User talk:Quillercouch/Archive1

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"Interesting" quotes[edit]

Poetlister, I am troubled by your frequent support of quote articles merely because the quotes are "interesting" or "reasonable". Is it your opinion that Wikiquote should include articles for anyone at all who says something witty? If so, have you considered how we could ever hope to define "witty" or "interesting" in a way that we could expect to maintain the quality of Wikiquote? (I quote Dan Tyler's article on "The 25 Worst Web Sites" in PC World: "And in a place where "U are soooooooo hot!!!" passes for wit, MySpace isn't doing much to elevate the level of social discourse." You've seen enough wrestler articles alone to realize that the first part of statement is absolutely accurate.)

Futhermore, we would face a problem with verifying quotes. Far too many people are more than happy to claim that they are the original creators quotes, or attribute to others this feat, when it is simply not true. The way Wikiquote avoids this is the same way Wikipedia avoids inaccurate statements, by demanding reliable sources, not just sites like "Jane Doe's Quote Website" that anyone at all (or maybe just Jane's friends) can edit, and that never, ever, EVER include sources themselves. Reliable sources also help us identify the subject, as publications with editorial boards and reputations to protect are far less likely to print rumors and false claims from unidentified people and works. (This is unfortunately a less reliable restriction for quotes than it is for other factual information, as even professionally published quote collections frequently fail to do their homework, but it's a bare minimum criterion for any hope of quality in quote collection.)

I am always happy to engage with active editors who disagree with me on various issues because it keeps me on my toes, forcing me to rethink old ideas and better express my arguments. Could you explain your reasons for promoting interesting quotes regardless of the source or verifiability? And if I am not representing your beliefs and actions accurately, please correct me. (It would hardly be the first time I've misunderstood the honest efforts of others!) Thanks. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:41, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Jeff
My, have you got the wrong end of the stick! I'm here to build a collection of worthwhile quotations, not a collection of inanities by famous people.
Of course I want verifiability. But if a quote is a good quote and is verifiably by a total unknown then we should not reject it just because it is by an unknown. If I find a quote in a standard dictionary of quotations and add it, would you move for VfD because the author had no Wikipedia articles? Conversely, if a page by an undoubtedly notable person consisted entirely of rubbish, would you vote keep on VfD solely on grounds of notability?--Poetlister 16:00, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure we agree on the idea that quotes should be "worthwhile", as slippery as that term may be. We have both been fighting against inanity in wrestler quotes, and there is so much more of this in our current set of quotations even from unquestionably notable subjects of all kinds.
But I think we disagree on what "verifiability" is. I would argue that it is inherently impossible for a quote from a "total unknown" to be verifiable. The best we can achieve for an unidentifiable person is that a reliable source attributes the quote to a name (or to "anonymous"). I believe (and have argued elsewhere in the past) that this is an acceptable sourced attribution — not as satisfactory as a firm source, but good enough, at least initially, for Wikiquote purposes. A standard quote dictionary is a "reliable source" by Wikimedia terms, even if it is wrong. In theory, its accuracy can be cross-checked with other reliable sources.
The key point is to ensure that the source is actually reliable. Web quote sites, as I'm fond of saying, are hardly better than rumor-spreaders. They have more in common with lyrics websites (which often contain very useful raw material but also incorporate and spread the most absurd errors) than they do with, say, news websites from established organizations. Even the best-intentioned sites are run by people who show little or no awareness of the need for proper sourcing. That's what sets Wikiquote apart from all the rest.
One of the greatest ignorances of our Internet generation is just how easy it is to make stuff up and get it spread across the virtual globe. This lack of awareness persists despite weekly examples of Internet fictions, scams, and other disseminations of falsehood that are reported in the press. (The "reliable" press has even been a periodic victim of these inventions, perhaps because the senior staffers, who are wise to the ways of hidden agendas, fail to understand the revolutionary elements of the Internet, while the newer, tech-savvy workers are too naive to sense the inevitable manipulation of self-promoters, pranksters, and people with axes to grind.)
The founders of Wikipedia quickly discovered this unfortunate aspect of easy anonymous publishing, which is why they mandated the principles of reliable sources, verifiability, and neutral point of view. The implementation of these principles may differ somewhat for quote collections, but they are still essential for creating an accurate compendium. Quote worthiness is certainly a more obvious requirement, but that only means it's necessary to focus more effort on accuracy, as fewer people will spend time worrying about it. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:18, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
By the way, on the subject of why we should screen for notability as well as quoteworthiness, I thought you might find a post I made last year at User talk:Gopal1035#Personal quotes useful. I think it was perhaps one of my more succinct arguments supporting a notability threshhold. (Of course, I could be just as delusional as the bloggers I mention , but you can decide for yourself if it's of value.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 12:08, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

You are now a bureaucrat[edit]

Congratulations, you are now a bureaucrat. Though I lacked sufficient information to fully approve your candidacy, I welcome you now as the third bureaucrat of the wiki. ~ Kalki 18:23, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Same from me. Though I haven't reached full support on my individual basis, we have no problem personally on the other hand. As a colleague bureaucrat, I welcome you to this team. --Aphaia 18:29, 18 February 2008 (UTC)