Wikipedia to the Moon/Discussion

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Home Phase 1: scenarios Phase 2: voting Phase 3: working Phase 4: wrap-up About FAQ
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This page is dedicated to the initial discussion of how to select Wikipedia content for the Moon rover’s payload. There is only limited data space available for the mission, about 20GB. Limitations of space are usually no issue in the Wikimedia movement, but with this challenge they are. Wikipedia in 2001 started out as small project, but today it is humanity’s closest attempt ever at representing the sum of all knowledge. After 15 years of Wikipedia, it has grown to almost 300 language versions, with different interpretations of articles, subject matters, and cultural contexts. Before we can even start to work on Wikipedia content for the journey to the Moon, we need to discuss how to proceed.

Below you find draft scenarios, each with a different approach. This page is the place to ask questions and debate pros and cons. Discussion is open until June 3, 2016, after which voting will be begin.

Scenarios

Scenario: a Wikipedia canon

basic idea: In literature, a canon describes a set of works that are considered to be some kind of standard or official representation of something. There is no global canon of the most important Wikipedia articles or anything similar. However, in many language versions there are lists of Wikipedia articles that people suggest every Wikipedia should feature. In this scenario all language communities would be invited to discuss and agree on one movement-wide canon of Wikipedia articles. Discuss


Scenario: Top 30 rankings

basic idea: Whereas a Wikipedia canon would represent a decision of one global community, the almost 300 language versions of Wikipedia stand for a wide variety of culture and knowledge. In this scenario, all Wikipedia language versions would be invited to discuss and select their own Top 30 of articles. All Top 30 selections from all participating language versions would then be collected and included in the Wikipedia payload. Discuss


Scenario: Nominated items list

basic idea: One account, one vote. In this scenario, every Wikipedian could add one list item and then sign their own suggestion. This could be Wikipedia articles (regardless of language), an image, or any other media item. No restrictions, except that you can only name one list item. The items of the whole list go to space. Discuss

Scenario: Take Mond/Maan/Луна/Månen/Mjesec/Bulan/Hold/Luna/Księżyc/Lua/Mesiac/Ay/Moon to the moon!

basic idea: القمر, آی, ചന്ദ്രൻ, चंद्र, Mặt Trăng, and the articles on the moon in many other languages are featured. Let's send them all up there. This could be part of some of the other scenarios. tbd. Discuss

Scenario: Why are we just talking about Wikipedia? What about Wikisource, Wiktionary, etc.

basic idea: Take various things which Wiki editors find to be emblematic of human culture (Shakespeare's Plays from Wikisource, definitions of common words from Wiktionary, travel guides from Wikivoyage, etc). Specifics can be worked out later. Using only Wikipedia articles to create a lunar time capsule of Wiki culture is too narrow for such a grand project. tbd. Discuss

Scenario: Language agnostic

basic idea: Since this disc will only be read by some alien species and/or in the distant future, the difference between earth languages is small. First, select some body of articles by some criteria. Next, for each item selected, compare the different language versions of that article, and send the best one. Discuss

Scenario: Hold a global editathon on Astronomy

basic idea: Hold an online edith week or month in which people write about Astronomy. Every article gets its author a ticket. At the end we draw a dozen people who can select an article to go to space. tbd. Discuss

Scenario: Wikidata approach

basic idea: Don't send Wikipedia articles, send Wikidata instead! There already is a "sum of all knowledge", perfectly agreed, well-modeled, easy-to-describe, etc. Of course, there would be necessary some additions (links to other datasets wouldn't make any sense in the future, the URIs would have to be simple identifiers within the ontology, ....), but most of them should have been done robotically. Optionally: this scenario can be extended with some selected articles, if some space on the drive remains. Discuss

Scenario: Disc space for all major proposals

basic idea: Allocate disc space for each of the well supported proposals: Canon, Language Diversity, Special Works, and Community.

Use approximately half the disc space for a canon of articles in a single language. A sixth for representing major world languages & a Rosetta Stone. Another sixth for key works of human thought and art. Remaining space going to featured articles or single article votes by users in the wikipedia community. Discuss

Scenario: Or maybe not

basic idea: Should this be done at all and why? Some may oppose sending the sum of all knowledge to a place where anything can find it. Also, for the idea to become true it needs broad support by Wikimedia communities. Therefore reasons aganst it need to be discussed. Discuss­

Scenario: All TOP (and HIGH) importance articles on all Wikipedias

basic idea: Without doing any calculations, there seems to be enough space to send up all top importance articles of all WikiProjects on all language Wikipedias. This would result in a large variety in articles going up (Joan of Arc; Webcomic; Moon; Tale of Genji) in a large variety of languages going up, each the most important in their field, with no preference given to any specific field. If room is left, high-importance articles could possibly be sent up as well. Discuss­

Scenario: Balanced compromises

Basic idea: This scenario strives to strike a balance in multiple issues on different levels.
The first issue is of this time capsule being a legitimate snapshot of the sum of human knowledge and culture to be possibly accessed decades later or a public relations activity to boost the image of Wikimedia, Wikipedia, space exploration and science in general. It is both, and so it should aim to please both goals.
The second issue is of this time capsule being a Rosetta Stone-like cache of information to faciliate the study of human languages in the future, which introduces redundancy, or being a showcase of different pieces of knowledge and cultural artifacts from around the globe, which reduces redundancy. Strictly speaking, the time capsule cannot function as the Rosetta Stone simply because most of its articles wouldn't be one-to-one translations of each other, but the considerations of showcasing linguistic diversity should be weighted in. The time capsule should feature a multitude of languages aside from English or German simply because it has to be a diverse time capsule, and Earth and humankind itself is very diverse.
The third issue is of languages represented. There should be at least one article from every language or dialect that has a separate Wikipedia, preferably the highest quality article if not anything else.
The fourth issue is content representation, concerning the choice of subject matter.
The time capsule, considering the language diversity issues, should give each Wikipedia language community a choice to decide what article they would submit, in addition to providing key articles in all languages, thereby satisfying both the language diversity issue and the goal to provide sums of key topic areas. Thus half of thr storage should contain key articles in all available languages, and the other half should be divided between all Wikipedia language communities to fill, allocating them space proportional to the number of native speakers of that language, minus the space allocated to Wikipedia languages which have otherwise be left out (for ex. latin) with zero articles. Discuss

Scenario: All featured articles and lists on all Wikipedias

basic idea: Let's sent up the best of the best. All featured articles and lists on all Wikipedias. This would create a strong incentive for people to bring their favorite topics up to featured status. Imagine the kind of PR this initiative would get: "Wikipedia community sends the best it has to offer to the moon". Discuss­

Scenario: Send information about cutting edge technology

basic idea: (This probably isn't enough to fill the entire disc, just to serve as a portion.) What we find interesting about time capsules and old documents today is information about 'cutting edge' technology and science - the gramophone, biplanes, RADAR. So surely, we should send that - pages with the most recent advances in different sciences and branches of technology, and maybe information about what the Earth is like today.

