Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Some last-minute sucker punches.....Averted!

Originally I was going to use this space to cattily mention some skeevy facts about the private life of Derrick Coetzee (Wikipedian "Dcoetzee") but files on the person he did things with are still easily available on the Internet, and I'm not ruining that person's life just to lash out at the nincompoop who caused THIS. I will write that the skeeviness I'm keeping to myself is probably the main reason why Coetzee has been banned "from editing Wikimedia sites" according to a Wikimedia Foundation tag here. I will write that the Wikipediocracy crowd thinks "Demiurge1000" was a sockpuppet of Derrick's, because it has the same WMF "talk to legal" tag. Tarantino (of Wikipediocracy, not the film director) deserves a medal of some sort, but I'm not saying why.

This little link is a lot of fun if you know something about Neo-Tech/Zonpower; for the confused, this ancient FAQ page (which is a copy of a copy) should tell you more than you need to know about that "ethical card-cheating" mixture of Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard.

Never forget that Paul de Man was a Nazi mouthpiece, a swindler, and unworthy of his American college position.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wikipedia Tags and Eastern European Politics

If you look at Wikipedia, you notice at the top of article pages (and sometimes within articles!) these goofy tags chiding the nameless editors to "merge" this with that, or calls for deletion or extreme rewrites because of bias, etc. It would have been far more intelligent to make these tags visible only to the editors/contributors than leaving them out for the hoi-polloi to see, but then true intelligence has never been a Wikipedian strong suite.

Notice in this article on the fringe political ideology of National Bolshevism (which combines Fascism with a degraded Marxism-Leninism) we have two tags from June of 2007 and one from April of this year. In seven years they haven't been able to figure out if the article contains "original research" or what additional citations it needs.

Above is a sub-section of the same article, on the Russian National Bolshevik Party run by novelist/provacateur-intellectual Eduard Limonov (Savinko), a party which has been banned from participating in Russian presidential elections; Limonov himself used to write hilarious broken-English columns for the defunct eXile magazine in Moscow. Notice the circularity of the section below the tag, and the fact that the "verification" request was posted in 2010; my screen shot dates from late 2014.

But enough of the introduction, let's hit the center-mass of this flabby moose: the Holodomor and Ukrainian nationalism - as seen on Wikipedia. The Holodomor was a famine in the Ukraine in 1932-33, and that's as far as you can get before everything becomes contested and people are willing to label you a "Holodomor denier" if you don't go along with all of it.....because unlike the Nazi-run Holocaust, there were no Holodomor camps with crematoria, piles of shoes, etc., just photos of starved people and others of dead bodies on streets with unheeding passers-by. There are no "verification" tags on the Holodomor article, but there are tags on this:

Possibly because it mentions famine in other areas of the USSR at the same time as the Holodomor, but then if you read the article, it re-uses photos from the Holodomor article! Related to this is are the articles on Douglas Tottle and Lubomyr Luciuk, who are handcuffed together in Wikipedia-land. Both are Canadians; Tottle was a trade union activist who wrote a book on the famine, Luciuk is the Canadian-Ukrainian history professor who called Tottle's book "...a particularly base example of famine-denial literature..." The book in question is Fraud, Famine, and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard (1987), a work that is now very hard to find outside of harsh-looking pdfs, and badmouthed on Wikipedia,, and Metapedia. The Wikipedia page on Luciuk has this:
at the top of it (because it reads like a semi-hagiography), while Tottle's BLP is mostly a denunciation of his book, and right now has defaced quotations. As far as I can tell, Douglas Tottle is either quietly dead, living under another name, or avoiding the Internet entirely because it is impossible to find any reference to him outside of his book and the storm it caused (it was examined by the 1988-90 "International Commission of Inquiry Into the 1932–1933 Famine in Ukraine"; one of the participants thought Tottle had Soviet help, Tottle was invited to speak but declined.)

