Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia - World

The English guerrilla skepticism project has been amazingly successful in the last year.  With only a handful of active editors, we have created many new pages, re-written many more, and acted as police just about everywhere.  TAM 2012 has become a turning point for this project.  As I've been saying since March, we need to be global.  Wikipedia is the most important tool for skepticism that exists today, we can not keep ignoring that the vast majority of the world does not speak English.  Let's get over that, with current Internet tools we can easily communicate, organize and get this done.

The World project begins today.  We have already created a Portuguese, Spanish and French group that will work on WP in those languages.  All discussions (accept from English only editors like me) will happen in that group's language.  I want to encourage people who do not speak English to feel comfortable editing in their language to participate.

In the World discussion group we will discuss all the who/what/how of editing.  I have a bunch of volunteers (and still need more) with all levels of editing experience.  We will learn from each other, looking over edits and correcting grammar and so on.  I'm sure your reading/writing skills will really improve.

The World project will mainly follow the structure of the English project.  Improve pages of our skeptical spokespeople, add photographs, promote science and skepticism, remove vandalism, promote science/skeptic groups and tons more.

What this is not, a group promoting vandalism, or ganging up on other editors.  You have to still follow the rules of Wikipedia, we are going to turn around the reputation WP has amongst our community.   We aren't writing this for our own group, this is for the world.

How this is going to happen.  As I said if you talked to me at TAM, we are going to begin with some simple edits as a group.  First we are going to insert one JREF picture into James Randi's WP in all languages that the page exists in.  I have no idea what all those languages are.  So that is one of the first steps, 27 are listed. This is the area on the far left of the page.  This is the picture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JREF_TAM9_Beard_Photo.jpg and I already have the caption translated in many languages and hopefully will get this done tonight.

Months ago I tried to get people interested in editing the word Evolution in all languages, but it is an intimidating subject, very technical and too advanced to start with. 

So we are going to start with Jerry Andrus.  I have almost finished his page in English and we are not going to translate it, but write a new one in every language possible.  We are going to do this mainly by translating existing videos.  There are many Andrus videos already existing in other languages, we just need to know what they are.  We will all be using the same captioning software recommended by Tim Farley.  We need a ton of volunteers to subtitle in English as well.

Keep in mind that you do not have to only work on Jerry's page, you have free reign to edit everything, I highly encourage you to do so.  That kind of thing will happen naturally, once you learn how to add a picture to one page, you will go and add to others.  I'm using the Andrus page as a training tool, also it will make sure we all are together with a rich history of modern skepticism under our belts.  Once Andrus  is done we can link to Randi's, JREF, CFI, optical illusions, Uri, cold-reading, Ray Hyman and on and on.  So we do need to know what exists and what we need to create.

Please contact me if you would like to become involved in this project.  susangerbic@yahoo.com  You will also need to friend me on Facebook. (I apologize in advance if you refuse to use Facebook, you can use an alias and call it Bookface, but all communication about the projects are going to happen there in closed groups)

Thank you in advance, looking forward to getting to know you all and making real changes to critical thinking happen world-wide.


Video of Ray Hyman discussing Jerry Andrus and Wikipedia with me at TAM 2012

Video of Wendy Hughes explaining the We Got Your Wiki Back! project

Instructions on how to get started editing.

Blog on the speakers at the 6th World Skeptic Congress.

1 comment:

  1. I think Guerrilla Skeptics show the very primitive state of mind they are operating out of. Childish in the extreme. Angry at the world. Angry that the pillars of materialism are shaking and beginning to crumble. I bet it hurts when your dogmatic stance is under such threat from so many different angles. However, I wish you all well in the evolution of your consciousness.