Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Dog Wants...and So Does Wikipedia

You know, it's not that I'm not grateful that Tuffy seems to be doing pretty well at the moment. It could easily have turned out that we spent thousands of dollars for her medial care and had a worse result. I love this dog, and I was very pleased tonight when she licked me with her damaged tongue. It means the tongue is less uncomfortable for her to use than it was after they truncated and irradiated it and it got all infected and stuff.

But honestly, there are evenings when she gets on my nerves. This has been one of them. It seems like every five minutes she's back in here, staring at me, pawing at me, or pushing her way past my legs to get under my desk. She wants.

To some extent she's looking for affection and attention and reassurance, but John and I know that it's really about food. And not just any food. Half the time when she does this, there's food in her dish. It's just not yummy and exciting food. No, she wants pepperoni or Pupperoni, or cheese or meaty table scraps or, failing any of that, some dog biscuits. I've learned to say "No food, no treat." Then she'll usually go away. For five minutes.

I think it's the repetition that annoys me, the knowledge that a dog biscuit, a piece of teriyaki chicken or a quick petting and refusal to feed will all result in her returning in five minutes. Also, it's kind of blatantly about the food. Yes, I know she has affection for us, and she's always excited and reassured when we return home from work. But even that has a strong "Oh, boy! Maybe she'll give me a treat!" component.

And yet I know that when she dies, I'll really miss those five minute returns.

Sometimes it seems that Wikipedia is similarly demanding. Over the past couple of years I've added quite a few pictures to Wikipedia, mostly book covers and (before I changed computers and ended up with uncooperative software) screen captures. Both of those categories comprise copyrighted material, though, and over time Wikipedia has gotten more and more hinky about fair use rules. Now each image needs a fair use rationale that is specific to each article in which it is used. Three articles? Three rationales. Each has to explain in customized text that it's not a high resolution image and cannot be used for commercial piracy, does not harm the ability of the copyright holder to benefit from the work, and adds critical and notable information to the article that cannot be achieved with words alone.

Both human and bot editors are constantly scouring the zillions of images on Wikipedia, looking for any photos that don't comply with the latest version of the fair use ("non-free") rules, tagging them for deletion unless someone can provide a convincing rationale in the next couple of days. I've gone through a few rounds now of following links from article to article and image to image, trying to make all those Madeleine L'Engle book covers and screen shots of actors conform. Just last week I wrote one for a picture of Kent McCord in Farscape, and the image got deleted anyway. Wikipedia keeps coming up and demanding my attention, over and over again, demanding the same darn thing as last time - only more so, because what I already gave it is no longer good enough, or it just wants more of the same.

Darn it.

Tomorrow night: your Weekend Assignment links, and a new Weekend Assignment!



Becky said...

Wiki is YOUR time sucking vortex, my friend. LOL Thou shalt never escape.......

mythusmage said...

It's insecurity, it really is. Tuffy had a scary time and now she wants reassurance. This Saturday everybody go out and have an adventure. Just put on some warm duds, walk out the door, and go a questing. For what? Whatever you find. Let the world go hang for a day.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Hmm. You may be right about that!