Ever noticed anti-gun bias on Wikipedia?


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iowajones
July 10, 2008, 01:06 AM
I just read this (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/08/opinion/main4241293.shtml) article that was linked from John Lott's website (http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/2008/07/what-is-wrong-with-wikipedia.html) about censorship of views on Wikipedia that don't toe the line on global warming alarmism and I was wondering if anyone has noticed any anti-gun bias there. I use Wikipedia all the time to learn about different guns and calibers and other gun-related stuff and I must say that I personally have not noticed any bias, but I tend to read entries written by gun people about guns - not the entries about the brady campaign, IANSA, et al. Any examples of your edits being removed or similar outrages?

Here's the article text from CBS news dot com:
Ever wonder how Al Gore, the United Nations, and company continue to get away with their claim of a “scientific consensus” confirming their doomsday view of global warming? Look no farther than Wikipedia for a stunning example of how the global-warming propaganda machine works.

As you (or your kids) probably know, Wikipedia is now the most widely used and influential reference source on the Internet and therefore in the world, with more than 50 million unique visitors a month.

In theory Wikipedia is a “people’s encyclopedia” written and edited by the people who read it - anyone with an Internet connection. So on controversial topics, one might expect to see a broad range of opinion.

Not on global warming. On global warming we get consensus, Gore-style: a consensus forged by censorship, intimidation, and deceit.

I first noticed this when I entered a correction to a Wikipedia page on the work of Naomi Oreskes, author of the now-infamous paper, published in the prestigious journal Science, claiming to have exhaustively reviewed the scientific literature and found not one single article dissenting from the alarmist version of global warming.

Of course Oreskes’s conclusions were absurd, and have been widely ridiculed. I myself have profiled dozens of truly world-eminent scientists whose work casts doubt on the Gore-U.N. version of global warming. Following the references in my book The Deniers, one can find hundreds of refereed papers that cast doubt on some aspect of the Gore/U.N. case, and that only scratches the surface.

Naturally I was surprised to read on Wikipedia that Oreskes’s work had been vindicated and that, for instance, one of her most thorough critics, British scientist and publisher Bennie Peiser, not only had been discredited but had grudgingly conceded Oreskes was right.

I checked with Peiser, who said he had done no such thing. I then corrected the Wikipedia entry, and advised Peiser that I had done so.

Peiser wrote back saying he couldn’t see my corrections on the Wikipedia page. I made the changes again, and this time confirmed that the changes had been saved. But then, in a twinkle, they were gone again. I made other changes. And others. They all disappeared shortly after they were made.

Turns out that on Wikipedia some folks are more equal than others. Kim Dabelstein Petersen is a Wikipedia “editor” who seems to devote a large part of his life to editing reams and reams of Wikipedia pages to pump the assertions of global-warming alarmists and deprecate or make disappear the arguments of skeptics.

I soon found others who had the same experience: They would try to squeeze in any dissent, or even correct an obvious slander against a dissenter, and Petersen or some other censor would immediately snuff them out.

Now Petersen is merely a Wikipedia “editor.” Holding the far more prestigious and powerful position of “administrator” is William Connolley. Connolley is a software engineer and sometime climatologist (he used to hold a job in the British Antarctic Survey), as well as a serial (but so far unsuccessful) office seeker for England’s Green party.

And yet by virtue of his power at Wikipedia, Connolley, a ruthless enforcer of the doomsday consensus, may be the world’s most influential person in the global warming debate after Al Gore. Connolley routinely uses his editorial clout to tear down scientists of great accomplishment such as Fred Singer, the first director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service and a scientist with dazzling achievements. Under Connolley’s supervision, Wikipedia relentlessly smears Singer as a kook who believes in Martians and a hack in the pay of the oil industry.

Wikipedia is full of rules that editors are supposed to follow, and it has a code of civility. Those rules and codes don’t apply to Connolley, or to those he favors.

