|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Free Software Faults Part 2
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Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Free Software Faults Part 2
From: Ruben Safir
Organization: Brooklyn Linux Solutions
X-Mailer: Ximian Evolution 1.4.4
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 02:05:58 -0500
Let's start with a celebrity flame - from a Grammy nominated songwriter,
1. A monkey's can't speak or write.
2.No,i meant details.
; 3.The problem is you
Wikipedias looking better all the time; but against me you have
no chance at all. Face it andy,you just can't keep up,stop
making a fool of yourself. Unless you enjoy looking like a
jackass. In that case,bray away donkey boy.
Mr.Pete Holly, President/CEO, Look's Music International.
Classy. You can find Mr Holly's entirely sane-and-normal looking website
here (http://www.peteholly.com/) - it's highly recommended.
On the subject of canine metaphors:
Wikipedia is not a panacea, but it fits a key role in knowledge
access. Whatever we may think about it, whatever our feelings,
it has reached a critical mass and it's there to stay. So let's
improve it instead of wasting time criticizing it, because any
critic today is actually woth a flea bite on a dog : annoying,
but useless, and in the end the flea gets scratched away.
All encylopedias are a rediculous joke stuck in the trough of a
minor ripple in history. I own a set of pre-WW1 British
encylopedias. They're hilarious.
But Wikipedia is also one of the greatest source of FACTS on the
Don't spoil it for everyone becuase you're don't know the
difference between fact and truth.
"For now, however, it's the chasm between Wikipedia's rude claim
to be an "encyclopedia", and the banal reality of trashy, badly
written trivia that causes so many people to be upset about it.
It is an unwarranted assumption of authority."
Even if that were true, it wouldn't matter.
No argument should be made from authority. Ever. That means no
good encyclopedia should be written from authority.
And, if you think Wikipedia, by allowing anyone to edit, claims
authority, you're of questionable mental fitness.
Amazing. Just savour that one for a moment.
This is NOT journalism. This is pathetic mudslinging. I am no
wikipedia fanboy but I didn't like the tone of the article at
With recent articles by Andrew Orlowski, such as that titled,
"There's no Wikipedia entry for 'moral responsibility'", it
becomes clear that The Register has lost any credibility
whatsoever. The article is strewn with blatant factual errors
and FUD fallacies.
Do you have nothing else to do with your life but attack hard-
working people groundlessly and stupidly in public?
You're a fucking idiot.
I supose I could continue to mimic your article by blaming the
Register for publishing it but I've already lost interest.
Why do you hate Wikipedia so much? Do you think we
should have to PAY for access to information like that?
That's elitest, that only the rich should have access to
information. Do you own a company that requires users to
pay for information similar to that of Wikipedia's?
I'm surprised that as a librarian you would hate such a
vast knowledge resource like Wikipedia.
Here's one that manages to combine the Flood The Area
With Large Numbers counterattack together with the
Public Are Stupid If They Believe Us parry.
Take note, and marvel:
At present Wikipedia claims more than 860,000
articles of which I would wager that a relative
handful contain either vandalism, errors of
great significance or malicious content.
What is truly a sad commentary is that the
public at large apparently cannot be trusted to
treat such a facility with respect and
consideration. A few cowardly miscreants feeling
compelled to satisify their juvenile impulses by
vandalising the otherwise well-intentioned work
Really it's no different than scrawling
obsenities on an overpass or public restroom
except that the effect goes beyond mere visual
At the end of the day, however, I believe that
Wikipedia, for all its warts, does a lot more
good than harm.
That's great news, Ben. Maybe email spam has simply been
part of the conditioning process, so that we must in
future expect all good information to be picked out,
like truffles, from a mass of scrawled toilet
How ironic that a member of the media (and an
online one at that) criticise a project like
Wikipedia for lack of moral responsibility.
News publications make their living publishing
stories and front page scandals on shock value,
and go to little effort to ensure the validity
of their sources.
When a particular scandal has to be withdrawn,
we find a tiny mention tucked away deep inside a
little read section, and the blame falls upon
the reader for not reading every word of the
publication to locate the retraction.
The media is in absolutely no position to get
high and mighty on Wikipedia for their nobel
project. Defacement is hard work to keep on top
of. Editors have to watch edits to pages they
work on like a hawk for vandalism, and suspect
information isn't always removed until it's
verified to be false.
Which will bring great comfort to everyone.
You don't offer an intelligent debate, you come
off as ranting and raving about something that
given your point of view isn't that important.
After all it is just a website for those who
participate in using it. Are you saying that
this really is a valid source for resource and
that's why you spent so much time investigating
Hey, for someone whose vocabulary is as replete
as yours, you sure sound as if you've had way
too many lattes over in Berkeley. Or maybe
you're not on caffeine at all, but some other
mind-bending substance. What is it you really
have against open-ended encyclopedias? Sounds to
me like you're all about political correctness,
which of course is simply another name for
cultural Marxism. I hate to overgeneralize, but
it is tue you folks almost always think that
way. fellow who pulled the stunt is the one who
was in the wrong, not Wikipedia.
Crawl your way back to your ACLU hole and bury
yourself pretentious platitudes. Oh, and enjoy
We live in a world where you can rarely get
three people to agree on pizza toppings, yet you
expect the collective contributions of thousands
of people to miraculously form The Truth?
Wikipedia, by its very nature, IS NOT a
definitive resource. Anyone who looks at
Wikipedia and thinks "oh, this MUST be accurate
because it has 'pedia' in it" is simply not
thinking. The main page for Wikipedia says,
quote, "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free
encyclopedia that anyone can edit." How much
brain power does it take to make the connection
between "something that anyone can edit" and
"may not be entirely accurate"?
