December 8, 2011

Too Much Information, pt. 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 9:13 am

Thursday morning. 

Out of bed at 8:15, strong coffee, Wheaties, Oregonian, per usual…

Even though I got out of bed with no intention of working on the Social-Democratic Party of Wisconsin piece yesterday, that’s what I worked on all morning. I picked away at it anyway, spending time at AfD and working on sundry related pieces. The jackass that was trolling me for opposing his mass deletion attempt wound up getting hauled to Wikipedia’s main “drama board,” Administrator’s Noticeboard/Incidents, for his behavior by somebody else. He was harassing another guy over the same matter. What a surprise.

Unfortunately the ANI investigation there was lazy and incompetent and prematurely shut down after 8 hours — probably while I was sleeping. They missed the fact entirely that the asshole kid had been stalking me. It was a pity that I couldn’t vent a little there and at least put the troll’s inappropriate behavior on record, but I have no illusions about what incompetent twits populate ANI. Nothing much would have happened to him. Good content creators leave the project and the All Growed Up versions of my stalker are the ones who remain to judge the transgressions of the stalker.

It reminds me a little of Lord of the Flies.

The deficiencies of Wikipedia are well known. It has little to do with content, which is on average good-to-excellent and very well policed. This reality is in marked contrast to the popular conception of Wikipedia, that it is like the content of a vast whiteboard on which literally anyone is allowed to write literally anything.

What I tell people to dissuade them of this notion is this: “Just you try it and see what happens.”

No, the problem of Wikipedia isn’t the content — it’s the culture, with too many people playing the encyclopedia like a Mass Multiplayer Shooter Game. Here comes more new imperfect articles through the front game. Bam, bam, bam, A7, A7, A7 — they’re dead. Oooo, there’s that guy I don’t like. I’ll see if I can provoke a reaction out of him, report him to the authorities, and have him tossed from the project. And so on. And there is no fixing it because there is no boss to fix it — it is anarchy in action. The consensus decision-making process used by WP is slow, cumbersome, and ineffective.

Oh, the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind WP, knows well what the problem is, why the numbers of new content creators are dropping alarmingly. They’re simply powerless to solve the problem because the foxes run the henhouse and the farmer has no mechanism to get the foxes out of the henhouse other than to lecture the foxes to try to be less foxy. But foxes like to eat chickens.

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Anyway, yesterday afternoon, somewhat atypically, I started working on another new piece on WP, my 136th start. The article is on Paul Grottkau, a pioneer German-American socialist newspaper publisher. That’s him above. I was pleased with the progress I made and I’ve got a stack of 4 more books next to my chair this morning to milk for more information. Towards noon I plan on spinning a couple reels of old Socialist newspaper film to see if I can dig up a couple obituaries from June 1898.

I got a rare leaflet in the mail yesterday, a $10 fixed price anti-Communist piece that I snapped up. Published by the miniscule “Anti-Sabotage League” of Rochester, New York, it reproduced content from February 1919 purporting to document the “Nationalization of Women” in Soviet Russia by the Bolsheviks in the cities of Vladimir and Saratov. WorldCat shows only two copies known anywhere in the world. I scanned it up and released it to the public domain.

Have a hoot: Bolshevism Revealed (1919).

I also spent a LOT of time converting a bad Google scan of a rare pamphlet featuring an 1884 debate between Grottkau and anarchist leader Johann Most into a pretty pdf: AnarchismusOderCommunismus.

All in all, that’s a pretty productive day. That makes two good ones and one bad one this week, with one to go.

Time for more work on Grottkau. Ciao now…


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