Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why Wikipedia is Irrelevant

Wikipedia, The Pointless Encyclopedia
Have you noticed that Wikipedia is just irrelevant search engine bait?  Let me explain to you why Wikipedia is useless.  I'll let you decide if you should start, or continue to contribute money to them.

1.  They made themselves that way through rules.  Did you know, for instance, that a contributor can not put original information in a wikipedia article?  It has to cite a published source.  This means that wikipedia is nothing more than a mirror site for other real journalists and authors.  In other words, its search engine bait.  It gets high page ranking, but only because it has good SEO.

2.  Do I really need another reason?  As if 1 weren't irrelevant enough!  Another way Wikipedia is useless is that your teacher/professor will not accept it as a citation for your research!  If its not good enough for them, is it good enough for you?

3.  Yet another reason!  The idea behind Wikipedia is that knowledgeable people (field experts) would post informative articles on it for free, just out of the goodness of their hearts.  However in reality, the peer review process has made it so that the only people who can put information on Wikipedia are those who have a lot of time on their hands.  Now there are two groups of people I know with computer access and a lot of time on their hands to do this.
Group A:  People living on the government dime
Group B:  People being paid to post stuff on Wikipedia

Lets say you are a field expert and you post something on Wikipedia.  Immediately 5,000 lazy people or people with an agenda are champing at the bit to destroy you.  Which leads me to #4 - But before we go there, keep in mind that if you did take your time to make a meaningful article, you have to spend the next two days tracking down the twerps who deleted it after scanning it for ten seconds and arguing with them as to why it shouldn't be deleted.

4.  People by nature prefer to tear others down than to build them up.  After all, its much more fun to call people names online and rip them a new one than to actually read their article and make a meaningful contribution to it.

5.  An information source is only as good as its editor.  And in this case, your editors are people who don't have anything better to be doing.  Most of us have a job and bills to pay.  There is the off chance that this Wikipedia editor is using their free time to better the world.  Maybe they get paid handsomely at their day job and have the time to ward off hordes of government bloodsuckers.  More likely, you have a group of editors who live off government assistance, and therefore don't have to do any real work, or they are being paid by a group or individual to put things on wikipedia.  Either way you get a biased group.

  How are people who live off government entitlements biased? Well for one, they are biased against anyone wanting to cut government entitlements.  For another, they are biased against any person or party who wants to cut government entitlements more than the next party (or biased for whatever party or person has promised them the most entitlement).  After all, if you are living off of government entitlements chances are you are pretty poor because the government is so inefficient at converting taxes to entitlements that by the time it gets to you, a dollar only vaguely resembles a dollar.  It looks a lot more like a dime.    

In conclusion, if you want to really know something, then go to the source.  It'll have had a real editor with a professional writer and you'll be able to quote it without sounding like a tool.
Me: "Oh thats interesting, where did you hear that?"
Tool: "Wikipedia!"
Me: "HA HA HA HA HA, and you believed it? HA HA HA HA!"


Anonymous said...

While I agree with your overall theme, that Wikipedia sucks and is irrelevant as well as being horribly biased I think you're barking up the wrong tree when you repeatedly blame people living on welfare for wrongfully editing articles on Wikipedia.

While you are 100% correct about one of the groups you mention (people or groups of people who are paid to put disinformation on Wikipedia because of an agenda) it would seem that instead of the other group being people living on the government's dime you should mention, well, a whole different bunch of people living on the government's dime. By that I mean intelligence agency assholes like from the C.I.A. and N.S.A. Wikipedia (like "Wikileaks") is a hand puppet of American intelligence assets.

