Adequacy front page
Stories Diaries Polls Users

Home About Topics Rejects Abortions
This is an archive site only. It is no longer maintained. You can not post comments. You can not make an account. Your email will not be read. Please read this page if you have questions.
 Wikipedia / Nupedia

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Sep 24, 2001
An investigation of the political beliefs of a popular(?) web-based encyclopedia.

More diaries by Logical Analysis
Netscape, the Light of My Life -- An Invention That Will Change the Way We Live
My Presidential Campaign: Revoke All Corporate Charters
Older, Wiser, and Closer to Death
The Death of Free Software
This just in!
For your information: Wikipedia / Nupedia (as far as I can tell they are basically the same thing, but Nupedia has fewer articles) are run by a bunch of Ayn Randite/US Libertarian/Anarcho-Capitalist loonies.

I find it is always helpful to know the ideologies of people when dealing with them. It can help you determine their motivations and what to watch out for.

In the case of "Wikipedia" (god I hate the term "wiki" .. almost as retarded as "blog"), they are creating an encyclopedia.

So I'm reading this thing, and some of the articles on it are okay, others are lousy, but at least none of them are as outright awful as "Everything 2"'s are. Then I stumble upon a synopsis of "Atlas Shrugged" .. ok.. but it's going on and on for pages upon pages of descriptions of each chapter, the setting, the characters, etc. and I'm thinking the author of this synopsis is going a bit overboard. Probably just another lone objectivist nutcase, right?

I kept investigating and following various other articles and visiting one of the editors home pages where I couldn't help but notice his big section of pictures of his gun shooting groceries (no joke).

Hey, I like shooting stuff too.. but you know when you see a home page that has pictures of the author's gun collection you are either dealing with a 1) Libertarian wacko or 2) Republican wacko  (case in point:Eric Raymond)

I continued investigating, and find that these guys who are the editors of the encyclopedia all seem to work for a company called "Bomis" which also conveniently owns the encylcopedia as well.

Unfortunately, I was just following this investigative trail for my own curiosity, and I didn't think I'd end up writing a diary entry on here about it... so I didn't bother to keep track of all the evidence I've found to determine the ideologies of the editors.... but trust me, !!!!Libertarian Wacko Alert!!!!

It's not that they are Libertarians that bothers me (for all you know, I could be one too), but that they are Randroid Libertarians Who Edit An Encyclopedia.

So what is my point? Any time idealogical extremists are in control of something, you better keep a close eye out for bias in the material. How can I rely on something for informational purposes when it is editted by people I wouldn't even trust to mow my lawn? Encyclopedia my ass.

Anyway, that wasn't my real point. It was "Why is the Linux community so full of political extremists?" aka "What about an obscure text-based operating system attracts the nutcases so well?"

Oh yeah, one last thing. What is it with the wild-eyed opposition of intellectual property by the Libertarian camp? It seems like something they should love?


Anti-IP Libertarians? (none / 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Sep 24th, 2001 at 11:21:28 PM PST
Probably the ones that don't make any, or the ones that think writing a long-winded, un-critical introduction to "Atlas Shrugged" constitutes a significant contribution to free content.

That is priceless (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by jsm on Tue Sep 25th, 2001 at 03:10:04 AM PST
Oh god, thank you so much for this one ... the entry on Atlas Shrugged is priceless.

By way of comparison, their summary of "Sense and Sensibility" is .... "novel by Jane Austen".

... the worst tempered and least consistent of the editors
... now also Legal department and general counsel,

Neutral point of view (none / 0) (#3)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Tue Sep 25th, 2001 at 04:23:34 AM PST
How can you disagree with a dedication towards unbiased writing, such as this.

i think this (5.00 / 1) (#4)
by alprazolam on Tue Sep 25th, 2001 at 08:20:18 AM PST
"What about an obscure text-based operating system attracts the nutcases so well?"

has been well documented, and it should be a blatantly obvious excercise in observation. if you need a place to start looking, try reading through all of Signal 11's diaries and articles on kuro5hin. if the white victim culture doesn't explain it to you, get back to me.

I invite you to participate! (1.00 / 1) (#5)
by jwales on Tue Sep 25th, 2001 at 03:56:48 PM PST
I just read your article and after I got over being shocked at how many false statements that it included, I realized that you may be under a false impression of some kind! Don't criticize -- change the world!

Am I an Objectivist? To be sure, I am. But that hardly justifies calling me a looney! Do I have photos on my website of killing groceries with a shotgun? To be sure, I do. And maybe that does justify calling me a looney, but come on and admit it -- it was funny, and you enjoyed it. :-)

Nonetheless, while personal attacks on me are always useful, thoughtful, and an entertaining way to spend an evening, I should clarify the status of both Wikipedia and Nupedia with respect to my own personal views.

First, Nupedia. I have nothing whatsoever to do with the editorial process of Nupedia. The editor in chief is Larry Sanger, PhD, Ohio State University, who is not an Objectivist or any of the other bad words you called me :-), and who to the best of my knowledge has never shot a watermelon, much to his chagrin, I hope.
Nupedia has an editorial staff of professors from various universities around the world, and to my knowledge none of them share any of my political of philosophical commitments except one: a commitment to the integrity of an open process of careful and objective presentation of the facts in a suitably encyclopedic manner.

Unlike the rigorous academic structure of Nupedia, Wikipedia is wide open. There is no central authority or structure of any kind. A small handful of the people might have libertarian leanings, but the great majority surely do not. Again, all we have is a strong social commitment to the ideals of fairness, co-operation, and non-ideological presentation of the facts.
Like any other community, there are disagreements and arguments, but the wonderful thing so far has been that all the participants, be they leftist, rightist, libertarian, or other, genuinely strive to get along and to present a work that avoids advocacy wherever it can.
You, yes even you, can go to Wikipedia right now and start editing any article that you find which you think is biased. Other people will see your edits, and perhaps comment, and perhaps edit further. If there are disagreements, they'll be discussed. Generally, we find that all points of view can be easily accomodated through careful, lively, and intelligent writing.
The Wikipedia community doesn't tend to respond much to criticism. We're too busy doing something we hope will be useful in the long run, and that we certainly enjoy as a pastime in the short run. Basically, there's no excuse for criticism, particularly on such grounds as you've chosen, when there's nothing stopping you from simply fixing whatever mistakes you find.

So, I invite you to participate in Wikipedia. And if you ever feel the desire to have a little explosive fun with a shotgun, (come on admit it, there have to be some annoying things you'd like to shoot... how about an old computer mouse that drove you nuts?)... I'll gladly take you out and show you how. :-)


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest ® 2001, 2002, 2003 The name, logo, symbol, and taglines "News for Grown-Ups", "Most Controversial Site on the Internet", "Linux Zealot", and "He just loves Open Source Software", and the RGB color value: D7D7D7 are trademarks of No part of this site may be republished or reproduced in whatever form without prior written permission by and, if and when applicable, prior written permission by the contributing author(s), artist(s), or user(s). Any inquiries are directed to