Leftroids Usurp Wikipedia

Nicole Swinford of the College Fix:

Prominent gender and media studies professors from across the country converged recently to help host what was dubbed by organizers as a “Feminist, Anti-Racist Wikipedia Edit-a-thon” to create or influence dozens of entries on the online encyclopedia.

A Claremont Graduate University endowment fund sponsored the effort, which promoted creating and “improving” entries dedicated to: feminists; feminist theories; science studies; science, technology and society; human sexuality; artificial intelligence; and film theory; according to an email that announced the event to the Claremont Colleges community, as well as the “Edit-a-thon Wikipedia Page.”

My comment:

Why, O Conservatives, are we always playing defensively, always playing catch-up, always surprised when the forces of Mind Control make yet another attempt to indoctrinate the young, stifle free speech, monopolize the culture, marginalize the Christian and civilized voices who lingers in ever small numbers among us?

Why?

About John C Wright

John C. Wright is a practicing philosopher, a retired attorney, newspaperman, and newspaper editor, and a published author of science fiction. Once a Houyhnhnm, he was expelled from the august ranks of purely rational beings when he fell in love; but retains an honorary title.
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29 Responses to Leftroids Usurp Wikipedia

  1. joeclark77 says:

    I’m no fool. I bought one of the last copies of Encyclopedia Britannica this spring when they announced they were going to cease printing them (until civilization emerges from the next Dark Age, presumably). I would advise all of you to immediately get on e-bay or craigslist and try to grab yourself a copy. Doesn’t have to be the latest edition, I would imagine that a 1980 or 1990 edition has 95% of the same information as my 2010 edition.

    The utter folly of depending for “truth” on a medium editable by anyone with an opinion is breathtaking. Yet, I am as guilty as the next guy who uses Wikipedia out of convenience at work, and I can fully understand why the economics of printing no longer work for Britannica. But words printed on paper are worth the extra cost for their one key feature: permanence.

  2. Ephirius says:

    I admittedly use Wikipedia all the time, but if it is anything controversial, I always end up reading through the citations. It is a useful convenience, but I agree with joeclark777: it is not a replacement for real encyclopedias and never should be considered one.

    • joeclark77 says:

      I just wouldn’t use it for anything controversial, period, nevermind the references. I’d never look to Wikipedia for details about global warming, or Obama’s biography, or anything like that. Mainly when I use it it’s to look up some mathematical formula that I’ve forgotten, or refresh my memory about a state capital, that sort of thing.

  3. Tangent, but relevant: Colleges and universities never seem to lack for brave fans of Science! who can always, it seems, get a passel of folks together to warn of the imaginary danger posed by, say, intelligent design – but can’t be bothered to walk across the mall to protest the people in the sociology, education, women’s studies, and other homes of Critical Theory *in their own institutions* who really do actively seek to destroy science (and all other activities that rely on some understanding of objective truth).

    It boggles the mind to contemplate that people who hold that there is no truth are hired at good salaries, often at taxpayer expense, to indoctrinate largely defenseless teenagers and young adults in ridiculous, self-contradicting and utterly destructive dogmas like Critical Theory.

    True story: years ago, picked up a text that happened to be lying around at Grandma’s house. Turned out to be the work of some Critical Theorist who was required reading for English majors at Cal (sister-in-law was getting that degree). It was so jaw-droppingly stupid and contrived and employed such tortured language while at the same time assuming an air of total intellectual superiority – I laughed out loud. It was only later that full horror struck me – not only were intellectually unarmed 20 year olds required to read this, they were expected to take it seriously, and would need to enthusiastically regurgitate it in order to get that damn degree. The vaccine against this nonsense – Great Books, or even just pretty good books, just ANYTHING to provide a place to stand from which to judge – were and are pooh poohed into the outer darkness.

    So now these folks want to rewrite Wikipedia? It is of course futile to wonder why, if they don’t believe in truth, they should care what Wikipedia says.

  4. Tom Simon says:

    It is of course futile to wonder why, if they don’t believe in truth, they should care what Wikipedia says.

    No need to wonder; the answer is obvious. These people deny the existence of truth by reclassifying all statements of fact as propaganda. They want to control the propaganda. It is intolerable to them that any expression should exist that disagrees with their sacred non-verities.

    You might as well wonder why the Soviets published Pravda.

  5. Scott W. says:

    I’m filing this under It-Must-be-Advent. Perhaps emboldened by the re-election of The One, we have the National Catholic Reporter dropping the charade and going for open revolt by demanding women’s ordination, and now this. But I tend to see it as a Battle of the Bulge moment. Progressive’s hay day was long ago, and this is a last-ditch effort before they go down the drain.

    • Tom Simon says:

      The route to the drain goes over our dead bodies. The self-styled Progressives have conquered; now there is no one to save them when the Gods of the Copybook Headings come along to hit them between the eyes with the usual dose of reality. Until now there was always someone to bail them out and keep them going.

