User:Kowloonese

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This is a user page about myself and my personal views and opinions which means I should be the only person editing this page. If you want to comment on the contents of this page, please add that to my User Talk page instead. Thanks.


Wikipedia:Babel
en-3 This user can contribute with an advanced level of English.
zh-2 該用戶能以一般中文進行交流。
该用户能以一般中文进行交流。
yue 呢位用户嘅母语粤语/广州话
呢位用戶嘅母語粵語/廣州話
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Who am I?[edit]

An anonymous wikipedian using IP 63.192.137.xxx since first week of July 2001. Also appeared as many other IPs. Wish to stay anonymous, though the pseudonym may have already revealed too much.

Wikipedia related opinions:[edit]

credibility, quality control etc.[edit]

Wikipedia is an excellent source of information. It is the first place my family would look for any information on the web. It is always a good starting point for any research. One big problem with wikipedia is that there are so many anonymous contributions which make the wikipedia lack credibitlity that other editor based encyclopedia have. For academic research, wikipedia is not good enough as a credible reference. Due to the anonymity of the contributors, and lack of accountability, the content of the articles really have no backing. In order for wikipedia to be credible, some known experts with real names and verifiable credentials need to stand behind these articles by issuing a stamp of approval periodically.

On the other hand, the free editing is what make wikipedia so successful. So it would be counterproductive to turn wikipedia into an editor based encyclopedia.

In my opinion, there is an easy way to get the best of both worlds. The trick is to provide a filtering capability for the viewers. The readers can visit en.wikipedia.org, an unfiltered version as it currently is. The readers can also visit en.credible-pedia.org which is a filtered version of wikipedia that only shows the Expert/Editor approved revision of articles. Since wikipedia covers a vast list of subjects, each editor or expert must provide credentials that are relevant to the subject matters that are authorized to approve. The experts's user page must meet certain standards defined by wikipedia officials.

For example, an article may be edited actively with 500 revisions by anyone. The 400th revision may have 20 stamps of approval from experts and the 435th revision may only have 5 approvals. For readers who do not care about credible source, they can simply read the latest revision. For readers who need credibility, they can enter a filtering criteria. e.g. they only accept revision that have at least 10 approvals. Then wikipedia only presents the revision #400 to them. Or they can request a revision that received the latest approvals, and received revision #435. Or they can reject any revision that recieve any disapproval just in case the experts disagree on certain controversal topics.

The experts and editors' job is to monitor the changes to the articles in their area of expertise. If they have already approved the article before, all they need to verify is that the new changes didn't invalid the original approval. They simply approve or disapprove each revision of edits. Each editor can work on his/her own pace. Some revision may get more approvals than the next, the readers can judge how credible an article is by the number of approvals each revision gets. If a revision is tainted by vandalism, it will naturally receive a large number of disapprovals by the authorized experts in the subject matter. When vandalism is reverted, the repaired revision will automatically inherit all the original approvals only if it is identical to the original pre-vandalized version. If the reverted revision is different, then it needs to go through the same approval process like any other revision.

Basically, the unfiltered version will continue to operate the same way as before to the likings of all existing wikipedians. The ability to only present an experts approved subset of wikipedia will give credibility at least to that particular subset. Such filtering will not in anyway affect the normal operation of the full set of articles.

This is analogous to a factory where products are produced in varying quality, but only those passed quality control will be packaged and shipped. The workers can still work hard or goof off according to their own personality, but the reputation of the factory will never be tarnished if the QC personnels are assuring the customers confidence in the quality of products.

That's how both free form and editor based wikipedia can coexist in the same database without interfering with each other.

native text[edit]

I am a proponent of adding native text to article title terms of non-English origins, e.g. Yahweh (יהוה). Title terms shown in its original native spelling would help wikipedia users and researchers to eliminate ambiguity in transliteration and enable them to further their research using native sources. For example, when you need to hire translators to look up native source materials for your research, you would be able to avoid many false hits if you can print the native text on the wikipedia articles to show to your translators. Otherwise, they must make wild guesses on what you are looking for if they have never heard of the English transliteration before. Native text is also extremely instrumental in doing image search on Google requiring no knowledge of the language.

