Vox Day Launches Infogalactic, Rival to Wikipedia

Infogalactic, Vox Day’s new online encyclopedia, begins life today as a copy of the Wikipedia that, with the aid of volunteer editors, will be developed into multiple versions of the material which will let users select their preferred perspective and automatically see the version of the subject page that is closest to it based on a series of algorithms utilizing three variables, Relativity, Reliability, and Notability.

Day explains, “This means a supporter of Hillary Clinton will see a different version of the current Donald Trump page than a Donald Trump supporter will, as both users will see the version of the page that was most recently edited by editors with perspective ratings similar to his own.”

Day gave these reasons for doing the project:

Conceived as a next-generation replacement for Wikipedia, the troubled online encyclopedia, Infogalactic is a dynamic fork of Wikipedia that is designed to supplant its predecessor by addressing the problems of bias, vandalism, harassment, abuse, and inaccuracy that have plagued the Wikimedia Foundation’s flagship project for years.

“Every notable public figure who has a page devoted to them knows very well what an inaccurate nightmare Wikipedia is,” said Vox Day, Lead Designer of Infogalactic, a computer game designer and bestselling philosopher. “The page about me there has had everything from my place of birth to the number of times I’ve been married wrong. And that’s not even counting the outright abuse, such as when Wikipedians replaced the entire page with a definition of a sexually-transmitted disease or with a string of obscenities.”…

He asserts, “This isn’t Conservapedia 2.0 and we aren’t replacing Wikipedia’s admins with their conservative equivalent, we are making the function of thought police irrelevant through technology. Our design philosophy is based on the idea that only the user has the right to define what his reality is.”

When the project was announced at Vox Popoli, readers demanded immediate changes to distinguish Infogalactic’s article about the Gamergate controversy from the version in the Wikipedia, which Day provided.

Compare the two approaches. Wikipedia’s article about the Gamergate controversy begins:

The Gamergate controversy concerns issues of sexism and progressivism in video game culture, stemming from a harassment campaign conducted primarily through the use of the Twitter hashtag #GamerGate. Gamergate is used as a blanket term for the controversy, the harassment campaign and actions of those participating in it, and the loosely organized movement that emerged from the hashtag.

Beginning in August 2014, Gamergate targeted several women in the video game industry, including game developers Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, as well as feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian. After a former boyfriend of Quinn wrote a lengthy disparaging blog post about her, other people falsely accused her of entering a relationship with a journalist in exchange for positive coverage and threatened her with assault and murder. Those endorsing the blog post and spreading such accusations against Quinn organized themselves under the Twitter hashtag #Gamergate, as well as on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels and websites such as Reddit, 4chan, and 8chan. Harassment campaigns against Quinn and others were coordinated through these forums and included doxing, threats of rape, and death threats. Many of those organizing under the Gamergate hashtag argue that they are campaigning against political correctness and poor journalistic ethics in the video game industry. Many commentators dismissed Gamergate’s purported concerns with ethics and condemned its misogynistic behavior.

Infogalactic’s revision now says this about the Gamergate controversy:

GamerGate is the name given to an ongoing consumer movement in the video game industry that began in August 2014 with concerns about the corruption of video game journalism after a series of coordinated attacks on the gaming community by game journalists. In a period of two weeks,4chan purged the majority of its 45 moderators for being sympathetic to gamers, a dozen simultaneous “Gamers are Dead” articles were published on the same day by Ars Technica, Gamasutra, The Guardian, The Financial Post, Jezebel, and other sites. The #gamergate hash tag was popularized by actor Adam Baldwin and was adopted as a title for the loosely affiliated group by adherents as well as opponents.

Beginning in August 2014, Gamergate targeted several women in the video game industry, including game developers Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, and cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian. After a former boyfriend of Quinn wrote a lengthy blog post describing their relationship and her involvement with other men, she was accused of entering a sexual relationship with a journalist in exchange for positive coverage.. Those endorsing the blog post and spreading such accusations against Quinn organized themselves under the Twitter hashtag #Gamergate, as well as on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels and websites such as Reddit, 4chan, and 8chan. Many of those organizing under the Gamergate hashtag argue that they are campaigning against political correctness and poor journalistic ethics in the video game industry. Most commentators dismissed Gamergate’s purported concerns with ethics and condemned what they claimed to be its misogynistic behavior.

Also of interest, Infogalactic has replaced the well-known Five Pillars of Wikipedia with its own Seven Canons™:

  1. Infogalactic does not define reality.
  2. Infogalactic is written from an objective point of view.
  3. Infogalactic is free content.
  4. No griefing.
  5. Play nice and play fair.
  6. Rules are guidelines for users, not chew toys for lawyers.
  7. Facts are facts.

 

 

87 thoughts on “Vox Day Launches Infogalactic, Rival to Wikipedia

  1. I am old enough to remember when conservatives like Jerry Falwell denounced lefties for our “situational ethics” and “moral relativism”. It delights me to see right-wingers respond to the liberal bias of reality by grabbing postmodernism with both hands.

