Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
It's funny.  Laugh.

Wikipedia's New Archnemesis 335

Posted by Hemos
from the the-joy-of-cartoon-rivals dept.
euniana writes "Forget about Britannica, and meet Uncyclopedia. Formally the adoptive first cousin of Wikipedia, Uncyclopedia stands for everything Wikipedia cannot have: misinformation, satire, and lies. Does this prove that satire and humour can take off in a collaborative environment, a possibility often contested by grumpy Wikipedians? What many people don't know is that the Wikipedia article on the Flying Spaghetti Monster was partly copied from the FSM article on Uncyclopedia. Will the confusion ever end?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wikipedia's New Archnemesis

Comments Filter:
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:08AM (#13596501) Homepage Journal
    Ralph: "Where do I learn everything? The Uncyclopedia!"
    Chief Wiggum: "Ha ha ha! That's my boy!"
  • by justforaday (560408) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:09AM (#13596517)
    Good to see the fine folks at uncyclopedia are participating in Talk Like a Pirate Day [talklikeapirate.com].
  • by suso (153703) *
    This makes sense. A lot of people who help moderate Wikipedia have their own opinions on what should and shouldn't be articles on the wiki. They also have some questionable policies on doing your own research. While I can see the point of not accepting information from non-verifiable sources. It also prevents Wikipedia from growing beyond a certain amount of information. I would think that one of the great things about Wikipedia would be to provide a NPOV and extensive information for a lot of subjects
    • by justforaday (560408) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:14AM (#13596580)
      Likewise, Uncyclopedia can cover all the global information that Wikipedia cannot. So I think there is a place for the content of Uncyclopedia, or as they say Arr, Pirateopedia.

      It sounds like you've never actually read anything at uncyclopedia (nor can you, for today at least). Go back there tomorrow and take a good look around. I'd suggest hitting the "random article" button a few times for starters.
      • by interiot (50685) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:39AM (#13596794) Homepage
        Uncyclopedia is for people gifted at humor, to create an "alternate reality" that's only perhipherally related to any realistic wikis (wikipedia, city wikis).

        Though I don't quite understand why Uncyclopedia has to be internally consistent. If Oprah Winfrey's page can describe a history that's so far away from reality (yet still funny), why isn't there room for alternate histories of Oprah Winfrey that are similarly humorous?

    • by interiot (50685) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:31AM (#13596732) Homepage
      The "no original research" rule may be applied maybe a little too much, but it definitely has its place. Read the "origin of this policy [wikipedia.org]" section of the rule's page. The rule is one of the better ways to get rid of physics cranks, and applies generally to topics which there ARE experts out there who can validate theories, but which Wikipedia's semi-democracy [wikipedia.org] isn't capable of properly scrutinizing. (on the other hand, pages like the Electric Universe concept [wikipedia.org] are somehow allowed to survive, consisting mainly of many scientific details that have never been published).
    • by superpulpsicle (533373) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:37AM (#13596780)
      The best thing about Wikipedia is the fact that people without advanced PhD degrees can make a contribution too.

    • Likewise, Uncyclopedia can cover all the global information that Wikipedia cannot. So I think there is a place for the content of Uncyclopedia,

      No. I think you misunderstand the point of Uncyclopedia - go and read it through Coral Cache [nyud.net] and you will see what I mean.

      or as they say Arr, Pirateopedia.

