Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Trivia is what Wikipedia does best

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This debate has been taken from Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). Talkpage policies there apply here.

Trivia is What Wikipedia does best: Wikipedia has become bigger than itself[edit]

Since the world already knows that Wikipedia is only a temporary social experiment, and not a reputable inclusion of actual human knowledge to the serious and deadly pursuit of organic survival values in a cold, remorseless universe of strange, complex, exciting, and inexplicable wonders, the fountain of trivia should continue unabated. The new and absurd signs indicating "This is trivia, Wikipedia discourages trivia" should make any seasoned viewer of Wikipedia laugh a speculative laugh. Wikipedia articles are written by unknown people with unknown credentials. Surely Wikipedia attracts self-aggrandizing "experts" in actual fields of study, who add and edit with care and zeal. But it is obviously run by people who have either nothing better to do with their lives than "edit" an encyclopedia, or by people who have time on their hands, for whatever reason -- be it disability, alcoholism, laziness, or inherited wealth. Since the world should not and does not and will not take Wikipedia seriously, it should continue to be a repository of unsubstantiable trivia. That's what makes it fun to read. There's a category page for "mysteries," which contains much speculation. Since this speculation is from "sources," does that make it authoritative ? Wikipedia should stop trying to represent itself as it would like to be seen and represent itself as what it has actually become. That will help to clarify to non-Wikipedians what it intends to be, whether or not it actually achieves what it sets out to be, which it has not, and cannot do. The hyper-emotionalized, utterly non-intellectual bickering evident on these talk pages simply runs counter to what it purports to be, but it serves as a source of comedy that these days I cannot live without. Acrimony is hilarious.

Wikipedia is a vast repository of human consciousness, the objects of the "Third World," the world of objective contents of thought (reference to the philosophy of Karl Popper). This is very important as a tool to brighten human future. A place to put stuff that others can access which libraries cannot categorize, hold, or cross-reference. Angered by my tagline "Trivia is what Wikipedia does best ?" Well, I'm not surprised. Another non-intellectual reaction to purely intellectual issues. This unfortunate and ubiquitous overemotionalizing is the bane of humanity: the cause of wars, poor evaluations of actions and situations, inept interpretations, and policy-page acrimony. Read on, if you dare. I'm making an important point here, which is this: there has never been a place where humans across the intellectual spectrum could deposit and associate all the loose strands of accumulated knowledge that has been collecting dust on shelves across the planet for decades and centuries. Libraries cannot cross-reference nor even contain all this important detritus. Libraries, crucial as they may be, are at once repositories and filters. Yes, filters. Because only those knowledge sets and nuggets deemed important or relevant are contained therein. Seemingly useless lists and uncatagorizable (Dewey Decimal style) knowledge chunks fall to the wayside due to the physical limitations of the space, as well as the cost of human labor and materials, not to mention time. Wikipedia spreads all this out horizontally. Wikipedia must not be compromised by overzealous editing. The exclusion of trivia will eliminate so much future cross-referencing as to render it a simple encyclopedia. Wikipedia is not merely an encyclopedia. Those who purport to possess the vision and power to state unequivocally that Wikipedia is merely an encyclopedia are perpetrating a grave injustice not just to Wikipedia itself, but to human consciousness past, present, and future. Wikipedia has become a PROCESS, not just an accumulation of facts. Wikipedia is bigger than its stated goals. Wikipedia has transcended its own identity. Wikipedians must now embrace what Wikipedia means to the future of human consciousness. Kreepy krawly 01:00, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Not to sound insulting, but all that is quite unappealing to read, much less for the simple point of allowing trivia. Also, please place new posts at the bottom. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 01:06, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, I see you've posted a shorter version of this already. Just because no one responded doesn't mean you should post it again and again. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 01:11, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, it's a good example of the sort of "essay" that articles would be full of if we didn't have policies to help guide our editing. Dicklyon 01:51, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
I've been called a proponent of trivia in Wikipedia, and even I found this to be a rather unappealing rant. The bulk of this is just flowery embellishment of a point that can be summed up in a couple of sentences, and it's furthermore a point that many have brought up before. The counterpoint is that despite what some people think it "ought to be", Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. That's what it was created for and that's what its purpose continues to be. If you want to argue about what might belong in an encyclopedia, that's a different issue entirely ;)
Equazcion (TalkContribs)
20:39, September 12, 2007
Interesting. Sorry my essay/rant is so unappealing. Actually, I'm not sorry at all. Perhaps as this string continues ad infinitum, Wikipedians will find some ability to respond to my future pithy statements on the matter in a way that creates a dialogue. I'm not at all surprised to discover "attitudes" in place of "thoughts" in response to my well-intentioned points. The non-Wikipedians whom this essay is also directed toward will delight in the confirmation of one or more of my theories. Here's the short end of my sharp stick, in truncated form: Wikipedia encyclopedia more than because future require horizontally decentralized freedom thoughts experiment continue forever necessity invention. Hope that is appealing enough. Perhaps we should write articles in this fashion, with only predicates and predicate modifiers. That should speed things up, and remove and prevent the flowers from growing.Kreepy krawly 03:41, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Deliberate foolishness in regards to criticism will no more prove your point than your preceding rant. Moreover, it hardly helps your credibility. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 03:43, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
So based on this logic, attempts at improvement are not only futile but stupid? Does this mean rehab centers should not exist because drug addicts should just accept what they have become? Mr.Z-man 03:47, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

