Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Earthquake of Nepal: Not Much for Wikipedia

I have observed that Wikipedia is also emerging an important channel of latest developments in the world. The contributors to the media are quick to create entries and provide lot of information and facts about the news.
Today, I am writing this from India around 1.35 pm after I have felt the tremors here in India in Punjab around 12.38 pm, I was prompted to check wikipedia also for the information as per my earlier observations. To my surprise, I have found a general form of information in Wikipedia. Secondly the page 'The List of Earthquakes in Nepal' had been initiated only on April 29, 2015.
This feature pointed out here is somewhat indicative of the bias on this website. It is my view. There can be counters to this observation.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Delhi December 12 Uprising

It is fascinating to observe the entry on the Delhi Rape Case of December 2012 on Wikipedia. It was initiated by Rsrikanth05 on December 20, 2012. The event had taken place on December 16, 2012.

Is Wikipedia emerging more as a social networking area.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Fighting it out on Wikipedia

The writeup is about Ruchika Girhotra Case in India. Today, that is January 1, 2010, fresh applications for fresh FIRs are being taken up in the court. The Ruchika Girhotra case is in news for many days for now and to be specific since the day the accused Mr. SPS Rathore, IPS (Retd) had been proved guilty and sentenced to six month imprionsment with a fine of Rs. 1000/- (around $22 ) in a case which continued for 19 years. This was even investigated by the CBI, the most prestigious investigation agency in India. As such, the case is  in news every day. It was while checking the Google News syndication of news, that I located that there was an article which was on Wikipedia.

The one of the best thing about this article is that it is very nicely written. It seems that it has been written by an expert.

It is being categorized under India group and there is no rider to it like that it is a current issue or other similar tags which are placed as per the Wikipedia Editing policy.

There is a little discussion hinged to it.

In the reference section, there are links for every available fact added in the body of the article and virtually all of them are from Print news media as well as Television media. In addition to that there are links to Rahul Rathore and Abha Rathore, the two persons who are related to the culprit Rathor IPS (Retd).

In case of external links, there is a link to the group which has shown courage to fight against the system in India.

In one of my earlier comments, I have objected to such articles, wherein some grievance is publicized through Wikipedia. The article in question is very nicely written. I personally admire the courage of the people who have shown courage to fight against the excesses of the high ups in India especially in the All India Services as well as the local government authorities. In democratic India, there still survives the Raj mentality and genetically implanted servile character which is legacy of a thousand years of servitude starting from 999 AD. Hence, when some courage is depicted here in India, I feel confident of my country India. However, even then, the issue remains, that should such articles be permitted on Wikipedia.

Last time, I was reading about a suspected Al Qaida operative from Nigeria who tried to blow up a flight from Europe to America. The article carried a tag of objection. I wanted to comment on that but just missed because I continued to explore further links and that took lot of my time. However, therein, I wished to state that the article should be retained. However, herein, the purpose of the article is something else. No doubt, it is rightly written and there is a balanced information. I do not think that the Rathore group would approve this article. They may take this issue with the government because the issue is now sub-judice. However, it is not going to effect Wikpedia at all as Wikipedia does not come under the jurisdiction of Indian judiciary. There should have been a section, wherein Rathore group version should also be incorporated.

On the whole, the article can be retained because of the fineness with which it is written. It can be useful for the people who desire to legal studies or undertake some research related to that field. Secondly, it is showing another dimension of possibility of the utility of Wikipedia. Wikipedia should shed it luggage of being called an Encyclopedia. It should call itself as Information Processing Site.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wikipedia Reporting is fast

Wikipedia reporting is quite fast. The given link is about Miss World 2009 Kaiane Aldorino. The result was there by 10.57 pm IST (+5.30 GMT).

I am also watching Copenhagen UN Summit. The updates are coming regularly.

However, in case of BIMSTEC, the taking of Myanmar as the next chairman, was not updated even after 24 hours.

On the whole, the reporting is quite fast and must be giving the regular media run for their money.

I have found that even the bloggers are quite fast in reporting the new events. They are there with news just missing couple of seconds as compared to regular media. Wikipedia remains third but it is there within in couple of minutes.

Check the news item:
Miss World 2009 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wikipedia is DOWN

I was browsing as per my general pattern of surfing the net on December 10, 2009. It was 6.17 pm in India, when I tried to check a detail of a personality. I tried to learn about Shyamala Gopinathan, one of the existing Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India. When I tried to further explore the links of the page I received a message that Wikipedia is down now. I made a print screen copy of the message which I reproduce below.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

European Surveillance of the Curator

This blog has remained a fascinating experience for me. I was amused to watch that the day I launched it, I received the visitor. It was from city Sofia, State Grad Sofiya, country Bulgaria. It was hardly a week old blog at that time. I had developed the idea of making this blog because of my experiences with Wikipedia browsing. It was later I learned that it was not only me who had started such a blog, but there were many like me who had been doing it before me. Well, that I will discuss in a different post.

