Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fuck this bullshit

The New Yorker has given us another article on Wikipedia and the "controversy" surrounding it. What I object to about the article is contained in this paragraph:
Wales also appointed an arbitration committee to rule on disputes. Before a case reaches the arbitration committee, it often passes through a mediation committee. Essjay is serving a second term as chair of the mediation committee. He is also an admin, a bureaucrat, and a checkuser, which means that he is one of fourteen Wikipedians authorized to trace I.P. addresses in cases of suspected abuse. He often takes his laptop to class, so that he can be available to Wikipedians while giving a quiz, and he keeps an eye on twenty I.R.C. chat channels, where users often trade gossip about abuses they have witnessed.
I.P.? I.R.C.? What the fuck? That's not the way those initialisms are written! It's IP and IRC. Even the most cursory Google would tell you that! Since I can't believe The New Yorker hires anything but the best copy editors, I do not believe for a second that this was an act of ignorance. Inserting those periods was an act of deliberate and premeditated pedantry. Inserting those periods was a way of saying, "we're so smart" and "we do things the right way." The New Yorker doesn't own the proper punctuation of those abbreviations, the internet does.

Stylistic decisions such at these should be about making written communication effective, clear, and efficient. By inserting those periods--and thus deliberately flouting the norms of a community because of a misplaced sense of what is "proper"--they have done the opposite, as it distracted me from the point of the piece.

And don't get me started on that New York Times Magazine article a few months back where they wrote f.M.R.I. instead of fMRI.

Time to go write a letter to the editor. After all, "all that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hwang still doesn't get it

From CNN:
"I am also a victim who was deceived. I am the biggest victim," he said.

Yeah, sure, that's it. You're the biggest victim.