break for section edit 1[edit]

(unindent)Drug addicts are recognised for what they are; Wikipedia maintains that it is an encyclopedia and only a few have pretended it is anything else. However, if you see that Wikipedia is evolving into something other why don't you take advantage of the free software and nurture this new lifeform. Take what you need from here and invite others to be midwifes and nursemaids. The rest of us can continue to contribute here. LessHeard vanU 13:01, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Your main point, Kreepy, is that Wikipedia has grown past being an encyclopedia, and you think it would be of more use to the public as such, and so we should just give in to that. That's the sentence you should've written, if you indeed wanted to make a serious attempt as condensing this. This isn't a good a good argument though, because it has such an obvious answer -- and that answer is no, this is an encyclopedia, as is stated many times over in many different locations. The goal of this place is not to aid humanity through whatever means necessary. Rather it is simply to make an encyclopedia. A BETTER argument, which I tried to allude to in my first response, is that trivia doesn't necessarily need to be excluded from a work titled an encyclopedia. But whatever you do, don't try to say this isn't or shouldn't be an encyclopedia. That's the worst thing you could possibly say, because it simply isn't true. It was intended to be an encyclopedia and continues to be intended as such, by its founders and by the people who maintain it. You simply won't find too many people who agree that we are, or should be, getting away from that intent.
Equazcion (TalkContribs)
04:09, September 13, 2007
Again, fascinating. I'm fascinated by the tone of this forum. And the viewers of my writing have reiterated their unending fascination with the tone of this forum. My point being proven manyfold, which is vitriol is more entertaining than thought, I will allow another elucidation for your edification, but introductions always come first. The name is Kreepy krawly, to be exact. Wikipedia can continue to "improve" itself, but not via the attitudes of a frustrated mob lacking future vision. Ahhhhh, trivia is the seed of this string, but the larger issues loom: I make no attempt to prove any such credibility as mentioned, as it is futile and unnecessary. Yes drug addicts should accept addiction and let that sword fall where it may, as destiny draws the poet to danger in a dry gulch. A hummingbird drinks from the flower that fits its beak. We are driven by our nature and the limitations of our environment to unpredictable worlds. Wikipedia is indeed an encyclopedia; my thought on this matter involves systems theory, dynamical and chaotic systems, self-describing systems, complex systems. Systems: their origins, processes, utilities, and outcomes. Stars are born and stars die. And new stars are born. And from the cauldron of these ashes emerges a galaxy, which could not exist without creation and destruction. And were there a "god" controlling the system, only a spiral wonder no more complex than an image painted by a house cat could exist. Wikipedia cannot be controlled, only curtailed by well-intentioned, if somewhat misdirected, editors. It appears that Wikipedians are meer traffic cops, keeping the vandals at bay. These traffic cops are like weather men trying to rid Kansas of tornados with sorcery and card tricks. But they will and must persist with their traffic duties. Wikipedia has generated more information about bickering than this bickering has generated useful information. Should a word count be commenced to determine exactly what the ratio of encyclopedic data compared to bickering is within Wikipedia ? So. My point here is that Wikipedia, as a dynamical system like any other, will continue to become other than what it is described to be. Like it or not. Intelligence designs, creates, and unleashes a complex system into the world. Intelligence tries to control the system. The rate of change of the system increases. Intelligence can no longer use original definitions to describe the system. Intelligence becomes frustrated. The system cannot notice the designer, it keeps right on changing. Intelligence takes a back seat. So embrace that process, its inevitibilities, and that is how Wikipedia will be "improved." And embracing trivia, encouraging trivia, hyperlinking trivia, will yield intellectual rewards unforseen. What is futile is trying to stop the stars from being born, and trying to keep them alive forever. Because eventually, in every system, the diffuse clouds of randomness coalesce into something they never knew they could be. Let me know if you'd like a real email, real name, and telephone number, so you can tell me what you really think. And friends, let's be colleagues on a mission of truth and common values rather than opponents in a ring of fire. The world is hellish enough without smartish simians running around banging heads with bones. I like imagery, as it encapsulates meaning in potent ways. Logic is a subset of possible thought, and not the primary system of cognition. I'm waiting for Wikipedians to decide on unborn or nascent civility and enter the slipstream of optimal enhancement. I can show you how if you wish. Kreepy krawly 07:59, 13 September 2007 (UTC) 07:52, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Are you serious? Gwinva 08:49, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Whilst the writing, punctuation and use of white-space are p!ss poor there are a couple of legitimate points there. Using trivia as a vehicle is pointless IMHO as well.
WP governance needs to grow up, to recognise where the project is now, not where the aspiration was several years ago. Until that time, it'll remain of marginal value as an information repository and of more interest as an experiement in gateless, collaborative, knowledge management.
Standing by for some messenger shooting
ALR 12:22, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

