Celtic Knot Conference 2020/Keynote: Awfully Big Adventures - Wikipedia, and the way knowledge moves when it's free/Discussions

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Welcome to the note-taking pad of one of the Celtic Knot Conference 2020 sessions! This space is dedicated to collaborative note-taking, comments and questions to the speaker(s). You can edit this document directly, and use the chat feature in the bottom-side corner.

✨⏯️ Session details[edit]

💬❓ Questions[edit]

Feel free to add questions here, while or after watching the session. Please add your (user)name in bracket after the question. The host of the session will pick a few questions to ask them during the livestream. The speaker or other participants will answer on this pad (asynchronously: the answer may come in a few hours or days).


  • The way that the attitude to the language has changed
  • That those of us struggling are not inherently looked down on by those who are fluent
  • There have been years of us being shamed for poor Irish...It may be an older thing...(Antiqueight)
  • Covid19 aka The lockdown like the emergency - the irish way of referring to WWII.
  • re: Darach's comment on English words - Not all English words are from England - many are from the United States, or elsewhere
    • That's a very interesting point, and I think how EN Wikipedia can tag content for different EN variations reflects this. As a hiberno-English speaker, I know my English can be very different to UK/US/Aus etc. (Rebecca)
  • I'm reminded by some of the comparisons with Welsh, that Slovenian and Czech are examples of revived languages, since in the 19th century they were under threat of dying out in favour of German. Czech also has a national language academy http://www.ujc.cas.cz/index.html and actually has a blog about neologisms http://nastenka.neologismy.cz/ from what I can tell they are looking at when they actually become words by having the grammatical inflections. They have a nice Czech National Corpus website https://www.korpus.cz/ and I used the software available there for the Cornish texts to generate word clouds of the words used in each of them: https://taklowkernewek.neocities.org/blog/2019/06/21/cornish-corpus-word-clouds-with.html [User:DavydhT]

(Just read about a slovenian woman learning Slovene and writing a novel in it when she grew up speaking German and rench but not the local language until that revival)

🖊️🔗 Collaborative note-taking[edit]

Feel free to take notes about the session here, add some useful links, etc.

  • Darach has a podcast "Motherfoclóir" and his Twitter account [1] have contributed to the blossoming of Irish language in a more accessible manner. He has books "Motherfoclóir" and "Craic baby"
    • Foclóir is a dictionary in Irish (Rebecca)
  • His published work focusses on how the Irish language connects things, including everyday conversations and Irish mythology.
  • Information moves when it's free and how that [missed this]
  • To give an example of how Wikipedia celebrates the connections between things, he got from Peter Pan [2] → Great Ormond Street Hospital → bone-marrow transplants → Berlin Patient → Berlin → Berlin Jewish Museum → Daniel Libeskind → the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin → Easter Rising.
  • An alternative route could have achieved the same thing by clicking through Peter Pan → Captain Hook → Pirates [sic] → Gráinne Ní Mháille → Tanáiste → Dáil Éireann → Easter Rising
  • [something about] offline learning in the classroom. The teacher introduces a woman from the village. This session was the 1st of 6th, in timeslots that were previously set for preparing for Confirmation, to introduce the boys to puberty. Anyone growing up in late 20th century Ireland could tell you about [..]
  • Homosexuality was mentioned in passing — "if you were to meet a homosexual, you should treat them in a Christian manner"
  • Consent, if mentioned at all, was not a central theme.
  • modh coinníollach
  • When you talk to Catholic-raised people, and share these stories, they're often dismissive, rather than angry, like this was just a charming quirk of Irish childhood like red lemonade and ice-cream wafer sandwiches and Trócaire boxes
  • If you go to 2020 and the pandemic, and the low take-up of masks, at what point did people learn to mistrust state-led public health campaigns? Part of this would be from misleading information provided in the classroom about sex, drugs and so on.
  • We ended up geting our information behind the bike-sheds
  • This is what project-managers mean when they say that culture eats strategy for breakfast.
  • Fast forward from being 12, to secondary school at the age of 14. This was important; there was another 14 yo in the news every day known as "Miss X". She had become pregnant at the age of 14 by an adult neighbour. She was prevented from travelling to procure an abortion by an injunction, due to the Irish constitutional ban on abortion.
  • This case and the issues around it came up everywhere – even came up in Irish class, because there was a difference between the English-language and Irish-language versions of the Constitution
  • 8th Amendment [3] [text here please, bilingually, from Wikisource]
  • "as much as you can" vs "as much as is practical"
  • This national conversation around the case led to the proposal of 3 constitutional amendments, including a Right to Information — [statement about censorship here and lots of content being banned]
  • Certain Internet platforms have been better at protecting users from hate speech
  • Referendum asserted that the State did have a right to restrict the information that citizens had access to — 40% of adults expected to be censored and were comfortable with it.
  • Could I have written a book like Motherfoclóir without the Internet, and, more precisely, the internet culture that Wikipedia has cultivated? When I was at university, there were a limited number of email addresses available, with students queueing from 6am in order to be allocated one. Internet access from home wasn't widely available yet.
  • When some of my classmates went on the Erasmus scheme, I mainly communicated with my friends by letter and telephone, not email.
  • [Padraig Pearse had underlined a passage in his copy of Peter Pan]: "to die woud be an awfully big adventure"
  • Prompted me to examine JM Barry's writings in the context of Victorian ideas of childhood and Victorian ideas about blood sacrifice. If I'd been looking for this in a normal library, I might never have found it. But I was able to find it online.
  • I was one of the last people to have an education before Wikipedia
  • [Professor Declan someone] was talking about the possibilities of a hyperlinked Ulysses, where you could sink deep into the author's references — what information would do if it were allowed to move freely.
  • Writing Motherfoclóir about relationship with my father was a completely different experience from writing for university[…] anxiety about research and deadlines.
  • [missed]
  • When writing my books, writing on Twitter, I have access to a range of online sources on Irish language and mythology [list]. I was inspired by the Wikipedia ethic.

[transcription suspended in favour of waiting for a transcript]

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