Discuss

Scenario: Decoding with DNA

basic idea: Focus on ensuring humans can be brought back from extinction and on ensuring that whoever finds it can make sense of it even if they lack familiarity with human languages or software. Both are best accomplished by including snippets of Earth’s biosphere’s native language: DNA. Include the articles “Human”, “De-extinction”, “Human Genome”, the actual human genome, Good and Featured articles of organisms with a DNA barcode, the periodic table, Solar System bodies, spacecraft articles, and articles on all letters, numbers, and human languages. Fill the remaining space with whatever other proposal is voted second. Discuss­

Scenario: Risk of Extinction

basic idea: Focus on preserving information on things that have a high probability of disappearing within the next decades, centuries, and millenia. Include all articles in all languages in the following categories (or equivalent - I am working off of en.wikipedia): Category:IUCN Red List extinct in the wild species, Category:IUCN Red List critically endangered species, Category:IUCN Red List endangered species, Category:IUCN Red List vulnerable species, Category:World Heritage Sites in Danger, and Category:Endangered_languages; and the articles on the following list: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. Include the entire wikipedia of any language that is found in Category:Endangered_languages. (Additonal ideas to add to this theme are welcome). Discuss­

Scenario: … please edit!

Please add new scenario there (click edit link below)

Please add your idea with using this template:

  • YOUR_SCENARIO_NAME - short name of your scenario
  • YOUR_IDEA_BASIC_FORMULA - key principle of your scenario
  • YOUR_IDEA_SHORT_EXPLANATION - short explanation of your scenario
  • YOUR_SCENARIO_LABEL - short label for discussion section below this page
; Scenario: YOUR_SCENARIO_NAME 
{| class="wikitable"
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| style="background:#009ee0; padding: .5em 1em; color:white;"| '''basic idea:''' YOUR_IDEA_BASIC_FORMULA. YOUR_IDEA_SHORT_EXPLANATION. ''[[#Discussion_Scenario_.23YOUR_SCENARIO_LABEL:|Discuss]]''
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Discussions

Discussion scenario #Canon:

A canon sounds like a good idea, maybe make a list of articles, and each language can contribute their article on a subject. Vrenak (talk) 14:50, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Send all Wikipedia in ASCII: A non-destructable offline backup copy of entire wikipedia as redundancy till launch date on Moon can sound so cool & serve a safeguard purpose too. If we cant send entire wikipedia, then at-least one or top three spoken language backup only of text should definitely be dispatched to the moon. This entire database can then include in addition a select/voted/nominated/top articles with entire catalog of images as add-on limited to restricted space. AKNEAL (talk) 16:30, 22 April 2016 (UTC) Support in English or German only It goes without saying. We need to use a universal language to save space and avoid duplication and superfluous data. I propose English but would concede German as the offer was made to the German wikimedia group. BaSH PR0MPT (talk) 15:02, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Disagree with only English or German Only contributing English (or German) articles fails to reflect the diversity of language communities represented on Wikipedia. Howkafkaesque (talk) 03:13, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Why only English or German? We are sending the disc to the moon, as a record of human knowledge, a glimpse of us. All languages (in which Wikipedia has a version at least) deserve to be in the disc if it represents 'Wikipedia' and not just 'English Wikipedia' or 'German Wikipedia'. The longest article on English Wikipedia is now 1,156,685 bytes long, and about 17290.7922209 such articles can be put into the disc. Which means on an average, each language version gets about 57.6359740697 such large articles to put. Let them use their space for their culture and knowledge, for their 'representation' in the Wikipedia community, in their own language. Using just one or two languages would be neglecting diversity, cultural and other differences, heritages, uniqueness. There are many concepts or other things considered to be very important by some community and not by other. So let each community decide what they want to send to represent themselves and their knowledge. However, it is true that there is the problem of lack of users (I mean quite a few users/a minimum number of users) in small wikis. IKHazarika (talk) 11:43, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
On the other hand, a future culture might not know any of the languages. It'd be easier for them to understand one with a large body of work in it than many with small splinters. Perhaps pick a 'main' language which has a copy of every chosen article, then other copies of the same articles in other languages? --Keiyakins (talk) 20:04, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
A future culture might not know any of the present languages, but using many languages would help them understand the linguistic diversity seen here. I mean, all of us do not speak or use the same language! Our cultures are very different! And this diversity, I believe, 'deserves to be shown'. May be, we can avoid the same article being repeated in many languages by using the language most appropriate for the topic. Eg: Assam could be in Assamese, while Maharashtra in Marathi. There could be disputes, but a solution 'can' come out of discussions. Like, in which language Science related articles would be written in? May be we can then choose it by selecting in which language version of Wikipedia is the article about the topic best written................ It could also be noted that all concepts and structures required to present some idea is not present in all languages. They might not at all be translated or explained in a different language. And simply leaving them would not be that good.................... IKHazarika (talk) 04:33, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

pretty much covered here. If it encourages people to work on them so much the better.Geni (talk) 15:05, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

A small canon, (a handful of very-relevant articles such as "Moon", "Earth", "Human") in all the languages for which decent articles exist. This would leave space that could be filled through one of the other approaches. --LukeSurl (talk) 15:16, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Sorry LukeSur, but 'in every language' is the polar opposite of what a canon is. Small or otherwise. A canonical text is ONE volume. Not multiple volumes of the same thing, all in different languages. That's why I suggested English as a universal language, or German given they were given the offer. BaSH PR0MPT (talk) 16:05, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I think a collection of very-relevant articles in all languages. And then the rest selected on an importance basis is a good approach. Regardless of what it is called. Anyone reading it would at least be clued that there's more than one language and still have the width of knowledge. Bytesock (talk) 17:51, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
This is probably the most effective and logical idea. I find it somewhat boring and it might not be the most effective PR (if that's what we're going for), but it's definitely the "obvious" thing to do. Maplestrip (talk) 18:44, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
And those other articles are preferable in English (or perhaps German) all the way to be consistent and because those are the language versions that has the most depth in their articles. A lot of people also speak English.. even in China. Bytesock (talk) 18:50, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Maybe we should add a file with information that would teach whatever the language (s) we choose , that's the first thing i would do because you can't know who or what and when is going to be found, supposing that somebody or something did, Also, it should be a extremely graphic information i thing . And it has to have a manual or something. how to read that thing, what it is ? MarlonRisen (talk) 14:56, 21 April 2016

This is one of the smartest idea so far. The whole drive would be absolutely unreadable in any language, if you do not teach your reader how to read it. But, it would be possibly so hard it would require whole disc space and more... :-/ --YjM (talk) 20:34, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
ideas lysdexia (talk) 03:57, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

