Ed Poor/Learning

< Ed Poor

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This is where I put lessons I've learned about how to contribute to Wikipedia.


12/4/01 My contribution style is still undergoing overhaul. Today, fewer of my changes were instantly erased, as compared with the first 2 or 3 days I contributed. I wonder what I'm doing right?


Say, I hope people don't mind the fact that I "save" often. When editing an article, I will typically hit the save button a half dozen times or more. If you want to get my final word on a subject, you might try waiting an hour.

I find it extremely annoying, actually, to try to fix one of your articles and have continuing collisions. It's bad enough when you do it, worse when I'm colliding because you're making lame statements like "gone forever are the days when people can suppress ideas"... GregLindahl
I strongly feel that there's nothing wrong with saving frequently. All regular Wikipedia contributors encounter annoying edit conflicts. This is just part of the game. No one is entitled to a Wikipedia experience free from this.
Sorry, Greg. I will try to cut down my edit frequency while maintaining productivity. The habit comes from software development on machines which crash a lot. I will also try the preview and minor edit option Dmerrill and GWO suggested.
I don't find it remotely annoying. In fact, I do it too. I usually use the "minor edit" option for most of them though. As to discussions about wikipedia, (such as Controversy, these are best voiced on http://meta.wikipedia.com) -- GWO
Sounds good. How do I move it?
Try this link... http://meta.wikipedia.com/wiki.phtml?action=edit&title=Controversy_on_Wikipedia
Try using the Preview button. --Dmerrill
Does that catch edit clashes? -- GWO
I'm not really sure. I didn't think so, but I saw a couple of clashes today. Maybe the software has been updated to catch clashes on preview? --Dmerrill

Welcome to Wikipedia!

Another way to ask questions is to put them right on this page, then put a summary in the Summary field. Within minutes usually someone will respond.

You can add a Talk page if you have a question on an article, and ask your question there. Someone will answer. You can ask on your own page (this one) if it's not related to a specific article. You can also add a /Talk page to your own personal page when conversations here get too long or annoying, or if you just don't like others adding stuff like this statement for instance. :-) --Dmerrill


It's been good working with you today, Ed. While we apparently disagree on a lot, we both want to see accurate and npov representations of all beliefs, not just our own. So we actually clashed rather little, and wound up educating each other instead of arguing. That's in the best of the Wikipedia spirit!

Thanks. I hope that unlike on Usenet, where I would feel a compulsion to "win", I will be content to get a word in edgewise and leave it at that. Inconveniently, people like you are making me think instead of leaving me to wallow comfortably in my biases or my ignorance. You consistently refuse to let the dialogue deteriorate into an "Is too! Is Not!" stalemate, satisfying as those kinds of exchanges can be.

However, I still think you do not understand natural selection. It means exactly what it says -- it attempts to explain the process of selection of survivors in nature. That's all. It has nothing to do with what causes the variations in organisms.

I got confused because some language here and elsewhere implies that Natural Selection causes the variations to come into being. Now I feel empowered to expunge such language boldly and mercilessly.

It does accept as a premise that those variations happen, but only as a premise upon which the theory is built. The cause of the variations is not a part of the theory. You are reading into it things that are not part of it, but part of a separate phenomenon usually called individuation. What ID proposes is a different cause, and a different characterization, of individuation.

Natural selection does not explain the appearance of new forms, only the mechanism by which one survives and another does not.

The two, taken together (individuation + natural selection) are called evolution. By interpreting "natural selection" to mean "individuation + selection", you are making "natural selection" == "evolution" which is wrong.

I believe this is only a misunderstanding. It is quite common to not really understand views with which you do not agree, as part of not taking them seriously. I do that myself. But if you're going to write an encyclopedia article it is important that you reflect other people's views accurately, and I don't think you're doing that. --Dmerrill

Okay, evolution = I + NS, and NS <> I. I'm ready to roll.



By the way, I'm waiting to see what you write about Pizza. :-)

I had two slices for lunch today...

Well all, it was a fun two days. I contributed a bit to the Creationism/Evolution debate, mostly constructive -- although I couldn't resist twitting Greg over falsifiability. No doubt all traces of my tampering will be removed over the weekend. We are probably all too close to the subject, to attain NPOV. Maybe an expert on 15th Century French Lyric Poetry should do the editing. Anyway, it was fun. Gnight. -- Ed

Well, I'm glad you think wasting other people's time is fun, but you shouldn't expect your victims to be as happy about it as you are.

I'd like to thank Ed for making what I believe is a sincere attempt to remain npov. If these articles on controversial topics have any chance of a truly sympathetic portrayal, while remaining npov, we need people like Ed who can explain their belief without attempting to state it as fact. It's possible I missed something Ed did, but all my interactions with him on Friday were as smooth as you could expect when two diametrically opposing worldviews are working together. We had a few clashes, but worked them out. I certainly don't feel my time was wasted. --Dmerrill