(←) These unappealing rants—which most likely owe much of their length to wiktionary—need more cowbell. LaraLove 12:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Ha! :)
Equazcionargue/contribs16:07, 09/13/2007
I am serious about my message. My writing is bad ? Oh, I see. And I never consulted any outside sources during the composition of this message. What is Wiktionary ? I doesn't matter. Apparently Wikipedians, as expected, are unable and/or unwilling to engage in serious dialogue. And the facile late-night skit show reference accomplishes what ? Again, acrimony is hilarious. When again I restate this string, I shall do so in a more efficient manner, so as not to, hopefully, welcome such pathetic acrimony. Kreepy krawly 16:01, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Serious conversation is impossible with such ridiculous embellishment, especially when several different poeple have told you as much. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 20:10, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

(←) Kreepy Krawly is in no way serious. I burst out laughing when I got to his third or fourth post and it was a giant wall of rant. You don't do that when you're actually trying to make a point. He's giggling his little head off on his side of the screen.-BillDeanCarter 20:21, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Exactly. But it provides me with some amusement too...not seen such wonderful (!) purple prose in ages. Gwinva 21:43, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Still no serious discussion. I've noticed comments about the words, and not the message. I've also noticed a disproportionate emphasis on the person, rather than the message. Is this the manner Wikipedia demonstrates its professionalism to the world ? How can serious people take Wikipedia seriously with this level of dialogue ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kreepy krawly (talkcontribs) 22:26, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I think I've addressed your message rather satisfactorily. My comments on your wording were a mere side issue.
Equazcionargue/contribs20:10, 09/14/2007
More cowbells is the only solution. We need an exploding star of cows giggling on their knees to fulfill the prophecy of Janis Joplin about the delivery of color televisions. Oh and don't panic if wikipedia becomes a useful tool some idiots use in science to retrieve geek books about certain topics, just nevermind. No more I have to say. Wandalstouring 15:58, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Section Edit Break 2[edit]

Cover Judgment...Move On

Aside from the abrasive delivery, there were actually some decent points in the first wall. This is a social experiment. Maybe it neutralizes the arguments if the results don't take into account that the population involved sought to alter the experiment. Maybe the experiments have more to tell you.

What if the mouse looked up at you from his little maze and said, "Look, this would be a lot more fun if you added some ramps and slides. I'm tired of the same old landscape."

Imagine a similar revelation.

I realize this gives Gamers a lot of leeway in the policy. But skip ahead through the common sense sector of Wikipedia. Policy and enforcement should dictate the guidelines that enable communication, but otherwise its purpose should be to keep the experiment from destroying itself.

On another note, we should realize that everyone here has a right to an equal voice. Yes, voice, not vote. This thread was started because one individual has a different idea about what wikipedia could become. We each reshape this document with every word we write. Realize that the purpose of his outburst was not to whine about why this experiment should be his way. The purpose of his comments was to start a discussion on this particular topic.

