sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Finding "Truth" (Sunday Sermonette)

Wikipedia, a Source of Fact?

“Wikipedia is…broken,” controlled by special interests and bad actors, says co-founder

The Dark Side of Wikipedia

CIA challenge coin
Is Wikipedia the "encyclopedia that anyone can edit"? What sort of agenda editing goes on inside Wikipedia? Is it an engine for Media Matters, the media giant controlled by George Soros and interests that oppose YOU? 

The bottom line is that Wikipedia is a partisan blog, as is Virtual Mirage, but that's not how they paint it to the internet-using public. I don't contend that all of Wikipedia is fake news, but you have to vet what you read there - just like you should be vetting EVERYTHING that you read on the Internet.

Powerful interests that “watch” and control the Wikipedia agenda.  They will revert or change any edits that attempt to correct the record. This, in a nutshell, exemplifies Wikipedia’s problems across the platform as described by its cofounder Larry Sanger.

Sanger recently spoke to 150Sec. The following is an excerpt:
Reading a Wikipedia entry about Wikipedia itself seems strange. But where else on the web would an average internet user go for digestible, encyclopedia-style content?

With its entries almost always topping Google search results, Wikipedia receives around 33 billion page views per month, according to studies carried out by thinktank Pew Research in 2016. In line with statistics from the website itself, it also changes at a rate of 1.8 edits per second and the number of new articles per day averages 578.
The multilingual free online encyclopedia was established in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, originally under the name of Nupedia. It is now the fifth most popular website in the world.

As an open source, Wikipedia can be added to or edited by anyone in the world through knowledge base websites called wikis, which allow users to collaboratively modify content. However, Sanger claims that this has become one of Wikipedia’s biggest downfalls.
In its early days, “Wikipedia itself had special challenges,” he explained. “One was simply to teach everyone who arrived at the wiki, which was basically a blank bulletin board that could have become whatever we wanted it to become, that we intended to build an encyclopedia. A lot of people didn’t seem to know what that meant, or maybe they just didn’t care,” he said. 
“Wikipedia itself had special challenges,” Larry Sanger, Wikipedia co-founder. Another hurdle was to figure out how to rein in the bad actors so that they did not ruin the project for everyone else. Unfortunately, we never did come up with a good solution for that one,” Sanger added.

“Wikipedia is a broken system as a result,” he said.
The Donkey Tribe

I was part of a team prosecuting La Cost Nostra mobster, Joey Grosso, in Orange County, CA some years ago. After listening to a string of lies that the jury wasn't buying, the prosecutor questioning Joey asked him under oath, "Joey, how do you define the truth?" Joey replied, "If I tell you something and you believe it, that's the truth." Joey was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison for the attempt murder of Bill Carroll, a strip club owner. 

Joey's definition of truth didn't get him very far. And in the 1990's, an Orange County jury rejected his definition. In 2019,  Joey's definition of truth is the one that the mainstream media runs with, in the hopes that people will swallow fake news, whole. 

Truth and Justice

Sometimes people conflate truth and justice, thinking that they are one in the same. Justice as we refer to it today is defined by codified law, written by lawyers (for the most part) that you elect to Congress.

You could argue that Truth is also malleable and as we've noted above, the presentation of truth by Wikipedia and other sources, including this blog...can be subjective. We can turn to God for ultimate truth, but whose God and through which mouthpiece?

Faulty Mouthpieces

In Iran, the Supreme Leader is the mouthpiece for Allah. Many including your humble blogger, feel that the Imam is a liar, a fraud and a generally evil man. Is that opinion true or is it based on subjective reasoning?

It's for you, the reader to choose. And whether you rely on human frailty or you seek a higher source for truth, the important thing is that you try to do the right thing. And that is usually, but not always the compassionate thing.

Have a nice Sunday and a great Memorial Day Weekend.

27 comments:

  1. "If I tell you something and you believe it, that's the truth."
    Ain't that the truth!
    Wikipedia, for the most part, has articles written to explain stuff the writer wants explained, profiles they want to promote. I can live with that. I often gather clues as to where to find "the truth" if in doubt.
    But caveat emptor, eh?

    And I believe Iran when it says it doesn't want war.
    Nobody wants war.
    They want their way by threatening war.

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  2. I found that bit of mob history interesting. At one time the Mafia had a real presence in Kansas City. When the wife was a teen, she lived in a house on the east side that had once belonged to Charlie "Mad Dog" Gargotta a local mobster. If that house could talk, of course I wouldn't go to listen since that neighborhood is no longer a nice one. In 1950 Gargotta and fellow mobster Charles Binaggio were gunned down in front of a portrait of Harry Truman in the Jackson County Democratic Club. Who would have thought a Mafioso would be a member of that outfit?

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    Replies
    1. The mafia, like all politicians, and the news media exist exclusively to exercise power and make money.

      If the walls could talk, your wife might be sleeping with the fish.

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    2. I mentioned your comment to her, and after laughing a while she said, "That's basically true."