The article above features a bit of weirdness at the end of lumpy writing:

"Yevhen Konovalets, the former commander of the elite Sich Riflemen unit of the Ukrainian military, led the UVO. West Ukrainian political parties secretly funded the organization. Although it engaged in acts of sabotage and attempted to assassinate the Polish Chief of State Józef Piłsudski in 1921, it functioned more as a military protective group rather than as a terrorist underground.[12] When in 1923 the Allies recognized Polish rule over western Ukraine, many members left the organization. The legal Ukrainian parties turned against the UVO's militant actions, preferring to work within the Polish political system. As a result, the UVO turned to Germany and Lithuania for political and financial support. It established contact with militant anti-Polish student organizations, such as the Group of Ukrainian National Youth, the League of Ukrainian Nationalists, and the Union of Ukrainian Nationalist Youth. After preliminary meetings in Berlin in 1927 and Prague in 1928, at the founding congress in Vienna in 1929 the veterans of the UVO and the student militants met and united to form the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. Although the members consisted mostly of Galician youths, Yevhen Konovalets served as its first leader and its leadership council, the Provid, comprised mostly veterans and was based abroad.[13][14] 9+10 =21"

Does that bit of weird math have some symbolic meaning, like the fraction 14/88 does to Neo-Nazis?


I've been told that all of the Slavic-language Wikipedias are run by flaming nationalists, and that the Hungarian Wikipedia is full of direct translations from the English-language Wikipedia with anti-Semitic gobbledegook thrown in to make the Arrow Cross wannabees happy. Wikipedia dysfunction: a feature, not a bug.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Before Wikipedia: Search Bastard and 3Apes

Jimmy Wales has been desperate to hide "Search Bastard"; it probably reminds him too much of his days with the "Brotherhood of Old Men In Suits" before Wikipedia and the WMF swept him into the stratosphere of being the "Internet-savant guy" the rich idiots invite to their parties.

Search Bastard ( existed from August of 2000 to the summer of 2006; it was like a dirty version of, or Netscape Navigator if you are old enough.

As it says, Search Bastard was considered "the best motherfucking search engine on the net"....probably by the dateless college freshmen the site was aimed at. It had an obnoxious front page:

As you can see, it was all insults, calling the potential user a "dumbass", a "motherfucker", and a "pussyass motherfucker" for good measure. Somehow this was to trick or goad "websurfers" to use Search Bastard, and it would have been seen as revolutionary had the website come out in 1996. But this was 2000, and the web was flooded in search engines already, and links to porn websites were easy to find. Did I mention that the site had odd, "photo phunny" style joke ads? Well it did.

Later on the website was linked to a similarly-named site called "Stock Bastard" which gave out stock quotes. That site was the product of a Canadian company called Samcom, which like Bomis is now defunct. Bomis' name and URL is featured prominently at the bottom of Search Bastard's page

"Another Demented Production of" indeed. SB was one of the last things Bomis made at 4455 Lamont Street in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego, California. Down the street from the now-defunct taco stand where "bros" Jimbo Wales and Larry Sanger came up with Wikipedia.

Above is an example of 3Apes, which was Jimbo's first attempt at a search engine (registered in October of 1999.) It did "pay per clicks" like a number of websites in the pre-2000s, and died a year after Search Bastard, in 2007.

That was from; 3Apes was cancelled under Section 8 in late April of 2007, and this confirms that Bomis of San Diego was behind it.

And something I found in the ruins of


My point isn't to harass Jimbo (though he will take this that way); it's that everything has echoes, predecessors, and failed prototypes. Mr. Wales has gone out of his way to wipe Search Bastard off the Internet; you have to ask Mr. Peabody nicely to get what I have brought here. He should just fess up.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Roshuk asks: "Was Wikipedia Ever Meant to be Transparent?"

