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WTFipedia

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    Like most people, I love Wikipedia. I especially love it because it is not blocked at work and is a site that there could be about a million good reasons you're visiting (unlike, say, TiB).

    Librarians and teachers may bemoan its unreliability, but honestly, it's pretty fucking reliable and most librarians would bring back card catalogs if they could. Thankfully there are few really subtle trolls out there, and so it's generally a good bet that when you're reading an article on Feudal Japan and you come across a sentence in the middle of the text like "jenna sloat is a fucking cock sucking whore olol" it's the only thing on the page that's questionable.

    While everyone is distracted by the question of whether the information in Wikipedia is reliable or not, most people are missing the really interesting characteristic of Wikipedia: it's an encyclopedia run by a cadre of demagogic sperglords who rule over their microscopic intellectual fiefdoms with thundering iron hands.

    This has been picked up on from time to time. I personally love Wikigroaning, where you find two articles on ostensibly similar topics - one serious and weighty and one that is the obsession of a small but dedicated band of sperglords - and compare the level of detail in them. For example: the article on Star Wars, the 1977 George Lucas film, is 30% longer and has 3X as many references as the article on Star Wars, the United States Strategic Defense Initiative that employed tens of thousands of people and was the result of more than $100B of investment.

    One thing about Wikipedia is that it's nearly constantly improving in areas where people actually go and read - things people care about. Some small group of people care about Feudal Japan, so it's unlikely that Jenna Sloat will remain a slut for very long. But I have the most fun with articles that, even after much editing, remain completely spergged out and incomprehensible except to a chosen few. I'm not talking about articles that are inherently complex due to the subject matter, like Quantum Mechanics. Rather, I'm talking about articles about things that you shouldn't have to have a graduate degree in to understand.

    Some examples:

    Pachinko is a type of game machine popular in Asia.

    A sample quote:

    A favorite of mine (now largely cleaned up) was the massive edit war that surrounded the segment on Crucifixion in Anime (old revision of the page before the edit war).

    After seeing the documentary Resolved on HBO, which is a look into the kooky world of modern high school debate teams, I wanted to find out more about how it worked. Naturally, I went to read the Wikipedia article on Policy Debate. Policy debaters shout right and left that their debate experience, however kooky, makes them better at expressing thoughts and arguing points. It is thus deliciously ironic that the article on policy debate is basically incomprehensible to anyone who isn't deeply involved in that community.

    Occasionally, however, someone sneaks some genuine comedy past the sperglords by disguising themselves as a fellow sperglord. Consider this ultra-detailed summary of the Internet parody "The Juggernaut Bitch!!" (sadly no longer available on Wikipedia, but I assure you it was up there for a while).

    FOCUS: What's your most egregious Wikigroan? What Wikipedia articles are the worst articles ever? What articles have WAY too much detail for their subject matter?

    ANTI-FOCUS: What Wikipedia articles are the awesomest?
     
  2. Samr

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    Does getting to the focus in the topic post count?
     
  3. Kubla Kahn

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    tl;dr
     
  4. Spoz

    Spoz
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    What I especially love about Wikipedia is that you can check out previous revisions of each article. For example, after watching The Social Network, I went to read the Facebook article on Wikipedia and found it had been vandalised. Fortunately from the glossary tab you can easily find and link it, like so: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Facebook&oldid=396875777
     
  5. Bob Sagat

    Bob Sagat
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    I have used that Topicality violation blurb in at least a couple dozen rounds. Policy debate is filled with a bunch of archaic traditions that use overly complex wording for simple concepts. It means that the Affirmative's plan text (proposal for what action should be taken) does not fall within the scope of the resolution (annually chosen topic). Plan texts can be nit-picked for slight grammatical imprecisions and if explained and impacted properly it can win rounds. It's about as weird as it sounds.
     
  6. Noland

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    Unfortunately there is no Wikipedia article explaining what a sperglord is, so I can't help.
     
