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Importance of Historical Figures 
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Unread post Importance of Historical Figures
found on Reddit today:
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Looks like one of my charts.

Read the Reddit thread. It's full of amazing stupidity like this:
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Also, when writing articles about historical figures it's possible you've got a rather limited frame of reference from hard-documented sources. Contemporarily, few documents exist about George Washington, and even the historical publications may have been fewer than today's would comparably be.

Meanwhile, Optimus Prime has a rich history of materials that can be reviewed in their original source to gather material from. Interested in Optimus Prime's history? Well, watch S3E04 or pick up Issue #17 of a comic book and you could write extensively on his history. It seems sort of harder to do the same with George Washington.

Quote:
To be honest Optimus Prime did do a lot cooler stuff than everybody else on the chart.

Quote:
Uhm, it could also be that there is simply much more known about certain figures than about others.

Reports of Sokrates' life are rather scarce and might be unfalsifiable. Reports of Optimus Prime's life are incredibly detailed and span many volumes of books, comics, series and movies.

It might also be that certain people have an interesting personal life, while there are other people who are important for the work they have done. While Gandhi did many things in his life and there are accounts of his actions and impact... Isaac Newton's importance rests in science.

While Gandhi's impact is anecdotal and societal in nature and therefore will shine in his personal article... Isaac Newton's impact is mostly scientific in nature and will shine in countless articles of of mathematics and physics (despite Isaac Newton being arguable one of the most important figures in human history).


Conclusion: Western civilization is doomed. Or, Reddit is full of morons, not sure which to choose.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:55 am WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Do we have a trivia section on the wiki? This is beautiful.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:58 am WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
From the Reddit comments:
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I did not consiter the rarity of documents could play a role in wikipedia articles. It makes sense that there may be less documents about him because books needed to be written by hand, and that plays a role in documentation (and the preservation of those documents). More documents=better chances of that document will survive though the ages.(for Socrates and others before the printing press was invented)

He's sort of getting it. Now add in the "Wikipedians can only Google" layer and you can see why Wikipedia will struggle to deal with serious subjects. Fortunately for Wikipedia, the hard sciences tend to be well documented online, so there is lots to copy, but when you fall outside the realm of the technophiles, you are going to struggle.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:37 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
What it proves is that most people like to throw out statistics without context that makes their argument look a lot less compelling. If you only count the page on George Washington then it is shorter then the page on Optimus, but Optimus Prime only has the one article from what I can tell. On the other hand there are numerous spin-off articles on Washington:

Ancestry of George Washington (T-H-L)
George Washington in the French and Indian War (T-H-L)
Military career of George Washington (T-H-L)
George Washington in the American Revolution (T-H-L)
Presidency of George Washington (T-H-L)
George Washington's legacy (T-H-L)
George Washington and slavery (T-H-L)
George Washington and religion (T-H-L)

I don't know about all the others, but obviously all of that together with the bio is substantially more material than is devoted to Optimus Prime.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:00 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
The Devil's Advocate wrote:
I don't know about all the others, but obviously all of that together with the bio is substantially more material than is devoted to Optimus Prime.

Obviously, the problem is that Optimus Prime needs many more spin-off articles.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:21 pm WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
I have a photo of Washington's great, great, grandfather's grave slab. Which isn't where the article says he died, nor where it says he was buried.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:25 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
lilburne wrote:
I have a photo of Washington's great, great, grandfather's grave slab. Which isn't where the article says he died, nor where it says he was buried.

A person can have multiple "great, great grandfathers". For example, you could be talking about Lawrence Washington or Augustine Warner or William Ball, or others.

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Last edited by thekohser on Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:46 pm WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
thekohser wrote:
lilburne wrote:
I have a photo of Washington's great, great, grandfather's grave slab. Which isn't where the article says he died, nor where it says he was buried.

A person can have multiple "great, great grandfathers".


They can indeed.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:50 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
thekohser wrote:
The Devil's Advocate wrote:
I don't know about all the others, but obviously all of that together with the bio is substantially more material than is devoted to Optimus Prime.

Obviously, the problem is that Optimus Prime needs many more spin-off articles.