To summarize:
1. We all have different ideas about the value of information(whether you name it trivia or knowledge), but it can be agreed that we all value it. No one's idea should be unrecognized because of its poor presentation.
2. Maybe some of the ideas in the original paragraphs need to be discussed.
This page should be taken into account: Wikipedia:Be_bold
Nonbankfiddle 20:50, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Such is exactly my point. We all value information, just not the same information, and who is to decide what information is valuable and what information is useless. Useless information indeed exists in any complex system. And the Wikipedia guidelines are well-functioning limiting factors. There are extensions to my original thread that I will bring up in the future, and I will restate some of my original points in a more concise form. I appreciate my esteemed colleague Nonbankfiddles comment above immensely, as it diffused a growing angst, and provided at least some vindication of my efforts in this forum. I agree my rant was an outburst; thank you for declaring that I was not whining and I didn't want it my way. Exactly true. What I was attempting to do, and what I will continue to do in the future, is to open up a kind of Wikipedia-specific metacognition thread, of which more topics than the ones expressed here are valid discussion points. This is also in relation to complex system theories about informational systems describing themselves, and Godel's Theorem. Users may or may not be interested in the background intentions or psychomemetic, epistemological, semiotic, or semantic mechanics of my threads, but there is a higher purpose than even this mere encyclopedia. Yet this encyclopedia represents something, as stated, bigger than itself, and a recognition of this may aid in attracting more talent to the project. The project is only as good as its contributors. The project will continue, and we all agree the project should continue to improve, not just because we put alot of time into it, nor because its got lots of ramps and slides (it does !), but because by making Wikipedia a better place, we are making the future a better future. Wikipedia has become important to human evolution. Kreepy krawly 22:07, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to butt in. There may be others with better stuff to post on this thread. But, I guess, I couldn't resist myself. Well, from what I read so far I think this discussion contains the following points (even if not in so many words) - (1) we should encourage trivia, not discourage it; (2) the definition of trivia may be those pieces of information that doesn't fit anywhere else; (3) this should be done because no other system of reference does it; (4) Wikipedia is has grown beyond its original purpose to accommodate this inclusion; (5) the policies need a review; (6) because we all have different views on the value of information; (7) the other way to this is to start a similar project founded on the values of trivia; (8) but, such proposals should be written in precise and concise form as opposed to flowery prose; (9) because flowery prose is not taken seriously... There may be more, but this would do, I guess, for now. Now for my two cents - how do we accommodate an indefinite number of uncategorizable information? Or have we forgotten that Wikipedia runs on a category system (or category systems - in plural) of its own? Not even Wikipedia has indefinite shelf space. As for an indefinite amount of randomized trivia, google already serves us fine. With all the forums and blogs and whatever floating around, and a google search engine to bind all that in a structure, why do we need Wikipedia to serve that purpose? Well... better brains are at work. I shouldn't worry too much. Cheers. Aditya(talkcontribs) 17:56, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
You keep going on about how serious you are. It's funny how someone who has to continuously state they are "serious" usually means most people just scroll on by or stay to watch for entertainment value. You talk about how "bickering" on Wikipedia is such a source of entertainment for you. But I wonder if it ever occurred to you that by making a self-righteous, insulting post, you're just becoming a "wanker" and not a "wankee"? By participating here, you make yourself just as acrimonious as anyone else who might participate. Laerwen 19:43, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Who are insulting here, my dear? Poor old me (it comes right after my post, you know)? Or, Kreepy krawly (since KK made the original post)? Whoever it is, please, don't do this. Comments like this are very detrimental to discussion and consensus. If you don't like a thread, you can always ignore it. Aditya(talkcontribs) 17:56, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

:::actually the intended value is the part highlighting wikipedia as a rough paradigm of what could be a vast collection of human consciousness...a way to achieve a global democracy, almost...can you imagine a site such as this that automatically translates everything into your chosen language? we could communicate with anyone in the world, see their points of could be an incredible thing or it could be a failure...but best of all, it could be a place where all people have an equal voice...

so what KK was trying to say, is wikipedia is just informational right now, but it could be a model for something greater...Common Sense, Thomas Paine.

Nonbankfiddle 18:29, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I actually searched this out just to post how dissatisfied I was personally with Wikipedia attempting to eliminate the trivia section. This is what made Wikipedia great. It was an internet resource not only full of pertinent information, but also some nice random facts about the subject. Removing trivia sections will not increase Wikipedia's credibility, but is more likely to just bring more actual disdain of Wikipedia.

~IH —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Okay, some of us think that the trivia actually enhances WP, as suggested by KK. But, how do you profitably organize the indefinite amount of trivia coherently into the project? Will it be less random than a Google search? If yes, how so? If no, why bother? Random information organized randomly should be a function of serch engines, not an encyclopedia (or something resembling an encyclopedia). The the flow of human consciousness is an epistemoligcal problem still beyond any hope of organization, why dump it on a few million hapless editors most of whom are even unaware of the heap load of philosophizing that goes along the very word consciousness. Ummmm... never mind. It just doesn't seem to be a workable soultion. Aditya(talkcontribs) 12:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

As is often stated else where : WP is not a paper encyclopaedia and therefore can provided new possibilities for the organisation of data. I think what is being discussed here might be more conveniently termed as orders of importance. Back in the early 1960s when my farther purchased the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was not that it had more detail on each subject that impressed me (I was expecting that) but that it had articles about things -I hither too- did not think important enough to be in any encyclopaedia. However, these extra article were very helpful -in as much- that they made some of the articles on other topics easier to understand, because they provided knowledge about the world and it workings -which that at that time- I lacked totally. Off the top of my head here is a rough possible brake down:

Section Edit Break 3[edit]


1)Those articles which provide prime knowledge about subjects which one would need to be aware of if one was to be considered to have a well rounded education (example: say mathematics and forms a part of 'general' knowledge).
2)Those articles which expand on the knowledge in the prime articles by concentrating on a sub speciality (say for example calculus which forms part of 'specialised' knowledge.
3)Articles which foster insight and understanding.
4)Articles which are not of global importance but are of importance :
a) Locally.
b) Culturally.
c) Linguistically.
d) Etc.,
5)Articles of odd details and passing ephemera, which on their own and individually, maybe of little importance, but their sum presence provides the real world context to all the above. In other words: These are the small things that a Martian would have to know about before s/he or it could make sense of our world from our written and illustrated text alone.

This is already beginning to happen in part by the grading articles by importance for the CD version. See: Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team/Assessment. What is needed -I think- is a proposed policy which outline where the dividing lines could be, in order that both 'information in articles' and individual articles can be placed into the most appropriate classification of importance rather than just deleted because Britannica would not included such mundane detail or trivia. It might also help clarify what is truly unwanted moronic banal trivia. 'Useful' collections of knowledge are so, because they are organised, rather than any policy of what a library might accept or refuse. Example: the British Library which takes in every thing published in the UK. It is not about making WP into something other that an encyclopaedia, it is about how to develop it to its full potential. This requires a creative vision which is not always easy to state clearly and often beyond the intellectual grasp of others. So a few words from dissenters is to be expected. Stick to your guns KK.--Aspro 14:03, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Are you suggesting a separate set of articles for trivia (like we have for, say, portals)? Portals already make all articles kind of passing ephemera, as they keep changing, and there is no good going back to a portal for easy access to an article or whatever. Or are you suggesting a separate wikimedia project like the Wiktionary? Or may be just random inclusion of trivia wherever an editor fancies? Aditya(talkcontribs) 14:12, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Not quite. I will put it another way:
'Trivia' is often in the mind of the beholder. For instance: At my side I have a local history book with 31 pages devoted just to fragments of Roman pottery. On one page picked at random there are 16 fragments drawn and described, and similar numbers (depending on relative size of pots) on the other 30 pages. To some editors views, to included that amount of potsherds (plus plans showing where each was found) is un-needed trivia - if all you want to know is 'were the Romans here?' BUT if they (the editors) where interested only in Idie Bands, then they might think that every album and every track by a certain globally unknown BUT LOCAL band is important enough to put on WP - to 'me' that is trivia BUT to everybody that follows that band it might be the only interesting info in WP. To a social anthropologist, they my find the Indi Band track titles interesting; as an indication of the type of issues today's youth is concious of. For this reason they might not consider it trivia either.
So I am saying: if we can accept trivia as just another level of knowledge, we can not only include it in WP but also organise the information in a way that has not been done before in an encyclopaedia. The advantage would be that: if someone was just starting out on learning say European History, they could knowingly skip over low importance (trivia to some) sections or even whole low importance articles (these are articles that exist already), so that they can concentrate on getting a good overview first. A grading system (of existing content) will highlight the best articles to read first -as an introduction to the subject. The lower importance articles can be left until they are certified 'anoraks'. This is not suggesting 'trivia' be added on purpose! Rather that where trivia occurs it is identified as such, and in proper relationship to the other information.
Acceptance, would also remove the excuse some editors have, of removing perfectly good content just because it is outside their particular sphere of interests, in the very narrow world, which they themselves inhabit... Do the underlined bits above answer your question?--Aspro 16:20, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Section Edit Break 4[edit]

Final thoughts on Trivia.
To use an analogy. For augments sake, liken the present 'paper encyclopaedias' to the early museums -all you saw was all there was. Now, today, museums have more artefacts in the back-rooms than on public display. It may seem to some people to be pointless to have row upon row of draws full of even more bones and things, best examples of which are already on display. Yet this is were the new discoveries are made; new patterns found; new connections formed; new insights gained. Large collections of bones can suggest the incidence of cannibalism, TB, leprosy, etc. WP like wise provides the opportunity for vast amounts of data to be stored and selectively retrieved and cross referenced. The semantic web is being designed to make this task easy but that is not a reason, not to explore what WP is capable of achieving. What I think needs to be formalised is a way of informing the “Readers” of WP : “Here is the public display cases of prime examples. If your thirst for knowledge runs deeper then the back- rooms are through there.” These divisions -I think- are important, because if one tries to take too much in one go when studying -it becomes too easy to make erroneous conclusions. BUT it is 'all potentially' important information - even that, which some editors consider to be in their eyes trivia. Trivia can -and often does- turn out to be very important; sometimes leading to new sciences. This is why I am being so pedantic.--Aspro 17:53, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