      Amusingly enough, someone (since you've posted I believe) has added this to the top of the front page:

      Ahoy, me hearty and welcome to Pirateopedia (formally HMS Uncyclopedia), the duty-free encyclopedia that pirate

  • So they're cloning slashdot?
    Uncyclopedia stands for everything Wikipedia cannot have: misinformation, satire, and lies
  • Hmm.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by hungrygrue (872970) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:11AM (#13596549) Homepage
    Colaborative effort to spread misinformation and confuse lies? I thought that had already been done: http://www.rnc.org/ [rnc.org] ?
  • I dont know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UndyingShadow (867720) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:13AM (#13596556)
    I visit wikipedia mainly because it is the perfect "pop culture" encyclopedia. Its great for quick searches on things traditional sources wont have for years. However, when doing detailed academic research, I avoid it because I'd rather have information from EXPERTS. Same with this "Uncyclopedia" I'd rather get my humor from EXPERTS (like the onion) and actual funny people than just any AOLer with a fart joke to tell.
    • Do what I did - read Onion for five minutes, and smile vauggely. Read some of the meaty articles in Uncyclopedia for the same length of time, and gibber convulsively. See "Kitten Huffing" for instance.
    • I've contributed to Uncyclopedia in the past (please note the entry for Boba Fett... I'd link to it but the site's been /.'ed).

      There are a lot of funny people out there, but they don't always have time time to create a site where they can be funny on their own. Sites like this let anyone with something funny to say get it out in a clean, formal way. Sure, there is some lame stuff on there, but most of those articles are well-written and thoughful.
    • Wikipedia is good even in those cases to get some launch points to do additional research. I try to base my arguments on verifiable facts available from legal code, government statistic sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, and reputable financial analysis sites, but occasionally when looking for something, I need something like Wikipedia to get me pointed in the right direction.
    • Re:I dont know (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kevin Stevens (227724) <kevstev@@@gmail...com> on Monday September 19, 2005 @12:25PM (#13597105)
      If youre using any encyclopedia for "detailed academic research" and not just as a starting point to get a general overview of a subject, I have to wonder if you have any place doing academic research at all.
    • Re:I dont know (Score:3, Insightful)

      by birge (866103)
      So you think Encyclopedia Brittanica hires expert to write all of their articles? If you want a chance at a real expert, I actually think the Wikipedia is not a bad place to look. Often, the people writing articles on scientific topics are those currently doing research in those areas. Were Britannica to actually pay these people to write articles, they'd go bankrupt. I think your entire post was pure conjecture based on bias. Amazingly enough, if you actually read articles on Wikipedia (which you should do
  • I could see this turning into a competitor for snopes [snopes.com]. I have always HATED the layout of that site, but it's so damn indispensible. I would love to able to turn to a wiki for the same "No, you're an idiot for forwarding this to me" insights that have made me smile in the past.

    Sadly, I believe the Uncyclopedia could quickly turn into some kind of meta-statement on itself, with every urban legend having "supporters" and detractors. I mean, if I turn to it for real information about bullshit, then aren't they

    • by tpgp (48001) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:43AM (#13596819) Homepage
      I could see this turning into a competitor for snopes.*snip* Sadly, I believe the Uncyclopedia could quickly turn into some kind of meta-statement on itself, with every urban legend having "supporters" and detractors.

      Well - the site was slashdotted, so a little hard for you to rtfa - but maybe next time wait & read before posting.

      This is nothing like snopes. It is a satire/joke encyclopedia. You will not be able to forward anything authorative from here to your friends.

      Oh - if you really find snopes too hard to navigate, just do a google search with site:snopes.com included.
  • by yecrom2 (461240) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:15AM (#13596585)
    check here [wikipedia.org]

  • by packman (156280) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:15AM (#13596588) Homepage
    what about Encyclopedia Dramatica [encycloped...matica.com]? :)
    • by stevey (64018)

      Or the Wiki After Dark [wikiafterdark.com]?

      That contains some funny pages, I remember visiting it by accident once via a google search...

    • They apparently issued DMCA takedown notices against Uncyclopedia and Wikipedia recently over some apparent pictures of ED's apparent founder. ED's sense of (apparent) humour is also a smidgen (and by "smidgen" I mean "dump-truck", apparently) more brutal, apparently, than that of Uncyclopedia as well.
  • When? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:15AM (#13596591)
    Will the confusion ever end?