I'm almost certain there were spin-off articles in the past, but they were deleted or merged during the Grand Battle of the Transformers Articles way back in 2010. I'm going to check to see if I'm right or wrong about this.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:45 pm WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
The Devil's Advocate wrote:
I don't know about all the others, but obviously all of that together with the bio is substantially more material than is devoted to Optimus Prime.

Wikiproject Transformers -- currently tracking 2,112 articles/images/redirects.

Category:George Washington, with 93 articles plus 4 subcategories, total maybe 250-ish articles--many about subjects that
Washington had only passing connections to. No Wikiproject George Washington, of course.

Wikiproject U.S, Presidents, predictably, has only 43 presidents to cover, yet has no regular Wikiproject assessment to summarize all the related articles. Not important enough?

Thanks to the obscurity and mismanagement of these areas, one might easily conclude that Wikipedians regard the bloody Transformers
as being much more important than the United States Presidents. Because no one's keeping track, and the statistics we do have are a
shredded incoherent mess, who can say otherwise?

What does it take to get Wiki-Dinks to fix these articles, comic books about presidents?

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:13 pm WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
The Transformers articles have exactly one featured, four GA-class, and three B-class. By comparison there are like 10 Featured articles on presidents, and most of what's left is GA or B-class.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:02 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
EricBarbour wrote:
Wikiproject U.S, Presidents, predictably, has only 43 presidents to cover, yet has no regular Wikiproject assessment to summarize all the related articles.

Um, it's 44 by now, right?


Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:09 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Sweet Revenge wrote:
EricBarbour wrote:
Wikiproject U.S, Presidents, predictably, has only 43 presidents to cover, yet has no regular Wikiproject assessment to summarize all the related articles.

Um, it's 44 by now, right?

Tell THEM to update their Wikiproject page, not me......

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:11 pm WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
EricBarbour wrote:
Sweet Revenge wrote:
EricBarbour wrote:
Wikiproject U.S, Presidents, predictably, has only 43 presidents to cover, yet has no regular Wikiproject assessment to summarize all the related articles.

Um, it's 44 by now, right?

Tell THEM to update their Wikiproject page, not me......


There have only been 43 presidents.

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Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:16 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Tarc wrote:
EricBarbour wrote:
Sweet Revenge wrote:
EricBarbour wrote:
Wikiproject U.S, Presidents, predictably, has only 43 presidents to cover, yet has no regular Wikiproject assessment to summarize all the related articles.

Um, it's 44 by now, right?

Tell THEM to update their Wikiproject page, not me......


There have only been 43 presidents.

Goodness, you're right. Once again, Grover Cleveland (T-H-L) messes everything up for everybody.


Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:34 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
EricBarbour wrote:
Conclusion: Western civilization is doomed. Or, Reddit is full of morons, not sure which to choose.
Reddit is, without a doubt, full of morons. What this says about Western civilization is unclear.

Note also that in the original chart you posted, Gandhi's name is misspelled.


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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
EricBarbour wrote:
found on Reddit today:
Image
Looks like one of my charts.

Read the Reddit thread. It's full of amazing stupidity like this:
Quote:
Also, when writing articles about historical figures it's possible you've got a rather limited frame of reference from hard-documented sources. Contemporarily, few documents exist about George Washington, and even the historical publications may have been fewer than today's would comparably be.

Meanwhile, Optimus Prime has a rich history of materials that can be reviewed in their original source to gather material from. Interested in Optimus Prime's history? Well, watch S3E04 or pick up Issue #17 of a comic book and you could write extensively on his history. It seems sort of harder to do the same with George Washington.

Quote:
To be honest Optimus Prime did do a lot cooler stuff than everybody else on the chart.

Quote:
Uhm, it could also be that there is simply much more known about certain figures than about others.

Reports of Sokrates' life are rather scarce and might be unfalsifiable. Reports of Optimus Prime's life are incredibly detailed and span many volumes of books, comics, series and movies.

It might also be that certain people have an interesting personal life, while there are other people who are important for the work they have done. While Gandhi did many things in his life and there are accounts of his actions and impact... Isaac Newton's importance rests in science.

While Gandhi's impact is anecdotal and societal in nature and therefore will shine in his personal article... Isaac Newton's impact is mostly scientific in nature and will shine in countless articles of of mathematics and physics (despite Isaac Newton being arguable one of the most important figures in human history).


