On Wednesday, the English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee took some sorely needed action on the long-standing subject of fringe theories and WP:PSEUDOSCIENCE, issues where tense disagreements and POV-pushing have been causing trouble for decades.
Drafting arbitrator Hubert Glockenspiel, in an interview with the Signpost, said that the Committee was introducing a set of brand-new fringe opinions, conspiracy theories, and pseudoscientific claims, which will be available for free to anyone interested in arguing on Wikipedia.
A bounty of topics
The new topics span a broad range of subjects, academic disciplines and national concerns. "We tried to get a little bit of everything", said Glockenspiel. "Because, after all, Wikipedia was meant to be the sum of all human arguments about politics. And we're committed to belonging, inclusion, and equity; we need to amplify diverse voices."
A full list (along with suggested arguments for and against each theory) is available at WP:NEWFRINGE, but here is a summary of each one:
- English is actually a dialect of Basque
- While it's true that virtually no grammar, syntax or etymology are shared between the two languages, it is obvious that they share a recent common origin; what else could account for the fact that the two languages use the same words for "Code of Conduct", "cookie", and "Wikipedia"?
- "Oro" is a Greek prefix. How did a city in California (inhabited by Native Americans, then Spanish-speakers, then English-speakers) get a Greek name? The answer is obvious. The Macedonian Menace and his troops didn't stop at India, like we have been told: instead he and his armies kept going east through China, crossed the Pacific Ocean, and founded a city in the Golden State, getting the drop on other Europeans by several thousand years. Note that San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, et cetera, were indeed founded by the Spanish or the Americans: Oroville was the only Hellenic city in the state.
- Evidence of this historic achievement has been suppressed by the powers that be, since they are afraid people will realize how based Alexander really was, and return to his projects: uniting Macedon, Greece and Persia (thereby angering all three countries) and worshipping Zeus and Apis as the true progenitors of humanity (thereby angering the Church of the SubGenius).
- Evidence can be found by trying to swim in it — even on the hottest day in the hottest month of the year, it will always be cold as hell. If you "wait for it to warm up in the afternoon", it will be even colder. How is that possible? It doesn't add up.
- The center of the Earth is cold instead of hot
- Why else would Lake Superior always be cold as hell?
- Hell is cold instead of hot
- Why else would we compare Lake Superior to it?
- In reality, the United States simply didn't have a president from 2009 to 2017. The works attributed to "Barack Obama" were written by a variety of authors, orators and politicians; alleged videos of his public "appearances" were simply CGI. This one is fairly easy to figure out: he was allegedly from "Hawaii", an obviously fictional location (the United States somehow contains a tropical island with volcanoes on it?), and started his political career in "Chicago", another prima facie farcical city (a wacky noir setting filled with gangsters and tommy guns?)
- Joseph Stalin was a CIA plant
- Come on. They expect us to believe that a good old boy named Joey Ashville — from the sweet, sweet state of Georgia, no less — just happened to wander into the Russian Revolution halfway across the globe, somehow ended up in charge of the whole thing, and then coincidentally spent his entire career making Communism look terrible?
- The native inhabitants of the Moon could never have developed such advanced technology — it had to have been put there by aliens. In fact, careful analysis of the so-called "Moon missions" reveals several entities bearing a distinctive resemblance to the animals of Earth.
- This is the only explanation for the sheer scale of the suppression campaign regarding the reality of Hellenic Oroville.
- I don't care what anybody says: it's real to me.
While many of the new fringe theories have already been associated with one of the two American political parties, others remain undecided. The Hellenic Oroville theory, in particular, is currently the subject of ardent debate as to what political affiliation its supporters have: some have said that it's an obvious left-wing dogwhistle and critique of American imperialism, whereas some argue that it's an obvious right-wing dogwhistle and fantasy of Macedonian imperialism. There is also a secondary, less-important argument about whether it is correct or not.
One thing's for certain, though: we will have a bunch of AN/I threads about it.
Long-time tendentious editor (and WMF-banned troll) Snowpisser said, through a
spokesman sockpuppet, that he welcomed the challenge of the new theories. "I can't wait to start a big clusterfuck over these. Nobody even knows what side they're supposed to be on yet! I will probably be able to catch a few dozen people off guard, and get them to freak out and get themselves banned."
Meanwhile, controversial administrator DarkAngelBlademaster666 said in a talk page comment that she was looking forward to figuring out what the right opinion was to have on them, and then immediately INVOLVED-blocking everyone who she disagreed with. "It's perfect, because none of my existing topic bans apply to this stuff yet. By the time they're expanded to cover these, I will have already gotten to fire off like thirty indefs".
- Note: My friends Hazzard and Skutz came up with two of these (the moon one and the Stalin one, respectively).