The Signpost

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By Generalissima
It do be like that sometimes
In this issue
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Here's what syscourse means in case balding cane-using Wikipedians with low-riding pants are wondering. Randy Kryn (talk) 12:42, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

This feels like a mangling of interesting aspects of Wikipedia. I feel like there's two things here: queer youths (which I would count myself among) versus old professors is one of them. I think minimizing the spectrum between these different types of people and the amazing way they work together is a shame. The other is Wikipedia bureaucrats versus externally expert writers. Quoting Wikipedia policies at people in a smug way sucks! It's interesting that the sticking point here is a bad source that is relatively recent, it's hard to know what to really make of that, for me. Anyway, I'm sorry if Generalissima feels alienated by us youths with our neopronouns and syscourse :/ I hope we can figure out together how to replace Smith (2018) with a better source. ~Maplestrip/Mable (chat) 14:23, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Maplestrip: I wish my user signature made it on to this post; I am a nonbinary neo-pronoun using system. my message here is not that these things are bad, but rather that wikipedia is comprised of, primarily, very young people and very old people, who are coming from very different cultural contexts Generalissima (talk) (it/she) 16:35, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Fair enough, weird that I got the exact opposite vibe from this cartoon. Keep drawing and making cartoons :) ~Maplestrip/Mable (chat) 18:24, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Maplestrip: Did you mean Wikipedia:bureaucrats when you said "Wikipedia bureaucrats" because my mental image of myself is closer to the old guy with a cane and I'm still one of our newest Bureaucrats; as a group we skew strongly to people who've been on this site for over 15 years....... ϢereSpielChequers 16:33, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@WereSpielChequers I read it to mean the "people who enforce/encourage/promote/like the bureaucracy" as in WP:NOTBURO/WP:BURO. An "expert writer" might be an expert in their own field, but be clueless with regard to hundreds and hundreds of Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. —⁠andrybak (talk) 17:12, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@WereSpielChequers: Andrybak's interpretation indeed aligns with my intention; it was a reference to WP:BURO. The connection isn't very strong here tho (only the Manual of Style is mentioned), the cartoon just brought this to mind. ~Maplestrip/Mable (chat) 06:33, 22 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Speaking as a balding middle-aged nonbinary queer who didn't know what syscourse meant until reading the above comment, I didn't find comic this particularly funny. But seeing the author's bio I figure it's not intentionally harsh, just maybe misguided and probably too obscure for a general Wikipedia audience. Funcrunch (talk) 16:31, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Personally speaking –I am on The Signpost editorial team, but didn't see the comic prior to publication – it's curious to me that we as a community pick and choose sensitivities so finely. There's a discussion in the current issue about transphobia, which is great (the discussion, I mean), but also a comic that depicts a doofus as someone using a cane. Not a great look, as far as I'm concerned, no matter what identities the author portrays. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:39, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
How are they are a doofus? Generalissima (talk) (it/she) 16:42, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Isn't the point of the comic that they're being lectured at by a younger person who's "hip" to the WP TLAs, and literally pointing a finger at them? ☆ Bri (talk) 16:45, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It's supposed to portray both sides seem out of touch with the other. Generalissima (talk) (it/she) 16:49, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The conversation here is certainly bearing that out, given what people have revealed about themselves. However a) I'm not sure it's funny and b) I still hold that our sensitivities are oddly selective. Nobody's being taken to Arbcom for ageism, and that's good, but still, inconsistent with past reactions to The Signpost humor. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:36, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe we need a Wikipedia:No ageism essay. Some1 (talk) 23:46, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think they're both doofuses because they both hang out on this doofus website 🤔 jp×g🗯️ 22:45, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If someone had told me that this was AI-generated, the result of a request to 'make a cartoon about Wikipedia', I'd probably have believed them. It entirely fails to exhibit actual humour. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:47, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

