User:Graculus

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Hi. I'm flattered that you've made it to "my" page. But I'm not important. What is important is making articles readable, usable, informative and (within the human limitations from which we all suffer) reasonably objective. I'm not going to clog another "How to Wikipedia" page with my own thoughts, so I'll put them here where I fondly imagine I'm entitled to drivel on ad nauseam about whatever I think is important. So here are my pleas, to follow or ignore.

1. Keep it short and redirect to subtopics as appropriate. I don't want to read your unsupported 10,000-word dissertation when I can get a peer-reviewed article or book from a bargain bin for 30p / 50c, and neither will most users unless it's broken down into bite-sized chunks. The Web allows infinite redirection, whereas Wikipedia too often illustrates the sad limitations of human ingenuity. Don't fill an article on "Julius Nyerere" with twenty paragraphs on economic, foreign and this-that-and-the-other policy that belong in "History of Tanzania", "Chama Cha Mapinduzi", "Ujamaa" or whatever. There, I've rambled on too long. See how boring it is? I've bored myself already.

2. Spare me the inane psychobabble. History isn't what you make up because you're too naive / uninformed / lazy to examine real causes.

3. Don't subject me to idiot narrowmindedness masquerading as wisdom. What may seem to you an incomprehensible aberration from your straitened norms clearly wasn't so to its perpetrator. Sometimes it may be pure evil: more often than not they had a reason for whatever they did, however defective. Just stop and think for a moment, if it's not too much to ask. I don't want to live in a millennium of blinkered prejudice: if that's what this is about, then what's the point of being here?

4. Spare me any national pretensions, posturing or feeling that some long-dead ancestor was badly done by. Get over it. There's enough horror in human history without having to embellish it with lurid stage gore.

5. Know what you're talking about, and don't go out of your way to be a pompous prat. How many articles entitled "Demographics [sic] of ..." do we really need on what is meant to be "Demography of ..." but is actually about plain "Population of ..."?

6. While we're on numbers, don't exaggerate them or pick the wildest one going for the sake of effect: "It's only a number, who cares so long as I get my point across?" If it's so unimportant, why use it? They may not matter to you, but they do to some of us.

7. Don't credit individuals with the actions of parties, polities or whatever. It's just tiresome.

8. Keep it English. There are non-English Wikipedias, which is a Good Thing.

9. And for God's sake spare me those interminable 1911 Britannica articles. It's already online, and I've got a copy anyway. If you can't be bothered to write anything, don't paste an ancient rehash.

10. Keep it short. See (1)