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We welcome you to Til's userpage, too!
To whom it may concern...
- This user is a quadragenarian.
- This user is also bilingual.
- My real name is not "Til Eulenspiegel".
- I wanted to put a picture of the Fourth Doctor on here somewhere, but his image isn't cleared for this page...
"Bias is for liars and con men."
-- comment by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 05:08, 23 March 2013 (UTC) in the Village Pump...
- I don't know who this anon IP is, but I couldn't have put it any better myself. This hits the nail on the head so well, that I am going to adopt this slogan myself. More later. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:07, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
- Well, I knew some sympathetic press was inevitable: Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2013-12-04/Recent_research! Hoping 2014 is a better year for combatting systemic bias!
Is BIAS winning in 2013?
Folks, we need to rekindle the fine spirit that existed a few years ago of wanting to oppose BIAS vigilantly wherever it rears its ugly head, and wanting to keep articles even-handed and free of BIAS.
How could BIAS be winning in 2013? What does it take for BIAS to win? Well, all it takes is for those who are not narrow-minded to stop caring, give up, do nothing, and just let BIASES promote themselves as acceptable. With the current attitude going the direction it is, pretty soon it will become unacceptable to COMPLAIN about bias - and in fact this is already becoming the case. But it doesn't have to be. Sometimes it only takes a spark to accomplish a revolution in peoples' minds. BIAS is something Wikipedia can do without!
Unlike the bias of just a few years ago, which tried harder to disguise itself, the bias of 2013 parades openly, with all the exuberance of kids in pull-ups who are only happy (fleetingly) when they have knocked down some sandcastle that others worked hard to build - though this would be strikingly out of place in any professional environment. WMF and Jimbo very clearly set NPOV and "neutrality" as the non-negotiable goal posts in the beginning. So, the agents of BIAS have gradually realized this means they must "move the Mountain to Mohammed", i.e. they must now work on trying to redefine the English word "neutrality", until it means exactly what they want it to mean. They try endlessly to delude people that "neutrality" doesn't mean allowing both sides to be told evenly, no, they have spent years writing little paragraphs and rigging the system so that now "neutrality" means only allowing one side of the story to be told - the very antithesis of its actual meaning - and they can triumphantly crow and thump their little paragraphs that they wrote themselves that explain why "BIAS IS NEUTRAL" and nobody can argue.
Almost everything they touch, if it was neutral before, when they leave it reflects only the biases of the editors who do this. It becomes a hack piece telling you who is right, who is wrong, and what you are supposed to think about it. The wikipedia I remember from the past had beautiful articles where you could really learn something about the other guy's point of view - without having it crammed down your throat, along with a pile of smarmy legalese to explain why it has to be crammed down your throat.
I am seeing more and more articles fall by the wayside in this way. Is it because fair-minded people are just giving up? I am seeing more and more articles that gave insight on crucial points of view being deleted by deletionists who don't think you need to know about that, so they have taken it on themselves to regulate what subjects you are allowed to learn about. The resulting lack of coverage is the definition of SYSTEMIC BIAS, and wikipedia is now getting plagued by it.
I have already seen many things of this type, and many "non-favored" ethnic groups being targeted spitefully, and in the discussions, it's like they don't even have to account for promoting BIAS, on the contrary, you are expected to account for and apologize for NOT sharing their biases.
I don't know what else could be suggested to better combat this trend. The only thing I can think of is to try to reinvigorate the practically dormant Systemic Bias WikiProject, and perhaps rename it to Countering systemic bias noticeboard which is only slightly less unwieldy than "Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countering systemic bias".
I Have A Dream
...that one day, in the future, it will be the Countering Systemic Bias Noticeboard that has the real "teeth" on Wikipedia, to enforce NPOV policy, and the "Fringe Theories Noticeboard" that will be a ghost town. Also any other boards that exist solely to undermine NPOV, that are just a gathering place for the most opinionated users to decide whose ideas they are going to marginalize next like a wolf pack, they stand in judgment over all published sources and blacklist entire schools of thought based on their own common prejudices. They cannot suffer multiple points of view to co-exist on the same page, they are intolerant, unenlightened, can't see past the end of their noses, they think their POV has a monopoly and all sources for other views don't count, and that readers need to be spoon fed the "TRUTH" like kindergartners.
As Howard once put it, you have to "Mend your brain, see both sides, throw off your mental chains, whoo whoo whoo." (Now if you want to know what BIAS looks like, it looks just like the guy with the bent nose on that album cover!)
All I want is for both sides (or all sides) of any given issue to be treated fairly as long as published sources exist for them, and not use circular litmus tests of "reliability" specially redefined to get all dissent declared as "unreliable" so they can pretend that there is some "consensus" in a controversy. Trying to get words like "scholar" and "academic" specially redefined is another dirty trick to be aware of. Herodotus was a "scholar", even if every single thing he said was wrong, and there have been many thousands of scholars every year since then; it is not an exclusive club with membership cards handed out by the Central Presidium. I am not pushing for my own views to have dominance, in fact I try not even to make my own views known, because as old school wikipedians should know, they are irrelevant. Yet I was recently accused of being on some "crusade" to prove that "Black Hebrews" settled all the continents of the world! I don't think that at all, where do these types get this slanderous hogwash from? Your mind is like a dog and a bone, don't jump to conclusions or make ASSumptions if I never said any such thing myself!
It is easy to picture a major controversy where two huge camps both have sources that label one another FRINGE tearing apart this project. So who REALLY gets to define what "FRINGE" is, in that case? Who is the ultimate FRINGEMASTER whose view will prevail, the one who shouts the loudest? It's totally subjective and what the elephant looks like depends entirely on where you are standing. Just as one example, during the Cold War, Capitalist sources might well label Communist academics as "fringe", and at the same time, Communist sources might label Capitalist ones "fringe". IS THERE ANY RELIABLE SOURCE THAT DEFINES "FRINGE"? Not very likely, since "fringe" is a pejorative and derogatory term, short for "lunatic fringe", it belongs in the realm of rhetoric, not in the realm of a supposedly neutral encyclopedia project that was designed to give all major points of view their say.
Gallery of images that have appeared on this page...!