Seven years ago Alex Roshuk, a lawyer who was also one of the first Wikipedians, decided to bare his soul about the project he was no longer a part of. He did so on a blog with only two posts. Below is the second one:

"When I first became aware of Wikipedia sometime in 2002 I did not fully realize the potential it might have offered. It took me until the late winter of 2003 to begin to appreciate the option I had to contribute to a collective work. At first I just started writing or editing a few articles and slowly, after a few weeks I began looking around at various user and talk pages and I began to discern that there was a definite community forming. I learnt the names of individuals like Mav and others. There seems to be a few people who must have been spending an enormous amount of their time on Wikipedia (which I calculated based on the amount of time I had spent). I began reading the archives of the mailing lists (really there was one main list at that time) and started making comments about things relating to copyright, mostly the issues of fair use which popped up quite often on Wikipedia and the issues relating to page histories and copyright infringements (something that I think most people really did not understand). What I began to glean from these early reviews of the Wikipedia database that what was being offered was a truly transparent opportunity to work as a community.   As a Canadian and communitarian I saw the possibility of people working together even on their disputes as many of the early discussions on Wikipedia (mostly on the wiki called meta that was distinct from any of the other encyclopedia projects and designed as a place of debate) that there were healthy transparent debates going on between Wikipedians. I found this refreshing and I found the talk of transparent governance on the mailing lists also refreshing. Being a jaded New York and litigation lawyer I really did not have much faith in the world in general any longer.

So I volunteered to help with some legal tasks. I helped Jimbo pull together some information regarding the organization's application for tax exempt status (which was supervised by Jimmy Wales) and I spent time discussing the options of making Wikipedia a membership or non-membership board controlled organization. What we came up with was compromise solution based upon the need for input from all the volunteer editors (whom we also called members) to reach up to the top of the organization's board of trustees. I convinced Jimbo to put a dispute resolution mechanism into the board structure (that was not the same as the arbcom and mediation committee structure that had been developed on the mailing list to deal with editorial disputes) and I think Jimbo had an appreciation of the need to have an organizational feedback mechanism to deal with member disputes or management issues.

While it was true that some of the structure aspects of the bylaws (which were submitted to the IRS) were never implemented by the Board (who was originally Tim Shell, Michael Davis and Jimmy Wales) it was clear that there were members because the organization had several elections.  I personally don't think these elections were valid because no proper notice was given to the many members who were eligible to vote and the only people who did vote — I believe — were mostly administrators who were active. I actually never voted on these "elections" because I did not know about them. I had never received any notices of these elections (even though I monitored my email from the foundation) because I don't think any email was ever sent to the "members". How these people got elected I will never understand because Jimbo and his appointed CEO Brad Patrick announced in 2006 that there had never been members of Wikipedia or Wikimedia. Suddenly with the appointment of Mr. Patrick all the openness of Wikipedia's early years had disappeared.

What was the reason for this? I cannot be sure but when I looked at Brad Patrick's talk page and various information about Wikia, Inc. (the for profit start up that Mr. Wales created after starting Wikipedia) I discovered that what was going on was that Mr. Patrick and his law firm had been hired by Mr. Wales to start Wikia, Inc. and help it get venture capital funding (Mr. Patrick was an associate in a top corporate law firm).  It seemed that his law firm decided that Mr. Patrick was not needed at the firm and that he would better serve the legal interests of the partners if he was appointed a paid employee of Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Strangely enough he became both the CEO and Corporate Counsel even though there is a clear issue of conflict of interest that was never addressed.

What really started making me upset was that Jimbo Wales had stated on the foundation mailing list that sounded like was part of the discussion to hire Brad Patrick.  About a year earlier I suggested that he might talk to someone locally in St. Petersburg to act as standby in case someone filed a lawsuit against Wikimedia Foundation not hire a full time lawyer.  Mr. Patrick was not very forthcoming about anything he was doing in the foundation even though Jimbo had promised that Mr. Patrick would be working with all us volunteer lawyers to continue to do what we had done in the past. Nothing of the sort ever happened. The private lawyers mailing list became dormant (until six months later when I tried to discuss my dispute with Wikimedia on it and I was kicked off the list by Eric Moeller because I was "hurting" the foundation by being critical about it.

