Kirjandiärist ja tõest Wikipedias alternatiivse tuleviku ja mootorrata kultuurini

Technology Review’s ilmus hiljuti pikem artikkel Wikipediast ja sellest, kuidas Wikipedia käsitleb sellist huvitavat nähtust nagu “tõde” – mida saab üldse tõeks pidada, kuidas selleni jõutakse ja mida see Wikipedia jaoks üldse tähendab:

What’s wrong with the articles about fantastical worlds is that they are at odds with Wikipedia’s “no original research” rule, since almost all of them draw their “references” from the fictions themselves and not from the allegedly more reliable secondary sources. I haven’t nominated these articles for speedy deletion because Wikipedia makes an exception for fiction–and because, truth be told, I enjoy reading them. And these days, most such entries are labeled as referring to fictional universes.

So what is Truth? According to Wikipedia’s entry on the subject, “the term has no single definition about which the majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree.” But in practice, Wikipedia’s standard for inclusion has become its de facto standard for truth, and since Wikipedia is the most widely read online reference on the planet, it’s the standard of truth that most people are implicitly using when they type a search term into Google or Yahoo. On Wikipedia, truth is received truth: the consensus view of a subject.

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Internet võimaldab vaikselt ja tulusalt õitseda äridel, mille teenuste järgi on küll nõudlust, kuid mille moraalne ja eetiline mõõde vajaks pikemat diskussiooni. Üks taolistest valdkondadest on esseede ja ülevaadete kirjutamine õpilastele ja tudengitele kogenud kirjanike poolt. Artiklis Term Paper Artist jagab Nick Mamatas enda isiklike kogemusi, liigitab kliendid kenast kolme gruppi ja annab ülevaate äri majanduslikust küljest nagu ka oskustest, mis on näiliselt lihtsa, kuid puise töö tegemiseks vajalikud:

The secret to the gig is to amuse yourself. I have to, really, as most paper topics are deadly boring. Once, I was asked to summarize in three pages the causes of the First World War (page one), the major battles and technological innovations of the war (page two), and to explain the aftermath of the war, including how it led to the Second World War (page three). Then there was this assignment for a composition class: six pages on why “apples [the fruit] are the best.” You have to make your own fun. In business papers, I’d often cite Marxist sources. When given an open topic assignment on ethics, I’d write on the ethics of buying term papers, and even include the broker’s Web site as a source. My own novels and short stories were the topic of many papers — several DUMB CLIENTS rate me as their favorite author and they’ve never even read me, or anyone else. Whenever papers needed to refer to a client’s own life experiences, I’d give the student various sexual hang-ups.

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Steven Pinker on The Atlanticus saanud vabaduse ropendada, analüütiliselt mõistagi. Artikli ajendiks näib olevat FCC, mis on Pinkeri tööd tahtlikult moonutades esitanud enda seisukohtade kaitseks. Pinker ei ole sellega mõistagi nõus ja selgitab enda seisukohta ka harivate näidetega:
I noted that over time, taboo words relinquish their literal meanings and retain only a coloring of emotion, and then just an ability to arouse attention. This progression explains why many speakers are unaware that suckersucksbites, and blows originally referred to fellatio, or that a jerk was a masturbator. It explains why Close the fucking door,What the fuck?Holy Fuck!, and Fuck you! violate all rules of English syntax and semantics—they presumably replaced Close the damned doorWhat in Hell?Holy Mary!, and Damn you!when religious profanity lost its zing and new words had to be recruited to wake listeners up.
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Mõtteharjutused võivad olla huvitavad ja kasulikud, eriti kui nende mõtteharjutuste tulemusi jagatakse artiklivormis ülejäänud maailmaga. National Interest palus politoloogia professoril Dan Drezneril mõtiskleda maailma üle, kus nafta enam mingit rolli ei mängi. Tulemus on üllatava ja mitmekesine. Ühte head tsitaati esile tõsta on keeruline, kuid midagi kokkuvõtvat sellest alternatiivsest 2025. aastast siiski:

The European Union was freed from its greatest strategic vulnerability—energy dependence on Russia and the Middle East. It took advantage of the switch in the Middle East’s economic orientation and expanded its membership across the Mediterranean. A key bottleneck to China and India’s long-term economic development was removed. Service exports surged to China and India—economies that, unconstrained by energy, were growing even faster after the end of oil than before. Furthermore, the way in which oil ended—replaced by new, low-carbon energy sources—prevented the most dire effects of global warming from coming true. This disproportionately benefited the developing world—and India and China in particular. America ended up weak, Europe became stronger and more unified, and India and China finally ascended.

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Kuigi mul endal suurem huvi mootorrataste vastu puudub, siis nende salapära ja võlu siiski köidavad. The American Interest’is kirjutab Thomas Rickers USA mootorratta kultuurist, selle sünnist ja arengust, kuid ka tänapäevast:

The biker ethos is about being free from social constraints, yet that ethos imposes a fairly rigid mode of dress and behavior. And customization is key, as long as you’re customizing a cruiser. There are rules, it seems, to living without rules. Moreover, the notion of freedom as expressed in the biker film means living outside society, with its mortgages, car payments and jobs—all the trappings of the modern consumer economy. Yet buying a motorcycle as an act of off-the-shelf rebellion is just another form of consumerism. You can lease one today with no money down, but is that how you stick it to the man? Or so a cynic might argue.

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Üks esimesi blogisid, mida ma jälgima hakkasin oli kirjutatud Andrew Sullivani poolt ja kui ma ei eksi, siis juhtus see vist 2001 või 2002. aastal. Sullivan on tõenäoliselt ka üks nendest, kelle blogi oli piisavalt huvitav, et isegi enam kui 4 aastat tagasi esimesed tagasihoidlikud read kirjutada. Hiljuti võttis Sullivan enda blogimise kogemuse kokku ühes natuke konkreetsemas The Atlatic’us ilmunud essees.

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2 kommentaari

  1. PaulV ütleb:

    Väga head viited. Kirjandikirjutaja lugu oli väga hea ja kui lugesin vandumise kohta siis tekkis kohe tahtmine lisada link George Carlin’i videole aga see oli juba originaalartiklisse lisatud. Carlin on väga hea keele- ja ühiskonnafilosoof.

  2. Jüri Saar ütleb:

    Isegi need, kes on teadlikud Carlinist, hindavad eelkõige tema huumorimeelt. See, et ta enda keele- ja ühiskonnafilosoofia suutis sedavõrd muheda huumori sisse mässida, on selge märk tema geniaalsusest.

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