User talk:Ophir Lifshitz

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Infobox

What is the purpose of (repeatedly!) removing the infobox from your page? I thought part of your thing was making information accessible and easy to understand, which is one of the points of an infobox: even if some of the same information is rendered in prose, an infobox is standardized and easily scannable. And I thought another part was adhering to conventions for that same purpose, which the presence of an infobox on every player's page is an example of—not a practice fully adhered to, but an aspirational one we should work toward, not undo work already done toward.

I also don't see how the (presumed) fact that "many stats misspell [your] name anyway" argues against any of this—surely convenient access to some information is better than none? Your NAQT stats are complete as far as I can tell, except perhaps insofar as you might have played under completely fake names (not mere misspellings) or tournaments on NAQT questions did not submit individual results at all—I reviewed all the player records for the two schools you ostensibly graduated from (what word would you use if not "alumnus"?) and there are no names that resemble yours without being correctly combined into your history. If other results screw up your name, that's unfortunate (and if I were you I'd try to get them changed, which you may have already done), but I don't think it's a good reason to make it less convenient to access the over 60 results that are listed for you, under your correctly spelled name, on Harry White's site. Jonah (talk) 10:04, 30 December 2020 (CST)

For my part, making relevant information accessible, easy to understand, consistent, machine-readable, etc. is indeed one important goal (to which infoboxes strive); but another is how a person is allowed to self-define. Undoing work towards the former goal can thus be considered as doing work from the opposite perspective, and vice versa. Can these two goals be reconciled somehow? Keep in mind that there may be many concurrent goals in tension with each other. (Just to be clear, I am not denying any hypocrisy.) Given that this site is an aspiring central resource about the quizbowl community that hosts its members’ biographies, it seems more appropriate for each person to have freedom to weight these aspects in presenting a picture of themselves, and let decisions by others in the peanut gallery be somewhere in the middle between fair game and off-limits, depending on the case.
I prefer to be represented by whatever my contributions to quizbowl are (which anyone is welcome to qualify or deprecate) but not to be defined primarily by affiliations, anecdotes, incidental stats, or identities which are not based on merit and matter very little to the contributions. If someone cannot be represented entirely by their work, how do we create a quizbowl community that values things other than playing (and in distant second, writing questions)? If someone’s personal abstract here cannot even set an example for other community builders, especially if they are someone dedicated to scientific or knowledge work, then arguably the wiki is counterproductive to that work.
How two comparable projects treat biographies might be informative for QBWiki. For the community on WikiWikiWeb (the original wiki), the “user page” and the “biography” were one and the same – a mostly private domain to be respected ([1] [2]). On Wikipedia, which is a collaboration more than a community, user pages are useless, and infoboxes have been miserably contentious for years. They are better suited (and were originally designed) for presenting objective or quantitative data, like the melting point of a chemical compound or the capital of a country, rather than biographies, which are much more nuanced than look-up tables ([3] [4] [5]). There may be a slightly better precedent for biographical infoboxes on an encyclopedia encompassing the world’s knowledge, but it is not necessarily desirable in the context of a niche community’s public wiki to standardize or categorize community members like data, or reduce human beings to metadata.
Here is another reason: I don’t like it. It overemphasizes information and is ugly. The misspelling is just a fact to note, not meant to be an argument. I’m not interested in reviewing and correcting names in stats, which are historical records of games unequipped to accept edits, not venues for self-definition. Also, as an authority on myself, I wouldn't use the word alumnus. Ophir Lifshitz (talk) 16:00, 30 December 2020 (EST)
self-define…[accessibility of information et al and self-definition are] in tension…presenting a picture of themselves: This is fine to a point, and we might draw the line in different places. The QBWiki has long had a policy that true public information not be removed; I guess that doesn't literally say that links to such information fall under that, but it seems obvious enough to me. This has been informally relaxed a bit lately as people remove exhaustive chronicles of their playing history in favor of links to external resources listing same, but actually removing the links is a bridge too far.
I prefer…not to be defined primarily by [things] which are not based on merit and matter very little: Well, that's a fine preference, but all of it—particularly deciding what constitutes merit and deciding how much things matter—is largely in the eye of the beholder. Tons of people are partly defined (in various senses) by incidents or qualities that are not part of their "contributions to quizbowl" and sometimes even have nothing to do with quizbowl. Obscuring information is at best a slippery slope and, in my view, not in the spirit of the QBWiki or building "a compendium of information on quizbowl".
reduce human beings to metadata: Since infoboxes need not be used as a substitute for prose content and can exist alongside it, I would not say that the use of an infobox necessarily reduces people thus.
[Infoboxes] overemphasize information: Well, the QBWiki is a "compendium of information on quizbowl", and quizbowl is a game significantly about knowing information, so "overemphasizing information" strikes me as an odd criticism. Several of the pages you linked to seem to sum, at least in significant part, to "infoboxes fail to capture nuance". I don't think that applies here, since every bit of the infobox I added/restored also appears without nuance (so far as I can perceive) in the prose portion (except perhaps the introductory text "Noted Subjects", the content of which section I am not focused on and would not object to the omission of) and two links that, to the best of my understanding, cover some of your quizbowl accomplishments. The other major objection I saw (in an admittedly brief reading) is redundancy, which, fine—that's a value judgment we can disagree on. I find that redundancy can be helpful for usability.
[Infoboxes are] ugly: Feel free to change how they look (without containing less information).
Jonah (talk) 19:10, 30 December 2020 (CST)