Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Too much time...

Everyone knows about the people with no life who inhabit the 'net, I never knew the scope of their problem... until now...

I did a search on Wikipedia for LV-426 (ask Mark) and found a truly amazing article. An extract of it is included for your enjoyment:
LV-426, also known as Acheron, is the name of the fictitious moon (frequently but erroneously referred to as a planet) where the Alien was first encountered by humans in the movie Alien (1979) of the Alien Series. It bears a strong resemblence to Saturn's moon, Titan.

LV-426 is a moon in orbit around a gas giant in the Zeta II Reticuli system, which lies beyond the "Outer Rim." LV-426 has .86 Earth gravity and is geologically active, judging from its surface composition (igneous rock, "lava base") and steam vents on its surface. Prior to terraforming, the atmosphere consisted mostly of nitrogen, crystalised carbon dioxide, and methane, and its temperature was well below the Celsius line. The source materials differ widely on the diameter of this world: figures of 1,200 m, 1,200 km and 12,201 km are given in different sources. Out of these, 12,201 km (from the Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual) is the only one that is possible given the surface gravity.

Most of the details in the passage above are not supplied in any of the Alien movies, and a check into the "Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual" tells me it is a piece of reasonable fan-fiction. What drives these people to invest so much time and effort, and possibly money, into a wholly fictional reality extending it with their own ideas?

Aliens isn't the end of this madness either, go have a look at a few Star Wars and Star Trek related entries on Wikipedia.

I think Wikipedia need to start looking into these articles a bit closer. The way they read seem to represent the fictional reality as a real one. Especially the entry for Alderaan, so much history and backstory that was written by fans has made its way into the article. If the Wikipedia Foundation wish to be a real player in the encyclopedia business they need to start making sure their content is factual and when it is not, clearly label it as so.

8 comments:

James said...

"If the Wikipedia Foundation wish to be a real player in the encyclopedia business they need to start making sure their content is factual and when it is not, clearly label it as so."

Are you serious? Wikipedia is a joke. There's a lot of commentary on the 'net decrying the uselessness of the entire project as a result of it's lack of peer review. Even the founders of Wikipedia are aware of it - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/18/wikipedia_quality_problem/

The fact that it's crap isn't really a surprise. Like most of the internet any moron with a keyboard can be an expert in their field... The irony of writing that sentence in a blog isn't lost on me.

Craig said...

"If the Wikipedia Foundation wish to be a real player in the encyclopedia business they need to start making sure their content is factual and when it is not, clearly label it as so."

James, in response to your comment, I think the key word in the selected passge is 'if'.

Stuart Anthony Fenech said...

If it is any consellation... I have roamed the Internet backwaters for ten years and yet have never even seen a full Star Wars movie.

James said...

That'd be consolation (Cpt Nitpick strikes again)... although there's the potential for a pun with "consellation" (sic) being close to constellation in reference to Star Wars... do we give the author the credit?

The internet backwaters aren't the place for Star Wars anyway... but you're going to have trouble calling yourself a nerd without being able to speak the nerd language

Craig said...

Don't pick on him James. He is only new here. And he is a Queenslander, but we shouldn't hold that against him :)

James said...

Oh... sorry... didn't realise he was from Qld... I didn't expect he'd be able to read and write let alone find the few places where they have electricity and those new fandangled computers that Joh was so against back in the 1950s super-decade (which ran from 1950-1985 for the rest of the world).

I suppose he did remarkably well punching out anything at all let alone a couple of moderately well formed sentences... Of course we judge the mental acuity of Queenslanders by their maiden Pauline's yardstick. He might do well as a Labor politician if I'm permitted such a conundrum :) Although I don't think Qld politics needs more of the same boring two party politics... They've produced such wonders as One Nation they really need to strive to outdo themselves :P

Stuart Anthony Fenech said...

Real political stooges have had to fight off gun loving, ultra paranoid One Nation stooges from their local markets! :)

And errrr, unfortunately that earlier error was accidental.

Craig said...

Are you a real political stooge?

(And 'stooge' has to be pronounced by your namesake Paul Fenech)