yar. since we're looking wikipedia possibly being a paradigm for something greater, why not relate it to history? it seems that empires, religions, political theories and pretty much any other feasible coalition of humans starts off with a vision, which then grows in popularity, but always eventually becomes corrupt, bureaucratic and functioning on the letter of the law rather than the spirit of its original creation. religions are probably the best example of this... positively spreading the enlightenment of the founder in order to enhance people's spiritual outlooks eventually turns into institutionalized regimes that ignorantly function on irrelevant customs and beliefs. it is safe to assume that wikipedia has or will at some point reach this turning point. but its policies of consensus and democracy are some of the greatest in history; if it were a country it would be close to a utopia. so why not see what happens when some human-made thing reaches this point but DOESN'T fall burning to the ground? in order to proceed where everything else has fallen, adaptation must become a priority. i'm not exactly sure where i'm going... i didn't get enough sleep last night... does this make any sense? (also just trying to keep this discussion alive. it's very interesting. Lord mortekai 02:47, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Aspro's grading proposition sounds like a good idea, and the only proposal so far that makes KK's original proposal possible. Now that the alleged rant has started to make more sense, like a proposing a scheme to grade articles to separate the main course from the appetizers and deserts, I think I have started to like it better. This scheme may prove to be a heavy additional burden on the already gargantuan backlogs, but I am sure Wikipedia itself seemed like a pretty impossible task when it started. At the rate the project is going, nothing is too impossible to give a trial. Right? Aditya(talkcontribs) 20:21, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I would prefer it not to be thought of as an additional burden. Rather, a redirection of the existing burden which many editors seem to feel, as they attempt to bring into line the contributions of other editors; who themselves are trying to create an encyclopaedia that conforms to their own idealisation of an encyclopaedia. Thus, we have -at present on Wikipedia- a never ending series of revolving edits. Very often with the quality slowly spiralling downwards, as the 'expert' editors tire and give up one by one; leaving it to the collage kids to over-simplify, until the article no longer conforms to (printed) encyclopaedic standards.
Therefore the existing burden -I would like to think- is redirected into creating the first 'true' e- Encyclopaedia.
In short, the future reader would be able to look something up on WP and see it in a form that suits the 'purposes' behind making 'that' enquiry. Even a collage professor is not going to need to look at the highly intellectualised area if his only reason for looking on Wikipedia (on this hypothetical occasion) is simply to help solve a clue in a crossword puzzle (which may involve a subject he has no idea about and may have no desire to take an interest in -ever again).
The biggest obstacle as I see it, is getting sufficient mover & shakers within WP to stand back far enough from existing notions, in order to be able to conceptualise this for themselves, and so see how an e- Encyclopaedia would look and work in practice.--Aspro 10:26, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Further: I think a lot of editors have something like this brewing in the back of their minds but when they come to try and articulate it, it comes out sounding like a rant as you described it above.--Aspro 10:26, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Aspro's "Final Thoughts on trivia" was pretty optimistic. Do you really think this discussion is nearing its end?

I would like to suggest a technological solution, which could constitute a compromise between the trivs and antitrivs, and could also offer a solution to other policy issues bedeviling us wikipedians. Currently there is an Article page, where the article is, and a discussion page, for talk about the article. Hows about adding a blog page, for talk about the subject of the article. It could be a place for putting all the obiter dicta that was not pompous enough to be encyclopedic, but was still worth preserving. It could also be a place for original research. Here is a case in point: in my work on the article Music of Israel I wrote a section on Israeli Arab music. In that section several musicians are quoted as saying that their music is an expression of their Palestinian identity. I then spoke to Taiseer Elias, who is one of the most important of Arab Israeli musicians. He said that he does not consider himself Palestinian, but "Israeli Arab." Furthermore, he denies the existence of "Palestinian music" and contends that the only really original music produced by his community is the result of Arab and Jewish Israelis working together to create a new fusion style. Important thoughts, no? Unfortunately, I cannot use them in the article, because my conversation with him would constitute OR. But if there were a "blog page" attached to the article, I could post it there. I could maintain the encyclopedic purity of the article while still allowing this important view to be aired.

The blog page would be the ideal place to publish a list of all the Hollywood versions of Romeo and Juliet, to discuss the use of the Rites of Spring in Fantasia, and to immortalize the saxophone performance of Beethoven's fifth at the Sandusky county fair. When a college student wanted to write a paper on the commercial uses of the Mona Lisa, Google would give him a place to start his search on the Mona Lisa blog page. Snooty editors who felt that these factoids cluttered their otherwise pristine articles could move them to the blog pages - no information would be lost, and everyone would win.