Conclusion: Western civilization is doomed. Or, Reddit is full of morons, not sure which to choose.


Some of you guys keep whining about there not being enough effort put into blog posts. THIS is a perfect blog post, mostly because it speaks for itself. Just put that chart up, along with the Reddit comments up on the front page and I guarantee it will get more attention than the blog posts about obscure nuances of Wikipedia. If you could link any of the Reddit commentators to actual Wikipedia accounts that would be bonus but even without it, it's still good to go.


Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:20 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Volunteer Marek wrote:
Some of you guys keep whining about there not being enough effort put into blog posts. THIS is a perfect blog post, mostly because it speaks for itself. Just put that chart up, along with the Reddit comments up on the front page and I guarantee it will get more attention than the blog posts about obscure nuances of Wikipedia. If you could link any of the Reddit commentators to actual Wikipedia accounts that would be bonus but even without it, it's still good to go.

Sounds good to me. I can expand it with a few more quotes. Hersch?

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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
thekohser wrote:
The Devil's Advocate wrote:
I don't know about all the others, but obviously all of that together with the bio is substantially more material than is devoted to Optimus Prime.

Obviously, the problem is that Optimus Prime needs many more spin-off articles.


I ended up taking the Optimus Prime Wikipedia article and breaking it up into the various incarnations of Optimus Prime over the years to make it more managable at Wikialpha. That way there is a smaller article about the characters from trh 1984 TV series, a smaller article about the evil mirror universe Optimus Prime from the Fun Publications comics, and a smaller article about the guy in the 2007 movie, etc. It allowed more specific articles on a more managable size.

I've also managed to do something really nice on Wikialpha that wouldn't be possible on either Wikipedia OR a dedicated Transformers wiki, which is start articles on third party manufactured Transformers, like the various accessories and original characters made by small companies to suppliment the Transformers line. On Wikipedia articles on these items would be quickly deleted as non-notable. On the dedicated Transformers wiki, they would be deleted because they not official Hasbro/Takara items. The current page listing the third party manufactured Transformers toys is the most read page on Wikialpha! Why? Because people want to read it, but no other wiki would keep that information. So it's cool to have a niche.

http://en.wikialpha.org/wiki/Third_party_Transformer

Anyways, for people who complain that article X is bigger than article Y, I don't see a problem. There is no rule saying articles must be sized by social importance. Most likely two completely different groups were involved in writing article on George Washington and Optimus Prime. They didn't compare notes when they wrote them. They didn't say "Okay, you make sure the documented history of Washington is larger than then fictional history of Optimus Prime when we write it, because we don't want to look silly."

Fact of the matter is fictional characters will always have an advantage in writing minute detail since ALL of their "lives" are documented. No one was standing next to George Washington ever hour of the day writing stories about him for his whole adult life. Plus Geroge Washington died, fictional characters keep going. Their article will continue to grow while George will eventually get an article that says everything he did of note in his life. Someone can always make another movie or TV show with Optimus Prime, even after the voice actor, writer and artist who made him have died. Optimus will probably continue to have a longer and longer article for a LONG time to come. You'll have to either split it up or remove details as more information comes along.


Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:12 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Mathewignash wrote:
Fact of the matter is fictional characters will always have an advantage in writing minute detail since ALL of their "lives" are documented. No one was standing next to George Washington ever hour of the day writing stories about him for his whole adult life. Plus Geroge Washington died, fictional characters keep going. Their article will continue to grow while George will eventually get an article that says everything he did of note in his life. Someone can always make another movie or TV show with Optimus Prime, even after the voice actor, writer and artist who made him have died. Optimus will probably continue to have a longer and longer article for a LONG time to come. You'll have to either split it up or remove details as more information comes along.

Excuse me, sir, but I have to ask: which is more important for schoolchildren to learn about, George Washington or a cartoon robot?

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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
EricBarbour wrote:
Mathewignash wrote:
Fact of the matter is fictional characters will always have an advantage in writing minute detail since ALL of their "lives" are documented. No one was standing next to George Washington ever hour of the day writing stories about him for his whole adult life. Plus Geroge Washington died, fictional characters keep going. Their article will continue to grow while George will eventually get an article that says everything he did of note in his life. Someone can always make another movie or TV show with Optimus Prime, even after the voice actor, writer and artist who made him have died. Optimus will probably continue to have a longer and longer article for a LONG time to come. You'll have to either split it up or remove details as more information comes along.

