Friday, November 24, 2006

Wikipedia rejects

WikipediaWikipedia rocks. No doubt about it. Wikipedia stands for some powerful ideas. Crowds really do know more than experts. Self-governance by the world at large is possible. Knowledge is power. The best things in life are free.

All that said, even some things don't make Wikipedia's cut. Wholly beneath the web's radar has emerged a very amusing and useful new site, the Wikipedia Knowledge Dump (or WikiDumper.Org for short). WikiDumper describes itself as "The Official Appreciation Page for the Best of the Wikipedia Rejects," in evident pursuit of the maxim that "One man’s trash is another man’s treasure." If your favorite Wikipedia entry is in danger of elimination, never fear. Chief WikiDumper Cliff Pickover (ha ha) offers you and your entry a new chance at online life.

In the past two weeks, WikiDumper has rescued these gems from Wikipedia's ash heap and preserved them for posterity:
KynoidKynoid. "Kynoid refers to any being whose body structure resembles that of a dog, especially in the context of science fiction and fantasy fiction."

Satan ClausSatan Claus. "Satan Claus is a theory that Santa Claus is actually an alias for Satan . . . based primarily on the fact that 'Santa' could be an anagram for 'Satan.' This theory is a popular belief among many Christian communities."

CoulrophiliaCoulrophilia. "Coulrophilia is the . . . ." I can't bring myself to finish the sentence. You'll have to click here to see for yourself.
As far as I can tell, WikiDumper has been online only since the beginning of November 2006. I look forward to reading this site on a regular basis.
Editor's note: As part of the beta testing process at the Jurisdynamics Network, this item is being posted simultaneously at Jurisdynamics and at Law and Technology Theory.

4 Comments:

Blogger Frank said...

There's a great article on wikipedia in The Atlantic Monthly, which gets some narrative momentum as the author wonders if he'll be considered important enough for Wikipedia editors to permit his page entry to be maintained.

What I don't get is--why do they have to "weed people out"? Is storage space the issue? I just don't see why an encyclopedia aspiring to comprehensiveness, and unbound from the "dead trees" model of publishing, has to police its subject matter boundaries so vigorously.

The other quite fascinating aspect of Wikipedia for me is the aspiration to a "neutral viewpoint." It raises such interesting questions about what constitutes fact, and what opinion. I wonder if they'll borrow from defamation law in order to flesh out that distinction.

11/27/2006 10:55 AM  
Blogger Jeff Harrison said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/28/2006 12:15 PM  
Blogger Jeff Harrison said...

So what is wrong with having a thing for clowns. We can learn much from them and it's not all sex.

11/28/2006 12:17 PM  
Blogger Jim Chen said...

Jeff,

The problem with the term coulrophilia, aside from its scandalousness, is that it doesn't appear to describe a clinically recognized paraphilia. It appears to be an obvious extension of the term coulrophobia, which is a recognized and much discussed condition.

Jim

11/28/2006 12:52 PM  

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