And there's this list. With the exception of personal life, the "Elite Nine" have corresponding articles over a wide range of different language Wikipedias. -- Llywrch (talk) 15:42, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose hell no! what are you talking about?!! every wikipedian want to see their language and their work Considered in such a project so it has to contain so many languages!! Super ninja2 (talk) 19:50, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm gonna come and say Extremely strong Oppose to German. English is fine. If German is to be included, why not French,why not Hindi, why not Bengali, or Tamil? I've mentioned languages that are in use in more than one country if anyone cares. No. NO GERMAN. ----Rsrikanth05 (talk) 20:38, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
The reason to with the German language besides that the request went to them is because there are more articles with depth in English, but German comes second in many cases. And in many cases their articles are even better. An example would be the English article on the en:WAV format vs the German article de:RIFF WAVE on the same subject. Try to write a decode using the respective article and see which one is complete enough to accomplish the task. And that is just one example. Not too long ago Latin was the important language and then French, but Internet didn't exist at that time. Bytesock (talk) 21:02, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support Support I think the disk should have the entries in bold in the list of articles every Wikipedia should have in all the available languages and a selection of high quality and high resolution images from Commons. I think the pictures of the year would be an obvious option. If there is space left, every Wikipedia should be allowed to pick up one or more articles by a process of their choice, but only if all of them have an equal chance of getting their articles included. If that is not possible, then a vote should take place in Meta to select additional non-bold articles to include from that list or bold articles to remove if the current list doesn't fit in the disk. --Lsanabria (talk) 21:30, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support We do have vital articles on at least the English Wikipedia, and I'm sure it is the definitive list of important articles on Wikipedia (articles like Earth, water, etc.). Personally I'm not sure if other languages have this vital article thing, but this issue can be solved. Finally, I believe only FAs should go into space, because in the case of vital articles, some of them are not of extremely high quality, and as the collection of mankind's knowledge, you wouldn't want poor writing and organization go into space. But then details can be fleshed out later. Zamaster4536 (talk) 01:02, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Support I see only limited possibilities for putting a copy of Wikipedia on the Moon to be worthwhile. The few that I can think of benefit from having a core set of articles copied in every available language. This way, it could serve not only as a repository of information, but as a "Rosetta stone" allowing translation of long-lost languages.--Srleffler (talk) 01:37, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Support If aliens of some sort are intelligent enough to make their way to this disk of the moon, then I am sure that they could crack a code. By putting articles into a code that takes up less storage on the disk, we humans could fit more information. Gnilhtrae (talk) 01:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)gnilhtrae

Support if it will be articles in all languages... Oppose if it will be in only one or two languages. Arussom (talk) 03:33, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Support: I would vote English because it is the largest for wikipedia with generally the highest quality articles, and it is arguably the current global lingua franca. However, German is excellent, and a canon of 100,000 articles in German would be acceptable as the moon project is ultimately German. But I think the canon should be in tandem with other ideas. Rememberlands (talk) 07:41, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose: I oppose English because English is not the most spoken language. Secondly even other languages deserve to be on moon and English is not like some King of languages. Every language is equal.joymenezes (talk) 14:08, 22 April 2016 (IST)

In name only--English has been dead for 1000 years sith the Norman Conquest. Instead it's a pidgin/mongrel/barbarism of several languages called Einglish. Equal what? lysdexia (talk) 03:57, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Support Support The canon, not cannon, should leave room for most important pages and some for random pages. lysdexia (talk) 03:57, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

I would strongly oppose use of only few languages as it doesn't represent the diversity of human cultures. I would split up the space among every language with Wikipedia (according to some key; except those under 50 articles?) and let them select their own canon (under some basic rules). --Venca24 (talk) 07:46, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

  • Oppose Oppose Why English or German? It seem absurd and offensive! Wikipedia represents every languages. If there are a question about possibility I am strongly oppose with the German language. There are no special reason to include German language. If then why not the another language? In the List of articles every Wikipedia should have, there are so many articles in several language are fine and well furnished. ~ Moheen (talk) 21:54, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
    • German was specified because the team making this storage space available is located in Germany and initially contacted Wikimedia Germany about this project. ~Mable (chat) 11:02, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia 1.0: I think the "canon" should be a release of Wikipedia 1.0, which has been discussed since 2003. We could create a 25 GB version of this and add it to the M-Disc. That way, we can overcome the objection of "there are more important things we could be doing" similar to the objections to the manned moon missions in the 1960s. Not only would we accomplish something amazing, we would also complete something that has been discussed for a long time and will help those who wish to access Wikipedia offline, such as students in developing nations. Tonystewart14 (talk) 21:45, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

That's the kind of suggestion I hoped to see a month ago, as it is a lot more specific than "everyone would discuss and agree on a possible canon". ~Mable (chat) 12:51, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

Discussion scenario #Top30:

Support; This would allow each language version of Wikipedia to showcase its best articles, representing the Wikimedia movement for what it is: a global effort to sum up human knowledge. 192.249.47.205 14:41, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support; Like this idea. And It would be great if one of the selected articles would the the page "Moon" in every version. So like Top29 + Moon article for every language. --Postcrosser (talk) 15:00, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose Top X aggregates are lazy simple things for lazy simple people, it doesn't reflect the grandiose undertaking of this project at all. BaSH PR0MPT (talk) 15:07, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Question; How would the Top 30 be selected, and which editors would make the selection? Is there a link someone can provide to the Top 30 in each Wikipedia, so we can get an idea of which articles are considered Top 30? Waters.Justin (talk) 15:37, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm on the same line of thought here, there's some unclarity in regards as to what criteria that will be used to select. And popularity ie page visits is no good measure. Unless Bieber etc is the best humankind has achieved. Bytesock (talk) 17:53, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Maybe voting could work. We could create a page for everyone to vote, maybe for a week or so. Put a link to it on top, or tell about it in village pump and so................... Anyone interested (and active in that wiki maybe) could vote. Aren't many of Wikipedia's decisions taken that way? The users themselves could put candidates up. Or maybe we can use some selection criteria, instead of election.................... maybe the featured articles, good articles, or maybe articles about topics important to the culture and language of the wiki..................... We could decide 'what criteria to choose' or 'what method to choose' through discussions too! IKHazarika (talk) 04:43, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Support; This is great so that all languages can have their content and local cultures in their own language sent to the moon. It doesn't have to be a same article written in different language, but more ably include their traditional culture. Eiffelv (talk)

