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Wikipedia For Schools DVD Released

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the nothing-naughty dept.

Education 132

David Gerard writes "SOS Children's Villages has released the 2008/9 Wikipedia Selection for Schools5500 checked and reviewed articles matching the English National Curriculum, produced by SOS for use in their own schools in developing countries. The 2007 edition was a huge success, with distributions to schools in four countries, use by the Hole in the Wall education project, thousands of downloads and disks and around 6000 unique IPs a day visiting the online version — the most successful end-user distribution version of Wikipedia to date."

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132 comments

14,000 not 6,000 (4, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475157)

Just after I submitted this, Andrew Cates from SOS Children's Villages corrected the hits on the site - it was actually 14,000 a day, not 6,000!

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (2, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475267)

Just after I submitted this, Andrew Cates from SOS Children's Villages corrected the hits on the site - it was actually 14,000 a day, not 6,000!

{{fact}}

Also, no original research, please.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (1)

BozMo (1104413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475441)

Have a look at the traffic page on Alexa (http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/schools-wikipedia.org) then. You can even compare with other Wikipedia spin offs as an Alexa graph and see how many weeks ago the online schools wikipedia overtook Citi*****.org

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475531)

To be fair, the Schools Wikipedia will be gaining popularity from being a Wikipedia distro, whereas Citizendium is a separate project. One that's proceeding quite well and methodically. Despite some personality clashes, Wikipedia and CZ are fundamentally on the same side: to make good, free educational content available to the world. Everyone wins.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (1, Informative)

M1rth (790840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475661)

I've read this blog [livejournal.com] . I know how wikipedia works.

Or rather... how it doesn't work at all.

The worst thing you could do is feed the Wikipedia brand of nonsense to kids as "educational" material. Might as well give them a set of unshielded wires and an electric socket and tell them to learn about electricity. And it's not just the situations this Parker Peters describes above: you people fuck up [blogspot.com] on a pretty regular [wikitruth.info] basis.

Well? I'm not comfortable knowing an "encyclopedia" infested with this kind of behavior is being given to kids as "educational" and "correct" learning material. How do you justify it?

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (4, Funny)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475939)

Your post is non-NPV, and uses blogs as sources. Please edit the PV, and find Verifiable sources or it will be reverted.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (1)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 5 years ago | (#25478463)

Policy statements and guidelines are not subject to the rules you mention and are subject to IAL. Kiss it.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475951)

You know, they actually did a study. There is a *far* lower error rate on wikipedia than, say, the encyclopedia brittanica. Odd, yes, but true.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (2, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476043)

You know, they actually did a study. There is a *far* lower error rate on wikipedia than, say, the encyclopedia brittanica. Odd, yes, but true.

Truthy, not true. Odd no, manipulated yes. As pointed out above, two random anonymous guys from Wikipedia disproved the research. If you trust that, you are the wikipedia target market.

P.S. I have some amazing Nevada seafront property for sale at a bargain price, interested?

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (4, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477371)

you seem a little confused [slashdot.org] .

there's nothing wrong with getting your info from Wikipedia if you understand the nature of your media source. there are several different approaches to Wikipedia info, but they primarily fall into 3 groups:

  • the most common type are the casual internet surfer. they take everything at face value and make no distinction between a blog post and an edited news article. to them truth is whatever they read (first).
  • then there are the Wikipedia skeptics. if it's not written by a traditional paid publication, they don't trust it. in reality they're not much more discerning than the casual user; they just accept what the Mainstream Media says/prints at face value. to them truth is what the Washington Post/Britannica/CNN/Newsweek says it is.
  • lastly, there are the media omnivores. they get their information from a wide variety of sources--professional/personal blogs, independent media, social news aggregators(Slashdot, digg, del.ico.us, etc.), Reuters/BBC/The New Yorker/etc., science journals, academic publications, and anything else that comes along (e.g. ArsTechnica, New Scientist, Answers.com/Wikipedia/Britannica, etc.). they will generally get their information from a wide variety of media sources to account for the inherent biases of each source. they also understand how Wikipedia works and follow the citation links to verify the info they read. being more astute media consumers, they actually try to make an effort to dig deeper rather than taking what they read at face value--regardless of whether it's Britannica, Wikipedia, or Joe Schmoe's blog.

if you're not a discerning person, it doesn't matter whether you get your info from Britannica or Wikipedia, both have about the same level of accuracy, though Wikipedia generally has fewer errors by volume. despite the air of superiority they put on, group #2 is simply deluding themselves by attributing a false sense of accuracy to commercial publications while dismissing collaborative editing off-hand. group #3 is at least objective enough to recognize that all media sources have errors and biases because their authors are all human. by accessing a diverse range of media sources and verifying published information, they have an easier time obtaining accurate info and are less susceptible to misinformation.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25480907)

pointed out above, two random anonymous guys from Wikipedia disproved the research. If you trust that, you are the wikipedia target market.

