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 Post subject: Re: Reviews here, reviews elsewhere...
Post #41 Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:59 pm 
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Just another point about comparing SL to WP. Everyone on SL knows something about go; while not everyone knows something about every aspect of the game, they are familiar with it. That means that, potentially, a much larger percentage of people on SL are "eligible" to edit any given article. (With, of course, the caveat, as Bill points out above, about high-level stuff.)

On WP, on the other hand, people know only a tiny number of the subjects present; most likely, a minuscule percentage of them. For this reason, very few people are qualified to edit any given article. This means that few people - other than vandals - do edit any given article. It means that edits are more apt to be related to the article.

On SL, a lot of people post "comments" in articles showing that they don't know much about the topic. This dilutes the quality of many articles, and, as I've said elsewhere, makes reading articles very difficult.

SL is a good resource, and has a lot of information. But much of that information is simply garbled at best, and bad at worst. The decision to allow anyone to edit (as opposed to posting on discussion pages) is very egalitarian, but leads to a lowest-common-denominator result.

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Post #42 Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:22 pm 
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kirkmc wrote:
On SL, a lot of people post "comments" in articles showing that they don't know much about the topic. This dilutes the quality of many articles, and, as I've said elsewhere, makes reading articles very difficult.


Yes, this is a real problem, and as I mentioned is mainly the result of a lack of manpower.

But I don't understand the reasoning: This page is hard to read, therefore I will not edit it.

The whole idea behind SL, WP and all wikis in general is that anyone can edit, so that anyone can fix it if something is wrong.

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Post #43 Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:30 pm 
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It's pretty simple: I don't want to spend the time editing a page that is, indeed, very hard to read, and, what's more, potentially offending people whose contributions I would remove. I have no qualms about this on WP, because the articles I edit are subjects I know enough about, and about which I can offer citations. But on SL, the lack of citations means that much of the content is personal opinion. If one person starts deleting a bunch of stuff that one could, arguably, say is not good, I think the reaction may not be positive. And I simply don't want to get into that. I'd just as soon ignore SL for the most part than work with inferior content, and end up being criticized because I'm not strong enough to be making edits.

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people feel the way I do, and this results in SL as it is. The selection of "experts" to do editing, and the removal of discussion threads from main pages, while difficult, could go a long way toward making it a much more valuable resource.

I have a feeling that you don't understand what I see as the key difference between the two: the breadth vs depth question of one subject on SL vs many on WP, and what that leads to.

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Post #44 Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:06 pm 
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I find Sensei's to be a wonderful resource. Although many pages have several errors, quirks, and poor structure, and some pages are just downright unreadable, most of the pages I've looked at (and I'm only speaking for myself) are adequate to get much of the information I'm looking for. (A special credit to our own Bill Spight in this regard.) This is especially true for most beginner-oriented pages, which I found helpful as a DDK.

When I look for book reviews, I go to Sensei's. The book entries are usually easy to find, usually exist, and quite often either have a review or link to one. I also read reviews as they pop up here on L19. Although no one should feel obligated to contribute to SL--and I see a good many reasons one wouldn't want to--I appreciate it when people allow links to their reviews to be added to the respective Sensei's page.

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Post #45 Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:36 pm 
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kirkmc wrote:
Just another point about comparing SL to WP. Everyone on SL knows something about go; while not everyone knows something about every aspect of the game, they are familiar with it. That means that, potentially, a much larger percentage of people on SL are "eligible" to edit any given article. (With, of course, the caveat, as Bill points out above, about high-level stuff.)

On WP, on the other hand, people know only a tiny number of the subjects present; most likely, a minuscule percentage of them. For this reason, very few people are qualified to edit any given article. This means that few people - other than vandals - do edit any given article. It means that edits are more apt to be related to the article.
Funny, I'd always framed this very differently. I'd always thought that with wikipedia, everyone had something they were competent to contribute to, because of the breadth of topics. Whereas with Sensei's most of us have nothing we know about. I almost never edit theory or problem pages for that reason.

I think that the difference in frames is just interesting and not particularly important, mind you.

P.S. Judicata: I don't think linking to a publicly posted book review really requires permission for any reason (legal, ethical, politeness), except in some kind of extreme circumstance. Notification is probably nice. The real issue is about copying book reviews in their entirety.

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Last edited by hyperpape on Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #46 Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:37 pm 
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Yes, this is a real problem, and as I mentioned is mainly the result of a lack of manpower.

But I don't understand the reasoning: This page is hard to read, therefore I will not edit it.


This is the problem with logic. It only works if you accept the premise. I don't think the problem is lack of manpower. It's lack of knowledge, as Bill and Kirk and Robert all also point out.

