From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ridiculous use of "Needs References" tag[edit]

I have recently seen the widespread misuse of a template by tag-happy editors on many writers' pages. I'm talking about the use of the "refimprove section" tag on bibliographies or lists of writings. This evidently is another innovation by editors who like to play on Wikipedia without having to create content or actually look at sources.

Think how stupid this is: What kind of citation is needed to "prove" the existence of books written by a particular author? A third party writing attesting to the fact that someone else saw the book? How this that more useful to a reader than simply listing the books, which can be verified by checking the online catalog of any major research library?

What is ridiculous about the indiscriminate use of this tag is that Wikipedia by and large is never cite-checked rigorously for anything. No one carefully goes through a page and looks up the cite to ensure it says what it is supposed to and then attests to having done so. This is what a real scholarly reference work does. In a real encyclopedic work that would be built inot the process of editorial review on everything. But real facts are left to crowd-policing.

In fact, just having a supposed source is treated like a talisman here. Slapping a source on something makes the statement supposedly supported non-removable. I don't even go into the question of the evaluation of reliability, etc., of the source. Yet the "needs cite" tage is affixed to things in a ridiculous and haphazard way because no one goes through an article with a view to its overall balance, accuracy, sourcing, etc. The most obviously unsupported statements (whether true or not) can go unsupported and yet a "needs cites" tag can be slapped on a bibliography (a section that in real reference works is never footnoted).

These tags say that unsupported facts can be deleted. Many bear dates of several years ago. Should we start gong through all these lists of works and delete them? AnthroMimus (talk) 16:04, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

"We are not here to educate people ..."[edit]

No, editors are here to squabble, debate arcane points of WikiDogma, act like a sports bulletin board and in general engage in Wiki-Tomfoolery. No time for making a quality reference work. But fight about a title? Hell, yeah. See: Talk:Tham Luang cave rescue#Requested move 4 July 2018 The best part is that it is such an exciting discussion that one editor decided the flag it on the article itself so that everyone can see the childishness of behind-the-scenes Wikipedia. AnthroMimus (talk) 22:45, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

The graffiti of non-contributing editors signals the end of scholarly input[edit]

When Wikipedia began the governing principle was that a cooperative wiki could create a basic encyclopedic work of basic scholarship. Many were skeptical because the idea of a scholarly project wihtout an editor seemed utopian. For many years, when basic subjects were dealt with, the project proceded beyond the expectations of most. In some areas, notably math and science where real expertise was needed and its absencve was easy to spot, the work was excellent. In other areas, however, the project was a disappointment. As an internet project, Wikipedia tended to attract those who were mostly interested in coding and interactive digital programs. As a result over time those interested in scholarship and creation of reliable scholarly content tended to be outnumbered by those mostly interested in software and software communities. The latter, were less interested in content and more interested in (i) programs/bots/simple methods for editing; (ii) policy-making; and (iii) simple edits whether it be copy editing (comma editors, I call them), enforcement of arbitrary policies or the like. The most noticable development has been the graffiti editors. At the beginning the idea was that consensus would rule nand therefore the "talk" section was to be used to work out disagreements. The initial rules were simple: there was no uniform style, but rather what was necessary for the particular subject. No uniform citation style, for example, was enforced. Over time, internet communities developed to push such things as particular topics, mostly simple non-scholarly ones, like particular situation comedies, particular list groups, etc. These groups took {jurisdiction" over certain subject matters and promulgated "policies." This allowed editors to graze through articles and deface them with references to particular "policies." No longer was consensus sought; instead, hyper-editors took it upon themselves to enforced arbigrary and indeed obscure policies to deface articles.

So if you spend much time researching and writing and revising articles for the sake of providing a basis for an encyclopedic work, you efforts can, and inevitably will be, undone by lazy editors who take it upon themselves to post tages that says such tings as "it is too detailed for the averae reader," "should be broken up into smaller articles," "needs more citations<:" etc. These generally are affixed to real articles because the avereage new Wikipedia article, e.g., a description of an individual episode of a situation comedy or an album by some obscure pop group never gets reviewed in this way, because, hey, who cares?