    Actually, according to the Uncyclopedia, the confusion is scheduled to end 5 Dec 2014. Though I am confused why.

  • ...misinformation, satire, and lies. Does this prove that satire and humour can take off...?

    Well, the misinformation and lies, at least, have entropy on their side. Not only can they "take off", they're destiny...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:22AM (#13596651)
    on uncyclopedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncyclopedia [wikipedia.org]

    and uncyclopedia article on wikipedia:
    http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia [uncyclopedia.org]
  • This is not a satire
    but is there any mirror for this uncyclopedia !?!

  • Satire? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Darvin (878219)
    But FSMism isn't satire. It's real.
  • by GozzoMan (808286) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:28AM (#13596704)

    First, I don't see how the two projects conflict with each other, since their objectives are simply different and not in any way opposing.

    Second, I'd like some pointers to "Grumpy Wikipedians" contesting the possibility that "satire and humour can take off in a collaborative environment". If this statement comes from the fact that satire and humor in Wikipedia are not allowed in the compiling of articles, it seems to me a case of complete non-sequitur.

    Third, I don't see any confusion here: Wikipedia is an encyclopdia, Uncyclopedia is a satire of an encyclopedia (more or less); it doesn't seem confounding at all to me that there can be some content exchange between the two, especially in the context of humor-related articles and net folklore.
  • slashdot? (Score:3, Funny)

    by iLogiK (878892) <adrian AT adrianmester DOT com> on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:28AM (#13596706) Homepage
    http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Slashdot [uncyclopedia.org]

    The Sovereign State of Slashdot (http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] is an independent nation roughly located between the Republic of Sourceforge and Jesus Ocean. Formerly a member of the UN, Slashdot left and joined the UN's arch-enemy, NATO, following its invasion by Oprah in the Gulf War.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:29AM (#13596717) Homepage Journal
    I think, "Evil Twin" is much more appropriate.

    That Flying Spaghetti Monsterism article is an example of what bothers me most about Wikipedia. If something gets a lot of attention online generates a lot of Google hits, it gets a big Wikipedia effort -- even if it's of limited reference value. Same goes for TV shows -- popular ones have detailed summaries of every episode. Meanwhile, the basic work of building an encyclopedia, like researching obscure historical subjects and even basic fact-checking, is largely neglected.

    When I was participating in Wikipedia editing, I considered making a project of correcting the time zone articles [wikipedia.org], which have factual errors in their very titles. Part of that would have meant researching how time zones are drawn up in Canada. I could have done it myself, but it would have been less work for somebody with access to a Canadian public library. So I asked a conspicuous Canadian Wikipedian to lend me a hand. He declined. Not because he didn't want to do the work -- he spends a lot of time working on Wikipedia. But because he "never goes to libraries"! Not something that encourages you as to the quality of the information Wikipedia supplies.

    • by slavemowgli (585321) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:36AM (#13596770) Homepage
      It's been said before, but let me say it again: if it's broken, fix it, don't complain. Only complain if you cannot fix it - because you lack the knowledge to do so, or because doing so would take too much time for a single person, or because the environment itself is hostile towards fixing attempts.

      That being said, there's a saying where I live that "one man's owl is another man's nightingale". *You* may think that a detailed article on the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn't important, but who are you to judge these things? What matters to you may not matter to other people, either.

      And of course, you're making a mistake if you assume that people who work on things they *like* to work on now will go to work on things they don't like to work on if you try to forbid them to work on the things they like. They won't - rather, they'll stop working on *anything*.

      You may think that the cathedral looks nicer, but in the end, the bazaar will win.
      • by fm6 (162816) on Monday September 19, 2005 @12:02PM (#13596962) Homepage Journal
        It's been said before, but let me say it again: if it's broken, fix it, don't complain.
        How, exactly? I can nibble away at the edges, by correcting problematic articles. But what can I do about the great mass of un-fact-checked crap, and useless trivia that floods Wikipedia?
        *You* may think that a detailed article on the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn't important, but who are you to judge these things? What matters to you may not matter to other people, either.
        And if I'd said "there shouldn't be an article on the FSM", you'd have a point. But that's not what I said. I said that too much of the effort goes to trivia, and not enough to the basic work of building an encyclopedia.

