December 5, 2011

Too much information, pt. 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 9:10 am


Well, new blog, new week, I might as well begin from the beginning… This is how I burn a week of my life, live blog style. I’ll be updating things through the day periodically and will try to keep my activities as “typical” as possible.

Out of bed at about 8:30 am. No alarm clock, no reason to set one — I’m looking at a schedule of 4 off, 2 on, 1 off this week. My Sundays are always spent updating my website and watching the NFL, that means I’ve got 4 days to “work” with 2 days wasted going to work… There will come a time in your life when you will hit a fork in the road — down one path lies money, down the other path lies free time. Take the time and adjust your lifestyle accordingly.

Anyway, the week starts by cranking up the heat, making a pot of coffee strong enough to revivify zombies, and then uttering a string of expletives because I step out for the newspaper and see that it’s garbage day. I ALWAYS forget that Monday is garbage day since they made Monday garbage day not long ago. I haul the can to the paper box, grab our copy of The Oregonian (the only serious newspaper in the state), throw it on the kitchen table, go grab my laptop and hit my chair.

Email from the night before from our little email circle, per usual, this time a historian friend in Cali asking about a Finnish syndicalist newspaper that we recently had a special collections librarian in Kansas film for us. There’s also discussion started by a new title listed in the newly released catalog by one of the four or so really serious dealers of radical books in the US. Our topic: the relationship of the Communist League of Struggle to the American radical movement. Yes, there are really a couple people who care about this stuff…

Why should you care?

Did I say you should?

Anyway, coffee’s ready, so I go grab that. Food and newspaper can wait, I try to hit it hard on Monday morning — it’s usually my most productive day of the week.

•     •     •     •     •

I like to get started writing a new piece for Wikipedia. Before I do that, I head for Articles for Deletion, which is where the rubber meets the road at WP. There are competing philosophies between active WP volunteers (of which I am one). Some favor a tight and focused encyclopedia akin to the Encyclopedia Britannica, with narrow standards for article inclusion. They interpret site rules tightly and are constantly trying to eliminate material which does not fit their vision. They’re known as Deletionists.

The competing camp wants a vast encyclopedia dealing with not just a narrow swath of subjects As Seen In The New York Times And Time Magazine™, but rather dealing with lesser known personages and topics, aspects of popular culture, and so forth. They’re more willing to interpret inclusion rules liberally and to work to defend from elimination many articles on the borderline. They’re known as Inclusionists.

I’m pretty much an Inclusionist, as these things go.

Well, here’s what’s developed overnight… Hmmm, not much. I’ve already said my piece about a bio of a pornographic actress (delete) and a Methodist youth organization (keep). Porn fans have managed to install a very low bar for inclusion of biographies of the so-called “actors” and “actresses” in fuck flicks and it grates me that they bend even this — while the bios of journalists and academics and politicians get tossed en masse based on another, higher standard for inclusion.

As for the youth group, Wikipedia active participants skew young and irreligious — which is fine — but there are a fair number of deletion nominations based on what is called IDONTLIKEIT, which is a no no. I may be an atheist myself, but I really do believe in the fundamental Wikipedia principle of Neutral Point of View (NPOV).

Okay, enough blather, time to get to work…


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