User:Freshstart

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It really doesn't seem very relevant, but for anyone that cares, I am a straight, honky, mid-40s male; citizen and lifelong resident of the United States (born in Washington, and have mostly lived in or around Seattle since 1964). The only other countries I've made it to are Mexico (day-trip to Tijuana with the folks as a kid), Canada (mostly numerous trips to Vancouver, but one extended car trip thru much of SW Canada in the early 1970s), and Denmark for a week or so in the late 1990s with my dad, with a day-trip on the ferry to Sweden (Malmo), with a life-long friend of my mom's.

The main IP that I have editted from is 24.17.48.241[1].

My editing pattern/frequency change[change | change source]

I have recently gone from being unemployed to having one fulltime job, and, starting next week, a second, parttime, job. My usual vandalism patrol and quick-hitting, recent changes-based editing can be done a few minutes here, a few minutes there, etc., so I can probably continue doing that daily. But researching and responding to 'backend' discussions, etc., are more intensive, and will probably be restricted to one weekend day per week for the foreseeable future.

Pop culture articles on Simple[change | change source]

To expand on some problems I see with ruling out entire categories of article topics, or especially trying to divine/infer/extrapolate what might be 'useful to a student in country ____': I got traditional 'language arts' (probably a US-specific term--basically an umbrella term for all the English language-related courses in secondary education) credit in high school for studying SciFi books by authors in various countries, and another for a class on movies by directors from various countries. A serious expert in these areas might be able to guess which we studied, but I doubt we have many subject area experts at that level in all these categories among the half-dozen or so of us that are highly active editors. And, I suppose, to determine 'notable' video/computer games, you'd almost have to be able to predict the future. MY personal take is that a small handful, say, Donkey Kong, Doom, Flight Simulator (and PLEASE note that was NOT originally developed by the Borg, er, Microsoft--they bot it), Pacman, and maybe SimCity and/or The Sims, will be considered 'significant' 200 years from now, with probably Pong, Asteroids, and Space Invaders as notable pre-cursors.

A possible explicit limitation might be to only include works/people that have won an Oscar/Bafta or similar, but I don't know if such an award exists yet for computer&video games.

One potential difference between Simple and EN that I would strongly support is 'zero tolerance for pop-culture microstubs'. I'm talking about the "Whoever is an actor in Something"-type crap that I, and several others on EN, soundly chastized User:Lucky 6.9 for marking for deletion in the early 'B Movie Bandit' days. Here I think we just don't have the editing resources, nor the all-inclusionist mission, to put up with that crap, and would rather see it deleted immediately. I personally expanded many of those microstubs up to minimally acceptable stubs (it's not that hard to grab a few bits from IMDb), but I do NOT want to have to repeat that exercise here.

I guess to look at it another way, I think we have an opportunity to benefit the world, as well as Simple English Wikipedia, if we can strengthen our arguments for why globally important topics deserve greater attention than current pop culture, ideally to the extent that we convince editors that they can have a bigger and more lasting impact, and serve nobler goals, if they try to expand their worldview to a bigger picture.

Will it matter to someone struggling in an African refuge camp if Nintendo releases a better handheld? Probably not. If someone finds an new way to purify drinking water for people in refuge camps, will that matter? Probably. Will it also probably have ramifications for the better in 'developed countries'? Given that wars have been fought over drinking water, I'm guessing 'yes'. So which is the more compelling article to write--something of interest only to the 'haves', or something important to both the 'haves' and 'have nots'?

I guess to sum it up, I guess I believe more in the carrot over the stick, and the 'you'll attract more flies with honey than vinegar' approaches.

Issues I have with copying large blocks of text, and especially entire articles, from EN[change | change source]

  • The best articles are based on more than one source. Just copying from EN can bring errors[2], undetected vandalism, and EN POV
  • Simple articles aren't always in the same location as EN, so often things will be redlinks even tho' they actually have articles[3]
  • Many EN articles, especially those about topics most relevant to the past 5 years or so, are heavily laden with minutia and/or trivia that is simply not necessary, and often gets to the point of harming the article by drowning out the more salient points/facts
  • There is a big question in my mind if a huge article can ever be truly simple; guqin is 27K, and it is hard for me to imagine trying to get it simple (it sure isn't now)
  • Doing a diff on those large articles that are copied then edited is not very helpful: [4]
I don't know if the editor has a strong aversion to redlinks, or has a backwards idea of 'simplification', but removing the wikilinks to things like Cultural Revolution and pentatonic seems to me the opposite of simplification
  • To me, at least, trying to 'translate' EN articles to 'simple English' is MUCH harder than writing simple English from scratch, which is the main reason I resent people copying large chunks with little or no effort made to simplify it themselves, leaving it to other editors to clean up after them
  • The editor of guqin seems to have made a good-faith effort to simplify it, but (probably partially because of its size; and spending probably an hour editing it, gradually becoming numb to the text) it still has plenty of things like "...recently founded, opening up more opportunities...", "...circular mother-of-pearl inlays which mark the harmonic positions...". "...refinement of tone. Furthermore...", "...achieved by adjusting the tension of the string...", "...initially confined to China...", "==Repertoire==", "In order to master the qin, there are in excess of 50 different techniques that must be mastered.", etc.
  • EN external links are often of dubious quality/usefulness--unnecessarily ad-heavy, only tangentially related to the topic, unfettered fansites, etc.

External tools[change | change source]

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User:Freshstart/Sandbox

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