Support; This would allow each language version of Wikipedia to showcase its best articles, representing the Wikimedia movement for what it is: a global effort to sum up human knowledge. JVRKPRASAD (talk) 16:22, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support; i guess PR is more important than a full encyclopedia on the moon, Top 30 reflects all wikipedia communities. Ghilt (talk) 17:02, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Comment This would be a good idea on the large Wikipedias, but there are many Wikipedias further down the list with much smaller rates of editing. This means that the articles tend to be lower quality (as they're edited less), and that if a vote were held on those Wikipedias, the results would be merely the preferences of a handful of people, not a community at all. Perhaps we could limit the list to Wikipedias with more than a certain number of pages or number of active editors? Howicus (talk) 18:32, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support, but include an element of automatic selection, particularly for smaller projects (and include all projects not just Wikipedias). So we could have the 10 most read and 10 most edited articles over the past year (or other period of several months to avoid focussing on what is in today's news), and 10 articles chosen by the community. If space permits could increase to 30 of each on a few projects, or add all content about the moon from all projects. AlasdairW (talk) 20:58, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support (with rule-based selection); however, I would limit the number of articles on the same subject to, say, three. The three articles would be selected from the language versions based on quality. That would give smaller communities a fair chance to participate, and it would probably increase the cultural diversity of subjects. --Rainald62 (talk) 21:11, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support the Top 30 idea, but not based on automatic selection. i think that the best choice would be a selection of good (or if possible featured) articles on important topics related to each language or country's specific culture and society. that could be done by voting at each wiki. Tetraktys (talk) 22:27, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose the top 30 articles across each Wiki could likely include many of the same topics. It's also hard to see how a mere 30 articles per language could be an adequate summation of human knowledge. We need to send as much as logistically possible. Coinmanj (talk) 00:14, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Support: Until now the best scenario for me. IMHO the top articles should be selected by the language community itself (let them decide) under some basic rules. --Venca24 (talk) 08:41, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Support One of the salient features of human culture is that we use so many languages. One of the great features of Wikipedia is that it supports so many language communities. This scenario would highlight language diversity, and also cultural diversity, because each language community would be making its own choice. Andrew Dalby (talk) 15:26, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

support it would be best if the top articles were selected by each language...IMO--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 23:16, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

  • Comment Comment What will be the selection criteria of Top 30? ~ Moheen (talk) 22:13, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

Discussion Scenario #List:

I think this would be a great idea because a list of great articles would be a compilation of all the best knowledge that Wikipedia has to offer. And Wikipedia was always out of this world, but taking it to the moon would literally make it out of this world! And everybody would know that what they suggested would fly off to the moon! :) Williditor (talk) 14:40, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose This is flawed on the grounds of how many profanely large graphical files we have that could waste space. It should be UTF / ASCII only. BaSH PR0MPT (talk) 15:01, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

The thumbnails don't take too much space. If people wants to include more than that, the images can be easily restricted to a maximum size. --Lsanabria (talk) 20:38, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Support if we remove the idea of making images above a certain size an option (per comment above). I really like the idea of being able to choose one piece of information that will be "preserved". It would really feel as though I have a meaningful amount of input; as if I added something of value to the project. Maplestrip (talk) 17:35, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Additionally, this idea might be useful if we want more people to become Wikipedia editors. Nothing gets people to make an account on a website like being able to choose something to send to the moon. Obviously, any article listed would need to be checked for basic quality guidelines, though... Perhaps creating somekind of "C-class minimum" guideline would be effective. Might still have a lot of overhead, though... Maplestrip (talk) 17:50, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support. Provided images are limited in size per above. This sounds by far the easiest and most logical method to proceed by, among all the options suggested.--Nahum (talk) 22:19, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose Having users select obscure or possibly profane articles, which most likely will be 85% English articles, won't ever make Wikipedia represent "the sum of all knowledge." Checking for these things would require having to screen each and every article submitted, making sure that it is appropriate, reflects the quality standards of WP, and hasn't already been submitted, with little additional value other than "Every Wikipedian chose an article to send to the moon." Any of the other choices would take less work simply picking articles. Longbyte1 (talk) 23:06, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support Support The best idea for me Archi38 (talk) 08:21, 22 April 2016 (UTC)


Discussion Scenario #Moon:

Support but with an addition - Maybe we could also add the pages for all Main Planets, the sun, and maybe some dwarf planets.

Support I like this idea. we should use Moon articles, Satellites, rovers and moon missions, moon in popular culture and art, mythology and more. Golan's mom.--אמא של גולן (talk) 15:48, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Love this idea. Every Wikipedia works on their moon article to get it to excellent rating and that's what they gonna send. Any method to estimate the disk space all those articles would need? --Filmschreiben (talk) 16:03, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