“Peisers crap shouldn’t be in here,” Connolley wrote several weeks ago, in berating a Wikipedian colleague during an “edit war,” as they’re called. Trumping Wikipedia’s stated rules, Connelly used his authority to ensure Wikipedia readers saw only what he wanted them to see. Any reference, anywhere among Wikipedia’s 2.5 million English-language pages, that casts doubt on the consequences of climate change will be bent to Connolley’s bidding.

Nor are Wikipedia’s ideological biases limited to global warming. As an environmentalist I find myself with allies and adversaries on both sides of the aisle, Left and Right. But there is no doubt where Wikipedia stands: firmly on the Left. Try out Wikipedia’s entries on say, Roe v. Wade or Intelligent Design, and you will see that Wikipedia is the people’s encyclopedia only if those people are not conservatives.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and author of The Deniers.

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Solo Flyer
July 10, 2008, 01:23 AM
I've not noticed a Wiki gun bias but maybe I haven't been paying enough attention.;)
Just read what I thought was a balanced article on Wyatt Earp recently.
Whoever edits most recently shifts the dialogue.More sources have to be consulted for really serious research.

Thernlund
July 10, 2008, 01:29 AM
I used to contribute heavily to Wikipedia in the area of firearms. I never saw any anti-gun bias. The only real problem was gamer kiddies trying to insert their favorite game into fireams articles. But never any anti.


-T.

RP88
July 10, 2008, 01:30 AM
type "gun control in the united states" in the search bar of wiki. You may be surprised.

Nematocyst
July 10, 2008, 01:31 AM
I find no bias on either topic by Wikipedia.

Halo
July 10, 2008, 01:43 AM
I haven't noticed any bias. One thing I don't particularly like though is the fact that someone used my image of an expanded 9mm hollow point on the article about the Virginia Tech shooter. It says something like "...used a 9mm hollow point bullet such as this". But when you commit something to the public domain I guess that can happen.

yhtomit
July 10, 2008, 02:04 AM
Depends :)

I have not noticed much "anti-gun" sentiment on Wikipedia, at least in the articles about particular guns or manufacturers. In fact, I was just editing the one on Kahr Arms -- was there at first to try to divine (ha ha) the origin of the name Kahr, since the company was founded by Justin Moon, rather than anyone named Kahr. (Did not find the answer, either -- does anyone know?)

In articles about "gun control" etc, I'd expect more of that stuff -- and do. But I find a lot more balance (and I don't mean sickly, tepid "some people say" schlock) on WP than I someones brace myself to find. Also, I edit when I have time and inclination; the quality on WP goes up, generally speaking, unless a particular article is part of on ongoing verbal battle.

timothy

LaEscopeta
July 10, 2008, 08:29 AM
Well I would think these articles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_States

…would have a large opportunity for basis, but I’m not seeing much. (Note, no basis means half of the article says things with which you don’t agree.) The article lists the assertions made by Kleck and Kellermann and the statistics they collected to supports their assertions. It also lists the criticism of the same.

HK G3
July 10, 2008, 08:42 AM
The global warming doesn't exist crowd is equally as credible as the holocaust deniers.

That said, wikipedia is a great resource for technical info on firearms, and I have not actually noticed any sort of anti-gun bias on wikipedia. In fact, they are usually quite balanced, and remember reading an article on wiki that was disputing the claims that a handgun ban actually prevented murders.

CYANIDEGENOCIDE
July 10, 2008, 09:41 AM
hk g3 are you supporting global warming or denying the holocaust? Seems to me one has little in the way of substantative evidence while the other has very blatant evidence. Or was your intention to draw a parallel between those who don't believe what the government says and totalitarian dictatorships who would enslave their citizens?
Please clarify your comment

Shung
July 10, 2008, 09:46 AM
Do you really think that the global warming doesnt exist (whatever you think the causes and the consequences may be) ?

Durruti
July 10, 2008, 10:19 AM
(Steering the conversation back towards firearms ;))

In my experience on Wikipedia, I've noticed more people towing our line than that of the antis. This probably has to do with the fact that there are more of us, and we seem to be more motivated. Of course, my perception is colored by the types of articles I'm likely to look at. I doubt many antis look at or edit articles on some of the more technical aspects of firearms.