This is exactly the problem. Around the time that Mr. Patrick became CEO and General Counsel (two jobs that I believe are fundamentally incapable of being handled by the same person) communication really stopped happening in the "internal" wikis of Wikimedia (this was also the point that Angela Beesley resigned)."

(5 Dec 2007, on the defunct


More abuse of Wikipediocracy, talking about ancient Wikipedia article tags, Eastern European politics, and pointless "naming names" sessions to come.....

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

As above, so below....

The reader may or may not know that Wikipedia has a  "banned users list" (until they deleted it, of course.) What nobody but the little birdies know is that the Wikipediocracy message board, that bastion of sanity and good judgement under the leadership of Stanistani, I mean William "Monty" Burns, also has such a list!

The following fifty accounts have been banned from the Wikipediocracy message board as of December 2014:

wllm (abandoned the site a while ago, but ban him all the same, right?)

Willbeheard (possibly William McWhinney, Wikipedia big wheel.)




Triptych (thrown out, brought back, then thrown out again!)

Tippi Hadron (wife of HRIP7, was fighting with Greg Kohs on messageboard.)


The Wife (another old-timer bites the dust.)

Tarc (ditto.)

Stierlitz (even though he has been locked out of his account for four months.)

Sidereal (alleged Wikipedia troll.)

russavia (aka "the Russian airplane guy" on Wikipedia.)


rd232 [addendum: Robin de la Motte of Wikipedia Commons.]



Off2delhiDan [addendum: AKA "Youreallycan" and "Off2riorob", noticeboard pest.]

my two pence



MathSci [addendum: banned Wikipedia insider, a nasty person.]




Kumioko (Wikipedia old-timer; tossed for "personal agenda", whatever the fuck that is.)

Kiefer.Wolfowitz (SWEET JEEBUS, they shitcanned him for "relentless assholery"!!)




In the Gulag





Faye Kane girl brain (a real ranter; has Venus symbol in middle of name)


Duke Olav III (why?)




Daniel Brandt (they threw out the GodKing over a "personal agenda.")


Charmlet [addendum: a teenaged brown-noser.]


Bonkers the Clown [addendum: Singaporean kid with an imagination.]

badmachine (Wikipedian; doesn't know why he was booted.)


Abd (even though he's been AWOL for months.)

3 to 20 characters


Certainly some of these people were crazy, or wankers, or tools. Certainly as a board admin you have to ban people from time to time. But having a secret list, like you are Richard Nixon in 1971, is the sort of chickenshit you can expect from a man who is attempting to run for Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee (aka Jimbo's Kangaroo Supreme Court.)

If the criticism website is as bad as the thing it criticizes, is it even worthwhile to keep it running?

[My sources claim that some of the people listed are sockpuppets of each other, so the journey to Wikipedia behavior is complete.]

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Operation Swill" and TGI Friday's - or: Don't Go To New Jersey, And Don't Look It Up On Wikipedia

 Another guest post from the Man in the TARDIS, Doctor Why.

Ever heard of "Operation Swill"? Happened in May 2013, and was widely reported, yet today it's barely remembered. One would swear there was no such bust.

Note this part: "Twenty-nine bars and restaurants, nearly half of them TGI Fridays", okay? Ya got that? One of America's biggest restaurant chains was involved, at multiple franchise locations in New Jersey. Something about putting rubbing alcohol in liquor bottles and serving it to patrons, disgustingly enough.

Now, go to the TGI Friday's article on Wikipedia. Nothing. Not even a "Controversies" or an "Issues" section. Nothing bad ever, ever happens at or around TGI Friday's, according to Wikipedia.

