Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
So, the most productive way is CLEARLY to create ever more dozens of sockpuppets on Yahoo! Answers to ask questions about how Wikipedia is evil, COMPLETELY 100% FACT-FREE, and going to hypnotize you before it slurps up your brain through a straw. Oh, and be sure to always give another one of your accounts "Best Answer" so that they all dominate the "Top Answerers" list.The Nihilsock's satire is also too thinly concealed. But it is delicious.
But wait, you're doing that already, aren't you?
This satire is too thinly concealed to be particularly DELICIOUS.
Yes, folks, this guys a BIG FAT PHONY. Take my advice before he uses all his other accounts to thumb this down into oblivion.
Wait a minute, though: it is the Nihilsocks who actually dominate the Top Answerers list in the Wikipedia category: Nihiltres with almost 400 last I checked, and Nihilsock Wikipedia Answers a distant second with almost 200. It's taken Eddie (a Wikipedia Review sock according to various Nihilsocks) years to reach third place now just short of 150. "Wikipedia Review socks" My Wiki Business, Bill and Moses are on the board but still well short of even a hundred.
And another thing: Wikipedia is not "completely 100% fact-free" nor do the "Wikipedia Review socks" claim that it is. Part of the reason Wikipedia is so dangerous is that it does get a few facts right, mixed in with lots of lies, and people just assume it's 100% correct.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
User:Department of Redundancy Department. I'll admit I chuckled the first time I read that. But Travis's newfound viciousness and dastardliness are hardly a laughing matter. In any case, it's more fun to laugh at the fact that he blocked himself on January 30 for a full minute.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Well, there are several problems with that declaration. For starters, the study was not really a study, it was a piece of journalism that did not go through the same rigors of peer review as other articles published in Nature.
But much more importantly, the "study" was RIGGED!!! In the sample of 50 scientific topics covered by both Britannica and Wikipedia, Jim Giles, the author of the "study" found that experts counted 162 errors in Wikipedia and 123 in Britannica. Now, I'm no mathematician, but I have the feeling that 162 is greater than 123. So how do you derive that Wikipedia "is more accurate" from those numbers? Easy, you downplay, explain away, or completely dismiss some of Wikipedia's errors so that you don't have to count them. That's exactly what the author of the "study" did.
By the same token, you exaggerate mistakes in Britannica. In the articles on the Acheulean industry, the expert consulted by Giles found ONLY ONE mistake in the Britannica article and SEVEN mistakes in the Wikipedia article. So if you count Britannica's one mistake as twenty mistakes, and discard six of Wikipedia's mistakes, then yeah, Wikipedia, while still not perfect, is more accurate than Britannica. That's a result that can be arrived at only by very careful manipulation of the data!
For much more details, go to Nicholas Carr's blog: http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/02/community_and_h.php
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Take a look at his block log: It's always funny when admins do admin action war, such as when Stemonitis blocked Pndapetzim for edit warring, then Angusmcclellan comes along and unblocks Pndapetzim. Of course Stemonitis is an obvious Pndapetzim sock.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Supposedly Cburnett adheres to the following "wikiphilosophy":
With each and every edit ask yourself this: does the edit make Wikipedia better? Edit warring is an automatic no. Bad Faith editing is an automatic no. Edits that suit your personal/political agenda is an automatic no. Edits that suit a business's agenda (advertising) is an automatic no.
And yes, Cburnett does adhere to that philosophy. At least his main account does. Open the sock drawer and a much different story emerges. As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all of the time...
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
One of User:Commander Keane's many sockpuppets is User:After Midnight, who on May 18, 2007 promptly unblocked Keane after Keane blocked himself "by accident." Right.
It's not enough for Wikipedia to give wrong information in its articles, it also has to give wrong info in user pages: for example, in Keane's user page, he claims that "if you use Firefox you can go to any Wikipedia article by typing "wp Article name" into the address bar." I tried that in Firefox 3.6.2 for Mac OS X: no cigar.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The picture of the family is necessary to support the idea that Davidcannon has a very busy life. His list of contributions would seem to support that idea. In his latest 50 contributions, you can still see contributions from February 2009. But what of his many alternate accounts? You don't get to be a sysop on Wikipedia without engaging political cloak-and-dagger. Look in particular at all those who supported his Request for Adminship, and also quite a few of the ones who opposed it.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
But that's a blatantly obvious error and no one would take it seriously even if it wasn't reverted immediately. What if instead I put in a mistake about someone "notable" enough to merit their own Wikipedia entry but not famous enough to have more than 30 'watchers'? (Watchers are Wikipedia users who put the article on their watchlists to be alerted of changes in real time).