If you doubt that then ask yourself why does Wikipedia unquestioningly accept at face value any official government explanation for certain matters, even if said explanation can be so easily disproven that a 12-year-old with internet access can show it to be bogus in the space of an afternoon's research? Wikipedia will cling to ridiculously impossible explanations for things so long as it they have an official government stamp of approval on them. Great examples are the assassinations of J.F.K. and R.F.K. as well as the events of 9/11. Despite for example the laws of physics making it clearly impossible for a shooter in the same location to be responsible for both a shot that tips John F. Kennedy's head forward by hitting him in the back of the neck and exiting at his tie knot as well as being responsible a second or two later for the kill shot that hits him in the forehead and throws his head violently backward and to the left (thus in two or three seconds rendering the "Oswald - lone nut assassin" theory about as trustworthy as that pathological liar character on Saturday Night Live played by Jon Lovitz) Wikipedia holds on for dear life to the official government explanation for the J.F.K. assassination and smugly labels any questioning of this provably false explanation as being the rantings of tinfoil hat-wearing "conspiracy theorists" with no grounding in reality. In Wikipedia's upside-down universe explanations for certain matters which defy physics as well as common sense are perfectly fine and treated as the gospel truth whereas anything that so much as questions the validity of such fairy tales is forbidden, edited out and consigned to oblivion in their Orwellian memory hole. According to Wikipedia then the U.S. government never ever lies, never does anything horrible and always has the best interests of its citizens at heart. Anything it says is considered the truth by default and any questioning of it is ridiculed and erased.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself: Who has both a motive as well as the means for making Wikipedia nothing but a vehicle for propaganda and disinformation? Who has the means and a motive for trying to mold public opinion by censoring out uncomfortable and embarrassing truths and replacing them with disinformation and propaganda masquerading as reliable information? Which is more likely? That the ones behind this are people (most of whom, no offense to anyone on welfare, are not exactly the brightest or most well-spoken people in the world) waiting for the first of the month to cash their welfare checks and are so worried that the government handouts will dry up that they would spend countless hours editing Wikipedia to reflect their views only to run the risk of others with opposing views counter-editing them? Or that the ones behind Wikipedia's bias and disinformation are agents of some of America's sixteen (or more) separate intelligence agencies who would be ruthless enough to throw their own grandmother down a flight of stairs rather than see the truth about certain events become widespread knowledge? Who would be better equipped to control the message, control the editing and ensure that their disinformation is not corrected? Some high school dropout waiting for their government check so they can buy another bottle of Mad Dog wine? Or a paid intelligence agent whose job it is to make sure the most popular "encyclopedia" on the internet, if one holds one's nose enough to bear calling Wikipedia an encyclopedia, is 100% in line with the C.I.A.'s/N.S.A.'s/billionaire ruling elite's interests and with what they prefer for the public to perceive as true? The smart money is on the intelligence agents, not on people on the dole with an agenda and nothing better to do.

mcmlxxxvi said...

Part 2

3. Knowledgeable people are half of Wikipedia's idea. The other half is that anyone can improve it, and that a community and rule system help steer changes in a generally positive direction. The peer is an internet user, not a scholar - even a scholar may be required to source their contributions.

So when the field expert's page is vandalized by 5000 (or even as low as 5) trolls, given the magnitude of Wikipedia, in most cases someone will be pretty quick to catch wind of it and start correcting/reverting, or directly alert the mods. Depending on troll severity, the first course of action can resolve the problem or eventually lead to the mods. It's true that, at lower-traffic pages, this whole process may take long and that there are a lot of pages with unresolved issues, and it's true that some people have given up editing Wikipedia because of conflicts and edit wars, but it is generally an effective process. Look at a popular page's talk and history pages - you usually find a very lengthy constructive discussion, which, I agree, is an amazing rarity in today's Internet. And I remind you again that in Wikipedia, most of the time an article is a process, not a status quo.

As for people who contribute without reimbursement, look up Group C: the free/open-source software community. I believe the same mechanics that make them contribute may be used to explain Wikipedia's growth.

4. Again, I suggest looking at the FOSS community. Projects advancing in spite of petty bickering and other such marvelous things going on there.

As a matter of fact, I was editing an article on Wikipedia when I landed at your blog, and I'm going to finish it after this comment. My contribution will be small but I'm neither on government welfare nor being paid to edit, nor do I have nothing better to do. I just felt like cutting some sleeping hours to improve the page.

Here's an interesting look on Wikipedia page evolution (continue reading after the middle, there's a plot twist).

5. You seem to be fixating predominantly on politically sensitive articles. I suggest the following exercise: start with a page nobody has covert interest in (for example this one), then progressively choose more and more sensitive topics (e.g. normal distribution > genetics > cloning > abortion > US president > Iraq war). If you dig into such articles' discussions, I believe you'll see a correlation - a page's "state" is determined chiefly by its popularity (as measured by the number of edits) and it's political/cultural sensitivity. Meaning, roughly equally popular pages with roughly equal percentage of motivated trolling will look roughly the same in terms of numbers of citation requests, neutrality disputes, edit wars, and semi- and full locks. And it doesn't matter if the troll is a government worker, CIA operative, mad scientist, religious fanatic or 4chan no-lifer - the process by which the page returns to normalcy is the same.

As stated in the last link of the previous section, most of the content on Wikipedia is generated by small edits from people with not so many contributions. Whoever vandals may be and whatever their motivation, their impact is small in comparison with the overall edit traffic, and will tend to diminish even more as Wikipedia's user base grows - which I believe is the case for the near future at least.

Thank you for your patience.

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