Monday, September 7, 2015

July - August 2015 GSoW Updates

So much work done and so much more to go. What a crazy two months it has been for GSoW. Personally I (Susan) will be on tour in Australia and Hong Kong for the month of October, we are finalizing the dates and locations. (see below for the dates I have so far).  I have ten lectures and one panel scheduled so far. Each one will be different, so if you are in the area, please come out and support GSoW.

As I write this, awesome things are happening. Four new people are finishing up their final projects and I think you will be amazed at the quality of their work (see Sept-Oct update). Most people who join GSoW have no editing skills and learn from the very beginning. Some struggle with the most basic edits, but with patience and mentoring, we get them through the process of learning the code and onto the exciting fun parts of the meat of the training.

Also keep in mind that below are mostly the big updates, the pages that have been re-created or brand new. There is a lot of work happening in small edits, a few sentences or a photo added that can really make a difference to a Wikipedia page. Those edits are too plentiful to include here on this blog, but we appreciate them all the same.

Please leave us comments (we LOVE feedback) and share this blog on your social media areas. We only exist because of our editors. And we only find these editors from our community. Help us reach out to those people who are a great fit for us.



Skeptic Voice Audio additions (Thank you to Derek Colanduno from Skepticality Podcast who is asking his guests for audio and uploading it for us, if you have access to recording audio for us please be in touch and we will be happy to help you make it happen)

John Allen Paulos
Yvette Dantremont

Audio of skeptics


The Flying Spaghetti Monster logo of Apostacon.

Apostacon - Before & After - As can be seen, this was an extremely poorly written page that read more like an advertisement than an encyclopedic entry when Leon Korteweg stumbled upon it. One would almost call it a miracle that it was never deleted. After some research, it turned out that the 'Midwest Humanist Conference' is the name of an annual skeptical/atheist/freethough/humanist conference, since 2013 known as 'Apostacon', which did ring a bell. A thorough rewrite later, this article was touched by His Noodly Appendage, and included in the List of skeptical conferences, right on time for the next event on 18–20 September 2015.
Dean Cameron (2nd left). Susan Gerbic CC-BY-SA 4.0

Dean Cameron - Before & After - Susan Gerbic - I really enjoyed learning the tiny things like he rarely uses capital letters and that he became a musician because in 9th grade a girl asked him if he played an instrument and he lied and said he did, then spent the next 6 months learning to play the guitar.

Glasgow Skeptics CC-BY-SA 4.0

Glasgow Skeptics - Brand New Page - Leon Korteweg and Julie Tomlinson, reviewed by Janyce Boynton, aided by Ian Scott. It's one of the two great skeptical organisations in Scotland.

Humani (organisation) - Before & After - When discussing religion and creationism in Northern Ireland with fellow skeptical Wikipedian Rebecca O'Neill, Leon Korteweg decided to improve the page on the Humanist Association of Northern Ireland or Humani, one of the most prominent skeptics groups in the region. An infobox with logo (see below 'Humanist logos') was added, references provided and more info supplied.

Jonathan TweetBefore & After - Susan Gerbic - Recently released the first book on evolution aimed at pre-schoolers called Grandmother Fish. Check it out, Xmas is coming and this is a great book for our little ones.

Jim Baggot. Susan
Gerbic CC-BY-SA 4.0
Jim Baggott - Brand new page written by Susan Gerbic - He was lecturing at TAM13 this summer and I don't think I was able to say more than Hello to him, it is so crazy there. He did an interview for Skepticality, and Derek kindly recorded audio and uploaded it for us.

Kiki Sanford. Ryan Somma CC-BY-SA 2.0
Jon Palfreman - Brand New Page - Janyce Boynton decided to write this article about a documentary filmmaker known for his investigate and skeptical approach to audiovisually telling stories on various topics. The page was reviewed and corrected by Lauren Carr.

