Talk:List of articles every Wikipedia should have

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See the list of removed entries for articles that were listed in the past or are still under consideration.

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Terrorism -> Crime[edit]

I would like to suggest "Crime" to be added to the list, under the Law section. In addition to one of the most pressing concerns of most people, no matter where you go, defense versus crime is a primary purpose (and expense) of modern government. Although there is no concensus on what exactly is *considered* a crime, as well as what is considered a reasonable response to it, that debate in and of itself is encyclopedic due to its wide-reaching effects on the world's cultures.

For what to remove - the only notable candidate seems to be Terrorism, which would be a major subset of all crime in general, and a natural topic for the "crime" article to lead into. Almafeta (talk) 03:36, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Since there seems to be no objections, I'll make the change early next month (after the stats are run). We can change it back in February if any a notable problems come up. Almafeta (talk) 18:33, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I´ve just read your suggestion and I think it´s to early to make the change. I´m not agree with the change. Of course, Crime is a wider concept that includes Terrorism but, in my opinion, Terrorism deserves to be in the list because is an important fact in many countries, with important effects in its daily life. In addition to this, I must say that it would be convenient to set some rules about changes. I think it isn´t enough with only one personal proposal, it might have a minimum of votes to proceed with the change. --Xosé Antonio (talk) 23:19, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Although no objection was posted, the change was reverted without discussion, so I withdraw this suggestion. Almafeta (talk) 04:09, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
There was one person that not agree with your change. In other hands, I think that if only a person do a proposal, that isn't a proposal with consensus. I agree with Xosé Antonio that this list should have a minimal control of changes. --Elisardojm (talk) 08:19, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I do believe that the proposal to add en:Crime is a good one, just perhaps not as a replacement for en:Terrorism. Perhaps en:Commonwealth of Independent States could be removed, as it is a largely symbolic organization? It's not a topic within the same subheading, but it still falls under "Social sciences", so the section balance would be preserved. — Yerpo Eh? 19:19, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Eurocentrism[edit]

Total Eurocentrism. Shame on those who compiled this list! And yes, I am European and disgusted. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 81.182.67.87 (talk • contribs) 21:13, 12. januar 2014‎.

Wow, that was the most constructive comment in a long while... — Yerpo Eh? 21:31, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
And is totally true. This list should be more universal instead of being "euro-centered". --Zerabat (talk) 23:11, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
As said many many many times before, you're welcome to suggest replacements in order to reduce bias as you perceive it. Vague comments like yours, however, are not helpful at all. — Yerpo Eh? 06:43, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
Well, let's start:

  • For example, the ratio of "Artists and architects" category is: 13 from Europe (~72%), 3 from whole Americas (~17%) and 2 from Asia (~11%). There is not any exponent from Africa, and many sub-regions of the world were not contemplated. I will not deny that the artists selected were (and are) very important and have left a notorious legacy to humanity, but the selection criteria was made with a "eurocentered mind", I mean, considering and including more Europeans maybe due to not know other cultures.

Later I will continue...

--Zerabat (discusión) 19:11, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Looks like you didn't understand me. Stating the obvious (numbers and ratios) doesn't help, you should propose whom to remove from the list and whom to add. Then we can discuss. But note that geographical balance just for the sake of it isn't a better solution. — Yerpo Eh? 20:15, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