Excuse me, sir, but I have to ask: which is more important for schoolchildren to learn about, George Washington or a cartoon robot?


I'd certainly say George Washington is more important to a student, but that doesn't mean that there is any size limit on less "important" articles does it? While Washington is more important, there may simply be more information that exists about any one modern fictional character.

Should I go around cutting information out of "unimportant" articles because "This article is less important than George Washington, so it MUST be shorter!"? No.


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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Mathewignash wrote:
EricBarbour wrote:
Mathewignash wrote:
Fact of the matter is fictional characters will always have an advantage in writing minute detail since ALL of their "lives" are documented. No one was standing next to George Washington ever hour of the day writing stories about him for his whole adult life. Plus Geroge Washington died, fictional characters keep going. Their article will continue to grow while George will eventually get an article that says everything he did of note in his life. Someone can always make another movie or TV show with Optimus Prime, even after the voice actor, writer and artist who made him have died. Optimus will probably continue to have a longer and longer article for a LONG time to come. You'll have to either split it up or remove details as more information comes along.

Excuse me, sir, but I have to ask: which is more important for schoolchildren to learn about, George Washington or a cartoon robot?


I'd certainly say George Washington is more important to a student, but that doesn't mean that there is any size limit on less "important" articles does it? While Washington is more important, there may simply be more information that exists about any one modern fictional character.

Should I go around cutting information out of "unimportant" articles because "This article is less important than George Washington, so it MUST be shorter!"? No.

That Wikipedia is overrun by mouthbreathers without the wit to understand the purpose of an encyclopedia or the ability to improve the many, many topics of actual worth for an encyclopedia is axiomatic. Part of our mission here is to remind people that incompetent people, with the wrong interests, make up a large portion of the website's active editors. Many of them rise to positions of influence over policy and the overall direction of the website. They are (as you are) precisely the wrong kind of people to have any involvement in a supposedly educational project dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge. I know that you will probably never understand this. That you continue to edit freely there is another piece of evidence of Wikipedia's failings. Keep it up!


Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:02 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
DanMurphy wrote:
That Wikipedia is overrun by mouthbreathers without the wit to understand the purpose of an encyclopedia or the ability to improve the many, many topics of actual worth for an encyclopedia is axiomatic. Part of our mission here is to remind people that incompetent people, with the wrong interests, make up a large portion of the website's active editors. Many of them rise to positions of influence over policy and the overall direction of the website. They are (as you are) precisely the wrong kind of people to have any involvement in a supposedly educational project dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge. I know that you will probably never understand this. That you continue to edit freely there is another piece of evidence of Wikipedia's failings. Keep it up!

:D

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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
DanMurphy wrote:
That Wikipedia is overrun by mouthbreathers without the wit to understand the purpose of an encyclopedia or the ability to improve the many, many topics of actual worth for an encyclopedia is axiomatic. Part of our mission here is to remind people that incompetent people, with the wrong interests, make up a large portion of the website's active editors. Many of them rise to positions of influence over policy and the overall direction of the website. They are (as you are) precisely the wrong kind of people to have any involvement in a supposedly educational project dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge. I know that you will probably never understand this. That you continue to edit freely there is another piece of evidence of Wikipedia's failings. Keep it up!


+1

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:43 am WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
This seems to miss the point. Size and critical importance do not always corrspeonde. An article which is less important in education may still have more text in it than an important one. There is no injustice in that. Size can have more to do with interest or even just the raw amount of data. There is simply more DATA on the "life" of some popular fictional character than a 200+ year dead US president!

Human beings seem to have a preoccupation with size. Look at all the nature specials where they made a big deal out of the biggest shark or spider or whatever other animal. Does it make them more important in nature because they are bigger? Some wikipedia editors seem to want to FORCE important articles to be the biggest. Failing that, they artifically make them bigger by trying to shrinking other articles, making their article bigger by comparison. Seems like some sort of insecuirty issue. Their pet "important" article has to be the big article! They are emotionally unable to cope with an unimportant article being larger. The problem is with the editors' emotions, not with the article lengths.

