Tweets from Critical Point of View: WikiWars conference in Bangalore
January 14, 2010,
I am just back from Bangalore, where I had the good fortune to
participate in the
Critical Point of View: WikiWars
conference - a critical
reflection on Wikipedia from a number of point of views. I will probably
write more about some of the most interesting presentations, my own
presentation, and other thoughts, but I thought I'd start by posting my
It varies how much I tweet from conferences (or in general), but during
this conference, I found myself using Twitter quite frequently. It
serves as both a note taking function, a way to communicate with some of
the others in the room, a way to focus on the content of the talk
(rather than letting thoughts wander), and a conduit for people who are
I am not sure how useful this collection of Tweets are for people who
were not present, but I am posting them here as a collection.
I posted the tweets from the OAI6 conference, and also mentioned how I
created the list.
Here they are, all 130 of them:
In Bangalore at Centre for Internet and Society for #wikiwars
conference. Bangalore seems nice, a small-town busy feel.
Just back from Avatar - good movie, but all the criticisms about the
noble savage etc are right on. Looking forward to #wikiwars tmrw.
@StevenWalling That's kind of nice - new voices. I love Doctorow and
Lessig, but we've all heard from them before. #wikiwars
#wikiwars 3d wiki art installation - open space idea. First
discussion starting: Wikipedia theory.
#wikiwars "WP has gotten big enough that it deserves a research
conference that is entirely external to WikiMedia Foundation."
Using new Google Live Search to follow #wikiwars updates in
real-time (automatically updating)
http://bit.ly/8Cvc1i (expand) Challenge @ #wikiwars: since we've all circulated 2k word
abstracts, how to structure 15 min presentation to still be engaging
@ilya Cool, I'm very interested in Wikipedias in Indic languages.
#wikiwars Stuart Geiger presenting on bots in WP governance. I find
his work very interesting.
#wikiwars Wisdom of crowds vs wisdom of bots?
WP works bec. vandals outnumbered by good users? NO - 500-100 ppl
banned every day! #wikiwars
@tinucherian Cool! Random spot check: "Norway" 2 paras, but
"Democracy" and "Physics" both good length. :) (Can't check quality)
#wikiwars @tinucherian Quick tool for checking articles in other
http://bit.ly/7KmqJN (expand). Used it to check ML article
length. #wikiwars Geiger: bots help reinstitute traditional features of the
old style of production (gatekeepers, quality control, authority)
#wikiwars Geiger: bot "nominated itself" for adminship - very
convincing :) the machines are taking over! :)
#wikiwars: Geiger: Are academics given epistemic roles in addition
to academic. Do academics need to know coding to make headway in WP?
#wikiwars Automatically redirect to the longest article in any of
the official languages in India:
@wirefire Yes, but is there any difference between stylistic choices
in WP and other trad encyclopedias? #wikiwars
#wikiwars Comment from audience: presentations give idea that
Wikipedia is 1984'ish alienating modern nightmare...
#wikiwars Geiger: Some of my best friends are bots. Pseudonymity is
not equal to anonymity!
"Do we need to know who has written something to be able to trust
it? Or do we want to know who is it when we DON'T trust sb?"
#wikiwars Wonder what the usage of bots is in other language
versions (non-English)... Are there active bots on HI WP, ML WP?
RT @thewikipedian: More @staeiou gems: I"f Wikipedia is a
battleground, the footnotes [citations] are the bullets." #wikiwars
#wikiwars Dror: Syrians much more sensitive abt what is in Arabic
Wikipedia, than English. I think the Chinese feel the same abt ZH
@williambeutler (Abt Nandi and French quote). I'm all for that.
Maybe I'll give my entire prez tomorrow in Indonesian. #wikiwars
Lot's of interesting epistemological discussions at #wikiwars, is
there objective knowledge? is NPOV possible? 很有意思的认识论的讨论
@gkjohn 5:30 I think. There's a dinner at 7:30, maybe you could
sneak in :) #wikiwars
#wikiwars Dror: Wikipedia exposed me to new ideas/facts that I
didn't hear in "politically correct" school.
#wikiwars Dror: It
is possible to get near objective knowledge,
and it's needed in conflict topics, we shouldn't just give up! #wikiwars Question: What would you do if WP wasn't there? Answer:
wasn't there... Dror: When learning Arabic, talking to A-speakers, amazed how
different our knowledge was. Excited by WP - this is what we needed!
#wikiwars Internet as a distributed network, and Wikipedia as
place. #wikiwars Are articles about Pokemon frivolous/don't matter? Should
this disqualify from adminship?
#wikiwars Dror: Difference between writing
about a narrative, and
adopting it. We can and should do the first, and not the second. #wikiwars Dror: East and West cult. difference of neutrality and
objectivity? When working w/ Arab editors, noticed difference in
#wikiwars Dror: Do we not only need different language versions,
but also WPs written from different epistemic traditions?
@cormaggio you would have been an obvius guest. although exclusively
wp, not all wmf projs. #wikiwars
#wikiwars very excited abt #hfordsa talk. disillusioned, next 8
yrs to work out what went wrong. want more impact in dev'l countries
#wikiwars cc as political artefact, and what are the other options?
