Wikipedia talk:"In popular culture" content/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Opera article

The opera article is important for two reasons: 1) it shows how to stylistically format a list of cultural references with citations and ordered chronologically and 2) it shows how to limit the selection by using reliable and verifiable "lists of lists" - it teaches users how to solve the "indiscriminate list" problem - how to create a meaningful and useful list of cultural references using other peoples "verifiable and reliable" lists. This solves a lot of problems in a lot of articles that needs to be done more often. It's a very important article and somewhat groundbreaking (not sure its the first of its type, first I have seen and only FL I know of). It really needs to be included and given more attention. -- Stbalbach 20:51, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

It's totally irrelevant. That's a featured list, sure, but it's not anything like a list of cultural references, it's simply a list of significant operas. And it's not a list of trivia: it's not a list of facts at all, it's really a list of topics. Besides, I don't think we should be encouraging people to think of these pop culture articles as inherently list-like. We do already link to Wikipedia:Trivia, which gives a lot of guidance on what to do with trivia. And the more I think about it, this whole section we're talking about is just wishful thinking: it never really happens, and we should not describe the situation as if there is generally hope for these articles. Generally, there is no hope, but occasionally, someone makes the effort. Rarely. Mangojuicetalk 22:38, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
They're useful as lists for convenience sake. We should encourage the lead-in to be a paragraph that talks about why the subject is important IPC, but the rest of the content can rightly be in the form of a list (there's a discussion above about this). It's wishful thinking that most stubs will expand, but we don't give those up. We should encourage all keep !voters to make the effort. I know I will. –Pomte 14:38, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

A vote of confidence

Regarding the usefulness of IPC articles, this was a comment by an anon in a recent IPC AfD:

i found the references on the jack kerouac page very useful when i wrote my dissertation on him[1]

-- Stbalbach 16:17, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Wow. I hope this person confirmed all the unsourced material before trying to earn a degree with it. But anyway, we all know that lots of information is WP:USEFUL that isn't appropriate for an encyclopedia. Mangojuicetalk 17:30, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure they did verify it themselves. For many people, Wikipedia is a first step for info about a topic to enable probing further into it. Some delete !votes call them useless, which is just another opinion. –Pomte 14:33, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Limitation of essay

I'm not sure why this essay has to be limited to a single point. There is a lot to be said about IPC articles and the title of this essay is general, it is not called "Forking in popular culture article". This essay is used all the time in AfD discussions per "what links here" by a bunch of people, it is becoming well known and used. Although it may have been started by one user in order to make one point, do we have to limit it to that single users vision? I would hate to "fork" additional essays about IPC articles and have a "battle of essay links" in AfD discussions. Should we have an "anti" IPC essay and a "pro" IPC essay, or have all views considered in the same place? -- Stbalbach 03:45, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

If this essay is going to be only about forking, then it should be renamed to reflect that, because as it is, it looks like a general essay about IPC articles, which apparently is not the case. Either we need to open this essay up to a general discussion of IPC articles, or rename it to something more specific reflecting the "nutshell" point. -- Stbalbach 04:08, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