Gregory Kohs at Akahele posted a carefully-researched account of how the Mike Ilitch article was wrong for almost three years! (See http://akahele.org/2009/07/where-in-the-world-was-mike-ilitch/). Randomly pick a date within the past six years the article has been up, and the chance of Ilitch's place of birth being correctly stated is about the same as is that of a tossed coin landing on heads—50/50.
Don't even get me started on the Seigenthaler scandal, the false Wikipedia biography that stood for months. If his son hadn't noticed it, who knows how much longer it would've gone unchallenged?
To my knowledge, the most recent example of an inexcusable Wikipedia mistake is the Sarah Palin death rumor I mentioned some posts ago. I had already mentioned that although that stood for just little over half an hour, it is still inexcusable because the article has almost seven hundred watchers. Sarah Palin was unknown five years ago and will hopefully sink back to obscurity in another five years, but at this point in time, how do you explain that none of the almost seven hundred watchers were awake and logged on at the very moment the false death announcement was made?
Maybe you think you're helping Wikipedia out when you correct a mistake you detect in it. Next time you do that, after your edit, look in the edit history (by clicking the "history" tab) and try to determine how long ago the mistake you just fixed was inserted. The results will be quite enlightening.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
What is his big sin, anyway? I don't know the official reason he's been kicked off each time, but the thing the pro-Wikipedia duckspeakers have against him is that he asks "push" questions—questions he already knows the answer to but with which he hopes to provoke other people to the realization that Wikipedia is completely worthless as a source of information on anything and completely unworthy of donations.
But given that thousands if not millions of people continue to trust Wikipedia as being "good enough," it is important for people like Gregory Kohs to continue trying to do everything they can think of to educate people about Wikipedia. If, in researching the answer to a question Greg posts, someone gets it across his thick skull that Wikipedia can be trusted with neither intellectual property nor money, it will have been worth it. Besides, a question is a question, regardless of whether or not the asker knows the answer.
I suppose Greg might comment on this post and disclose his new username on Yahoo! Answers. It doesn't matter if he does, the Wikipediots on Yahoo! Answers have already figured out what it is. In one of his latest "push" questions, the user calling himself "Death Panelist" (previously "GrimJack") wrote "And try not to lose your Yahoo! account this time, OK?" Which quite likely means that it was him who reported Greg for a violation. That's the kind of thing Wikipedia apologists expend their limited intelligence on: figuring out the identities of Wikipedia critics.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Eluchil404 aspires to be a "wikignome" (barf) but his frequent participation in deletion discussions clearly indicates he does not take his aspiration seriously. And hell knows why he feels it necessary to express an opinion about inclusion criteria in Latin. Dorkus maximus.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
So proud is Ahoerstmeier of editing Wikipedia that he claims to have been specifically mentioned in the New York Times. Sure, whatever you say.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
It is also worthwhile to note that Phil Sandifer became a sysop in April 2004, and it was in August 2004 that he launched a dastardly attack on User:Orthogonal which led Orthogonal to get tired of Wikipedia's crap and leave the project. The "request for comments" regarding Orthogonal's alleged lack of good faith and failure to resolve a dispute started out in high melodramatic fashion, with Phil Sandifer the poor martyr accusing Orthogonal of trying to come up with a new Wikipedia policy specifically as an attack on him. Soon after Phil Sandifer's sock attack poodle certified the dispute.
I could go on, but this particular litany of melodrama is getting very tiresome. Still, it is important to be aware of such things, because that's how things are decided on Wikipedia, whether it's a matter of personnel or of determining the factual validity of something.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
So then they think: "Wikipedia is a pretty good reference, but it has the occasional bit of false info, therefore, they need more paid fact-checkers." Such a line of thought is wrong on so many levels, but first consider why Wikipedia can't pay fact-checkers: it can't pay anyone to work on the content.
