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Re: [Info-gne]Speaking of Nonsense!

From: Relay Team Silver
Subject: Re: [Info-gne]Speaking of Nonsense!
Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2001 10:55:37 -0500

There are some very strong misconceptions here that must be corrected

Let me be the first to loudly agree with this. I think a lot of them come from Nupedia's representatives having learned English in a middle-management boardroom.

Nupedia is a fully international project.  We have already a working
group for translations from and into German, and we welcome assistance
from anyone who seeks to spearhead an effort for a working group in any
other language.

Riiiight. So you have a couple articles in German, and therefore, minus at least two instances of "spearheading", you might become qualified as "multilingual". In case you really don't know what "international" tends to mean, it usually has to do with cultural and geographical references too, not just language...Although I admit, even I don't know what "fully international" means, because even Metro Airport doesn't fly /everywhere/. We appreciate that you're working on it. Nobody's impressed by talk, though, especially when it's obviously meaninglessness-that-sounds-good. We can get that from the TV.

Not long ago, we were fortunate enough to have the services of someone who
worked full-time for 2 weeks (wow!) in recruiting, in Russian language,
Russian-speaking professors.

Our ultimate goal is to allow authors to work in their own native language,
and to have articles translated to all other languages.  This is obviously
an idealistic goal for the future -- _today_ we have to work with the resources
that we have available.

No, running a project like this without layers and layers of redundant management and crap is "Idealistic". What you're doing is more like "Typical, but free."

It is very easy to toss out uninformed criticisms -- what is needed, though,
is not critics, but people willing to work.  So, if you want there to be
more support for your own language, then contact us immediately, and we will
be happy to have you spearhead the effort.

So criticism isn't work, but whatever "spearheading" is is? Am I to take it that your point is "Shut up and work for us?" I believe, if that's the case, that my point to you would be exactly two words long and censored, because I like the people on this list.

Here's some "informed" criticism, because I love it when people use sloppy language and leave me loopholes:

Here's how you "become" a "writer" for Nupedia, according to their website (which, if you haven't read it, seems to have been written by the Business-speak Generator, just like this guy's email):

1. Sign up and get a number. (My opinion regarding this is the same two words I referred to above.)
2.  Here, verbatim, is how you "volunteer":

"Volunteer to write on a topic. Please follow the directions on the sign-up form carefully. If the appropriate subject area for your article is not listed on the page, we will not be able to assign you the topic (unless it's a brief, nonspecialist topic that can be assigned in the "General and Other" category). We can assign topics only in active areas, i.e., those with an editor and at least two peer reviewers. "

If it was only those two twisted steps...but no, there's more.

3.  Get permission from a "category editor" to write on your topic.
4.  Write article, log in, submit in form.
5. Your article will go through a "rigorous review process" of some unspecified sort. 6. Your article will be referred to a guy you don't know who will harrass you about its content. That's paraphrased, but compared to what the site says, at least it makes sense. 7. Everybody will get a chance to tear apart your article on the site, after which, if the top dog from step 6. and two more top dogs approve it, it's in.
8.  Two copy editors will tear apart your article...just because, I guess.
9.  EVERYBODY, copy editor or not, will get *another* shot at your article.
10.  Wait for approval.  Doesn't say from who or how long, just wait.
11.  Hooray!  If you're approved, you've earned a coffee mug!!

Now, this next part is where I say "Q.E.D."

I'm not writing for a project like that. It's crap. I'm /certainly/ an amateur writer; I get my gas money from cheap-rag poetry contests and I would NEVER go through that kind of pain in the a$$ so that I could give you my article that I WROTE FOR FREE and you can tear it up and let everybody else tear it up and then give me a t-shirt? If I'm writing for free, I'm doing it exactly the way I want to. If you want people to jump through your hoops, Nupedia, HIRE THEM.



In any case, if GNE or another PEOPLE-RUN encyclopedia or similar project comes around, please look me up-- I love writing and, as long as I'm not being treated like a show-dog, I'm happy to do it for free. I'm still in possession of my three articles that I wrote for GNE, and until I hear positive reason to do otherwise (for instance, Jimbo's getting ahold of them), I'll keep writing 'em.

Sorry for the acidity; Peace all

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