We may be able to work together here. I think we agree that forking and abandoning an unwanted section of an article is a bad thing. But it's really the combining of those two that's the problem: forking alone can be perfectly fine, if the fork will be not only maintained but improved into a good stand-alone article. Abandoning an article is always problematic, but much more than usual when the abandoned article gets a lot of contributions. One solution to an abandoned article is deletion, but another is adoption and improvement. But we have to word that carefully, because while actual adoption is a good option, merely hoping for adoption is a very bad option, because it almost never happens. Mangojuicetalk 13:01, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Per WP:SUMMARY, it is necessary to split off sections into subarticles; popular culture sections are no exception. For very large articles and topics, popular culture subarticles may be a necessity. Like the main Joan of Arc article, the Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc subarticle has also attained quality. We now have featured topics which are a set of articles for particular topics than have overall good or featured quality. I see the pop culture articles as part of a "topic" and hope that they attain quality, along with the parent articles. Now, I know we have a large number of pop culture articles that are anything but quality. I think the quality of the pop culture articles often reflect the quality or progression of the parent article. Say Walt Whitman which is only a B-class article, and it's pop culture subarticle isn't great either. When someone comes along and makes Walt Whitman into a featured article, the pop culture subarticle should also improve. --Aude (talk) 14:22, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Mangojuice, I'm not sure what "abandoned article" means in the context of Wikipedia. Assuming Wikipedia is a life-time project, there is no finished version of wikipedia or time limit, just because an article is poor quality in 2007 doesn't mean someone might come along in 2015 and fix it up. There is no completeness, Wikipedia is an eternal work in progress, always in flux and changing. We have a small core of active editors on any given day, and millions of articles, the math is clear, most articles just don't get attention, but since time is the factor which we have unlimited amounts of, it doesn't matter, we can wait until someone gets around to it. Every IPC article has some fan base out there just waiting for the right person at the right time to come in and fix it up. -- Stbalbach 04:18, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
This is a really extreme form of Wikipedia:Eventualism you're endorsing. I posit that no one will ever take a serious effort to expand most of these articles, because they are on topics that aren't important at all. The truth is, for instance, Mir is just not important to popular culture, and popular culture is not important to Mir, so no one will ever be interested in writing a serious article about Mir in popular culture. No, these articles are almost without exception created by editors of the main page (such as Mir) so that they don't have to deal with the information anymore. So, articles like this sit out there, watched and cared about by nobody, which is why we end up sometimes having spam in them that sits there for MONTHS without being noticed. Articles are routinely deleted for being unsourced: one could argue that sources can be found, but that argument usually doesn't go over unless there's some belief that someone will actually find the sources and add them to the article. Wikipedia has a major quality deficit, but it has, mostly, achieved the breadth it should. The project has been evolving to be more focused on quality, and having an extremely poor article that's a vandalism target sitting around for months or years hoping someone will eventually improve it is a bad idea. Mangojuicetalk 11:41, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Stbalbach that this essay should not be POV as it does not represent all the legitimate keep arguments at AfD. Please add to the "nutshell" a "but..." about the upside with adoption and maintenance. I am willing to maintain a number of these lists, but not when they're going to be nominated any second. My current goal is to source as many items as possible in Fight Club in popular culture, as well as find secondary sources that discuss the prominence of these subjects being referenced ipc. –Pomte 14:29, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Done. As with any article, we don't want poorly sourced, poor quality material on Wikipedia. However, pop culture subarticles can be a legitimate part of a topic. Though I'm not a regular at WP:FAC, maybe if a candidate article has a pop culture section and subarticle, we should expect it to be of satisfactory quality. I can try to watch FAC more for this. --Aude (talk) 14:34, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Do good pop culture articles exist?

The Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc article really stands alone as an article that could relate to a collection of cultural references without integration that has received a rating of some kind of quality. However, it really doesn't meet the featured list criteria, but in any case, it's not a recognized article of quality. Instead of arguing back and forth over this kind of issue, I would like to propose that we work on a pop culture article and try to elevate it to at least WP:GA status as an article. What about MIT in popular culture? It's a good start, has coherent text, et cetera. Mangojuicetalk 16:49, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

It's still very much a work in progress, but I'm working to improve articles relating to 9/11, with the goal of getting some up to featured status. Current efforts include the article on the World Trade Center, and relevant subarticles or related articles:
These articles are on their way to becoming a featured topic. You may notice in the main WTC article, there is a lengthy pop culture section. It's a textbook case of the cycle described in this essay. On January 3, 2006, I had split off the overly long pop culture section into a subarticle [2] My bad for not maintaining the subarticle too well. It served as a place to divert this type of material and at some point, when I get the WTC article close to FA, the subarticle would get a cleanup. It was deleted in November (me unaware of the deletion request, I was on semi-wikibreak). The main WTC article at the time, [3] still with the short pop culture section and link. The WTC article today, with the material creeping back in. I am working on cleaning up the pop culture subarticle (restored into my userspace, via deletion review). When it's ready, it will move back into article space. The pop culture section in the main article will be restored to the brief sentence we had from January - November 2006.
As I get the WTC article to featured status, all the subarticles will improve in quality, to at least good article if not featured article status themselves. I dislike working on pop culture articles, but it too is included in my efforts and the goal is to make it a featured list. Per WP:SUMMARY, there is no way that anything more than that brief sentence needs to be in the main article. Nonetheless, pop culture references are notable enough [4] [5], people will always want to add stuff, and it needs a place somewhere on Wikipedia. A newbie was "a little offended" and left a not-too-happy comment on my talk page when I cut their material out. There was not subarticle at the time to move it. I would have preferred directing them to a subarticle, rather than turning off a newbie from the project. --Aude (talk) 18:27, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