The "Previous Comix" button leads me to the Comix before the Comix before previous Comix and then, when I get to the actual previous Comix, the "Next Comix" button seems to be absent there. Strange, isn't it? WADroughtOfVowelsP 18:49, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@ADroughtOfVowels, the previous comix link was fixed in Special:Diff/1224224289. Some of the previous/next links are missing, because the Comix was published in three different columns over the years: Comix (as this edition's), CommonsComix, and Humour. —⁠andrybak (talk) 20:58, 19 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

looking at some of these comments without looking at the actual comic (or the context of the author, who i diclose is my friend), you'd think this was some kind of egregiously offensive jab at both plural queer zoomers and at old white men... i think that says more about the jumpiness of the community than it does about the comic ... sawyer * he/they * talk 20:33, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I think maybe its because its hard to identify what the "joke" is, and people assume that if they don't get the joke they are probably the but of it. Bawolff (talk) 21:07, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

TIL we don’t have an encyclopedia article on Boomer humor. Also, I learned that only 16% of seniors use canes, which seems unusually low. For me, comedy that focuses on generational warfare is very low-hanging fruit, and should probably be avoided if it isn’t done with exceptional care. "Kids these days" comics are rarely funny across the board, but some people like Gary Larson managed to reinvent the idea by using young and old animals, often extinct species, to further heighten the absurdity. I think that kind of extreme take is what is missing here. Recently, some younger people have dismissed Larson as an example of Boomer humor, and I think that might be true for some of his panels, but Larson did manage to reinvent the genre in a unique way that appealed to many different generations. Perhaps if the Carter-era professor was also promoting an idea unique to his older generation in the 1970s it would have some comedic parity, and for me, that would be funny. Part of the problem is that you are giving the appearance of punching down at the younger generation who have not had as many opportunities as the older generation and have had to struggle and come into their own in an altogether unique way. This aspect is covered in some detail in our article on theories of humor. It can be difficult for some people of certain political affiliations to understand how this works. Viriditas (talk) 03:14, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Good points all. My initial defense-of-older-Wikipedians above may be too harsh, and from reading this discussion it seems that the cartoon has served the principled purpose of creating dialogue. The youngster with the book pointing at the frowning geezer with a cane does create a wellsource test, we get what we get out of the cartoon. But by bringing whatever it brings to each reader it sets up a better understanding of the full community. I've read elsewhere that the photograph from the Toronto Wikiconference shows lots of people that look like your grandparents (that was written off-site, and not in a complimentary way). But looking at it from just a touch outside the box, what a great thing we have built! Members of all generations of many nations collabing! Has this ever occurred before in human history? Probably not, and that seems the important takeaway. And at least the cartoonist made him a professor, as one of the greatest groups of untapped potential editors are retired professors, active residents of nursing homes, and why we need a Wikipedian-in-residence in that huge Florida retirement community whose name slips my mind. Randy Kryn (talk) 03:17, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The bottom line is that ageism is and has been a huge problem, and it’s often swept under the rug. It’s such a huge problem in the modern job market right now that there’s a burgeoning industry based on hiding your age from recruiters in internet searches. There’s also the loss of institutional memory that goes missing each year with older workers leaving or being pushed out of the job market. On the other side of the equation, there’s a high barrier to entry for younger people in some fields that’s almost impossible for them to break into, and this has come at the expense of higher education in countries where the younger generation cannot afford it anymore. My personal experience is that each brings something to the table that the other can use; the younger people bring fresh ideas and a willingness to experiment, while the older people bring experience and accumulated knowledge from many years that they can draw from so the younger people don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Within all of this, there is a great opportunity for humor, we just have to be able to see it. Viriditas (talk) 03:26, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Ageism doesn't seem to be a problem on Wikipedia, unless I'm missing it. The cartoon is about Wikipedia, not society in general. Randy Kryn (talk) 03:35, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
We might be using the terms differently. The trope of "Kids these days" depends on negative stereotypes of younger people. Also, ageism is one of the most common discriminatory attitudes in social discourse, with almost all of our interactions depending on some elements of it. You have a point that ageism is far less prevalent in faceless, virtual collaborative workspaces, but it still shows up if you look for it. This particular comic depends on it in various ways. Perhaps I am overly sensitive to it as I’m always on the lookout for it. Viriditas (talk) 03:49, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I literally did not know what syscourse meant until I came across this, no joke. Coming from someone who edits NETPOP-related articles, BTW. 🌙Eclipse (talk) (contribs) 00:34, 25 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]


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