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Wikipedia Edits Around the World

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the get-your-edit-on dept.

Wikipedia 85

billlava writes "Wikipedia continues on its inexorable march toward becoming the repository for the world's knowledge — to the tune of four and a half edits a second. Just who is doing all these edits? And where do they live? Erik Zachte compiled data from a day in May 2011 into an interesting set of animations and maps to show update activity as it occurred during the day."

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85 comments

Citation Needed for FIRST POST (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36222874)

Citation Needed for FIRST POST

Yeah

Just who is doing all these edits? (0)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223626)

Mouth breathing, mother's basement dwelling, introverted, narcissistic losers.

Hardly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36222914)

How can it be the repository for the world's knowledge when they are constantly deleting things?

Re:Hardly (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223270)

Oh, shut up.

Like anyone cares about your band.

Re:Hardly (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223414)

"Knowledge" doesn't imply "a raw dump of data." There's some implication of important data being retained and trivial information, or untrue stuff, being weeded out. I've heard your brain dumps most incoming information, things like the sensation of your socks rubbing on your feet, but that obviously is your personal repository of knowledge. You can't possibly suggest that wikipedia shouldn't delete ANYTHING.

I'm aware there are examples of petty little people letting the power go to their head, deleting more information than they should, but that's an unavoidable abuse, just as it's unavoidable that there are going to be people who spam Wikipedia with trivial information (and then whine about it on slashdot). From my perspective, the information I search for on wiki is always there, so it's not suffering from deleting too much.

Re:Hardly (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223904)

"Knowledge" doesn't imply "a raw dump of data." There's some implication of important data being retained and trivial information, or untrue stuff, being weeded out.

Just because the WikiPedia overlords delete it doesn't make the content untrue.

Re:Hardly (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224432)

Well there's still that "trivial information" bit...

Re:Hardly (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224660)

I do think their evolution will favor the bold.
I get "my page" trimmed down annually by the nameless-trimlords at wikimedia foundation.
After they reduce-me, I usually just give up.
Its like they want to see how convicted I am.
They must improve on their moderation.

Have a trim at it here. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Hardly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36224780)

> You can't possibly suggest that wikipedia shouldn't delete ANYTHING.

Well... 3TB harddrives and ranking functionalities aside... Wikipedia is 99% in the hands of what netizens call "Super-Aspergers" or "Controlfreaks" because it attracts such people with it's very nature and how it works.

"Super-Aspergers" are great in maintaining knowledge like (e.g.) laws where every sentence has a number.

They suck at maintaining knowledge that emotional or historical value like (e.g.) articles about websites that had huge communities but are offline now. They will get deleted [slashdot.org] by a "fat fuck".

Because we DO have 3TB harddrives we DESERVE "a raw dump of data."

Wikipedia fails when you want to see the true Zeitgeist for example which is often just as important to understand than the knowledge.

Re:Hardly (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#36227826)

Because we DO have 3TB harddrives we DESERVE "a raw dump of data."

Was that ever the goal of wikipedia though? They have had rules concerning relevance since I heard about it. That implies the goal was not "all information."

If you want an "all inclusive wiki" that will err more on the side of too much information rather than too much deleted information, and will be more secure against deletion abuses, then by all means, make your own wikipedia.

The old man murray example is an abuse, yes, fine. There are going to be abuses no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. And wiki is the most comprehensive encyclopedia out there, no matter how many specific examples of individuals deleting too much you can find. I mean, how many encyclopedias out there do mention old man murray? My guess? Exactly one: wikipedia.

Re:Hardly (2)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#36225620)

In WP:SPEAK, "Sum of all the world's knowladge" means, effectively, around 3 million articles. That's it. That, according to Wikipedia, is as much information about the world as is deemed worthy of note.

Pretty bleak world view when you think about it.

Re:Hardly (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36227760)

If you think a topic should be in Wikipedia, then have three different mainstream media outlets write an article about it.

4 1/2 edits a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36222928)

but 4 deletions and rollbacks a second.