"This page in a nutshell:" dispute

It is bad faith to assume that readers can't make sense of the {{essay}} tag directly above the {{nutshell}} summary. To be clear, we don't need to be redundant. It's also wrong to say "The editors who wrote this essay believe that..." because I've taken a part in editing this and I don't personally believe in it, although I agree with the gist of the WP:TRIV guideline, which is what this essay attempts to follow. –Pomte 02:47, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes. The essay tag already says, "It is not a policy or guideline; it merely reflects some opinions of its authors." (Which, now that I look at it, might be worth changing at Template:Essay; will raise the issue at Template talk:Essay.) Mangojuicetalk 03:07, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Agree with all the above. Quadzilla99 03:12, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Putting the clarification there is not bad faith, it's making sure sure people who are reading it don't just glance over the tag above and fully understand that the statements in the nutshell are opinions and not commands people have to follow.

More to the point, since User:Mangojuice specifically left a message on my talk page berating me for restoring an "in popular culture" to the article instead of a redirect after a deletion vote said to Keep it and pointed to this page as if it were a justification for his edits, it would seem that he wants to try to confuse people.

There's no reason not to spell it out so people CAN'T be confused unless people WANT to confuse people. If you want to argue good faith then put the disclaimer in there. Otherwise I think that it's clear where the bad faith comes in, and it sure isn;t with trying to make things more clear. DreamGuy 06:59, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

  • You're clear now, right? Go back and reread my comment here; if I was berating you for anything, it was for the condescending message you left to me here, not for disagreeing with me over the course of action I took. I was trying to expand on my explanation of why I did what I did by linking here. The fact that you took this page as a "command" when it has said it was an essay and not policy on the top, and my comment never implied this was policy but merely explanation for my philosophy, is not a problem with the page. Mangojuicetalk 11:38, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
  • DreamGuy, I have to agree with Mangojuice, your "clarification" is unnecessary, because of {{essay}} tag already says "it merely reflects some opinions of its authors." Carlosguitar 10:54, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

List of cultural references to The Shining

Could an admin please quickly go over this deleted list and give me some feedback on its quality, especially the lead-in, which tried to justify the existence of the article? The AfD seemed to be more about the nature of IPC articles rather than the article itself. The result would have been the same despite the number of citations (20-some) that I added. I don't feel so strongly about it to take to WP:DRV, but it was a bit ridiculous and depressing. –Pomte 03:30, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

The lead-in was pretty decent but it didn't justify that article. Basically, the lead-in justified itself: a brief statement about the impact of The Shining on popular culture that says basically everything that needs to be said. The problem, I think, was that the list was so completely indiscriminate, including any possible reference, no matter if it was a momentary gag or a full-blown parody, from very popular stuff down to very obscure stuff, and made up a very long list that gives no illumination. And on top of that, it even had a section for "miscellaneous" references. The list here violated WP:NOT#IINFO, and no lead would have been able to justify it sufficiently. Actually I think this case is a very good example of the harm forking can do: obviously, The Shining is not just any pop culture topic, and probably should be covered, but the title of the article condemned this article to what it was: an indiscriminate list. And that title was chosen not because the forked article was wanted, but because the material in the main article was unwanted. Mangojuicetalk 04:36, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I recommended an opposer to remove any unsourced (overly indiscriminate) items if he wished, but that was not done. I didn't do it myself because I was actively searching for sources for each item. WP:NOT#IINFO concerns can easily be imagined as fixable, even if people don't fix it themselves. Unless WP:NOT#IINFO is interpreted in an overly broad way (a previous, possibly incoherent rant on this here).
I think that as long as the lead reliably asserts the notability of the topic in pop culture, as well as some reasons that it has been so prominent in pop culture, then that justifies a list of examples. If not, then no list can possibly be justified. What do you think about the lead in Cultural references to the novel The Catcher in the Rye?
The "miscellaneous" section shows the diversity of media involved. It could have been split into a reasonably sized "video games" section. The first item is definitely notable, and could be moved to the lead of "miscellaneous" is deleted. Anyway, my point is that there are solutions, and at least one editor who would implement them.
The title of the article isn't much of an issue either, as it could easily be renamed. Having the prefix "List of" doesn't make it more indiscriminate than The Shining in popular culture, nor does it encourage a different editing mentality. There have been discussions on whether IPC articles are better suited in list or prose form, with no consensus.
The fork was made not because the material was unwanted. The diff by an editor who !voted keep shows a perceived convention for this sort of fork. –Pomte 07:56, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
While sources were also needed, I think the indiscriminate nature of the list was by far the more urgent issue. You seem to think the concept was just fine, that objecters could remove the few items they found bad. But that's the problem: the concept of this article was bad and people weren't believing in it. The title could have been changed, but I generally see people suggesting a mere "move" when the title is the only problem. (While I agree that titles can be changed by moving, you must agree that this is a much clunkier process, less admitting of discussion, than the way section headers develop in an article.) Side questions: the Catcher in the Rye header is lousy; I can go into it if you want. As for the fork, my point is more that the fork wasn't done in an attempt to make a good subarticle, but rather to move that section out of the article. The title chosen was merely a good description of what was moved, and made the subarticle not aspire to be more than a container of a list of trivia. Mangojuicetalk 13:47, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorting by types of references

