0545: "Neutrality Schmeutrality"

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby FCN » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:16 am UTC

I'd bet the article would be deleted as non-notable, or as a hoax/vandalism. If it survives, Randall's comic + alt-text may be right about the cloud of doubt hanging over editors' motives: it's hard to live up to Matthew 7:12 (ch. VII, v. 12 - the Golden Rule) with so much at stake. But it could be possible to keep it from turning into an all-out pro-life v. pro-choice battle with some edits that are as clever as One.Be.Lo lyrics (or Royce 5'9" lyrics, if you prefer the artist behind two top-25 R&B/Hip-Hop albums). ; )
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby vrek » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:35 am UTC

I got a idea, have people donate any amount of money to an organization, untill that organization gets 1 Million dollars. Then count the number of number of donations, if it is odd all money goes to pro-life if it is even all money goes to pro-choice. The key is you can tell people how much money has been raised but not how many people have donated untill the end. For all you know that $5 dollars you donated to put it over the top could of sent all the money the team you don't want, but the same could be true if you donate twice at $2.50 a piece.
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby phlip » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:37 am UTC

toysbfun wrote:Actually, the idea was previously mentioned in a wikinews interview

Ah, I knew I'd read about this on WikiNews before... kinda dampened the gag a bit, since I got the feeling he'd stolen the joke... but now I know that it was from that, so he stole the joke from himself.

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby mania » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:23 am UTC

For more chaos, make the deadline the end of the week or 1 hour after the last edit, whichever is later.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:31 am UTC

I found a huge loop-hole: after the prize money is given out, (one week), Wikipedia is free to be as neutral as they want in covering the event.

As other people have pointed out, it is not clear how the "words" will be counted anyway. I suppose BHG could have went on to explain such details.

One option (if the word-count rules are ambiguous) seems to be just lock the page; taking no stand until the prize is given out.

It_may_be_possible_to_make_the_word-count_ambiguous; Dependingontheexactrules. AreHyphenatedCompoundwordsConsideredseparately? IsItActualwords,or,"astyped"? If a utility like WC is used, that implies that numbers and symbols may be considered words as well . . . The output of an automated utility may also be affected by the choice of web-browser/rendering engine/user-agent.


Controversy alert: Let's assume for a moment I want to tamper with the article, but I have a neutral opinion on the "ProLife" vs "ProChoice" debate (strange but true). How am I supposed to indicate I don't support either side? Edit the article to read something like this:
...
0000011189287437991298743
[{}]

^-- I suppose I may be able to get something coherent If I think on it longer and resort to unicode characters.

Edit: ALMOST ninja'd (my suggestion of a locked article would still trigger at 1 week).
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby mail2345 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:36 am UTC

Wasn't said earlier that 0 words is an even number.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby il biggo » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:44 am UTC

Felona wrote:Don't make a Wikipedia article until the event happens. Completely neutral. Prize please.


A sensible solution and a Le Orme reference in the same message is too much. :shock:

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby keecz » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:44 am UTC

Well, lets just write easy javascript that inserst (pseudo)randomly one or two words into the wiki article :D

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby littlelj » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:10 am UTC

/lurk

I'm going to be smiling about this comic and the discussion all day.

:D
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby almightyze » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:33 am UTC

Binks wrote:Oh, Hatman. What won't you say?


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That's all I have to say.
01010011 01110100 01101111 01110000 00100000
01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 01101001
01101110 01100111 00100000 01100010 01101001
01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00101110

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Dankzor » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:11 pm UTC

The ODD and EVEN concept is only defined fot integer numbers.

The neutrality sollution is to provide an article with exactly one incomplete word.
Thus an article about the event with 321,4 words is neutral, since 321,4 is neither even nor odd.

I know the odd/even trick can be extrapolated to the numerator of the irreductible fraction of the word count. Thus it would circunvent my sollution.
But then we can think of recursive acronyms.

A recursive acronym would put an end to any kind of odd/even trick and even (no pun intended) to other tricks like "rational/irrational".

Dodge THIS!

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby EngrBohn » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:13 pm UTC

I propose the article consist of: "It happened."

Semantically, it'd be hard to argue convincingly that there's any bias in that statement.
Lengthwise, it'd degenerate into the debate over whether 2 is odd or even.

Tada!

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby FluffX » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:26 pm UTC

Quick question: What happens if there is no Wikipedia article on it, or the one they have is deleted?

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby dragon and tiger » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:25 pm UTC

Munroe is the Gödel of Wikipedia....

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby dragon and tiger » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:26 pm UTC

FluffX wrote:Quick question: What happens if there is no Wikipedia article on it, or the one they have is deleted?


0 is even.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:09 pm UTC

At the same time, Hat Guy's nameless girlfriend should be giving an identical speech elsewhere, but instead have the million go to gay rights activists if it's odd and to Mitt Romney if it's even.

airwolf wrote:i fail to believe the wiki is unbiased as it is

Well, it's written and edited by regular people, so there is going to be some bias.