  7. silway

    silway
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    In response to an episode of the Colbert Report, this happened: <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Reality&oldid=225677703" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?tit ... =225677703</a>

    More of the story: <a class="postlink" href="http://wapedia.mobi/en/Cultural_impact_of_The_Colbert_Report#3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://wapedia.mobi/en/Cultural_impact_ ... t_Report#3</a>.


    That was a hilarious Word segment.
     
  8. kuhjäger

    kuhjäger
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    In the two minutes after Bush announced Robert Gates as the new Defense Secretary, Gates' Wiki article went through many changes. My favorite was going to the page, and all it said was:

    Robert Gates

    Is a fag
     
  9. RCGT

    RCGT
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    After the recent hubbub over NASA's announcement of bacteria that incorporate arsenic into their DNA instead of phosphorus:

     
  10. Jack of Spades

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    I love Wikipedia so much it makes my heart hurt. On topic, I have a bunch of favorite articles that paint a very detailed picture of their authors:
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tables_of_vampire_traits" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tables_of_vampire_traits</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_catgirls" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_catgirls</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BTTFTimelines2.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BTTFTimelines2.png</a>

    Some other random favorites:
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spite_house" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spite_house</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinguishing_blue_from_green_in_language" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinguis ... n_language</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silbo_Gomero_language" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silbo_Gomero_language</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let's_trim_our_hair_in_accordance_with_the_socialist_lifestyle" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let's_trim ... _lifestyle</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunkerin'" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunkerin'</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Robinson_(Green_Man" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Ro ... (Green_Man</a>)
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:people_who_faked_their_own_death" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:p ... _own_death</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_glory_cloud" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_glory_cloud</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issei_Sagawa" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issei_Sagawa</a> - "Issei Sagawa is a Japanese man who in 1981 murdered and cannibalized a Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt. Since his release, Sagawa has become a noted food critic." Japan, everybody!
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_the_Headless_Chicken" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_the_Headless_Chicken</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_misconceptions" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... onceptions</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_inventors_killed_by_their_own_inventions" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_in ... inventions</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unusual_deaths" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unusual_deaths</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genital_retraction_syndrome" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genital_re ... n_syndrome</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Blahyi" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Blahyi</a> - "Blahyi got his nickname, "General Butt Naked", from his nakedness, which was supposedly demanded by the Devil."

    And finally, since a lot of those are depressing and weird, here's one that will make you feel better about being alive. (Or worse, I guess, since this dog has probably accomplished more in life than I ever will.)
    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endal" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endal</a>
     
  11. babyface

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    This page used to feature an actual picture of a woman with jizz on her neck. However, a few weeks ago I read an article about the outrage over this. I guess it was changed, unfortunately.

    My favorite find was Rex Ryan's page a few years ago. I was looking up his page to solve a debate with a friend over his coaching history. Within the first paragraph was the sentence "Rex Ryan is a fat asshole." Awesome.
     
  12. Assur

    Assur
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    Actually, all of the librarians/archivists/curators that I know (myself included) think its the greatest thing since sliced bread. I wouldn't quote from it or cite it, but its the first thing you check in response to a query.

    And I am wounded sir, by your assertion about card catalogs. I've never met anyone who thinks that they are more than a necessary evil. We keep them as an inventory tool but no one uses them to actually find stuff, because that would be a huge pain in the ass. Contrary to popular belief (I guess), librarians are generally not Luddite assholes, or fucking stupid.
     
  13. D26

    D26
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    As a future teacher, I think Wikipedia can be useful. I would tell my students to not cite Wikipedia directly, but Wikipedia generally has a lot of citations in it. I'd tell them to use the citations given in Wikipedia to do their research, but not use Wikipedia itself as a source. Basically, let it be a jumping off point for your research.
     
  14. Frank n Beans

    Frank n Beans
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    Apathy already mentioned The Bloop, but another one that is one of my favorites is the Dyatlov Pass Incident. (<a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyatlov_pass_accident" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyatlov_pass_accident</a>)

    Just like The Bloop, reading through that and around the web just completely baffles me and drives me crazy knowing I'll probably never find out what happened.