June 16, 2006

The internet in Saudi: it’s just full of lame surprises & I’m craving for WikiCrack!

Flickr is now unblocked here in Saudi, obviously after I lost any interest in back checking all the pictures I was unable to view for the past months, in return, Wikipedia is now blocked! IF only I can find the sexually-deprived surfer who sought refuge in sex-related Wiki articles.

There’s a good possibility that this blockage will be a long termer, the folks at the Internet unit in King AbdulAziz City are not so keen on sites with generic content. But why Wikipedia?

Let me tell you about how I value Wikipedia & why it’s important to me beside it being one form or another of the limited entertainment I get here.

Although I’m usually a skeptic of the information I get from Wikipedia, given the nature of the project, but I admire every bit of it, especially the Trivia you usually find in main articles along with the unofficial/parallel information that can turn you into a well-informed bragging impostor in few seconds.

Take for instance the article about Mcdonalds, the restaurant franchise chain, beside the basic corporately propagated information, you’ll find an account of the “real” ugly early history of this corporation, along with some trivial information that fail not to amaze those interested in the subject (Oldest outlet, highest & lowest in altitude).

Linking related topics together, and the gathering of information in such a trended manner is all but too interesting, for instance the sidebar of topics of the same genera will usually guide you to the sub topics or display comparative highlights about the subject(s).

The extensive & well-presented technical information about almost everything that is; technical is also impressive, you got good-hearted individuals who like to share & explain technology (in a simple manner) setting up articles about the stuff you here about in the news or use in your daily lives.

I usually start surfing Wiki for a certain subject, but end up in a totally different one, a classic example would be while I’m reading a post on a blog that refers to a Wiki article outlining the biography of someone, this someone is say; a terrorist, so from there I go to read about his convictions, I stumble upon a term such as dogma, so I click on it, taking me to some Buddhist article, that leads me to an article about theology, in the trivia section of such article, it turns out that this or that term was incredibly used so many times in successful telecom projects, so now Im reading about one of them telecom articles ….you get the picture.

One deficiency in Wikipedia’s credibility that is inherent to its very nature of being an open-source project were everyone can toss thier two cents in, I’ll illustrate this with an example, I have no problem with the Baha’i faith, will I do have a problem with their creed and overall idealogy but I won’t run around chopping their heads of or sabotaging their shrines in Palestine.

Some really active Baha’i enthusiasts seem to have got hooked on Wiki, purging every “world’s main religions” article they come across & add what the few mil Baha’is have to say about the subject in hand. Now I’m not advocating that someone should edit their contribution out, but rather the people behind this over emphasising of the Baha’i faith should not abuse the openness of this medium.

But I must admit that I'm rather impressed with the level of neutrality exhibited in most of the information, except of course when it comes to the issue of Palestine, were if you happen to check it's main article, you'll be redirected to an article about the "historical land of Palestine", isolating the term from being conjugated with any notion of an occupied sovereign state or its people, in which there are separate articles about either.

I know I can still use
www.answers.com, as they do syndicate Wiki articles, but its not the same thing.

Oh will, back to basic internet searching then.


Omernos said...

Oh Bummer!
they blocked Wikipedia AND Flickr in Saudi Arabia? that's pure stupid.

But it's true, some sexual perverts seek for fullfilling their dirty minds there.

Wikipedia is one of the best resources ever. I always keep it open, and I gave my share in contributing as a registered user! :D

There has been tonnes and tonnes of discussions in the talk page of Palestine or rather titled Israel there, and how the naming should go. It's a pretty huge matter.

Qwaider قويدر said...

The people in Saudi still don't get it... do they?
No matter what they do, people are still going to find a way through! This is just sad!
Wikipedia!!? Why oh why would anyone block wikipedia! this is seriously "7aram"

Hani said...

Hey, cheerup man, someone had heard you... it is unblocked now !

Anonymous said...

It is still BLOCKED!!!
28th June 2006