And I think this thread is going to turn into a pro-choice vs. pro-life discussion. I hope not, but HEY I'VE GOT AN OPINION ON THE SUBJECT ANYWAY THAT YOU ALL NEED TO HEAR

But still, please don't make it that discussion. There's probably 700 threads for that in another section.
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Kadzar » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:45 pm UTC

In Wikipedia talk:Editing of Wikipedia by the media, 72.1.186.174 wrote:What to do in case of ironic edits?

What happens if a media personality 'vandalizes' this page itself by adding themselves when they had not previously vandalized Wikipedia? Do you have to remove it and immediately add it back again? Because the minute you consider it inaccurate, it becomes accurate. Maybe it's a good thing Godel isn't still around...
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby KelinciHutan » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:58 pm UTC

michaelandjimi wrote:
Shale wrote:Zero is even.
...So it is.

By linking to a wikipedia article in discussion about this comic, have you created a recursive occlusion?

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Phasma Felis » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:08 pm UTC

Infinity is neither even nor odd. Therefore, the article is unbiased if it is infinitely long.

Just replace the article text with a looping script that prints "monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey" until the connection is closed.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Brooklynxman » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:16 pm UTC

Im in on doing this. They'll probably immediatly lock the article...then realize crap we're taking a pro choice/life stand (side note: pro life is now known as anti-choice, pro-choice as death, carry on)

They'd probably end up deleting the page just to avoid the issue.

Lets do it.
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby dennisw » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:50 pm UTC

dragon and tiger wrote:
FluffX wrote:Quick question: What happens if there is no Wikipedia article on it, or the one they have is deleted?


0 is even.

Null is not the same as zero. As to whether null is even...
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby dcat22 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:56 pm UTC

... http://www.xkcd545.com :)

Now just needs to get on Digg, Slashdot, or something...and seems fairly "notable"...to me at least.

(Oh, hi. I'm new.)
Last edited by dcat22 on Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Ephilei » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:58 pm UTC

False. The wp article will inevitably continue changing size, varying between even and odd, since wp articles are never finished.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Fieari » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:03 pm UTC

Zero may be even, but does a non-existent article really contain zero words, or is its word count undefined?

But I must say that I prefer the "random word" solution for ensuring neutrality. Link it to one of those atmospheric detectors for true randomness.
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Steve K » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:09 pm UTC

dennisw wrote:
dragon and tiger wrote:
FluffX wrote:Quick question: What happens if there is no Wikipedia article on it, or the one they have is deleted?


0 is even.

Null is not the same as zero. As to whether null is even...

Null is not an integer. Therefore it cannot be even or odd.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:23 pm UTC

Interesting ways to screw up Hat Guy's plans:

  • Have no article on the event (dispute between 0 words vs. NULL words possible);
  • End the article with a fraction of a word (debatabl);
  • (my favourite) Instead of a written article, use an algorithm that endlessly generates random words. Infinite article for the win.

Ba-da-bing, ba-da-bang, ba-da-WIKI!

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby JoshJ » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:37 pm UTC

If the article doesn't exist, you count the number of words in the "this article does not exist" page.


Bogusarticlethatdoesnotexist
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* Start the Bogusarticlethatdoesnotexist article or add a request for it.
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* If the page has been deleted, check the deletion log, and see Why was my page deleted?.



Difficulty: what counts and what doesn't?

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby KingErroneous » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Is "anal-retentive" one or two words?

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby iw » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:55 pm UTC

Everyone, the answer to this is quite simple: Make two, three, or several Wikipedia pages about it at the exact same time and force at least one to be even and one to be odd. That way, if he chooses one to be "the" Wikipedia page about the event, the bias is his.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby vince9663 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:14 pm UTC

Phasma Felis wrote:Infinity is neither even nor odd. Therefore, the article is unbiased if it is infinitely long.

Just replace the article text with a looping script that prints "monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey" until the connection is closed.


The article would never reach infinite length since (I presume) there would be a definite cut-off point after a week, at which point the word count would be taken of a snapshot of the article at that point, and the recipient determined. However, an article so generated would be unbiased, by virtue of the fact that it is essentially free of meaningful content, and therefore free of any particular viewpoint or bias on the issue.

I considered this category of solution as a means to show that it would indeed be possible for Wikipedia to cover the event neutrally. It would work, if it weren't for the fact that an article consisting of nothing but "monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey..." would not qualify as "coverage of the event", except in the obscure language of "monkey", which is unfortunately not the lingua franca of Wikipedia.

So I think Randall is right on this one.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Gava » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

iw wrote:Everyone, the answer to this is quite simple: Make two, three, or several Wikipedia pages about it at the exact same time and force at least one to be even and one to be odd. That way, if he chooses one to be "the" Wikipedia page about the event, the bias is his.