This is the best idea! Everyone should improve their respective Moon page in their language!-Mrpresidentfaris (talk) 16:43, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose — I mean, I really love the idea, but it just feels completely useless. I like to believe that this project can be used to conserve a large variation of knowledge. I would be rather sad if it turned out to simply be a collection of duplicate information. On the positive side, however, the collection could serve as a Rosetta Stone, simply conserving the languages. I personally can't support this idea ^_^; Maplestrip (talk) 17:32, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose — loses breadth of knowledge. Bytesock (talk) 17:58, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support with one modification. Actually, this was the first thing that sprang to mind when I read about this initiative. The Moon is a very popular subject among the science-minded, nerdy Wikipedian community - over 200 languages have an article on it! So, why not put those articles on our moon literally just there? But in addition, every substantial Wikipedia (say those over 100 articles) should contribute another article, picked by the local community - for example, an article on their own language or region, an article on something they're proud of, or just a very fine article. This solves the problem of the narrow bandwidth some people above have objected to, while keeping the connection with the revered celestial body that is to host this sample of our culture. Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 20:05, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose it's waste of space, I mean the same article in different languages? I would suggest to have different articles in different languages by one article for every language! Super ninja2 (talk) 20:23, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Actually, it is not a waste. This is what was done with the Rosetta stone and what allowed us to decode the hieroglyphs. Maybe some humans living in the moon in the distance future will find it and will reconstruct the long forgotten XXI century languages with it. --Lsanabria (talk) 20:44, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Apart from being a celebration of human knowledge, this is also a celebration of human culture and diversity, as it is expressed in the multitude of languages we speak. Sending up the same article in more than 200 languages is a great testimony to that. Moreover, as the disc is meant to be a time capsule of sorts, various articles on the same topic would facilitate hypothetical alien visitors to decipher our various languages. I for one would be madly delighted if some forgotten civilisation had left just that kind of material. Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 20:46, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
(graduate of indo-european studies speaking) A corpus like we discuss here will, if found undamaged, in every scenario big enough to easily decipher all of the languages submitted. There is – just for this to achieve – absolutely no need to add multiple language versions of one article, particularly as they are never a translation of each other as the mentioned Rosetta stone. In every case the world's languages are a significant part of our culture and should all be transmitted. The best way to achieve this would be to add every language's grammar article, although they are often very short. Once again: We are with minimal effort (as for this there's very very little money spent) able to decipher languages from poorly conserved evidence and reconstruct it's ancestry thousands of years back. Everybody who is able to reach the moon from outer space clearly will do very much better than we do. --Nitnatsnok (talk) 21:45, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
graduate of language when you couldn't spell its? Also one can't speak on a keyboard; one talks. Anyway the Earth has only one Moon; this scenario is too redundant. Oppose Oppose lysdexia (talk) 04:34, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Support/Question Correct me if I’m wrong, but we are talking about 20 GB here, yes? Split evenly over all language versions, that leaves 67 MB per language version which means every wikipedia version can send a couple of hundred articles! I think it would be a great idea to have one of these hundreds be the article on the moon in each language version. Both, because it can indeed be used as a rosetta stone, but also simply because the articles are generally very good, and because the data is actually sent to the flippin moon :D The moon articles wouldn’t take away too much space, the rest can be filled according to the other suggestions. --RookJameson (talk) 21:08, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support - and with a purpose We need to appreciate that this is a symbolic act. So isn't it a wonderful opportunity for Wikipedians to should show the rest of the world that we care for and curate knowledge about two of the most important celestial objects that we know of, and that they are intimately tied together - the Moon and the Earth? I would advocate those pages and possibly some or all of the related Main Articles that spur off from them to demonstrate Wikipedians' awareness of our home planet, Earth and its Moon. Of course these articles would need to be in every single available language. Arguments that have mentioned ineffective use of storage space seem to be missing the point. The message it sends is not for aliens - it's for our fellow non-Wikipedians here on Earth. Let's not get it wrong by voting for the top 30 trivia.Parkywiki (talk) 22:54, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Support - simplify the purpose of WikiMoon as RookJameson, the MoonWiki would most likely (if ever intercepted) serve as a kind of Rosetta stone. Using wiki articles that will repeat similar words in their own langauge would be an ideal decoder, as with the Rosetta stone. Another thing to consider is how many languages around the world are perishing from various forced assimilation practices and western imperialism. We should absolutely keep that in mind when compiling the articles and data--we may be preserving the last centuries of multiple languages. How exciting for -- most likely -- future humans to discover the key to various lost-languages. The articles would then be compiled around decoding. Moon, Earth, Rosetta Stone, Language and so on. It would be like the top 30, but more curated. OliviaLouise206 (talk) OliviaLouise206 (talk) 02:34, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Support with addition: The idea of a Rosetta Stone is great! Using articles on the moon is ok, but I think what matters more is Earth itself. For one thing, we know so much more about it than the moon (i.e. better wiki articles), and this disc is about us. It would not be a problem to do both sets of articles in all wiki languages in terms of disc space. A Moon article is jolly fun, but Earth is what really counts. (Also, it's Earth day as I'm posting this.) This is a good idea in tandem with other ideas above. Rememberlands (talk) 06:22, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Seeing the comments stack up, I'd be fine with adding the article on the Moon in each language in addition to whatever other option we choose. I mean, it wouldn't take up much storage, so using all the Moon articles as a foundation sounds like a good idea. Making every article on the disc related to the moon, however, still seems useless. Anyone able to retrieve a disc from the moon would be able to know as much about space as we do, more or less. I'd rather see more culture on the disc. Maplestrip (talk) 07:40, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Support: I honestly feel we need to have at least one set of articles on the same topic in different languages, just to preserve these languages for posterity. I think these articles will be the most apt. Additionally, if this is a memorial on the moon for Wikipedia, it should have astronomy-related articles primarily, and all other articles should be considered only after these are added (that's just my opinion, though). Shashwat986 (talk) 08:48, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Support Support Great idea. Travellers & Tinkers (talk) 15:50, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Support: I'm biased, however; I strongly support interlanguage and minor-language wikipedia efforts, and I think an event about this would create lasting value for wikis that wouldn't get traffic otherwise. Almafeta (talk) 16:33, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Discussion scenario #Another

Discussion scenario #Lang

Discussion scenario #Hold

This is an opportunity. Hold an online edith week or month in which people write about Astronomy. Every article gets its author 1, 2 or 3 tickets based on the quality. At the end of the editathon we hold a lottery to decide which author can pick an article to go to space. We could have a dozen articles go to space this way and lots of new content on the topic of astronomy, attention for Wikipedia and new editors. This would only take very few articles and can be combined with other scenario's. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 18:58, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose — I don't think the randomness of a lottery is a good idea, plus it could lead to all sorts of articles going up there. However, it could maybe work if combined with other scenarios. Moony22 (talk) 19:14, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Oppose – A themed edithon might be a good idea, but the way it is described here, I am not particularly impressed. Furthermore, an outdated encyclopedia on space would be by far the least interesting find for a space-faring civilization. Why would an alien species that traveled from a different solar system to here care about all the things we know about Jupiter? I'd prefer to have information about culture and technology up there. Maplestrip (talk) 20:04, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Discussion scenario #Wikidata:

Details: This idea is based upon following mind process. Firstly we have to know, for who we should be creating this time capsule. For aliens? For distant future human(oid)s? For wikipedians from 3016? Once we decide this, and I strongly believe we want to save the information for very distant future, we must start thinking about the potential reader/s. Will he/she/it be able to decode our message? How would we approach to understand something that is thousands years old, or how we actually do it, with the Hittite language and other old stuff we found. Now, think about something that can be potentially hundreds of thousands years old. We can't assume that the reader will be native English speaker (thus, send a fraction of articles in all available languages increases the chances, but still..). The "Golden Record", mentioned in the homepage, itself provides a confusive information in many ways for a really unbiased reader. So far best example to follow, is the Pioneer plaque, yet it is not perfect neither.

Now to the point, why use Wikidata RDF export. Because for such a reader, the format is much easier to understand, than the natural language. All one has to understand is to encode what is one letter, then what is one word, and finally that everything is described in a subject-property-object relation, which is way simpler than any language on the Earth. And it can describe any fact. And the facts in Wikidata are aggregation of all knowledge in all Wikipedias. So it is already agreed sum of all knowledge, as stated in the original proposal. Best --YjM (talk) 20:13, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

I wonder for what people Wikidata would actually be useful, though. I don't know the project that well, but data isn't always knowledge. I'm not sure if it would be more or less useful than an encyclopedic article. Judging from the description of the "to the Moon" initiative, I think the target audience would be humans around 300 years from now, though it could vary greatly. To such people, encyclopedic articles would probably be much preferred over data. Humans multiple thousand years from now might have more difficulty translating the articles, but I think even then, prose would be of greater value. For alien species, data might be of greater value, but to me it is difficult to judge. For example, the Wikidata page on "gender" doesn't really say much about the topic compared to our in-depth articles on the topic. Seeing as the information may not last multiple thousands of years anyway, I think I'd prefer prose.
One of the greatest plus sides to this idea to me is that it would be amazing PR for the Wikidata project, something it could use well. ~Mable (chat) 21:23, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Comment I think that it needs explanation for laymen. How does wikidata take up less space and provide relevant information? —Ost316 (talk) 22:54, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