The Bulgarian visitor had watched the post titled "Georgi Lozanov ", the apostle of the idea of Suggestopedia. The very term on Wikipedia had attracted my attention. I had read the whole of the article. I even visited the official site of the author. The day I posted and that was September 10, 2009, I received the return visit the next day on September 11, 2009. I believe that it was the administrator of the site who might had checked the back link. The language of the browser was German and machine was Macintosh.

Then, as it happens, if you post a photograph on your blog, you get visitors. I wrote another post on Bhajji (Bhajan Singh, a cricketer from India), whose article had appeared as a featured article on the Main page of Wikipedia. Well, that brought visitors from different continents. However, a more interesting features had yet to appear and that I report below.

I posted another article titled 'Over enthusiast forgets the country'. I never knew that this very post would again get visitors from Europe. Now this time, the visitors were again from the Northern side of Europe. The first visitor was a normal type of a search seeker. I had talked about 'Isle of Man' in the post and made the comment about the overall nature of the contents but also about one feature which I observed. The visitor was from United Kingdom itself. I did not know about Isle of Man and it seems even the Briton did not either. The visitor was from Douglas, South Lanarkshire. (It is how it is spelled on the sitemeter.). Then came the surprising rush of visitors. They were from Norway. Their language was Norwegian Bokmal. I did not know about that language. It directed my attention to the list of the languages available on Wikipedia itself wherein it appeared with full pride and honour. They actually came searching for the term Wikipedia on blog search engine. They did not come once but many a time. I do not know what had actually attracted them. I again visited the post of Isle of Man and explored further. I learned that it was a place which was also known for the apostle of witchcraft, a tradition which I believe was frowned upon in Europe and England. I am not relating it to any discovery or detective activity but it was how I went about making searches when I kept receiving visitors from Norway who were using Norwegian Bokmal.

Even Jimmy Wales might have visited my blog. I wrote a post about his talk page. The visit came from a email link. It was from San Francisco, California. The machine was Macintosh with MacOSX. The browser was firefox. The domain was speakeasy.net. The European visitor kept on watching the same post and they continued even when I had made more postings on different aspects of wikipedia. The latitude longitude remained the same and it was 62, 10. The domain was ice.on in most of the cases. Another visitor came through google.com with direct query of the url of the blog itself. The lati/long was 47, 8. After the visitor from the google.com Europe, I started receiving the visit of the googlebot from Mountview California and there were many such visits through out the month of October 2009. The visitors from Norway kept visiting me. Apart from the Norwegian visitor, I received visitor searching for Georgi Lozanov. I believe that the scholar is quite popular among the people in Europe because of his learning technique. There was even a visitor from Russia who came searching for him to my blog. There was a visitor whose language was Portuguese Brazil. What was that? I do not know. Though he had used a google search with a tag or Br.

Then came the demanding visitor from Barendrecht, Zuid-Holland. (I have copied these words as I can not even pronounce them.) The language was Dutch. I am having a feeling that I have not maintained etiquette while writing his name in my post. The post was titled 'Startling Concept Essay but Bemusing Background'. I used the word 'incongruity' which the person from Netherlands did not relish. I was embarrassed. I just wrote back to him in bit apologetic manner. I was just wondering that it was Dutch before English who had entered India. They did not remain in India for long. Then Denmark made colony in India and left it for England to fight with France. What would have been the fate of India, had France or Netherlands or Denmark remained in India. Anyhow, I believe that the issue which had cropped up due to the last post has been settled. But all these visitors (by now there 64), were mostly from Europe. 

My blog is under European Surveillance.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Startling Concept Essay but Bemusing Background

I believe that the users of Wikipedia will approve my observation that many of the philosophy, arithmetic and concept articles are really of good quality. One can learn from them. It is very difficult to learn and imbibe the actual meaning of concepts in the field of sciences. You have to read again and again the same thing and as many elaboration on a concept in order to fully appreciate the meaning behind the concept. Some of the articles in these categories on Wikipedia are worth praising.

However, today I came across an article on Open System and Closed System which covered the definition for different field of knowledge. I was really impressed by the opening lines. I reached this article while I was trying to search for Reinhart Koselleck, a theorist in History. But this article has studied the relevance of concept of open system and closed system for all the sciences. Before, I read further, as it is a practice with me, I tried to check the discussion and also the edit history. There was no discussion as such. However, in edit section, I found that it was a fresh article which was just started in the month of April 2009. The writer is one Nbaig. I tried to check the User link. I found that the same article appears there also. Similarly, in the Discussion section of the User, I found that he was well received by one Marcel Douwe Dekker but again below his invitation and welcome message the article again reappeared. It is surprising. Should the Wikipedia veteran Editors look into this incongruity!? It must be taking unnecessary space on their server. I have yet to read the whole article but this feature has diverted my attention.

Open and closed systems in social science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wikipedia as a Grievance Board

The article in question is Orissa IIT Controversy. As per the edit records, earlier probably it was called 'Educational Neglect of Orissa'.

The most aggressive editor writes or signs himself as SDass.

Even on the Discussion panel, a very feeble protest as well amazement have been registered about the purpose as well as the propriety of such an article on an encyclopaedia even if it is wikipedia.

