Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When More is Less

When More is Less / Regina Coyula
Posted on August 18, 2013

The esteemed Haroldo Dilla, after having had a look through ECURED (a
reference site maintained by the Cuban government), has written an
entertaining article where he notes some of the shortcomings of that
which hopes to establish itself as the encyclopedic model for all
Cubans. Although I am not a frequent user of the page, I agree with
Dilla regarding its slowness and other defects signaled by him and
Rafael Rojas.

What is alarming is that, unlike Wikipedia, ECURED can be found on every
computer in educational centers, it is the obligatory reference of
students for class assignments and its access is advertised through
mobile phones and digital television. Moreover, to sustain ECURED, the
employees of the Youth Club of Information Technology, the students of
the UIS, and others who fit the profile, must contribute to its growth
with ten monthly articles copied from printed sources. That there is the
definition of the "collaborative": without rigor, without
specialization, quantity for quality.

In light of its imminent apparition, it could not manage to unravel the
need for a clearly enormous effort, even with the duplication of content
that had been previously published in other places; and, in fact, ECURED
can only be understood as the Ministry of the Truth, like a version of a
world beyond the "destruction of history" in the face of the excessive
liberty of Wikipedia.

It might have been more rational to create a Cuban team of collaborators
to contribute content to the global encyclopedia, to put those other
viewpoints to counterbalance (or not), and to have avoided this
ill-thought network, no worse executed and without future. This is
particularly demonstrated in the diffusion and appetite for the portable
versions of Wikipedia, the one that can be accessed from multiple
channels, through the same tech specialists that offer their private
services, not without first reaching the goal of feeding ECURED.

Translated by: Claudia Cruz Leo

16 August 2013

Source: "When More is Less / Regina Coyula | Translating Cuba" -

No comments:

Post a Comment