Qualitative data over quantitative data (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36222948)

How many of those edits are reverting vandalism?
Furthermore, how many of those edits are overwriting legitimate, accurate content that the all-knowing editors deem to be "unsuitable" for article inclusion?

I could imagine that these numbers are quite padded by the bureaucracy and drama that engulfs the Wikiworld.

Re:Qualitative data over quantitative data (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223058)

Depends on the category. As a random example, in the Jane Roberts topics, they banned the guy who did a life study of the texts in favor of broader, more general articles.

Re:Qualitative data over quantitative data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36225776)

If he was blocked then it was probably for edit warring or violation of some other policy, not for adding content. Do you have a username for this person?

Re:Qualitative data over quantitative data (1)

iteyoidar (972700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223506)

I'd guess that most of the edits at this point are on user talk pages and other partially hidden areas supporting the wiki-bureaucracy. Just based on looking at highly active users' contributions, there tends to be a few article edits for hundreds of edits to talk pages and arbitration pages and user pages that almost nobody ever sees.

And of course, userboxes. Userbox edits probably make up the rest of them

Re:Qualitative data over quantitative data (2)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223942)

How many of those edits are reverting vandalism?

I know that the vast majority of my edits are vandalism reversion, but I would bet that of the 4.5 edits per second mentioned in the summary, probably 3 of those are pure vandalism.

Furthermore, how many of those edits are overwriting legitimate, accurate content that the all-knowing editors deem to be "unsuitable" for article inclusion?

Funny, the "suitability" guidelines are quite simple, and generally not subjectively applied.

No bright line rule for reliable sources (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36227798)

Funny, the "suitability" guidelines are quite simple

Not to me they aren't. There is no bright line rule for what makes a "reliable" source. When I asked on (I think it was) Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable sources for some help on clarifying the rule for how a source is deemed to have established a reputation for fact-checking, I got accused of trolling.

Re:Qualitative data over quantitative data (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#36225420)

Oh, shut up and hold hands. Numbers may be padded but it's awesome to see so many people all around the globe trying to work together to record human knowledge.

Re:Qualitative data over quantitative data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36225804)

Oh, shut up and hold hands. Numbers may be padded but it's awesome to see so many people all around the globe trying to work together to record human knowledge.

From what I've seen by reading numerous talk pages and contributing to the process, is that the vast majority of people doing edits are NOT trying to work together, nor are they attempting to record human knowledge. The goal of most, from what can be seen after a lively edit war cools down, is to put forth your own personal opinion for or against some pet issue in the guise of being fact. Most editors only focus on a few very specific subjects of love or hate, and do it for their own reasons not some sense of altruism.

In other words, Wikipedia is primarily used to compare the size of one's Academic or Intellectual Penis. Aside from that, it's basically a categorized collection of Citations with a general summary article, NOT a knowledge repository. If you're going to the Wiki to get information, you're missing the point- you go there to get citations or as a starting point for research, not as a source of authority or facts. Sadly, most people don't understand this and run around screaming "It must be true, I read it on Wikipedia!"

Re:Qualitative data over quantitative data (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 2 years ago | (#36225452)

How many of those edits are by butt-hurt cry babies upset that their special snowflake got deleted?
You know, since you want to break it down and all

Re:Qualitative data over quantitative data (1)

Stellian (673475) | more than 2 years ago | (#36225652)

...legitimate, accurate content that the all-knowing editors...

Dr. Original Research Troll, I presume ?

Chinese (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36222984)

The Chinese edits were interesting. Mostly from Taiwan ....

The English edits look pretty much balanced between the English speaking countries - I don't see as a huge difference between the US, UK and Australia as I do between China and Taiwan.

Re:Chinese (2)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 2 years ago | (#36226464)

Maybe a common anonymiser in China uses Taiwan servers?

Edit pirates? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36223002)

I like how the second map has a significant number of edits coming from the geographical coordinates zero degrees north/south by zero degrees east/west. I guess geolocation by IP doesn't work perfectly. Or there's a very busy boat somewhere.