And even if it were lack of manpower, it doesn't follow that anyone who finds a page hard to read should edit it. In any human system there has to be an incentive. To overcome the problems of time required, possibility of offending people, having your work unravelled, etc, the incentives have to be pretty powerful. Starting as they do, at present, from close to zero, there's little likelihood of change.

I'm not much of a Wikipedia fan myself - just because something is alleged to be "democratic" doesn't make it good, as mob rule illustrates - but even I can acknowledge that WP at least betrays pleasing elements of structure and presentation that SL lacks.

SL began well, but is now a mess. Not the creator's fault, but the fault of the sort of people Bill describes. Out of habit, I still look at SL every day, but horrible mistakes hit me every time. (For info, the one that made me scunner today was yougo kojiten instead of yougo shoujiten.)

SL needs a firmer structure, which must include signed contributions. Because go is a mainly Oriental activity, citations from literature are hard to apply or rely on. That is why contributions need to be signed. It's nothing to with vanity. In my case, I have no intention of posting long contributions on SL anyway, so I'm not pleading on my own behalf as a poster. I am pleading on my own behalf as a reader, as I want to know which articles to trust.

The new structure should also have a rapidly diminishing amount of discussion. That's what L19 is for.

I personally think a new style is also called for. I would like to see an end to the sort of tweeism that leads to items such as "added a comma" to the list of Recent Changes. I would also encourage an end to the posturing which bedevils WP (and thus SL) whereby posters or editors play at being scholars or impose PC. I came across a good example today on WP. A page on the book "Crime and Punishment" had a sentence something like: "Raskolnikov, a mentally unstable [citation needed] former student". For heaven's sake, hasn't the editor read the book? SL equivalents of this include inserting useless hiragana for characters when no Japanese would ever use kana.

To come back to the original topic of this thread, I believe that a very good way for SL to embark on this sorely needed new structure and style would be to start on a small, manageable and important project, and the obvious one is to set up a revised section on book reviews (signed, of course). This would, I suggest, be a popular item and so would bring more readers to SL, with the possibility that some will be inspired to take responsibility for another discrete area. It is still very difficult to provide incentives, but it is well known that people are more likely to volunteer to be part of a project that is visibly moving forward.

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Post #47 Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:04 pm 
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hyperpape wrote:
P.S. Judicata: I don't think linking to a publicly posted book review really requires permission for any reason (legal, ethical, politeness), except in some kind of extreme circumstance. Notification is probably nice. The real issue is about copying book reviews in their entirety.


Generally, I agree, but if someone has said they don't want his or her review linked, that fact should be considered. I also mentioned this because I think (although I haven't bothered to look back) kirkmc offered that he was open to his reviews being linked on SL, and I think that's a good idea.

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Post #48 Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:09 pm 
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judicata wrote:
hyperpape wrote:
P.S. Judicata: I don't think linking to a publicly posted book review really requires permission for any reason (legal, ethical, politeness), except in some kind of extreme circumstance. Notification is probably nice. The real issue is about copying book reviews in their entirety.


Generally, I agree, but if someone has said they don't want his or her review linked, that fact should be considered. I also mentioned this because I think (although I haven't bothered to look back) kirkmc offered that he was open to his reviews being linked on SL, and I think that's a good idea.


I don't think you need permission to link to something. That's just the way the internet works. I don't think people need to be notified for links either.

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Post #49 Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:50 pm 
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I am tired that a thread on book reviews, yes, book reviews (not linking Kirk, but cross-posting for those who are interested and only those) gets hijacked like this for issuing rulings what SL has to do or to be in future. I would prefer it to be closed soon.

--

In the meantime we can as well correct some misconceptions:

John Fairbairn wrote:
SL needs a firmer structure, which must include signed contributions.
...
The new structure should also have a rapidly diminishing amount of discussion. That's what L19 is for.


1) SL has signed contributions. Just put your signature in front of your contribution (this is standard practice for years), in case of book reviews they are not edited out or altered. And for what it matters, the strongest advocates for signed contributions are usually the same people who don't even bother to log in to make a contribution, in the rigid environment they prefer, this would not even work.

2) Master-editing is necessary in many a place. SL looks at times messy, exactly because often it isn't done (yet). But master-editing is the epitome of interference in previous writing (whether signed or unsigned). I don't get how anybody can complain at the same time about pages being messy and interference in signed contributions.

Imagine a JF-style library of expert writers only contributing strictly with signatures and no master editing done to hot topics, e.g. rules, would JF like this library? I doubt so.

3) Knowledge is a problem, yes. Offering an environment for learning, keeping material of different levels and improving on it and not mixing everything up is quite a task. But when Kirk is sure some content is wrong, but insecure because he doesn't feel strong enough to comment, then... huh? What was the argument? He basically does not like SL.

