Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Great Wikipedia Blackout! or One Last Rant to Rule them All

Gentlemen, in sympathy with Wikipedia's blackout protest, I'll join in and bring the Web to its knees by strangulating the flow of information on Japanese softcore porn to IMDb for a day. Also I'll take a break from my Pink film archive work. It'll give me a chance to discuss a few things.

First, I find it somewhat ironic that Wikipedians claim sympathy with Google's message, "Please don't censor the Web", yet in their last few hours before blackout, they deleted (censored) an article in my realm of study: The award-winning, big-budget, independently-reviewed, 5th-anniversary DVD from Moodyz, A Queendom of the Eros. It meets their own "notability" criteria on several counts, but it's not notable because a few snobs choose to ignore their own rules and say it's not notable because, you know, we say it's not notable. So now it is gone!
[I thump my fist on my desk causing papers to fly about the room. I press the intercom.]

Oh, Miss Assssatoh! Could you step in here please. I seem to have inadvertendly dropped some paper... again...

Please don't mind my secretary, Miss Asato of Max-Body, while she cleans up a bit, gentlemen.

Now, my old Wikipedia cohort in Japanese erotic entertainment, Cherryblossom1982 started the A Queendom of the Eros article. I hope he notices that the more reliable, more honest IMDb now has one on it. Like anyone actually interested in contributing information, rather than playing power games, he too is long gone from Wikipedia.

Please step over to the piano, Miss Asato, while I finish this lecture. Feel free to tinkle a bit on the ivories a bit if the muse calls.

Gentlemen. Only the evilest people I have ever encountered on the Internet thrive at Wikipedia. Whether the Wikipedia system makes people this way, or whether it attracts those who are already warped, I don't know. Anyone who comes to honestly contribute sourced information leaves, while those who come to enforce their opinions stay. Those who remain are only there to save Wikipedia from itself, because they believe only they can do it. It is a haven for self-important, manipulative frauds with the narrowest, most self-deluded minds, the least tolerance of others, of humor and the least capacity for self-reflection. Wikipedia, which was founded on populist ideas like freedom of information has been overrun by lazy, elitist snobs and moralists of the cheapest order: Those who prop up their own shabby egos by sneering at the less "refined".

Gentlemen please! please look this way when I am speaking. There is no need to monitor Ms. Asato so carefully. She is quite capable of finishing her work without your attention, I assure you.

Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes. Even editors whom I once considered rational began following crackpot Wiki-cults like "Notability", either because they eventually became brainwashed, or they just got tired of fighting the nonsense. "Notability" has so taken over Wiki-think that we are now told that only information directly related to a subject's claim for "notability" belongs in a biography. Family, ancestry, ethnic background are not-- or should not be-- a part of a person's biography at Wikipedia. Wikipedia tells us that a biography is not be about a person's life, it is about a person's "notability". Just to check that I wasn't insane (one should check this occasionally), I picked up about a dozen actual biographies at random. You know, biographies... books about people's lives. Every one of them started out with family background and ancestry. Some even charted family trees-- Cruft! Some-- Good Gosh!-- even covered such Wiki-taboo subjects as religion and sexuality. You know, people's lives... So, yes, the Wikipedia community is insane.

Wait over there for a moment please, Miss Asato, while I change gears.

As I mentioned in my October farewell message here, I have changed gears in my online activity, reducing Wiki-type-work. I've been working on the Pink film archive(s) and at IMDb. I finished starting the first half-- uploading all my images of posters to films from 1990 to the present-- and have made a pretty good dent on the second half-- the pre-1990 films. Working backwards from 1990, I am now at the start of 1975. '75 seems to be a hurdle, since this year and the ones before it have several beautiful, large, poster images which will need a lot of touching-up before they're presentable-- watermarks removed, etc. (The more recent years have some pretty messy images too, but they're too small to bother cleaning unless a real article is to be started.) This, plus the fact that I've worked on this project non-stop for... what?... four months now? makes me feel like it's time for a little breather before making the final push. I'm running out of steam.

OK, you can wait over on the left now, Ms. Asato.

At IMDb I finished working on Sachi Hamano's filmography. The Grand Dame of Pink now has 159 films to her credit. (She's supposedly directed over 300, but that is all I could find listed in the main Japanese sources.) Now I've started adding/working on every Pink film released in a particular year. I finished 2011 and am now at 2010. Surprisingly, the 2010 films are already in IMDb. I've been adding role names and crew members, and linking to the posters in my Pink film archive.

Ah, Ms. Asato, I think a paper flew behind that couch there-- would you see if you can reach it? For the little work I did at IMDb last year, I received a "Happy New Year" note from Col Needham, General Mananger and co-founder of IMDb, with thanks and encouragement to contribute more. It was a form-letter email, of course, but still, far better than the treatment contributors receive at Wikipedia. Anything you contribute is immediate target for deletion, and has to be guarded and fought for. When on Jimbo Wales' talkpage I mentioned my over 600 article contributions, not one of which has (yet) been deleted, I was insulted by a non-contributing, opinionated idiot (Tarc). A user who contributes nothing to the project, and only argues and stirs up trouble would legitimately be branded a troll at any rational site. But Wales sat there and said nothing. Who does Wales thank? The only time I saw him go out of his way to thank an editor was when the prancing hypocrite Scott MacDonald created the biggest disruption of Wikipedia I'd ever seen, by speedy-deleting hundreds of unsourced biographies. And how does Scotty feel about the blackout? He opposes it because, you know, it disrupts Wikipedia to make a point. "In protest at this action [blah blah blah] I will cease contributing on an indefinite basis." If that's the only result of this blackout, then it is well worth it.

Fine job, Ms. Asato. You've earned a rest!
The evil trickles down from the top, gentlemen. Jimbo created this whole mess by not setting up any definitions, any real rules or guidelines himself. He has not made so much as a simple statement of what Wikipedia is. He famously claimed it to aspire to "The sum of human knowledge," yet it has now become accepted majority opinion that Wikipedia aspires to a minimal coverage of any topic. Recruiting new contributors is, in effect, only recruiting new victims. Even such "Pillars" as "Wikipedia is Not Censored" / "No Original Research" / "Neutral Point of View" are routinely subverted by subjective, fan-made rules like "Notability". This lack of any rules left the creation of rules to anyone who wanted to. So why work on articles? Without a set definition of the project, that is totally pointless work. The goals of the project, being undefined, can, and have been changed, resulting in the deletion of that work. Jimbo's other project-- Wikia, the Gulag created as an exile for those interested in contributing information rather than acting as barroom bouncers throwing out information-- is even worse. But I will save that rant for later. Don't worry Miss Asato, it's only worth one rant. I didn't invest anywhere near the time and effort there that I did at Wikipedia, so I've got a lot less to mull over.

Aw fuck it.
Contributing to Wikipedia is for chumps.
Only trolls whose only purpose is to harass the contributing suckers are welcome there.
And that is my last rant on the subject.

Hold that inspiring pose for a moment, Miss Asato, if you could, and I'll be right there!

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