Leutha Blissett on Wed, 6 May 2009 12:50:38 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> what makes a notable life? [wikipedia]

Hi Lotu5,

I think you are being unfair to Wikipedia. While it's true there are a
number of officious chekists patrolling the pages, that does not mean
that your failure to acheive everything you would like can be entirely
attributed to wikipedia.

1) Using Google is a useful way of establishing notability,          .
however it is not the only way. Supplying source for references      .
not on the internet, or in other languages can be very               .
valuable as well. I once had problems stopping Pushkin House         .
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pushkin_House) from being deleted      .
by an over enthusiatic chekist. This was because although this       .
is the foremost Russian literary establishment this end of the       .
galaxy, Google searches throw up a satellite body in London          .
Wikipedia is useful precisely because it is unreliable. It does      .
not encourage reverence for the text, which can be altered at        .
a moments notice. This of course has its ups and downs. But          .
providing solid references does enable the reader to follow up       .
sources and form their own opinion. The fact that many people        .
aren't interested in doing so, and maybe have not developed a        .
critical approach to the acquisition of knowledge is perhaps         .
their own short coming, not something that can or should be          .
projected onto wikipedia 2)It is not true that an individual         .
cannot affect a page about them. Indeed if they find it offensive    .
they can ask to have it blanked, including any discussion (see       .
ing). However Wikipedia adopts a "Neutral Point of View" position,   .
which means that individuals using it as place to post their own     .
CV is not regarded as permissable. Also, perhaps a hallmark of       .
notability is that someone other than yourself is willing to spend   .
time creating a page about you. In fact I have seen several cases of .
people updating their pages, with no reverts, largely because these  .
are minor affairs                                                    .

Looking at some of the discussions on nettime as regards wikipedia, I
find it a lot somewhat disappointing. Often it arises from people who
haven't taken the time to understand how wikipedia works. For example,
any attempt to lump all the wikipedia editors together (some thousands
of people) with a unitary view perhaps betrays a disappointment that
wikipedia is not a new Pravda, offering a one dimensional view of the
world. Secondly, the role of the admins, who have access privileges
beyonmd that of the humble editors, perhaps could be looked at. Some
of them focus their attention on correcting spelling mistakes for
example. Others are more predatory. In many ways wikipedia provides a
mirror of society reflecting both strengths and weaknesses in current
social relations.

Of course this is not to deny problems which do arise from Wikipedia,
but focussing on such trivial issues (which can readily be refuted)
might obscure a more thorough going critique which better grasps how
wikipedia has become such a phenomenon on the internet.

all the best


--- lotu5@resist.ca wrote:

From: lotu5@resist.ca
To: nettime-l@kein.org
Subject: <nettime> what makes a notable life? [wikipedia]
Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 15:42:38 -0700 (PDT)

Or a notable artist?

Google does, apparently. Or Google News more specifically.


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