Look at the history of the article, it shows the common signs of carefully concealed paid editing. Numerous small changes by a mess of IPs and minor accounts that do an assortment of things. More obvious is the presence of that notorious Burger King employee, Jerem43. He's been "watching" this article quite a bit, until recently.

Here's the thing: last May, someone tried to insert a paragraph about "Operation Swill", a fact which would embarrass any restaurant chain mightly. Other editors expanded it. But it only lasted a month, because Jerem43 smugly removed it, snarling "Remove section that concerns TGI Friday's franchisees, it is not about the corporate entity known as Fridays."

Jerem43 also removed a section about a number of Friday's locations being closed due to the 2008 recession. "Remove section relating to defunct franchise in one city - unrealted to the company as a whole." (sic)

So, this is one of the "clever" things about business franchising. If a franchisee feeds his customers rubbing alcohol and "dirty water" and calls it "top-shelf liquor brands", well, hell, that's not the fault of the brandname owner. Not only that, they'll get their paid editor to remove any such scurrilous information from Wikipedia.

Which, to this day, does not mention "Operation Swill" anywhere. The head of the New Jersey Alcohol Board of Control, Mike Halfacre, had a Wikipedia biography. Which was put up for deletion  two months after Operation Swill, by "I am One of Many", a "spamfighter" who likes to report usernames as "spamusernames". Media coverage of Operation Swill was mentioned as one reason to keep it, and it was kept. Yet even Halfacre's biography today doesn't mention Operation Swill, one of his biggest career successes. Why?

And as of November 2014, Jerem43 is still carefully manicuring "History of Burger King", in spite of his user page being prominently tagged "I am going back to school after 25 years. I will be editing Wikipedia a bit less. I am checking up daily, but cannot devote a lot of time to it." Guess the money's worth neglecting schoolwork. What other restaurant chains is he "serving"? His edit summary mentions hundreds of edits to "List of McDonald's products", "KFC", and "Wendy's", in addition to his thousands of edits to Burger King articles, so he must be a full-service editor for the fast food industry.

As if anyone cares, mind you. And so far as we can see, no one does. Enjoy your whiskey sour.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Guest Post on Jimmy Wales

 Below is a work of raging genius from a man who may (or may not) have his own TARDIS.

Wales Speaks, And We Laugh (but not because he's a great comedian)
by Doctor Why

As long as we're discussing the degeneration of Wikipedia and its Holy Man, we might as well parse the closing speech he gave at the 2014 Wikimania. Because it's classic Jimmy. He's a shitty speech-giver, which only makes his desirability as a public speaker all the more baffling.

1: "This is my annual traditional talk and one of the things I traditionally do in my annual traditional talk is get everyone to stand up and say how many Wikimanias you've been to, but we did that in the opening ceremony, so I'm just going to get right down to talking about what I wanted to say this year."

That's how he started it. Amateurish, stupid, an attempt at humor that falls flat. (You may have noticed by now that Objectivists have no detectable sense of humor, and Jimmy fits the profile.)

2: "So, first of all, in a "State of the Wiki" address, one of the things I've done in the past is to talk about statistics -- statistics about how we're doing -- how many articles and how many languages and so forth like that.
But this year I just didn't want to to do that. You all know those numbers as well as I do or even better."

No, they don't. The few statistics the WMF publishes are either trivial things like page views, or declining things like active editors and active administrators. If a corporation turned in performance figures like those seen in the WMF's 2014 report, the CEO (presumably Jimmy) would be tossed unceremoniously out the door.

3: "Now, the UK is home to a very diverse newspaper community, a vibrant newspaper culture. We've got papers like The Sun, The Mirror, The Mail.
I was really heartened to see -- I was actually happy to see -- how little the public trusts them as the rest.
But I mean the thing that's really impressive here is the BBC has an excellent reputation as an excellent news source, and we're trusted slightly more than the BBC. Now, that's a little scary --

There's some more of what Wales passes off as "humor". It's not funny when you realize that millions of Britons take the crap published in the Sun and the Daily Mail with deadly seriousness. The UK grows increasingly racist, isolationist, paranoid, and inequitable, and the UK media has a major role. But Wales The Golden Boy makes jokes about it. And his shithead followers laugh on cue. Might as well be a speech by Stalin, with cued applause.