For a good example of what I'd consider a poorly written article, look at AK-47 Variants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-47_variants). It spends some time criticizing the Assault Weapons Ban. Now, I agree with what the article says, but it's not exactly encyclopedia-type writing (maybe I'll get around to editing that one sometime).

MakAttak
July 10, 2008, 10:20 AM
Do you really think that the global warming doesnt exist (whatever you think the causes and the consequences may be) ?

I firmly believe that this is not gun related.

Grey_Mana
July 10, 2008, 10:26 AM
My part of the globe warms every morning, and cools in the afternoon. It also tends to warm up through the sping into summer, and cool down through the fall into winter.

ilbob
July 10, 2008, 10:27 AM
Do you really think that the global warming doesnt exist (whatever you think the causes and the consequences may be) ?
I believe that climate fluctuates over very long periods of time, and a one or two degree shift one way or the other over a century is not proof that man caused the shift nor that there is any need to do anything about it.

There is also very good reason to be suspicious of at least some of the data being used. For one thing, urban areas are always slightly warmer than non-urban areas. More areas on the earth are becoming urbanized over time, which might well lead to recorded temperatures showing some increase over time solely from increased urbanization.

RevolvingCylinder
July 10, 2008, 10:38 AM
The global warming doesn't exist crowd is equally as credible as the holocaust deniers.
Global warming is the holocaust. Really off-topic and inflammatory. Way to go.

The thing about Wikipedia is if there are errors and bias, the users can correct it. That's part of what makes Wikipedia unique.

another okie
July 10, 2008, 10:40 AM
One reason to be skeptical is not the science, which I am not qualified to judge, but because the people who push the hardest about it would want the same social policies even if it were not true.

In other words, it's a convenient reason to push for higher energy prices and taxes and more regulation of the economy. The goal for many progressives is getting Americans out of their cars and houses and into public transportation and apartments, and allowing government to make many more decisions about what is produced and consumed.

It also makes me uneasy to see advocates of global warming use arguments that they know are unreliable, such as using short term weather (hurricanes) as "proof" of global warming. When we had a bad hurricane season, that was presented as evidence of global warming. When we had a below average season, nothing was said. Climate and weather are different. I confronted one advocate about this and she said "well, the other side lies so we have to do the same to keep it even."

A related reason is the claim that "the discussion is over" or that "there is no argument any more." That's not how science works. Science should always be open to the other point of view and to new evidence.

And finally, I'm old enough that I was taught in college about the coming ice age, which would cause the wheat farms of the northern plains to freeze out and cause a huge drop in agricultural production.

wacki
July 10, 2008, 10:56 AM
Anyone that references Benny Peiser shows that they have at most an EXTREMELY LIMITED knowledge of global warming & it's politics.

Benny Peiser, a PhD in a non-hard science (anthropology), argued that this abstract is one of 34 since 1991 that debunked the consensus on global climate change:

AQUATIC BIOMASS RESOURCES AND CARBON-DIOXIDE TRAPPING
CHELF P, BROWN LM, WYMAN CE
BIOMASS & BIOENERGY 4 (3): 175-183 1993
Intensively managed microalgal production facilities are capable of fixing several-fold more carbon dioxide per unit area than trees or crops. Although CO2 is still released when fuels derived from algal biomass are burned, integration of microalgal farms for flue gas capture approximately doubles the amount of energy produced per unit of CO2 released. Materials derived from microalgal biomass also can be used for other long-term uses, serving to sequester CO2. Flue gas has the potential to provide sufficient quantities of CO2 for such large-scale microalgae farms. Viewing microalgae farms as a means to reduce the effects of a greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide, CO2) changes the view of the economics of the process. Instead of requiring that microalgae-derived fuel be cost competitive with fossil fuels, the process economics must be compared with those of other technologies proposed to deal with the problem of CO2 pollution. However, development of alternative, environmentally safer energy production technologies will benefit society whether or not global climate change actually occurs. Microalgal biomass production has great potential to contribute to world energy supplies, and to control CO2 emissions as the demand for energy increases. This technology makes productive use of arid and semi-arid lands and highly saline water, resources that are not suitable for agriculture and other biomass technologies.

