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Things I’ve Learned from Wikipedia

19 Januar, 2010 (17:40) | Internet, Society | By: pooq

For some reason ten is the most popular number of rules (maybe beside of 1 and 3). So some guy in Georgia erected stone columns with a number of rules written on them. As you might guess it were ten rules (in 8 languages) which would lead the way to a better future. Beside of the nature loving and being generally good and noble it needs massive measures of contraception or killing (which at least for catholics would be the same) as already the first rule is to reduce human population to about 500 million people. So maybe some rules are needed to avoid such nonsense from being spread in future:

  1. don’t take all of your wisdom from wikipedia
  2. don’t write nonsense on stone columns as anything carved in stone might even survive a nuclear strike
  3. don’t write nonsense in the Internet for the same reason (save it on CD instead which have a much shorter durability and can be locked into a desk drawer)
  4. don’t write nonsense in common languages (use esperanto instead to ensure that no one can read it)
  5. don’t take all of your wisdom from wikipedia
  6. don’t repeat yourself
  7. don’t read any nonsense (if accidently you do, report it to China – they know how to delete it)
  8. don’t repeat yourself
  9. don’t think only in „don’t“s but try to be more positively and formulate „do“s instead
  10. don’t make up nonsense rules if you don’t have anything more to say just to reach the magic number of ten rules


Comment from Gunnar Gällmo
Time Januar 20, 2010 at 3:20 am

Since the rules must be exactly ten, the eleventh is:

11. Don’t be so stupid as to trust that no one will be able to read your Esperanto.

Comment from pooq
Time Januar 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm

So maybe rule 4 has to be expanded to (use esperanto instead to ensure that no one can read it. In case you want to spread really useless nonsense translate the esperanto to any other language (choose one which is not using latin letters) with an automatic translation algorithm first. run md5 (or comparable) encryption on the result. this is on behalf that there are rumours of some people who actually CAN read esperanto.)

Comment from Remush
Time Januar 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm

12) Try to limit your contributions to the subjects you know first hand. (not only valid for Wi!kipedia). We are not interested in the display of your ignorance.

Comment from pooq
Time Januar 20, 2010 at 9:59 pm

„Try to limit your contributions to the subjects you know first hand“.

Yes, that should improve the matter – but it would make it less likely to spread nonsense then (even though still possible). And those rules were made as a guide against nonsense. So the one rule might be „avoid writing nonsense at all“. But as you can’t keep people to stick to this simple rule, I thought it helpful to write a guide to hinder its circulation.

Well, but to get the matter straight: I randomly read blogs and try to present them to other people. I don’t know what I get and I don’t know what I will write. Sometimes I write very friendly texts and sometimes I have a tendency to be a bit ironic. I think this post is an example for the latter case. If you you read the blog post of the linked blog you will know what I mean.

The ironic thing is that I on purpose choosed Esperanto as the counter example for „written in eight different languages“ because I thought it would be the best choice as everyone knows it and especially as it is not the language of any country (at least as far as I know) I would not affront a certain nation. Well, it seems that thought was only partly successful.

So I hereby officially state that I have NO first hand knowledge of Esperanto or of its spread in the world. I am sorry if somebody felt offended of my using of Esperanto (if so please try to avoid reading „How to learn Swedish in 1000 difficult lessons“) in this (or any other) texts. It is not in my intention to get people insulted but also in future, I fear, I will make ironic statements, be it on purpose or on pure ignorance, if I think it will be informative, illustrating and plainly entertaining.

So thanks for the comments, that show your oppinion. And which prove that there certainly REALLY are people speaking Esperanto. So to all those who plan to write any nonsense I would recommend the enhanced version of rule 4 as the original rule is not sufficient.

Comment from Remush
Time Januar 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm

On behalf of Esperantists: Apologies accepted.
Note that as „Esperanto it is not the language of any country“, you are mocking speakers in all countries, who also understand English, and are probably more proud of their Esperanto than of their English.

Comment from pooq
Time Januar 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I am relieved to hear so.

„you are mocking speakers in all countries“. There you got a point, but it would be the same with all other languages as well as many people would be proud of any language they spent their time to learn. That is a basic problem with irony (or even sarcasm) that it may make people feeling mocked. Nevertheless it is an art itself and would not really work without. It often works with stereotypes and it is important to differ stereotypes from truth which was the point of your comments.

So what the point of irony is beside of maybe being funny is to think about a matter. So actually I stated something like „Esperanto was a nice idea. Everybody heard about it but hardly anyone uses it. So it has become a dead language.“ If that is true than Esperantists would need to do more efforts to change it and non-Esperantist might start thinking about the language and why they never tried to learn ist. If that is wrong the irony would be wrong itself and if it was even wrong on purpose (what this one was not) it would even be more a polemic. If so or if the author of the irony simply was ignorant of the facts, it could be a start of a dicussion (as it was).

That is why I wrote „also in future, I fear, I will make ironic statements“ in the last comment. Even about Esperanto. I got your point but even if again I admit that I have no firsthand information I still think it is – compared to other languages – not used by many people (Wikipedia (which clearly is against rule 1 and 5) says „Assuming that this figure is accurate, that means that about 0.03% of the world’s population speaks the language.“ –

So I am not having anything against Esperanto and I am impressed of the idea of an easy to learn world language. I just think it did not become a world language. But alone the fact that I used Esperanto as an example shows that I trust that almost everybody will know the language and this is a great success. So I hope you will understand my point of view as well and will not be angry with me in case of irony.

Comment from Remush
Time Januar 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm

You have two reasons to be careful when using irony:
1) When you write on internet, you are not just addressing the group of people who know you from birth.
2) When you write in a supposed international language, you must consider that others may have different feelings.

We, Esperantists have another conception of the world and know that it is safer to be ironic upon ourselves..

I would not advice you to use Vollapük instead of Esperanto, because that language had the misfortune to suffer the same prejudice as Esperanto, only earlier but you could used Klingon, as Klingon speakers are boasting themselves that their language is not adequate for a normal human being.
You could try ancient Greek, but Greek is quite a prestigious language from which we took lots of words (and still are in case of need).
Why not Japanese or Polish, as both Japanese and Polish believe that their languages are so difficult that no foreigner can ever learn them beyond the basics (what is a proof of his inferior brain capacity)?

Choosing the easiest language on the planet is not a wise choice.
(However read )