Hello Lodewijk and Charles,

I am now quickly responding after arriving in my hotel. The question
whether it is about Wikipedia or about knowledge - I am not sure, but I
think that it is a very useful, structuring question.

About „oral traditions“. I don‘t have my books here, but I give you an
example what I mean. I remember the case (I hope correctly) from Johannes
Fried, Der Schleier der Erinnerung.

There was a territory in Africa, occupied by the British in the 19th
century. Shortly after, they wanted to learn more about this territory.
There were no history books, but they asked the inhabitants. For example,
why is this territory divided in seven provinces. The British got the
answer: Once there was a king. He had seven sons. So he divided the
territory into seven provinces, each for every son.

Time went by. The British colonial rule changed the administrative division
of the territory. They reduced the number of provinces from seven to five.
Decades later, in the 20th century, the colonial rule came to an end.
Shortly before that, the British asked the inhabitants about the territory
again. They got to hear: Once there was a king. He had five sons. So he
divided the territory into five provinces.

The human brain and memory, and collective memory, are not unchangeble
unlike paper. They adapt. The human brain is not made to record data for
historians but to deal with life. You cannot remember everything. When
needed, your brain builds up a new story from remembered fragments and
tries to keep the new story coherent with present information.

About an „oral traditions“ project outside of Wikipedia: It has been
proposed. But it will encounter problems like any other platform for „oral
history“. It is a lot of work, it can attract extremists, and you have to
make sure that the content is actually usuable for historians or other
scientists (e.g., the person speaking must be identified correctly). And,
of course, the testimonials have to undergo the same scrutiny as any other
historical source. In my experience most scientists prefer to interview
people by themselves, under their own conditions, and being the first to
use the material.

Kind regards,
Ziko





Lodewijk <lodew...@effeietsanders.org> schrieb am Mi. 4. Okt. 2017 um 22:11:

> And that is where the broader Wikimedia movement could come in, to provide
> that pipeline of rigor and reliability, right? I don't know a solution
> either, but the question for the strategy is not whether we have a solution
> right now. The question would be whether the movement should work towards
> finding a solution through our ecosystem (or even beyond), and support
> that. Maybe at the end of this process, some information may end up on
> Wikipedia - if the process proves to be reliable enough. And maybe not.
>
> I also agree with the nuance by Charles, that we're talking about many
> different types of knowledge - some of which may be more suitable than
> others.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> On Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 12:53 PM, Yaroslav Blanter <ymb...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Yes, but if oral tradition is recorded at the academic standard, why
> should
> > we be the first publication venue? Usually these people just publish
> books
> > in academic publishing houses.
> >
> > Cheers
> > Yaroslav
> >
> > On Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 9:51 PM, Peter Southwood <
> > peter.southw...@telkomsa.net> wrote:
> >
> > > There may be a way to do it on another project designed for the
> purpose,
> > > but that cannot be English Wikipedia, and I doubt that any project that
> > > allows anonymous editing could manage it credibly. Oral tradition would
> > at
> > > least have to be sourced to the teller, and would have to be recorded
> by
> > a
> > > reliable and identified recorder, who can be held responsible for their
> > due
> > > diligence. This would not be an easy thing for a crowdsourced project,
> > but
> > > anything less would be like a magnet for everything we don't want.
> > > Cheers,
> > > Peter
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> > > Behalf Of Chandres Wikipedia
> > > Sent: Wednesday, 04 October 2017 9:25 PM
> > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Strategy] September 28: Strategy update -
> > > Final draft of movement direction and endorsement process (#25)
> > >
> > > I do not have a perfect solution to introduce oral traditions in
> > Wikipedia
> > > today, but I’m convince that we need to find a way to do it.
> > >
> > > Just to give you an illustration:
> > >
> > > Today ,a significative amount of African topics in the Wikipedia in
> > French
> > > rely only on the work of only few French historian. Without saying they
> > are
> > > not honest, I find difficult to consider that there words have really
> so
> > > more value than the words of the Ancient of the African tribes.
> > >
> > > We know for sure than oral tradition will include bias, but do not
> forget
> > > that the «  traditional western historian work » are not exempt of bias
> > too.
> > >
> > > Charles
> > >
> > > PS: IMHO, I find offensive the way you define oral traditions, but it
> may
> > > be caused by a misconception from my part.
> > >
> > > These are the definition I use for urban legend and oral tradition,
> very
> > > different each other I think.
> > > urban <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/urban#English> legend <
> > > https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/legend#English> (plural urban legends <
> > > https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/urban_legends#English>)
> > > A widely circulated story <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/story> that
> is
> > > untrue <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/untrue> or apocryphal <
> > > https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/apocryphal>, often having elements of
> > > humour <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/humour> or horror <
> > > https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/horror>.
> > > oral <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/oral#English> tradition <
> > > https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tradition#English> (countable <
> > > https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary#countable> and
> > > uncountable <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary#
> > uncountable>,
> > > plural oral traditions <https://en.wiktionary.org/
> > > wiki/oral_traditions#English>)
> > > Cultural <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/culture> material
> transmitted <
> > > https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/transmit> orally from one generation <
> > > https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/generation> to another.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > Le 4 oct. 2017 à 21:11, Yaroslav Blanter <ymb...@gmail.com> a écrit
> :
> > > >
> > > > You might be right, and the goal is indeed to differentiate between
> > > > them. I just do not see how it could be implemented in practice. A
> > > > legend is a legend, be it urban or not.
> > > >
> > > > Cheers
> > > > Yaroslav
> > > >
> > > > On Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 9:09 PM, Chandres Wikipedia
> > > > <chandres...@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >>
> > > >>> to Wikipedia. They might still be a separate WMF project, which is
> > > >>> likely to be problematic (since it is really difficult to
> > > >>> differentiate between say folk tales and the oral traditions which
> > > >>> state that Earth is flat and that all US presidents report to the
> > > >>> Zionist Occupational Government),
> > > >> but
> > > >>>
> > > >>
> > > >> For me, your definition of oral tradition is the one of « urban
> legend
> > > ».
> > > >> TO my understanding, oral tradition refer to culture where the
> > > >> History of the tribes/nation/people is transmit only by a spoken way
> > > >> and never put on paper.  Am I wrong?
> > > >>
> > > >> charles
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
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