Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Everyone Entitled To An Opinion. But One Wins. Eventually.

This made me laugh.  Someone, doubtless long-storied editor at Wikipedia, has posted a [probably complete] set of disputed stories from the pages of the online encyclopaedia - the great "edit wars", presumably to continue for many decades to come.

It includes such gems as:

Gary Glitter
Is he a pedophile famous for being a rock star, or a rock star famous for being a pedophile?

(I'll leave Dan to wonder over paedophile versus pedophile; like encyclopaedia versus encyclopedia)

(But surely, to add another opinion, he was famous as rock star and is now an infamous paedophile?)

United Kingdom
Should the first sentence describe it as a country or state? The final conclusion being that it should be called both and left up to the reader to work out.

(Many people I know wonder about the state of the UK)

List of numbers that are always odd

The number 3 was being considered as possibly being not odd. Page protection was needed to halt the heated debate.

Daffy Duck

Did Daffy Duck father any children? Should the events of certain animated films be taken to have occurred in "real life" while others should not? Daffy to Wikipedia: "No comment." A Barbara Walters special is reportedly in the works.

Jesus

A very long dispute arguing over whether to use BC/AD or BCE/CE for era notations, resulting in the somewhat foolish use of both systems within the article (i.e. 400 BC/BCE and 30 AD/CE) with the BC/AD terms usually preceding the BCE/CE terms. The dispute is sometimes resurrected.

(love the wit of that last sentence)

Halo 2 and Halo 3
Should there be a disambiguation to pretty hate machine and "Head Like a Hole"? Are Halo numbers official and accepted by Trent Reznor? Are the Halo numbers notable enough to be disambiguated? Are any people going to search for Halo 2 or 3, not expecting information about a video game? Is the form of the Halo number Halo 3 or halo_03 or HALO 3?

Sorry for the formatting throughout, cutting and pasting seems to be unpredictable with these paragraphs.

It just shows that there are as many opinions out there as people; that even the definitive online encyclopaedia probably isn't ... and therefore you shouldn't take any of it, including this blog of course, too seriously

4 comments:

  1. Wikipedia reminds me ever so much of Winston Smith's job in 1984, as I recall Winston constantly rewrites the past to suit the needs of the present.

    Surprisingly however (or not) Wikipedia's entry for 'Historical Revisionism (Negationism)' doesn't include any references to itself.

    The chap in 'Brazil', the 1985 film by Terry Gilliam, has the same, or very similar, job to Winston.

    My favourite 'traditional' dystopian story is Malcolm Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit_451', although I enjoyed Alan Moore's 'V for Vendetta' when it came out in 18 years ago, when I was 18, in 1988.

    However I suspect that I'll enjoy Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World', when I eventually get around to reading it (although I didn't get on with his 'The Doors of Perception (1954)' which I read half-heartedly at 14).

    I appear to have read, and own, an unhealthy amount of the material on Wikipedia's List of dystopian literature - strangly my favourite author of 'unsettling' dystopian fiction, J. G. Ballard, doesn't make the list at all - perhaps because Ballard focuses on the disfunctional present and our dystopian modernity rather than a far flung fiction.

    But of course the real answer is that Wikipedia is the great 'Lowest Common Denominator' - and long may it reign.

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  2. Anonymous5:09 pm

    Speaking of paedophiles, I was reading this weekend about the practice of Peri'ah Metsitsah by some traditional Hasidic mohels in New York.

    Their method is to cut around the prepuce and complete the action by taking the baby boy's penis in their mouth and sucking off the foreskin.

    Isn't religion the most wonderful of things to inform and justify our behaviour? I wonder now which god Gary Glitter prays to?

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  3. Anonymous2:05 pm

    Oh god! That's vile.

    I.

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  4. Rather sadly I've been tracking the edit war round the 'Second City of the UK' article.

    Re: Birmingham / Manchester.

    Not hard to guess which one I think it is... lol...

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