Category Archives: Did you Know?

The story behind the longest-running hoax in Wikipedia history

Jar’Edo Wens is an Australian aboriginal deity, the god of “physical might” and “earthly knowledge.” He’s been name-dropped in books. Carved into rocks.

And, as of March,conclusively debunked.

There is no such figure, it turns out, in aboriginal mythology; instead, Jar’Edo Wens was a blatant prank, a bald invention, dropped into Wikipedia nine years ago by some unknown and anonymous Australian. By the time editors found Jar’Edo Wens, he had leaked off Wikipedia and onto the wider Internet.

He had also broken every other Wikipedia hoaxing record. At nine years, nine months and three long days, Jar’Edo Wens is the longest-lived hoax found on the free encyclopedia yet. 

The story behind Jar’Edo Wens, the longest-running hoax in Wikipedia history – The Washington Post.

Where does Wikipedia’s information come from?

Where does Wikipedia's information come from?

Wikipedia helps us make sense of the world. In 277 languages from Ukrainian to Urdu, its 36 million articles deepen our understanding of the people, places and ideas that matter to us. While it can feel like a static resource, Wikipedia’s articles are born and nurtured through a thoroughly human process. Behind the scenes, thousands of Wikipedians craft policy that guides decisions about whether an article reflects a neutral point of view, a source should be considered reliable, or a subject is notable enough to warrant an article.

[…]

Geographic differences underlie many differences in editor perspectives. Each editor lives in a particular place in the world, reads specific languages, and represents some national culture. These geographic differences translate to differences between language Wikipedias…

[…]

Our research studies where information in Wikipedia comes from, a characteristic we call geoprovenance. We focus on the four million Wikipedia articles about places that, along with information such as TripAdvisor reviews and geotagged flickr images, constitutes the rising class of information renowned geographer Michael Goodchild calls volunteered geographic information (VGI)

Where does Wikipedia’s information come from?.

The 2015 IMPAC Shortlist Delivers 10 Eclectic Titles

The IMPAC Award shortlist was announced today. The IMPAC sets itself apart with its unique approach. Its massive longlist is compiled by libraries all over the world before being whittled down by judges. This makes for a more egalitarian selection. It’s also got a long lead time. Several books up for the current prize (to be named in June) were initially published as far back as 2013, putting the IMPAC more than a year behind other big literary awards. There’s a distinct upside in this. By now, nearly all the shortlisted books are available in paperback in the U.S.

The IMPAC also tends to be interesting for the breadth of books it considers, and the 2015 shortlist is no exception, with seven countries represented, though only three of the books are translated works. Four of the ten shortlisters are by women.

The Millions : The 2015 IMPAC Shortlist Delivers 10 Eclectic Titles.

European Union Literature Prize Winners Announced

The latest winners of the European Prizes for Literature, each worth €5,000, were announced at London Book Fair yesterday.

The winners are:

  • Carolina Schutti (Austria);
  • Luka Bekavac (Croatia);
  • Gaëlle Josse (France);
  • Edina Szvoren (Hungary);
  • Donal Ryan (Ireland);
  • Lorenzo Amurri (Italy);
  • Undine Radzeviciute (Lithuania);
  • Ida Hegazi Høyer (Norway);
  • Magdalena Parys (Poland);
  • David Machado (Portugal);
  • Svetlana Žuchová (Slovakia);
  • Sara Stridsberg (Sweden).

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “This is the only book award dedicated to the best up-and-coming authors from all over Europe, regardless of their country of origin or language. With this prize and our continued support for translations of literary works, we are helping literature cross borders and enabling readers to enjoy the wealth of writing talent we have. This is crucial: literature opens the mind, allowing us to come closer together and understand each other better, which is now more vital than ever.”

via Publishers Weekly (London Book Fair coverage)

79 Theses on Technology

So here is a selection of the 79 theses on Technology

o    Everything begins with attention.

o    It is vital to ask, “What must I pay attention to?”

o    It is vital to ask, “What may I pay attention to?”

o    It is vital to ask, “What must I refuse attention to?”

o    To “pay” attention is not a metaphor: Attending to something is an economic exercise, an exchange with uncertain returns.

[…]

o    Useful strategies of resistance require knowledge of technology’s origin stories.

[…]

o    Blessed are they who strive to practice commentary as a legitimate, serious genre of responsiveness to others’ thoughts.

[…]

o    Our current electronic technologies make competent servants, annoyingly capricious masters, and tragically incompetent gods.

[…]

o    This epidemic of forgetting where algorithms come from is the newest version of “I for one welcome our new insect overlords.”

[…]

o    Jaron Lanier: “The Turing test cuts both ways. You can’t tell if a machine has gotten smarter or if you’ve just lowered your own standards of intelligence to such a degree that the machine seems smart.”

[…]

o    Everyone should sometimes write by hand, to recall what it’s like to have second thoughts before the first ones are completely recorded.

[…]

o    On the internet nothing disappears; on the internet anything can disappear.

 79 Theses on Technology. For Disputation. | The Infernal Machine.