4) Respect the volunteers!

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Post #50 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:46 am 
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HermanHiddema wrote:
If you make a page like, say: "Robert Jasiek / Mathematical Term Force", that will be picked up by a title search for "force".


SL search is too weak for that.

Search is only one way to find things. Much more importantly, links from related topic pages are a powerful way. Such don't give good access to UserName/ThisTopic pages though. In fact, I have overlooked such pages for many years because they are so hard to find.

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Can you pinpoint which version still contained a good definition, and which edits destroyed it? Haengma seems to be a notoriously difficult concept to describe easily, and since the first version is from 2001, many changes may have been in response to new books or new information as it became available. Certainly this concept does not as yet seem to be widely understood in the western go scene.


I do not know version number but the page has links to RGG threads Haengma / The Fourth and / The Fifth. Nowadays, a page could be yet better because Western understanding on haengma is better, compare my definition "local to global relation and development of all stones".

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Post #51 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:01 am 
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Can we take the discussion of SL here?

As to Tapir's original idea of cross posting or putting a link on the pertinent SL book review page to the reviews here on L19, I've done that with mine, and if there is general agreement to Kirk's following statement, we could do so with all of the L19 reviews.

kirkmc wrote:
I don't think you need permission to link to something. That's just the way the internet works. I don't think people need to be notified for links either.

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Post #52 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:17 am 
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1) SL has signed contributions. Just put your signature in front of your contribution (this is standard practice for years),


tapir, this is drivel. Read what Bill said above. An item may start with a signature, but the copy can be edited, moved and mixed up with other contributions and so ends up being far from what the contributor intended. Further, many signatures are mere anonymous handles. If we want to trust what is said we need to know who said it.

Quote:
And for what it matters, the strongest advocates for signed contributions are usually the same people who don't even bother to log in to make a contribution


If this refers to Bill, it's patent nonsense. If it refers to me, you are obviously unaware of contributions by me through other people using my material.

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Respect the volunteers.


If you can't respect the people who have been around for a lot longer than you and have done a lot more, you have a problem.

Knowledge is a problem.

No, knowledge is the problem. Not just knowledge of go, but of who contributors are, what the best structure is, and so on. SL should not be a kindergarten where kiddies slap playdoh everywhere, piddle on the floor and have a tantrum when other kiddies won't share toys. It should be a repository of knowledge. A library. (Clue: title of site - Sensei's Library).

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Post #53 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:51 am 
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Nice to see your claws out a bit on this one John. Very pertinent points as usual :)

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Post #54 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:01 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
HermanHiddema wrote:
If you make a page like, say: "Robert Jasiek / Mathematical Term Force", that will be picked up by a title search for "force".


SL search is too weak for that.

Search is only one way to find things. Much more importantly, links from related topic pages are a powerful way. Such don't give good access to UserName/ThisTopic pages though. In fact, I have overlooked such pages for many years because they are so hard to find.


Huh? SL search is pretty powerful, in fact.

Try these. Put into the search box in the top right the word "Chess" or "Theory" or "Iwamoto" and click search.

How quickly did you find my page on comparing Chess and Go, Dieter's page on Go Theory, Bill's page on his game with Iwamoto?

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Post #55 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:02 am 
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John is saying that we need signed contributions so that we can assess the credibility of editors. I'm not sure it will help that much. There are two ways it could matter: giving more information to readers, and giving more information to editors.

Readers: How many readers of SL will take the time to familiarize themselves with contributors? After all, that's a lot of work, and the kind of thing that you'll only passively acquire if you spend several years checking in on SL. User pages help a bit, but less than you'd think, and mainly with the very rare mid-high dans on SL. If someone is 1 dan, they're not strong enough to really comment on that many situations based on their own go judgment, and their 5kyu readers won't know when they are able. A 1 dan might do his homework, check in with public sources, databases, etc. and produce reliable content. But you won't know that from a user page--you'll have to see their other contributions.

Probably a lot of people on this particular discussions will have that knowledge because we've been around for a few years. But I don't know if we're representative of SL readers in general. Maybe SL is only read by the sort of people who are disposed to stick around and edit, but I rather doubt that.

Editors: There's a bit more here--an editor can use the reputation of contributors to help restructure articles, and most editors will have the kind of detailed knowledge of who's who. But by the same token, editors should know that even without signed contributions, you can see who posted a given piece of information from the page history.

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Post #56 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:04 am 
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tapir wrote:
I am tired that a thread on book reviews, yes, book reviews (not linking Kirk, but cross-posting for those who are interested and only those) gets hijacked like this for issuing rulings what SL has to do or to be in future. I would prefer it to be closed soon.

