Archive for the ‘Wikipedia’ Category

The 50 Most Loathsome Americans

January 23, 2012

The Buffalo Beast has produced lists of “The 50 Most Loathsome Americans” almost every year this decade (see their lists for: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) To recap, the most loathsome over the years, with…

Three entries: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mel Gibson, Michael Jackson, Barack Obama, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin
Four entries: Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, John McCain
Five entries: Ann Coulter, Joe Lieberman
Six entries: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney
Included every year thus far: “You”

I know this because I tried to put the info from the lists on Wikipedia last year, but they didn’t like that :( But hey, neither did Orly Taitz ;)

Their 2011 list is due any day now; HERE! In the mean time though, I thought I’d guess (total not guaranteed to equal 50) who might be on the list when it gets published, in alphabetical order:

Scott Adams
Roger Ailes
Casey Anthony
Levi Aron
Joe Arpaio
Any/all of these Bad Governors (Rick Scott (Florida), Paul LePage (Maine), Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania), Rick Perry (Texas) note: see also below, Jan Brewer (Arizona), John Kasich (Ohio), Rick Snyder (Michigan), Scott Walker (Wisconsin) )
David Barton
Glenn Beck
Rebecca Black
Michael Bloomberg
John Boehner
Harold Camping (I wasn’t raptured because I’m a godless heathen; what’s his excuse?)
Deryl Dedmon (and ‘friends’)
The Duggars (specifically the parents: their 19+2 kids didn’t ask to be born)
John Freshwater
Reed Hastings (Netflix CEO)
Christopher Hitchens
Victoria Jackson (INSANE.)
Kim Kardashian
Amy Koch
Charles & David Koch
Steve Jobs
Rush Limbaugh
Jared Lee Loughner
Keith Mason (Personhood USA)
Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform)
Barack Obama (even if only for signing the Patriot Act Reauthorization)
James O’Keefe
Bill O’Reilly
Sarah Palin
Pepper Spray Cops (Anthony Bologna & John Pike)
Phone hacking scandal participants (Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Les Hinton, et al)
Republicans running for President (Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty)
Jerry Sandusky
Charlie Sheen (and Sheen-wannabe Ashton Kutcher ;)
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tea Party
Tim Tebow
Donald Trump
Anthony Weiner

If you think I missed anyone who really deserves it, leave a comment!


Threats to Wikipedia

December 8, 2007

Tits taste like cotton candy!!!” — Anonymous Wikipedia user with IP address making a substitution for the text in the article “Breast“.

Those who speak of vandalism on Wikipedia as being a significant issue, as those at Encyclopaedia Britannica tend to do, are out of touch. Vandalism at Wikipedia is an annoyance, but in the grand scheme of things is no worse than the occasional blemish on an orange; it doesn’t look nice, but its easy to fix. And for the price of the information, it can’t be beat.

I’ve seen other articles deleted about topics of greater claimed notability than this pet project.” — self-described deletionist Wikipedia user “Chardish” on the Solarwolf article stub.

What I’ve come across as being a far more dangerous threat are the “deletionists”, those who feel that deleting a flawed article or stub is better than fixing it. In reality, these people have crossed the boundary from helpful housekeepers to censors, the kind if left unchecked will gut Wikipedia by deleting perfectly good articles and stubs rather than expending the effort required to fix them; consider the fate many webcomic entries have met and the pushback that’s resulted. What’s worse is that the deletionists’ mischief is far more difficult to control than the vandals’, especially since they think that what they’re doing is the right thing to do.

“Due to the nature of this investigation, our normal open discussion isn’t really feasible.” — Wikipedia user Durova justifying secret police activities on Wikipedia.

Finally, you have secret mailing lists where decisions are being made away from the scope of public viewing. This is probably the biggest threat to Wikipedia; its strength really is in its openness…

“Let me use the example of Wikipedia. You know as the [Ballmer raises his right hand, e.g. ‘it was me’] as formerly the world’s largest encyclopedia vendor. Used to be other guys and we took the crown [Ballmer pumps his fist, speaking triumphantly] with Expedia and now what we’ve found is essentially encyclo… the most popular encyclopedia in the world has no funding, it has no monetization model you could sort of say, its got kind of got an open source approach but for content eh as opposed to software in this case.” Steve Ballmer, October 2007.

I will predict in no uncertain terms that if ever Wikipedia collapses, it will not be from an outside attack by vandals or publishers like Britannica or Microsoft, but from the ‘good intentions‘ of people zealously working inside.