From what I understand, Wikidata describes information in a much more compact fashion. Just extrapolate the following example to cover entire articles: While Wikipedia may write "Mount Yamantau is a mountain in Russia that is 1,640 metres above sea level", Wikidata would describe this as "Mount Yamatau; mountain; Russia; 1,640". Each term here, of course, is standarized. Mont Blanc could be put next to it with "Mont Blanc; mountain; France/Italy; 4,808". Of course, I am greatly simplifying. An issue of this idea is that Wikidata holds a lot less "information" than Wikipedia does. There is no prose, no opinion, and very little of context. This isn't my favorite idea, but I think it would probably be good to send information from different kinds of WikiProjects. Maplestrip (talk) 07:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Because of its format. --YjM (talk) 20:13, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
not perfect neither? No it's not! Will -> Shall; he/she/it -> who; years -> of years; what is one letter -> what one letter is; than what is one word -> then what one word is; the Earth -> Earth; describes -> describe; holds -> hold; less -> lesser; it's -> its. Outlining defeats the function of the project. Oppose Oppose lysdexia (talk) 04:51, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
@Lysdexia: What is a point of your comment? You want to proof, that this is a discussion of non-native speakers? You have won.. But, thanks for typos anyway --YjM (talk) 19:33, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Discussion scenario #Space4All:

Details: Consider how much space we have to work with. If we assume that a good wikipedia article's text is about 40kb of space and we only add small thumbnail images in most cases (say about 60 kb max total per article), then each article on the disc would take approximately 100 KB, which would allow 200,000 articles on a single disc. Let's divide the space up in specific portions for specific uses. 100,000 articles for a canon in ONE language would take up about 10 GB: either English or German (see the section above). The other 10 GB could then be used in multiple ways. Give about 15,000 articles for representing the diverse languages of the world. We could have the 1000 vital articles (Level 3) or 1000 best articles for the 10 or so of the most spoken languages of the world: Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi/Urdu, Arabic, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Japanese, Punjabi, (or additionally/alternatively Swedish, German, Korean, etc.). Furthermore, a few specific articles, such as the Level 1 vital articles plus the Moon, should be sent in every language as a Rosetta Stone. Also, we should give the most common word definitions for the Canon language from wiktionary. Next, we fill 3 or 4 GB with complete forms of some of the greatest works of art and ideas—say, 100 each of books, paintings, pictures, etc. This would blend well with the spirit of Sagan's work for the Voyager records. With what remains of the disc (1 or 2 GB) we could use a mix of the wikipedia featured articles from any language (since these articles are already of good quality) and of user voting (to reflect the fact that wikipedia is something personal for all members of its editing community) until the disc is full. Rememberlands (talk) 07:50, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

The PR aspect of this suggestion may be somewhat boring. This would also result in a lot of overhead and I don't know how we would deal with all the duplicate articles that would come out of this idea. This might not be as good an idea as simply taking all the best/most important articles based on a specific criteria. Maplestrip (talk) 08:13, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Here's the simple criteria I'm suggesting. This is a project about one fundamental idea simultaneously expressed three different ways: Show the diversity of humankind by our knowledge and thoughts (Canon articles and original sources), how we state them (the smaller language canons and a Rosetta Stone), and how we interact with each other to determine them (examples of community action such as voting for specific articles, etc.). Rememberlands (talk) 15:05, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
The information on the Voyager golden record was complicated as well. It told locations in space and time, had to give instructions on how to access it’s data, then gave images and sounds of Earth. All chosen, I might add, by an elite few and not by a larger sample of humanity. We now can do something bigger, so I see no way it should be any simpler than Voyager record. Rememberlands (talk) 17:15, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Augmenting description The disc space may be approached in a few consecutive ways. First, we bootstrap the data. We give the necessary information to begin accessing the rest of the information. Basic dictionary of the canon language and if needed haracter sets, image processing algorithms, etc. (hopefully less than 1 GB?) Second, we give an overarching summary of human thought; this is the canon, and we do it in the language of the given dictionary. (8 GB) Third, we build a Rosetta Stone. All wiki languages with the 10 most vital articles (plus Moon) written and in good form qualify for inclusion. (~1 GB) Fourth, we add sub-canons in several of the most common languages. It may be better if these are primarily articles which are specific to the non-canon languages and special for the culture/language they are written in (somewhere between 100 to 1000 articles for each of the major 10+ languages of the world), that way there is not excessive repetition. (4 GB?) Fifth, we put in some of the greatest original individual examples of human thought (4 GB?). This includes sacred texts, key scientific works, great works of literature, pivotal images representing mankind. Maybe even a few sound samples/music. Sixth, we do something which represents the wikimedia community itself, whether that be individual nominations, other top articles by votes, or featured articles. (1 GB) Rememberlands (talk) 17:22, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Learn how to spell. Nobody cares about cannons and the disc has 20 gigabytes, not gigabits. Criteria is plural; it's has a verb in it. You don't want to repeat the w:Rosetta Project. Oppose Oppose lysdexia (talk) 05:03, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Strong Support When you explore a new place, you don't spend the same amount of time in every square metre. You first go over the important landmarks, then do a general survey of the entire area and finally explore the most interesting bits in detail. In the same way, we could send:-

  • The best articles from the English and German Wikipedias (and perhaps also Spanish and Mandarin Chinese).
  • The best articles (including 'Moon') from each language.
  • The history of one article (to show 'em how its done).
  • Something about the Wikipedia community
  • Some important images, audios, books (Wikisource), wikidata etc.

About the best articles from each language, perhaps the number of articles given could be based on the number of articles written in that language ('N') multiplied by the average length ('L'). Then the number of articles could be, say, k log (NL), with a lower cut-off so that small languages aren't stuck with half an article or so. Each Wikipedia selecting its own articles would be more intelligent than a standardised and centralised list, because, for example, Malayalam has a featured article on Laurie Baker, Søren Kierkegaard and FC Barcelona, but nondescript ones on Shakespeare and Goethe. (Post by Jose Mathew C)

Strong Support The above seems like a good set of information for what we're able to send, and I definitely agree on the k log NL idea (or at least something along the lines of that), so that way there's a concrete set of articles from many languages that might die off in the distant future (who knows?). MapleSyrupRain (talk) 01:12, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Support, but I have a suggestion. I agree with most of the suggestions, but when it comes to diversity, you were unclear about languages after the top 10. I have a proposal. I think that you are right when it comes to the top 10 languages. When it comes to smaller languages, I suggest a cutoff of 10,000 articles in their Wikipedia over their inclusion in the project, as by then the Wikipedias will probably be worthy of such a distinguished offer. I'm not including extinct languages unless they still show importance, like Latin or Sanskrit. All living languages with less than 1,000,000 speakers get 3 articles (as well as most major constructed languages like Volapuk), one being the language itself, if less than 10,000, the article is the language. Living languages with between 100,000-1,000,000 get 15, 1,000,000-10,000,000 get 25, and 10,000,000-100,000,000 get 50 (I think Latin and other important extinct languages, plus Esperanto should go here). The rest is same as yours. I did some rough math, it's somewhere near 4000 articles. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wikipedias_by_speakers_per_article

I assume it will be under 5000, so any extra space can be devoted to other elements, any suggestions on what?. JerrySa1 (talk) 17:43, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