4: "-- and probably inappropriate, but it is something that we have accomplished and I think that it's really important, and I think that all of the things that we think about, everything that we do at Wikimania, all over when we're talking about the software, we're talking about the community, we're thinking about all of the nitty-gritty of our work, the one thing that we should always remember is that we are here for these people (not just the British ones) but for the readers, for the general public."

Aw shucks, he's just like us, ain't he Martha? Just reg'lar folk! Cain't talk for shit or nothin'! Ain't nothin' fancy about his plain speakin'! Don't make no sense neither!

5: "When you scrolled further down in this news story, they also inquired about another source which was left off, which was Encyclopedia Britannica. And people trusted Encyclopedia Britannica -- I forget the exact number, but it was like 20 points ahead of us -- it might have been 89 percent or 84 percent -- well you can look it up. So, that's fine, Encyclopedia Britannica is quite good, but it does tell that we still have -- that we're not finished. I'm not going to rest until people tell us that they trust us more than they ever trusted Encyclopedia Britannica in the past. And for that to happen we really need to do everything right, we've got a lot of things we have to get right in order to achieve that goal."

Pointless to even bring up, asshole. You've won the war and killed Britannica, by delivering what idiot high-school students want: general reference information, available online at all times, of questionable value, at an impossibly low price. You are the Wal-Mart of information, Jimmy. You suck, you know you suck, and yet you keep lying about your suckage, in public. And people still give you money.

6: "And one of the things we always talk about is civility. But this has long been a contentious issue in the community and I have, I hope, a new approach to thinking about this that I'm hoping to popularize today, because I think that in many ways our conversations about civility in the community have gone down a bad path that is causing us to miss an enormous opportunity."

BULL FUCKING SHIT. You, sir, installed complete assholes like Erik Moeller and "The Cunctator" in charge of your project, long ago. And they installed even worse people, like Angela Beesley, Phil Sandifer, Mark "Monsterass" Pellegrini, and that horrifying amphetamine-gobbling cunt "Slim Virgin". These freaks were some of the most incivil, hateful, abusive "leaders" you could possibly find, and THEY made your "incivility problem" into an established subculture. You can blame no one but yourself for the "bad path", Mr. Wales. So shoot yourself.

7: "One of the classic problems we have is -- and we have this a lot in English Wikipedia -- is the annoying user, who at least allegedly produces good content. There are users in the community who have a reputation for creating good content, and for being incredibly toxic personalities. This is a tough issue because [fixes slide problem] but my idea is very simple. Actually, on this issue, I have a very simple view is that most of these editors actually cost us more than they're actually worth, and we're making a big mistake by tolerating people who are causing us enormous --
[prolonged applause]"

Just say it, fucknuts. You want to get rid of people who write your content, like Giano and Eric "Malleus" Corbett. Because they won't kiss your arrogant fucking asses. Right? Admit it. You'd rather kill the encyclopedia off than give an inch to the people who wrote it.

8: "Apparently I'm fulfilling my role as the symbolic monarch of just speaking the thoughts that have bubbled up through the community."

You are NOT a "monarch", Mr. Wales. You are a little shit with a battered copy of ATLAS SHRUGGED who stumbled into creating a major website. That's all you are. You haven't saved a million lives, you haven't even saved a few kittens at the local animal shelter. All you've really done is made it easier for lazy teenagers to plagiarize term papers. Oh, yeah, that makes you a regular Albert Schweitzer.

9: "The truth is, we're human beings, we're a human community, and there's always going to be some strife, there's always going to be some debates that get out of hand, and things like that.
But I think that we can capture a spirit, the spirit that you feel here at Wikimania, a really positive spirit."

