The increasingly useless Wikipedia

It’s no myster why fewer and fewer people are bothering to contribute:

The research found that in the first three months of this year the English-language version of the site suffered a net loss of 49,000 contributors, compared with a loss of about 4,900 during the same period last year. Such contributing editors are vital to the integrity of Wikipedia, which relies on volunteers to create pages and check facts.

The study, conducted by Felipe Ortega at Libresoft, a research group at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, analysed the editing history of more than three million active Wikipedia contributors in ten different languages.

They’re all being driven off by a small cabal of privileged editors who camp on sites and attempt to push their left-wing ideological agenda. From what I’ve seen on the transformation of the page about me over time, they appear to be mostly college students who have plenty of time on their hands and a complete inability to understand the either the concept of objectivity or an encyclopedia.

Look at the difference between the page for Sam Harris and my page, for example. My page is little more than an attack on my views and attempts to minimize anything that might be viewed as positive, whereas Harris’s resembles a defense lawyer attempting to exonerate his client. The part about “conversational intolerance” is hilarious. On my page, for example, it’s very telling that the editors go out of their way to inform people about certain members of my family and not others, even though the positive story was a much bigger one in the global media than the negative story. Of course, it’s not at all Sam’s fault that his defenders are overly enthusiastic propagandists, but the difference between the two pages is indicative of the intrinsically flawed nature of Wikipedia and its uselessness with regards to anything even remotely controversial.

"Mandatory reading"

Steveo reviews RGD on Amazon:

Nagging doubts about the economy? You can either trust those same bought & paid for priestly economists that the government trots out every day or you can read Vox Day’s book, “The Return of the Great Depression” and find out what’s in store.

On a tangential note, the FDIC is now reporting what I was saying six months ago. The DIF is insolvent and the reserve ratio is officially negative. Based on their third-quarter figures, actual losses are still exceeding estimated losses, but by a ratio closer to 1.5 than the 1.95 reported in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. I suspect the reason for this declining ratio is not due to the assets of the banks that failed in the third quarter being in better shape, but because the recognition of actual losses to the FDIC are being delayed through the increasing use of loss-share agreements with the banks taking over the assets of the failed banks.

The smoking howitzer

As bad as they are, the hacked CRU emails are actually turning out to be less damning than the comments made by the unfortunate programmer who was saddled with the responsibility for trying to transform the morass of data collected by the climatologists into something that was actually coherent and usable.

This is not good — the existing program produces a serious error when it’s run on what is supposed to be the old, working data. Harry presses on, finding a solution to that bug, going through many more issues as he tried to recreate the results of these runs for the data from 1901 to 1995. Finally he gives up. He has spoken to someone about what should be done:

AGREED APPROACH for cloud (5 Oct 06).
For 1901 to 1995 – stay with published data. No clear way to replicate process as undocumented.
For 1996 to 2002:
1. convert sun database to pseudo-cloud using the f77 programs;
2. anomalise wrt 96-00 with anomdtb.f;
3. grid using (which will use 6190 norms);
4. calculate (mean9600 – mean6190) for monthly grids, using the published cru_ts_2.0 cloud data;
5. add to gridded data from step 3.
This should approximate the correction needed.

Catch that? They couldn’t recreate the results, so they’re going back to their published data for the first 95 years of the 20th century. Only …

Next problem — which database to use? The one with the normals included is not appropriate (the conversion progs do not look for that line so obviously are not intended to be used on +norm databases).

They still don’t know what to use for the next several years. Harry gives up; it’s easier to write new codes.

22. Right, time to stop pussyfooting around the niceties of Tim’s labyrinthine software suites – let’s have a go at producing CRU TS 3.0! since failing to do that will be the definitive failure of the entire project.

This kind of thing is as fascinating as a soap opera, but I want to know how it comes out. Near the bottom of the file, I find:

I am seriously close to giving up, again. The history of this is so complex that I can’t get far enough into it before by head hurts and I have to stop. Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions that I simply cannot just go back to early versions and run the update prog. I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections – to lat/lons, to WMOs (yes!), and more.

The file peters out, no conclusions. I hope they find this poor guy, and he didn’t hang himself in his rooms or something, because this file is a summary of three years of trying to get this data working. Unsuccessfully. I think there’s a good reason the CRU didn’t want to give their data to people trying to replicate their work. It’s in such a mess that they can’t replicate their own results.

The appearance of these comments is particularly interesting in how it shows that the so-called “scientists” involved in the Great Global Warming Scam are not only committing blatant scientific fraud, they’re technologically incompetent to boot. Compare this fiasco with the emulator scene, where old and outdated software from decades ago, which is almost surely more complex than mere temperature data sets, is reliably supported by each new generation of hardware… at zero cost to the taxpayer or anyone else! The AGW/CC “scientists” are contemptible on several levels; only the completely clueless or totally corrupt would permit these dishonest bumblers any input whatsoever on globally significant matters of climate, economy, or government.