  • This space could be used for some of the #DNA proposal, depending on how that info will be laid out. I also see the "show one history of an article" as a good idea. I suggest a Vital 1 article like Earth or Human.JerrySa1 (talk) 17:06, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
Agreeing with your mention of Latin: some might say Latin isn't important any more, but in this context it is. For terrestrial species and for most categories of extraterrestrial objects and places the Latin name is the official name, used internationally. It would be strange to leave out the very language that we use for naming Homo sapiens, Mare Imbrium, Syrtis Major, Alpha Centauri. Andrew Dalby (talk) 20:41, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Discussion scenario #Not:

I don't really understand this idea. If a group of scientists want to send Wikipedia articles to the Moon, let them. I like that we have the opportunity to decide ourselves which articles they will send. Is there a reason to decline? ~Mable (chat) 09:19, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

The only objections I've observed to the Moon wikipedia idea as a whole concern the potential hazards of letting so much information get into the hands of unfriendly aliens (part of a post which was removed later). Otherwise, it just seems reasonable to ask if something is a good idea before doing it. Rememberlands (talk) 15:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't actually want to go to the moon. It's all a metaphor for him mourning the death of his wife. You're all making a terrible mistake!--Brustopher (talk) 00:08, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Honestly, I think that this is an incredibly cool idea that will get Wikipedia a lot of good publicity and act as an incentive to improve the quality of a number of core articles. Plus, I think it would be rather rude and make us look incredibly bad if we just straight-up refused this offer. I mean, imagine how we would like if the BBC, New York Times, CNN, ect. reported on Part-Time Scientists's moon rover and described how they would have put a disk of Wikipedia content on the moon if Wikipedia's members hadn't refused the offer. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 16:59, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

I brought up a similar argument on the talk page, Spirit: refusing to allow a group of people to take Wikipedia to the moon seems like horrible PR. It sounds like we believe Wikipedia has nothing of value to offer or something along those lines. The whole "unfriendly aliens" idea is rather silly: any extraterrestrial being that has reached our moon has already reached our planet. One person said that the disc should not include the location of our sun, as it would tell aliens where we are located. ~Mable (chat) 17:08, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-Earthrise.jpg
As demonstrated by this picture from NASA, you can see the Earth quite clearly from the moon. Also, the whole alien scenario just strikes me as ridiculous honestly. Even assuming that aliens find the disc, them going through the trouble to built a device capable of reading the disk, going through the data and accurately interpreting it instead of just invading the Earth from the get-go would seem to indicate that the aliens are reasonably peaceful. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 20:37, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
This initiative is mainly intended as a time capsule for future human generations, and should probably be read that way. If this disc would be placed on a Voyager-like craft leaving the solar system, I'd feel a similar way: no alien would be able to read it. I'd still think it's a neat idea for symbolism and PR, though. ~Mable (chat) 08:44, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Support Support If they can't bring all of Wikipedia, don't bring it at all. Why don't they 5D or 14nm/multilayer process etch the disc? lysdexia (talk) 05:15, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

You guys can't be serious. It's a ridiculous idea, and all time spent on discussing it is time lost for our projects. Muijz (talk) 10:37, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Sure Muijz. Imagination and inspiration are a waste of time. What the world needs is hard work, devoid of passion and frivolity, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And what's PR anyway? Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 22:02, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Support Support This symbolic action seems pointless to me as well. The Golden Record was supposed to go into space where aliens might be; putting something on the moon... for whom? This will probably generate a lot of discussion and work for not very much effect. Just to say we did it? Perhaps it would be best to tell the scientists, "Thanks for the offer, but we won't take part." -- pne (talk) 15:47, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Don't litter, not even on the Moon.--Episcophagus (talk) 16:37, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

That argument doesn't even make any sense in this context. Last time I checked, data itself wasn't considered litter, and the hard drive is going up there regardless of what we decide here. For a weird metaphor, I'd rather place a full can of coke on the moon than an empty one, if I had the choice. ~Mable (chat) 07:19, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

Discussion scenario #Top_importance:

I suggested this primarily because I like the idea of not giving any preference to any language or any specific field, and simply send the most important works. A similar idea for featured content is also a possibility (and might be even better for PR purposes). Of course, similar ideas can be created for the Vital Articles or Version 1.0 initiatives. ~Mable (chat) 21:38, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

The catch is that most of the important articles are in English, and sometimes in German. Bytesock (talk) 06:31, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm suggesting that, if an article is rated top importance, it will be sent up there in each language. I too think that the most important articles are in English, but everyone seems to want articles in all languages to go up there, so here is an offer that gives exactly as much weight to every language, and every field. ~Mable (chat) 08:29, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
You end up having to make a choice of taking on another article in a language most of the Earth inhabitants understand. Or adding the same article, but in another language. The utility of a broader knowledge over a wider language representation should be obvious. Bytesock (talk) 18:35, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, yeah, I would prefer going with all English-language as well. This suggestion is still much stronger than the "Maan/Luna/..." idea in terms of value. ~Mable (chat) 20:34, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
I haven't voted yet, and I think on the whole wikipedia is pretty good. But there are some articles that I consider to be very inaccurate, which I've tried to get fixed but the editors responsible don't think they need to be fixed. Probably many wikipedians have this experience of some article or another that they think is inaccurate and would not like to see recorded for posterity. In my case - just to give an example, the article on Life on Mars says that surface life on Mars is impossible, that's just embarrassing if we later find surface microbial life on Mars. Some articles on central concepts in Buddhism I think are very inaccurate and I've been topic banned from trying to get them fixed. There it's a bit more than embarrassing - many Buddhists would think that they misrepresent what Buddha taught, and wouldn't want them recorded for posterity for that reason. Just examples to show the kind of thing that might lead some editors to be less than keen on the project if particular articles are included in it. Hopefully the restriction to featured articles or some such restriction will help eliminate those? Robert Walker (talk) 13:50, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

This option isn't listed on the vote page for some reason anyway, so it really doesn't matter. Regardless, it's not like we should be ashamed of having inaccurate information. That's just life. ~Mable (chat) 19:34, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Discussion scenario #Balanced_compromises:

Discussion scenario #Featured:

I think this may be the strongest idea, as it results in the best articles going up (you know, if this whole initiative will be a success) and because it would result in people wanting to create better articles. It would result in many languages bringing up their best too, and there might be a variation in content there. There might be negative sides to this idea. Featured articles aren't particularly varied, as it is easier to bring an article to that level when you can simply follow a set template (just look at all the featured huricanes and seasons) than it is to bring a unique concept to featured status. Furthermore, I think the English Wikipedia might have the most featured articles, so there would be an imbalance in languages. I think the positive PR and direct effects could counter-weigh this, though. ~Mable (chat) 20:34, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Discussion scenario #Cutting_edge:

Discussion scenario #DNA:

Wikimedia should try to use this opportunity to advance the concept and methodology of long-term off-world backup storage of humanity and "the sum total of human knowledge". Just as wikimedia's data is backed up in several locations, humanity, our culture, and our biosphere should be backed up in several places. Offworld colonization is often discussed, but we are very far off from a long-term domed colony, much less a self-reliant biosphere. We can, however, backup our ourselves and our culture in the form of data. The specifics of this proposal are not perfect, but they do afford a great opportunity to to take steps in the right direction. I provide more details on the Discussion page. --Aranae (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

The first step in backing up "the sum total of human knowledge" is to backup humanity itself. I propose that we give first priority to including the articles "Human", "De-extinction", "DNA", "Human" Genome" and all subpages (i.e. those pages that are linked to as "Main article" or "Further information" under headings on the pages. Wikipedia traditionally works off of a certain assumption that essential public databases are readily accessible, but this is not going to hold true in this situation. The single most important piece of information that we don't have in our articles is the human genome. This is the single essential ingredient to backing up humanity, without it, we cannot even be restored from extinction. I propose that we add a copy of the reference sequence for each chromosome to the relevant pages in one language (probably Mandarin, English, or German). These data are publicly available (without copyright) here: ftp://ftp.ensembl.org/pub/release-84/fasta/homo_sapiens/dna/ (files that start with "Homo_sapiens.GRCh38.dna.chromosome." - see the Readme file on that page for more details). Even if the data storage format with the current Moon lander is inadequate for truly long-term storage, we will still be publicizing this critical need when it comes to backing up humanity (and we can't predict future technology's ability to recover data using, for example, the molecular left by the decay of data). --Aranae (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

If this disk is recovered far into the future, translation is going to be the pivotal component. There over 5,000 human languages and these are all evolving. Perhaps more importantly, we have only been encoding information digitally for a much shorter period of time. ASCII, for example, was invented in 1960. In contrast, life on Earth has been encoding information in a consistent manner for billions of years. Coding regions start with ATG, they use only 4 bases, and can usually uniquely identify a gene and a species with ~100 or so nucleotides. A short fragment of DNA will also provide information about the evolutionary relationships and even the time since divergence for the species represented. Given sufficient knowledge of Earth's biology, any human culture, post-human culture, or non-human or extraterrestrial intelligence should be able to identify the pattern used in a fragment of DNA (regardless of how it's represented), and the species involved (or the major evolutionary grouping if that species is extinct). As with the human genome, wikimedia lacks this information because readers have access to public databases. I propose that this disk include a generous collection of wikipedia articles concerning living organisms, and that a 100-500 bp fragment of DNA be added to those articles, including the starting "ATG" when possible. I might propose Cytochrome b for tetrapods, Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I for all other animals, RuBisCO for plants, internal transcribed spacer for fungi, and Small Sub-Unit ribosomal RNAs for protists (18S) and prokaryotes (16S). These can be downloaded easily from Genbank: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank/ I think a great approach might be to attempt to do this for all featured and good articles in all languages, but the approach should at least be adopted for at least one representative for each of the branches coming off of our own lineage. (At a minimum, this would involve representatives of the folowing groups: Homo neanderthalensis, Pan, Gorilla, Pongo, Hylobatidae, Cercopithecidae, Platyrrhini, Tarsiidae, Strepsirrhini, Dermoptera, Scandentia, Glires, Laurasiatheria, Xenarthra, Afrotheria, Metatheria, Prototheria, Reptilia (incl Aves), Amphiia, Dipnoi, Actinistia, Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, Cyclostomata, Urochordata, Cephalochordata, Ambulacraria, Protostomia, Xenacoelomorpha, Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Placozoa, Porifera, Choanoflagellata, Fungi, Amoebozoa, the "bikonts", Archaea, Bacteria). --Aranae (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

No matter who is reading it, the presence of these snippets of DNA should allow them to identify that a particular article (or section of the data on the disk) pertains to "cardinal", "chimpanzee", or "African elephant". The rest of the words and sentence can begin to be pieced together by looking for shared patterns across species with shared featured. Birds, bats, and insects fly for example. Other animals eat plants or live in forests. In an ideal world, every reference to any species would be accompanied by a DNA fragment, but we probably don't have the time to adopt that approach. Regardless, DNA will give even those readers who start with absolutely nothing to work with a real opportunity to start translating bits and pieces of what we've left on the Moon. --Aranae (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Although DNA is simple, readily identifiable, and information-dense, there are other universal principles in science that should facilitate the translation of the disk. I propose that articles on the chemical elements, the planets, dwarf planets, and major regions of the solar system, and other standard, easily identifiable, scientific principles be included. Again, the goal is to present patterns that any intelligence can recognize. Letters, numbers, and articles on all human languages should be included as well. --Aranae (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Finally, the best possible outcome of this disk will be if it helps Earth's biosphere in general and the human race in particular colonize another world orbiting another star before the Earth becomes uninhabitable. It took Earth billions of years before it was inhabitable by species like ours. Even with advanced technology and a concerted effort across human cultures and any species that evolve after we've gone extinct, it will still probably take tens of millions of years to prepare another biosphere elsewhere. We should pass along articles on anything that might give later generations a boost in getting off this rock: articles on our space programs, propulsion, life support systems, etc. --Aranae (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

There should be plenty of space left over after all of this. I propose that the second highest voted proposal (assuming #DNA gets the most votes) be applied to fill up that available space. --Aranae (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

  • I think this is a good idea, but how much space, specifically will this take up? How big will the snippet be? I under #Space4All, I created a proposal for distributing articles with room for 100 MB. It could be placed there. But while we're at it, how will you store this info? JerrySa1 (talk) 20:34, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
    • The human genome is the real space hog. It would require ~3 GB if encoded in normal bytes. Since there only 4 possible states, it could be coded in a 2-bit fashion that required a bit under 1 GB. I'm not sure how to come up with an answer for the rest of it. Adding DNA barcodes to articles would only require the same number of characters per article as the number of nucleotides chosen for the barcode (100-500) so it's a negligible addition in terms of space. --Aranae (talk) 20:06, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
      • I assume the idea was to only encode a portion of it, though I have no idea how useful that would be. I have no idea how useful this would be either way. ~Mable (chat) 06:49, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
        • My first priority with this proposal was to include the minimum data necessary to restore humanity from extinction. A complete copy of each chromosome would appear to represent the bare minimum to do so, and that does involve a lot of space. My second priority was to include 'words' that can identify the subjects of some articles that are all but guaranteed to be readable by humans, post-humans, AIs, nonhuman Earthlings, and/or extraterrestrials that encounter them regardless of language used or how that language has been encoded for data storage. With its 4 letters and the fact that it's unique to species in even relatively short fragments, DNA serves that function extremely well. 100-500 nucleotides added to a subset of articles will dramatically increase the probability that anything that encounters the disk will be able to start somewhere when trying to translate it. That addition to those articles will add a minimal space requirement. --Aranae (talk) 21:39, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
          • All right, but is there a concrete number for the space it'll take? JerrySa1 (talk) 01:28, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
            • I'm sorry, but I don't know how to obtain that data. --Aranae (talk) 01:37, 8 June 2016 (UTC)