I mean look at this examples here. Calling people names like "mouthbreahers" just for writing an artcile on wikipedia that isn't of "worth". That's insecurity!

Unlike a regular book encyclopedia, wikipedia doesn't have a set number of pages. They don't have to cut one article just because another is longer.

Can you honestly answer this: Does the quality of the George Washing article diminish because Optimus Prime's article is longer? Will Washington's article suddenly become better if the Optimus prime article is cut in size?


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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
DanMurphy wrote:
That Wikipedia is overrun by mouthbreathers without the wit to understand the purpose of an encyclopedia or the ability to improve the many, many topics of actual worth for an encyclopedia is axiomatic. Part of our mission here is to remind people that incompetent people, with the wrong interests, make up a large portion of the website's active editors. Many of them rise to positions of influence over policy and the overall direction of the website. They are (as you are) precisely the wrong kind of people to have any involvement in a supposedly educational project dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge. I know that you will probably never understand this. That you continue to edit freely there is another piece of evidence of Wikipedia's failings. Keep it up!


Intellectual snobbery. Your argument basically boils down to 'only knowledge a select group of <insert personal criteria here> should be available'.


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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
If people with childish interests were driven away with sticks, the overall quality of the encyclopedia would go up, yes. The cancer of low standards -- of writing, of research, of contextualization, starts with people like you.

I was looking at the the article on "Pi" the other day, and it had a section called "pi on antiquity" that would be better titled "pi in pseudoscholarship, as composed by people who think reading half a page of an obscure book in google books snippet view makes them qualified."

Keep up the good work!


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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Anroth wrote:
DanMurphy wrote:
That Wikipedia is overrun by mouthbreathers without the wit to understand the purpose of an encyclopedia or the ability to improve the many, many topics of actual worth for an encyclopedia is axiomatic. Part of our mission here is to remind people that incompetent people, with the wrong interests, make up a large portion of the website's active editors. Many of them rise to positions of influence over policy and the overall direction of the website. They are (as you are) precisely the wrong kind of people to have any involvement in a supposedly educational project dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge. I know that you will probably never understand this. That you continue to edit freely there is another piece of evidence of Wikipedia's failings. Keep it up!


Intellectual snobbery. Your argument basically boils down to 'only knowledge a select group of <insert personal criteria here> should be available'.

Yes, I am an elitist in its broadest sense. In this case the "elite" should be highly educated people with the appropriate interests. "Snobbery?" If having standards and recognizing that not all are qualified to do that type of work makes me a snob, then I'll wear the label with pride.


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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
DanMurphy wrote:
If people with childish interests were driven away with sticks, the overall quality of the encyclopedia would go up, yes. The cancer of low standards -- of writing, of research, of contextualization, starts with people like you.


The quality would go up. The readers would drop a hundredfold. And it would cease to be a viable project. You dont have to like the non-educational (in your opinion) articles, but the reality is they are what allows Wikipedia to have articles on serious subjects.


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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Anroth wrote:
DanMurphy wrote:
If people with childish interests were driven away with sticks, the overall quality of the encyclopedia would go up, yes. The cancer of low standards -- of writing, of research, of contextualization, starts with people like you.


The quality would go up. The readers would drop a hundredfold. And it would cease to be a viable project. You dont have to like the non-educational (in your opinion) articles, but the reality is they are what allows Wikipedia to have articles on serious subjects.

Why on earth would it "cease to be a viable" project if all the traffic to the articles on porn stars, video games, and my little pony dried up as the quality of the educational material improves? Why should anyone give a shit about readership in general?


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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
The traffic stats do not support the contention that the nonacademic fluff articles are what is sustaining Wikipedia. Pop culture icons like Lady Gaga, perhaps, but Optimus Prime? Poor Optimus is hardly a traffic draw: Optimus got 64,202 views last month, making it the #7454th most read article. Big woop. George Washington, on the other hand, got 263,904, and Lady Gaga 634,285. ("Wiki", which is normally very near the top of the stats, got 2,207,189 in the same time period.)