Obviously BHG would find a way arround this and still thats not the point. The discusion is if it's posible to force wikipedia to be unbiased and those articles wouldn't. On the other hand this is probably a skeme from BHG where he will tell them both that they have won, lure them into a cell and have them fight to the death.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:36 pm UTC

Code: Select all

123456789123456789123456789123456789123456789123456789123456789
**    **                      *     **
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***\  **            **     ******** **
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** *\ **  **  **    **       **     ***  **   **  **  ***  ***
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**  \***  **   **   **       **     **    **  **  **  **       
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   ***                   *                   
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**         **           **                   
 **         **           **                   
  ***               *** **    **             
   ***     **     **   ***  **  **           
     **    **     **   *** ********         
      **   **     **    ** **
**   **    **      **  ***  **   ** **
 *****      **       ******   *****  **
11
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I confess, I couldn't figure out how to use a fixed-width font without the "code" tags. I like the "competing versions" suggestion.
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Random832 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

All we have to do mention Candlejack in the article; then its word count won't be an inte—

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby super_aardvark » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

TheHand wrote:The problem of course here, is human nature, but not necessarily an inherent problem in Wikipedia itself, provided it's same structure were accessible, and only accessible, to some entirely uninterested party.

Of course, I'm just mentally masturbating.


Umm... the ability for anyone, interested or not, to edit it is an inherent quality of Wikipedia.

Maybe you should find some lube.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby halcyon1234 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

EngrBohn wrote:I propose the article consist of: "It happened."
Semantically, it'd be hard to argue convincingly that there's any bias in that statement.
Lengthwise, it'd degenerate into the debate over whether 2 is odd or even.


I think you mean "whether 2 is prime or not".
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby aterimperator » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

screech wrote:On the other hand, if you WANT the money, then I believe the best option is to edit the pro-life and pro-choice group wiki pages both to mean you.

You might get flack for being hypocritical about the abortion issue but it's a million dollars!


This is genius, though it likely would not work due to the organizations not being defined by their wiki pages, just described.


mania wrote:For more chaos, make the deadline the end of the week or 1 hour after the last edit, whichever is later.


This is necessary, otherwise it will be apathy for 6 days followed by 1 day of intense editing. As an improvement, the end of the week or a pseudo random time between 5 minutes and 40 minutes after the last edit, whichever is later (this forces constant editing rather than an edit, followed by an edit 58 minutes later, followed by another edit 58 minutes later, etc.)

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Mazzula » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

Suppose that the editors of the article simply follow the Wikipedia rules and actually make their edits from a neutral point of view, and don't bother to count the words. In that case, the existence of the award does not violate the neutrality of the article.

It may be that, in practice, the article wouldn't be neutral, but in principle the article is no more likely to be biased than any article on the abortion issue. It would be difficult to trust in the neutrality of the article, but it wouldn't be theoretically impossible for the article to be written from a neutral point of view.

The neutrality principle is assumed to be violated, without evidence from the text itself, if the author can be shown to benefit personally from the article, but the $million prize doesn't go to the author.

Perhaps it should be done like the Pulitzer prize, where the award goes to the article that meets with the most approval of the awarding committee. That might create an unavoidable assumption of bias if there were any pattern at all in the ideology represented by articles that had received the award in the past, or any other basis for expecting that a certain bias might make the article more likely to merit the award. This kind of thing might actually happen, it wouldn't be inconceivable that somebody like the Heritage Foundation or Greenpeace might create an award for contributions to making Wikipedia more "informative".

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby neoliminal » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:47 pm UTC

I can see the war over hyphenated words now. Is Pro-Life one or two words... what if I just delete the hyphen, did I change the word count? You could theoretically just minor edit this with a single character going back and forth.

Also what if the article only has a .jpg of the article?
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby CleverClothe » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:11 pm UTC

neoliminal wrote:I can see the war over hyphenated words now. Is Pro-Life one or two words... what if I just delete the hyphen, did I change the word count? You could theoretically just minor edit this with a single character going back and forth.

Also what if the article only has a .jpg of the article?


Most people aren't grasping the true evilness of this plan. It does not matter if hyphenated words count or if partial words exist. Wikipedia is open to editing by anyone (unless the article is locked, but I will get to that). Any scheme you come up with to foil Black Hat Man will be overridden one second later by one of a million editors with their own agendas.

And if the article were to be locked, then the editors would be take a side, causing controversy and keeping the article biased.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby iw » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:13 pm UTC

Gava wrote:Obviously BHG would find a way arround this and still thats not the point. The discusion is if it's posible to force wikipedia to be unbiased and those articles wouldn't. On the other hand this is probably a skeme from BHG where he will tell them both that they have won, lure them into a cell and have them fight to the death.


The way around it is to say "all Wikipedia pages." My point is that Randall has a mistake and that with the current wording, Wikipedia can remain neutral about the page.

If he says "all Wikipedia pages" Wikipedia can still remain unbiased about the outcome by randomly adding a word or not to the article when the article is viewed. Or better yet, base the algorithm off a neutral third-party's RNG.

And to everyone else who's arguing about what a "word" is, I have to assume he's just going to pipe the input into wc.


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