        Face it, five years from now, an article on a satirical pseudo-cult will be of passing interest. That doesn't mean there shouldn't be an article on it. But it does indicate that the relative priorities of Wikipedia contributors are very short sighted.

  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:29AM (#13596719)


    I wonder if trolls are going to vandalize it by inserting useful information into the articles.

  • Don't forget Wickerpedia and Wiccapedia! List of Wikipedia parodies [wikipedia.org]
  • about misinformation on uncyclopedia

    (From http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Category:Games [uncyclopedia.org])
    Rule of Thumb: Games are fun until someone loses an eye. After that, it is considered a sport.

    I had always been thinking that was the truth.
  • Wikipedia has plenty of misinformation, satire, and lies.

    Why do you think they have to start the Lord of the Flies cycle over for every article?
  • by isorox (205688)
    can you spell OLD!?

    Why not post something about NASA returning to the moon [bbc.co.uk] in 15 years *heh*
  • by Have Blue (616) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:44AM (#13596828) Homepage
    Everything2 [everything2.com].
  • by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:49AM (#13596858) Homepage
    ...misinformation, satire, and lies. Does this prove that satire and humour can take off in a collaborative environment, a possibility often contested by grumpy Wikipedians?

    Slashdot, but of course! We've got Uncyclopedia beat by miles.
  • I'd argue that satire is information. It would be very interesting if Wikipedia (which I use often - some weeks daily) contained a "Satirical" link - pointing to the Uncyclopedia entry.

    Given how political commentary is often satirical, it would provide an interesting angle on Wikipedia entries. Especially those of a historical/ political nature.

    Also, what a great editorial tool! If a satirical entry closely matches a Wikipedia entry, the result would be better informed discussion around an entry's meani

  • Finally a place to learn about Nemory [uncyclopedia.org] (what never happened that is not remembered) without getting censored by ignorant anti-intellectuals.
  • I wonder if Wikipedians will go there and post 100% correct information on items, only for the users of this one to rollback the changes to the misinformative versions. :)
  • Thought you either had a nemesis or you didn't?

    Maybe there are degrees of nemesisness?

    Has anyone else used nemesisness in a sentence today?

    Go me.
  • lulz (Score:2, Redundant)

    by jb.hl.com (782137)
    I prefer Encyclopedia Dramatica [encycloped...matica.com]. It's LiveJournallers taking the piss out of LiveJournallers/The Internet, and a whole load of other stuff besides. It's great.
  • ...that Wikipedia (which I'm a big fan of!) does have an agenda, and a bias. I don't always agree with it, either, but it is useful.

    It may be useful to have a "rightopedia" and a "leftopedia" which don't make any claims to a lack of bias.

  • Uncyclopedia stands for everything Wikipedia cannot have: misinformation, satire, and lies.

    Bull honky. Wikipedia has plenty of all three.
  • Don't Panic (Score:3, Funny)

    by BobCousy (860798) on Monday September 19, 2005 @12:43PM (#13597232)
    The Uncyclopedia has the advantage that it is slightly cheaper and has a cover with the words "Don't Panic" in large friendly letters.
  • by raider_red (156642) on Monday September 19, 2005 @12:47PM (#13597251) Journal
    It looks like the uncyclopedia needs to be updated to include an article on this [wikipedia.org]
  • by saskboy (600063) on Monday September 19, 2005 @01:25PM (#13597500) Homepage Journal
    How much karma do I whore by... posting links to Uncyclopedia from Slashdot? The standard average for Wikipedia is about +3, so is Uncyclopedia -3?

The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.

Working...