No, I evaluate my trust based on the sources it links to. It's Wikipedia critics who seem to trust any old hearsay that someone randomly post on a blog/forum, or anything written in the mainstream media, whilst strangely distrusting everything they read in Wikipedia.

And the target market of "people who trust what they read" is, rightly or wrongly, just about everyone. The idea that there exists this major group of people who only believe things when presented with 100% evidence is a myth - and any such people who do fall into that group would have to be sceptical of just about everything they read, including other encyclopedias.

If Wikipedia makes people sceptical of what they read, then that's good. You should be sceptical of everything you read. Wikipedia has succeeded in this, where no other source has.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476009)

Well, if any other encyclopedia had an entry on overstock.com, you might have a point here.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477075)

It is interesting that you find blogs (which is what you used to back your claim) more accurate than the wikipedia.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (2, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477775)

That's because he wrote them.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25478101)

[citation needed]

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25478663)

[citation needed]

Indeed... I took the time to read the blog he's pooh-poohing.

I don't care who wrote it and whether it's the same person or not, they have Gerard pegged - he knows his behavior is indefensible, so he's gone into [Personal Attack] mode right here on Slashdot.

This is of course the same David Gerard who's so "nice" that he regularly cusses people out [wikipedia.org] ... even when they were right all along. [theregister.co.uk]

The evidence is ample. Rather than this mythical "horde" of people who are trying to "ruin" wikipedia while "valiant defenders" like David Gerard stand in their way, wikipedia is simply full of psychopathic game-players who've ruined more articles than they've saved with petty game-playing, internal politics, and a destructive inability to do anything other than engage in edit-wars and ban-wars. The idea that it's an MMORPG, despite a tongue-in-cheek article [wikipedia.org] penned by someone, is pretty apt - the difference being that if some nasty group of psychopaths decides to grief people and "hold territory" in a game like Everquest or World of Warcraft it just ruins someone's day, while when it happens on Wikipedia it has some shitty [usatoday.com] real-life implications [wikipedia.org] ... and not just [valleywag.com] when talking about biographies either, but on serious issues [iht.com] .

It makes me wonder... what else is David Gerard and the whole Wikipedia administration system trying to hide [slashdot.org] ? How many people have they abused, lied about, and falsely accused of being "sockpuppets" for trying to fix the broken wikipedia system?

How many good contributors have been run off of the project because of people like David Gerard who see sockpuppets at every turn, whenever someone disagrees with certain "privileged" members?

Seeing him in action today has been like seeing some insane, paranoid night watchman who jumps at every shadow. Gerard, give it a rest, take a LONG wikibreak, and for god's sakes clear the names of all the people you have wrongly accused.

Who mismodded this? (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25480243)

Ok. Who mismodded this post? It points out some real faults in Wikipedia that give severe concern for the quality of the product being produced.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25477299)

It's over NINE THOUSAND!!

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25479231)

From the http://schools-wikipedia.org/ [schools-wikipedia.org] home page:

This list of articles was then manually sorted for relevance to children, and adult topics were removed.

and

Wikipedia is not necessarily a childsafe environment, has "adult" content.

What exactly are the "adult" contents that were removed? Does this mean things like historical articles referencing war and dictators. I was half thinking about finding a copy for myself to download, but I don't know what the criteria is for censoring an encyclopedia.

Re:14,000 not 6,000 (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25480817)

The sort of stuff that attracts Template:Nopenis [wikimedia.org] . Wikipedia is not censored for taste.

No entry for failed Conservative economic policy? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25475271)

It's a shame the Keynes entry made it in, with its Right Wing mud slant (led in with sexuality, end with Hayek/Friedman hand waving), and left out the recent DISASTER spawned by those foolish Republican/Libertarian/FreeMarket swindlers (see: Iceland bankruptcy).

Re:No entry for failed Conservative economic polic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25475547)

Marked as a Troll, because I dared to mention the Republican/Libertarian/Conservative roots of the economic failure of Iceland and the possibility of a(nother) Republican Global Depression?

