|This user is a member of the Association of Inclusionist Wikipedians
The motto of the AIW is Conservata veritate, which translates to "With the preserved truth".
|19 November 2014|
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I love the idea of an encyclopedia of everything, and I love the idea of participating in it even more so. (Here are my user boxes, and here are some of the articles, categories, and templates I have started.) The quotes below give some insights into my ideas, motivations, and approaches regarding contributing to Wikipedia:
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."
— Marcus Tullius Cicero
"It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order - and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order."
— Douglas Hofstadter
"There is no such thing as information overload, just bad design. If something is cluttered and/or confusing, fix your design."
— Edward Tufte
"Language, that is to say, is the indispensable mechanism of human life -- of life such as ours that is molded, guided, enriched, and made possible by the accumulation of the past experience of members of our own species. Dogs and cats and chimpanzees do not, so far as we can tell, increase their wisdom, their information, or their control over their environment from one generation to the next. But human beings do. The cultural accomplishment of the ages, the invention of cooking... ...and the discovery of all the arts and sciences come to us as free gifts from the dead. These gifts, which none of us has done anything to earn, offer us not only the opportunity for a richer life than our forebears enjoyed but also the opportunity to add to the sum total of human achievement by our own contributions, however small they may be."
— S.I. Hayakawa
"So, in defending the use of these words, I begin by asking the question: why were they invented? They must have been invented because there was, as the economist put it, “a felt need” for them. That is to say, there came a moment at which a writer felt that the existing inventory didn’t quite do what he wanted it to do. These words were originally used because somebody with a sensitive ear felt the need for them. Do you therefore, because it’s very seldom that one hears an A-flat diminished tenth, say to yourself, I won’t use that chord, notwithstanding the pleasure it gives to people whose ears are educated enough to hear that little difference? People don’t say to a musician, please don’t use any unusual chords."
— William F. Buckley, Jr.
|Picture of the day|
The Mark IV tank was introduced by the British in May 1917 to fight in World War I. The "female" version, as pictured here, was armed with five machine guns. Production of the Mark IV ceased at the end of the War in 1918. A small number served briefly with other combatants afterwards.
This Mark IV tank, on display in Ashford, Kent, was presented to the town after the end of World War I. The engine was removed to install an electricity substation inside it, though this substation was subsequently removed; the tank's interior is now empty.
- 1 Currently working on
- 2 Frequent and interesting clicks
- 3 Handy things to remember
- 4 Types of edits I like to make
- 5 Wishlist
Currently working on
Ongoing (weekly or monthly)
Frequent and interesting clicks
|Stuff to click on|
Potential references and resources
Tip of the Day
|Tip of the Day|
This week's articles for improvement
|This week's articles for improvement|
Handy things to remember
|Handy things to remember|
Handy Wikipedia pages
Frequently used infoboxes
Types of edits I like to make
- Disambiguation link fixing (with a special page just for the U.S. Navy.)
- Spelling errors
- Book and author linking
- Defaultsort fixing (leading articles or alpha-piping)
- C-SPAN projects
- Things to do with categories
- Articles and templates I want to start
- Redirects (including a whole series of pages I use to help make it easier to create redirects to bilateral relations articles - So, for instance, someone who searches using the phrase "Japan Italy relations" will be taken straight to Italy–Japan relations without first being taken to a list of search results.)
- Miscellaneous to do list
I like putting articles into categories, and creating new categories when appropriate. This includes cleaning up Stubs and putting them into Categories. I think the basic journalism questions of who, what, where, when, and why are often overlooked when articles get categorized, and I think that such categorization can improve the wiki reader's experience (Even though "why" categories are harder to come by). Also, there are plenty of times when thinking abstractly about the subject of an article can lead to some good categorization that otherwise would not suggest itself.
I look for opportunities to add appropriate wikilinks to existing articles, especially when they might not be obvious links. This goes both for articles I read where I see plain text that could be linked, and also for articles I read that are not linked to by other articles when it seems that such links should exist. (Why? This article lays out some of the potential benefits.) For example, the relatively new article Douglas MacArthur's escape from the Philippines did not have a lot of incoming links, so I went and added some (mostly piped) to the articles for They Were Expendable, John D. Bulkeley, Motor Torpedo Boat PT-41, Philippines Campaign (1941–1942), Japanese occupation of the Philippines, and others.