I think we need to start putting such phrases as "Dead White Man", by the appropriate person. That should be the first step. I do not see what your case by case proposal goes to show, except a reluctance to discuss the issue being raised.Leutha (talk) 20:38, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Yerpo, I clearly understood what you said. Regarding the list, I think Bernhardt, Sarah is not as vital as others. Also (this is an important issue, please do not avoid it) it is western-biased. --Zerabat (discusión) 02:10, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
The list is also male-biased, and would be even more so if Sara Bernhardt was removed. One problem is that the world is pretty much western-biased. Historical people from Europe are (because of imperialism) often well known all over the world, while historical people from other parts of the world often are basically unknown outside their own countries. But if you find topics that you think should be in this list, and topics here that shouldn't be, and motivate why they should replace each other, I'm sure it would be taken under consideration. Please look in the archives for this discussion page about how replacement suggestions previously have been made. Boivie (talk) 14:03, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I think the whole concept of the page doesn't really cope with the way languages work in the world. What sense does it make for a handful of people to issue a Fatwa to all the people working on different languages as if they simply have to reproduce the same set of articles? This is not the wiki-way and perhaps is better suited to Larry Sanger's Citizendium which uses a more top down approach which would enable those of us who see themselves as having expertise in such a generalist way to work without the constraint of taking into account those of us who want a more egalitarian approach. For myself, I feel it might be more useful if different language Wikipedias set their own targets, and perhaps a reasonably simple way could be used (perhaps with Wikidata) to link the different conceptions that would then emerge.Leutha (talk) 10:14, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
If you don't want to use this list, you don't have to. It's just a tool. By the way, the users active here are from lots of different Wikipedias. Boivie (talk) 14:03, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Nobody is forcing anyone to create articles on this list. They're merely unofficial suggestions, and should be treated as such. PiRSquared17 (talk) 15:04, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
The metaphor of Fatwa was used precisely because it contains within it the notion of an influential opinion, rather than implying any coercion. I certainly agree that the term should is not as strong as has to or even must, but even so it is stonger than suggest. However, I do not think that such fine points of English grammar should distract us from the main point, which is the bias in the list. I am not sure whether the issue can be sorted out using the one in, one out method, and certainly feel that the advent of Wikidata could help us find a way of co-ordinating between different languages wich does not involve producing Eurocentric lists like this.Leutha (talk) 00:59, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Microsoft Windows under Operating System[edit]

63% of the world's computers run some windows OS, so it's a relatively high-demand article. Microsoft revolutionized personal computing and brought it to the masses, so I think either them or their OS deserves a spot on this list for standing out so much. NottNott (talk) 21:42, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

This kind of reasoning is problematic because arguably, Microsoft's role in the PC revolution is shared with Apple (opinions differ to what extent). That's two spots already. Then, if we include these two, other famous companies will start creeping in. So I say no, let's stick to general concepts, everything else is of secondary importance. — Yerpo Eh? 10:08, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Musicians[edit]

Why is there only one Black musician in the list?Leutha (talk) 20:49, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Do you have a specific proposal to replace one of the musicians with another? PiRSquared17 (talk) 15:03, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

No, I am startring a discussian about why there is only one Black musician in the list?Leutha (talk) 00:12, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

If what you're stating is true, is it because the editors that have helped compiling this list haven't yet found more than one black musician that they thought were important enough for being included in this list. If you know of more please make a suggestion for a change in the list. Boivie (talk) 06:00, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Interesting point, systemic bias might arise because of lack of research skills amongst engaged editors or from bias as regards what they think important. Actually my concern here is rather with reviewing the methodology than contributing to a method which seems flawed.Leutha (talk) 13:32, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

So, basically you're only here to complain, and you're not willing to help? Or do you have any suggestions for a different methodology? Boivie (talk) 14:17, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