Ask some of the people your "community" is defaming right now, Jimmy. Ask Rupert Sheldrake or Brian Josephson or John Lott. Or your "old friend" Rachel Marsden. If it's such a "positive spirit", where's the Damon Dash biography? And how's that Yank Barry business coming along? How many other Qwortys and Johann Haris are running around on your little project right now? You don't even know, do you?

Oh, of course you won't discuss any of that, Jimmy. Because you're a liar and a coward, running herd on a website full of lying cowardly bullies.

Ah hell, that's enough. He just goes on and on, spewing the Crap They Want To Hear. Criticizing Mr. Wales for his folksy banter and moronic jokes does not change the opinion his idiot fan following has of him; or of Wikipedia. He could shit on the podium and wiggle his little penis at the crowd, and they'd still love him. He's like the creator of "My Little Pony" at one of those horrible "Brony" conventions. His fans are so insane and so blinded, what he says or does is not even meaningful anymore.

                                  Would you buy a used online "encyclopedia" from this man?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Addendum to the last post...

Some things I forgot to tack on:

Deleting stuff. Just like with creating unpersons, you can't completely obliterate information. Somebody somewhere has a html copy of some blog you thought you deleted in 2000 just because your description of GAZ 21 Volga cars gives him a weird erection. I've seen it time and again where the information on a website was scraped from another, closed, website which may itself have come from another dead page. Now that you can do screenshots instead of printing it off and then typing it up, the image of whatever catches the collector's fancy is there in his/her hard drive. The way we deal with much information on the web is now like a mosaic, and what was on certain missing pieces can be inferred by references to the missing bits on the surviving components. Jimmy Wales has tried this a lot on his Wikipedia talk-page, burying the times he's stuck his leg into his mouth, but the sheer act of repeated deletion means people will be there taking "before" and "after" screenshots just for laughs.

Wiki-communism. There is a lot of back-and-forth about how Wikipedia is the second coming of Communism because it's a collective organization, with a hierarchy, and lots of rules, and a "beloved"leader-figure....and I have to laugh, because those terms could also describe the American Continental and Militia forces during the American Revolutionary War (or American War of Independence if you are British.) Like the Wikipedists, the soldiers and sailors weren't paid either. Jimbo Wales is not a Marxist; from everything I've read, he is a hard-core fan of Ayn Rand. He wanted ads on Wikipedia and that created the friction between Wales and Larry Sanger (the only guy with a Ph.D [as far as I know] at Bomis, Wales' original company.) In truth, if Wales could charge for different levels of information at Wikipedia, he probably would.....which is why he has tried to capitalize on his leadership/creatorship of Wikipedia in as many ads as possible.

                                        (You knew the reference above had to appear.)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Things Wikipedists and Wikipediocratists Don't Seem to Understand.....

.....could fill another set of encyclopedias. To keep things short I will mention two, at least this time.

Point One: Wikipedia is doomed to failure

A real encyclopedia is written, edited, published - and thus finished. You can write yearbooks to add information or new, updated editions every decade, but a published encyclopedia is done. Wikipedia, conversely, is never finished; it must always keep up with current events (for reasons beyond me), and it never tries to limit what it covers, so Pokemon character lists exist on the same site as the biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Certainly it's nice to have all this information together somewhere, but the end result is an unwieldy, incoherent mess. And then there's the issue of article fidelity; how many articles have hoaxed or malicious material? How many articles are hoaxes, like the fictional Soviet director Yuri Gadyukin?

A friend of mine, "Stierlitz", once called a plan to make a display encyclopedia set out of the English-language Wikipedia "[p]ure derp", but I think he had it wrong. To actually hold one of the 2,050 volumes in your hands, to see how lumpy many of the articles would look on the printed page, notice how the style can shift from paragraph to paragraph, that would dissuade people far more that Wikipedia is a worthwhile endeavor than anything I could actually write here, even without talking about MONGO.