Re:Edit pirates? (1)

Stellian (673475) | more than 2 years ago | (#36225686)

On the same vein, there's a seems to be an edit war going happening right now over the entry for Vodka in the Russian Wikipedia. The hostilities have completely engulfed an unmapped Siberian outpost.

the French... (1)

ynohoo (234463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223032)

did they leave them out just to annoy them?

No edits by males. (1)

Singularity42 (1658297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223036)

Goes to show--no males on the internet!

Northern Canada (2)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223062)

The English map shows a significant amount coming from the area of Nunalla, CA, on the western shore of Hudson Bay. But there's nothing there except two historic buildings from the Hudson Bay Company. So either the geolocation algorithm is off, or maybe it's the entrance to a secret underground organization such as Aperture Science.

Re:Northern Canada (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223220)

Hudson Bay? Well, the Borealis is a ship, and had to dock somplace.

Re:Northern Canada (1)

zach_d (782013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224028)

there's Churchill, Manitoba.... but it's a little off from there. couple hundred K anyway.

Re:Northern Canada (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224792)

Well, I can tell you it's not Aperture Science. They're in Michigan or Cleveland [wikia.com] , depending on who (and when) you ask.

Re:Northern Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36225234)

Maybe a Fresh Air Inspector with an internet connection and absolutely nothing to do today (or this week/month/year).

World map of Know-It-Alls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36223074)

Man, I hate those guys.

Re:World map of Know-It-Alls (1)

qubezz (520511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224716)

Greetings Professor Falken

A strange game. [blogspot.com]

The only winning move is
not to play. [blogspot.com]

Multiple languages. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223080)

Needless to say, there are many Wikipedias dedicated to each language. Think how much richer each entry would be if all that time and energy was concentrated into the one or maybe two languages. That always makes me sad.

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36223234)

No hablo Engles, you insensitive clod...

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

koxkoxkox (879667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223770)

Oh, and which language would that be ? You are not supposing that everyone has English as a mother tongue, are you ? Esperanto maybe ?

On the contrary, Wikipedia can now double as a wonderful dictionary for some specialized vocabulary (math notions, proper nouns, etc.) by looking at the interwiki links.

Re:Multiple languages. (0)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223880)

English?? Now why ever would I think of using that language out of the hundreds that happen to exist? Surely that would be incredibly biased of me?

Seriously, many countries are using English now as their second language, so I'll admit that seems the sensible choice here. However, my point was a unified language that we can all use universally. Sure, Esperanto can fit that bill, though obviously it lacks the momentum that, I don't know, say.... English perhaps?,... has gotten so far.

To be fair, I always think competition is a good thing in the initial stages, so I think two or three languages would be a good compromise for now. We can then merge them, delete stuff, or take the best concepts out of each one. Yes I am talking long term here.

I think your concept of a 'double dictionary' is a good thing in the initial stages, but obviously it shouldn't be the very long term goal.

Re:Multiple languages. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36223914)

1.6 billion Chinese beg to differ

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223944)

Okay that can be the second language for now then.

Chinese is not a language (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36227862)

a unified language that we can all use universally ... English perhaps?

1.6 billion Chinese beg to differ

Chinese is not a language but a group of related languages using mostly the same logograms and syntax. Which Chinese language are you talking about? Mandarin? Cantonese? Taiwanese? If there were more speakers of Mandarin alone throughout the industrialized world than speakers of English, I might be more inclined to learn Mandarin.

Re:Multiple languages. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36224364)

Not English. A new language without redundant rules, complicated exceptions to this rules, without idiotic and pointless silent letters, and without words that have the same spelling but have different meaning. English is and always will be a language filled with redundancy and idiotic rules. Of course, that applies to other languages as well.

If we are to have a universal language, it should be a brand new one without any of that idiocy.

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224414)

Well on that note I have to agree. There's certainly a lot of bloat in the English language, perhaps even more so than C++ or Windows. I'm hoping the english language will naturally evolve out of the slight mess its in, as it's already evolved a great deal so far.

