if you use wikipedia

You should read this article by Larry Sanger, one of the founders of Wikipedia who has since left the project. He calls for greater respect for experts and less tolerance towards trolls:

Nevertheless, everyone familiar with Wikipedia can now see the power of the basic Wikipedia idea and the crying need to get more experts on board and a publicly credible review process in place (so that there is a subset of “approved” articles–not a heavy-handed, complicated process, of course). The only way Wikipedia can achieve these things is to jettison its anti-elitism and to moderate its openness to trolls and fools; but it will almost certainly not do these things.

This is one of the things that bugs me about Wikipedia as well, and why I don’t use it for anything that really care a lot about getting right. Some of the articles are slipshod and others are misleading. If I know nothing about a topic (statistical physics, for example), I’m not going to look on Wikipedia to find out. However, if I wanted to know around when Abelard lived, I could look it up there and be reasonably sure it’s correct, or at least correct enough for my purposes.


film wishlist

Movies I wanted or want to see, but probably will have watch on video because I have no time:

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Hotel Rwanda
Vera Drake
The Saddest Music In The World
Garden State
Maria Full of Grace
House of Flying Daggers
The Five Obstructions
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Bad Education

Many others as well, I’m sure. But I did see Sideways, and I thought it was beautiful. There’s some beautiful acting in there, and well-handled monologues, especially when Miles and Maya are talking on the porch.


The heat is off in my building to save money during break, which makes it a little difficult to type and work. I’m reminded by my piano teacher‘s story of buying fingerless gloves to practice in unheated practice rooms. Berkeley’s attitude towards cutting costs and saving money remind me of a scaled-up version of household economizing. While it’s effective keeping expenses down at home, I’m surprised that cutting corners like this saves as much on the institutional level.

In other news, apparently we use loud mixtapes of Lil’ Kim, RATM, and Eminem to shake up prisoners at Guantanamo before interrogating them. I’m speechless. Of course, there’s other more serious stuff in the article too, which is more disturbing.