Nice article ... :)

Hi Tinu,

One doubt in referencing; can we keep text indic languages as reference in
English wikipedia ?

Naveen Francis
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On 8 August 2011 23:13, CherianTinu Abraham <tinucher...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> *NewYork Times : "When Knowledge Isn’t Written, Does It Still Count?"*
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/08/business/media/a-push-to-redefine-knowledge-at-wikipedia.html
>
>
> *“MAKING fun of Wikipedia is so 2007,” a French journalist said recently
> to Sue Gardner, the executive director of the foundation that runs the
> Wikipedia project.*
> *
> *
> *And so Ms. Gardner, in turn, told an auditorium full of Wikipedia
> contributors and supporters on Thursday in Haifa, Israel, the host city for
> the seventh annual Wikimania conference, where meetings and presentations
> focus on the world’s most used, and perhaps least understood, online
> reference work.*
> *
> *
> *Once routinely questioned about its reliability — what do you mean,
> anyone can edit it? — the site is now used every month by upwards of 400
> million people worldwide. But with influence and respect come
> responsibility, and lately Wikipedia has been criticized from without and
> within for reflecting a Western, male-dominated mindset similar to the
> perspective behind the encyclopedias it has replaced.*
> *
> *
> *Seeing Wikipedia as The Man, in so many words, is so 2011.*
> *
> *
> *And that’s a problem for an encyclopedia that wants to grow. Some critics
> of Wikipedia believe that the whole Western tradition of footnotes and
> sourced articles needs to be rethought if Wikipedia is going to continue to
> gather converts beyond its current borders. And that, in turn, invites an
> entirely new debate about what constitutes knowledge in different parts of
> the world and how a Western institution like Wikipedia can capitalize on it.
> *
> *
> *
> *Achal Prabhala, an adviser to Ms. Gardner’s Wikimedia Foundation who
> lives and writes in Bangalore, India, has made perhaps the most trenchant
> criticism in a video project, “People are Knowledge,” that he presented in
> Haifa (along with its clunky subtitle, “Exploring alternative methods of
> citation for Wikipedia”).*
> *
> *
> *The film, which was made largely with a $20,000 grant from the Wikimedia
> Foundation, spends time showing what has been lost to Wikipedia because of
> stickling rules of citation and verification. If Wikipedia purports to
> collect the “sum of all human knowledge,” in the words of one of its
> founders, Jimmy Wales, that, by definition, means more than printed
> knowledge, Mr. Prabhala said.*
> *
> *
> *In the case of dabba kali, a children’s game played in the Kerala state
> of India, there was a Wikipedia article in the local language, Malayalam,
> that included photos, a drawing and a detailed description of the rules, but
> no sources to back up what was written. Other than, of course, the 40
> million people who played it as children.*
> *
> *
> *There is no doubt, he said, that the article would have been deleted from
> English Wikipedia if it didn’t have any sources to cite. Those are the rules
> of the game, and those are the rules he would like to change, or at least
> bend, or, if all else fails, work around.*
> *
> *
> *“There is this desire to grow Wikipedia in parts of the world,” he said,
> adding that “if we don’t have a more generous and expansive citation policy,
> the current one will prove to be a massive roadblock that you literally
> can’t get past. There is a very finite amount of citable material, which
> means a very finite number of articles, and there will be no more.”*
> *
> *
> *Mr. Prabhala, 38, who grew up in India and then attended American
> universities, has been an activist on issues of intellectual property,
> starting with the efforts in South Africa to free up drugs that treat H.I.V.
> In the film, he gives other examples of subjects — an alcohol produced in a
> village, Ga-Sabotlane, in Limpopo, South Africa, and a popular
> hopscotch-type children’s game, tshere-tshere — beyond print documentation
> and therefore beyond Wikipedia’s true-and-tried method.*
> *
> *
> *There are whole cultures, he said, that have little to no printed
> material to cite as proof about the way life is lived.*
> *
> *
> *“Publishing is a system of power and I mean that in a completely
> pleasant, accepting sense,” he said mischievously. “But it leaves out
> people.”*
> *
> *
> *But Mr. Prabhala offers a solution: he and the video’s directors, Priya
> Sen and Zen Marie, spoke with people in African and Indian villages either
> in person or over the phone and had them describe basic activities. These
> recordings were then uploaded and linked to the article as sources, and
> suddenly an article that seems like it could be a personal riff looks a bit
> more academic.*
> *
> *
> *For example, in his interview with a South African villager who explained
> how to make the alcoholic drink, morula, she repeatedly says that it is best
> if she demonstrates the process. When the fruit is ready, said the villager,
> Philipine Moremi, according to the project’s transcript of her phone
> conversation, “we pry them open. We are going to show you how it is done.
> Once they are peeled, we seal them to ferment and then we drink.” The idea
> of treating personal testimony as a source for Wikipedia is still
> controversial, and reflects the concerns that dominated the encyclopedia
> project six years ago, when arguably its very existence was threatened.*
> *
> *
> *After a series of hoaxes, culminating in a Wikipedia article in 2005 that
> maligned the newspaper editor John Seigenthaler for no discernible reason
> other than because a Wikipedia contributor could, the site tried to ensure
> that every statement could be traced to a source.*
> *
> *
> *Then there is the rule “no original research,” which was meant to say
> that Wikipedia doesn’t care if you are writing about the subway station you
> visit every day, find someone who has written reliably on the color of the
> walls there.*
> *
> *
> *“The natural thing is getting more and more accurate, locking down
> articles, raising the bar on sources,” said Andrew Lih, an associate
> professor of journalism at the University of Southern California, who was an
> early contributor to Wikipedia and has written a history of its rise. “Isn’t
> it great we have so many texts online?”*
> *
> *
> *But what works for the most developed societies, he said, won’t
> necessarily work for others. “Lots of knowledge is not Googleable,” he said,
> “and is not in a digital form.”*
> *
> *
> *Mr. Lih said that he could see the Wikipedia project suddenly becoming
> energized by the process of documenting cultural practices around the world,
> or down the street.*
> *
> *
> *Perhaps Mr. Prabhala’s most challenging argument is that by being
> text-focused, and being locked into the Encyclopedia Britannica model,
> Wikipedia risks being behind the times.*
> *
> *
> *An 18-year-old is comfortable using “objects of trust that have been
> created on the Internet,” he said, and “Wikipedia isn’t taking advantage of
> that.” And, he added, “it is quite possible that for the 18-year-old of
> today that Wikipedia looks like his father’s project. Or the kind of thing
> his father might be interested in.”*
> *
> *
> *Ouch.*
>
>
>
>
> Regards
> Tinu Cherian
>
>
>
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>
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