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Monthly Archives: January 2005

Way clear for Toussaint statue

A bronze statue of a Haitian founding father inched closer to reality with a groundbreaking ceremony in Little Haiti — a bright spot during troubling times for Haiti.

Review of “How Papa Noel Forgot Haiti”

43 “HOW PAPA NOEL FORGOT HAITI”: THE POLITICS OF CHRISTMAS by Margaret Féquière “How Papa Noel Forgot Haiti” is a lovely musical, written and directed by Paul Uhry Newman, about a Gonaïves family coping with economic hardship and the devastating impact of Hurricane Jeanne, which ravaged Haiti’s northwest last September. Paul Uhry Newman along with Jean Jean-Pierre and Mapou Productions deliver a highly political play about Haiti’s culture and current events, mixed with a bit of history…. It is a happy, chaotic, and fast-paced scene until the young sick child named Magali, played by Danika Silencieux, sings Haiti’s most popular and beloved Christmas song, Petit Papa Noël…. As her family and friends pull together to help Magali through her illness, we are reminded that the true meaning of Christmas is not about Papa Noël bringing gifts but rather about how Papa Noël lives within each and every one of us based on what we do throughout the year to help our fellow human beings…. Key scenes became unintelligible, such as that where Papa Noel’s helper, Watson (Emmanuel Obas), tells the history of Haiti and the finale, when the Cuban doctor and other characters deliver the play’s closing message.

BoingBoing note on what wiki is good at

The following is reposted from BoingBoing… Shirky: Wikipedia is better than Brittanica on net-centric axes: Cory Doctorow: Clay Shirky’s posted more about Wikipedia on Many2Many, responding to danah boyd’s post about how Wikipedia won’t be an encylopedia. The thing Clay really nails this time in the idea that “new media don’t succeed because they’re like the old media, only better: they succeed because they’re worse than the old media at the stuff the old media is good at, and better at the stuff the old media are bad at.” And of course, sometimes Wikipedia is better, since, as with the Indian Ocean tsunami example, Britannica simply has no offering. So, at the margin, a casual user who wants free access to a Web site that offers a communally-compiled and non-authoritative overview of a recent event will prefer the Wikipedia to nothing, which is what Britannica offers. In this case, Wikipedia comes out on top, and walking along several of those axes like cost, availability, topicality, and breadth of coverage, Wikipedia has the advantage, and in many cases, that advantage is increasing with time Now Britannica doesn’t want this to be true (god, do they not want this to be true) and so they try to create litmus tests around authoritativeness — “WARNING: Do not read anything that does not come from an institutional source!” But this is as silly as audiophiles dismissing the MP3 format because it wasn’t an improvement in audio quality, missing entirely that the package of “moderate quality+improved cost and distribution” was what made the format great. Considering MP3 as nothing more than a lossy compression scheme missed the bundle of services that it enabled.

Progress for January 5th

Added a list of HIstorical Documents. I’d like this to eventually be a complete list, with links to as many online references as possible. Added a little to Dessalines’ bio, but it really needs work.

Should open source encyclopedias defer to expert opinions?

The author, one of the founders of Wikipedia, makes a few good points about the perceived weaknesses of the open source encyclopedia. However, he relies too much on te Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism || By lsanger Fri Dec 31st, 2004 at 12:42:24 AM EST Wikipedia has started to hit the big time. Accordingly, several critical articles have come out, including “The Faith-Based Encyclopedia” by a former editor-in-chief of Britannica and a very widely-syndicated AP article that was given such titles as “When Information Access Is So Easy, Truth Can Be Elusive”. These articles are written by people who appear not to appreciate the merits of Wikipedia fully. I do, however; I co-founded Wikipedia.