Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm not contributing to Wikipedia any more

We all love Wikipedia, and we use it all the time. I also believe in sharing, and since I make use of the information there, why don't I share the information I know too and contribute to Wikipedia every now and then with my two cents. And since 2005, and I've done few additions here and there, but recently I found out that almost all the stuff I wrote there were wiped out.

It's hard - at least for me - to find out why a certain edit was removed. Those diff-comparison and history buttons aren't useful enough to me. May be "Reference or Citation" is needed. But this is not applicable all the time. "Most of the Egyptians eat foul (beans) in breakfast", this is a fact, but can you really find me a book that states such fact!? Arabs prefer to use Latin letters and numbers to write Arabic text on devices that doesn't support Arabic, and in Egypt they call it FrancoArab. Now give me a book that statues such fact. Arabs use the word "bedan" in the same way English people use the word "bollocks". Now, go get me books or articles - that by the way. has to be non-blogs - that states such facts!

Aren't wiki's supposed to be non-authoritative systems!? And Wikipedia is too authoritative for my taste. Call me an anarchist if you want, but I like what this guy - who is also not going to contribute to Wikipedia any more - wrote in his blog:
It's a common story in the human species. First, we want to achieve a goal. Second, we discover that we are all different[2] and that we need some rules to organize our work. Third, we make the rules really complicated to fit every corner case. Fourth, we completely forget the goal of those rules and we apply them blindly for the sake of it. Fifth, we punish or kill those who don't follow the rules as strictly as we do.

Finally, someone might argue, Wikipedia is working this way, and it's success is an enough proof that whether I like it or not this is the best way to make it work, and I have to deal with it. OK, fine, may be their current rule set are the super-perfect system out there, but I don't care, I will just stop wasting my time and do edits there while knowing that they will be removed the next day.


Gabriela said...

I'm so sorry for your disappointment, Tarek. I hope you may feel better soon.
Cheer up!

Mohamed ElGohary said...

I liked Gabriela content :P

Well Tarek sometimes a community spirit is not very suitable for somebody. I tried contributing to some websites and I found out that they were not very appealing. Either the community spirit is not like what I expected, or too complicated or too illogical like the case you mentioned.

In the end of the day it is always the inevitable rule: if someone doesn't like contributing to a community they will definitely not contribute.

Have a great day!

Simon Baddeley said...

I tried emailing you on Global Voices but the system was overloaded (or something). Respect and greetings, Tarek Amr. I cannot properly convey my gratitude to you for your Global Voices round up of reactions to the bombing of the Coptic Orthodox church of Saint Mark & Pope Peter in Sidi Bishr. The news of the event filled me with sadness and even depression (as I grow older I react more as I did as a child to violence). Most valued was your news of public expressions of unity among people of different faiths in the aftermath of the cruelty, the generous donation of blood for the injured and the reminder that there are many decent brave humans in the world. I visited Egypt - Cairo and Alexandria - for just a few days on three occasions. My visits changed my life. Everyone educated knows the contribution of your country to civilisation, but modern Egypt was less known to me and more of a challenge than the encapsulated past. I welcomed the face-to-face debate, the shared knowledge of well informed people in the street (I hope this doesn't sound patronising), the grasp of moral complexity, the intelligence and kindness of strangers in another country to which thanks to voices like yours I can remain connected despite