Monday, July 8, 2019

Wikipedia and You Can Only Play in Your Own Playground By Scott Shaw

By Scott Shaw

         Like I have long said, “You can only play in your own playground.” You can/should only play in your own playground if you want to keep yourself: friends and family safe and not be accosted by the diabolical forces of the world.
         You know, once upon a time this ideology applied to the actual physical safety of an individual. I hate to sound old, (even though I am), but life was not necessarily better way back in the way back when but it was certainly a bit simpler.  A person was defined by where they lived and where they hung out. Me, (unfortunately), I grew up in the hood, so I was always accosted by danger the moment I stepped outside and I never knew where it would come from. It wasn’t fun. But, that was all outside. If I didn’t go out into the out and about, I would not have to be forced to fight. Now, the danger is different. It comes to attack from inside. Of course, I am speaking about the world of the internet.
         You know, I always find life, (my life included), very interesting and sometimes very strange. Most people live in a space of observances. They look outside of themselves hoping to find something that will make them feel the way they wish to feel. Most people are cool. They just look for normal things that they decide they like. But, then there are those who want to feel some sort of something and they venture into the realms where they can extend their control. Many do this via the internet. Where, as we all know, there are very few rules of defined appropriate codes of conduct and behavior.
         Me, I don’t surf the web too much. Only if I am looking for something specific. I check my Facebook most days, unless I am out of the country or off doing something more important, and my Instagram. There, I like to look at fun animal photos and videos. I’m not on the internet to preach, debate, fight, or tell someone/anyone what they should or should not believe. So, the thing is, unless I am told about a situation that involves me in cyberspace, I probably wouldn’t even know about it.  And, I think that’s better; isn’t it? Not knowing. Then you are living in a world free from the unnecessary agitation.
         Anyway, all this rambling brings me to the point of all this…
         I’ve never really been a fan of Wikipedia. From its early days forward, as far as I can tell, it is just a platform that is controlled by a bunch of people who have nothing better to do and want to force their opinion(s) onto someone else. They want their truth and their perception of reality to be the truth, whether it actually is the truth or not.  Sure, Wikipedia has its checks and balances. But, who controls those checks and balances? A bunch of unknown cyber people whose faces you will never see. Many of them are teenagers. People, who have moved up and through the Wikipedia ranks because they really don’t have anything better to do. They just edit all day, everyday. Yet, in that space, they can control the knowledge of the masses. That’s a pretty powerful thing, don’t you agree?
         I remember when Wikipedia was in its early stages and I found it on the web one day. I forget how. I noticed an article about Steven Seagal. The article totally tore the guy apart. I thought that was pretty uncool.
         Now, I have no feelings about Seagal one way or the other. I initially met him a million years ago when he was studying from Fumio Demura and then I ran into him again in Japan in the ‘80s. I thought his early films were pretty good.  But, that was that. On Wikipedia, however, somebody had torn the guy apart. My thought was, how is that an honest biography or portrayal? Anyway, as anyone could and can edit Wikipedia, I decide to try my hand at it and I cleaned up Seagal’s bio. You know, do a good deed and all that… A day or so later I looked back at the page and it was once again the scathing portrayal. Someone had undone all of my doing. That was the last time I ever edited on Wikipedia. What was the point? I guess things have gotten better over the years on Wikipedia, but it is still based upon the fact that anyone can edit, say whatever they want, and there is no true checks and balances.
         For those of you who may not know, if you ever want to see who said what and why on Wikipedia all you have to do it go to the View History button on the page. From there you can find a listing of all of the edits. If you follow through by clicking on the, "Contribs," link after the screen name of the person who made a specific edit, you can commonly see what type of edits they focus on and what they are trying to personally achieve on Wikipedia. As each editor does have an agenda, you can really observe what contribution (or lack thereof) they are trying to make on the platform.
         One of the main things to keep in mind is that, on the education level, you cannot use Wikipedia as a citable resource. That fact alone explains the nature of what is going on at that website. In fact, Wikipedia itself says, Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Click on that title to see what Wikipedia says about itself.
         Thus, I have always been anti-Wikipedia. The website is based on love or hate and personalities, not the truth. …Not the people who have lived what other people are writing about.
         For someone very famous like Seagal, he has a lot of fans and supporters. And, this is good, I guess. It is what keeps his page on the site somewhat in check. But, what about all the other people that are not really famous who have pages on there? Then, it is a free for all. 
         Somewhere along the line someone put a page up about me on Wikipedia. Initially, it was flattering, but I quickly saw the downside. Every now and then someone would let me know that there was some false information or some seriously derogatory statements made about me on the page. Me, not being all that well-known, I don’t really have all that many supporters. A number of years ago I was told that there was a crew of people working out of Raleigh Studios that were obsessing about Zen Filmmaking and they were playing with Zen Films and my stuff on Wikipedia. At least they were operating from a space of positivity. But, most of the people who like what I say or do are usually very Zen. They don’t charge in with guns blazing. Of the people that do like what I do, and have tried to help my Wikipedia page, I am told that they have been shot down by the more obsessional Wikipedians. In fact, a number of years ago one of my martial arts students from the 1970s and 1980s was on there, making edits to martial art pages, and he told me they kicked him off by making up some lie about him. So, that just goes to show you the nature of the beast. Thus and again, “You can only play in your own playground.”
         I was recently told that there was some negative editing going on about Don Jackson, myself, and some of our films that have pages on Wikipedia. I glanced over at the pages and it looks like someone is trying to make some point, take down some facts, spread some falsehoods, and/or to diminish and rip on DGJ and I and/or our films. Okay… Good for you whoever you may be. If it makes you feel better…
         And, that's the thing, the people who have learned the inner workings of Wikipedia know how to throw shade and make it look like what they are saying is for real. But, is it?
         I mean, the reality of life is the reality of life. The reality of me is the reality of me. Kind of like Popeye used to say in that funny accent the person who voiced the character used, “I am what I am.” Does what they say on Wikipedia change any of that?
         Mostly, I wish I didn’t even have a page on a site like Wikipedia. If you know how to take it down, please do. Does it really do my life any good? I don’t think so. It certainly doesn't help my life in any way. It just provides the people with nothing better to do a place to waste time and not face the truth about their own reality and, instead, spent their Life Time attempting to cast their judgments on the all and the everything, as they project their feelings about a person or a subject in the subtle ways that can only be done via Wikipedia.
         In my mind, that's just not right. That is not what a site like Wikipedia should be used for.
         So, if you see some negativity or bullshit on Wikipedia about me (or anyone else) you can change it if you want. Anyone can edit on that site. Go for it! I thank you in advance. But please, don’t think that you’re helping me by telling me when some bullshit is up there about me, because I just don’t want to know. Just let me play in my own playground.

Copyright © 2019—All Rights Reserved

Originally from the Scott Shaw Zen Blog

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