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  3. There is much wisdom in your last paragraph. I would only add that doing the right thing is often lonely. I am reminded of this quote--

    "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it".

    George Bernard Shaw

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    1. The loneliest man on the planet was Jesus Christ

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  4. ...or, as SNL's Hans und Franz would say, 'hear me now, believe me later.' (written while I said it with my best Arnold Schwartenegger accent). Wikipedia is not unlike almost any source of info: you have to look at it with a cynical eye and determine through many factors how valid it is:

    Parents: they tell you the 'truth': what's their slant?

    Teachers/professors: they profess the truth, and subsequently test you on their pontifications and give you a grade for how well you regurgitated their 'truth.' (hint: to get a good grade, see things from the professor/teacher's slant, and double down on that slant, turn it in, you're golden - works every time)

    Politicians: they also claim to spew the truth. Has Nancy Pelosi ever told the truth about anything, even what she had for breakfast? I would suspect that answer would be no. Every syllable politicians utter on the floor of the House or Senate is considered protected speech, and need not be factual, truthful or right: this is a law. So how much value should we place on the truthfulness of a politician? How about zero.

    Used car salesmen: they can fudge reality to a point, such as claiming a cream puff 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was only driven by a little old lady to church on Sundays, when in reality it just came back from a few bouts at the local demolishon derby. Can we believe these guys? They are more believable than politicians, if you ask me.

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    Replies
    1. WSF was in the used car business. Unlike politicians, if WSF screwed you, at least you got a ‘77 Monte Caro... (written with a Bela Lagosi accent)

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    2. The finest'77 Monte Carlo available in town! Fill her up and drive anywhere your fancy takes you. Only the finest rides live at Downtheroad Motors.

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    3. Gosh, that vintage Monte Carlo sounds great. Do you have the service records? Oh, never mind, I trust you....(written with a Forrest Gump accent)

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  5. Mooselimbs are inherently liars as a means of winning over the sheeples. Obama is a Mooselimb liar.

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    1. Mohammedans say “aloha snackbar” and think that I should care. My default reply is FIRE FOR EFFECT. Besides, I wouldn’t look good in a turban—— and never had the urge to hump a goat

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  6. Hard to know the truth, or find it. Joey Grosso truth is most people's default setting.

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    Replies
    1. You can only find truth if you’re unafraid of it.

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  7. Wiki is nothing more than a jumping off point to find the truth. I read everything there with a jaundiced eye.

    Mobsters? At least (in the old days before drugs) they only killed their own and left John Q citizen alone.

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  8. Why don’t you have a Wikipedia page, Larry? Sort that out will ya? I’m happy to add data. :)

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    Replies
    1. It would require a vanity quotient that I don’t possesses. Do a page for me once I’m dead.

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  9. Well said, and no, NEVER trust Wiki anything to actually be correct... sigh

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    Replies
    1. It’s just another fake news outfit. Trust but verify

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  10. but whose God and through which mouthpiece?

    Hence my apprehension of 'organized' religion.

    Growing up in Joliet, I had the occasion to meet some members of The Family. My observations are that they take their oath far more seriously than (most) politician's take their oath.

    Conservapedia is an alternative to Wikipedia. The only thing I 'trust' the Wikipedia for is certain scientific and engineering articles.

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  11. Ah yes, truth. Of course Pilate walked away but we know it's "that which is", considered absolutely or, intellectually, "accordance of mind to thing."

    So. A truthful person would look at a thing, say Hillary, and arrive at the right conclusion. Viz. SEND THE CRONE TO GITMO.

    Some dissent and say that's my "truth." I say to hell with their fraudulent, lying, faked up, murderous, Illuminati narrative.

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  12. Researching info for a Wiki page regarding Larry would probably be a bad idea.
    I have a friend, Len, who has six GSWs and multiple broken bones from an interesting life involving Project Phoenix, drug smuggling in Central America, a government ran publishing business for underground newspapers, The Black Panthers, and The Hells Angles (that I know of).
    When he retired from his business in the Bay Area a few years ago he moved to a different county and applied there for a concealed weapon permit.
    The permit process took longer than normal.
    He called the very 2nd Amendment friendly SO inquiring as to the application's status.
    He was told the permit was approved so quickly that they assumed that there had been an error and he needed to reapply.
    Odd.
    Our SO is pro CCW and with live scan and NCIC it is almost impossible to get an ID error.
    Len gave them a phone number.
    The next day he got a call from the SO telling him that his permit was ready and that they respectfully wished him well in his retirement.
    If anyone runs anything other than a standard NCIC background check on Len it sets off trip wires at some place in Virginia.

    Asking too many questions about our host would lead to a couple of guys knocking on your door asking you why you want to know.

    Larry's Wiki page would probably contain quite a few weasel words: allegedly, it has been said, according to rumors, a statement given by a source not authorized to speak on the subject, it is believed...

    Money, friends in high places, friends in low places, certain challenge coins, and the statute of limitations are wonderful things.

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  13. Great post and good comments.

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It's virtual - it's a mirage - it's life