Cutting Optimus loose would cost Wikipedia something like 0.1% of its readership.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:56 pm WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
http://stats.grok.se/en/top (Apologies, there is probably a better way to filter it but you can see what I am getting at)

If we took the fluff out of that it would be a seriously hefty chunk gone.

Although it does neatly illustrate that it is an opinion argument. Who are the people to say that Rihanna shouldnt be there. Would John Lennon pass as non-academic fluff? If we start down that route there are thousands of artists, musicians, actors etc who, in their time, were (and still are) fluff. Should they all go as un-academic?

Complaining that articles are badly written - fine. Complaining that 'other people like stuff that I dont like' is a colossal waste of time. Its disagreeing with the fundemental purpose of wikipedia. If people want to create an educational only intellectual elite encyclopedia, feel free to do so. It would be an amazingly boring place. Educational on its core subjects yes, but boring.

Ranting at wikipedia for not being one is effectively leeching off Wikipedia's popularity & reputation to raise ones own profile. Because no one with half a brain is actually going to think they can change Wikipedia's scope in that direction.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:34 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Mathewignash wrote:
There is simply more DATA on the "life" of some popular fictional character than a 200+ year dead US president!

Is there? When you take into account all the correspondence to form and about, the vartious minutes or transcripts of meetings, local news reports... ?
Also Wikipedia is meant to favour high quality secondary sources. Are there really more such sources about Optimus Prime than about President Whatsit? Maybe some Shakespearian or Dickensian characters have a huge number of high quality sources about them and there is a lot of material about the fictionalised Jesus, but those are the types fo subjects thta would appear in mainstream encyclopedias anyway.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:01 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Anroth wrote:
The quality would go up. The readers would drop a hundredfold. And it would cease to be a viable project. You dont have to like the non-educational (in your opinion) articles, but the reality is they are what allows Wikipedia to have articles on serious subjects.

Sorry, it's increasingly clear that this won't wash anymore. You might have been able to make such a case back in 2005, but today the insiders have managed to harden their
control over the management of the database and userbase. Instead of installing people who had educational goals, Wikipedia is controlled by a semi-random mishmash of
reasonable people, twits, Doctor Who fans, manchildren, and completely idiotic patrollers like Beeblebrox, Fram and Ckatz. Most of these mutants don't give a hang about
"education", Wikipedia is their little Boy-Man Clubhouse, replete with the "NO GURLS ALLOWED" sign and the secret handshakes.

I will keep saying it: they put in the wrong people. Any good content is going to decline and be damaged, whilst the cartoon articles and the Doctor Who articles and
the gaming articles and the military-history articles will take over. Very few people are watching over the "useful educational content".

Evidently you never saw my chart of Wikiproject traffic stats, made last year. So here it is.
Image

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:29 pm WWW
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
So? What you want is Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Whining about people using wikipedia for stuff you dont consider informative/educational is just a waste of time. Perhaps you should start to learn to live with it.

Criticise it for its poor quality writing, have a go at the shoddy management and money-handling, but complaining about its basic premise - that of the encyclopedia anyone can edit, thats just idiotic. You clearly want a closed shop populated by subject matter experts with full editorial control. Well that already exists.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:53 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Anroth wrote:
So? What you want is Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Whining about people using wikipedia for stuff you dont consider informative/educational is just a waste of time. Perhaps you should start to learn to live with it.

Criticise it for its poor quality writing, have a go at the shoddy management and money-handling, but complaining about its basic premise - that of the encyclopedia anyone can edit, thats just idiotic. You clearly want a closed shop populated by subject matter experts with full editorial control. Well that already exists.



It is a case of false advertising. It presents itself as an educational resource, that it is engaged in writing articles on the sciences, literature, history, etc. Where in reality it is all about cartoon characters, and celebrity.

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:17 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
DanMurphy wrote:
If people with childish interests were driven away with sticks, the overall quality of the encyclopedia would go up, yes. The cancer of low standards -- of writing, of research, of contextualization, starts with people like you.


I don't like to insult people online, but in your case, I'll make an exception. You are clearly delusional.

Deleting Optimus Prime will NOT make Washington's article any better. Writing standards are a different subject, but that was not my question!

Wikipedia is NOT supposed to be an encyclopedia edited by intellectual snobs, it's supposed to be edited by its readers.