It is controversial to decide what is native to the article topic sometimes. In some situations, the decision is easy; in some, it is not. For example, Hanja is appropriate for the article on Kimchi while Kanji is appropriate for the article on Sushi. However, some wikipedians argue that Chữ nho & Chữ nôm are not appropriate for some Vietnamese articles despite the Vietnamese people used these Chinese text before their language was romanized. Multiple language text may be native to an article. For example, the board game GO is native to China, but the term GO is native to Japan. Though the game is also popular in Korea, in my opinion, Korean text is not native to the game of GO.

My philosophy is that native text should always be enclosed in parenthesis as a side note in the English wikipedia. Native text is necessary for the purpose of disambiguation of foreign-to-English transliteration. However, they interrupt the flow of reading in English. My rule of thumb is that any English reader should be able to read the text aloud as a valid English sentence. For example,

  • Good: The Lord is also called Yahweh (יהוה). It is readable when anything within the parenthesis is omitted as just a side note.
  • Bad: The Lord is also called יהוה. This sentence is unreadable by anyone who don't know Hebrew. This is an English encyclopedia, hence this is unacceptable.

Since native text is often disruptive to read even when enclosed in parenthesis, I usually remove them once the foreign term got an article on its own. Native text for "title term" is good. Native text for terms inside an article should be used as temporary place holders only. Adding an interwiki link to a foreign edition of the same article is not a good enough reason to remove the native text. Since one of the possible use of wikipedia is to publish the free articles in prints or CD-ROM for third world countries where Internet use is not widespread, the interwiki links would be missing and fail to provide the same information within the articles in one single language wikipedia.

Native text is okay in tables and lists because people don't usually read table or list entries as complete sentences.

More of my opinions can be found in Talk:Kumquat

It is a controversial topic on whether people's names should appear in different languages in the article. In my opinion, transliteration of the name into various languages is inappropriate because the transliteration does not offer any additional information. However, if the person uses an alternate name in a different community, then the alternate name should be included as encyclopedic information. For example, the Italian Jesuits in China all used a different identity in Chinese. Regardless of their nationality, their Chinese names should be included in the article because researchers can use the person's alternate names to dig up more materials in other sources. These alternate names are often not a result of transliteration, hence they are not reproducible unless the information are preserved in the article. For example, Matteo Ricci's Chinese name should be added in native text to the English page or Italian page or the Greek page about him because it was his other identity regardless of his original nationality or ethnicity. Which language the wikipedia article is written in really does not matter. The Chinese text would be native to his Chinese name, even though he is not Chinese at all. Likewise, Michelle Kwan's Chinese name should be included in her article regardless of her nationality. The inclusion of her Chinese name does not make her less American or more Chinese. The Chinese name should be included just because she has one. She is a pure American no matter what.

(Wiki policy)

one sentence per line[edit]

I prefer entering one sentence per line instead of merging the whole paragraph into one big blob. I argue that the web browser automatically joins these lines into paragraphs. It is not the author's business to worry about the paragraph layout. The time should be spent on the contents instead.

The advantage of one line per sentence is better diff'ing when viewing the revision history of the article. This page is a living example of such practice. View the history of this page and diff adjacent revisions to see how good the diff is done compared to other pages not following this practice. The revision history often fails to diff long paragraphs correctly. The article on Steaming is one good example on how the diff'ing fails miserably. Check out the "very minor" changes dated 03:48, January 19, 2006 by user 64.69.92.30 in the revision history, and you will see how the minor changes failed to show up as what they actually are because the diff'ing tool is thrown totally off base by the long paragraphs. One sentence per line would have avoided such a big mess. This problem is not atypical, it is making the revision history hard to use in most cases.