I would like to suggest that such a technological solution would also serve the heretical but, to my mind, fascinating view of Kreepy krawly - that the Wikipedia is no longer an encyclopedia, but a process. Willy-nilly, the Wikipedia will evolve far beyond the poor power of policies to add or detract. Instead of looking, like Lilliputians, for pitiful little stakes and strings to tie down this towering Gulliver, let us build new structures to let the giant lead us to where he will. It will be a far more interesting place than we can imagine on our own. --Ravpapa 16:20, 11 October 2007 (UTC)


Bravo. Finally progress. I have been standing back while patient types emerge to consider the message in full. The above suggestion by Ravpapa is excellent. It is a compromise I did not envision. Wikipedia is at a crossroads for several reasons, and this is only the beginning of my criticisms. The trivia issue can rip the project asunder, though, and render Wikipedia no greater than Brittanica, which would be an obscene oversimplification of human knowledge potentials. I am preparing a diatribe for the entire Wikipedia community, and at this time, I do not want to rant. But obviously we have discovered and agreed that trivia is not trivial, and that solutions and compromises are possible with cooperation and insight. A separate blog page is one answer; a "multipage" Wikipedia is a great solution also, as varying levels of informational complexity could operate and expand on separate pages. Primary, secondary, tertiary complexity level, etc.

At some point, as I will accuse in detail at another time, trusted editors are acting as vandals and "dervishes" by intentionally overlimiting the project (process), and confounding the earnest efforts of honest Wikipedians by overzealous editing, as well as through the institutionalization of crass, retrograde, "primitive" policies. It's as if, having been rebuked and barred for vandalism in the past, some have chosen to sign back up and act as if they are honest contributors, and vandalize the project in subtle ways. The name for this is sociopathy, and sociopathy is endemic in all human cultures. Some are just born to destroy and laugh at the pile of debris created, and when the villagers come to sweep it up, the destroyer lights a pack of firecrackers, just to watch fear and panic. That is fun for some. The nontrivialists, with such lack of insight and vision, are probably, and unidentifiably (perhaps) part of this hidden destructive front. So the trivia issue is far from trivial, as it is merely a component of sinister trends that must be fought. Eventually, we must take sides. As I stated, Wikipedia has become bigger than itself, and must be a place where authentic human knowledge of all levels of consciousness can collaborate, and cross-associate. For the sake of the mind. For the sake of the future. For the sake of children, damnit. Knowledge is all we as humans have in this universe to survive. So Wikipedia is a survival tool now. Obviously Wikipedia did not set out to be a survival tool. Yet look at all those wondrous ramps and slides.

Thanks to the many honest contributors above who saw beyond my flowery language and came to appreciate the spirit of the message. Kreepy krawly 02:57, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Incidentally, are you going to let me put a section break in here or not? 23:27, 13 October 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Orngjce223 (talkcontribs)
There are more important things to discuss here than section breaks. None is needed at this point. Make no attempt to distract from the deadly important issues at hand. What say you about the content and the message. Focus on that. Be constructive. Try to only generate information about what is pertinent and necessary. There is the trivial, which has been proven to be important, and even crucial, to the Process; there is subtrivial, which begs discussion yet deserves no comment. What say you. Kreepy krawly 02:21, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Kreepy krawly, your style and tone are so nasty, I hate to admit that I do agree that Wikipedia benefits from trivia. But on every other point, especially your disrespect to this fine institution, I have take exception. Wikipedia is good and it is not going anywhere for a long, long time! [[Anonymouse] 02:57 am 14 October 2007 and not drunk or stone or out of work.

Sir, hatred is a less-than-desirable contribution to the energy fluxuations of the universe, and the subjective judgement labeling my speach nasty may require more information so as to become a cogent arguement in the scheme of standard Wikipedia policy page acrimony. So you think trivia is important. So what ? What have you done, Anonymouse, s/he without an account, to help establish a solution to the degradation of this Process ? And no, it's not "going anywhere," if by that you mean "will not vanish," hopefully ever, and that is not only a good thing, as your incredible understatement intones with careless disregard, but it is a crucially necessary "thing." That thing of which you speak I will try to translate into articulated English: Wikipedia is good, Wikipedia is important, the most important human knowledge repository of human history must thrive. How did I do with the translation ? Did I stay on target ? Well, if that translation accurately represents your values, then we are on the same side, but on vastly different scales of human accomplishment. I have never respected an institution so much as Wikipedia, which is why I have exerted such considerable efforts to defend Wikipedia from deeply rooted, disguised elements hell-bent on distraction, irritation, oversimplification, and obfuscation.