When Wikipedia started to become famous, the more puritannical elements of our society were first and foremost concerned that Wikipedia would become a source of free porn for bored teenagers. In order to escape persecution as pornographers, the Wikimedia Foundation hides behind Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act: Wikipedia doesn't provide content; it provides a service for users to post content.
Mike Godwin, Wikipedia's general counsel, is aware of this and he likes to edit Wikipedia. Therefore, his user page has the following disclaimer: "Unless it is otherwise stated, any edit or contribution to Wikimedia projects by Mike Godwin is an act of a regular member of the community, not a legal or official action of the General Counsel or the Legal Department of the Wikimedia Foundation."
Theoretically, this means that if Mike Godwin chose to upload a picture of himself going down on himself, the responsibility for that action would be solely his, and not the Wikimedia Foundation's.
A side effect of this is that then the Wikimedia Foundation is protected against claims of libel. If Mike Godwin were to edit Wikipedia to say that John McCain likes to go down on himself, again, the responsibility for such a statement would fall on Mike Godwin, and not the Foundation. However, in that scenario, we know who Mike Godwin is, whereas in real life we often have little clue as to who an IP address or a cryptic user name represents.
That sweet deal would be invalidated if Wikipedia paid anyone to check facts. The next time John McCain gets slandered on Wikipedia, people would ask if the paid fact-checkers were asleep at the wheel. So it's much easier to not pay fact-checkers at all.
If you want a job at Wikipedia, you have to be a close friend of Jimbo's. Otherwise, the only kind of job you can get in Wikipedia is the kind that doesn't pay anything, monetarily or otherwise.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
At the top of Coffee's user page on Wikipedia, there is a banner that says "Coffee has a real life, therefore Wikipedia isn't his main concern. He will take his time getting to queries." The banner has the Air Force logo. Notice how he doesn't say "I'm in the Air Force." You're supposed to jump to that conclusion. Frankly, I think it's disgusting to pretend to be in the military, especially these days when the National Defense ribbon is too often earned together with a Purple Heart.
And if Coffee is really so busy in real life with the Air Force, where does he find the time to create the most sophisticated Wikipedia user page I have ever seen? Maybe you don't find that convincing enough, since he hasn't edited his user page in months—oops, I mean days. Then consider this: As I write this blog entry, Coffee's logs page (which you can get to by clicking the "Logs" link on his user page 'toolbox') has at least 50 deletion actions performed today (or maybe last night, I get confused by Wikipedia's use of zulu time sometimes). And if you look at his user contributions, you still see a great deal of contributions for today.
You know, if I was as "busy in real life" as Coffee is, I would be able to write daily posts for this blog.
Monday, March 15, 2010
- Articles with no sources whatsoever, but the article is not tagged with one of those infamous orange "This article does not cite any references or sources" tags. For example, Fairfax District (Kansas City, Kansas) as of today.
- Articles that do cite one source in the preferred inline format yet are tagged as unreferenced just the same. For example, Ryers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as of today.
- Articles with one external link, which happens to be broken. For example, Oil Heritage Route as of today.
- Articles cited with a website in a foreign language (which would be just fine if we all spoke all other languages). For example, Asmane Gnegne as of today.
- Articles incorporating information from another language Wikipedia, where the other Wikipedia has no citations whatsoever, and the English Wikipedia has two or three footnotes all from the same place. For example, as of today, National Mint of Bolivia is pretty much trimmed down from the Spanish article though with the addition of three citations from Euromint.net.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
To address this need, the folks at Distilled came up with a plug-in for Firefox that removes Wikipedia search results from Wikipedia. Read more about it: http://www.distilled.co.uk/blog/seo/search-google-without-wikipedia-a-firefox-search-plugin/
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Oh, and by the way, Jake Wartenberg is part of "WikiVoices," a project that has a cat as executive producer. This stuff is just too hilarious to invent.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
But this is not to say that Nihiltres is the only person who believes in the glory of Wikipedia. The existence of Nihilsocks does not negate the fact that thousands of people have fundamental misconceptions about Wikipedia, and remain oblivious to its gross inaccuracy.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Sarah Palin died in the early mourning [sic] of February 17, 2010, estimated 4:37 AM due to an increased blood pressure in the brain while she slept. Stress brought on by the criticism she has received since running for presidency is believed to have caused this. Sarah Palin's children and husband were asleep at the time leaving them unable to rush Sarah to the hospital. Paramedics arrived on scene not until two hours later, when Sarah Palin's husband woke up, and tried to revive her but by that time she was dead.No, you haven't heard that? That's because you get your news from a reputable source, like CNN.com, or even Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. Not from Wikipedia. At 01:00 Greenwich time (already February 18 over there), HeliAce added that paragraph quoted above to the Wikipedia entry on Sarah Palin. It wasn't until 01:36 that it was reverted.