  2. VD on October 11, 2016 at 4:59 am said:

    That would be nice. We’ve finished two games and have two more rapidly approaching completion. There is also a very high profile fifth game on which I’m doing some core design work that will be out very soon.

    And yes, I’m very bad about bothering to update the website.

    Oh come now, there’s no need to be so coy about your success. When was First Sword released and how popular has it been?

  3. Oh come now, there’s no need to be so coy about your success. When was First Sword released and how popular has it been?

    Actually, there is. We put First Sword on the backburner when the opportunity to work with our current partners presented itself. We’ll get back to it eventually, it’s a nice little engine.

    Look, you guys can quibble and nibble at my ankles all you like. What you believe is irrelevant because you have literally no idea what’s going on. It reminds me of when my father asked if I’d ever done anything with the Ensoniq keyboard he gave me for Christmas two years before.

    “Well, Dad, I just got back from Chicago, where my band finished mixing the first two singles off the first CD that Wax Trax is releasing as part of our recording contract with them. So, yeah.”

  4. VD on October 11, 2016 at 5:54 am said:

    Actually, there is. We put First Sword on the backburner when the opportunity to work with our current partners presented itself. We’ll get back to it eventually, it’s a nice little engine.

    So, yet another project that never quite lived up to its initial rhetoric, like the Warmouse, destroying the Hugos and revolutionising the publishing industry.

  5. If there’s one thing the sock monster and its master share, it’s the pomposity of the style.

    …now, frankly, setting up a pretty vanilla mediawiki instance with a bunch of pages in nine months is nothing to brag about, but do go on, do go on. Amuse us more.

  6. @Cassy B – Should have more shortly, I just need to re-define my reality.

    @Mark – Of course we won’t – after all, there’s a massive conspiracy preventing it!

  7. Not really interested in yet another alternative wikipedia, but isnt “the user defines his reality” at odds with canons 1 and 7?

  8. VD on October 11, 2016 at 4:59 am said:

    Third Law of SJW: SJWs always project. Because you know you are not trustworthy, you assume I am not

    On the contrary, we know that you are not trustworthy based on our experience with you, your documented behaviour and your stated beliefs. On that last point alone, even if you were a deeply ethical person with deep personal integrity, your beliefs put you so routinely at odds with reality that conflict is inevitable.

    A cognitive/philosophical/methodological failing can place a person in a position where ethical failings become inevitable – because it forces them into a situation where they must either abandon their beliefs as untenable and concede their error OR they must follow a path of rationalisation and denial. We already know which of the two choices you will make when things don’t work out the way you think they will.

    I’ll concede ‘projection about SJWs’ in only one limited sense – that my experience of that kind of philosophical error leading to ethical-failing IS informed by experience with some/many on the left over the years – multiple flavours of Marxists for example.

  9. @Seth Gordon
    @rob_matic: Don’t forget suing the pants off of SFWA.

    Don’t forget this is about the time that he bragged he’d be a bigger name than George RR Martin in the sci-fi/fantasy genre.

  10. Dex on October 11, 2016 at 12:05 pm said:

    Don’t forget this is about the time that he bragged he’d be a bigger name than George RR Martin in the sci-fi/fantasy genre.

    Was that because he would actually finish his fantasy epic? Still waiting for volume 2 aren’t we?

  11. Remember when Beale flounced off and said he’d NEVER post on File 770 again?

    I do.

    And wow, would you imagine that we’ve had people who have never commented here showing up to explain to us how great this idea is? Can you imagine?!

    @Steve Davidson: I got that reference.

  12. Teddy is a very silly man.

    What happened to his plan to take over all electronic publishing by the end of 2015?

  13. @nickpheas

    The date was actually 20155. One of the fives fell off the end and ended up in a table of contents.

    At some point, he’s going to run out of daddy’s money and actually have to get a paying gig. Probably with late night TrumpTV after he loses the election.

    Creating something even less reliable than Wikipedia? Awesome!

    Does he actually finish any project?

  14. Actually, thinking further, the changing of priorities, projects etc is a classic sign of a serial bullshit artist. If you never complete anything, you can present yourself as never failing. You can go:

    “Another more promising opportunity presented itself” (this wasn’t working out so we dumped it and tried something else)
    “It’s on the backburner for now” (see VD post above for useage)
    “The market wasn’t ready, so we’re holding off until the timing is better” (translation – the market wasn’t interested and we’re hoping everyone forgets about it)
    “Development is successfully completed, we’re talking to investors” (it barely works, we’ve spent the initial investors’ cash and we’re looking for another sucker)
    “I will revolutionize the e-publishing industry” (epic fail)

    All the above give the illusion of activity and a patina of success, but all are various shades of fail. Not committing and not completing anything allows you to bullshit onwards and its safer than actually putting something out there which could fail and puncture your self-image. It’s activity without output.

    Seems VD has it down pat. I’m assuming the wikipedia knock-off is described as a beta test, so when it atrophies he can hand wave it away by saying “we never did a full scale launch”

  15. Chris S., I’m pretty sure that you’re overthinking it. It’s far more likely that VD has ADHD, and the only time he remembers which project he started before he got the brilliant idea for this one is when someone mentions it in a comment.