Such intellectual timidity, for shame! ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman#Iceland [wikipedia.org]

Re:No entry for failed Conservative economic polic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25478433)

Marked as Troll because you are an idiot.

When you tell lending institutions to lend to anyone or you are racist, this is what happens. When you refuse to reign in the crazy loans and fancy instruments like the Dems did, his is what happens.

And no, I will not cite some dumb ass wikipedia article. Only idiots do that.

Wikipedia fact? (0, Troll)

Ieatsyou (1383005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475289)

Didn't wikipedia just take a hit for being wildly inaccurate? I know it says they've been "checked", but checked by who? I guess its just more evidence that Americas public schools are going to just get more stupid.

Re:Wikipedia fact? (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475515)

Didn't wikipedia just take a hit for being wildly inaccurate? I know it says they've been "checked", but checked by who? I guess its just more evidence that Americas public schools are going to just get more stupid.

SOS Children's Villages schools are not public schools nor are they, generally, America's.

Talk about "wildly inaccurate"!

Re:Wikipedia fact? (5, Informative)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475593)

> Didn't wikipedia just take a hit for being wildly inaccurate?

"The result was that Wikipedia had about 4 errors per article, while Britannica had about 3. However, a pair of endevouring Wikipedians dug a little deeper and discovered that the Wikipedia articles in the sample were, on average, 2.6 times longer than Britannica's - meaning Wikipedia has an error rate far less than Britannica's."
http://science.slashdot.org/science/05/12/15/1352207.shtml?tid=95&tid=14 [slashdot.org]

Re:Wikipedia fact? (0, Troll)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475739)

However, a pair of endevouring Wikipedians dug a little deeper and discovered that the Wikipedia articles in the sample were, on average, 2.6 times longer than Britannica's - meaning Wikipedia has an error rate far less than Britannica's.

The bold's mine, the spelling's the OP's. Right, because a couple of random anonymous guys with a vested interest in inflating their own egos doing statistical research (which can easily be manipulated by anyone with high school statistics knowledge) bent over backwards to make sure they got an answer they liked. Yep, clap clap clap, that's objective and trustworthy. Sure...

This world really could do without wikipedia admins, they are the main reason the site is unreliable. They are so pompous, self-important and vain that they will do anything not to be proven wrong, even if it means adjusting the truth.

Re:Wikipedia fact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476313)

So are you saying they lied about the articles being 2.6 times longer? No? Then shut the fuck up thanks.

Re:Wikipedia fact? (1)

stupido (1353737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25479811)

The Nature study is valid for scientific articles. Read an article about some pseudo-science, ranging from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming [wikipedia.org] to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_addiction [wikipedia.org] and ask yourself if some other encyclopedia would give the 90/10 pro/con coverage to such topics like Wikipedia does.

Re:Wikipedia fact? (3, Informative)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475779)

Despite the fact that you are wrong [bbc.co.uk] , I trust Wikipedia more than most other sources of information. In fact, I would trust Wikipedia before some of the textbooks here in the US [csmonitor.com] . Back in the small town I grew up in we were using really old textbooks in some classes. Of course we rarely got to the end of them, but we thought it pretty funny when we noticed Gerald Ford was the last President mentioned in one of our middle school history books (and this was mid-90's).

Re:Wikipedia fact? (3, Interesting)

mattb112885 (1122739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477197)

Yes, I found it funny in Middle School how our social studies book claimed that Venezuela would run out of oil... in 1980. And I was in middle school in 1992. At least Wikipedia is usually more up-to-date than that.

Re:Wikipedia fact? (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477307)

For those books which do not have to be updated, like grammar or geometry for example, I found the older books in my high school to be better. It seemed like every new edition just kept on dumbing things down, putting in more pretty pictures and needless "in summary" type things, and taking away actual content. Worst of all, the English books would use easier, more common words ...

Re:Wikipedia fact? (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25479315)

1 error on average difference. Come on. We have non-professional people adding and editing on a whim averaging one error more than a group of educated researchers who's job requires they demonstrate reliability and trustworthiness. I'm going to go back to using it as an additional source, and aggregator of info, on top of other sources. Sheesh...

Oh I realise that errors are not all equal in consequence, but what makes you so sure that Wikipedia's one extra error is more significant than the other three? Consider that those 'checkers' would have been similarly trained as the Britannica people.

I find it interesting, (4, Interesting)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475299)

That schools will use this, which has no sources cited on the pages themselves, no list of authors who contributed, no history, and only the backing of the SOS peeps; when many schools wont allow research to be done on wikipedia itself which has the authority of the sources itself to back it. Odd.