So this is what Wikipedia really is, a giant tumor-filled shark swimming through a sea of information. A real shark would stop growing, but Wikipedia is an unnatural technological being which grows as it moves, and has no instructions to stop growing or shed unnecessary parts of itself. Such a thing is destined to die badly once it stops moving, and so it is with Wikipedia. `Bots have replaced content writers, editors are dropping, more and more articles have "hats" from years ago asking for the article to be re-formatted or merged with another article. If there had been a limit to the amount of information possible to display, or if each Wikipedia had been designed to be broken up between arbitrary categories (a History Wikipedia, a Science Wikipedia, a Pop-Culture Wikipedia), it wouldn't be the fiasco it is now. It would be a different fiasco, but possibly one more manageable.

Point Two: Banning people and deleting their work doesn't end "the problem"

Seriously, kicking people out DOES. NOT. WORK. Either they start up revenge blogs, or revenge messageboards, or they are just lazy and sockpuppet the site they were banned from. Take the example of "ScienceApologist" (now QTxVi4bEMRbrNqOorWBV); he started on Wikipedia in 2004, got into argument over argument over "fringe science" articles, blocked multiple times, was "permanently banned" in 2011. Spent from early 2011 to the summer of 2013 as a Wikipedia unperson, finally let back in under that bizarre handle. During his exile, became "iii" on the Wikipediocracy messageboard when it appeared in 2012. It should be said here that the man who runs the Wikipediocracy messageboard blog is none other than "Herschelkrustofsky", who was thrown off of Wikipedia against the site's own rules a decade ago, because people like "SlimVirgin" and "Cberlet" hated his articles on Lyndon LaRouche and the LaRouche Youth Movement. "Cberlet" is (shock! horror!) Chip Berlet, who may still be with Political Research Associates; back in 1989, his associate Dennis King wrote an expose titled Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism, which gives the reader an idea of where Berlet and King saw LaRouche going. 

It should be pointed out that the ban/delete culture slowly creates paranoia about sockpuppets, which beget a plethora of "rules" (which are repeatedly bent), which creates this inquisitor/commissar class, and before you know it the website begins to resemble the Imperium of Man in the Warhammer 40,000 gaming universe, aka what would happen if the Spanish Inquisition, an S&M parlor, and Frank Herbert's Dune were mashed together while everybody was out of the minds on LSD. This is why people quit (unless they like the abuse), and why this sort of thing is ultimately fatal for a free labor project like Wikipedia: nobody likes a creeping police state.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Why This Blog?

Good question. Pretty much Jimmy Wales' baby has gone from the "hot shit, website of THE FUTURE" to a crumbling, `bot-filled wreck in less than twenty years. It's also full of outright fabrications, spastically myopic coverage of certain topics, edit wars, super-trolls (Willy on Wheels, anyone?), and paid corporate spamming....but we will get to that in time.

The other kludge we will be examining is Wikipediocracy, mainly its message board. The problem here is that many of the Wikipediocrats are ex-Wikipedians, including some of their most monomaniacal editors and content providers like "ScienceApologist" (who posts as "iii"), or "Afadsbad" (who under the name "enwikibadscience" could not stop writing about Cwmhiraeth's Wikipedia idiocy), and the Ukraine-supporting "Kiefer.Wolfowitz." It doesn't help that the guy who is mainly considered to be the supremo of the board, "EricBarbour" actually is only a moderator, and not an administrator, so the poor user is left to the tender mercies of  "Zoloft" (a certain Mr. Burns of San Diego, California) and the master do-nothing "greybeard" (allegedly one of the old-timey Usenet guys from the era of cocaine spoons and leisure suits.) Much like with sausage, if you like Wikipediocracy's blog, you definitely don't want to see how they come up with ideas for it on the message board.

It's going to be a bumpy ride.....