Now, if you want to start "Elitopedia", where every editor MUST have a degree in the subject they edit, I'm sure you would get some meaty articles on a few subjects, but no where near the body of useful knowledge Wikipedia has.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:05 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
lilburne wrote:
It is a case of false advertising. It presents itself as an educational resource, that it is engaged in writing articles on the sciences, literature, history, etc. Where in reality it is all about cartoon characters, and celebrity.


Where is Wikipedia advertised as ONLY being about sciences, literature, history exactly?


Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:08 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Mathewignash wrote:
DanMurphy wrote:
If people with childish interests were driven away with sticks, the overall quality of the encyclopedia would go up, yes. The cancer of low standards -- of writing, of research, of contextualization, starts with people like you.


I don't like to insult people online, but in your case, I'll make an exception. You are clearly delusional.

Deleting Optimus Prime will NOT make Washington's article any better. Writing standards are a different subject, but that was not my question!

Wikipedia is NOT supposed to be an encyclopedia edited by intellectual snobs, it's supposed to be edited by its readers.

Now, if you want to start "Elitopedia", where every editor MUST have a degree in the subject they edit, I'm sure you would get some meaty articles on a few subjects, but no where near the body of useful knowledge Wikipedia has.


Yes, we're in agreement that as currently designed Wikipedia is not meant to be educated by expert, or even merely competent, people.

Keep at it boyo and maybe someday they'll elect you to Handicapper General Arbcom!


Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:39 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Mathewignash wrote:
DanMurphy wrote:
If people with childish interests were driven away with sticks, the overall quality of the encyclopedia would go up, yes. The cancer of low standards -- of writing, of research, of contextualization, starts with people like you.


I don't like to insult people online, but in your case, I'll make an exception. You are clearly delusional.

Deleting Optimus Prime will NOT make Washington's article any better. Writing standards are a different subject, but that was not my question!

Wikipedia is NOT supposed to be an encyclopedia edited by intellectual snobs, it's supposed to be edited by its readers.

Now, if you want to start "Elitopedia", where every editor MUST have a degree in the subject they edit, I'm sure you would get some meaty articles on a few subjects, but no where near the body of useful knowledge Wikipedia has.


Mr. Murphy is a credentialled professional with a respected record. You are an uppity child with an entirely-too-enlarged self-worth who should shut up, pay attention and learn something from people who know what they are talking about.

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:59 pm
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Mathewignash wrote:
lilburne wrote:
It is a case of false advertising. It presents itself as an educational resource, that it is engaged in writing articles on the sciences, literature, history, etc. Where in reality it is all about cartoon characters, and celebrity.


Where is Wikipedia advertised as ONLY being about sciences, literature, history exactly?


When they start pleading for money they don't feature the 100s of articles on cartoon characters.

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Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:09 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Notvelty wrote:
Mathewignash wrote:
DanMurphy wrote:
If people with childish interests were driven away with sticks, the overall quality of the encyclopedia would go up, yes. The cancer of low standards -- of writing, of research, of contextualization, starts with people like you.


I don't like to insult people online, but in your case, I'll make an exception. You are clearly delusional.

Deleting Optimus Prime will NOT make Washington's article any better. Writing standards are a different subject, but that was not my question!

Wikipedia is NOT supposed to be an encyclopedia edited by intellectual snobs, it's supposed to be edited by its readers.

Now, if you want to start "Elitopedia", where every editor MUST have a degree in the subject they edit, I'm sure you would get some meaty articles on a few subjects, but no where near the body of useful knowledge Wikipedia has.


Mr. Murphy is a credentialled professional with a respected record. You are an uppity child with an entirely-too-enlarged self-worth who should shut up, pay attention and learn something from people who know what they are talking about.

Let's wind down the insults, everybody.

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Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:42 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
lilburne wrote:
Mathewignash wrote:
lilburne wrote:
It is a case of false advertising. It presents itself as an educational resource, that it is engaged in writing articles on the sciences, literature, history, etc. Where in reality it is all about cartoon characters, and celebrity.


Where is Wikipedia advertised as ONLY being about sciences, literature, history exactly?


When they start pleading for money they don't feature the 100s of articles on cartoon characters.


Advertising some things Wikipedia HAS does not exclude the other items it offers.

