stuff happening all the time.

Now, Wikipedia has its rules, and its little ways, and its customs. There’s a policy that Wikipedia is not news, but a pillar of Wikipedian belief is that rules should not get in your way if you all are improving the encyclopedia.

Boy howdy, folks were just improving the snot out of our encyclopedia at the Wikipedia article on the Hannah Anderson kidnapping. Just check out that there talk page.

Deep philosophical questions were being addressed, I tell you. The most important one was this conundrum: Are dogs people?


That was persistently and passionately argued and campaigned, for and against, fore and aft, on the talk page for this Wikipedia article covering this horrible tragedy in California. You see, folks, in an ‘infobox’ (a box to the right inside the main Wikipedia article, containing what are supposed to be the salient facts about the event), I saw next to the word “Deaths” this declaration: “3 people (including the

…continue reading How Wikipedia screws up an article – the Hannah Anderson Kidnapping

Islands of Sanity

By Peter Damian

Andreas Kolbe’s piece on Wikipedia versus Britannica went down pretty well, except for one commentator, who objected that “The projects in the science, logic, mathematics, and music are islands of sanity”.



Really? My own specialism is in the history of logic, particularly medieval logic. It’s a disaster area. I wrote last year about some vandalism to the article on the 13th century logician Duns Scotus, which said that in 2011 Scotus received an honour from the University of Oxford, “together with Lawrence of Arabia, Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien and living University members Rupert Murdoch, Bill Clinton, Stephen Hawking and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck”. When I wrote that, nearly a year ago, I thought it would be immediately removed. Yet it’s still there. I also mentioned vandalism to the article on William Vorilong. That was removed, but there was more added quite recently, including the bizarre claim that Vorilong studied Japanese medieval philosophy, physics and astronomy. It’s still there, and see also the article on the Chinese Da Ming Hun Yi Tu map.

It can be speculated that one of the first people in Europe who consulted the map was William Vorilong, noted philosopher from England, who was shown the map while travelling with japanese visitor Yoshimitsu Kage.

Retrodeductive inference?


OK, you object that this is merely boring history, which no one cares about. The real stuff, on modern science and logic and mathematics and so on, is totally reliable. So let’s take a look at some of the articles on logic, starting with the flagship article. Right there in the introduction it says “Avicenna revived the study of logic and developed relationship between temporalis and the implication”. What does

…continue reading Islands of Sanity

What Wikipedia Repeatedly Does

By Stanistani

Some days it’s hard to get motivated. You need inspiration, you need the wisdom of the ages. Why not turn to Wikipedia for that nugget of wisdom that will define your day?


Excellence is a talent or quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards. It is also used as a standard of performance as measured e.g. through economic indicators. In modern public relations and marketing, “excellence” is a much overused buzzword that tries to convey a good impression often without imparting any concrete information (e.g. “center for excellence in …”, “business excellence”, etc.).

Well, pooh (e.g. “Winnie the”). That’s not horribly inspiring so far, or “unusually good.” But I’m here for the wisdom of the ancients, so let’s examine the History of Excellence (imagine Greek column here).


The Ancient Greeks had a concept of arete which meant an outstanding fitness for purpose. This occurs in the works of Aristotle and Homer. Aristotle once said. “We are what we repeatedly do . . . excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Another related concept was eudaimonia which was the happiness which resulted from a life well-lived, being prosperous and fulfilled. The equivalent concept in Muslim philosophy is ihsan.

There we go! “We are what we repeatedly do . . . excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle

Carve that into my desk! Tattoo it on my arm!

Wait a minute… I have read a lot of books in my day, and I do believe I’ve seen that quote somewhere before. When I was a young boy, I was gifted a set of books written by Will and Ariel Durant (wonderful popularizers of history and such in their day, check them out). One

…continue reading What Wikipedia Repeatedly Does