Leutha Blissett on Fri, 8 May 2009 13:17:13 +0200 (CEST)

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

Hi all,

I think Toni makes some good points, and a certainly agree that their
contribution to the discussion was a pain to read. However if we are to
develop a discussion, no pain - no gain as the saying goes.

I would also agree that DJ Lotu5's critique is mild, and indeed I would
like to see a more thought-out critique of wikipedia.

I'm sorry if my piece about the limitations about Google searches did not
state that by presenting a critique of a what Toni describes as a "far less
problematic", I hoped that the reader could see that a similar argument
could apply to the more problematic Google News.

I'm not quite sure what Toni hopes to achieve by describing the "Neutral
Point of View" as a joke. Certainly I had hoped that using the convention
of placing "Neutral Point of View" in quotation marks, I was indicating
scepticism about how this is presented. Their depiction of "Neutrality" in
terms of what appears to be a Kantian understanding of judgement, might
bear some weight for those who confine themselves to a Kantian
philosophical outlook. However I feel the role of "Neutrality" here is far
more opaque than Toni gives it credit. Perhaps having read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:NPOV, Toni could give a clearer
explanation of the point they would like to make. Anyway, I have already
made further points about the issue of neutrality.

This discussion thread has underlined my disappointment about how
contributors haven't taken the trouble to look at the issues in depth. Fair
enough, Toni is quite frank about the limitations of their imagination. But
I feel that they does their imagination down. Certainly I wasn't setting
out to "defend" the editors who suggested the DJ Lotu5 wikipedia page for
deletion, and when Toni imagines I was, this appears to be so effortless,
that it is unclear how conscious Toni was that they was exercising their

However I have since considered the matter a little further:

DJ Lotu5 suggested that they simply wanted to help expand the knowledge on
wikipedia about mixed reality performance art. However as this help was
limited to adding their name to the New media Art list of artists and then
developing a page about themself, it is hard to see how this "help" can be
distinguished from self-promotion.

This is the point which was picked up by the editor who first proposed
deletion. In fact three editors contributed to the discussion. DJ Lotu5 was
invited to take part, but unless the anonymous contribution was by them,
they did not take this offer up. The discussion was left open from 27 March
to 6 April.

those interested can see how the proposal for deletion was listed on 1
April. (Check the debate about deleting Earth as a not notable planet!)

There had been no further contributions to the debate by 6th April, when
the page was deleted. From this I think it is fair to conclude that a
factor in its deletion is that no-one was prepared to actually endorse the
article to be kept. Furthermore, no-one has felt sufficiently excited about
the page as to try and re-instate it.

I feel that the narrowness Toni perceives in my thought process, and those
of others, may be product of squinting through a pinhole. The fact of the
matter is that wikipedia editors can and do broaden their perspective in

Take DJ Lotu5 themself. Back in 2006 they were participated in the debate
about the wikipedia page on the European Graduate School (EGS), which they
had attended (I hope we don't get diverted into a discussion of all the
privileges that this implies). At that time, they were concerned that any
reference should have a URL - or certainly a reference critical of the EGS
should have such. In fact looking at the proposal for deletion of EGS is
far more informative (and perhaps more tedious) than the uncontested DJ
Lotu5 precisely because of the range of contributions, including some which
appear to be those of a paid employee of the organisation - who was thus
able to combine editing wikipedia with paid employment.

I am not sure what Toni is getting at with their comments as regards
"mindlessness". Coming after their comments about making judgements, this
readiness to remark upon peoples ability to think based on a this
particular episode would suggest that Toni could benefit from introspection
as regards "mindlessness" before using it as an epithet for others.

all the best


--- tony@irational.org wrote:

From: Toni Prug <tony@irational.org>
To: leutha@sierraleonelive.com
CC: nettime-l@kein.org, lotu5@resist.ca
Subject: Re: <nettime> what makes a notable life? [wikipedia]
Date: Thu, 07 May 2009 13:22:35 +0100

i have no idea who Lotu5 is. but this kind of discussion on Wikipedia is 
a real pain to read.

Leutha Blissett wrote:

> Hi Lotu5, I think you are being unfair to Wikipedia. 

Lotu5' critique of W is extremely mild and generous.

> 1) Using Google is a useful way of establishing notability, however it is
> not the only way. 

They used Google News, not Google the search engine:

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