Re:I find it interesting, (4, Insightful)

Conception (212279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475345)

Well, when your choices are no education and free but perhaps not perfectly accurate education, I think most of the world's poor would choose the latter for their children.

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

Ieatsyou (1383005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475393)

Well, when your choices are no education and free but perhaps not perfectly accurate education, I think most of the world's poor would choose the latter for their children.

http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.asp [hslda.org] A wonderful article about how money doesnt=good education.

Re:I find it interesting, (3, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475517)

A wonderful article about how money doesnt=good education.

Oh?

"Once the parents spend over $600, the students do slightly better,"

And their costs for home school versus public schooling are highly lop-sided, not taking into consideration the cost of parent's time donated, subsidized meals, etc., etc.

Not to mention that home schooled students is a naturally self-selecting group... It doesn't follow that forcing everyone else to home school their children would give everyone equally good performance.

That article is a very small step up from a biased opinion piece.

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476151)

"Once the parents spend over $600, the students do slightly better," And their costs for home school versus public schooling are highly lop-sided, not taking into consideration the cost of parent's time donated, subsidized meals, etc., etc.

Absolutely, once you take into account the potential loss of income for the parent who teaches the kids at home rather than works (hey, it works for the RIAA, MPAA, BSA, etc.), for smaller families, this makes homeschooling typically very expensive per child.

!= a wonderful article (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475697)

First, it's an article defending Home Schooling, written by the Home School Legal Defense Association, so it's already suspect.

Then, it talks about what scores home-schooled children "average" in national tests. Those tests show percentiles: only the mean of the children is meaningful. Just because the mean score of public school children (by definition) is 50% doesn't mean the average is 50%. I don't think averaging the mean of a bunch of individual students would even be meaningful.

So, the average of the public school students might be 85%, too. Maybe they intend to talk about mean when they say average, but they have no business presenting statistical information if they don't know the difference.

I know lots of home schooled kids who are home-schooled because they had difficulty in school. I guarantee that they are not scoring higher than 50-60% on their standardized tests.

My kids are home schooled, so I'm not coming from an anti-HS bigotry. I just want to base my decisions on good, trustworthy studies, which I've not seen.

Re:!= a wonderful article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25475975)

You seem like an intelligent person, which makes me wonder why you are home schooling your children.

There might be an academic advantage but aren't you afraid that you're degrading their social skills and taking away the chance for a lot of great and bad experiences that aid them in figuring who they are? I honestly think that any school till at least the 9th grade is more about growing socially than anything else.

Not trying to troll here, just curious to hear your view on this.

Re:!= a wonderful article (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477613)

Well, that is our #1 concern. We have two homeschool groups that we get together with on a regular basis, and they have several friends with whom they spend the night or have over several times a week.

In fact, my oldest is approaching 9th grade. I believe he should go to public school for high school, to prepare him to deal with other people more and so he can benefit on higher level topics from hopefully mostly learning from people who really care about their subject and can convey that interest.

I'm not sure what kind of public school you went to, but I don't remember many great experiences... how much time do you waste sitting in a classroom with nothing to do, or nothing but busywork to do? My kids go to the zoo, go to museums, the library, etc. in addition to regular desk time.

I definitely agree that it's a tradeoff, but we feel like we can manage the downsides so that the upside far outweighs it.

Re:!= a wonderful article (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477783)

We were seriously considering it for our kid because it's either the local Catholic schools or the hideous state sink schools. Thankfully we have her in with the local Church of England school, who will provide a decent education but are not insane.

Re:!= a wonderful article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25477517)

Then, it talks about what scores home-schooled children "average" in national tests. Those tests show percentiles: only the mean of the children is meaningful. Just because the mean score of public school children (by definition) is 50% doesn't mean the average is 50%. I don't think averaging the mean of a bunch of individual students would even be meaningful.

Uh, no. The "mean score of public school children" is not 50%. C grades are adjusted periodically to reflect student averages. It's usually around 76%. Grade inflation makes percentiles much more statistically meaningful than the "mean of the children", which is a C (almost) by definition. Don't talk about statistics when you CLEARLY fall into the "below average" bucket.

Re:!= a wonderful article (2, Interesting)

wurp (51446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477599)

Dude, on standardized tests, 50% is the mean, by definition. The test result is them telling you where you fall in the 100 control group students.

I have a BS in math. The mean score of public school children on standardized tests is 50%.

