Here’s my piece talking about Wikipedia @15 that ran on The Washington Post
this morning.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/01/15/wikipedia-just-turned-15-years-old-will-it-survive-15-more/

I’ll post some personal reflections later. Happy 15th all!


On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 8:31 AM, Amir Ladsgroup <ladsgr...@gmail.com> wrote:

> About the celebration in Tehran, I think this video
> <https://twitter.com/ablomof/status/687618946699231233> is worth watching
> :)
>
> P.S. The hashtag we used for the celebration #wikipedia15fa is now being
> used widely by everyone \o/
>
> Best
>
> On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 2:03 PM Yusuke Matsubara <w...@whym.org> wrote:
>
> > On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 5:42 PM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <pute...@mccme.ru>
> > wrote:
> > > You may think by now we are in the free information world, and the
> > players of the 1980 Japanese ice hockey team are on Wikipedia.
> > (snip)
> > > Japanese Wikipedia, as far as I can tell, is not better. A team of
> > mystery persons.
> >
> > Try then the freely editable knowledge base. :) Two of them [1] are
> > now on Wikidata:
> > http://tinyurl.com/zganwzg
> > http://tinyurl.com/jgdnxwu
> > (click "Execute" to see the list)
> >
> > Happy birthday and thanks for sharing your stories - an excellent way
> > to celebrate.
> >
> > -Yusuke
> >
> > [1] Herb Wakabayashi - apparently, a Canadian who was naturalized to
> > Japan later - is not in the query results. That piece of information
> > is missing on Wikidata and I couldn't find a credible source to cite
> > immediately.
> >
> > On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 5:42 PM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <pute...@mccme.ru>
> > wrote:
> > > On 2016-01-15 00:30, Mardetanha wrote:
> > >>
> > >> Dear Fellow Wikimedians
> > >> I would like to congratulate you on Wikipedia's 15th birthday, it was
> > >> historic moment for all of us, I am glad to let you know we had a
> > >> celebration in Tehran and we were the first country to celebrate it.
> > >> you can find images here
> > >> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_15_in_Iran
> > >> Mardetanha
> > >> _______________________________________________
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> ,
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> > >
> > >
> > > I feel like today is time for stories, and I guess this thread is
> exactly
> > > the place we can share some stories today. I wish everybody does, since
> > this
> > > is a nice way to celebrate 15y.
> > >
> > > It could be in principle anything remotely Wikimedia related. For
> > example,
> > > the highest real-life rank of a person I ever blocked on Wikipedia was
> a
> > > member of the European parliament (or someone impersonating him). But
> > these
> > > stories mainly reveal human stupidity, and today we want to talk more
> on
> > the
> > > human knowledge. Therefore I am going to spend my daily quota of
> > wikimedia-l
> > > post for smth else.
> > >
> > > I was born in 1967 in the Soviet Union and I am coming from a
> > pre-internet
> > > generation. I first used internet in 1995 or so, past my PhD degree.
> > > However, I was always interested in learning things, this is probably
> > why I
> > > later joined the Wikimedia movement. And I was a pretty
> > advanced-knowledge
> > > teenager, knowing things my peers would normally not know anything
> about,
> > > and I was interested in all kinds of stuff: from exact sciences to
> > history
> > > and languages and to geographical names. It was really painful to get
> any
> > > non-mainstream information. Let me give you a couple of example of the
> > > problems I encountered.
> > >
> > > One was languages. Well, for mainstream foreign languages like English
> or
> > > German it was relatively easy to find textbooks and dictionaries. They
> > were
> > > nothing like modern means of language learning, for example the Teach
> > > Yourself series, not even speaking of online courses. Other languages
> > were
> > > more difficult. Some languages were impossible. Well, I grew up in
> > Moscow,
> > > which had a 10M population, and there were couple of libraries where I
> > > presumably could find dictionaries of even uncommon languages, but
> these
> > > were difficult to get in (normally one had to be 18 yo), they did not
> let
> > > the books out of the building, and for a number of practical reasons
> they
> > > were not really an option. On the other hand, I was hiking a lot in
> > Central
> > > Asia, and I was suffering from inability to understand what the local
> > Turkic
> > > names (in Kazakh and Kyrghyz mainly) mean. Well, you learn soon that
> > Ak-Suu
> > > means "White river", meaning "aq" is white and "suu" is a river, but
> > this is
> > > about it). So what I did I searched all available literature at home
> and
> > > around including the school library, and came up with a list of about
> 100
> > > words. This was my own, personal, self-made Kyrghyz-Russian dictionary.
> > It
> > > was weird, since, for example, did not include verbs, and it did not
> > help me
> > > to speak Kyrghyz in any sense - and I still do not - but it was fine to
> > > understand the names and to feel kind of like at home. Now we have of
> > course
> > > professional dictionaries available online. (Kyrghyz is still not in a
> > > Google translate though).
> > >
> > > The second story. For whatever reason, when I was about twelve, I
> needed
> > to
> > > have Japanese names. I do not remember why I needed them, but Japanese
> > names
> > > were notoriously difficult to find. The books I had available only
> > mentioned
> > > a few individuals. The newspapers rarely wrote about Japan, and again
> > only
> > > mentioned a few individuals. Then there happened the 1980 Winter
> > Olympics in
> > > Lake Placid, and Japanese team entered the ice hockey tournament. (They
> > > ended up last). There was a sports newspaper which I had access to,
> which
> > > published the results of the games, and of course ice hockey was at the
> > time
> > > a great deal in Russia (on that Olympics, the Soviet team lost to the
> US
> > > team in the finals, which is still considered to be a major fuckup),
> but
> > > apparently they did not publish all the names of the players, only last
> > > names of those who scored a goal. Japanese rarely scored, and there was
> > my
> > > tough luck. But them the same newspaper opened a hotline - one could
> > phone a
> > > certain number, and they would answer any question related to the
> > results of
> > > the Olympics. I thought this is my chance. I was dead afraid calling
> > people
> > > I do not know, but I still collected a piece of paper, a pen and
> phoned.
> > A
> > > nice female voice answered, and I said I would like to have names of
> the
> > > Japanese ice hockey team players. The nice voice answered that the team
> > is
> > > too big, and their policy is not to give long answers. That was the end
> > of
> > > it.
> > >
> > > You may think by now we are in the free information world, and the
> > players
> > > of the 1980 Japanese ice hockey team are on Wikipedia. Well, check
> them.
> > The
> > > names are there (it takes a while to find the list of names on the
> > English
> > > Wikipedia - I believe the only article they are listed is [[Japan at
> the
> > > 1980 Winter Olympics]]), but only one of them - [[Herb Wakabayashi]],
> who
> > > died last year - has an article. Japanese Wikipedia, as far as I can
> > tell,
> > > is not better. A team of mystery persons.
> > >
> > > Happy 15y celebrations.
> > >
> > > Cheers
> > > Yaroslav
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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