Difference between revisions of "Illuminati and Wikibase"

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{{pubdate|23|September|2019}}
 
{{pubdate|23|September|2019}}
When I was a teenager I was far too much fascinated by the Illuminati. Much less about the actual historical order, and more about the memetic complex, the trilogy by Shea and Wilson, the card game by Steve Jackson, the secret society and esoteric knowledge, the Templer Story, Holy Blood of Jesus, the rule of 5, the secret of 23, all the literature and offsprings, etc etc...
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When I was a teenager I was far too much fascinated by the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminati Illuminati]. Much less about the actual historical order, and more about the memetic complex, the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Illuminatus!_Trilogy trilogy by Shea and Wilson], the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminati_(game) card game by Steve Jackson], the secret society and esoteric knowledge, the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Templar Templar Story], Holy Blood of Jesus, the rule of 5, the secret of 23, all the literature and offsprings, etc etc...
  
Eventually I went to actual order meetings of the Rosicrucians, and learned about some of their "secret" teachings, and also read Eco's Foucault's pendulum. That, and access to the Web and eventually Wikipedia, helped to "cure" me from this stuff: Wikipedia allowed me to put a lot of the bits and pieces into context, and the (fascinating) stories that people like Shea & Wilson or Däniken or Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln tell, start falling apart. Eco's novel, by deconstructing the idea, helps to overcome it.
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Eventually I went to actual order meetings of the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosicrucian_Fellowship Rosicrucians], and learned about some of their "secret" teachings, and also read [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umberto_Eco Eco]'s [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foucault%27s_Pendulum Foucault's Pendulum]. That, and access to the Web and eventually Wikipedia, helped to "cure" me from this stuff: Wikipedia allowed me to put a lot of the bits and pieces into context, and the (fascinating) stories that people like [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Illuminatus!_Trilogy Shea & Wilson] or [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_von_D%C3%A4niken von Däniken] or [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holy_Blood_and_the_Holy_Grail Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln] tell, start falling apart. Eco's novel, by deconstructing the idea, helps to overcome it.
  
He probably doesn't remember it anymore, but it was Thomas Römer who, many years ago, told me that the trick of these authors is to tell ten implausible, but verifiable facts, and tie them together with one highly plausible, but made-up fact. The appeal of their stories is that all of it seems to check out (because back then it was hard to fact check stuff, so you would use your time to check the most implausible stuff).
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He probably doesn't remember it anymore, but it was [https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_R%C3%B6mer_(Autor) Thomas Römer] who, many years ago, told me that the trick of these authors is to tell ten implausible, but verifiable facts, and tie them together with one highly plausible, but made-up fact. The appeal of their stories is that all of it seems to check out (because back then it was hard to fact check stuff, so you would use your time to check the most implausible stuff).
  
 
I still understand the allure of these stories, and love to indulge in them from time to time. But it was the Web, and it was learning about knowledge representation, that clarified the view on the underlying facts, and when I tried to apply the methods I was learning to it, it fell apart quickly.
 
I still understand the allure of these stories, and love to indulge in them from time to time. But it was the Web, and it was learning about knowledge representation, that clarified the view on the underlying facts, and when I tried to apply the methods I was learning to it, it fell apart quickly.
  
So it is rather fascinating to see that one of the largest and earliest applications of Wikibase, the software we developed for Wikidata, turned out to be actual bona fide historians (not the conspiracy theorists) using it to work on the Illuminati, to catalog the letters they sent to reach other, to visualize the flow of information through the order, etc. Thanks to Olaf Simons for heading this project, and for this write up of their current state.
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So it is rather fascinating to see that one of the largest and earliest applications of [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikibase Wikibase], the software we developed for [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikidata Wikidata], turned out to be actual bona fide historians (not the conspiracy theorists) using it to [https://blog.factgrid.de/archives/1695 work on the Illuminati, to catalog the letters they sent to reach other, to visualize the flow of information through the order, etc.] Thanks to Olaf Simons for heading this project, and for this write up of their current state.
  
 
It's amusing to see things go round and round and realize that, indeed, everything is connected.
 
It's amusing to see things go round and round and realize that, indeed, everything is connected.
 
* [https://blog.factgrid.de/archives/1695 Olaf Simons on the current state of the Illuminati research project]
 
  
 
{{tag|Wikibase}} {{tag|Illuminati}}
 
{{tag|Wikibase}} {{tag|Illuminati}}
 
<noinclude>{{simiapost|english}}</noinclude>
 
<noinclude>{{simiapost|english}}</noinclude>

Revision as of 22:38, 23 September 2019

When I was a teenager I was far too much fascinated by the Illuminati. Much less about the actual historical order, and more about the memetic complex, the trilogy by Shea and Wilson, the card game by Steve Jackson, the secret society and esoteric knowledge, the Templar Story, Holy Blood of Jesus, the rule of 5, the secret of 23, all the literature and offsprings, etc etc...

Eventually I went to actual order meetings of the Rosicrucians, and learned about some of their "secret" teachings, and also read Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. That, and access to the Web and eventually Wikipedia, helped to "cure" me from this stuff: Wikipedia allowed me to put a lot of the bits and pieces into context, and the (fascinating) stories that people like Shea & Wilson or von Däniken or Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln tell, start falling apart. Eco's novel, by deconstructing the idea, helps to overcome it.

He probably doesn't remember it anymore, but it was Thomas Römer who, many years ago, told me that the trick of these authors is to tell ten implausible, but verifiable facts, and tie them together with one highly plausible, but made-up fact. The appeal of their stories is that all of it seems to check out (because back then it was hard to fact check stuff, so you would use your time to check the most implausible stuff).

I still understand the allure of these stories, and love to indulge in them from time to time. But it was the Web, and it was learning about knowledge representation, that clarified the view on the underlying facts, and when I tried to apply the methods I was learning to it, it fell apart quickly.

So it is rather fascinating to see that one of the largest and earliest applications of Wikibase, the software we developed for Wikidata, turned out to be actual bona fide historians (not the conspiracy theorists) using it to work on the Illuminati, to catalog the letters they sent to reach other, to visualize the flow of information through the order, etc. Thanks to Olaf Simons for heading this project, and for this write up of their current state.

It's amusing to see things go round and round and realize that, indeed, everything is connected.

Wikibase
Illuminati

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