Or do you seriously believe that the article was trying to say that public school students average a 50% score on their schoolwork, thus the average student fails?

Re:I find it interesting, (2, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475585)

If the children are taught critical thinking, they will be aware that any source has the possibility of errors, just as any theory may be improved or disproved.

Re:I find it interesting, (3, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475833)

Yes. The scary thing about Wikipedia is that once you understand the process, and then start looking into what constitutes a "reliable source," you start realising how bad the other "reliable references" actually are.

The answer, of course, is: there is no substitute for thinking while reading, and nothing is safe to spoonfeed from.

Re:I find it interesting, (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475835)

If the people who wrote Wikipedia were taught critical thinking, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Re:I find it interesting, (2, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475607)

"Well, when your choices are no education and free but perhaps not perfectly accurate education, I think most of the world's poor would choose the latter for their children."

Next step, Encyclopedia Dramatica for schools. :)

Re:I find it interesting, (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476339)

Kid: "Today I learned that Hitler did it for the lulz"

MOD PARENT UP (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477791)

*applause*

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25480625)

The funny thing is, that whenever I have been forced to consult it to understand what the hell the latest meme is, I usually find the avergage ED article better written and more accurate than the average Wikipedia article.

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

spintriae (958955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476273)

I just wonder what these kids are gonna do with all that pointless trivia about Star Wars and The Simpsons.

Re:I find it interesting, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476361)

No one knows whether there education is accurate, History could all be lies, Science is nothing but theories. You maybe able to prove something based on someones criteria/rules, but who is to say those rules are right?

Re:I find it interesting, (2, Informative)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475439)

I don't see why they wouldn't. The SOS people have verified the accuracy of the information versus a standard and it seems that this is being targeted towards schools is need. And while we all might agree that the schools in the US are in needs, it seems that this might be targeted towards schools in far more need then the US's.

Re:I find it interesting, (4, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475617)

The SOS people have verified the accuracy of the information versus a standard and it seems that this is being targeted towards schools is need.

Yes, but who are SOS? They are a charity and an NGO. While I'm not accusing them of anything, generally speaking, charities and NGOs raise funds by pushing an agenda. Fear and/or guilt = cash. They are, generally speaking, not objective sources, and as such should not be trusted. If they verified the information, why are they not then publishing those sources with it? They've done all the work.

Sorry, but this does not seem to be all it appears to be.

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476073)

Have u tried finding the sources or are you just assuming its all covered up for no reason???

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

BozMo (1104413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475519)

Interestingly I don't think the sources or lack of them is as much an issue for schools as the ability of pupils to add material about their teachers and the ability of the Random Page button to return a page which would make you cover your kids eyes. The problem with including sources is that then you have to check sources as well as content and life is too short.

Re:I find it interesting, (5, Informative)

M1rth (790840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475549)

when many schools wont allow research to be done on wikipedia itself which has the authority of the sources itself to back it

Actually, Wikipedia has:
- Cherry-picked sources
- Quotations taken out of context
- Redundantly sourced crap (sources that turn out later to have themselves been sourced from... wikipedia).
- NO way to fix any of these if an administrator or "consensus" of kooks sets up shop on a particular page and decides to edit-war en masse and proclaim that real, authoritative sources counter to their POV are "not reliable."

I encourage you to see how wikipedia really works [livejournal.com] . Spend a few hours reading the blog of a former Wikipedia administrator who saw how it was from the inside out.

Here's a great start [livejournal.com] .

Go on. I dare you. Read about the REAL wikipedia. And then realize that this horribly written stuff is going to be fed to schoolkids as an example of "researched" material.

You scared yet? I certainly am.

Mod Parent Up: +1 Insightful not -1 Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25475807)

Whoever modded this down is a coward pure and simple.

PLEASE.

Slashdot DOES NOT HAVE moderation for "-1 disagree" or "-1 uncomfortable truth" for a REASON. It's because you are not supposed to downgrade SERIOUS, THOUGHT-PROVOKING, GOOD POSTS because you disagree with them.

If you can't answer the posed post, LEAVE IT ALONE. PP didn't flame anyone, he gave you a great source analyzing how Wikipedia's articles get and stay messed up.

Re:Mod Parent Up: +1 Insightful not -1 Disagree (1, Flamebait)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475953)

You are when it's a blatant troll post, as that is.