I am not quite sure why you posed me these questions. Perhaps you might care to reread my posting above. One of the way Wikipedia works is that it is based on evidence rather than opinion. This is why the encyclopedia has made such leaps forward since adding references became the norm. The problem with the methodology here is that "importance" seems to boil down to opinion, and indeed opinions very much constructed out of various aesthetic and cultural values. I am certainly keen to explore ways of developing a different methodology, but perhaps this exploration could start with an explanation of why the current methodology has been adopted?Leutha (talk) 18:11, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Current methodology has been you must discuss any changes beforehand and reach consensus. As for what consensus means that appears to be have a few people agree with you and no one disagree with you. Usually this entails just changing one or two entries at a time. Of course, this would all be based on opinion. This list is not about whether someone is notable but what is the relative importance. So, this will always be based on opinion. (eg. who are the 21 most important musicians?).
Something you point out that I think is interesting. This list seems to at times go around in this pattern (1) why is this list so biased in this way.. lets add some entries to balance (2) what are these entries doing here that are not that notable.. let add the old entries back. We should have a reference for each entry that points to the discussion in the archive where it was debated. --MarsRover 19:04, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Funny, I once started to make such an index, but gave up soon because it needs to be done manually and it was too tedious. Should I publish as it is and we'll finish it together?
Sure, I will try to help. But lately my time for wikipedia work is shrinking. I was thinking that each time we have a discussion about any given entry we just add a reference to the discussion. Maybe even a bot could be able to do it. --MarsRover 08:03, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I put it at Talk:List of articles every Wikipedia should have/Archives/Topic index. As I said, I gave up soon. A bot may help for clear cases, but it will still have to be a largely manual task. — Yerpo Eh? 17:10, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
To Leutha: the question why the methodology is such as it is probably doesn't have a comprehensive answer. This list goes back to early days of Wikipedia itself and it probably just seemed a good idea at the time. It might help to go through the discussion archives and edit histories if you're actually interested. As to your proposal, it might help to explain what you're actually getting at instead of playing on other editors' emotions by calling us biased and incompetent. Your hints simply remind us of the idea to make quotas for each cultural area, which was proposed long ago and already decided against. In case you haven't noticed, the world is Western-biased. And Wikipedia has, by its verifiability rules, decided to "be a mirror, not the lamp". Example: Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra regularly plays Beethoven, Mahler and other classical European composers. How many Southeast-Asian composers are on regular program anywhere outside Southeast Asia? I dare say that with our "flawed" approach, we got pretty close to listing subjects which are the most sought after in all Wikipedias combined in the long run (i.e. excluding fads). So you'll have to do better than that if you want the community to take you seriously. — Yerpo Eh? 08:02, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Firstly, I feel your suggestion that I am "playing on other editors' emotions" is misplaced. As other editors have pointed out, the list as it is currently constructed will always be based on opinion. In this sense we can see the work on this list as a form of affective labour creating what Michael Betancourt calls "systemic unknowns", in this case a putatively measurable notion of "importance" by which the individual candidates can be theoretically be ordered. So, I would suggest that any experience of emotional upset you may experience arises from the nature of this list and your personal valorisation of it through the affective labour you have already given it. As regards your view of the world being western-biased, even if this holds water, it only goes to highlight the ommission of Black musicians. I think you will find that such musicians as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley are westen musicians. I found MarsRover's point very interesting, and sympathise with anyone who stands back from such labour intensive work, particularly when there is some doubt about whether it will be well received. Of course we have Wikipedia article traffic statistics, and I hope no-one will get upset if I point out that for April 2013 Bob Marley came in at 387th (402,367 hits) whilst Ludwig van Beethoven was a little bit lower down the list at 810th (281,283 hits). As for Gustav Mahler I am sorry to report I could not find him in the list no matter how hard I looked.

House of Mirrors, a common feature at the funfair

Whilst I take on board the comment about wikipedia being a mirror, I feel that this page is perhaps somewhat more like the "House of Mirrors". I don't want to be a killjoy, and I know how much fun people can get from drawing up lists of their favourites under all sorts of categories. But I feel that it would be a good idea if this was done somewhere else. If there is to be List of articles every Wikipedia should have then I feel it requires a lot more thought. I also hope that when I point out a lack of research skills amongst engaged editors, this is not a matter of calling people incompetent, but rather indicating that the questions which arise from having a page like this may involve serious reflection concerning how can enhance the collective pool of skills, ideally simplified through the development of new tools, so that we can address the shortcomings of the list.Leutha (talk) 20:20, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Well of course I am emotionally vested in a work that is partly my creation, at least a little bit. However, me being upset (if you insist on talking about me, although "annoyed" would be a better description) stems largely from the fact that you started criticizing our work, indirectly and without providing a clear alternative. Even if you didn't intend it, your hint dropping came across as smug, which continues with your last message. The present list was given a lot of thought - 10 years of it, to be precise. I'm not saying that it can't be improved, but I'd appreciate if you finally explained what you're getting at instead of poking. — Yerpo Eh? 16:46, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Have to agree with Yerpo. There isn't a lot of commenters in this list so I am willing to accept any suggestions about articles or methodology. But you haven't really offered any specific yet. Using popularity as a way to get importance will just mean this is the "list of the most popular articles". The original goal of this list was to promote articles that are obviously important but missing. Promoting already popular articles is a really unnecessary task. So, IMHO, if you were to tweak the methodology I would not go in that direction. I do believe it can be tweaked in other directions. Perhaps we have a rule, the topic must have had influence in more than one continent. Is Bob Marley important outside North America? Is Gustav Mahler important outside Europe? --MarsRover 20:25, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, I am also not the only person to be "annoyed" by the bias in this list, as anyone who looks through the archives can verify. I agree that popularity has its shortcomings. However, it does have the advantage in that we can consider it in a more objective way, whereas I am not sure how we can approach "importance" in a clearer way. It is hard for me to come up with solutions unless you can tell me what you mean by this category. Otherwise we are dealing with what a mentioned above, a "systemic unknown". In fact, I would suggest that it is a sounder approach to start off with an analysis of the problem, rather than a putative solution, because otherwise we are likely to get into the sort of futile discussion, we can be worse than annoying.