If Benny Peiser truly believes that a pro-alternative energy paper debunks global warming then he has severe reading comprehension problems. This is just one of many rather ridiculous mistakes he's made.

wacki
July 10, 2008, 11:25 AM
As a side note, if an expert in the gun community wants to retain credibility he/she should be very careful as to what they say on global warming. I'm a big fan of Kopel but some of the experts he cites on this topic are the exact same people that said smoking doesn't cause cancer in the 80's. Experts should stick with what they know when claiming positions of authority. This is a critical lesson of credibility that way too many experts, including some of those that defend our rights, have not learned.

Dravur
July 10, 2008, 12:23 PM
Experts should stick with what they know when claiming positions of authority

You mean, like Al Gore? I have seen several articles by Climatologists, including the owner of the Weather Channel who claim that is total bunk. Also, you cited a guy who also claimed that, sure, even if it is bunk, we are ramming this through because that is what we want.... no matter the cost.

ummm, sounds like socialists who want power to me.

jerkface11
July 10, 2008, 12:31 PM
Global warming doesn't exist. Temperatures have dropped over the last 10 years. We had one of the coldest winters on record last year. Global Warming is a religion Al Gore is it's Mohamed.

bnkrazy
July 10, 2008, 01:26 PM
Anyhoo, back to Wikipedia...

There's a member here that created the image showing a progression of states that moved from may issue to shall issue and WP keeps pulling it for various reasons. They claim copyright violations/lack of documentation/anything they can to get it removed. He started a thread here somewhere several months ago looking for references to dates when each state law changed.

That's at least one blatant attempt to hide the pro-gun story...I'm sure there are others.

ETA: Here's the thread: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=359823

iowajones
July 10, 2008, 01:35 PM
There's a member here that created the image showing a progression of states that moved from may issue to shall issue and WP keeps pulling it for various reasons.
It's there now. I just checked. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concealed_carry_in_the_United_States

Rugerlvr
July 10, 2008, 01:40 PM
Wow. Lots of talk about global warming on a gun forum.:rolleyes:

Ragnar Danneskjold
July 10, 2008, 01:56 PM
One reason to be skeptical is not the science, which I am not qualified to judge, but because the people who push the hardest about it would want the same social policies even if it were not true.

In other words, it's a convenient reason to push for higher energy prices and taxes and more regulation of the economy. The goal for many progressives is getting Americans out of their cars and houses and into public transportation and apartments, and allowing government to make many more decisions about what is produced and consumed.

It also makes me uneasy to see advocates of global warming use arguments that they know are unreliable, such as using short term weather (hurricanes) as "proof" of global warming. When we had a bad hurricane season, that was presented as evidence of global warming. When we had a below average season, nothing was said. Climate and weather are different. I confronted one advocate about this and she said "well, the other side lies so we have to do the same to keep it even."

A related reason is the claim that "the discussion is over" or that "there is no argument any more." That's not how science works. Science should always be open to the other point of view and to new evidence.

And finally, I'm old enough that I was taught in college about the coming ice age, which would cause the wheat farms of the northern plains to freeze out and cause a huge drop in agricultural production.

Not gun related, but you said it all. That is why I'm skeptical. Not because of the direct science(though the earth has actually cooled in the past 3 years), but because the people shouting about man made global warming are the same socialist big government deceptive statists who would want these same measures to control our lives anyways.

bnkrazy
July 10, 2008, 01:57 PM
There's a member here that created the image showing a progression of states that moved from may issue to shall issue and WP keeps pulling it for various reasons.
It's there now. I just checked. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceal..._United_States


I'm glad it's up now. I only posted it to illustrate that there are rogue Wiki Admins that promote their agenda. I don't think Wiki as a whole has any bias. Individual Admins on the other hand...

