Wikipedia: Information Strangled by Pedantic Geekism
[EDITED & formatting fixed] i left the following comments for the folks at Wikipedia just a few minutes ago. As with most attempts to interact with the people who "admin" that thing, i expect it to vanish without a contextual or meaningful explanation (or merit). So here's my opinion of "The Tool That Could Have Been"
"but what is it??" is the frustrated question this topic page, as with MANY Wikipedia topic pages, leaves me asking. i am not an idiot. i am not uneducated. i am not ignorant. i even know some things. a little bit of too much knowledge here and there. yet this page stub does not do the ONE BASIC THING an Encyclopedia entry is supposed to do: Tell the reader WHAT THE ENTRY IS.
i see a huge amount of paraphrasing from science journals and other encyclopedic or technical documentation by "wikipeople" who do not know what they are writing about when they create these entries. This is a PERVASIVE problem with WikiPedia when trying to use it for actual reference (as opposed to casual curiosities, confirming suspected ideas or solving a debate).
Worse, the mindset of some (not all) of the administrators and moderators is "geek first, humane later... maybe. oh and go RTFM. and here are some context-devoid copy/paste bits to make it look like i'm helping you."
On top of that, the WikiMedia tool itself is used in such an inhumane and geeky hackerish way that normal human beings (people not specializing in computers, computer scripting, development, etc) are left unable to take advantage of the potential of this would-be fantastic tool. It comes off as hackerish (in a sloppy and bad way, not in a "cool and accomplished" way).
The admins and the tool comes off as ELITIST.
It is pedantic. It is less information and more a set of pages made up of paragraphs of links to other pages of pedantic links to other pages. There is a rule about NOT causing a person to look up 42 vocabulary words in order to define ONE. How about following that rule?
WikiX uses tagging and style coding that is different from every other known (common/familiar) system in existence on the Internet (and that's not to say HTML is the best thing since sliced bread, but it's READABLE and that is prime directive when communication of information is the goal!). We have the technology for WYSIWYG. USE IT, for pity's sake.
WikiX looks and feels like my worst Asperger's Syndrome writing moments, except i tend to at least make my point (repeatedly, but it can't be said to be missed - but since this whole thing looks like it was produced by an unfortunately unsocially skilled person, it would not surprise me if the whole system from top to bottom reeks of fellow people with autism disorders).
"Sign your posts by typing four tildes." This is intuitive how? Is there a problem with using the techniques used in forums or anywhere else on the Internet where users LOG IN? "Forums are focused on communication," you might argue, "not information and documentation." Yes, well, if WikiMedia/WikiPedia (as i don't know where the flaw lies; tool or implementation) is to be a collection of open source knowledge, communication is a VITAL PROCESS TO NURTURE in order to meet that goal.
i fully expect everything i have to say here to be totally written off with some pedantic "guideline" which uses the letter of the system to defeat the spirit of the system, or even just deleted. PROVE ME WRONG. Resolve my issue with this page for starters. Put my comments into wider circulation, wherever they "properly belong" in the Wikipedia improvement suggestion box (wherever that is). Do something POSITIVE with this input. You will improve Wikipedia by sincerely considering my words, i promise you.
Information wants to be free... but you obfuscate it with the very same red tape that "Open Source" wishes to avoid by BEING "OPEN." Open Source does not have to be open only to "geeks and computer nerds." i say this as a former computer geek/nerd who has realized that the rest of the world needs us to make the tools accessible to humanity, not select groups or elite sects of underground and mostly anonymous computer dungeon dwellers. Born again user, i call myself.
And, for crying out loud, why are tools like this STILL too primitive to understand paragraph spacing and word wrap??!!
Dysamoria (talk) 05:58, 7 April 2008 (UTC)