Kiki Sanford - Before & After - Jerod Lycett did many improvements on this excellent science's communicator's biography.

Michael Marshall. Greg Neilson CC-BY-SA 4.0
Michael Marshall (Marsh) - Brand New Page - Leon Korteweg documented the biography of arguably the most prolific skeptical activist in the UK. Marsh is probably best known as coordinator of the 10:23 Campaign, a frequently heard voice on podcasts, and speaker in many Skeptics in the Pub and conferences about bad PR. The article was proofread and corrected by Jelena Levin, Susan Gerbic, Svetlana Bavykina, Jerod Lycett and Janyce Boynton.

National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) - Before & After - Leon Korteweg added an infobox and two photos.

Non-Prophet WeekBefore & After - Leon Korteweg added a logo and photo, and improved referencing and grammar.


Edinburgh Skeptics.
Charlie Charlie Challenge - Before & After - Update by Emile Dingemans: removing unsourced
claims, asking for sources for unsourced but plausible claims, rephrasing, reordering, new sourced info on the origins of the phenomenon.

Dry needling - Before & After - Small update by Emile Dingemans.

Edinburgh Skeptics - Brand New Page - Translated from English by Wim Vandenberghe and Leon Korteweg.

Glasgow Skeptics - Brand New Page. Translated from English by Leon Korteweg, who wrote the original as well (see above), reviewed by Raymond van Es and Coen de Bruijn.

Irish Skeptics Society.
Irish Skeptics Society - The Dutch Irish Skeptics Society page was successfully defended by Leon Korteweg and other non-GSoW Dutch Wikipedians after a nomination for deletion. The resulting discussion concluded there were enough reliable sources, the page was not promotional, and aside from two minor wording corrections that could have been regarded as POV, everything was kept. The English version of this article was also nominated for deletion, but kept for similar reasons without interference from guerrilla skeptics; enough other Wikipedians came to its defence.

Natuurlijk (natural) - Before & After - Minor update by Emile Dingemans: removing unsourced health claims that contained appeals to nature.

Orthomoleculaire behandelwijze (orthomolecular medicine) - Before & After. Emile Dingemans is engaged in an ongoing effort to make the article more evidence-based.

Tea tree oil. Stephanie (strph) CC-BY-SA 2.0
Theeboomolie (tea tree oil) - Before & After - Minor update by Emile Dingemans: adding an
infobox, removing inprobable unsourced health claims or asking for sources for unsourced but plausible claims, adding warnings about the dangers of this product that is praised as a kind of medicine in new age-like circles.

Wetenschappelijke consensus (scientific consensus) - Brand New Page. Translated from English by Emile Dingemans, reviewed and corrected by Leon Korteweg.


These contributions don't really fall in any language category, but it's important to note several audiovisual additions made recently to illustrate articles on several topics. These include:

Humanist logos - Leon Korteweg. After immersing himself in the European Young Humanist movement at their Summer Weekend in early August (see below), Leon discovered that many Humanist organisations had articles on many Wikipedias, but rarely did they contain their logos, which makes every organisation visually recognisable (at least, that's the goal). It turns out that many of those groups have logos – often featuring nothing 'complex' beyond the well-known Happy Human symbol – that don't meet the threshold of originality, and thus may be uploaded to Commons.
The category:Humanist organisations and several subcategories have been created and filled with existing and newly uploaded logos of humanist groups around the world.
Those with an English article, but a non-free logo, have been sorted and completed at the Category:Non-free logos of humanist organisations.

