0545: "Neutrality Schmeutrality"

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Iridos
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Iridos » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:30 pm UTC

phlip wrote:
Iridos wrote:Apropos "zero is even" - even if you'd say that "no article" translates into zero words... are you implying, that a non-existing article can be biased?

Not the article itself, but the deletion debate will be...


A lot of people are biased - that's what the discussions are for. And there really is no policy for people not expressing their biased opinion in discussions (just for not incorporating them into the articles).

I still think you all miss the point - a neutral article is one does not overemphasize one view on the topic - if you link something else as arbitrary as the word count of an article to some future event that does take a clear position to something unrelated to the article like abortion, that doesn't really have an impact on the neutrality of the article.

Τhe only thing that prevents/hinders neutrality there is, that Wikipedia is writing about Wikipedia - which is very hard to to do in an unbiased way.

Just as a thought-experiment: you could pick any other article and donate your Million dollar to either of two opposing causes depending on the word count without ever announcing it - that wouldn't make the article biased either, now would it?

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby tripplilley » Tue May 19, 2009 6:22 pm UTC

I hope I present novel solutions, not just an embarrassing and ill-considered "me, too" post :-(1

First, to address two points in your post:

Τhe only thing that prevents/hinders neutrality there is, that Wikipedia is writing about Wikipedia - which is very hard to to do in an unbiased way.

I disagree, in this specific context. Wikipedia is writing not about Wikipedia, per se, but about an event which proposes to prove an assertion about a "fundamental Wikipedia principle." There are (would be? :-)) abundant, verifiable facts about the event, and no need to engage in discussion of the validity of the principle itself. While it would be easy to cover in a biased way, I don't believe that precludes it being likewise easy to cover in an unbiased way.

Just as a thought-experiment: you could pick any other article and donate your Million dollar to either of two opposing causes depending on the word count without ever announcing it - that wouldn't make the article biased either, now would it?

I don't believe this is a fair comparison. By donating to the causes without announcing it, I am not creating any link between the intent to donate and the content of the article. If I choose an article with two contrary points of view at random, and flip a coin to determine which is PoV is even, and which is odd, there's no causal relationship between my actions and the content of the article (and thus its neutrality,) since my actions are entirely determined in an infinitesimal instant between two states of the article, and thus are based entirely on the content of the last revision prior to the infinitesimal instant.

If I pick an article at random, then announce my intention to flip a coin in one week's time, my donation will have an effect on the content of the article, but the effect can't reasonably be considered to affect its neutrality, since there is, as above, no known link between the article's state and the direction of the donation.

It is only when I announce both my intention and the specific payout conditions that I have a direct effect on the neutrality of the article (or, at least, its meta-neutrality.) However, as I discuss, (admittedly, pedantically,) below, there's a difference between the neutrality of "the article" and the neutrality of "coverage of the event..."

...and now, my solutions, assumptions, and a healthy dose of pedantry which should make it obvious that I've been laid off :-):

  1. Assumptions about the terms of the event and the payout:
    1. The name of the Wikipedia article must be "About This Event," without punctuation (i.e., without the comma and quotation marks :-)).
    2. The absence of an article named "About This Event" will not trigger the payout, as the fundamental condition has not been satisfied.
    3. A redirection directive does not count as an article.
    4. The payout conditions will be tested against a snapshot of the article taken precisely one week from the end of pronunciation of the last syllable of the announcement ("[...] pro-life.")
  2. Assumptions about what constitutes Wikipedia coverage of the event, and the determination of the "neutrality" of that coverage:
    1. Coverage of the event itself need not be under the name "About This Event."
    2. Any coverage of the event in which BHG announces his intention to donate, and (presumably) the ensuing response and eventual donation, is about the event itself,[i] and not about the unpunctuated name [i]"About This Event." Any article named "About This Event," covering the event exclusively, thus would be inappropriately named, as the name "About This Event," refers to the article required to satisfy the payout conditions, and not the event itself.
    3. Any article about the article named "About This Event," would not be an article, at all, but a "Talk" or other Wikipedia meta-page, and thus would be named with the appropriate meta- prefix.
    4. The neutrality of the coverage of the event depends solely upon the content of articles about the event, itself,[i] and not the content of the article named [i]"About This Event." And article by that name, should it exist, would be about a topic relevant to the event, but not about the event itself.
I present below two possible solutions satisfying the presumed goal of Wikipedia covering the event neutrally, invalidating the example given in the XKCD comic titled "Neutrality Schmeutrality" as proof of the hypothesis, "It's possible to create events which Wikipedia cannot cover neutrally." Note that this solution does not disprove the hypothesis itself, just the proffered proof by example.

