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User talk:Richard Williams

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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. Here are pointers for a quick start. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at CZ:Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via the Citizendium-L (broadcast) mailing list (do join!) and the blog. Please also join the workgroup mailing list(s) that concern your particular interests. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forums is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any constable for help, too. Me, for instance! Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun! D. Matt Innis 15:08, 12 July 2008 (CDT)

Registration process

Hi Richard! See [1] my talk page for a response to your important question. D. Matt Innis 09:14, 13 July 2008 (CDT)

Hi Richard,
I don't mean to nose in on your conversation, but were there any specific changes that you would suggest? Or are there particular sections that seem especially off-putting? --Joe Quick 09:40, 13 July 2008 (CDT)
There are many problems with the page, here's the first one:
The page uses the words "Request Account", "applicants", "review your applications" and asks for a biography and possibly a resume. It gives the impression that a potential author's qualifications will be evaluated to determined if they are satisfactory to meet Citizendium standards. While it is possible for an application to be an author to be denied, author applications are routinely approved. I recommend changing "requesting" and "applying" for an account with "register for an account". Richard Williams 14:04, 13 July 2008 (CDT)


Hello Mr. Williams. By the way, you had a pretty neat suggestion at the forum regarding the registration page.

So I wanted to know more about the person who made the suggestion & read your bio.

Would you care to explain what "disillusionment" you had at Wikipedia? I am curious to know. Thank you. (Chunbum Park 22:10, 17 July 2008 (CDT))

There are many issues I have with Wikipedia. One of them relates to the quality of the articles. The best Wikipedia can hope to achieve for their articles is a series of summaries from random locations in a random selected set of books. To do a proper encyclopedic article someone needs to be familiar with everything important which has been written on the subject and use their expertise to resolve the contractions between the sources. On Wikipedia there is no mechanism for evaluating sources in order to arrive at the "truth". Resolution of content on Wikipedia is done by obnoxious editors driving others away, manipulators who's knowledge of Wikipedia rules enables them to win arguments, and by voting where many of the participants have no knowledge of the subject. Richard Williams 00:26, 18 July 2008 (CDT)
You're right. I've had the same experience. Even reliable sources have flaws or misunderstanding, so when I was working on the Korean War of 1592-1598, I had hard time figuring out which was which. Here it says "Chinese countered the Japanese' guns with their cannons." But over here it says "Chinese couldn't have brought enough cannons to Korea because they were too hard to move around through the mountainous terrain." Also, people do take advantage of the rules at Wikipedia. For example, if someone wanted to advocate something false, they can create an article with original research. Then, some people will come over with "deletion plz!" But others (including sock puppets) will say "na, this is a good topic. keep it. it just needs improvement." How can there be improvement when the topic doesn't exist? Their false assumption is that you just need to know the Wikipedia principles to decide on these matters, but in fact you can't unless you also know about the subject itself. You see how these rules are disconnected & people there are unrealistically faithful to the Wiki ideals - i.e. deletionist, NPOV, etc. (Chunbum Park 09:37, 18 July 2008 (CDT))