La Pistoletta
July 10, 2008, 02:36 PM
Wikipedia is biased in favour of relativism; it dismisses objectivity (ie. truth) and endorses neutrality - ie. non-discriminatory between right and wrong, true and false.

iapetus
July 10, 2008, 02:40 PM
RevolvingCylinder

The thing about Wikipedia is if there are errors and bias, the users can correct it. That's part of what makes Wikipedia unique.

+1

Since using/editing Wikipedia regularly, what I've noticed is the extent to which so many other information sources (books, newspapers, TV, etc) need [citation needed] or [not NPOV] tags stuck on them.

Soybomb
July 10, 2008, 03:08 PM
Wikipedia is biased in favour of relativism; it dismisses objectivity (ie. truth) and endorses neutrality - ie. non-discriminatory between right and wrong, true and false.
One of the many flaws of the wikipedia project.

Wikipedia is useful but not quite to the extent that many who devote significant portions of their time to the project would like you and I to believe.

As evidence of anti-gun bias I'd present the arthur kellermann entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Kellermann Kellermann's study is of course one of the oldest and most thoroughly debunked anti-gun studies around. The criticism section of his entry is empty and the paragraph about his numbers is fairly weasely. Relevant criticism appears to have been pruned from the article. I suspect there are a number of similar firearm articles on wikipedia that are biased, intentionally or otherwise.

Another example is this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrostatic_shock article. I believe its largely authored by Michael Courtney. To me that sort of seems like the pope writing the article on christianity. If no one cares enough to wiki-bicker, a great deal of bias could remain in such an article. I can't speak for everyone but I personally feel like editing wiki pages is a waste of my time because of how quickly and easily quality work is often wasted by a random person's opinion.

Gordon Fink
July 10, 2008, 04:42 PM
I was just editing the one on Kahr Arms—was there at first to try to divine (ha ha) the origin of the name Kahr, since the company was founded by Justin Moon, rather than anyone named Kahr. (Did not find the answer, either—does anyone know?)

Uh … Justin Moon made it up to give his company a German-sounding name. I found that in an interview that was reprinted on the Kahr site.

~G. Fink

ilbob
July 10, 2008, 04:47 PM
Wikipedia is a valuable resource but it does seem to suffer from the theory that everything has two sides to it. facts are facts. they do not recognize that at all.

HK G3
July 10, 2008, 06:21 PM
Wow apparently I opened up a hornet's nest.

To clarify my comment, I'm saying that both the Holocaust and global warming are real. There is a great deal of substantial evidence for both.

The "evidence" against both are, for the most part, just wingnuts with an agenda, while the very few credible scientists disputing it tend to have a very large conflict of interest relative to their findings and income. There really is no debate amongst scientists as to Global Warming's veracity, much like there is no debate about the Holocaust's veracity amongst historians.

That we all speak of using logic and reason, as they are inherently superior to "feelings", to convince the antis of our position is interesting, seeing as so many are willing to ignore logic and reason on this issue.

And I think global warming is very much gun related. A lot of us hunt, and global warming could easily affect the game population in our areas. But I digress.

Blech, sorry to steer this off track again, I just wanted to clarify my comment so as not to be thought of as some idiot Holocaust denier.

At any rate, Wikipedia usually tends to be biased when you start to look at it with your own bias. I often use it casually when researching medical topics, and when doing more in-depth research to supplement what I've learned, often find they took a side in an area that is up for debate. For example, Crohn's disease isn't well understood, and some recent research indicates that it could be caused by bacteria, but Wiki, at the time that I was using it, stated that it was immune-mediated, as if there was no debate.

As someone said earlier, it takes the bias of the writers, but there are so many who can edit the articles that ultimately the bias gets flattened out. And the website does take bias seriously - I constantly see material on wiki that is flagged for potential bias, and undergoing investigation.

Gunnerpalace
July 10, 2008, 06:30 PM
When I look at Wikipedia it has a Pro-gun bias to me (not that that is bad ;) )

It is also worth noting the founder of Wikipedia Jim Wales is a Libertarian.

Ragnar Danneskjold
July 10, 2008, 06:44 PM
Leftists have been promoting the same controlling, big government, post-American, anti-growth policies for 50 years. All of a sudden "global warming" gets discovered in the mid 2000's and low and behold, the same solutions to global warming are the backward destructive policies that they have been preaching for decades. Sorry, I don't buy it.