  16. JJ: Why not both?

    alexvdl: I think that was before my time, but I believe you.

    I live in Silicon Valley, and have through at least 3 booms and busts. I’ve heard all this stuff before in person, and have derived income from startups.

    I also have a shitload of stock options which are completely worthless since they don’t exist, and a whole rack of t-shirts for companies that were going to Change Everything and are now completely forgotten since they went broke and all that’s left are the t-shirts that we wear when doing house/yard work.

    Cheryl S has the stuff down pat. I’ve heard much better people than Teddy try these scams, and make a lot more money or at least deliver something before the collapse.

  17. @rob_matic

    It’s like he hasn’t figured out that people laugh at him a lot every time he makes a pronouncement that he lacks the ability or talent to fulfill.

  18. VD has flounced, but he’s left behind a blogpost answering all our doubts (archive linky)

    He’s kind enough to nail his colours to the mast:

    Wikipedia has lost the Mandate of Heaven. As a result, Infogalactic is going to become a top 100 Internet site en route to becoming The Planetary Knowledge Core. And it is going to do so faster than anyone likely believes possible. And no, I’m not bored with Castalia House at all. Quite to the contrary, Infogalactic is going to help Castalia House become the #1 publisher in science fiction and fantasy.

    It’s nice of him to provide the exact goals we can measure his future failures against. And also that he admits he’ll be using his totally objective Voxipedia for personal gain.

  19. Mark: It’s nice of him to provide the exact goals we can measure his future failures against.

    I can’t be arsed to look it up, but that sounds very similar to what he claimed about the publishing world and Calistia  Castila  whatever that thing was he was doing last year, when he first announced it.

    I’m tellin’ ya. ADHD, with a heaping side helping of delusions of grandiosity.

  20. I’m not comfortable with armchair psychological diagnosis. But I will say that his goals seem…. unrealistic.

  21. @TYP: I wonder if the faith of any of his minions will be shaken when the predicted “Trumpslide” doesn’t happen.

    It is kind of hard to take any of them seriously after they talk about Trump’s impending victory.

  22. Aaron on October 12, 2016 at 10:38 am said:

    @TYP: I wonder if the faith of any of his minions will be shaken when the predicted “Trumpslide” doesn’t happen.

    It is kind of hard to take any of them seriously after they talk about Trump’s impending victory.

    Sadly not many. If you look at how they rationalise it, they think it is inevitable because:
    * Trump has big rallies
    * Trump has lots of Twitter followers
    * Trump is appealing to alpha males and only beta males are put off by recent revelations
    That NONE of these are in anyway indicative of electoral victory makes no difference (even assuming that they are true or even make sense). That last one, if the whole bonkers socio-sexual theory they adhere to made any sense at all, would indicate electoral defeat as the there are supposedly fewer alphas than everything else.

    According to the Vox model of the election, Hillary should have collapsed by now from exhaustion or should have had some kind of neurological fit on stage or have been unable to cope with Trump’s supposedly brilliant domination of communication etc.

    Having said that I note that Vox is now conceding that ‘Hillary Clinton appears increasingly likely to win the presidential election.’ – but I’m quite certain a stabbed-in-the-back mythology is on its way to suggest she somehow stole the election.

  23. Aaron

    Nah, it’ll be stab in the back myths about how he won, if you only count “real” people. He’ll launch a TV network where they all call him “Mr. President” and act like he was the real winner, and do some half-assed government in exile schtick. The Man In The High Trump Tower.

  24. @Camestros and TYP: Sadly, all too likely. I’m just holding out hope that at least a couple of them will notice that so many of Beale’s predictions turn out to not only not come to pass, but do so in a way that is the equivalent of Beale stepping repeatedly on a rake.

  25. I have to remember to read F770 more; I’ve had a great laugh over this article and its commenters this morning. Thanks, guys. And thanks go also to VD/TB, for sparking the humour chain. If all else fails (and it–all else, that is–seems to be failing from these comments), TB/VD might be able to get a job in SF standup comedy!

  26. Wow, missed this whole thing until the recent round-up. Wasn’t VD gonna buy Tor? I seem to recall him claiming that was part of his master plan to rule publishing.

    Maybe if he succeeded, he’d have some editors to help with the wiki.

  27. My memory was that about two years ago, Beale was boasting that ‘he would be buying Tor in five years’. So, yeah – he has another thousand days or so to go on his Cunning Plan.

    (I would cheerfully use VD-pedia if the “Theodore Beale” page has a section on “Beale’s ridiculous boasts and failed projects”.)

  28. RedWombat on November 1, 2016 at 9:15 am said:

    Maybe if he succeeded, he’d have some editors to help with the wiki.

    Pfft. Help with the WIki? The Hugo-nominated editor needs help on his press release:

    “…said Vox Day, Lead Designer of Infogalactic, a computer game designer and bestselling philosopher. “

    …which urgently needs some help to keep “a computer game designer and bestselling philosopher” from modifying “Infogalactic”.
    An actual competent editor could easily render that into Standard English.

  29. Pingback: The Big Three and a Lesson About Fixing Things Wrong | File 770

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *