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Wikipedia And Ayn Rand

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Several users on Wikipedia (chiefly one named Alienus and one named LGagnon) are vandalizing Wikipedia pages related to Ayn Rand (especially the Objectivism (Ayn Rand) article and the Category:Objectivism article) mainly putting them in the Category:Cults.

If anyone here is familiar with Wikipedia, help reverting their vandalism would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Edit: Linkify - --GreedyCapitalist 10:07, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

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I don't have a username there so I can't be involved in discussions. I can edit the pages though.

PS - I saw the talk pages. Why haven't these two guys been banned?

Edited by tommyedison

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You can still participate in talk without a user page; just sign your post with four tildes (these: ~~~~).

I don't know why they haven't been banned. They're unbelievably obnoxious, and they definitely lower Wikipedia's quality. One of them in particular (Alienus) has a history of getting blocked due to horrible edits and reversions.

Also, why not get a user name? You don't have to give out any information (no name or e-mail or anything) and it'll look better when you revert.

Thanks for the help.

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I just wasted about 20 minutes of my life reading through that garbage (the arguments over the criticisms).

Those guys repeatedly use arguments from intimidation and consensus. Additionally, the commit the fallacy of the stolen concept when attacking "infallibilism"(??) They make absolute statements about the philosophy while denying absolute knowledge is attainable.

Clearly this demonstrates a significant problem in the reliability of the Wikipedia.

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Clearly this demonstrates a significant problem in the reliability of the Wikipedia.
It is slightly ironic that the father of Wikipedia purports to be an Objectivist. The really troubling thing is how Wiki has largely replaced reliable academic sources. In one class, I found it necessary to explicitly ban any information from Wiki in papers exactly because of the unreliability and especially untraceability of statements there. There is no objective reviewing of submissions, and no sense of scholarly responsibility. It may be better than the average angelfire user's page, but as an educational tool it is an unmitigated disaster. It's not just worthless, it is actively destructive of knowledge. It's the wave of the future. May god have mercy on our souls.

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I would like to say that we should just ignore Wikipedia, but I can’t because it is the wave of the future.

By the way, I think it can be a very informative and interesting tool, as long as you are aware of its limitations.

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Tips to the editors:

  • Don’t engage in edit-wars. It looks bad, wastes your time, and it will just get your edit privileges removed.
  • Remember that Wikipedia is run by consensus, so present your arguments and get some momentum on your side. Contact other Objectivists for support. If you have the momentum, do a straw poll.
  • If you don’t have consensus, add factual, cited statements with your position to the article. It’s more productive and much easier to add than remove from an article. If you add facts that directly contract a claim you are trying to remove, it will be much easier to do it later.
  • Don’t attack others, even when you are right. Stick to concrete facts and sources. Keep in mind that Wikipedia does not have a rule against trolling, only against vandalism.
  • Some people will disagree with you because they are rabid anti-Objectivists/collectivists, and some are neutral parties who just stumbled across your argument. Be careful not to mistake the two – check out their user pages and edit history to be sure.

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It's not just worthless, it is actively destructive of knowledge. It's the wave of the future. May god have mercy on our souls.

It's good to know what the enemy thinks it knows.

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How does that work, though? I can imagine that a small group of people who disagree can continue to change information in a negative way on the wiki? Is there some way to prevent that, or at least minimize the harm they can do?

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How does that work, though? I can imagine that a small group of people who disagree can continue to change information in a negative way on the wiki? Is there some way to prevent that, or at least minimize the harm they can do?

If you establish a consensus against them, then persistent reverts will be classified as vandalism and eventually result in a ban.

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We just have to be the majority of participants in the Talk page of a given article. Reputation and seniority are very important on Wikipedia, which works against us, since most of us have more important things to do.

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We just have to be the majority of participants in the Talk page of a given article.
I joined the effort and will keep an eye on it as well. Let me know if I can help or join a poll, etc.

Reputation and seniority are very important on Wikipedia, which works against us, since most of us have more important things to do.
If this is so, then one guy there has a bad reputation (Al ?), then that would work for us, right?

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The really troubling thing is how Wiki has largely replaced reliable academic sources.... It's not just worthless, it is actively destructive of knowledge.
Actually, NPR did a story last winter on the reliability of Wikipedia versus the Encyclopedia Britannica and the verdict found Wikipedia only slighty less accurate. For every large major flaw, such as names, places, dates, Britannica had around 2-3 to Wikipedia's 3-4, and for every minor flaw, such as misspellings, Britannica had 4-5 and Wikipedia 5-6. In my opinion, that isn't bad.

Obviously at this point Wikipedia can't replace large academic resources, but for what it is, Wikipedia is reliable.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica has hit back at the findings, calling for the paper to be retracted.

In a document on its website, Encyclopaedia Britannica said that the Nature study contained "a pattern of sloppiness, indifference to basic scholarly standards, and flagrant errors so numerous they completely invalidated the results".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4840340.stm

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