Now, half hour and change is not bad compared to how long it took for the slander against John Seigenthaler to be removed from Wikipedia. But when you take into account that Sarah Palin is these days far better known than John Seigenthaler, a half hour to revert false information about her on Wikipedia is way too long. Supposedly the article is on the watchlists of almost seven hundred Wikipedia users.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
I think the administrators of the port would be happy with this article. Most of its content seems to be lifeted straight off http://www.tulsaport.com/profile.html with only the PR hyperbole removed. In fact, the last edit to the article last year removed the company's claim that it is the "most inland river-port" in the United States.
However, the claim that the Tulsa Port of Catoosa "is located 15 miles from the Tulsa International Airport" merits further scrutiny. I asked Google Maps to give me driving directions from Tulsa International Airport to the Catoosa port, and it said 15.3 miles. Well, it would be petty of me to make a big deal over 0.3 miles. However, the port's website says it's just 7 miles from the airport, and remember that I gave Google the coordinates I got off Wikipedia. Neither Wikipedia nor tulsaport.com give the criteria for their distance measurements. I'm guessing the port people are measuring from the outermost gate of the port to the outermost gate of the airport, and I won't venture to guess how Wikipedia is measuring.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Recently, Eddie on Yahoo! Answers asked "Why do some Wikipedia admins insist that the rules of Wikipedia be applied all throughout the Internet?" GrimJack, a notorious Wikipedia apologist on Answers, answered the question with another question: "Do you have any specific examples of this?"
Well, I have a specific example for you: Nihiltres and Coffee seem to think that since Gregory Kohs was banned from Wikipedia, that means he also needs to be banned from Yahoo! Answers. The bastards have gotten him kicked off as both "MyWikiBiz" and "Try MyWikiBiz," the latter within days of the account being signed up. Supposedly Gregory Kohs uses multiple accounts on Answers, but no doubt the hypocritical Nihiltres and Coffee do so too, and on Wikipedia as well (in fact, they might be the same person).
Much more importantly, Gregory Kohs violated the unwritten rule of Wikipedia: You shouldn't criticize Wikipedia, which Nihiltres and Coffee and their various apologist sockpuppets on Answers wish to have extended to Yahoo! Answers. The reason this is important is that so many people turn to Answers to ask whether Wikipedia is reliable or not. There needs to be someone there to tell them that no, Wikipedia is not one bit reliable, and point them to the websites that tell the truth about Wikipedia, like Wikitruth (obviously), Wikipedia Review, Wikipedia Watch, MyWikiBiz, this blog, and even respectable newspapers of record like the New York Times and USA Today.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
You see, back in high school, I was in Army ROTC. I seriously thought about joining the Army, but I have not inhaled, if you catch my drift. Still, I remember what I was taught about the difference between officers and enlisted personnel. A Sergeant Major is a senior enlisted rank. And while no Sergeant Major would mind terribly being addressed as "Sir," I doubt a Warrant Officer would much like being addressed as "Sergeant Major." There has been a lot of discussion on this particular point in the article's talk page, but it looks like a very confused argument between weaklings who would be turned away by even the most overzealous recruiters.
The article mentions that the equivalent in the U. S. Army is Command Sergeant Major, which is an E-9 rank. But the article says nothing about why it's WO-1 in the various military branches of the Commonwealth but not the American military.
