The 10 Weirdest Things About Wikipedia

Submitted by: squrlz4ever 8 months ago in Tech


As a knowledge-hungry squirrel, I consider Wikipedia to be the best, first-place-to-look source of information ever created. It's like an oak tree of knowledge acorns. Or, to quote fellow IAB'er @MrTeatime, it's "one of the greatest projects to emerge from the Internet."

But not everyone views it so favorably. Far-right conservatives decry it as liberal propaganda (and have fought back with their own spin-off, Conservapedia). Alternative medicine fans claim it's unfairly biased in favor of mainstream medicine. IAB's own @MonkWarrior has stated that he regards it as "like writing on a bathroom stall."

Where do you stand? Discuss. Oh, and be sure you back up any claims you make with a link... probably back to Wikipedia.
There are 62 comments:
Male 5,475
yeah it's definitely not perfect. but after watching this video i see now how more ridiculous it is, and how if it wants to keep 'bad stuff that was too good to delete', it's just going to devolve into the mess google became
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Male 4,953
monkwarrior Waitaminnit. You not only dislike Wikipedia, you dislike Google too? How are you even on the interwebs? ~scratches head~

Monk, I've been giving this whole thing a lot of thought and think you should start your own free online reference: Monkapedia. You can begin with these five entries:

  • "9/11 MIHOP";
  • "Abortion is genocide";
  • "American terrorism";
  • "Haters gonna hate"; and
  • "Life in Mom's basement."
That covers A-L. You're gonna have to figure out M-Z. (Pretty sure there's gonna be a "Squrlz is a pain in the ass" in there somewhere.)
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Male 5,475
squrlz4ever google went down hill the day it went public.. search wise, api wise, and data-collection wise.  I search with http://www.ixquick.com. I'm more than technical enough to know how to not make a phone use any of google's services, but use whatever service needed privately, and i get my information from multiple sources.  Plus i know how to make services and tools myself if need be.

Your best bet is to not try to analyze me, because you'll be less likely to be proven wrong, like your 5 entries are a lame ad-hominen attack.  And no, i don't find you to be a pita.

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Male 4,953
monkwarrior Oh, c'mon now. #5 was a joke; I think you can take it. #1 thru #4 are actual positions, topics, or statements you've often made on here.
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Male 5,475
squrlz4ever incorrect, the only actual thing I've said is #4.  #1 is incorrect.  #2 may have been implied but wasn't spoken by me, but i did say it is murder. #3 i never said.  #5 i live on my own.

Did you say you were on the wikipedia editing team?  Maybe that's why there's bias in there.. assuming things that just aren't so?
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Male 4,953
monkwarrior Oh good grief, why do I get sucked down into these rabbit holes with you?

Okay, so let's review the suggested entries.

1. I thought you were the one who's always going on about how explosive residue was found in the 9/11 rubble? No? I assumed from all that that you believe the WTC destruction was a demolition that was deliberately staged. No? Please clarify.

2. This is your position, recently stated in another thread, so I think we're good here.

3. You've recently made the statement that America is the "world's #1 terrorist regime" in another thread so I thought "American terror" would be a sensible topic for Monkapedia. You're backpedaling now?

4. This is a response you often make and you're not gainsaying it now, so I think we're good here.

5. This one was, as I said, a joke. My apologies if it offended you.
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Male 5,475
squrlz4ever
1:  "9/11 MIHOP" != "9/11 requires a re-investigation as there is explosive evidence which warrants it, and which the official report explicitly ignored despite the mountains of evidence."
2:  "Abortion is genocide" != "Abortion is murder"
3:  "(expletive deleted) terrorism" != "The world's #1 terrorist regime which resides in that nation"
4: cleared up above.
5: no apology needed, no offence.
*FYI != = not equal to.

Also i think you get in this rut because you assume a bunch of stuff that just isn't so.
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Male 4,953
monkwarrior No, I get into this rut, if we're going to call it that, because you are slippery and refuse to own your own positions.

*sigh* So let's revisit items #1, #2, and #3 yet again, because you're bobbing and weaving like a weasel on muscle relaxants.

1. I suggested "9/11 MIHOP" (Made It Happen On Purpose) as a Monkapedia entry because more than anyone else on IAB, you've posted links to conspiracy theories about the WTC attacks, often making the claim that explosive residue was found, and even suggested (in this thread) that the Pentagon has spent $2.3 trillion paying off people as part of a massive cover-up. But now you seem to take exception to the suggestion that you believe 9/11 was a staged event. I call that slippery.