Making pages and templates about non-fiction writers and non-fiction books
Another thing I think is important is having wiki articles (even if they are only stubs) about the various journalists, essayists, non-fiction authors, and documentarians whose works are cited in our other articles. I think that having writers' wiki articles linked to in the reference sections of the articles for which their works serve as citations helps wiki users who are interested in pursuing similar writings by the same author, and also provides a basic framework to understand who it is that has prepared the reliable source that is being cited.
Same thing for articles about non-fiction books - If a book is used in a bunch of citations throughout the rest of WP, and it has its own article, then I try to link the citations to the article for the book. I look for opportunities to create redirects for books that have subtitles, but whose articles are only named by their book's main title. BTW - I hate hate hate lists of books where the books have individual phrases within their titles linked (such as Spaghetti: The Pasta That Changed the World) and I try to clean those up wherever possible. On the page National Book Award for Nonfiction I found an approach to this in which I am interested:
*[[Arnold Rampersad]], ''Ralph Ellison: A Biography'' <small><sup>[bio: [[Ralph Ellison]]]</sup></small>
which looks like:
I think that if there is ever a question of notability for a serious non-fiction writer who is the subject of a newly created article, that the presence of their name in the reference sections of existing wiki articles on the topics about which they write can practically always serve as evidence of their own notability.
I have created basic wiki articles for a number of historians, journalists, and filmmakers including Neil Baldwin, Paul C. Nagel, William Lee Miller, Heidi Ewing, Ari Hoogenboom, Edna Greene Medford, and Willard Sterne Randall. I have also created articles for certain books with which I am familiar and that I believe to be significant, including The Nightingale's Song and America in the King Years. I would like to create more of each.
I also think that templates showing the different pages on the works (and other related articles) for such authors and documentarians help readers on one page find other pages of interest. I have created templates for Albert and David Maysles, David Frost, H. L. Mencken, Steven Berlin Johnson, Kirby Dick, William Manchester, and others.
I love C-SPAN, and there's a lot of stuff I have done and even more that I want to do in Wikipedia related to C-SPAN. (Should we start a WikiProject?)
Some of the edits have even stirred up a little bit of controversy, but I am happy to say that since I started methodically adding C-SPAN interview links to various articles in Fall 2011, at least eight of them (Franklin Pierce, W. E. B. Du Bois, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, Assassination of William McKinley, Richard Nixon, James G. Blaine, and Jefferson Davis) have shown up as featured articles (i.e., front page upper left) with the links intact. This says to me that the links have passed the scrutiny of multiple article reviewers who were specifically looking to separate the wheat from the chaff.
To paraphrase what I have mentioned elsewhere on WP: I do not now, nor have I in the past, nor do I expect to in the future, take any $$$ or any other compensation from C-SPAN or any related entity for doing any work on Wiki content or anything else; My interest in C-SPAN (which began in the early 1990s) has a confluence with my interest in Wikipedia (which began in the early 2000s) - Namely, that both are fantastic vehicles for the free exchange of ideas and information in a non-sound-bite manner, and they both invite the participation of any parties (expert or amateur) who are interested in taking the time to absorb and/or contribute to the ideas and information offered. C-SPAN and Wikipedia go together like peanut butter and jelly, and I want to help give other Wiki users easy access to the great work that C-SPAN has done on a variety of topics. This includes, but is not limited to, both creating C-SPAN-related articles, and also adding appropriate external links for interviews or tours on the pages for journalists, politicians, historical figures and sites, and other pertinent subjects. (Here's a C-SPAN timeline, here's a great article that summarizes Brian Lamb's work with creating and growing C-SPAN, here are all the WP links to c-spanvideo.org, and here are all the WP links to booktv.org.)
- Help with backlog in general.
- Fixing ISBN errors - Category:Pages with ISBN errors (Here is a handy check digit calculator)
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles
- Whenever I watch a movie, I like to find at least one thing about that movie's article (or maybe the article for the director, one of the actors, etc.) that I can add or improve. Same thing for places I visit. And really, same thing if a certain topic comes up when I'm watching something on the news, or on C-SPAN, or PBS, or Fareed Zakaria or whatever.
- I know a little bit of Spanish, German, and French, and hardly any Italian. Despite my shortcomings in these languages (all of which I hope to improve) I have created user accounts in all those languages' Wikipedias, and I am going to try to read something from and/or contribute something to each of those wikis once
a weekin a while.