One thing I've learned about Wikipedia is that you can't bite off more than you can chew, especially when it comes to working on controversial articles. They consume so much of your time and you often don't end up achieving much. Sad to say, so much Wiki-time is wasted debating controversies, and not enough is spent creating new, non-controversial material that desperately need coverage.
I contribute primarily to China-related articles and I am a long-time member of WikiProject China. My edits mainly centre around Chinese history (especially Qing Dynasty and PRC), and contemporary Chinese politics. One of my primary areas of study is the Cultural Revolution. I find that many China-related subjects of significant notability are constantly neglected or are simply non-existent, and I attempt to fill that gap. I also find that many articles are politically controversial and attempt to neutralize the content per one of Wikipedia's signature pillars - NPOV. You can see an example of it at Wenzhou Train Collision, or the "Evaluation" section of the article on Chinese President Hu Jintao.
I am fascinated by rail transport - particularly the expansion of high-speed rail and urban rail development, as well as civil aviation and accidents involving aircraft; thus I am inclined to contribute to these articles from time to time. I am also extremely fond of linguistics, particularly dialectology, sociolinguistics, and the relationship between language and politics. I take part in many discussions, but I rarely make major edits to language articles.
Once in a while I take an interest in broader topics involving current affairs or international politics, often because I believe they are in a deplorable state and are embarrassing this encyclopedia. On this front, I primarily focus on lead sections (see this edit at Mikhail Khodorkovsky, this edit at Iraq War, and this one at Jean Chretien). I also take part in a variety of discussions, and poke my head around Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates on occasion, especially when blatantly non-notable news events have been posted. I am an advocate for the removal of the elections of very small countries from recurring items of In the News. I have been involved in the clean-up and neutralization of Falun Gong-related articles since July 2009, as well as the protracted Cantonese renaming debates, which resulted in great stress and time commitment (see section below).
|The Original Barnstar|
|Thanks for creating new articles on China-related topics, such as Ji Dengkui and Gu Mu. Your contributions are greatly appreciated! Zanhe (talk) 20:02, 13 September 2014 (UTC)|
- I disagree with British editors on Wikipedia continue to insist on naming every single life and hereditary peer according to a strict naming convention system defined by their POV.
- I am opposed to "pinyinfication" of Wikipedia. Users who insist on inserting boldfaced pinyin names in the lead sections of Chinese people (tones and all) need to stop.
- Wikipedia has serious systemic bias. On May 28, 1010, for example, you would find no article, indeed, nothing at all on the important trilateral summit of South Korea, China, and Japan, yet it was in a serious frenzy to showcase the winner of the 2010 Eurovision Contest - which appeared as top news on the main page.
- Pedantic attitudes that prevail all over Wikipedia irritate me. Some editors seem to latch onto the obsession of describing subject matter to the utmost technical detail in the lead section. This is especially true with some language-related articles. Often, readers get so lost in the first paragraph that they are more confused about a subject than they were to begin with. Encyclopedias should describe topics in an easy-to-read, concise, and accessible manner, even if it is about the most technical of subjects.
- Taiwan is Taiwan. It is commonly used to refer to the island under the rule of the Republic of China, and it's fine to say 'Taiwan' in this context. Chinese nationalists need to back down in trying to prevent people from 'implying' Taiwan is a country.
- Wikipedia's systemic bias leads to many biographies of notable individuals whose line of thinking deviates from western/traditional norms into attack pages against these people. For instance, read Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
- Wikipedia needs to find a way to lock 'lede' sections. These get prominently vandalized and attract too much POV-warring. Do something about it.
- The amount of Recentism in some places on Wikipedia is just staggering. Read this version of the article for Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans. Also, I further illustrate at this page.
- Jackie Chan is Chinese. Some Hong Kong elitist editors continue reverting to say he is "Hong Kong" and avoid use of the word "Chinese". Come to think of it, is this really necessary? Is there a rule written in stone to say that no one from Hong Kong can be described as "Chinese" due to its special political status?
- Wikipedia noticeboards don't really work. They've never helped me resolve any content disputes.
- Is a posting about the dismissal of Chinese Railways Minister Liu Zhijun worthy of Main page ITN content?
Adjective use of "United States"
Adjective use relating to the United States needs to be written into Wikipedia's Manual of Style, and enforced. The current lack of concrete policy on this issue has resulted in awkward phrases (i.e. United States President, American Secretary of State, United States artist, United States publication) being thrown around in articles and in the Current Events portal.
Wikipedia must recognize that there are three adjectives used when discussing things American: "U.S.", "United States", and "American". For instance, U.S. Dollar is fine, but not United States Dollar, U.S. President flows, United States President is awkward. Publications can be U.S.-based, but actors are American-born. The Tea Party is an American socio-political movement, or a socio-political movement in the United States. It is never a United States socio-political movement. Uses of "United States" as a primary adjective are accepted only in a few cases - the "United States Army", the "United States Postal Service", "United States Customs" etc., although in most of these cases even official sites are trending to exclusively using the acronym, some with dots (U.S.), others without (US). General rule of thumb: if "U.S." sounds fine, then use it, if not, it's probably "American", or maybe an adjective isn't appropriate at all.
I do not follow the exact styles outlined at WP:QUOTATION. If you have an issue with this, please discuss it with me. I play with scare quotes a lot, mostly in neutral contexts, because I think they enrich the meaning of encyclopedic material and adds 'flavour' to articles. It makes things easier for the writer and reader alike. However, I am against direct quotations where paraphrasing can sufficiently extract the full meaning of a passage. I am irritated by quotefarms.
On the articles I write, I tend to use double quotes (") only to directly quote material from what someone has written or said, or to enclose certain proper nouns. (eg. She claimed to be on "sick leave for five days" during an escapade to Orlando.) I use single quotes (') to emphasize an idea or an expression, sometimes to denote that they are not to be taken literally or at face value - effectively, a single quote is almost always a 'scare quote'. (ex., he had a 'bring-it-on' type of attitude about the problems he faced. or Mao intended to carry out 'guerilla-style' warfare against his former comrades.) I feel in those instances, double-quotes would not be apt stylistically, though grammatically correct.
- /New ITN Format: my vision for a better "In the News" section on the main page.
- /Elections of very small countries: My arguments on why small country elections should not be posted in In the News on the main page.
- /My Stuff
- /Criticism of Falun Gong (archive)
- /Cats and dogs
- /Footballers with different national identities
- Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/China-related articles by quality/1
- /Seven Thousand Cadres Conference