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Comment: Re:(not)perplexingly (Score 1) 96

by Alsee (#48177909) Attached to: Python-LMDB In a High-Performance Environment

You mixed up the policies. No Original Research is unrelated to why Bjork's Academy Awards dress has it's own Wikipedia article. No Original Research is why the article doesn't contain any new ideas or opinions by the article-writers themselves. The article accurately describes what The World has to say about the dress. The article has 13 sources cited 18 times providing external documentation for almost every sentence in the article.

The policy you wanted was "Wikipedia editors aren't allowed to decide how 'important' a topic is... Wikipedia Notability means that multiple independent Reliable Sources have published significant discussion of the subject." The World decides what is and isn't Notable, not me. As a Wikipedia editor I'm not allowed the opinion that it's embarrassment to humanity that Academy-Awards-Dresses are considered newsworthy. (I can have the opinion, but I can't delete the article based on my opinion.)

The sources include:,, Filmology: A Movie-a-Day Guide to the Movies You Need to Know ISBN 978-1-4405-0753-3, All about Oscar: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards ISBN 978-0-8264-1452-6, Vanity Fair magazine, Spin magazine, New York magazine, Reel Winners: Movie Award Trivia ISBN 978-1-55002-574-3, BjÃrk: wow and flutter ISBN 978-1-55022-556-3, The Advocate magazine, And there is no doubt that there are countless other uncited sources that exist. The World has clearly decided that this topic is worthy of significant published coverage.

By the way, this particular article has been getting around 55 pageviews a day. That's a lot higher than many of our more serious minor topics. Apparently there are a fair number of people coming to Wikipedia searching for this article.


Comment: Re:Deletionists (Score 1) 96

by Alsee (#48172737) Attached to: Python-LMDB In a High-Performance Environment

The "worldview" is that Wikipedia is supposed to be an Encyclopedia. Wikipedia is the Encyclopedia That Anyone Can Edit, not a public blog-space. The only thing that prevents Wikipedia from becoming a scribble-board are the Wikipedia Policies, and editor dedication to those policies. If you throw out Wikipedia content-verifiability policies then it would start looking a lot less like an Encyclopedia.

I don't think these people understand how search works.

How search works: If you type a search term into Google you'll get random writings about the topic, no matter how trivial. If you type a search term into Wikipedia you'll get an encyclopedia-style article with Verifiable information cited to independent Reliable Sources, if we have one. ~~~~


Comment: Re:I can't wait for it (Score 3, Interesting) 96

by Alsee (#48172205) Attached to: Python-LMDB In a High-Performance Environment

I was involved in a example of this recently. is a one-year-old rightwing website. They ran an attack piece on Neil degrasse Tyson. It was picked up by the rightwing blogosphere, but was totally non-newsworthy (as established by the lack of news coverage). Someone tried to insert it into Wikipedia's biographical page on Neil degrasse Tyson. That edit was promptly reverted because Wikipedia has a policy of being extremely cautious about adding negative material to the Biography of Living Persons. A blogosphere rant against someone doesn't qualify. So then writer started screaming CENSORSHIP and equating Wikipedia editors to religious fundamentalist terrorists for not writing his hit-job into Tyson's biography. *THIS* picked up some minor coverage for the story from other sources.

At this point someone noticed that we had an tiny article page on, and the only sourcing for that article was TheFederalist itself and a blog page from MediaMatters. The TheFederalist page was nominated for deletion. A massive effort was made by many people trying to find an sources talking about, searching for any sources we could use to fix the article. The search turned up squat. Then wrote about Wikipedia nominating their article for deletion, and *THAT* got picked up by a few sources. And *THOSE* stories gave us enough information about in order to write a an article on it.

So yeah..... it was painfully circular. ~~~~


Comment: Re:(not)perplexingly (Score 4, Informative) 96

by Alsee (#48171769) Attached to: Python-LMDB In a High-Performance Environment

Wikipedia editors aren't allowed to have opinions about a topic. The Neutral Point of View policy mandates that edits be deleted or re-written to present a reasonably neutral description of a topic. (And if needed, a neutral description of the sides in a controversial topic.)

Wikipedia editors aren't allowed to "know stuff" about a topic. The No Original Research policy mandates that facts and information must be Verifiable in published Reliable Sources. The sources need to exist, even if they aren't cited. Any information which is challenged, or is likely to be challenged, can be removed or tagged with {{citation needed}}.

Wikipedia editors aren't allowed to decide how "important" a topic is. This one causes the most confusion. Wikipedia's has a specific and somewhat unusual definition of Notability. Wikipedia Notability means that multiple independent Reliable Sources have published significant discussion of the subject. A musician who barely shows up at the #100 slot on a Billboard-top-100 list is Notable because The Wold has created the Billboard top-100 list to Take Note of musicians, and because a few paragraphs about the musician here and there in magazines give us Verifiable information from which to build an article. A Youtuber with more fans than the musician isn't Notable because (generally) books and magazines and the news don't publish any discussion of popular Youtubers. That means we have no independent sources from which to build an article.

So.... the reason this article was deleted rather than tagged "needs more verifiable sources" was that the number of independent usable sources was ZERO when it was nominated for deletion, and because everyone who participated in the deletion discussion did a search for more sources and came up with ZERO.

You can't built a valid Wikipedia article without verifiable sources, and you can't fix a broken article by adding sources to when the sources don't exist.

People can't write Wikipedia articles about themselves saying how awesome they are, or their company, or their pet project. (Well, they can write the article, but it will be deleted if it doesn't cite multiple independent published Reliable Sources discussing the subject).