In the related Wiki policy discussion page, some people changed the one sentence per line proposal into adding random linebreaks to shorten the lines. IMO, they are two totally different things. While I strongly propose the one sentence per line approach, I strongly object to putting random linebreaks in a sentence. The placement of the linebreaks is deterministic (at phrase or sentence boundary) in the original approach, hence the edit will be consistent from revision to revision. In contrast, the random linebreaks would ruin the revision diff'ing worse than any other approaches. The sole reason I support the one sentence per line is because of the better diff'ing and the random linebreaks just do the opposite. Nevertheless, those who set up the polling presented the wrong proposal and the original intent is totally lost.

I have noticed some wikipedians took special efforts to revert what I did by merging all the separate lines into a big blob, but that is okay with me. In wikipedia, no one owns any article. If one has so much spare time to perform the browser's formatting task, it is his choice. However, his choice is a disservice to the wikipedia community in my opinion.

standardized personal name format[edit]

I had a debate with the wikipedia "policy makers" regarding the use of all capital letters in surnames which do not follow usual English convention, e.g. MAO Ze Dong or Martin LEE Chu Ming where MAO and LEE are family names. They are not placed at the end of the name according to English convention. It would be an overkill to standardize on the name format such as "BUSH, George W." which is unnatural in the English language. I gave up on the debate because it was hopeless to win on issue hinged on matter of preferences.

I proposed that individual names should be presented in a manner the person is called in their native country. Since each culture presents people's names in different order, it would be necessary to use capital letters to highlight a surname when it does not follow English convention. e.g. George W. Bush (standard English format), MAO Ze Dong (standard name format for English publication in China), Leslie CHEUNG Kwok Wing (standard name format in Hong Kong) etc. Even the CIA World Factbook uses the all capital letters convention to address the multicultural needs.

[quote]The Factbook capitalizes the surname or family name of individuals for the convenience of our users who are faced with a world of different cultures and naming conventions. The need for capitalization, bold type, underlining, italics, or some other indicator of the individual's surname is apparent in the following examples: MAO Zedong, Fidel CASTRO Ruz, George W. BUSH, and TUNKU SALAHUDDIN Abdul Aziz Shah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Hisammuddin Alam Shah. By knowing the surname, a short form without all capital letters can be used with confidence as in President Castro, Chairman Mao, President Bush, or Sultan Tunku Salahuddin. The same system of capitalization is extended to the names of leaders with surnames that are not commonly used such as Queen ELIZABETH II. For Vietnamese names, the given name is capitalized because officials are referred to by their given name rather than by their surname. For example, the president of Vietnam is Tran Duc LUONG. His surname is Tran, but he is referred to by his given name - President LUONG. [end quote]

Anyone who watched the Olympics would notice that the proposed naming format was commonly used in International events. I argued that Wikipedia is not international savvy to stick to a rule that is good only for English.

See more background information in family name. (Wiki policy)

pinyin, not Wade-Giles[edit]

I am a strong proponent of using pinyin over Wade-Giles. See m:Use_pinyin_not_Wade-Giles.

use of Chinese and Japanese words in the English language and Wikipedia[edit]

I have noticed a biased use of Japanese words over Chinese words in the English language. The strong bias is also clearly reflected in the Wikipedia especially on what are chosen for the article titles. The Japanese successfully added countless Japanese terminologies into the English language. Relatively fewer Chinese words were accepted by the English speaking population. The only exception was probably martial arts terminologies. Ironically even the term wushu failed to take its place as Chinese martial arts. The word kung fu is kind of an exception.

When a Westerner asks "What is this drink?", the Japanese would answer "Sake". When a Westerner asks the same question about a similar drink, the Chinese would answer "Chinese rice wine". The word sake did not need to be in the English language because it could very well be Japanese rice wine, but somehow sake is more accepted than Japanese rice wine. Likewise, Judo could be called Japanese wrestling, Kendo could be called Japanese fencing etc.

