Sunday, May 31, 2009

The maturity test

Some people assert that there ought to be a minimum age limit for editing Wikipedia. Perhaps it would be better to work from an alternative: a minimum maturity limit. Provided below is a multiple choice test.

1. "The encyclopedia anyone can edit" means:
A. Everyone is welcome to try and improve articles, so long as they abide by Wikipedia's policies.
B. Idiots and high school students write two-thirds of the content.
C. Epic lulz.
D. I've got access to a /12 range so you can't really stop me.

2. You make an edit and it gets reverted. What do you do?
A. Discuss it on the article talk page.
B. Restore it with a nasty edit summary.
C. File a frivolous noticeboard complaint against the person who reverted me.
D. Restore it under a sockpuppet account.

3. You get blocked for edit warring. What do you do?
A. Sit out the block and return calmer and refreshed.
B. File an unblock request filled with four-letter vulgarities.
C. Make bias accusations against the people who reverted me.
D. Blame the administrator who blocked me at a "critical forum".

4. The purpose of featured articles is to...
A. Highlight the site's best material for readers, and motivate contributors to excellence.
B. Earn clout that can be traded for unblocks after I unload on people I don't like.
C. Boss people around until they comply with my favorite Manual of Style clause.
D. Wait until the primary editor goes on Wikibreak, and then 'fix' the page until it confirms with my point of view.

5. Dispute resolution exists to...
A. Settle differences and improve the encyclopedia.
B. Settle scores.
C. Wear out the patience of everyone who disagrees with me until they retire.
D. Provide entertainment while my favorite "critical site" has been hacked.

6. Wikipedia's administrators are...
A. Seasoned volunteers who have earned the trust of their peers.
B. Children, wankers, and assorted incompetents.
C. The cult leaders of the twenty-first century.
D. Worth eight hundred to a thousand dollars at Craig's List.

7. Vandalism at Wikipedia is...
A. Easily reverted due to the robust structure of wiki software.
B. Often more intelligent than the Pokemon article it supposedly damages.
C. A fun game between me and my friends. We trade bets to see which of ours lasts longest.
D. A cheap source of mainspace edit reversions to bolster my next RfA.

8. Inline citations exist to...
A. Provide verification of the statements in the article.
B. Litter the page with nonsense. The list of books I've provided at the bottom of the page is far superior, and don't you dare slap a template on my work of genius.
C. Add new layers of fun. I've been citing MySpace and The Onion for two months and getting reverted a lot less often.
D. Make my point of view appear legitimate. The trick is to go with older text references not covered by Google Books. After all, who really uses interlibrary loan anymore?

9. Checkuser is...
A. A technical power entrusted to select individuals that helps to detect sockpuppetry.
B. Useless and easily defeated by anyone who has brains.
C. Not that serious a problem as long as I never log in to my main account at the office.
D. A good way to smear someone's name, even if the result comes back negative.

10. Jimbo Wales is...
A. The founder of Wikipedia.
B. The cofounder of Wikipedia.
C. A good user talk page to watchlist.
D. One of the few humans on the planet who can still get venture capital in 2009.


Izno said...

1 and 6 are obviously C; 7 and 10 are obviously D.

Speaking of which, 10 is decidedly a loaded question.

I would probably add a question about RFA, and about copyrights.

2 and 3 need to posed as either sentences or as questions. Not both. :(

Seth Finkelstein said...

There's too many of these that are "all of the above" (especially #1 and #6)

10 is D? Did I miss something? I suggest replacing D with "not worth $75,000+ for a speaker's fee".

Anonymous said...

How's last question related to the user's maturity?

10. Jimbo Wales is...
A. The founder of Wikipedia.
B. The cofounder of Wikipedia.
C. A good user talk page to watchlist.
D. One of the few humans on the planet who can still get venture capital in 2009.

Isn't it more about an opinion on jimbo's maturity? ;)

Lise Broer said...

Notice the answer key hasn't been published yet. No cheating, fellows. ;)

Anonymous said...

What fun! I translated the test for Russian Planet Wikimedia

Lise Broer said...

Wow, thanks! :)

Joshua said...

And this is why I'm not a fan of multiple choice tests. Some of these have multiple valid answers.

For example, in question 1, Both A and B have some truth. The fact that many of the people who contribute are idiots or highschool students doesnt' change the fact that most of that content is (especially when subject to many eyes) often quite good.

2 Depends on the context. Depending on the circumstances and A,B or C could be reasonably valid. If the edit removed a serious BLP issue for example and the editor in question had a history of problematic behavior at that article or related articles then C isn't inherently unreasonable.

3 has the obvious additional answer which I'm surprised you didn't include given your work with ScienceApologist.

I'm not going to go through all of them but many of them also need to make an "is" v. "ought" distinction. For example, dispute resolution exists to improve the encyclopedia but in practice it often is used as a means to settle scores. Being a good Wikipedian doesn't mean one should be naive about how things actually occur.

Steven Walling said...

So good I bookmarked it.

Ched Davis said...

Since question 10 is obviously "All of the above" - perhaps Q10 should be:

10. A user page should ....
A: Be used as a quick guide and links to important pages.
B: Display the latest FPC and words of wisdom.
c: Promote your favorite political views - (which won't change anyone else's views anyway)
D: Promote your webpage and blogs. ;) ~~~~ (oops ... wrong software)