--

In the meantime we can as well correct some misconceptions:....


:grumpy:

CONTRAPRODUCTIVE.

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Post #57 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:07 am 
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I think it's pretty clear that the discussion of SL's merits is on topic. Moreover, if we moved the thread, we run the serious risk that John will think we're being twee and that he'll then depart L19 in disgust.

Summary:
Tapir: Why not post reviews on SL?
Many people: I have issues with SL, which is why I don't post book reviews.
Tapir/daal: Let's not discuss general concerns about SL here.
:grumpy:

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Post #58 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:32 am 
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+1 for hyperpape above.

+1 for John above.

Here's the thing. I've pointed out the breadth vs depth issue - the fact that everyone on SL knows something about go, and many probably think they know more than they do. Compared to WP, where people know about certain things, and focus on those things, on SL, people - those who take the time to write and edit - may be tempted to fiddle with too many pages.

The only way that SL could be truly effective - perhaps not for all articles, but for many of them that deal with concepts, techniques, etc. - is if there were articles signed, edited and managed by reputable, trusted people. In other words, John would write an article about, say, the new fuseki, and, while others would be able to edit it, he would be the one deciding which edits get retained.

Obviously, this would require a level of attentiveness that I'm sure most people won't be able to provide. You would need to monitor the pages you're responsible for, regularly, and be prepared to make changes when needed, but also to get into discussions (aka arguments) when people disagree.

People say that SL is a wiki and WP is not. I don't want to get into that discussion, but WP works, whereas SL doesn't. On WP, it's true that the basic tenet is to source information, and, for the most part, good WP pages have many references. As I've said, I work on a number of WP pages for subjects I know enough about and have enough books about to be able to provide information and references. SL can't always depend on references, because there aren't enough books. However, higher up in this thread, there was a comment on the page about haengma; what is to prevent people from citing books or articles? Even if they're not in English, at least citations and quotes would be presented. While this may not work for everything, a lot of pages about techniques could be sourced with quotes and diagrams from books and magazines. But that's a lot of work, and I get the feeling that one of the attitudes behind SL is "Let's not do too much work."

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Post #59 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:34 am 
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John is saying that we need signed contributions so that we can assess the credibility of editors. I'm not sure it will help that much.


(a) I didn't limit my remark to editors, and I mostly mean contributors anyway.

(b) I think you are underestimating the effect of a signature. The very fact that a person is prepared to sign something with his name (I do mean a name - not a non-name like hyperpape) tells us that he is willing to take responsibility and to accept a possible effect on his reputation. I respect that a lot.

Once a name is known, you don't always have to know too much about the owner's background. For example, seeing a name that you have only seen in a tournament table might tell you a lot about go strength. You are more likely to heed the owner's opinion on a tesuji if he keeps appearing at gthe top of the table. An obviously foreign name may alert you to the possibility that that person's opinions on the nuance of an English word may need circumspection. Even as simple a thing as a name being around a long time may be useful - at least that person hasn't yet been run off by the go community. Names that are known from books or programming projects or from jobs within national organisations also tell us a lot.

But actual names also provide a means to find out more. If I want to put stock in what a certain hyperpape says I'm at a dead end. If he reveals his real name is Wurzel Gummidge I have some prospect of finding out more.

There is also the point that to a large degree go is a closed community. There is some osmosis at the boundaries but most people have been around a while and would recognise an awful lot of names. I can't believe that a highly technical repository like SL has many casual eavesdroppers. Its readers may not be L19 readers but I'm sure the vast majority are committed go players who would recognise at least a decent proportion of names, and who would then know where to go to find out more if they really wanted to.

In reality, just having the name and the responsibility-taking it implies is enough for most of us. After all, most of us go to a doctor we don't know and we don't demand tests or proof of previous work. We trust the MD after his name and the medical and government system behind it. Occasionally that's a mistake but mostly it works. That sort of trust is certainly good enough for an informal game like go. What we have at present are too many graffiti artists known only by their tags. I don't respect that.

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Post #60 Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:35 am 
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kirkmc wrote:
But that's a lot of work, and I get the feeling that one of the attitudes behind SL is "Let's not do too much work."
No, and a bit brash when you yourself are not a contributor. But a realistic thought is that there are not so many contributors, most of whom cannot commit to monitoring pages. If they can, they can't commit to monitoring enough pages. Moreover, we should be wary of anything that raises the bar to entry, since there are not enough contributors.

Now, various types of reorganization might involve more work, but theoretically bring in new contributors. That's appealing, but it's also a gamble.

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