Re:Mod Parent Up: +1 Insightful not -1 Disagree (2, Interesting)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25478895)

I agree. You rarely see that kind of bullshit on science/mathematics articles. Mostly because editors are passionate about the topic, but ultimately disinterested. Hell, my senior Mathematics thesis was cited by several articles (accurately, though they were eventually removed). I didn't mention that because I'm proud of it (though it is kind of neat), but because I don't particularly care that I'm not cited anymore. Big whoop, the article's tone/focus changed and my work became less relevant than other sources (they were citing some of my definitions in a few articles -- however, those are only used in a relatively specialized field, more specialized than the articles specifically).

There is a clear institutional flaw on "the other side" of Wikipedia, where anybody with an opinion can and does post. It's a shame -- academia is much better in this regard. In academia, a degree gets your foot in the door. There are other ways to do it, but they are pretty rare in practice. But no matter what, every substantive thing you say is subject to debate, in public. Indeed, often in the same forum as the original article. Not behind a "Talk Page" that is "behind" the sanctioned opinion of the day.

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475839)

Parker Peters is a long-running troll (commonly known as Enviroknot or ElKabong) and has never been a Wikipedia admin in any shape or form.

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

M1rth (790840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477955)

Suuuure. Lie some more please.

Re:I find it interesting, (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477977)

This is your best defense?

You can't answer the questions that were posed, so instead you start accusing people of being trolls?

I would have thought a high-ranking member of Wikipedia could behave in better fashion. This kind of behavior shows us that Peters was right all along about you.

Re:I find it interesting, (0, Redundant)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25478023)

Ordinarily I wouldn't bother with some of this.

However, I read the posts and then compared the behavior of David Gerard (on here) with the behavior reported by Parker Peters and the behavior of wikipedia administrators in the cases cited.

As far as I can tell, Peters is right. David Gerard and the rest of Wikipedia's crowd behave as a small-minded individuals who cannot carry on a discussion, can't actually hold an argument, but simply argue by way of accusing people of being "trolls" and make ridiculous accusations of everyone being everyone else.

Case in point: Gerard is accusing someone here of having written the blogs referenced. I wonder why, and I further believe that whether that's the case or not, it's a red herring. Who wrote the blogs is not the point: whether or not the truth is being told is.

Gerard can't argue against the truth, so he has to go for character assassination and personal attacks. And that seems to be the MO for any wikipedian out there.

Obligatory Yoda Quote: "and that is why you fail."

Re:I find it interesting, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25478327)

Could be worse. They could be using the media for their information.

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25480997)

Yes that's right. Let's believe that Wikipedia is flawed, based on a rant written by some random guy on his LiveJournal!

The fact that he insults with "their toady suck-ups" shows what his real agenda is. His points make no sense - are you seriously suggesting that allowing sockpuppets on Wikipedia is a good thing? It sounds like a classic case of someone whining because he didn't get his way. If you want somewhere to write your own stuff - get a blog. And then tell me how the accuracy and bias of random blogs compares to Wikipedia?

If you want to criticise Wikipedia, then let's start by not shooting yourself in the foot by making the same errors that you claim Wikipedia has: let's see evidence. For example, let's see analysis of articles on a range of topics, with comparisons on accuracy to other sources (other encyclopedias, the media, books/webpages etc).

And then realize that this horribly written stuff is going to be fed to schoolkids as an example of "researched" material.

They're going to feed this LiveJournal post to schoolkids? I hope not.

Re:I find it interesting, (2, Interesting)

Taxman415a (863020) | more than 5 years ago | (#25481109)

when many schools wont allow research to be done on wikipedia itself which has the authority of the sources itself to back it

Actually, Wikipedia has: - Cherry-picked sources - Quotations taken out of context - Redundantly sourced crap (sources that turn out later to have themselves been sourced from... wikipedia).

Ok, so fix that with better sources, that's how it's supposed to work. Nobody said it was perfect.

- NO way to fix any of these if an administrator or "consensus" of kooks sets up shop on a particular page and decides to edit-war en masse and proclaim that real, authoritative sources counter to their POV are "not reliable."

Well it's really easy to refute this since these types of things get fixed all the time. Certainly one admin cannot proclaim a source isn't good enough and keep it out and you know that, but you're choosing to distort the situation. If one admin acts against the consensus then others can easily come in and reverse that admin. Not that that needs to happen much since there isn't much that admins can do to enforce certain content, but admins do reverse others regularly, so your point has no teeth to it. Now a consensus of editors can decide that a source is not reliable and that's how it should work. If you're really finding so many situations where everyone else thinks your sources aren't reliable, then the problem becomes increasingly unlikely to be with everyone else.