There are many similar concepts in both Chinese and Japanese culture. However, the Chinese concepts always named "Chinese this" and "Chinese that", but the Japanese equivalent concepts often get their unique names into the English Language. For example:

generic English names for Chinese concepts specific Japanese names for similar concepts
Chinese characters instead of Hanzi Kanji instead of Japanese characters
Chinese abacus Soroban
Chopsticks Hashi
Chinese poem Haiku
Chinese wine Sake
edible seaweed Nori
Chinese chess Shogi
Chinese drum Taiko
various mythical creatures
Chinese dragon, Chinese lion,
Chinese phoenix, Fox spirit etc.
Kirin, kitsune, tanuki, tengu etc.
Chinese opera kabuki
Chinese comic Manga
Chinese cartoon Anime
Chinese carp Koi
Chinese American Issei, Nisei, Sansei
Silver Plaza, Jinan Ginza, Tokyo

Some Japanese terms are totally unnecessary in the English language. For example, issei, nisei and sansei literally mean first generation, second generation and third generation respectively when referring to Japanese Americans. Shouldn't the terms 1st, 2nd, 3nd generation Japanese Americans be more descriptive than the unnecessarily arcane terms?

On the flip side of things, some English terms for Chinese concepts are totally inappropriate. For example, Chinese dragon and Western dragon have nothing in common; same problem with the Chinese lion and pheonix. These deserve their own unique names more than just Chinese this and Chinese that. Chinese words can barge their way into the English language like Japanese did if every Chinese person stops desperately finding a Western word to describe a Chinese concept. Those unnecessary mappings and erroneous translations were the main reasons why there were so much misunderstanding and confusions. A lung is not a dragon, then why call it Chinese dragon? A shi is not a lion, then stop calling it Chinese lion. The English language has so many loanwords from around the world. It probably can take in a lot more. The large number of Japanese loanwords is a proof that the Westerners are smart enough to learn new foreign concepts without matching with the old and familiar.

Though the root cause of these linguistic problems did not come from wikipedia, but the wikipedian article titles are promoting many unnecessary Japanese "contaminations" into the English language. Some examples of unnecessary esoteric wikipedian article titles include but not limited to issei, nisei, sansei, ie etc.

My objection is not against the use of loanwords nor the tying of foreign conceptions into Western terminologies. A balance is needed somewhere. My rant is mainly about two inconsistent approaches used in wikipedia where the bias is clearly, obsessively and unproportionally leaning towards Japanese loanwords to a point where some of these loanwords are just unnecessary. But on the other hand, Chinese terminologies didn't get their well deserved loanwords. It is like starving one to overfeed the other.

At this very moment, Chinese chess and Chinese abacus are redirected towards Xiangqi and Suanpan. So, one could think there are adopted as terms instead of the "Chinese this" counterpart. Solsticedhiver (talk) 20:49, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Contributions to Wikipedia:[edit]

I mostly contributed to Chinese related topics. I have added native text to many Chinese and Japanese related articles. My edit count can be found at [1]

starters[edit]

I have started many new articles. Due to page conversion from the old Wiki system to the new, and some page renaming and merging, some revision history was lost. As a result, I wasn't able to recall all my contributions. The list below is far from complete and only include some of the contributions from my early involvement with wikipedia. It contains fully written articles and stubs that later filled by other wikipedians. e.g. American Chinese cuisine, Anglo-Chinese College, Beijing, Boba milk tea, Cantonese, Cantonese cuisine, Cantopop, Chiuchow cuisine, Chinese Buddhist cuisine, Chinese film history, Chinese five elements, Chinese medicine, Chopsticks, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Many stubs for Chinese Dynasties, Double steaming, Food therapy, Grand Teton National Park, G11n, Hang Seng, High tech baking, Hot salt frying, Hot sand frying, How to tell the origin of an accent which later became Non-native pronunciations of English, Hunan cuisine, Jet Li, Jiu, Li Po, Macau, Min Guo, Myriad, Nanjing, Nutella, Peng (mythology), Republic of China, Shi, Sir Run Run Shaw, Sleep apnea, Soul food, Steaming, Stir frying, Stock market index, Szechuan cuisine, Shanghai cuisine, Taiwan Capitalization Weighted Stock Index, Tung Chao Yung, Vacuum flask cooking, Vera Wang, Wu Xia film, Wing Chun, Zbig Rybczynski, Zhang Heng, Zhang Xue-liang, etc.