Now, I realize that I set out to gauge accuracy, not clarity of presentation. So I will have to table this part of the review until I can consult with someone more knowledgeable on the British military.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
The Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuşi in Târgu Jiu consists of a set of sculptures by the artist Constantin Brâncuşi which are in the Romanian city of Târgu Jiu. The Wikipedia article has no references in the usual sense demanded by its rules on "reliable sources," making my review of this article so much easier. The whole article seems to be little more than a trimmed down regurgitation of this page: http://www.ici.ro/romania/en/cultura/mz_asbrancusi.html from the ICI in Bucharest. I'm going to have to get a book about Constantin Brâncuşi before commenting further on this.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
That is why I have decided to do my own study of Wikipedia's accuracy. I hope that by publishing which articles I intend to use for the purpose of my study and clearly stating my methodology, others can see for themselves whether my conclusions are supported by the data or if I have just shaped the data to fit my conclusion.
My first instinct was to use random articles with the "Random article" link provided on all Wikipedia pages. The problem with that is that perhaps the selection of articles would not be as representative as I would like. My next idea was to use "ancient" pages, but the Ancient Pages report has not been refreshed in a long time.
So what I'm going to do is this: on the Main Page, there are eight "portals" listed: Arts, Biography, Geography, History, Mathematics, Science, Society, Technology, and also a link to a list of all the portals. A Wikipedia portal looks much like the Main Page, but all its content is dedicated to a given topic. I don't know if the eight portals I've just listed are the portals that are always listed, but they're the portals listed as of today. From each portal, I'm going to choose either an article that has has barely been edited in a year, or in the case of the "Did you know..." and "On this day..." boxes, articles which have had very few edits for a year prior to being chosen for those features, or I'm going to choose an article that has been nominated for one of those features which has similarly laid unedited for a long time.
It could be argued that this is biased against Wikipedia from the start, since it would enable me to blow mistakes out of proportion saying that they stood uncorrected for months. Maybe so. To compensate, I will completely ignore spelling and grammar errors if they have no impact on the factual accuracy of the article. For example, "Martin Luther King, Jr. was asasssinated in 1968" would be acceptable since anyone reading that would understand what is meant regardless of whether or not they notice the misspelled word. By contrast, "The researcher was injured when a stalagmite that had hung from the ceiling of the cave for centuries fell down" would not be acceptable because by misspelling "stalactite" a factual error has been introduced into the text. (I'm sure stalagmites can fall down, too, but it would be a very different danger).
This is the list of articles I will use for this review:
1. From the Arts Portal: Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuşi in Târgu Jiu (two edits in 2009, one of them by a robot).
2. From the Biography Portal: Regimental Sergeant Major (five edits in 2009, none so far this year to date).
3. From the Geography Portal: Tulsa Port of Catoosa (four edits in 2009, none so far this year to date).
4. From the History Portal: Jus exclusivae (five edits in 2009, none so far this year).
5. From the Mathematics Portal: Permutohedron (only one edit in 2009! Could it possibly be any good?)
6. From the Science Portal: Jon Lomberg (five edits in 2009, two so far this year).
7. From the Society Portal: Benjamin Franklin Burch (article created March 5 of last year, edited five more times over the next two months and not again since).
8. From the Technology Portal: GWR 1076 Class (three edits in 2009, two of which were by robots!)
These are all articles I am fairly certain I had never read prior to embarking on this review. I plan to read one of these each week, and examine its factual accuracy while abstaining from commenting on its quality as literature. For each of this I will use the version of the article as it was on the date of this post. It would be just fine if people decided to improve these articles before I got to them in my review. However, it might be possible to defeat my study by falsifying the edit histories for these articles, by dating major improvements prior to the date of this post).
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
If placement near the top is any indication of pride, then one of the things Adam Bishop is proudest of is having reverted the change of Pope Lando's old picture to a picture of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian on Empire Strikes Back (or Return of the Jedi, one of those). Yes, there really was a Catholic supreme pontiff by that name, I checked in the Old Catholic Encyclopedia just in case it was a Wikipedia hoax. Adam says he cracks up every time he reverts the picture of Han Solo's token black buddy back to the old drawing of the bishop from Sabina. Please.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Now it seems that MyWikiBiz did "privately admit" to having multiple accounts on Yahoo! Answers to Nihiltres, and followed that with a public admission at http://akahele.org/2009/04/searching-for-answers/. So, unlike Wikipedia's powers that be, I must admit to my mistake.
But does my mistake really change anything? The fact remains that despite an increasingly larger chorus of condemnation for Wikipedia, way too many people still have way too many misconceptions about Wikipedia (that it's a charity, that it's accurate, for starters).