Historically only the visionaries have advanced human knowledge potentials. Reference Socrates, Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Newton, Faraday, Franklin, Einstein, Ghandi, and many, many others who are members of an elite club of out-of-the-box THINKERS. There are exceptions of course who never achieved fame, fortune, or bronze statues of themselves in public parks. These unknown soldiers of human knowledge potentials are also historically important, but left no writings and diagrams to study, or very little, or highly obscure ones, so I can't intelligently reference them here, which would be just, but alas, justice is only possible as an exchange between rational beings with objective, parallel desires.

Creative, confident, prepared thinkers. Thinkers on a mission. Thinkers who care. Thinkers willing and able to intellectually survive being wrong, and learning important lessons. Thinkers willing to experiment with the process of their search for knowledge. Thinkers willing to ask if the question is the right question being asked, and if the process of arriving at that question is the correct process. Dig ? Thinkers willing to lead the lemmings away from the cliff. The Anonymous user without an account mentions that s/he is neither stoned nor drunk nor unemployed in the previous posting, and this User can only thank the heavens that that is the case, as this user cares deeply about the well-being and fortitude of this Anonymous user immensely, as an inebriated Wikipedian is as good as a vandal to this community. Let me be the first to clap my hands in an empty auditorium and offer my sincere congratulations of your avoidance of vice. Most excellent, my esteemed anonymous colleague. Now what to fill the hole with, since inebriation has been ruled out. Ahhhhh, Wikipedia ! Pure knowledge, and the struggle to survive and evolve, and to help others do so. Notice my unwavering attention to detail and dedication to this issue. Glad to have your attention. Think about that. Think. That is the operative word. Kreepy krawly 12:31, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Comment moved from main page[edit]

I referenced this page solely to add that many, many of the pages I read have trivia sections. These sections are indispensable to me, providing many of the exact information I'm looking for in a community encyclopedia. If Wikipedia guidelines discourage trivia sections, then perhaps Wiki guidelines need revision rather than the entries containing them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:44, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

This is a discussion, not an essay[edit]

Please continue to add to this discussion as if it were a discussion and not an essay, as much important work is to be done to identify the issues surrounding deletion of Trivia. My apologies to the offline community of observers that this issue has become sidelined, and for all of the acrimony involved which was not directly related to the issue. Perhaps this string is now dead, and must continue in another manner, as User: Kreepy krawly is now a target, and perhaps cannot effectively communicate regarding the issues. While this is unfortunate, it is nowhere near crippling for "X." Persevere. Kreepy krawly 00:11, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

KK, there are various levels of trivia. Any work like this will be a summary and abstraction of the material it covers. One of the key factors in comprehensiveness is keeping it manageable within current methods for social networking. We're up against a restriction here: the methods of communication used encourage conflict and discourage cooperation and compromise, and the lack of this is more of an obstacle to participation than anything else about the project.
I don;t think we can incorporate anything else much. The way to go might be to fork the project, with a more open side with lower quality demands. DGG (talk) 03:13, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
  • nb. The discussion tag allows this page to be kept, and not archived after a certain amount of days. As the tag says, this "essay" can still be worked upon - or the discussion continued, if you will. LessHeard vanU 12:41, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Trivia/Pop culture suggestion[edit]

Suggestion #1 I strongly suggest wikipedia start a new wikiproject for trivia and popular culture references. I know the official policy is to incorporate the trivia sections into the main text of the article, but personally, my favorite wiki/websurfing activity is to read the trivia sections of articles. I find so many fascinating odds and ends and tidbits of information. Plus, the trivia section has so many interesting links to other wiki articles. Maybe a compromise on this policy would be to have a link at the bottom of the article to the "wikitrivia" wikiproject or portal or something. Occasionally I revisit an article only to find the whole trivia section removed. That always makes me sad. I wonder how many articles I've visited and never got to read the trivia section. I check the history but it rarely says "trivia section removed." It just says "cleanup."

Suggestion #2 Wikipedia should have a suggestion box or a poll for ideas like this that people can vote on and users could view the results.

Anyway, just a thought I wanted to pass on to someone or at least release it into the ether of wiki and the internet. Could someone at least pass this on to someone who makes these types of decisions? Thanks.Ozmaweezer 11:54, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Show your support for trivia[edit]

Here is a wikiproject proposal for trivia and a fresh look at trivia policy by the admins. Support the wikiproject proposal. Add your name to the list here: [wiki project proposal for wikitrivia] Please send this link to other users that you feel would be interested. Thanks Ozmaweezer 14:31, 17 October 2007 (UTC)