Podcast intros - Leon Korteweg - After the example given by the Oh No, Ross and Carrie! podcast, Leon decided to try and upload more podcast intros (usually about 30 seconds long), getting the necessary permission where needed. The really cool thing is that random Wikipedia readers can get an impression of what a podcast is like if they happen to stumble upon that page, which can arouse their interest to start listening.
A simple copyright statement on a website. We encourage you to imitate this,
so that we can share your work on Wikipedia and thus make you famous!
We'd like to take this opportunity to say to anyone who runs a skeptical podcast: make your material available under a reusable Creative Commons license if you want people to find you! The Merseyside Skeptics Society has given a great example in this, as a result of which we can use all of their podcast stuff in their article, which is just awesome. This way Be Reasonable, InKredulous and Skeptics with a K now have an audible introduction (the latter in their own article as well). Besides them, Skepticality (Derek Colanduno) and The Reality Check (Pat Roach) have also been so courteous to upload their podcast intros for us, and ultimately themselves.

Derek Colanduno CC-BY-SA 4.0
Podcast logos - Leon Korteweg - Some logos of skeptical podcasts have been added as well. The free ones, together with photos of podcasters and the aforementioned intros are all included in the new Category:Skeptic podcasts, the remaining non-free logos, together with lots of non-free covers of skeptical books, have been grouped in the Category:Scientific skepticism media. Again, it would really help if you made your podcast's logo available to us either by uploading it yourself to Commons (properly licensed) or contacting us if you'd like to do so, but don't know how.

All of this should improve the visual presence of skepticism on Wikipedia.


GSoW in the News

Leon lecturing about GSoW to European young humanists.
Els Van Rossum.
European Young Humanist Summer Weekend

Leon Korteweg lectured about GSoW to a captive audience in Esbeek, the Netherlands. Aside from his regular explanation why skepticism on Wikipedia is important, and how the guerrilla skeptics make a change, he gave the attendees, young humanists from 12 different European countries, some practical tips on how to write a page about their own organisation, showing De Vrije Gedachte as an example.
There appeared to be unanimous agreement that this lecture was the most interesting of the entire weekend.
Jonge humanisten op Europees zomerweekend, Humanistisch Verbond (NL)
Workshops, Wasserschlachten und Guerilla-Skeptizismus bei Wikipedia, Diesseits, Humanistisches Verband Deutschlands (DE)

The Scathing Atheist - Susan Gerbic interview

Skeptoid guest article by Susan Gerbic

The Skeptic Zone - Richard Saunders interviews Susan Gerbic about the GSoW vaccine project.

Skeptical Inquirer Magazine - Vol 39 No 5 September/October 2015 - pgs 52-53 "Is Wikipedia a Conspiracy? Common Myths Explained" - Susan Gerbic (print version only)

Skepticality "Future Climate Thoughts" Susan Gerbic segment - "Assignment 6"

Skepticality "A Conservative Skeptic" Susan Gerbic segments -  "Interview with Raffaella" and "Vaccine Project Update"


Tentative schedule for
 GSoW lectures


Wednesday 30th Sept Mordialloc Sports Club - 528 Main Street, Mordialloc


Thursday 1st Oct Vic Skeptics - La Notte Restaurant  140 Lygon St Carlton 
Meal from 6pm, talk from 7:30pm


Launceston Skeptics Oct 4th or 5th (location TBD)


Canberra Skeptics Tuesday Oct 6th (location and time to be assigned)


Sydney skeptics Saturday October 11th 2:00- 6:00 pm Strattons Hotel (more information coming)


Brisbane Skepticamp on Friday October 16th 12-5pm (I'm not lecturing at this one, but will be attending, it should be the 100th SkeptiCamp ever and I encourage you all to attend)


Then on to the main conference Oct 17-18


Hong Kong Skeptics - Oct 21 - Oct 23 (dates and location not assigned yet, stay tuned)


Newest Secret Cabal interview - Susan Gerbic interviews Italian editor Raffaella Vitali.

Hope you all enjoy this update, we work very hard to get this out to you in a timely manner. If you would like to know more about us, or have questions about joining GSoW please check out our  YouTube channel and watch some of the interviews we have with the editors. We want to make sure that you understand what this project is all about, make sure this is a good fit for both of us.  If you have done so and are interested in joining our team, please write to us at