Where’s the secret sauce?

David Gerard once memorably described neutral point of view (NPOV) as “Wikipedia’s Secret Sauce”. Given the trouble some people have in imitating it, that metaphor seems pretty apt.

I have to admit along with many others I was recently amused by Conservapedia (subtitled “A conservative encyclopedia you can trust”). Visiting it again recently it does appear they’ve found a decent designer and spruced up the site. However they make absolutely no attempt to be neutral. The clue starts in the name, and continues with such tidbits as “Today’s liberal falsehood:” and “Bible Quote of the Day:”. And that’s just on the main page! Don’t even think about vandalising though, as apparently its punishable by up to 10 years in jail :-/ Makes you wonder why Wikipedia doesn’t do something like that about vandals… oh wait… because it’s total nonsense.

Anyway, clearly not anywhere near NPOV, but then they’re obviously neither claiming nor aiming to be. But recently I discovered another site – the MuslimWikipedia. Now this has some great articles on Dubai Megaprojects and Dubai skyscrapers which make me drool and want even more to visit Dubai some day. However what fascinated me most was this gem from their introduction:

Firstly there are guidelines, such as all work has to be sourced and referenced.

Secondly the MuslimWikipedia has a NPOV policy, i.e this isn’t the place for Peoples points of view.

Thirdly the MuslimWikipedia is to present Islam, its History, its people, its tenets, its faith, its ideas in a POSITIVE light, and hence negative views of Islam are against the Muslim Wikipedias policies.

Now am I the only one who sees a slight conflict between the second and third guidelines?

so yeah…

Heh, that attempt at sustaining my blog started well didn’t it. Now it appears to be broken (see the nasty error on the right where the blogroll should be) – which is partly the reason I held off on a new post, I wanted to try and fix the problem or at least wait and hope it fixed itself. Needless to say both methods failed.

I didn’t have much in the blogroll anyway. If you really care:

No big surprises there then.

The blog was loading really slowly before as well, though that seems to be sorted (fingers crossed). As part of trying to solve that I switched to this theme, which is the simplest one I could find. Anyway I kinda like this plain look, so will probably stick with it for a while at least. I do hope to come up with my own theme at some point so I can tie in with the (as yet theoretical) parent site. Given my current progress expect that sometime around 2012.

Despite the long time since an update, there’s not been much happening. Finished the HoC report ok (deadline 5pm, handed in at 4.50), got rather drunk towards the end of term and have now been home over a week and done squit all revision. Much more interesting reading I, Lucifer… woah! Just went to the wikipedia entry to link it and apparently they are making a film! Starring Daniel Craig and Ewan McGregor. I’m enjoying this book SO much, I had no idea there was a film planned. That’s something to look forward to. In the meantime I thoroughly recommend the book.

Meeting up with Cyril tomorrow, I expect much playing of guitar leading to sore fingers and frustration at the fact I haven’t played in over two months and have declined in ability from poor to incompetent. Again. Also planned is the Big Meal with the strange crowd, a QEGS gathering (in O’Neills of course), hopefully Northern drinks in Sheffield, plus other randomness. Also a week in Devon seeing grandparents. And at some point I have to start on Tripos questions, I’ve only just realised how many I have to do.

And maybe another blog entry? Hopefully, but I wouldn’t hold your breath…

Look alive, blogonauts!

(Title stolen from the ever wonderful xkcd)

Well, guess I should make some use of the hosting I bought myself for Christmas, other than holding silly pics for b3ta, so a blog it is! I hope my attention span for this is longer than for my previous blogging attempt, which I won’t link to out of shame

Anyway it seems I picked an ideal time to start. Planet Wikimedia has just been launched to bring together Wikimedia-related blog posts, and I get the feeling I’ll be making a few of them thanks to my full blown wikiholism.

More stuff to come, and over Easter I hope to build up the main website. I also have a couple of big things planned on Wikipedia. For now though I need to get back to the joyous world of Physics, and finish (well start to be honest) my HoC report.