The rest of your post is pretty amusing especially the claim of the user being an administrator. For one he wasn't, for another, what sudden authority would that give him that every other administrator you claim is destroying the shop isn't worthy of? What's most amusing is that poorly thought out posts like this get modded up on Slashdot.

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475557)

That schools will use this, which has no sources cited on the pages themselves, no list of authors who contributed, no history, and only the backing of the SOS peeps

The schools that will be using this, in many cases, are operated by "the SOS peeps", which is why they put it together in the first place.

With that fact in mind, suddenly it becomes less surprising that those schools would use it based on the backing of "the SOS peeps".

Re:I find it interesting, (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475801)

I find it interesting that schools will use this ... when many schools wont allow research to be done on wikipedia itself

Are you saying that you think schools which will not allow students to cite wikipedia as a primary reference are the very same schools which will allow students to cite the SOS distribution of wikipedia as a primary reference? On what basis do you make that claim?

Needs more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25475343)

Torrents. Anyone willing to Torrent it?

Re:Needs more (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475457)

Torrents are apparently being set up, should be in place by 23rd according to Andrew Cates from SOS.

Re:Needs more (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477203)

It says the torrents are currently seeding.

What's the point of seeding when there are no leeches?

Now, maybe they are mirroring the files to hosts that will seed when the torrents open up... but as written it makes no sense to me.

Re:Needs more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25478995)

What's the point of seeding when there are no leeches?

I don't know, what's the point of serving a file via HTTP if nobody is looking at it RIGHT NOW??

Because somebody might look at it soon.

Idiot. Eat a dick and choke and die, douche bag.

Re:Needs more (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25481147)

Right. So I'm going to put up the server a full day in advance, except nobody can look at it.

Then I'll tell everyone I did that.

To quote you: "Idiot. Eat a dick and choke and die, douche bag."

Shouldn't that be a Wikipedia link? (2, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475355)

use by the Hole in the Wall education project [wikipedia.org]

There, fixed that for you. Now someone go write the article.

Wikipedia Validation Sites (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475409)

I'd love to see more sites online that do something like this SOS edition did. That is, a mirrored subset of Wikipedia, with every page in the mirror checked and maybe corrected by its host. That way, people can check with their preferred authority(ies) whether to accept what they see in "the" Wikipedia. While leaving Wikipedia itself standalone, "caveat emptor", for anyone to check on their own the usual ways.

A really good implementation would link from the "master" Wikipedia out to each "approving" site's copy of it. And a really good system would incorporate quality revisions in the downstream sites back upstream to the master Wikipedia.

This SOS edition is a step in that direction.

Re:Wikipedia Validation Sites (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475497)

This is actually much closer to the intended idea of Wikipedia - that it would be raw material for others to use. Rather than wikipedia.org itself being horribly, expensively popular [alexa.com] as people access the live working rough draft and then complain that CVS HEAD contains bugs. Oh well. You get the userbase you get, not the userbase you first thought of.

Re:Wikipedia Validation Sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476245)

Try Veropedia [veropedia.com] for verified articles. Also try Citizendium [citizendium.org] which is a fork of Wikipedia set up by ex-Wikipedian Larry Sanger and it protects its approved articles.

On Wikipedia itself, the German version is trialing a "watched" article system, which approves good article versions.

Re:Wikipedia Validation Sites (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476697)

Citizendium started as a fork, but now does as much of its own stuff as possible.

wikislices on the XO -- how to choose the subset (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25475507)

It's an obvious win for OLPC's XO laptop to also have a standalone chunk of wikipedia that kids can browse offline. Their wiki has some discussion on different approaches [laptop.org] to selecting stuff for inclusion. One is to use article traffic statistics [stats.grok.se] , but apparently that weighs too heavily toward pop-culture. Another method is to combine those stats with three other factors -- "Importance rating by WikiProject, Number of internal links into the page, Number of interwiki versions of the article (i.e., other language versions)."

They ship an English subset as an "activity", and I'm pretty sure they made a Spanish language subset for some of the country projects. I gather that they also intend to produce subject-area slices [laptop.org] for Chemistry, Biology, and so on. Not sure if that has come to pass yet.

Further reading (3, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475889)

Wikinews coverage [wikinews.org] .

When is wikipedia going to stop being a cult of (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476157)

notabillity and actually include articles that people actually want. Wikipedia claims to be combatting systemic bias but deletes articles as "not notable" because their deletionists admins don't like it.