major edits[edit]

I have contributed major addition to many existing articles, e.g. Abacus, Chinese astrology, Chinese calendar, Chinese numerals, Floating point, Hot air balloon, I Ching, Shooting, Zhuyin, etc.

alternate identities[edit]

I didn't start using this identity until Nov 23, 2001. Besides, I don't always log in before typing, and also my log in session often expired during an edit, so most of my contributions are listed under various IP addresses. Since IP addresses were dynamically assigned by my ISP, it is possible that the same IP was used by another wikipedian though very unlikely. The IP addresses in the some old style contribution lists contain a wild card xxx, i.e. multiple contributors in the same subnet may have folded into the same list.

The contributions in the following lists were mostly mine as

login

date range

duration

Notes

kowloonese

2001/11/23 - present

on-going

63.192.137.xxx

2001/07/11 - 2002/02/25

7 months

47.83.107.xxx

2001/08/22 - 2001/11/12

3 months

24.4.254.xxx

2001/09/01 - 2001/12/11

3 months

63.192.137.21

2002/02/11 - 2002/05/03

3 months

12.234.76.230

2002/09/27 - 2002/11/03

2 months

12.234.68.204

2002/12/06 - 2002/12/20

1 month

12.234.73.11

2003/01/04 - 2003/10/30

9 months

67.117.82.5

2003/03/11 - 2004/02/04

11 months

67.117.82.1

2004/03/02 - 2008/10/01

55 months

mixed with other users' contributions since 2005

67.117.82.2

2004/03/02 - 2007/04/23

37 months

mixed with other users' contributions since 2004

67.170.239.52

2004/05/27 - 2005/10/27

17 months

I've just discovered today (July 10, 2004) that I made it to #445 in the Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits with 1298 edits. The list showed that my rank dropped by 7 positions, which means I was once at #438. Due to the large number of IDs that I used over the years, my contributions were under-counted. I would have moved up the list if I could merge all my edits attributed to other IDs. (Update: as of 2007, my ranking has dropped to #2457 with 5336 edits. Since the list only covers the top 2500 contributors, I may drop off the list soon because I have not contributed much lately.)

photographs[edit]

I also contributed many photos over the years in the English edition. Some Wikipedians helped me moved my photos to commons.wikimedia.org. Those photos are no longer credited to my account, but by tracing through the files' history, you may found a mention on who originally posted them on en.wikipedia.org. I was too lazy to get a separate account on the commons. It was not until February of 2011, I signed up on the commons only when they supported a common login in all wikimedia accounts. My recent picture contributions can be found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Kowloonese

Curiosities[edit]

  • I am curious about the Gandhara area which might have connected Buddhism with other Western religions. (e.g. Did Jesus study Buddhism?)
  • I am curious about the possibility of non-carbon-based lifeform. Are there Silicon based lifeforms living in the magma of the earth's core? How can one prove the non-existence of such life?
  • I am curious about the salt mine in Wieliczka.
  • I am curious about how http://www.citizendium.org/ would turn out. How would they maintain a fork from wikipedia when wikipedia is moving so fast? How many experts are needed to keep up with wikipedia? See also my alternate views related to this topic at my user page.
  • I am curious about one of China's oldest written music 幽蘭 which ended up in Japan. Such relic should be treated as national treasure. The big question is which nation's?
  • I am curious about Caterpillar fungus which costs a fortune. Its price can rival that of the White Truffles.

Resources[edit]


Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
Love and kindness for everyone! Thanks for your efforts for Wikipedia! Loveandkindness 17:57, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

/Talk