However, there is a lot to be said for a common standard. I would love to use base 12 or 16 over base 10, but it would be awful if almost every country used a different number base. That's a greater 'crime' in many ways than a universally used albeit slightly less-than-ideal number base.

toki! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36227892)

A new language without redundant rules

Redundancy helps with error detection and correction.

complicated exceptions to this rules, without idiotic and pointless silent letters, and without words that have the same spelling but have different meaning.

Would you prefer Toki Pona, a language with fewer than 150 words that relies on heavy compounding?

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

koxkoxkox (879667) | more than 2 years ago | (#36224824)

English as a second language is good enough to do business, maybe not to write articles and discuss philosophy.

See, English is not my mother tongue (bonus point if you can guess from my writing where I come from). I have a decent English, can read without any problem, but it is much more cumbersome and slow for me to write in English than in my native language. Don't think that the Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Chinese contributors to Wikipedia would contribute the same amount if they had to write in English.

It would also be terribly unfair to them. Have you ever been to a meeting with native speakers and non-native speakers ? It is obvious that they do not have the same mastery of the language and very often it translates in self-confidence and ability to convince. OK, I live in China, when the phenomenon is especially clear, but it is true to some extend for everyone.

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 2 years ago | (#36230296)

And for the languages and concepts and cultural ideas that just don't translate?  Have you never studied a foreign language or lived abroad?

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#36230456)

I don't think you understood the gist of my post. The goal should be to eventually unify the languages, generally, not just on Wikipedia. Of course that'll mean adding to new words etc. to each one. Obviously, that's going to be a heck of an undertaking, and they each currently have their advantages and disadvantages.

Standards are good things, and promote easier cooperation and sharing of culture.

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 2 years ago | (#36230742)

spoken like a programmer... :-)

I for one think that the race to "one world" is great in many ways--but there a lot of losses along the way to uniformity.  As a fellow nerd, I should think you would appreciate the beauty of non-conformity. :-)

Take care, chau.

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#36230918)

Yeah, the losses would concern me. We'd have to be careful - so that maybe the unified language borrows lots of these subtle words/concepts that aren't otherwise fully catered for.

Re:Multiple languages. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36225644)

Switching to the page in a different language provides immediate access to the translation of a term with related words in proper context. This makes Wikipedia very powerful as a dictionary.

Mod parent up.

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#36226230)

On the contrary, Wikipedia can now double as a wonderful dictionary for some specialized vocabulary (math notions, proper nouns, etc.) by looking at the interwiki links.

I second that. I use wikipedia a lot to translate words from Dutch to English. If I look the dutch word up I can check whether it's the right explanation, so I'll get the correct translation once I change languages.

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224146)

I agree. From now on, Wikipedia should only be in French and Japanese.

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224216)

Sound choices!

(Sniff...)

Re:Multiple languages. (2)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224378)

Think how much richer each entry would be if all that time and energy was concentrated into the one or maybe two languages. That always makes me sad.

Nah; that would make most of the world a lot poorer. It would only mean shutting down the wikipedia sites for all the "minor" languages. It would probably add nothing at all to the English wikipedia, and very little to the French or Chinese versions (whichever was allowed to continue alongside English). This would be a major loss of knowledge to most of the world's population.

The minor-language editions have probably added more value for their speakers than the English-language edition has for us English speakers. After all, we had encyclopedias before any of us were born, and we (mostly) developed the Internet in English. With google and the other search sites, we would be ok without wikipedia, though it wouldn't be nearly as convenient.

But the minor-language editions of wikipedia have added a valuable resource for much of the world, in the form of access to information that simply wasn't available to them at all without first learning a difficult foreign language. And all it took was the time of a few hundred volunteers to do the translating.

If you are reasonably fluent in a minor language, one of the most valuable contributions you can make to the world right now is expanding that language's wikipedia.

Now if we could find a way to pay people for doing this job ...

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224438)

I'm thinking more of the major languages here, or of the cases where I see an article in two different languages, and they're both really different, and better (or worse) in different ways. I always think it would be nice to combine the best features of both, and have the wisdom of both articles merged to make a 'super' article.