  6. Robert Mitchell Jr says:

    In simplest terms, because Conservatives don’t have the time. Leftists fill the government, and most of them are there because of Empire building, which gives them a lot of free time. Some of them spend that time editing Wikipedia, over and over and over. It’s not like there’s a limit to how many times you can edit an article. Second, Conservatives don’t have the time. Look to your own life. If you had free time, would you rather spend it helping your son’s Scout troop, or spend in making sure that Wikipedia is “right”? Leftists give less to charity when it comes to money (as you have clearly documented), why would you think they give as much time to charity? For the foreseeable future, Wikipedia is going to be controlled by bitter cranks, and the Left has cornered that market……

  7. The OFloinn says:

    “Science studies”?

    • Mary says:

      If I were absolute dictator of the USA for a short while — with the knowledge that my acts could not be rescinded — I would ban all college departments with word “studies” in them.

      • Tom Simon says:

        ‘When I’m King of Narnia, . . . ’ is how I like to put it.

      • TheConductor says:

        Along with that excellent idea, I would recommend that once Mary is our benevolent dictator, all students regardless of major should be required to take foundational courses in economics (Marx doesn’t count). In fact, if we REALLY want to open a can of worms here….

        • Mary says:

          I would require them all to take statistics to graduate from high school first. Also to hold a seat in Congress or the Presidency, to be a judge or lawyer, or to serve as a bureaucrat who can issue regulations.

          • CorkyAgain says:

            I would have thought that Congress and the Presidency would be obsolete under the benevolent rule of Queen Mary. Bureaucrats too.

            We can also get rid of any foolish notions of democracy — the idea that graduates of those “studies” programs, among others, should have a say in how the country is governed.

            Being a wise and benevolent ruler, Queen Mary will, of course, select her advisors from those who are truly qualified for the job. She will assess their character, judgment and capacity for insight — and not base her selections solely on credentials or connections.

            Employers should be allowed to do the same. Away with the EEOC!

            I would also hope that Queen Mary would drop this talk of requiring anyone to take a certain course of studies, because the result of that requirement will surely be that most of the students attending the class will be people who aren’t genuinely interested and don’t want to be there. This ruins it for those who do want to be there, as anyone who has taken a freshman poetry or philosophy class will have observed.

            Not everyone should go to college, and there is no right to attend one. Admission should be something you *earn*.

            But if the colleges want to continue selling diplomas in things like the “studies” programs, and people want to buy them despite the worthlessness of those diplomas, Queen Mary should let them. A four-year “studies” degree should be seen as a luxury expense, like the grand tours of the continent that upscale parents used to give their children before requiring them to settle down to real life and the family business.

            • Mary says:

              “Short while.” I wouldn’t like it if it took too long. And they can do the grunt work.

              Which they will be familiar with, since I would also require that they have worked for years in the private, for-profit sector, or the military. Three for the House, five for the Senate, eight for the White House.

            • Mary says:

              As for the statistics course, why not put some teeth in the degree? Then employers can use it to discriminate, instead of being a meaningless piece of paper.

              That goes double for “studies”. Also, they annoy me.

    • It’s the academic equivalent of all those media programs that cover the media – it’s making academics the subject, as the part of dispensing with that tedious ‘reality’ concept that all those oppressors keep going on about. (I’m waiting for an NPR program that covers all the NPR programs that cover the media. Or did I miss it already?)

      If I were king of Narnia, I’d not only ban all classes and disciplines with ‘studies’ in the title (great idea, Mary!) I’d forbid students to study anything for credit written after 1500 until the they can demonstrates at least some familiarity with Plato, Aristotle, the Bible and Euclid, can write coherent paragraphs free of newspeak, and have looked at enough great art to tell a Botticelli from a Fra Angelico from a Cimabue – that ought to be enough to inoculate them against the worst of it.

      Yes, I’m delusionally optimistic. You’d have to exterminate k-12 factory schooling first, too. And goodness knows what else.

  8. ErisGuy says:

    It reminds me of a depressing incident at a local church. The church was to vote on its position on accepting homosexuality. The day of the vote, anyone who showed up could vote. The room was packed. The majority of attendees were unknown to the church fathers and mothers, and, in fact, weren’t members of the church at all. But if they were in the room, they got to vote. Guess what the outcome, never to addressed or revisited for all time, was.

    This pretense of participation has a long history in the socialist/ communist/ fascist/ Democrat party, and aptly displays their contempt for democracy. The struggle at the church presaged the struggle over voter ID. That a surfeit of ideological editors should overwhelm Wikipedia seems expected, if not anticipated.

  9. lotdw says:

    It’s impossible to really usurp Wikipedia, though. Anybody could look at IP addresses from that location at that time, check the articles they publicly said (on Wikipedia) they were going to edit, and change/revert anything objectionable.

    I’m not even really disturbed by this, because the list of articles they changed are pretty much exclusively on feminists and feminism:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/FemTech_Edit-a-thon#Articles_to_improve_and_to_create

    • joeclark77 says:

      You’re right that no one individual can usurp Wikipedia, however, the bigger problem is that the “equilibrium” it returns to has no necessary correlation with “truth”. Wikipedia represents an idea that truth depends on majority opinion, and not even a representative majority, but specifically a majority of internet-dwelling twentysomethings. Wiki-truth is the equilibrium opinion of the wikipedia audience, period. Anyone who trusts it as anything other than a political weapon is making a mistake.