For example it has the South Park episode about Tourettes Syndrome [wikipedia.org] but does not have an article about Tourettes Guy despite having 221,000 hits on Google.

Also it censors fan's of YuGiOh the abridged series yet has has about 24 articles about the video games. Use Google Knol instead, it dosen't have notabillity policies.

Re:When is wikipedia going to stop being a cult of (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476533)

I don't think you can compare the YuGiOh parody youtube series, darling of TV Tropes though it may be, with the multi-million selling series of videogames that spawned that cartoon that spawned the dub that spawned said parody, and say that both are obviously worthy of inclusion. Likewise a South Park episode which provoked media commentary, broadcaster censorship, and a statement from Tourettes' organisations is surely in a different ballpark from a Youtube video whose only discernable public reaction is people talking about it on bebo and web forums (going by that Google search you cite).

At any rate, I think we'll both agree that "it has a lot of google hits" is a moronic criterion for a subject's worthiness of mention, and moronic inclusion/exclusion criteria are what Wikipedia sorely needs to deal with. My rule of thumb is how much has been said about a subject. I mean, if there are 400 newspaper articles discussing the Humanist Alliance's bus advertisements, there's probably going to be more "meat" there to convey to the reader than 200,000 Youtube comments pages and web forum posts. However Wikipedia's policies have grown rather ad hoc rather than having any rules like this and it really needs a stronger, sent-from-above statement in terms of what it will include. It's sad but until someone says "Wikipedia will have articles that meet X, Y, and Z", everyone is going to argue it's unfair, and clearly (going by the sort of "Wikinazis" commentary on the go) nobody is actually willing to sit down and hammer out these rules as a community. (Arguably that last point stems from people's assumption that Wikipedia editing can be performed without engaging with debate with actual human beings, but that's a whole nother argument.)

Re:When is wikipedia going to stop being a cult of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476583)

Swap.avi has 1.2 million hits but doesn't even have a Wikipedia article!! Damn these delitionist administrative policies! You will rue the day you deleted an article by me, "admins"!

Re:When is wikipedia going to stop being a cult of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25477447)

Best be trollin...

D:/wikipedia/wiki/School (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476161)

It just says "Willy on Wheels" over and over. :(

It's funny how... (1)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476675)

... developed countries' schools disdain Wikipedia (for the wrong reason- it should not be cited because it is an encyclopedia- the reason many give that "it can be edited by anyone" is irrelevant).

That's why we're giving it to developing countries. Hand-me-downs!

Hole in the Wall? (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476787)

Hole in the Wall education project?

Nothing more I can say. That's pretty damn gay. Pretty damn gay...

The key phrase here being... (1)

williamyf (227051) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477253)

"checked and reviewed articles"

Wikipedia has ben criticized for many things, for being full of trivial minutiæ, to having more errors, to being a possible source of circular references. while you may, or may not agree with those claims, the fact is that the articles where "checked and reviewed" (one can only hope that the people who did the "checking and reviewing" were qualified).

If that is the case, then welcome, this is a GREAT tool for teaching at a low cost with very little overhead!

Kudos guys!

morse code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25477893)

I'll just point out that they have Morse Code filed under cryptography.

Where is the torrent? (1)

chasisaac (893152) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477911)

I cannot find the torrent

Re:Where is the torrent? (1)

FilterMapReduce (1296509) | more than 5 years ago | (#25478051)

According to the link at the bottom of TFA [soschildre...ges.org.uk] ,

Download: a full download of the content should be available via BitTorrent by 23rd October. It is current being seeded.

Wikipedia in academic writings (2, Interesting)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25479159)

Wikipedia is an excellent springboard for research. While citing Wikipedia itself is a major no-no for a few reasons (A, the content of the website can change, rendering your quotation non-existent, and B, you'll be laughed out of the room by your professor/review board/whatever), you can read Wikipedia's references, verify that they say what Wikipedia says they said, and then cite that source in your paper. Voila!

Wikipedia might not be a credible source, but it cites credible sources. Use Wikipedia to find credible sources, and then cite those.

Re:Wikipedia in academic writings (2, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25481079)

Note that you could say exactly the same thing with the word "Wikipedia" replaced with any encyclopedia.

the content of the website can change

No it can't, not if you cite properly and link to the static version.

Evil purposes (1)

dugeen (1224138) | more than 5 years ago | (#25479643)

Such a shame to see Wikipaedia being associated with the national curriculum - brought in by the Tories to make sure that schools didn't teach anything that departed from the government line.
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