  1. Redirection pages and the exploitation of pedantic definitions given in the Assumptions section of this post:
    1. Create an article named "Black Hat Guy," (or some name appropriate and sufficient to identify the character.
    2. Create a redirection page named "About This Event,"[i] which redirects to the article named previously created [i]"Black Hat Guy" article.
    3. Lock the "About This Event" redirection page.
    4. Add to the "Black Hat Guy" article content covering of the event, as such coverage is biographically relevant.
    5. Alternatively, or additionally, create an article named "The Black Hat Guy Wikipedia Neutrality Challenge," containing content covering the event.
  2. Balancing external forces to achieve neutrality of coverage2:
    1. Wikipedia must hold a fund-raising campaign to raise $1,000,000 (or, more generally, a matching amount.)
    2. Wikipedia pledges to donate, upon Black Hat Guy's payout, a matching amount to the "losing" activist group(s).
The second solution presumes that meta-neutrality (i.e., Wikipedia's commitment to neutrality,) is not itself a non-neutral position, at least within the context of this discussion. By contributing to the "losing" cause, Wikipedia is not taking a stance on the issue contested by the articles themselves. It is merely restoring balance to the predominant external force affecting the neutrality of Wikipedia's coverage of the event. Wikipedia is, quite literally, neutralizing the effect of the event itself on their coverage of it.

I have now officially spent Way Too Much TimeTM on this...3

1 It may still be an embarrassing and ill-considered "me, too" post, but it would be comforting to know it was at least also a novel solution :-)
2 For what it's worth, I did come up with this one, independently, before I read the above post... I promise.
3 ...which is why I stopped proofreading, so please excuse typos, thinkos, truncated thoughts, and repetitive use of "itself," "also," etc. :-)

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Wed May 20, 2009 5:22 pm UTC

Gumbitha wrote:The solution: use wiki code. :)

Template for displaying a different number of words depending on the local hour. (I would do by second, but I have no idea how to parse the ISO date stamp in wikicode.

You don't need to:

Code: Select all

{{#switch: {{#time: s}}
 | 1 = odd odd
 | 2 = even
 | 3 = odd odd
 | 4 = even
...
 | 60 = even
}}
...And that is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped.

Kaijyuu
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Kaijyuu » Wed May 20, 2009 5:34 pm UTC

The real solution would to be to call in Candlejack for the very last editor of the arti
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby rthomas2 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:49 am UTC

Solution: Lock the topic after adding in some sort of script which generates a random number of words within the article, the number of which is unknown to the editor until the post has been finalized. Neutral!

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:53 am UTC

Guys this is easy.

Let me show you:

Code: Select all

<script type="text/javascript">
     while(True){
          document.write("Word \n");
     }
</script>


slap that code onto the wikipedia entry, and you're done. Infinity is both an even and an odd number
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Jugulum » Thu May 13, 2010 8:07 pm UTC

So, this announcement actually wouldn't produce the proper amount of mayhem. There would be no motivation to make any edits at all during the week. The only thing that matters is the count at the end, so rationally, you would see most of the mayhem happening at the end of the week.

To maximize the mayhem, you should announce that at a randomly selected time during the next week, you will check the word count, and base the donation off that.

Note: If someone already suggested this, I apologize for posting the duplicate. But I lack the motivation to check back through the 4 pages of comments.

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Sprocket » Fri May 14, 2010 4:55 am UTC

One of the more clever ones.
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby adz » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:28 am UTC

Hmm...I'm surprised nobody has tried any of these ideas yet. Like starting a donation fund for enacting the comic's idea... Or a donation fund which will donate $1,000,000 to some cause depending on the post count (and then charge a few cents per post on said site)....

YTPrenewed
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby YTPrenewed » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:39 am UTC

... huh? What's the connection between the word count and the tone of the article supposed to be? o.o

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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:55 am UTC

YTPrenewed wrote:... huh? What's the connection between the word count and the tone of the article supposed to be? o.o

The article is about an event which will donate money to one of two highly polarized issues depending on the word count of the wikipedia article about that event which will donate... etc. So any edit to the article which changes the word count from odd to even or vice versa could be accused of only doing so in order to make the money go to the issue which they favor, making it virtually impossible for any edit to be deemed neutral. (Not that Wikipedia actually works like that; anyone making an unnecessary edit obviously just to change the word count would be accused of that, but no substantial edits would be).
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Stanistani
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Stanistani » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:23 pm UTC

Just have the wikipedia entry be a video of the event. Unedited.

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BioTube
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby BioTube » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:41 am UTC

But isn't zero lumped in with the even numbers?
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby RebeccaRGB » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:57 pm UTC

Yes, but what is the word count of a video?
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:21 pm UTC

That's a moot point anyway as a Wikipedia article cannot consist entirely of a video. Even if it could, you would still have the title, so the fight would be over what exactly to call the article.
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Re: "Neutrality Schmeutrality" discussion

Postby Azshade » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:00 pm UTC

Dear "That guy"
That guy, that one, the guy that says "I wonder how many squares there are on this chessboard" then counts them all or uses math or whatever. If you're him (or her), and you'll know if you are, why haven't you added up all the words in this thread yet? Get cracking dang it, before I edit my post with "War and Peace".

Oh and for the record, I'm not that guy, I didn't even read the word count in this post.

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Re: 0545: "Neutrality Schmeutrality"

Postby Pipcard » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:45 pm UTC

Now the article about the English Wikipedia blackout: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Wikipedia_blackout

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Re: 0545: "Neutrality Schmeutrality"

Postby Er0136271320 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:48 pm UTC

Just add half a word at the end to make it a decimal, which can be neither even nor odd


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