Re:Multiple languages. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36227608)

Then get to work translating, you insensitive monolingual clod!

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224702)

Not to mention all the inherent inaccuracy of natural languages, their countless possibilities for subtle bias and misrepresentation, as well as the potential to misread some when there are none and thereby trigger an edit war...

Yes, you're absolutely right - we need One True Wikipedia, and it should be written in Lojban. ~

Re:Multiple languages. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#36227242)

Yes, delete them all except for the Standard Chinese and the Hindi ones.

Simpl' Pedia (0)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223090)

I notice that many of the edits to Simple Wikipedia originate in the American South. Just sayin'.

Re:Simpl' Pedia (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223498)

Hmm... I'd be interested in where most of the edits to conservapedia originate from, organized by length of edits and blue or red district. My hypothesis would be that most of the short, trollish edits were from blue states.

While I'd like to think ALL of it is trolling, I don't have that much faith in humanity.

Re:Simpl' Pedia (1)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223822)

I often read simple Wikipedia myself, sometimes brevity and reduced jargon make a challenging topic easier to digest. Sometimes not :). [wikipedia.org]

Conservapedia is somewhat schizophrenic to read. Setting up an article with a "Conservative" bias, has shown that Conservatives have a more diverse rainbow of opinion than any other political group. Not that they would be happy to be described with those terms.

Re:Simpl' Pedia (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223920)

The entirety of conservapedia is trollish.

Re:Simpl' Pedia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36224162)

Probably because most of the niggers in the USA are in the south. Gotta make Wikipedia understandable to them, otherwise its "rayciss".

Re:Simpl' Pedia (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224710)

I would expect that is because there are more non-native English speakers in the South - such as Mexican expats.

Re:Simpl' Pedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36226118)

Expats from Latin America are not the kind of people who spend their free time on editing Wikipedia. Just sayin'.

Surprised? (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223120)

Map seems to show technologically advanced nations around major population centers make the most wikipedia edits. Surprised? After awhile they all look the same.

Canada? (1)

driftwoodsound (2048480) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223260)

Compared to other developed nations Canada barely registers any edits at all. Whats going on up there?

Re:Canada? (2)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223440)

That bubble map is a fairly accurate representation of Canadian population densities. Those two blots in the left-middle are probably Calgary and Edmonton, and the rest are crammed mostly into Vancouver-and-area and southwestern Ontario.

Editing early in the morning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36223454)

Proud of my country. It's early in the morning, and people are up and about editing it.

Lawyers will destroy wikipedia (0)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223686)

I've watched wikipedia edits where there has been a legal battle, like over "patent exhaustion principle" (where owners of copyrights and patents try to extend the lives of their patents over time or across parallel markets). If the maker of a disposable camera is willing to spend millions on lawyers to file depositions to fight, and lose, case after case chasing its claim of extended rights (you cannot fix and resell something I have a patent on) to the Supreme Court, and sees a rare UNANIMOUS Supreme Court ruling against them ("No, your patent does not keep someone from reselling your used product in the secondary market")...

Anyone willing to spend money on a lawyer will be willing one day to spend money editing wikipedia. Wikpedia is doing great now running on hope and excitement over its novelty. When it is taken for granted, and no more novel than a gas station or laundromat or phone book, the same money that pays lawyers to chase depositions will work into rewriting Wikipedia, and the more success they have, the more cynical we will become about it.

The summary is shilled. (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223874)

"Wikipedia continues on its inexorable march toward becoming the repository for the world's knowledge"

Clearly not an objective statement.

There may be a lot of articles on Wikipedia. However, the average quality is not high, and it certainly must never ever be treated as a repository of knowledge. It is nothing of the kind.

Here's what everyone needs to do... do what you rarely ever do -- go to any wikipedia page on a subject in which you are expert or very knowledgeable. In all likelihood, you will then realize that this page is riddled with errors, bad writing, glaring omissions, bias and probably other things too.

Why then should anyone EVER trust ANY page on wikipedia? If the pages on subjects you know about are flawed, what makes you think the pages on subjects you don't know about aren't.

