Wikipedia’s ArbCom: Busy doing nothing

So. ArbChttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/61/Wikimania_2007_puzzle_ball.jpg/240px-Wikimania_2007_puzzle_ball.jpgom have finally voted on GamerGate; my preliminary analysis was in my last post – but things subtly and significantly changed after that. What did ArbCom actually decide in the end? To put it simply, they punted. They made sure their result was fair so no one could accuse them of bias (we all know how well that went), and they made their scope of direct interventions as narrow as possible, trusting to the Admins to do the actual work. Which ultimately means they did very little about GamerGate as it applies to Wikipedia that the hard working admins already covering the article wouldn’t have done themselves. And the whole thing has ended by taking a long time to do not very much. Continue reading

Actually it’s about ethics in Wikipedia Journalism

Update 29 Jan 15: Arbcom has made its decision, and I’ve shown what they’ve actually done in my latest post.

Give it its due, GamerGate seems to be a tire fire where the Cracked I posted a month ago about Gamergate – the internet gaming cultural movement with ethical issues. A small, technically adept group trying to pretend it’s bigger than it is and to become a social movement. Of course they are going to make a push at Wikipedia. And of course other people are going to push back. And of course this is going to create chaos that gets escalated to the highest level; The Arbitration Committee (or Arbcom for short). Arbcom are in the process of making their decision, and using a misleading blogpost as source, The Grauniad (copied on RawStory), The Mary Sue, and Gawker are both claiming that something that hasn’t happened yet (24 January 2015) is something that’s already been done and been done badly.

My audience is mixed so I’m going to start with a basic overview of Wikipedia and Arbcom. Feel free to skip to the horizontal line. But it’s important to remember that by Wikipedia standards Gamergate is nothing compared to e.g. Israel/Palestine.

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A backdrop for the girls and boys who just don’t know or just don’t care

Auto Tune and lip synching.  The scourge of modern music.  It wouldn’t have happened back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, right?  People believe music back then was authentic.  And great acts like Queen would never mime.  Right?

Some of the most blatant miming ever – and still a command performance by Freddie Mercury.

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I get by with a little help from my friends

In my last post about healthcare costs I compared the amount spent under the British system to bills from the American system, and it was far my most popular post so far.  One of the most popular questions was about costs by procedure or condition, something which lead me to do a little research as last time I checked the American data simply wasn’t available – it now is.

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Costing an arm and a leg – Healthcare wonkery/workings

In my last post about healthcare costs I compared the amount spent under the British system to bills from the American system, and it was far my most popular post so far.  One of the most popular questions was about costs by procedure or condition so I started doing some research.  And I ended up breaking the follow up post into three; one for Brits, one for Americans, and a nerd-post in which I share my workings.  This is the nerd post; feel free to scroll past – that’s why it’s separated out from the UK and US healthcare posts.

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And I said “Now pretend you’ve got no money”

It’s coming up to Christmas – and I’ve already spoken about the Salvation Army.  There’s one other Christmas warning: Monopoly is only slightly a more suitable game than bare knuckle boxing.  Just don’t do it.

There are plenty of people who say monopoly sucks.  And as a game played at Christmas they are right.  But Monopoly is very good at what it was designed to do (part of why it’s lasted).  It’s just not suited for a family game (but is far better if you use the actual rules).

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