And here's one left tantalisingly open. In its
One question: did you use any of your
employer's time and resources as well as
the public's money to produce your
article on Wikipedia? and if so, ....
If so, ... er, what?
We have no idea. Presumably the Hive Mind of
thar interweb will complete it - like a blook
(http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/14/blooker_prize/) or a flook
Speaking of which, here's a classical refutation
of the criticism that WIkipedia is er, rubbish:
I think your article fails to genuinely
assess the problem at hand.
The problem here is not 'moral
responsibility' per se, but that people
make wikipedia out to be something its
not. NO reasonable person would ever
consider wikipedia a valid source for
any research. Its more like a collective
knowlege repository, and collective
knowlege is by defenition imperfect. Its
all based on the idea that with enough
people participating the truth will come
But the whole analysis that wikipedia is
being subjected to focuses on the
'[encyclo]pedia' part of its name,
leaving out the 'wiki' part of it. The
beauty of the system is that if there is
something wrong on a bio, or any other
article, whoever spots it can change it.
For your part, if there is no entry for
'moral responsibility' you have the
power to suggest its creation. Locking
down wikipedia can only make the problem
worse because the universal availability
of power over the articles, wikipedia's
strongest check, that will be the first
to go (Notice, only registered users can
now suggest articles, so your check of
creating 'moral responsibility' is no
longer there, thanks to this
I see this debate as going to the heart
of the internet. Participation is the
key rather than regulation. More opennes
and more discussion, even where flaws
come out, is preferable to less openness
and less discussion where there is more
fact checking. We can't go shutting
things down because they get something
wrong, we should work to help them get
it right, ESPECIALLY where, as in this
case, the power is right there to do it.
P.S. The accusation that started all
this was that he was involved in the
Kennedy assassination conspiricy. Come
on, what a crazy accusation. How
libelous is that? its more like satire
It's another universe out there, in
Up, up and away! A young Wikipedian takes to the
The last word on moral responsibility comes from
star reader Gerry Steele in Belfast - the chap
who at the weekend promised, "May your carear
rest in peace Mr Orlowski." (sic)
As with Edward, all Gerry's typos are his own.
And he produces the answer we've been looking
for on the question of moral responsibility.
Take it away, Gerry:
I do not normally comment on opinion
articles in press but I believe your
article to be particularly insidious.
Your criticism by proxy of belittling is
a rather amateur attempt to undermime
something that is of use to millions
Whilst the open nature of Wikipedia may
allow vandalism by anyone who deems
themselves bothered to do so, it is a
rare thing. Once you witness how the
vandalism works and how the 'many eyes'
principle of Open Source philosophy
kicks in to rectify any errant
modifications, the moral responsibility
of Wikipedia becomes inherent in the
user network itself.
A non profit organisation such as this
must denounce responsibility as it has
not the means to indemnify its content
as a commercial one might. I note you
also question the quality of the writing
in Wikipedia; Sir I state that any
article to which i refer to (and i refer
to Wikipedia a lot) is of a greater
quality of writing than any article to
which you have put your name that I have
read (particularly this one).
I think I trust the community and its
unseen masses considerably more than the
ramblings and rantings of an
unobjective, unprofessional and clearly
struggling excuse for a Journalist.
Regards G. Steele Belfast, NI.
Take note: "the moral responsibility of
Wikipedia becomes inherent in the user network
itself". Which sounds a fancy way of saying,
"not here, guv".
We have our answer.
So after that selection, why do people scorn
this noble project? If you find yourself
slightly incredulous that the venture gets so
much adulation, don't worry, you're not alone.
Here we go.
Sensitive Wikipedians should look away now -
there's nothing so cruel as a world rejecting
this fine gift:
I've figured out what it is I dislike
about Wiki - it's like a religion. It's
founded on unproven premises; it has
become rigidly hierarchical over time
and in contravention of its state aims;
it vigorously (some would say
fanatically) argues it's case with
tortuous logic designed to misdirect our
attention from its essential logical
flaws; it lays claim to properties it
does not possess; it's a talking-shop
for people more interested in process
than product and is devoted to
convincing the world that facts which
may or may not be true are fact, so
In fact, given that the information
stored in Wiki is not limited to
subjects covered by more traditional
reference sources (eg, Klingon ffs), no
doubt it will at some point claim to be
the "The Truth". There shall be no other
reference but We.
Also like religion, it's a load of
agenda-driven crap dressed up as
respectable thought. Wiki has the
potential to be the last nail in the
coffin of academic rigour, and the
poster-child for the final dumbing down
of human existence.
Just like evolution-deniers, we are
already seeing the popular movement to
sneer at 'experts' and 'academics' as if
they've been oppressing us all through
history with their malicious insistence
on evidence. Might we one day see
It is easy to show that Wikipedia is
biased, inaccurate and powerful. The
situation is growing more so with every
day. Some day somebody at Wikipedia is
going to pay the piper on this one but
until that day arrives the amount of
damage that is going to be done to
people and to history will be intensive.
"The first, and the most immediately
absurd of these two defenses, is that
since nothing at all can be trusted, er,
"definitively", then Wikipedia can't be
trusted either." So does that mean we
shouldn't believe those who make such a
statement? Well, that's easy to fix,
just delete the wikipedia.org DNS entry
and we'll al be none the worse for it.
It actually sounds more like the
childhood riddle: "If I say "I always
lie", can you believe me?"