Wikipedia should, could, and would be a great resource if it were not run by some of the most ignorant, corrupt, power-hungry assholes on the planet. All those scum are doing is keeping anyone with real knowledge away form the site.

It's a shame, but until Wales and his collaborators are removed from power, there's no hope for wikipedia whatsoever.

Re:The summary is shilled. (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223910)

Why not take the time to improve and correct the articles? It's not that difficult.

Re:The summary is shilled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36224164)

Because the moderators and admins are not fair, unbiased, or even interested in publishing knowledge. They relish the power they have and abuse it at every turn. Read the talk page for almost any topic and you will see admins removing new, relevant information over some quibble with the rules.

Re:The summary is shilled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36227720)

Yes, but remember most people are too busy with real life (or paying a mortgage). Why do you think only power-hungry people become politicians?

Re:The summary is shilled. (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36224452)

Here's what everyone needs to do... do what you rarely ever do -- go to any wikipedia page on a subject in which you are expert or very knowledgeable. In all likelihood, you will then realize that this page is riddled with errors, bad writing, glaring omissions, bias and probably other things too.

Actually, I've done that a number of times. What I found was more complex than that.

When I've looked at pages on highly technical topics, I've generally found that the information was quite accurate, and often fairly detailed. On the other hand, when I look up non-technical topics, I've usually found sketchier information, and a lot of opinion passing for fact.

Of course, in both cases, the information has usually been fairly basic. It's ok for a quick introduction, but for the real story, you have to start following links. That's about what I'd expect wikipedia to be: A useful first stop for topics that I know little about, with useful links if I want to learn more.

Actually, I tend to go to google first. This is because you have to guess the title fairly accurately for wikipedia, but for google, you only need to guess the keywords. Then you hope that something in the first few pages of ghits will actually be on the topic you want.

And if google shows a wikipedia link, I usually read it first.

(One of my favorite examples for wiki-skeptics is to suggest that they read the "Evolution" page. It has long been a very reasonable introduction to that tendentious topic, summarizing the scientific history, and giving links to both technical articles and religious pages that are relevant. I do wonder how often that page is vandalized, but the editors do a reasonably good job of keeping it stable. ;-)

Re:The summary is shilled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36225114)

> It's ok for a quick introduction, but for the real story, you have to start following links

Those being the links that the latest biased editor has chosen to retain on the page. Marvellous.

Here's a hint: start adding

-wikipedia

to your search strings. Suddenly the World will have more complexity and riches.

Re:The summary is shilled. (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#36225458)

Here's a hint: get a life, wiki-hating troll. Suddenly the world will have more complexity and riches.

Re:The summary is shilled. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236512)

If you want an example article, instead of Evolution, try Fractal Antenna. The namesake company is working hard to keep it pure propaganda, removing all critiCism of fractals, and all mention of competing companies. Check the talk page, look at the edit history, and trace route those IP addresses... Administrators have been repeatedly notified, the vandals have patience to wait anyone out, and the money and vested interest in keeping it biased.

Re:The summary is shilled. (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#36225442)

I dare you to name 3 articles in your area of expertise that you find deeply flawed.

Re:The summary is shilled. (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270230)

or even three articles for which you can claim even rudimentary knowledge

Re:The summary is shilled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36225930)

What are they doing to keep "real knowledge" away from the site? Can you provide some examples?

Re:The summary is shilled. (1)

MitchAmes (1080977) | more than 2 years ago | (#36226040)

Why then should anyone EVER trust ANY page on wikipedia?

Because they can verify [wikipedia.org] the reliable sources [wikipedia.org] that all good articles have.

14th February - random? (1)

Rhodri Mawr (862554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36227344)

The summary is misleading - only the second of the screenshots in the article claims to be from May; the first is dated 14th February which, it could easily be argued is not a "random" or typical day in the Western world.
I'd be far more interested to see a screenshot of deletions rather than edits, if only to find out exactly who is committing the annoying, unnecessary and downright malicious deletions of interesting scientific articles but leaving the FUD about D-list celebrities.
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