#wikiwars lessig: ways of regulating: market, law, norms,
artefacts. which work better where?
#wikiwars no more laptop batt, using ipod. i suck at typing fast
#wikiwars sunil and hfordsa are both disillusioned/critical of open
movenents. hm, what are alternatives? how do we move forward?
#wikiwars hfordsa: by choosing cc we're reinforcing copyright,
commodification of culture...?
@ilya I've made a list for #WikiWars. See
http://twitter.com/jackerhack/wikiwars. (via @jackerhack) #wikiwars @hfordsa sth i wrote earlier related to encouraging
sharing w/o bogged down w/ law
http://bit.ly/71lFdi (expand) #wikiwars A very interesting first day is over. A lot of criticism
about openness, licenses. The idea of an objective truth.
#wikiwars Quite a few things that I will pick up in my presentation
tomorrow. Great with so much time for debate and questions!
I dreamt I was invited to give a presentation about open licenses
and OER to a primary school assembly. Weird. #wikiwars
#wikiwars Ready for day two of WikiWars. Today - with power! :) May
the games begin.
#wikiwars "It's scary that we all agree that we need to be critical
to Wikipedia?" Being critical doesn't mean being negative...
RT @thewikipedian: I've heard of "greenwashing" and recently,
"localwashing", but @sunil_abraham offers a new one: "openwashing"
#wikiwars @sunil_abraham: You kill local/traditional knowledge by
#wikiwars Sunil: Apparently Bangalore hasn't changed name to
Bengaluuru yet, lost in bureaucracy and politics. Surprising.
#wikiwars Dror: Is there a consensus in this panel that Wikipedia
not a revolution? #wikiwars Geert: WP is traditional in its understand of what
knowledge is. Very biased towards Western idea. Epistemological and
#wikiwars I don't see the geographical divide as critical. It can
be solved by added more articles - rather than fundamentally
#wikiwars Stuart: Revolution is an empty signifier.
#wikiwars "Trying to defend wiki part by clinging to the pedia
RT @hfordsa: 'Wikipedia might be revolutionary but not in the way
that Wikipedia defines itself' NishantShah #wikiwars
@fuzheado You guys should do a Wikipedia Weekly episode on the
#WikiWars conference going on in Bangalore. Lot's of interesting
#wikiwars Apparently Indian teachers want handwritten instead of
printed, to avoid copy+paste. Interesting.
http://bit.ly/71BHKK (expand) -- how often does Indian
law refer to wikipedia? Shocking revelations #wikiwars Sad how many people could not make it to #wikiwars. But still a
#wikiwars @williambeutler Starts presentation about why people
join/leave WP, and what to do about it. Doors and windows. Or sth.
#wikiwars Bill: Who reads WP? Most people. But very low WP literacy
how does project work, talk pages, warning tags, etc.
#wikiwars Bill: Hard to how many contribute to WP. Most edits by
small amnt of ppl, but if those are only tiny changes, does it mean
#wikiwars Bill: Look at a few articles - most edit counts, made
smallest contrib. Biggest contrib by accts that did not have many
#wikiwars Bill: more reasons to leave WP than to stay there.
#wikiwars Bill: 50 policies, 150+ site guidelines, advisory essays.
complicated. (ENWP, what about other langs? Less
bureaucracy?) #wikiwars Bill: Some people who leave Wikipedia leave "suicide
#wikiwars Any good working tools to animate WP edit history? Most
http://waxy.org/2005/06/automating\_wiki/ broken links. #wikiwars Ilya: Re-appropriating WP, lazy people's archive? LAM
sector in Taiwan.
#wikiwars My bad, Ilya is not about LAM sector in Taiwan. That's
@zimmee Was just repeating speaker's word. But it's an interesting
concept to let an "online persona" "die"... #wikiwars
#wikiwars Great to finally have sb talk about other language WPs...
(One earlier also studied German WP).
#wikiwars Ilya: Story of zh-min-nan Wikipedia.
#wikiwars Ilya: What is "Chinese"? ISO code only given for
Mandarin, written language. How to write Taiwanese w/o characters?
#wikiwars Ilya: Purchased Holopedia.org, installed Mediawiki (OSS),
couldn't update software easily, couldn't connect to other langs in
#wikiwars Ilya: Interesting - early paper-drawn prototype of
Holopedia, zh-minnan WP.
#wikiwars Ilya: Decide to use certain transcription/writing system
(dev'l by missionaries). Apply to WP again, accepted in 2004/2005.
#wikiwars Ilya: Pan-Chineselization vs indep. langs. Relation with
Taiwanese independence movement? Reductionism. Cultural
#wikiwars Input method is not method, web browser not just tool,
localization get you globalized, fonts should be better than its
#wikiwars Ilya: a number of Chinese dialect WPs emerge.
#wikiwars Ilya: Toward FormosanPedia... Me: But WPs are supposed to
be by language, not by territory?
#wikiwars Tsou: Why Taiwan doesn't like WP? New presentation
#wikiwars Tsou: We all use WP academically, but we are required to
"remove all traces".