There are nearly 62 references in the article. There is one theme. The theme is that the Government of India is bend upon ruining Orissa. The person who has written the article has really done a job. I do not know about the authenticity of the data which he has provided even if there are 62 references. I just look at the data and find that Goa, Tripura and Sikkim are more neglected states as compared to Orissa. However, the way it is written only in favour of one state, it is really deplorable because the author feels that they are the smaller states. It is bad if Orissa is given step motherly treatment but it is equally unjustifiable to make an argument in your favour by underrating the existence of other states with in the same country.

I am amazed to find such an article here on Wikipedia. Wikipedia has well worded and well laid out guidelines about the choice of topics. But in case of India, it is trying to play new BBC which always sees slums in India. (Recently they also see Patels.)

There is a charter of citizens on Indian Image site. It invites the grievance of the citizens which can be lodged with Ministry of Personal Affairs, Public Grievance and Pension.

Then there is Indian Media which is quite active in such type of Muckraking reporting. There are numerous pressures groups which could be approached.

However, the person has found Wikipedia also as a place of showing his angst. He really suffers pain for the poverty and educational neglect of the Kalinga. The Indian Government must get attentive because soon such a person may go out and start a separatist movement even in the name of Kalinga or Kharvela as his hero.

Wikipedia has allowed such a writing on its site. Wikipedia is presently rich with such articles for which it is being sought. There are hidden advertisement attempts also but they could be overlooked. There are some objectionable and unjustifiable presentation of facts and figures concerning India which are allowed in name of allowing counter views. (Kindly check the map of India, especially the state of Arunanchal Pardesh which has been shown as disputed.)

The article should be removed. There is clear POV.

For reference check that following link if it remains there.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mary Toft - The Hoax of 18th century, Featured Article

Mary Toft was a featured article on October 21, 2009. It is a nicely written article. It makes a good reading as the substantiating links further provides you insight into Wikipedia and influence of Wikipedia. No doubt, the statement may convey contrary notions but it is how wikipedia has developed. Criticized by all but accessed mostly by those who access it the most. Well it is my view.

Before writing anything related to contents of the article, I must suggest that this article has appeared on Timesonline under 'The 10 best wikipedia enteries' written by Daniel Finkelstein. It also makes a good reading. It is from there again one can reach 'The 10 biggest Wikipedia Hoaxes' by Michael Moran again on Timesoineline.

I do not know who is promoting whom? Is it wikipedia promoting Timesonline or the other way around? But is what one of the major dimension of Wikipedia which I believe is behind the survival of portal for such a long period.

As far the contents of the article Mary Toft (or Tofts) are concerned, it is really written by a professional. The issue which is taken up in there also is an important issue and that this, how far the society can treat the experts from professional fields as seers or final words. Are they not fallible?

The story goes somewhat like this. The lady in question, Ms. Mary Taft had reported in 18th century  that she had delivered animal parts. The doctor who attended to her was convinced of the genuineness of  the  deliveries. Even a Royal surgeon visited to check the authenticity of the claim and he also returned convinced. I believe the rest should be read by the interested reader at the main site itself as the authors and editors on Wikipedia have done a marvellous job.

Also read the Discussion section. It has raised some vital issues about the scientific world.

Mary Toft - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monday, October 19, 2009

James Bowie -Featured Article

On October 19, 2009, the featured article on the Main page is James Bowie who was famous for his Knife fight in the history of United States of America. I am always interested in the articles related to American history because it form the part of my professional duty as a teacher. I found this article more significant because it had helped me to get an authentication and evidence for a statement which had been regularly made by the historians on American history. I had been reading about the westward movement of the Americans. I was not able to convince myself that how that had happened. There were only assertions that Americans kept moving towards west. But How? I have never found any convincing explanation. However, in this article, I have found a paragraph which gives historic account on how the senior Bowie kept moving after every five to eight years from one plantation to other plantation buying and selling and making profit every time. I now need a authentication of this information as there is no citation. I do not know whether those who have written it had the perception that they would be explaining and describing one of an important point in American history. I do not think so. I have made a note of this article and going to borrow the references about the practices adopted by people who were moving westward during the Antebellum Period of American history.

This article also shows the gap in writing of history. Herein, there is another case which demonstrates that the psychological profiling of the period and personality which is described is must for history writing. The Ranke  school of historians would be happy to find such articles wherein only the mater of fact content is given and the content as a whole conveys the meaning. However, it is not that simple. I had a question. I was not satisfied with the reading of American history wherein mere facts that Americans moved towards west was given and repeated again and again without elucidation. I wanted to read and learn about those forces and the processes that went along with them. The question was with me. If any other casual reader read this article, he may not able to appreciate the significance of the data provided in there. On the other hand, if the author of the article just hinted at the dimension which could also be derived from here, then it could have been a more fruitful exercise. Anyhow, I understand that my argument will be rejected as a matter of one's opinion.

If interested then read the whole article. There are interesting details especially about speculation and high level manipulation which is presently called the Business. Also read the discussion section. There is heading about the actual pronunciation of the word 'Bowie'. Anyhow, as the Mumbaiya Mafia world or Ram Gopal writers would say, Ganda Hai per Dhanda hai. It is dirty but it's a business.

Image Source: In the link given above