[INDOLOGY] fr.Wikipedia and other non sa.wikipedia

Donald R Davis drdj at austin.utexas.edu
Thu Jan 30 13:58:21 UTC 2014

One other approach to Wikipedia that I have taken is to use it as part of course assignments in lieu of other kinds of writing.  Most of the "Hindu Law"-related entries in the English Wikipedia were written, edited, and expanded by students in my course of that name.  Wikipedia's good rule against original research functions well in the context of a course, where the goal is often to learn to synthesize existing knowledge about an area.  I won't claim all the pages on this theme are excellent or complete, but at least there is a presence for it in Wikipedia and I can feel that the information presented is at least good enough for my idiosyncratic view of the field.  More controversial subjects would, of course, be more challenging for a course, but I agree with others that contributing to Wikipedia can be valuable for a limited public.


Don Davis
University of Texas at Austin

-----Original Message-----
From: INDOLOGY [mailto:indology-bounces at list.indology.info] On Behalf Of Jean-Luc Chevillard
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 6:07 AM
To: Indology
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] fr.Wikipedia and other non sa.wikipedia

I have occasionally contributed to the Tamil Wikipedia (and to other Wikipedias), although not frequently.

As an example,
the following page


(alias "http://ta.wikipedia.org/s/kk3")

was created by me,
at a time when I was cataloguing old Tamil books which had belonged to the late T.V. Gopal Iyer (1926-2007).

Best wishes

-- Jean-Luc Chevillard

On 30/01/2014 11:22, elisa freschi wrote:
> Fabrice,
> I do contribute to Wikipedia (and even write Indological reviews on 
> Amazon or on PhilPapers) whenever I happen to read an article and find 
> something incorrect in it, although I try hard to look for more 
> reliable sources (e.g., the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy). 
> However, I never contributed to the Italian, French or German 
> Indological sections of Wikipedia. Why so? Because they are much 
> worse, as far as I can judge, than the English version and because I 
> see no point in scattering energies through many Wikis. I understand 
> that it makes sense to contribute to the, e.g., German Wiki when I 
> have something important to add about Austrian Literature or about any other German-specific topic.
> But I do not think that there are enough Italian or German Indologists 
> who do not read English. Nor am I ready to start to engage in a war 
> against the English super-potency (although I can feel the paradox of 
> preserving the Indian ideo-diversity while neglecting the European 
> linguistic diversity). Further, quite frankly, French, Italian or 
> German Indologists in fact need to be able to read English without any hesitation.
> Long story short: perhaps you are the only one contributing to the 
> French Wikipedia, but not the only French speaking Indologist who 
> contributes to Wikipedia.
> elisa
> Dr. Elisa Freschi
> Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia Austrian 
> Academy of Sciences Apostelgasse 23
> 1030 Vienna
> Austria
> Phone +43 1 51581 6433
> Fax +43 1 51581 6410
> http://elisafreschi.com <http://elisafreschi.com/> 
> http://oeaw.academia.edu/elisafreschi
> On 30/gen/2014, at 11:01, Dominik Wujastyk wrote:
>> If there is a taboo, I break it all the time.  :-)
>> I think Wikipedia is an amazing experiment.  It's got flaws, 
>> obviously, but overall I consider it one of the most exciting 
>> developments in global knowledge-sharing that's ever taken place.  Up 
>> there with Gutenberg, surely.  I have an Android phone, which now 
>> understands spoken questions, and often answers them from Wikipedia.
>> It's completely amazing to have an encyclopedia in one's pocket.  And 
>> the whole model of globalized collaborative writing is extraordinary, 
>> and new.
>> I was at a lecture a couple of years ago when the speaker was 
>> criticizing something in one of the Wikpedia entries. I had a laptop, 
>> and before the lecture was even finished, I had updated the Wikipedia 
>> page to reflect the lecturer's corrections.  This kind of thing 
>> raises all sorts of interesting new questions about the nature of 
>> academic knowlege storage and transmission, what we trust, and how we 
>> manage our relationshop to our sources.  The history-tracking feature 
>> of Wikipedia is absolutely critical to its value.
>> There are fights in Wikipedia, of course, over contentious issues.
>>  But the system and the m
>>  ​​
>> anagers address this issue of conflict, and surprisingly often, ​ 
>> things calm down after a while.
>> I
>>  ​would​
>>  imagine there's quite a struggle going on right now at ​fr.​ 
>> Wikipedia.
>>  ​org​
>>  about Devadatta (Dieudonné).
>> ​ [I checked, and yes there is.]​
>> An indological case in point is the Wikipedia account of the 
>> California textbook controversy over Hindu history dispute 
>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=California_textbook_contr
>> oversy_over_Hindu_history> that started in 2005.  If you click "View 
>> history" you'll see how much of a struggle there's been between 
>> factions.  It's been stable for quite a time now, and it's short, 
>> factual, and the emotional and aggressive language of the early versions has been purged and has stayed purged.
>> Numerous sockpuppets
>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_%28Internet%29> were active 
>> in the early years, but they were eventually blocked by the Wikipedia 
>> managers.  I would say that the CTCHH dispute is an example of the 
>> Wikipedia system working rather well.  It took several years to work, 
>> and the angry middle period was unpleasant.  One has to be patient in 
>> such cases, and take the long view.
>> Best,
>> Dominik
>> On 29 January 2014 17:41, Fabrice Duvinage 
>> <fabrice.duvinage at gmail.com <mailto:fabrice.duvinage at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>     Is there any taboo about contributing to Wikipedia? Though I guess
>>     many indologists are not against knowledge-sharing for free and
>>     improving the general knowledge about India, I am the only
>>     indologist/sanskritist in the fr.wikipedia and feel like hell
>>     about it  How is it in other wikis: en, de, etc,?
>>     Sincerely yours,
>>     Fabrice Duvinage
>>     10, rue Alfred Mézières
>>     54000 Nancy
>>     0652825128 <tel:0652825128>
>>     http://fabriceduvinage.voila.net/
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