Face it, they were searching for a scam they could pull to trick people into implementing the nonsense they have been trying at for years. They found such a scam in global warming.

Tully M. Pick
July 10, 2008, 09:09 PM
To clarify my comment, I'm saying that both the Holocaust and global warming are real.

Except that the new buzzword for "global warming" is "global climate change", and "The Holocaust" will always be "The Holocaust."

Soybomb, excellent post. Consensus does not equal truth.

LaEscopeta
July 14, 2008, 08:48 AM
Wikipedia is biased in favour of relativism; it dismisses objectivity (ie. truth) and endorses neutrality - ie. non-discriminatory between right and wrong, true and false.
Wikipedia is a valuable resource but it does seem to suffer from the theory that everything has two sides to it. facts are facts. they do not recognize that at all.There are countless articles in Wikipedia that clearly states true fact, without trying to present 2 sides. Like how rainbows are formed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow

And that Stockholm is the capital of Sweden:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm

There are other articles that do present both sides (or many sides) of an issue, like what were the causes of the American Civil War:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_the_American_Civil_War

Or even if it should be called the Civil War or the War of Northern Aggression.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=War_of_Northern_Aggression&redirect=no

I would not be surprised if the article on brussels sprouts presented two sides to the question of do they taste good.

When the issue is clearly a matter where facts show what the truth is Wikipedia frequently states the facts and the truth. When the currently available facts are inconclusive Wikipedia many times gives the alternative possibilities. And when the issue is a matter that cannot be settled by facts, they give the different opinions.

Of course the people who knock on my door to tell be how the facts positively prove their God & religion are the one and only will not agree on what is a matter of fact and which are matters of opinions, personal choice, etc.

jason10mm
July 14, 2008, 03:26 PM
I must be one of the few folk left who NEVER rely on wiki for anyhting important. To me it is a useful trivia source, but to rely on it for unbiased fact....wow.

I use it frequently to catch up on tv series, games, and book plots. I find it somewhat ok for biographies and country tidbits.

Can kids cite wikipedia for reports?

As for guns, I would be shocked if a bias didn't creep in there from one side or another. Wiki by definition is written by non-professionals (by that I mean folks who are not trained to eliminate bias in their writing, not that they are not a professional in the area they are writing about).

But then again, I am a Britannica guy, always have been.

Bartkowski
July 14, 2008, 04:00 PM
Wait, I thought we were going into another ice age 40 years ago?????

And what about the 30,000 scientists that signed the oregon petition? And why does the temperature rise before co2 levels do?

CRITGIT
July 14, 2008, 04:13 PM
Wow. Lots of talk about global warming on a gun forum.

Well over the past 3 years our range and shooting designated BLM land has prohibited shooting as a result of the increased temps and fire danger during summer months.
There's no place to run..no place to hide!:fire:

CRITGIT

Redtail
July 15, 2008, 03:07 AM
HK,

I respect your opinion about global warming but I think you need to dig deeper. Don't you know that they're trying to established a carbon tax? And why would you believe politicians anyway, they always lie. They said before that ice age will happen again or you remember that thing about y2k? But none of this came true, it's just a bunch of lies. It's just a tool of taking away people's liberty, that excuse for the common good. since you brought up global warming I think I have to post this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw

RPCVYemen
July 15, 2008, 10:47 AM
Let's suppose that I find a factual error and/or bias in a firearms related article. As a free man and independent thinker, what do I do?


Use the various wiki mechanisms to dispute the article?

Run to a gun boad - where I am sure that everyone will agree with me - and whine like an anti who just saw an AR-15?



Mike

arthurcw
July 15, 2008, 12:29 PM
I’m sorry but anyone who uses Wikipeadia as a real source for knowledge is beyond help. Any “source” where what is true is “what everyone says it is” is of very little use. I lament the fact that many in our (Re)Education System are allowing Wiki as a source in papers.

Use it at your own risk.