    • Mary says:

      On the contrary. A gang of users can get you banned by staggering their edits. More than three reverts on an article in a day will get you afoul of Wikipedia’s rules, and they will get you banned. Also, if they have an admin on their side, they can threaten you if you try to talk to other users on your side, while they have conspired and set up their program in advance.

      I speak from experience.

  10. Base Delta Zero says:

    Just what kind of changes are being made? From the looks of it, it looks like it’s mostly… typographical edits.

    That said, a resource like Wikipedia can be valuable, but its use for controversial matters (and women are, sadly, controversial) is… dubious.

    Also… Conservatives are always playing defensively? Leaving aside the fact that the American Republican Party just went all-out to turn back the clock to the 1880s, isn’t that pretty much the definition of a conservative? A conservative, by definition, is someone who works to maintain (or ‘conserve’) the existing order. So necessarily they’d be reacting in opposition, otherwise they wouldn’t be conservatives, but some kind of… traditionalists? Apologists? I don’t even know what the term would be.

    • Leaving aside the fact that the American Republican Party just went all-out to turn back the clock to the 1880s, isn’t that pretty much the definition of a conservative? A conservative, by definition, is someone who works to maintain (or ‘conserve’) the existing order.

      A conservative is defined as someone who believes in those timeless principles on which the republic was founded: limited government hindered by checks and balances, separation of powers, the rights of man, freedom of speech, press, religion, and of the free market, as well as notions of virtue, decency and honor.

      Compared to a man who speaks eternal truth, the man who is always chasing the latest fashion to reach the utopia of tomorrow is the one always behind the times.

      In any case, I’ve been hearing these so-called progressive ideas since before the Moonshot, myself. They date from roughly time of Plato, or the time of Lycurgus. Aristotle refuted them, at least to my satisfaction. The state cannot teach men virtue.

      I have more to say along these lines here: http://www.scifiwright.com/2012/12/conservatism-defined/

      • Base Delta Zero says:

        A conservative is defined as someone who believes in those timeless principles on which the republic was founded: limited government hindered by checks and balances, separation of powers, the rights of man, freedom of speech, press, religion, and of the free market, as well as notions of virtue, decency and honor.

        That is a passable description of the modern Conservative movement, but that isn’t the same thing as ‘conservative’. I was going with the latter, which capital-C Conservatives are as well… or at least, were when they formulated their policies. (Around the time republican forms of government started being a defined thing.)

        • What you describe, or, rather, caricature, is that a conservative is someone who prefers stasis for the sake of stasis.

          Allow me to suggest that the term is useless, or worse than useless.

          It is useless because there is no one who prefers change for the sake of change, other than someone suffering a terminal case of ennui, just as there is no one who prefers stasis for the sake of stasis, other than incorrigible creatures of habit.

          If such people existed, their preferences would not be political programs nor would they form political parties: their preferences would be descriptions of sentiment. Such terms as ‘preferring change of change’ and ‘stasis for the sake of stasis’ do not describe anyone or anything living in the complexity of the real world.

          A single example should suffice: name for me one person, one commentator or pundit, who, seeing that abolition has eliminated the international slave trade, now wishes in the name of progress to change that, and return them to chains?

          I am not asking if you know someone who, in the name of returning to the status quo ante, wishes to change back to the antebellum conditions. I am asking if you know any RADICAL who seeks these things?

          I humbly suggest that if the group of people we might call “Radicals with a small ‘r’ ” who seek change for the sake of change, and who seeks as one of their changes to reintroduce racialist slavery in the name of social progress is a null set, containing no members, by analogy those “Conservatives with a small ‘c’ ” of which you speak, who seek stasis for the sake of stasis, are a set equally as small.

          I am not talking about those who, by sentiment, prefer revolution to continuity, or those who, by sentiment, prefer settled tradition to uncertain innovation. I am point out that this sentiment never, ever exists by itself in a vacuum, but is always connected with specific ideas for the proper way to organize social and political relations, which are the meat of the matter. I humbly suggest that to define ‘conservatives’ as those who seek to keep all things, good and bad, just and unjust, as they are, is a lazy and worthless definition.

          Indeed, it is not a definition at all, but a voodoo of verbiage, a phrase meant to provoke an emotional reaction rather than to clarify thought. It is a hoodoo, a word-fetish.

          It is worse than useless because it is self-flattery. It would like calling one’s own political party ‘the courageous’ and one’s loyal opposition ‘the cowards’ and then defining your words so as to imply that there is no motive aside from cowardice that could motivate opposition to one’s own ideas. It is, in other words, and attempt to stifle rather than hold a conversation on the merits of the ideas.

          I recall an editor who wrote me and complimented my powers of imagination in my book THE GOLDEN AGE. In the next letter, upon discovering that I was a conservative, he informed me gravely that conservatives were all unimaginative, because (so his logic ran) no one could opposite leftwing political ideas except from an inability to imagine the glorious future leftists hope to create.

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