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Bigger is not better. "Concise and accurate" should be the mantra of any encyclopedia.
I'm pedantic, and that's what wikipedia needs. I hope to correct sloppy use of language and inaccurate or irrelevant content.
I don't expect to make any major contributions to the wikipedia in terms of new content.
Once I start clicking that random page link, there's no stopping me - well, unless it's time for work or beer o'clock, or I've got something better to do...
I refuse to donate to wikipedia, not because I am a freeloader, but because 95% of the articles on wikipedia are pure rubbish. If you don't believe me, you haven't clicked random page recently.
Some absolute total wazzock has used a database to create an article for every single little backwater settlment in the USA. Almost all of these are completely worthless (the pages, not the towns). The great majority of them have never even been edited since they were automatically created.
If you read the book of Numbers in the Bible, there are chapters and chapters of prose which could be represented completely and concisely in a few simple statistical tables*. This can be excused in this case, since information technology was not very advanced 3400 years ago when they were written.
Wikipedia isn't an encyclopedia of any description. This isn't a bad thing. The mathematical and scientific texts and tutorials are not encyclopedic at all, but are incredibly useful.
I am not criticising non-encyclopedic content then, but database content. These people who are trying to turn wikipedia into an incredibly expensive, inefficient database should be banned from ever coming near it. They are incompetent and harmful to everyone.
Data which can be represented in a database should never be stored as prose. Anyone who generates prose from a database and adds it to wikipedia is wasting everyone's resources and must be made to stop.
- The book of Numbers is mostly but not entirely statistical. One beautiful piece of non-numerical content is the institution of the Aaronic blessing, which is still used today.
Rant No. 2
DO NOT LINK TO YEARS! EVER!
If you have ever edited a page on wikipedia and put a link to a year, you are a total fuckwit.
Ok, so I might look up this band and see that it says where they are from, I might not know where it is, and want to read about it, but do you seriously think that anyone reading this article doesn't know what the 1990s are?
Apply some common sense people!
There are articles in wikipedia explaining the complexities of a great many every day things. But suppose you wrote the following sentance:
"The Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) is a means of calculating a Fourier transform on a computer"
In this sentance "computer" is just a word of the english language, like any other. If you want to link to every word in a sentance about which an article could be made, Wikipedia would look like this.