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    Ted has a number of responses to this article, which he considers to be libelous. (I consider it mostly just extremely misleading – the result of a non-technical person trying to interview a colorful character about the long, complicated history of a nuanced project & failing to really understand the subject.)

    Here’s one of Ted’s responses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_-5cGEU9S0

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        I believe our very own @enkiv is involved in some way.

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          I was tangentially involved, myself — a few years ago, I did some work for Ted implementing ZigZag.

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            Awesome! Are your impressions of Ted congruent with the ones form the old Wired article?

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            I am. I worked on the version covered in this article, and also on the previous release. Since 2014, another (totally independent) web-based version has been released.

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          Gordon R. Dickson wrote a sci-fi book, published in 1984, called The Final Encyclopedia. It was all knowledge in the world with an AI to search.

          I wanted this in real life. Xanadu seems like Ted Nelson wanted it too. Wikipedia is an organized crowd source. The WWW probably contains all the knowledge but you need a search and organization scheme to extract the encyclopedia from the noise.

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            “All the knowledge” in a single container might be possible but it will be hard for people to interact with due to their biases. Wikipedia is a good example of this as it lays bare the difficulty people have with accepting different views - contentious subjects tend to be colonised by a given faction which does its best to eradicate any and all data which negates their position. While it might be theoretically possible to create an AI which can serve as a data steward making sure all points of view are taken into account, it is hard to see how such a machine could survive the wrath of the censor.

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              While it might be theoretically possible to create an AI which can serve as a data steward making sure all points of view are taken into account

              I think this view is understandable but naïve, and I can prove it by saying that you are educated stupid for not accepting the four-corner cubic world which wisest human Gene Ray tried to reveal to the world despite the cubeless academia attempting to shut him up at every turn, because all academia is oath-bound to deny cubic reality and preach the Greenwich Fallacy.

              Or are you an agent of the Gangster Machine, as revealed by Francis E. Dec? Or are you an X-Soviet Armenian whose grandparents are guilty of genocide against Turks? Hard to tell. With any luck, however, you’ve picked up the thread: Some points of view are not cogent, not rational, and not connected to reality. They only deserve mention in listings of “crazy stuff some people apparently believe” which, no matter how diplomatically you title it, is a category which is always going to be inherently insulting. You have to figure out what a “point of view” is, when it comes to getting all of them represented in an article about some real-world subject, and that kind of bootstrapping problem is an inherent bias in any encyclopedia project.

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                You’re talking fiction, I’m talking facts. The “four-corner cubic world” and the “agent of the Gangster Machine” and more of such are provably false and can be written down as such. Other areas are not so clear and should be open for discussion, a good example here is the issue of climate change. There is a lot of science on this subject which can be used to push a number of views, from “climate change has always occurred and is a natural phenomenon which is unrelated to human activities” to “anthropogenic climate change is boiling the planet”. Have a look at Wikipedia, especially at the discussion pages for subjects related to this issue to see which faction has taken over this area.

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                  You’re talking fiction, I’m talking facts.

                  I guarantee you that some of the things you consider facts are obviously fiction to others, and vice-versa.

                  The “four-corner cubic world” and the “agent of the Gangster Machine” and more of such are provably false and can be written down as such.

                  Some people feel the same way about the existence of trans people.

                  Other areas are not so clear and should be open for discussion, a good example here is the issue of climate change. There is a lot of science on this subject which can be used to push a number of views, from “climate change has always occurred and is a natural phenomenon which is unrelated to human activities” to “anthropogenic climate change is boiling the planet”.

                  Wrong. Aside from the fact your first “quote” is unrelated to the second, the fact is that AGW is very well-demonstrated and accepted by all serious scientists in the field. The “debate” is funded by people who have some kind of interest in seeing people doubt things we know quite well.

                  Have a look at Wikipedia, especially at the discussion pages for subjects related to this issue to see which faction has taken over this area.

                  This is because NPOV is biased towards the scientific consensus, as it should be.

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                      Do note that I have not taken position in any of these issues

                      You did when you said that “science” can be used to take a number of positions on AGW. There’s only one position the science supports, there, and it’s the one Wikipedia takes seriously, due to how the NPOV policy is worded.

                      As for my providing sources, well, we’re talking about Wikipedia here, so you can presumably look at the sources the relevant Wikipedia articles cite to.

                      Also, this:

                      You also mention a mythical ‘scientific consensus’ which, if you think about it, goes against what the scientific method is all about.

                      This is completely wrong. First, there is no single scientific method; after all, how could physics, astronomy, sociology, and economics all share a single method? Second, there will be a consensus in any healthy scientific field because all scientists are looking at the same reality. A field without a consensus is religion, where reality has no bearing on what the practitioners believe. The scientific consensus can be changed, and every working scientist is attempting to change it, or at least refine it, but it certainly exists.

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                        You did when you said that “science” can be used to take a number of positions on AGW. There’s only one position the science supports, there, and it’s the one Wikipedia takes seriously, due to how the NPOV policy is worded.

                        You are defending your position against what you seem to think is a discerning position of mine. That is beside the point here, the discussion is on the fact that people find it hard to take in different views.

                        There are many - and I mean many - scientists who do not agree with what you imply is ‘the truth on AGW’. You use adjectives like ‘serious scientists’ and ‘healthy scientific field’ to describe those who support your position while you cast aspersion on those who differ. You then state that ‘a field without consensus is religion’ but fail to see that it is exactly this quasi-religious attitude of ‘absolute truth’ where those who are of a different opinion are castigated we’re discussing here. It doesn’t matter whether the discussion is about anthropogenic global warming, the impact of organic farming, whether cultural diversity strengthens or weakens civil society, the viability of String theory or any other subject. Science is not religion and should never be treated as such. An open mind for a different view does not mean you need to raise every crackpot theory to the same level as established theories but it does mean you should attempt to keep personal bias out of the equation. That this is not easy has been shown over the centuries of scientific progress where great minds got stuck in their own disproven theorems.