It doesn't matter how awesome someone thinks their Python-LMDB project is. It doesn't matter how important someone thinks their Python-LMDB project is. If there's no magazines or books or news talking about it, then it's a dead-duck under Wikipedia Notability policy. We can't build an article based on just their own promotional materials, and editors can't just claim "personal knowledge" to make up stuff to write an article.

And no, this lame Slashdot story won't change that. ~~~~


Comment: Re: US,Nigeria (Score 0) 378

by NtroP (#48159733) Attached to: How Nigeria Stopped Ebola
This only works if there is cooperation from those spreading the disease. Maybe I have an overly devious mind but one of my first thoughts was when is some ISIS nut-job going to get themselves purposefully infected and start planting bodily fluids on every subway handrail, mall restroom door handle, drinking fountain leaver, escalator hand-rail, ketchup-dispenser, and whatever else they can think of, before they get too sick to move, and then finish it off by collapsing in the middle of some very public place, causing panic. Don't tell me there aren't at least a few sick bastards out there thinking along these lines. All it would take is one or two of these cases and the shear panic it would induce would shut this country down for a long time.

Comment: Re:AWS losing $2 billion a year? (Score 1) 150

by danheskett (#48148783) Attached to: If Your Cloud Vendor Goes Out of Business, Are You Ready?

Agreed. Three is an intense price war going on in the cloud providers right now, with unprovoked cost decreases hitting my bottom line all the time. I am fine with it, except as the big vendors fight for marketshare I am well aware at some point the products become mature, the market becomes mature, and I may find myself on a vendors platform which is not the one I want to be on.

There is good revenue to go around. Right now I don't see any cloud providers actively trying to really manage support, hardware and acquistion costs for new customers. I suspect as the industry matures margins will improve.

Comment: The Frame is a Frame of Dictators, Not Free People (Score 2) 279

by danheskett (#48138009) Attached to: Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

The frame of the question is essentially "who will be the dictator who can fix things if one is needed". This frame is inherently anti-American, and also, deeply counterproductive.

It is firstly, and most importantly, anti-American because it supposes that the default state of things is order and control, that liberty and a free society are conditions that must be suspended when order and control are in jeopardy. The "resting state" of the United States, however, is not tyranny, but rather, freedom. Importantly, there is no provision in which the "resting state" in some way changes to "tyranny". That idea is deeply preposterous. Even if the country was in the throws of a world-ending pandemic, we are still a nation governed by the supreme law of the land - namely, the Constitution, Federal Laws, and treaties appropriately made and ratified. This doesn't change in a time of crisis. It doesn't change in a time of need.

It is a deeply disturbing character flaw on American that so many citizens reduce themselves to half-retarded infants in the face of danger. After Sept. 11, 2001, it became fairly obvious that the rational exercise of faculties was suspended without question by large chunks of the public. A widespread Ebola outbreak could lead us back to that infantile state once again.

The question is also deeply counterproductive because it assumes that having a single point of authority will be helpful. Turning over authority to deal with a large problem is not the way to solve difficult problems. Doing so will ensure inefficiency and increase the odds of failure. There is a role for national policy making (which should be done via our elected representatives, acting in concern with the Executive), but it is not to assign authority to a single person for whom all solutions or failures will flow.

As Americans we have many stupid ideas that make it into policy, and granting power to a single person or even a small group of people just increases the odds that something stupid (and deadly) becomes official policy. During hurricanes, and extended power outages, we have idiots governors and attorneys and local government officials arresting and charging people with price gouging for bringing in generators and selling them at market prices. They would rather deny the realities of the iron clad laws of supply & demand and have no spare generator capacity, than have more people with generators who paid higher pricing. The ideology of fairness trumps the realities observable in nature. This and thousands of other outrages upon liberty and nature happen without constraints when Americans turn off their brains and give in to the instinct to obey authority at all costs.

One of the many hidden design advantages of the American system of government is that we have a redundant array of independent actors. There is no central fount of power, from which authority flows. Instead, people act on their own, in their own interests, under the constraints of law established by representatives. In a crisis, especially a large one, this is more workable than a centralized authority. A layered model of decision making and authority creates a mesh that is efficient at transmitting information about successes and failures, and is resilient to localized problems. There are no great success stories of the Federal government handling nationwide emergencies and problems. In past regional problems we have seen systematic problems from mass information loss, inefficiency, and communication failures. These are problems that have solutions, for sure, but they are not universally solvable. The premise of a "czar" is that a single forceful person can reconcile the many uncertain states and create order from chaos. But it is implied that this is inefficient - the implication that moving fast is better than not moving carefully is only true for a limited subset of problems.

Comment: Re:For the love of god... (Score 0) 144

Even just 15 years ago there were a lot more.

Can you post your sources for this? I have not seen solid data that indicates a net decline in the numbers. I have seen some numbers that start to suggest this, but they do not separate out foreign born workers from domestic workers. I think that if we are going to actually look at the numbers, and make a policy prescription, we have to discount that the imported foreign-born workers coming in are disproportionately male. US-policy should not try to fix the gender imbalances in foreign work forces.

Yes, it is, so I don't know why you keep bringing it up. It isn't the stated goal of any of the major schemes to get women into engineering, and it isn't the stated position of any prominent feminists or feminist groups. It is a classic straw man.

This I don't think is totally fair. You don't see any attention being given, to say, the percentage of women who are garbage collectors. And very little attention being given to those percentage of women are death row. Both of which are well below their overall demographic representation. Just because something isn't the stated goal doesn't mean it's not a goal or at least a priority. The fact this story continues to re-appear in the popular media suggests that someone is paying attention to it. I do think it is a good question which is, is there any grass roots effort to actually change this, or is it simply a corporate/business priority?

What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying. -- Nikita Khruschev