I think maybe a some type of filter would help. Perhaps we could get someone to set a preference the level of "snobbery" each reader requires. At level zero it allows everything through. At the lowest level it gets rid of anything low brow (porn, drugs, fart jokes). Mid level it gets rid of pop culture, minor celebrities, etc. At the highest levels it would only allow you to view articles that have extensive peer reviews and "A" ratings in the academic subjects.

Looking to the opposite extreme of inclusion... It would be nice to see a site that merges Encyclopedias databases together somewhere and allow the reader to set his preferences. You just check off which wikis you want to include in your viewing... Wikipedia, Conservapedia, the Wookeepedia, whatever. You could even set priorities when wikis conflict on articles with the same name. Someone should have that some day and Wikipedia could be one piece of that puzzle.

I could go to a site and set it to combine the databases of whichever wikis I wish to follow, which would have everything, Dan would have his choice, which would probably be vastly different.


Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:55 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
EricBarbour wrote:
Mathewignash wrote:
Fact of the matter is fictional characters will always have an advantage in writing minute detail since ALL of their "lives" are documented. No one was standing next to George Washington ever hour of the day writing stories about him for his whole adult life. Plus Geroge Washington died, fictional characters keep going. Their article will continue to grow while George will eventually get an article that says everything he did of note in his life. Someone can always make another movie or TV show with Optimus Prime, even after the voice actor, writer and artist who made him have died. Optimus will probably continue to have a longer and longer article for a LONG time to come. You'll have to either split it up or remove details as more information comes along.

Excuse me, sir, but I have to ask: which is more important for schoolchildren to learn about, George Washington or a cartoon robot?


Thank you both. I was thinking I would have to look up "Optimus Prime", having never heard of him/it.


Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:18 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
lilburne wrote:
Anroth wrote:
So? What you want is Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Whining about people using wikipedia for stuff you dont consider informative/educational is just a waste of time. Perhaps you should start to learn to live with it.

Criticise it for its poor quality writing, have a go at the shoddy management and money-handling, but complaining about its basic premise - that of the encyclopedia anyone can edit, thats just idiotic. You clearly want a closed shop populated by subject matter experts with full editorial control. Well that already exists.



It is a case of false advertising. It presents itself as an educational resource, that it is engaged in writing articles on the sciences, literature, history, etc. Where in reality it is all about cartoon characters, and celebrity.


And turgid white penises.

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Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:43 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
tarantino wrote:
And turgid white penises.

I wonder what the Cock-Count is standing at today. Last I heard it was in the 3000-photo area.

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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Image

*Ahem*
Back on topic. Optimus Prime, Photo credit Mathew Ignash

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Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:30 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia: ... s#Articles

List of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition monsters (T-H-L) is currently the largest article on Wikipedia. How does that stand up to George Washington and Optimus Prime?

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Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:00 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
lilburne wrote:
It is a case of false advertising. It presents itself as an educational resource, that it is engaged in writing articles on the sciences, literature, history, etc. Where in reality it is all about cartoon characters, and celebrity.


A fair point, but not exactly false. It can be an educational resource. Its also a resource for people who want to look up recreational stuff. Libraries without a decent selection tend not to attract many visitors... I understand his point. But its a waste of time complaining your apple isnt a banana when you have a grocers next door...

RE D&D yeah I am lost on that one. I can see some of the monsters passing for notability, but thats just bizarre. I favour the trans-wiki approach for that level of detail anyway.


Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:29 am
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Unread post Re: Importance of Historical Figures
Said this quite a few times before but the issue here is that they are trying to keep Wikipedia a monolithic entity - one encyclopedia, one set of rules.

The reality is that they should hack it up into appropriate different sets, the serious stuff: science, history, the low brow, Power Rangers and My Little Pony if they so wish.

Different rules for different sections, and the scientists then need not be embarrassed by having to play in the sandpit with the little kids.

Then Wikipedia can present it as a single entity if it so wishes (in the same way Google can provide a single way into the whole of the web) or present it as a serious work, or frivolous or whatever.

These are small issues of design with the side-effect of making the whole thing more manageable.

We know, however, that any suggestions for change or improvement are going to be ignored. WMF like it how it is, a mess, something that will never be finished, something that can be talked about and fund-raised for, but ultimately is a failure.

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