Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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So, as I’m sure I’ve never mentioned on here before, I love data. I used the Runkeeper app to track my running data, the Sleep Cycle app to track my sleeping data and (the now open source) wesabe to track my money data.  So, not surprisingly, one of the blogs I follow is Information is Beautiful.  This site takes data and makes it visually appealing and understandable.  A posting earlier this month caught my attention and I’ve been meaning to blog about it since forever!  As I’m too busy today1 to do my usual Sunday BC Premier posting, I’m finally getting around to blogging it today.  The posting was about “Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars.” For the uninitiated, Wikipedia articles are written by whoever wants to write them and generally result from people writing stuff, then other people providing more information and/or critiques and often the co-editors come to consensus2. Sometimes, however, they do not.  The “infographic” for this Info is Beautiful posting represents the Wikipedia pages that have had the biggest edit wars (i.e., people changing the same things back and forth because they just cannot agree) as pieces of paper with the size of the paper representing the number of edits.  Things like: Is the name of the South American country spelled “Brazil” or “Brasil” (page edited 11,571 times)?  Or should The Beatles be listed in the “traditional” order or alphabetical order? And is it “the Beatles” or “The Beatles” (page edited 17,608 times)?

But the one edit war, though not nearly the biggest one on the list, that caught my eye was: Arachnophobia: Should a page about fear of spiders contain a photo of a huge tarantula on it?  And I just have to say: what kind of a sick mofo would want to put such a horrid thing *anywhere*, let alone on a page like that? GAH!

  1. working on the course I’ll be teaching at UBC starting in September, since said course doesn’t seem to want to plan itself, plus I have to run 16 km []
  2. or one of the sides gives up on the argument []

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