2. Two days ago, as part of your argument that Wikipedia is biased, you pointed out that abortion isn't mentioned in the Wikipedia article "Genocide." You also stated that abortion "has brought such a massacre of innocents like never before seen." But now you're saying that you don't believe the practice of abortion is genocide. Why are you running away from your own position? What's the point?

3. In a recent thread discussing a Russian spy ship loitering off the Connecticut coast, you wrote "If the world's #1 terrorist regime doesn't want to have people snooping around and meddling in their affairs, perhaps they shouldn't have been snooping around and meddling in other's affairs." That sounds like you're talking about America to me. No? You're saying now that you're talking about "the world's #1 terrorist regime that resides in that nation." What does that even mean? Can you explain exactly what you think the "world's #1 terrorist regime" is if you aren't referring to America generally or its leadership?
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever For the record I have never said anything about human Genocide just in case any INS agents ask. I heard they've been snooping in my official records
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Male 5,475
squrlz4ever yes, i suppose you could say i'm slippery, but i'm quite clear with my positions  

1:  I'm simply saying "a re-investigation is warranted due to the explosive evidence exposed by experts".  I have no theory, suspicion, or explanation to it other than that a re-investigation is needed before we can even begin any of those, i may have speculated a little upon some peoples suggestions, however it doesn't sway me, and since the release of the report, i have sat squarely on the quote about a re-investigation.

2: the point is as was stated back then, that abortion is not even in genocide entry, even though it could be classified as such. I mentioned this previously that i understand how you could see it was implied, however i have not said that it is, but am simply echoing that others could argue it as such.  My stance is that abortion is murder.

3: that's where your assumption is wrong.  I'm talking about the world's #1 terrorist regime that resides within that nation.  It didn't always reside there, and perhaps when the nation falters it will move to another.  and it wasn't a change that "now i'm talking about it", i've never deviated from the point that the world's #1 terrorist regime presently resides within that nation.  If you want to take it as meaning a whole nation and all its people, thats where your assumption is wrong.  But i will clearly state that its tendrils is deep into that nation's government and its business elite who lust for more power and money.  But what you imply puts words in my mouth that aren't there, grouping people who are not part of that terrorist regime as part of it, which is incorrect.

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Male 4,953
monkwarrior Okay, we're making genuine progress here. Very reasonable response, so thank you.

Still, I remain confused by what you mean by the "world's #1 terrorist regime." Is this something that, for whatever reason, you simply refuse to explain? You also have refused to explain what you mean by "Death to the Presidency," a slogan you've often repeated on here.

Frankly, it's hard to discourse meaningfully with a person if he won't explain his positions. If you can't or won't explain either of those positions, no problem. At least we got through a few other points.

Also: Am I correct in thinking that you refuse to write the word America?
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Male 3,651
squrlz4ever I surmise monkwarrior is eluding to that the "world's #1 terrorist regime" is referring to either a group akin to the Illuminati. Basically, an untold group behind the scenes controlling the actions of the American Government, or some such thing. 

I honestly don't know. I'm grasping at straws just as much as you are.
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Male 5,475
DuckBoy87 emphasizing akin and your following explanation, if i were a betting man, i would have bet you were pretty close.
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Male 4,953
monkwarrior Dagnabbit. I thought we were done here but this rabbit hole is just too interesting to leave. So I've got six possibilities for this "terrorist regime" that I found in articles in--yes, you guessed it--Wikipedia (such as this one, this one, and this one).

Is this terrorist regime one of the following?
  • The Freemasons
  • A cabal of Jews, as revealed by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
  • The Freemasons and the Jews, working together
  • Reptilians (AKA, the lizard people)
  • The Rothschilds
  • The Military Industrial Complex
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever the last one run by the Illuminati
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Male 4,953
thezigrat I was thinking about this earlier while napping. My money right now is on the Federal Reserve, or something having to do with it. Or possibly the United Nations.

MonkWarrior, International Man of Mystery. He seemed to chafe at that moniker when I once used it, but it fits. For whatever reason, he won't reveal what country he's from nor the core of his political beliefs.
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Male 1,347
squrlz4ever Give that Squrl a nut! It's the FED.
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Male 3,651
squrlz4ever The Freemasons have been in decline for quite a while now. They are nothing more than a social group who sit around propping up their own ideas without any contest within the group.
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Male 5,475
squrlz4ever yeah man, don't rely on wikipedia for that kind of stuff, you might get the general idea, but you're not going to get the answer there.
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Male 555
monkwarrior Oooh is it the Holy Alliance?
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Male 5,475
muert you'll have to wait and see i guess
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Male 4,953
monkwarrior So that's a no? Some "terrorist regime" that's akin to the Illuminati is controlling the actions of the American government from behind the scenes, has been in power for 50 years, and may leave the United States if or when the country declines? And it's none of the above?