That said, the firearms articles seem to have very little “sky-is-falling-OMG-guns-kill-babies-and-deflower-young-virginal-minds” hysteria.

Off Topic – Anyone who believes that WE can destroy the Earth has a very over inflated view of humanity. We can mess up locals… and have. But funny how even after the largest disasters, life still finds a way to take back the land and sea.

IF, and that’s a very sketchy “if”, there is GW, we didn’t cause it and it will eventually give way to a Global Cooling. And if you want to worry about something, worry about that. Europe’s Little Ice Age didn’t do much for life in general.

Justin
July 15, 2008, 02:15 PM
Ok, look, this is a gun forum. Not a place to discuss global warming.

I'd rather not close this thread, as it has some useful posts.

Thanks.

JohnBT
July 15, 2008, 02:18 PM
I'm surprised anyone ever refers to Wikipedia for anything. There are much better sources for facts.

John

CNYCacher
July 15, 2008, 02:19 PM
The global warming doesn't exist crowd is equally as credible as the holocaust deniers.

Thanks for destroying what could have been a great thread.

Justin
July 15, 2008, 02:25 PM
In general, I've found Wikipedia to be a good place to find sources on a given topic. Any well-written Wikipedia article will have a rather large list of footnotes that give the sources for the information contained in the article. From there, it's pretty easy to use it as a jumping-off point to dig up information that, in some cases, I wouldn't have found in the first place.

For example, the Criticism of Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Wikipedia) entry on Wikipedia has 156 sourced footnotes.

In general, if a Wikipedia article isn't properly sourced, or contains information that may be incorrect, it's flagged with a warning at the top letting you know this.

Of course, like any other website (THR included), you have to go into it with your BS detector turned on, and be willing to engage your critical thinking skills. But at least they're up front about it.

Justin
July 15, 2008, 02:26 PM
Thanks for destroying what could have been a great thread.

You know, it wouldn't be an issue if people would just stick to the topic at hand.

Criminitly.

Gator
July 15, 2008, 03:42 PM
Any “source” where what is true is “what everyone says it is” is of very little use. I lament the fact that many in our (Re)Education System are allowing Wiki as a source in papers.


http://i34.tinypic.com/35iq58h.jpg

Thernlund
July 15, 2008, 04:16 PM
In general, I've found Wikipedia to be a good place to find sources on a given topic. Any well-written Wikipedia article will have a rather large list of footnotes that give the sources for the information contained in the article. From there, it's pretty easy to use it as a jumping-off point to dig up information that, in some cases, I wouldn't have found in the first place.

For example, the Criticism of Wikipedia entry on Wikipedia has 156 sourced footnotes.

In general, if a Wikipedia article isn't properly sourced, or contains information that may be incorrect, it's flagged with a warning at the top letting you know this.

Of course, like any other website (THR included), you have to go into it with your BS detector turned on, and be willing to engage your critical thinking skills. But at least they're up front about it.

That's right. Wikipedia is a fine source so long as you use it as a starting point, not an ending point.


-T.

Old Grump
July 15, 2008, 04:28 PM
For social issues like gun control or the debates on global warning or holocaust I do not use Wiki. I have a bad habit of being the kind of guy before computers who if he had a question on Abnormal Psychology or any other subject would go to the library and check out 9 books on the subject. I use Yahoo and Google the same way. I like Wiki for a quick reference especially on technical topics but use it as a spring board to other authorities. I have not found any anti-sentiment on guns in Wiki but I wasn't looking for any I am looking for technical info and that usually leads me elsewhere.

Off topic for just a second I seen high levels of snow when I was a munchkin, (middle 40-'s through the 60's) and I seen trees budding in January in the same time period, this is Wisconsin. I also was warned that New York was going to be covered by a 20' thick glacier by 2020. I heard the neo Nazi's and I knew people who had been in the camps, worked with them and ate lunch with them and saw their tattoo's every day.

