Monday, April 13, 2009

A Critical Look at the Holy Book of the Modern Lemmings

Take a look at this Wikipedia talk page if you never did:

It has always been an illuminative page, but I'm pointing it out now because I noticed that the Wikipedia admin named Natalie Erin wrote something that I consider especially unwise. There is a discussion about whether or not it is really neutral to refer to those who do not agree with the HIV/AIDS theory as "AIDS denialists". Of course the anti-scientific zealots over at Wikipedia ridiculously insist that it's a perfectly objective term, I'm sure similar discussions take place with many other scientific viewpoints which are considered "fringe" by the majority of recognized authorities.

But anyway, what happened was that the "denialist" wiki user named Haytham2 wrote what you can read below when he faced dogmatic resistance to neutrality from others at Wikipedia. They were saying that since it is so common to call the skeptics "denialists" then it belongs to their "encyclopedia". Haytham2 responds:
...Ah, if only the internet were around a couple centuries ago, where Wiki would (apparently?) have a heading called "[The N word]" and "common usage" would be invoked, racist theories defended on the [the N word] article, because that was the scientific consensus of the day, and all would shrug and go on upholding the status quo of the day. Consensus One, Truth Zero. Do you get my point? Intentional demonization of one side of a debate is antiscientific, to say the least, and certainly not consistent with any kind of respect for knowledge. "AIDS denialist" is in use in AIDS orthodoxy, a term specifically invented by that faction to libelously evoke holocaust deniers, rather than be a descriptor, where it fails miserably since literally no one "denies" AIDS (another intentional muddying of the waters by HIV theory proponents). I am new to Wiki and apologize for my slowness in getting that Wiki is not reflective of truth but rather of consensus, which has a long history of making tragic and fatal mistakes, and requires much less rigor, hence anyone can sign on here and take part. I assumed an encyclopedia would strive for truth rather than consensus. That was my mistake. This is why I suspected that this would be a waste of time for me, since I noticed an alarming lack of rigor in some Wiki articles I've seen. I will leave you to your consensus, as I see libel is all part of any groupthink/consensus ideology, and apparently none of us will profit from my posts calling anyone out on this...

Haytham2 (talk) 09:05, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Then Natalie, the glorious defender of justice, responds:

Yes, actually, we would [defend racist theories, the usage of the N word and we would uphold the racist status quo back then because of the scientific consensus of the day and because it was common usage]. If Wikipedia had existed in 1750 its coverage of race would have reflected the racism of the day. Why is that so hard to believe? If you ever get the chance, pick up an encyclopedia from 200+ years ago and check out their article on, say, the Congo...

Natalie (talk) 12:46, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

That right there is all that you need to know about Wikipedia... Logically the situation would be similar for Wikipedia in Hitler's Germany: The content of Wikipedia would directly reflect the views of the Nazis, no Wikipedia rule can prevent that.

And I just replied to Natalie with this:

Natalie said: "If Wikipedia had existed in 1750 its coverage of race would have reflected the racism of the day. Why is that so hard to believe?"

Unfortunately it's not hard to believe at all, it is very obvious. The point is just that it is incredibly depressing, and it makes it even more so that people like you think that this is normal and this is the way Wikipedia should function. Unless you're a racist, you directly admit that according to your rules Wikipedia inevitably must be an unreliable information source when it comes to certain things, and you even defend this situation as if this is the way it ideally should be. It's fascinating and just sad how blind you are to your insanity...

Sadunkal (talk) 11:50, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Don't know if anyone will reply to that.

UPDATE: Heh, funny... Another wikipedia administrator actually removed what I said from the talk page and warned me:
Please stop. If you continue to use talk pages such as Talk:AIDS denialism for inappropriate discussion, you may be blocked. MastCell Talk 16:29, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Apart from that, there is nowadays a WikiProject Alternative Views:

This project aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of significant "alternative views"—those theories, hypotheses, conjectures, and speculations which, though notable, lack widespread acceptance, and which may challenge a "dominant view" which does have such acceptance.
But it is completely meaningless as you can see from their discussion section about "AIDS denialism":

...Due to the nature of Wikipedia, our coverage will naturally be biased towards the mainstream point of view and naming conventions. This wikiproject exists to help ensure minority views are covered appropriately within the rules of Wikipedia. While this means making sure significant and notable minority views receive proper coverage, it is not meant as a counterweight to mainstream views, intended to correct gaps in reliable source coverage, nor correct any great wrongs.
... says another Wikipedia administrator named Vassyana.* And great wrongs better remain great wrongs. It would perhaps be more ethical if such statements were directly visible on the front page of Wikipedia so that people know what Wikipedia is really about when it comes to scientific controversies and the like:

Just another tool for maintaining the status quo, nothing more.

*: They apparently pay a lot of attention to ensure that only those who are biased towards the mainstream can become administrators on Wikipedia. If you're objective you're out.

EXTRA: See also this here: Beware the Internet: “reviews”, Wikipedia, and other sources of misinformation

Take a look at the comments over there too. A link to this article was posted for example:
Psychologist finds Wikipedians grumpy and closed-minded
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