Animated, color-coded map showing the various continents and regions. Depending on the convention and model, some continents may be consolidated or subdivided: for example, Eurasia is most often subdivided into Europe and Europe (red shades), while North and South America are sometimes recognized as one American continent (green shades).

Thanks to MarsRover for the suggestion of using what we might call the "continent approach". Assuming we set aside antarctica, when we compare the continental populations, it is a bit disturbing to discover that Australia, population 29,127,000, would have the same weight as Asia, population 4,164,252,000, a ratio of 1:143. Or comparing two hit scenarios, Europe and Australia add up to 767,326,000 whereas Africa and Asia add up to 5,186,486,000 a ratio of 1:6.76. However, as it is two hit measures this has to be more or less squared, giving a figure of around 1:45. Bearing in mind the demographics of the countries involved, this way would also be liable to bias, even if it gives us a clearer idea of how that bias arises. Unless we simplify things by reducing it to "important in Asia" (as 60% of the world's population live there), I think we need another approach. I wonder if we can agree on a shared notion that importance is related to human beings. Would that be a useful next step?Leutha (talk) 18:08, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

I agree "importance is related to human beings" but not sure exactly what you mean. I wouldn't want to weight the article counts by population counts. Otherwise we'll just mainly have Chinese and Indian articles.
My suggestion, as a way to finally get rid of the constant complaint that the list is biased, would be that the topic must be important to more than one culture. (Instead of continents we could use a world map of cultures). The means a Western person only important in the West would not be in the list. An Asian person only important in Asia is not in the list. This could dramatically change the list of people which seems to be the articles most complained about. But beware this might mean Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix are not getting in the list. But an argument could be made for someone like Youssou N'Dour if he is important enough in Europe. Also, in thinking this though it might caused Shakespeare and George Washington to be removed since not sure what other cultures view them as important.
Also, another way to tackle the problem is to say within each category the articles must be evenly divided between cultures. So, we can still have extremely important topics for a specific region. So, within Musicians the 21 articles must cover the 6 cultural regions. (3 or 4 Western musicians, 3 or 4 Asian musician, etc). --MarsRover 19:19, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

I think that's quite an interesting idea. Bearing in mind that we are talking about suggestions for different languages we could go for away of linking languages to different cultures. Then each culture could have its own list of important pages, with a way of then generating a more global list on the basis of frequency of appearance in these different lists. This would mean that no-one would necessarily face the daunting task of wondering how popular Mahler is in Africa, unless they had elected to work on that culture. Secondly, for the list to work as a prompt, it could be made more meaningful, so that an African language such as Eʋegbe would have one list geared principally around African culture, and with a smaller global list emerging in addition. We should also bear in mind that the list is most useful to those languages with the least articles.Leutha (talk) 20:35, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Just to clarify my suggestion is not to have a six lists per culture. But to have one list of 1000 articles that evenly covers the six cultures. The complaints about the existing list are almost without fail about the 120 biography articles which make up list. The remain 880 articles would probably be in all six lists if you went that direction. (eg. Electricity is important to every culture). But six completely different lists is a valid idea. I just would have it be a parallel project and not a replacement for this list. Sort of like the List of articles every Wikipedia should have/Expanded, you could have List of articles every Wikipedia should have/African, List of articles every Wikipedia should have/Western, etc. --MarsRover 07:04, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

That's a good point about the biography articles. I think perhaps that is where the contentious points arise. Presumably there is no reason to have 1000 articles except that it relates to the number of fingers most people have. Perhaps we could have List of articles every Wikipedia should have/Biographies which could them break down to the different cultures. Perhaps we could look at the state of play on some of the small wikis?Leutha (talk) 20:46, 12 April 2014 (UTC)