The conculsion to be drawn from this is that Wikipedia has reached its terminal state. Any substantive work is wasted at this point. If, however, you want to add to the collection of detritus that Wikipedia is becoming by supplying lists of things or badly written synopses of movies, stories, booos, etc. (because the rules about secondary sources don't seem to apply to these) or endless accumulations of pop junk, feel free. No editor is going to touch that. If you have better things to do with your time, Wikipedia is no longer the place for you,

Wikipedia has no general editor[edit]

I saw this statement recently on one of the innumerable "help" features of Wikipedia. And it not only is true but also the reason for Wikipedia's many failings: too many non-encyclopedic articles, overrunning by various subgroups that enforce their point of view, and the complete anarchy in terms of investment of (human) resources. That is why there is an article for every "Glee" episode (I never saw one and most of you won't either) and utterly wretched articles about history, literature, classical music, etc. There were librarians (real people) at the Library of Alexandria. At Wikipedia there is the combination of anarchy and algorithms. Good luck future generations! We bequeath you our hatred for human management and give you Chaos. The "best" of our generation thought that the individual mind (the invention of the Renaissance) was not good enough, but they couldn't come up with anything better, so they turned it over to the market, the machine, the artificial. AnthroMimus (talk) 05:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)


Today (March 13, 2017) Wikipedia featured yet another video game. According to WikiProject Video Games that means it is the 214th FA on video games. By contrast WikiProject History has only 211 FAs (and of thoe 168 weren't even assessed for importance). So there you have it folks. Either assessment is a joke or Wikipedians are more interested in Video Games than World History. I hestitate to see how many FAs there are of garage bands or various "rock" groups. No wonder Encyclopedia Britannica is no longer consulted. It didn't concentrate on the trivial.

Wikipedia is not a reliable source[edit]

I've seen this statement quoted numerous times by admins with rollback authority. First off, if Wikipedia is not intended to be a reliable source, what are we doing here? Is this simply an interactive video game? Second, it's odd that it comes from admins who are quick to revert. The meme gives them more things to delete. I suspect for them this is an interactive video game. Third, isn't there some discretion involved here. There are many Wikipedia articles that are much more reliable than the Encyclopedia Britannica, 99.8% of the stuff on the Web, the GOP, and most of the "sources" used for other Wikipedia artices, which are held in such reverence because they are reliable (i.e., they exist). All of this is another unfortunate consequence of an organization that believes that editorial ability can be determined by a popular vote. There is no thought given to what kind of a person wants rollback authority. My own POV is that they really have no sense of how to edit (substantively, copy edit or simply proofreading), unless there is a policy on it.

Why Wikipedia should not "grade" articles[edit]

1. Wikipedia is decidedly not a peer-reviewed publication. The editors who decide what grade to assign an article are not required to know anything about the subject. Therefore, a grade falsely conveys to the reader more than it delivers.

2. The desire of some contributors to achieve "good articles" and "featured articles" distort the incentives for working on articles.

3. Since it is easier to review short articles than long ones, and since there is far more clamor for reviews than reviewers to perform them, short articles get priority. this incentivizes contributors to work on such things as episodes of situation comedies or other pop articles (which are easy to achieve "good article" status) over something of encyclopedic value. Take, for example, the individual episodes of the vapid Fox "comedy" Glee. Individual episodes (!) are evaluated as "good" articles, when, in fact, no serious encyclopedia would have articles on the episodes at all. As I write this there are tragedies by Sophocles amd p[eras by Handel that have no article. Yet people are wasting their time writing and evaluating (!) individual episodes of a TV that was at best mediocre.

4. No one systematically site-checks articles in connection with grades. And likewise no one checks to see if major areas of research have been omitted. How can an article be considered "good" or be "featured" without these two things?

5. Since initiation of grading is left wholly to the initiative of the contributors to the article, there is no uniformity in the undertaking of evaluations. There are numerous articles that are substantially referenced and cover the field that bear C or even stub grades, because the contributors had better things to do than seek out WikiGrades. Yet there are other subject matters where there seems to be an active promotion of articles and in which, like the new York Times Book Review contributors are reviewed by people who become the review contributor in a cycle of Vishnu-like self consumption.

6. Most importantly, the energy spent in promoting articles would be better spent improving the vast number of pieces that need improving (and deleting articles that don't belong).

I support you on this. Another problem: grades are not usually updated, in my experience, as an article grows. deisenbe (talk) 10:42, 26 September 2018 (UTC)