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Archive for January, 2011

Visualizing Wikipedia deletions

Notabilia has visualized the hundred longest discussion threads at Wikipedia that resulted in the deletion of an article and the hundred that did not. The visualized threads take on shapes depending on whether the discussion was controversial, swinging, or unanimous. For those whose brains can process visualized information (as mine cannot), you will undoubtedly learn much. For the rest of us: Oooooh, pretty!

They’ve posted some other analyses as well. For example, “The analysis [pdf] of a large sample of AfD discussions (200K discussions that took place between November 2002 and July 2010) suggests that the largest part of these discussions ends after only a few recommendations are expressed.” And: “Delete decisions tend to be fairly unanimous. In contrast, we found many Keep decisions resulting from a discussion that leaned towards deletion…”

Near- and far-in-laws

Keith Dawson has a suggestion for disambiguating “in-law,” which can refer to (for example), your wife’s brother or your sister’s husband. He’s got near-in-laws and far-in-laws. Very handy.

And it raises the question of why English doesn’t already have an easy way of making this distinction. Are we so binary about our family relations that we just don’t give a damn-in-law?