Whoniversaries 14 November: Paul McGann, Planet of Giants #3

i) births and deaths

14 November 1959: birth of Paul McGann, who played the Eighth Doctor in Doctor Who – The Movie, in numerous Big Finish audios since 2001, and in the webcast version of Shada.

ii) broadcast anniversary

14 November 1964: broadcast of “Crisis”, third episode of the story we now call Planet of Giants. Barbara is poisoned; the Doctor starts a fire to draw attention to what is going on; and all ends well.

One thought on “Whoniversaries 14 November: Paul McGann, Planet of Giants #3

  1. The real problem is that, as a coherent decision-making entity, Wikipedia almost doesn’t exist. The Wikimedia Foundation is in nominal control of at least several dozen, and probably several hundred, wikis of which English Wikipedia (what we think of simply as Wikipedia) is by some distance the largest. However, from what I can make out without having looked carefully, the Wikimedia Foundation’s immediate human resources consist of a few paid staff and a rather larger number of volunteers – perhaps a few dozen serious regulars and others popping in on a casual basis. Basically, with regard to Wikipedia, they are in the position of the British Colonial Office of a hundred years ago trying to control India – they can make whatever high-sounding policies they like but, on the ground, these are firstly interpreted, reworded, expanded, contracted and whatever by the (still rather few – perhaps a few hundred) official local administrators to fit what they see as local conditions. and then again by the people, licenced or freelance, who usually implement them – or rather a much modified digest of them together with some of their own personal prejudices.

    With over four million articles on Wikipedia, it is probably not surprising that the result is chaotic and, very often, either based on a highly garbled version of often old Wikimedia policies and sometimes right out of line with them. The problem is often made worse because the relevant Wikimedia policies were often created in rapid reaction to past incidents, and what were intended to be tentative suggestions have evolved into fundamental rules, what were intended to be fundamental rules have evolved into tentative suggestions or even been discarded altogether, and so on,

    Having said that, the resolution of the Roth case which you quoted in an earlier post struck me as a good example of Wikipedia processes acting as they are supposed to. The trouble is that examples that good are also rare – there are hundreds of similar but less high-profile (and often less significant) disputes taking place on Wikipedia each day, and while most of them probably come to more or less the right conclusion, many will not and most of the rest will have turned on the instant opinions of a self-selected more or less random collection of those of Wikipedia’s more regular editors who take a more or less frequent interest in such disputes. And such resolutions will in practice only stick if interested regular Wikipedia editors agree with them – otherwise they will be quietly changed back when Wikimedia Foundation and high-level Wikipedia administrator attention switches elsewhere.

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