Honestly, I got nothing. I think this rabbit hole has just played out.
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Male 5,475
monkwarrior don't worry about it, people who need to know about it to act on it are presently in the know and doing so. Perhaps when the time comes for you to know about it you will know more too.
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Male 4,953
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Male 4,953
DuckBoy87 Well, I am relieved to learn I'm not the only one confused by some of this. Darn rabbit holes.
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Male 5,475
squrlz4ever It's never good to use swear or curse words.  But my position is as clear as i can make it at this time.  The World's #1 Terrorist Regime should be fairly obvious if you consider the words, research, and ask around to get a well rounded opinion.  You will find it is well known around the world where that regime resides. It may possibly be that you refuse to see the truth of it, since it resides in your own nation, but it's there. 

As for the 'slogan', i've made it very clear that it is just 4 words that will help the people under the heel of that terrorist regime to break free of it, and perhaps regain their bravery and freedom the regime took away, but preaches to them that they still have..
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Male 4,953
monkwarrior Well, yes, that was another epically slippery response. But it's cool, it's cool. You're keeping things beneath the radar, I see. I may Google this "terrorist regime" thing. Who knows? Maybe there's an article in Wikipedia.
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Male 5,475
squrlz4ever i doubt it, too biased.
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Male 4,953
monkwarrior ~Squrlz pops out of rabbit hole, eyes glazed and gasping for air~

OH THANK GOD THAT'S OVER WITH!
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Male 5,475
squrlz4ever lol, over?  not at all, things are just ramping up..
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever I been down rabbit holes before. Them critters are tasty.
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Male 4,953
thezigrat Thankfully, I live in trees.
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever Been in trees too. If I can reach the lower branches. I'm not good at jumping but I  have a 5 foot reach
over my 4 foot tall of body of awesomeness
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Male 4,953
thezigrat Yes, but how well can you withstand a fusillade of acorns?

~Squrlz moves forelimbs wildly in imitation of himself thowing about thirty acorns in five seconds~ Psh! Psh! Psh! Psh! Psh! Psh! The local dogs live in fear of me.
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever I was beaned in the head once by a Brazil nut flung from a squirrel from the top a bout 30 foot high tree. Sad part was I gave him the nut, not my fault he did not like it.
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Male 4,953
thezigrat LOL. Here's a powerful fact about squirrel existence and appetites. Hazelnuts? OMG. Hazelnuts are more or less squirrel crack. They're like acorns with the pleasure factor amped up 100X.
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever BTW how are you guys so accurate when tossing your nuts?
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Male 6,158
thezigrat I mean we have VERY good depth perception, how are you so good with only binocular sight?
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Male 4,953
thezigrat Practice makes perfect. I have spent many enjoyable afternoons in the local park, high in the canopy, dropping acorns onto the heads of hoomans who were trying to enjoy a meal at a picnic table.
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever How about Spanish peanuts, my pet mice loved them
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Male 4,953
thezigrat I don't believe I've ever had any. Next time I am sneaking into a convenience store, I'll look to see if there are any packages within reach. Only caveat is they can't be salted. Salted nuts of any kind are unsuitable for squirrels since they raise our blood pressure and dehydrate us like a sonuvagun.
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever How about Wasabi Peanuts?
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Male 552
Great article! I did not know about the Scottish Wikipedia, shameful since I am a Scotsman myself.

I love Wikipedia, the only negative for me is the time sapping factor, you go on to look up one thing and suddenly it's two hours later and you've clicked through about 20 articles. 
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Male 4,953
mrteatime Ye didnae ken aboot Scots Wikipedia? Mah God, Jimmy, whaur hae ye bin? Hae ye at least heard aboot th' English to Scottish Translator?
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Male 552
squrlz4ever Hoots man I must have had ma heid doon a hole!
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Male 6,158
Male 6,158
thezigrat I tested it on an IAB page
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Male 595
Quora, Wikipedia, Youtube, Github, Gmail. Love my stuffs nowadays, all works really well
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Male 5,475
thething911 i like github too, but i really think there needs to be a new git repository hosting site that is free from take-downs, like a user-distributed solution.
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Male 860
Is a great resource.  But it is not perfect.  It is not a  primary source, although most of the time it points to primary sources.