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                          It is kinda neat to watch a scissor statement play out in a thread this clearly.

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                            What is a ‘scissor statement’?

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                              From this story.

                              tl,dr: a polarizing statement or question that tends to create a fractal of rage as the people involved attempt to grapple with the perspective of the other side and keep coming up with still further reasons their worldview is based on recursively compounding incorrect facts–culminating with the conclusion that the other side must be purged.

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                                In this specific case, the person I’m talking to seems reasonable (if naïve) on the subject of being able to sort the reasonable viewpoints from the nonsense when it comes to making an encyclopedia, but apparently refuses to apply that reasonbleness to the subject of AGW. They also have an allergy to the phrase “scientific consensus” in that they kinda-sorta seem to accept the fundamental idea to the extent of wanting to keep crackpots out of the encyclopedia, but when you use that phrase they misread it as “unquestionable dogma” and proceed from that false premise.

                                I don’t think they fully grasp that accepting the existence of crackpots implies accepting the existence of a scientific consensus, in that for there to be crackpots have to be people who are not crackpots, and those non-crackpots will be the people who accept the consensus at least more-or-less, and I’m pretty sure they’re simply Red-Tribe-influenced when it comes to the state of climate science as regards AGW.

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                              Yes, well, that is more or less what started this thread: contentious subjects which make it difficult for people to remain open for different views. Climate change is one of these issues, I could have chosen the correct approach to dealing with the current SARS2-pandemic as well and taken the position that Sweden - where I live - has the correct approach while more or less all other countries are wrong.

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                              There are many - and I mean many - scientists who do not agree with what you imply is ‘the truth on AGW’.

                              https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

                              Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.

                              You can follow the link to get more information about that topic. I consider this portion of the debate closed, as I refuse to “debate” reality, much like I refuse to “debate” whether a rock will fall towards the ground if I release it from my hand.

                              You then state that ‘a field without consensus is religion’ but fail to see that it is exactly this quasi-religious attitude of ‘absolute truth’ where those who are of a different opinion are castigated we’re discussing here.

                              I never said anything about “absolute truth” I said “consensus” and I explicitly mentioned that scientists attempt to modify consensus. You’re moving from having a different opinion to misrepresenting my statements, whether intentionally or by accident.

                              An open mind for a different view does not mean you need to raise every crackpot theory to the same level as established theories but it does mean you should attempt to keep personal bias out of the equation.

                              True, and the crackpot theory is the idea that AGW is not occurring. You talk about excluding crackpots, but get extremely agitated when a specific idea is considered crackpot and, therefore, excluded from serious consideration on Wikipedia. That is, to put it bluntly, incoherent, and perhaps suspicious.

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                                Please stop defending your position on a specific subject and start looking at what started off this discussion: people find it hard to take in different views. Willingly or unwillingly you have shown ample proof of the veracity of this statement by becoming more and more agitated in defence of your position when you felt it was under attack. It is this habit which makes it so hard to create a repository of ‘all knowledge’ in the presence of humans who might disagree with part of said knowledge. While climate change is a prime example there are many others which, while not nearly as contentious, still manage to raise the hackles of some. Did Neanderthals have fully developed speech like Homo Sapiens? Some insist they did, others insist they did not. What about the damage on the large Sphinx in the Egyptian desert which seems to have been caused by water? There are those who claim this is proof that the object is much older and dates from an extinct culture which thrived when the Sahara desert was a fertile area. Did the Viking landers find traces of life on Mars? Some claim they did. Etcetera.

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                                  I’ve demonstrated that AGW is part of the scientific consensus. Nothing you say can change that, especially if you accuse me of being agitated and fail to provide evidence of your previous statement.

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                            Here’s an article (in Swedish) which centres around the way science progresses by the debate between dissenters, taking the Swedish approach to the SARS2-pandemic as an example:

                            https://www.svd.se/sandlada-nej-sa-har-ser-vetenskap-ut

                            It describes the ongoing spat between the (Swedish version of a) health department versus an increasing number of researchers on the merits of the Swedish ‘laissez-faire’ approach to the SARS2-pandemic. The essence of the article is that dissent and disagreement is what will eventually lead to better understanding, noting (somewhat exaggeratedly) that ‘researchers never agree and never should agree’. In Swedish:

                            Men debatten om Folkhälsomyndighetens coronastrategi är helt normal. Forskare är aldrig överens och ska inte vara överens.

                            …which translates to:

                            But the debate about the [‘people’s health institute’] corona strategy is fully normal. Researchers never agree and should never agree.

                            While the conclusion that they should never agree is taking things too far this does point at the fallacy of ‘scientific consensus’ being the norm. Even in the most established fields there are outliers who try to shake up the consensus, often without success but sometimes leading to a breakthrough. A healthy debate climate furthers the search for knowledge and understanding, in part by not castigating outliers as heretics or ‘deniers’. This does not mean every crackpot theory needs to be taken at face value. Standards of proof and repeatability apply to crackpots just as they do to main stream scientists which generally is enough to deal swiftly with the next perpetuum-mobile-limitless-energy-the-laws-of-physics-do-not-apply-to-me construct. Every now and then one of those crackpots turns out to be right when others repeat their experiments to end up with the same results. Continental drift used to be seen as a crackpot theory until it was proven in the 60’s:

                            https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/when-continental-drift-was-considered-pseudoscience-90353214/

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                  This article is really slow, I can recommend the wikipedia entry in case you have the same problem.