I don't care what Wiki says about social issues it is a quick reference and it is good for that. I never considered it an authority till I read a book written by an authority that agreed with it. When it comes to looking up something on a particular model or strange caliber it is handy but not the final answer. I will not throw out the baby with the bath water because it is biased on a topic or even a few topics. To me it is needing a shovel to dig a hole with but a teaspoon will get me a sample. Wiki = teaspoon

Rugerlvr
July 15, 2008, 04:32 PM
I like reading gun articles on Wikipedia for entertainment and general knowledge purposes. I think for quick reference on gun models, and cartridges it's very useful. It's not authoritative by any means, and if I need a serious question answered, I look elsewhere.

RPCVYemen
July 15, 2008, 06:19 PM
We are way off topic, but a prof friend told me of a study in the last year where the error rate on Wikipedia was lower than in textbooks. I think the area studies was non-controversial and very factual - as I recall it, was organic chemistry, but I may be miss-remembering.

If an article has footnotes and citations, you can build a sort of "web of verification" - checking the citations and their footnotes. Not really a whole heck of a lot different from print that way.

Mike

iowajones
July 15, 2008, 09:56 PM
Let's suppose that I find a factual error and/or bias in a firearms related article. As a free man and independent thinker, what do I do?

1. Use the various wiki mechanisms to dispute the article?
2. Run to a gun boad - where I am sure that everyone will agree with me - and whine like an anti who just saw an AR-15?


Mike

Respectfully, Mike, maybe you (and others) missed the original point. I hope I didn't come off as whining. I don't see how I could have looking back at the OP. I simply read an article showing examples of seemingly flagrant abuse by people with authority on Wikipedia. Knowing that there are people out there who would love nothing more than to suppress facts that support our view of the necessity and usefulness of guns, I asked whether some of the people here who are tech savvy and edit Wikipedia have had similar experiences to those of the people in the article I read. Maybe that will get us back on topic.:D

RPCVYemen
July 15, 2008, 11:01 PM
Respectfully, Mike, maybe you (and others) missed the original point. I hope I didn't come off as whining. I don't see how I could have looking back at the OP. I simply read an article showing examples of seemingly flagrant abuse by people with authority on Wikipedia.

Have your tried disputing a Wikipedia, and followed their methodology? I don't know much about the process, but I see lots of pages that seem to be disputed, and you can click on a link and go to a talk page and read about the dispute. Have you done that with articles that you think are biased?

For example, look at the entries on John Lott and/or Arthur Kellerman. The neutrality of both has been disputed, and there are reams of arguments about them.

This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality.

As another example, the article on the 2nd Amendment seems pretty balances and fair to me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Mike

iowajones
July 16, 2008, 12:15 AM
Have your tried disputing a Wikipedia, and followed their methodology? I don't know much about the process, but I see lots of pages that seem to be disputed, and you can click on a link and go to a talk page and read about the dispute. Have you done that with articles that you think are biased?

I haven't participated in Wikipedia editing either, and that's why I asked people about their experiences. Again, I read the article suggesting that people's contributions were summarily dismissed and I thought people here might have some insight as to whether this is or is not the norm. I never said I , personally, thought any articles were biased. You can scroll up and read my posts. I'm not interested in what you or anybody thinks is biased per se. What I wondered is if anyone had the information they contributed deleted by, at the risk of being criticized, wikipedia nazis, who delete anything they don't agree with - like the authors of the article claim happened.

I don't know where this "well, why don't you do something about the bias if you don't like it" stuff is coming from, because I just asked for peoples' thoughts on the subject, and I feel like it was an honest question and not a stupid or obvious one. Maybe I shouldn't have included the article text in the original post, since global warming seems to have clouded the issue, but bnkrazy provided one example of what I was asking about in his/her first post. That example looks like it was subsequently fixed, so maybe there is not a similar problem in our little corner of the world.

RPCVYemen
July 16, 2008, 12:31 AM
I never said I , personally, thought any articles were biased. You can scroll up and read my posts.

You are in fact correct, and I apologize. I read the whole thread quickly, and saw many other folks complaining. However, your original post was in fact seeking comment on John Lott's article. I read it as an endorsement of that article, and that reading was incorrect. I was wrong.

Mike

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