#wikiwars Tsou: Strawberry generation in TW ("we don't all look
like this"). Born after 1981, self-indulgent, credit cards,
#wikiwars Tsou: My teachers used to beat me often, for me it was
natural. Now they record on handcamera, and upload online.
#wikiwars Tsou: Current generation didn't go through proper
brainwashing process, lack committment!
#wikiwars Tsou: Brought up in greenhouse environment. Beautiful,
fragile. High maintenance. Low frustration tolerance.
#wikiwars Tsou: When growing up, only taught mainland hist. and
geo. We called ourselves "Chinese". Now different. Nat'l identity
RT @MadanRao: "Strawberry generation": - I always love these
cultural metaphors! Wonder what fruits apply to other cultures?
#wikiwars Tsou: All turning into 穷忙族, poor while being busy,
busily being poor.
#wikiwars Tsou: They actually have a Chinese language
"Uncyclopedia"! Neat! Kuso - means "shit" or poor quality in
#wikiwars Tsou: lovetaiwan.jpg Picture of a Chinese character
shaped as swastika - resistance toward pervasive concept of
#wikiwars Tsou: Our encyclopedia is "contaminated" by Chinese
Uncyclopedia - people write vulgar things, and it isn't
#wikiwars Presentation is over. I love these international
perspectives. So many rich local cultures represented! Now panel
#wikiwars Audience: What have you meant by resistance? Resistance
to what? Nishant: Read our website :)
#wikiwars Maybe Wikipedia needs an "exit interview" to find out why
people leave. Sometimes intentional, sometimes just fades away?
#wikiwars Dror: Countries with more leisure culture contribute
#wikiwars Tsou: Our education system doesn't encourage us to do
anything outside of the "rules". That's why "uncyclopedia" is
#wikiwars Tsou: Ppl post things on WP, deleted, then on
Uncyclopedia. "Why deleted? It's a good point!" But no orig rsrch
#wikiwars Nishant: Not apathy towards politics, but towards
politics as we understand it currently. WP falls into "flat, boring
#wikiwars Nishant: Uncyclopedia shows - not a crisis of leisure
time. But they don't choose to spend their time on what "we want
#wikiwars Q: Why do ppl choose to edit Holopedia, not zhwp? Even if
I'm TW, might still not match my daily language experience.
#wikiwars "Language is continuous, not discontinuous, but we have
to chunk it somehow. Trad: nationally. How do we deal w/this in WP?"
#wikiwars Delicious lunch. Now my session is coming up. Will post
audio+slides, think it will also be videotaped.
#wikiwars Zimmerman. Finally sb. makes distinc. betw. information
and knowledge. Knowledge is constructed in our minds, info can be
#wikiwars Zimmerman: You need to distinguish between anonymity and
pseudonymity. Huge difference!
#wikiwars Zimmerman. The old idea that Google and WP are making us
stupid. I'm not convinced at all.
#wikiwars Zimmerman: Have we lost sense of personal identity? --
Wikipedia is collaborative, but tweets, blogs, homepages, etc?
#wikiwars Zimmerman. Isn't this what Citizendium tried? They're not
exactly racing alone...
#wikiwars Niesyto: Wikipedia as Translingual Space
#wikiwars Niesyto: List of 1000 articles that every WP should have.
Too American/Western. "Edit each other's biases out of the list".
#wikiwars Niesyto: Translingual dimension is somewhat "hidden"...
Most people don't think about it.
#wikiwars Niesyto: Actually did interviews w/ multilingual users,
very interesting. Like to visit other WPs, even if they don't
#wikiwars Niesyto: Translation is betrayal... Have locally
appropriate knowledge in each wiki?
#wikiwars Just finished my presentation. Wow that was fast. IPod
pinged at 15 mins just as I was on the last slide. Waiting for
RT @ilya: Stian
#wikiwars My presentation Equitable governance of multilingual WP
http://bit.ly/64vecM (expand). Audio and video(?) will be
added later. RT @hfordsa: Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern:'Wikipedia Art lives
on because of its death'
http://wikipediaart.org/ #wikiwars Fascinating to what extent elephants became a topic/metaphore of the
day at #wikiwars. U subscribe 2 1-elephant or multipl-elephant
#wikiwars At the next conf, we should make all presentations with
#wikiwars Artists talking about embodiment. Usually turns me off -
but they make it meaningful.
#wikiwars Focus on details - because it's beautiful. Interacting
with real materials, and with other people. And in a structure.
#wikiwars But general shape not pleasant. Like WP, we always see it
"zoomed in", not from a distance?
#wikiwars Wonder when I'll see most of the ppl in this room again?
At Wikimania in Poland?
#wikiwars We interacted with artwork in framework of wiki, but also
used in other kinds of confs, which framed it differently.
Thanks to @cis_india, the speakers, participants and just about
everyone at #wikiwars Hope to see you again :) (via @Srikeit)
Annotated video of #WikiWars will soon be on PADMA
Official summaries, PPTs also on CIS site www.cis-india.org (via
January 14, 2010
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