Folks that slam wikipedia tend to be those that fight knowledge-based policy decisions.

Treat it for what it is - a guidepost to primary sources and use that brain between your own ears.

The easiest way to tell if you're looking in the right place, examine the number of edits.  The large the number of edits, the less likely you should be reading it.  When folks are fighting over what should be shown in a particular page - ignore the entry.  Odds are you're trying to look at an entry that doesn't matter.  Spend time on the pages that no one fights over - that's where you're going to find what does matter.
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Male 1,049
punko I agree, but it's also important to look at what primary sources are referenced in the article, and to use a bit of common sense to determine if the sources listed are themselves credible primary sources. Also, in some cases, the sources may have been criedible at the time, but are outdated, and may have, over time, been shown to be either incomplete, or even wrong in their conclusions. Or, the sources may be credible, but, depending on the topic, the conclusions may be based on interpretation of the information at hand, which may differ from other equally credible sources. So, I see it as a starting point and a general summary of a topic, which then leads the sensible reader to look into something of interest in more depth.
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Male 4,953
buttersrules Your concluding sentence is something any educated reader should understand: An encyclopedia provides an overview or starting point for understanding a topic, not the last word.

No one should consider any one source the be-all and end-all on a topic. Monkwarrior and I went around and around on the subject of bias in another thread. I still contend that Wikipedia generally does a great job in upholding journalistic standards of impartiality. But I will concede this: As an intellectual product of human beings (and at least one squirrel), Wikipedia will occasionally exhibit some biases or contextual viewpoints (i.e., ways of looking at the world that inform what it does and doesn't see).

Educated animals tend to understand the importance of reading widely. Poorly educated animals don't. I absolutely revere certain authors (Marcus Aurelius, Richard Dawkins, and John Updike, to name three off the top of my head) in the worlds of both nonfiction and fiction. But never in a million years would I think, "Hey: Everything this person has written is flawless and everything one needs to know is expressed in his or her views."

By contrast, there's the ignoramus who's discovered one book which he thinks is magical. He's been exposed to few competing ideas, doesn't have enough education to compare and contrast, nor to evaluate things. These people typically are waving Bibles ("Everything I need to know is right here, in between these two covers!"), L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics (I'm speaking about the Scientologists, of course), or Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist (*gag*).

By reading widely, one develops the framework of an intellect, whereby one can use one set of ideas or models of understanding the world to evaluate another. This is how one develops nuanced thinking. By contrast, animals who don't read, or read very little, tend to view the world in terms of black-and-white, simple solutions that bear little resemblance to reality. Reality is, after all, fantastically complex. To even begin to get a handle on it, one needs to be exposed to the ways numerous great minds have come to grips with it.

This practice of understanding the world through wide reading (and, ideally, writing), by the way, is sometimes described as the Great Conversation.

One of the things that concerns me most about Donald Trump is that it is clear he is not a reader. There is no nuance whatsoever in his thinking. I find that troubling considering he is the president of the United States.
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Male 1,049
squrlz4ever Cheers, mate. You know from various discussions that we've had, public and private, on a range of topics of mutual interest (such as linguistics), that I'm very much source oriented.

I prefer peer reviwed research papers, where possible, for my primary source information. Some of it, I understand, some of it I get the gist, some of it, goes over my head. But I have a curious nature, and an analytical mind. I almost never take anything at face value, dig deeper into any topic that interests me...I particularly like it when I find relevant material that gives me a QED moment (in it's proper context of quod est demonstratum, not the dumbed-down, ignorant, and incorrect usage, favoured by some people. I once even argued the correctness of QED vs Q.E.D. based on source information of research into Latin language, punctuation, and grammar...).

When I'm asked what degree(s) I have, my answer is simple: None!, I work for a living!. lol.


edit: check this out...I think it'll make your tail curl!. 
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Male 4,953
buttersrules Thanks for the response. When I was writing my comment above about reading and the Great Conversation, I was wondering if anyone actually reads some of these longer comments of mine. Does a tree falling in the woods made a sound? Is a squirrel typing furiously away in the IAB threads actually communicating? (Probably less than I'd like to think.)