Most if not all IPC articles sort their items by format, i.e. film, television, animation, video games, music, etc. While intuitive and easily browsed, this places an emphasis on the referencing works rather than the work that's being referenced. Would it be more pleasing to instead sort by the type of reference? Fight Club in popular culture does this broadly by distinguishing between references to the novel and references to the film. It could go further, to group together the parodies of the first rule of Fight Club, parodies of the characters, puns of the title, name droppings, etc. This would have an effect of focusing on the popular features of the work itself. Some quotes/puns/scenes/characters are referenced or parodied more often than others, and so the article will reflect what exactly is responsible for a significant portion of them, without making a statement of original research. –Pomte 07:56, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

It's an interesting idea, sure. I would worry about references that fit multiple categories, though. It reminds me of Jeopardy! in popular culture, where there is (or was) a section specifically about the "Think!" music. Mangojuicetalk 13:49, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

in computer Games

These sections of articles pose a particular problem, because there is little in the way of conventional RSs. Sources are sometimes taken from the game manual--sometimes, as in the Civilization series of games, the manual has talked extensively about the meaning and significance of the objects used in the games. There is the further problem that in most role-playing or adventure games, the characters are relatively stock figures--all the games of a particular type use more or less the same types of weapons and people and imaginary monsters and so on--and there is not really much to say about each one. Probably a paragraph giving the different games that use a character or whatever is an adequate way of dealing with these. In general, my opinion is that is acceptable to lose these sections to save the rest. As more information is found, these can perhaps be separate articles. It might well make sense to have an article of Magicians in computer games -- especially if anyone ever writes an article or book comparing them, as I am sure they will. DGG (talk) 14:57, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Verifiable evidence of significance ??

Quoting the article: "In many cases, an excessively long popular culture or trivia section can simply be trimmed to those which have verifiable evidence of significance."

That's great, but one person's significant item is another's useless trivia. Who decides?

To take a very minor example, List of cheerleaders includes Spirit Squad, a wrestling team. The team was notable enough to get into Wikipedia, but their connection to cheerleading seems very slight.

Who decides significance? Wanderer57 18:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

It's currently quite arbitrarily decided. It might continue to be so indefinitely.--Father Goose 21:01, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, Father. Would it be fair to say then that the lengthy discussion in Wikipedia talk:"In popular culture" articles is basically academic? Wanderer57 21:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Nah. Wikipedia is a living entity, the state of things can always change. I've seen plenty of discussions result in progress, and plenty of others go nowhere. WP:ROC is an attempt to address some of the arbitrariness you have brought up, but it doesn't necessarily apply to pop culture lists, and it's stagnant right now.--Father Goose 21:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
As I interpret it, the quote means to trim to those that have a reference to a reputable source that declares or displays the claim's signifigance. You can then decide the validity and reputation of the reference the same as you would any other reference cited in WP. The interesting thing is, once you make this requirement, it becomes far easier and often more appropriate to transform the information from a list into encyclopedic prose. As a purely hypothetical and made up example, making mention that the majority of baby boomers in the United States who recognize the finale to the William Tell Overture know it only as the themesong for The Lone Ranger. Then referencing a survey conducted that gives evidence of that fact. -Verdatum 18:21, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Great in theory, but such surveys almost never exist. That's one of the problems with Wikipedia: we can't document stuff that really is well-known (or obvious) but not explicitly documented somewhere else. I'm not saying that we should be allowed to do so, just that it's frustrating that we can't.--Father Goose 20:32, 30 November 2007 (UTC)