Your link there? FANTASTIC. Best thing I've seen or heard in a few days. It arrives at the perfect time for me because I've been thinking a bit lately about the origins of literature. (Mainly because I've been reading a survey book on literature in the DK Publishing series, "Big Ideas Simply Explained." Excellent series, by the way.)

The earliest scraps of written language we have are, essentially, accounting. (I suppose I should say shards rather than scraps, because they're written on clay tablets.) Some ruler in Mesopotamia needed a scribe to make notes as to who has paid his grain tax and when. Somehow, somewhere, someone got the idea that these symbols to communicate man + name + number of sheaves of grain + the date could actually be used to record stories. At first, those stories were parts of religious incantations that were being passed on by oral tradition. Then came the epics.

Your clip there is probably the best recreation of the dawn of literature that I've seen. If I were teaching an undergraduate class on literature, this would be a great way to use five minutes of the introductory lecture.

Submit it! It's really great and I can't imagine others on here wouldn't find it interesting, too.
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Male 1,049
 Submit it! It's really great and I can't imagine others on here wouldn't find it interesting, too. 

If this doesn't cut the mustard (ie, already submitted, and not posted), I doubt that a 3 string Sumerian lute will make the cut...:(

edit: re written language...iirc, it was essentially a boring document about taxation that gave modern scholars the key to understanding Egyptiian hyroglyphs...the clay tablet in question has a name, that escapes me at the moment, but was essentially a statement of taxation law written in three (iirc) scripts; egyptian, cuniform, and...not sure of the third. Part of me wants to say ancient greek, but I don't think that's right...

Off topic I know, but fancyclad , as it says in my profile, " I WANT MY PM'S BACK!!! I HAVE IMPORTANT NUTS TO TRADE WITH A SQRLZ!!!"

Here's a thought: mebbe once a fortnight (or week, or month, whatever), we could have a post dedicated to a piece of music or literature, or even general knowledge that may, to some, be obscure, but that holds some cultural or historical relevence that can be explained in the submission, and then discussed in the thread...like the epic of galgemesh, the significance of which is self explanitory...or the relevence of Furyo (linked above), which I could go on about for ages...or the opening verses of one of the gospels, that I linked to you in PM (back when they were available), not for any religious relevence, but because it was one of the few passages of written Old English that has an indirect comparative translation to modern English....Oh, if only....no partisan politics, no baiting of others, just good robust discussion about interesting things that people that are interested in could partake of (and people that aren't could just pass over)...

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Male 4,953
buttersrules I think all your ideas here are good and probably not out of accordance with what Fancy views as IAB's mission. I do know he places a lot of value on having a varied mix of content. So if it's OK with you, I'll submit the 3-string Sumerian lute.

I think it's extremely important that these kinds of non-political, geeky (if you will) posts go up occasionally because they build bridges among members. I can be on opposite sides of, for example, American politics from someone, but there's always a chance we can have a great discussion about some esoteric topic. And if we do, that could help us discourse more civilly when we dip into politics again.

Regarding translation of ancient languages, I believe you may be thinking of the Rosetta Stone. I haven't read the Wikipedia article on it, but it looks like it's a good one, and now that's been added to my todo list for today. ~pelts Butters with acorn~
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Male 569
punko I agree, man.  Well said.
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Male 4,953
punko Good insights, Punko. Thanks. I've already shown my cards, so you know where I stand: I love Wikipedia.

Some of Wikipedia's articles are the best overviews on a given topic ever written. Some examples (these are some of my favorites): "Nuclear fission," "Ernest Hemingway," "Chess," "Stoicism," "Cell (biology)," "Supply and demand," "Thomas Jefferson," "Global warming," "Id, ego and super-ego." I could go on all night here.

Oh, and if none of those articles above strike your fancy? There are over five million other ones to choose from.
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever Ever heard  of Chess Boxing? Great Sport.
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Male 4,953
thezigrat You know, I had heard of it years ago, when it seemed a passing fad. Looking it up just now (on Wikipedia, of course!), I am amazed to see that it has developed into a fully-fledged, organized sport. (More popular in Europe, apparently, than in the U.S.)

I cannot imagine how brutal it must be to have your butt kicked not just on the chessboard, but also in the ring. Then again, if you're a stronger boxer than a chess player, I suppose it could be really satisfying: "You just forked my rooks? Take that, you sonovagun!"

Fascinating. Thanks for the tip.
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Male 6,158
squrlz4ever I hope it goes to the Olimpics
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Male 569
squrlz4ever And ya, it's an amazing achievement...
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