Comments Lost in the Transfer from knol

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The interface of this WordPress web-site subdomain “theme” puts into a pre-eminent position articles which were originally hosted on a Google subdomain called knols, for Knowledge Articles.  Its launch was widely touted, I heard the clarion call in Latin America through a free afternoon daily, and felt that I had something to contribute. The knols were meant to be serious, so one would assume if they were “knowledge articles”.  Over time, some of these became more appropiate to a magazine, making the preconception that it would become a rival to Wikipedia completely delirious.

An example of the type of article boldly announcing the birth of knol is this [readers must supply the intitial missing “h” when copying and pasting – conditions of that website might exclude permission to link]: -ttps://www.wired.com/2008/07/google-knol/

While these two examples of the type of thing one could see on knols are not in chronological order, in an effort to avoid that readers see some of the child-safe filters from being activated, we give here two links to snap-shots which show how varied the material and authors could be.  The first one shows predominantly serious articles and authors.  The second one suggests that one is reading some sort of magazine, with the difference that no editor sent out pink slips to its writers.  The general link to this archive is here. (Since knols no longer exist, it will not be possible to access any of the links.

An attempt to find out how many authors there may have been was fruitless after a 10 minute search, but some articles suggested that the site was read by no one.

This is blatantly untrue, as my readership there was up to 7000 in a very short time for articles that are not destined for mass consumption on a site which was open to the general public for a mere 36 months. Four years were needed to to reconstruct my reputation when the files were moved from there.

There were some technical problems at knol – specifically with one of my articles, comments could not enter.  Truth is, I believe it never advanced beyond a beta interface. Near the end of its life, some of the more serious users became increasingly critical of its functioning.  Its demise was announced in December of 2011 for the end of May, 2012.  An option to either download or transfer files automatically to WordPress was given.

As far as I know, none of the comments were successfully integrated into the transferred articles. As only 10 are allowed on the RSS feed, they are long gone.

Some of these comments are noted below, all with the original plain-text script.  Some editing was necessary, sentences arrived without spaces after the periods. Ellipsis represents deletion of material from the original message:

To my article in Spanish, Biografía de John Kenneth Turner, an Argentine journalist, one time editor of El Frontón, a magazine associated with the Argentine socialist political party known as the Civil Radical Unión (Unión Cívica Radical), wrote:

Un gran periodista — John Kenneth Turner fue un hombre de su época y tuvo, a través de sus artículos, una influencia en la política y en la sociedad. Su participación en hechos como los mencionados en este knol muestra cómo un periodista y militante participa en los cambios sociales y políticos; recordemos el contexto social de la época para valorar estos hechos. Es verdad que su libro México Bárbaro no tiene en nuestros días la difusión que merece; sin embargo, su labor recuerda a México Insurgente, otro libro de crónicas de la revolución en ese país escrito por John Reed. Tengamos presente a estos dos militantes de la libertad. Para aproximarnos al pensamiento de John Kenneth Turner leamos este knol y comrenderemos mejor la historia de México y Estados Unidos. Alberto Auné

(Oct 6, 2009)

To which I replied:

Estimado Sr. Auné, Desde el día de su comentario, las visitas a mi página, en idioma español, sobre el periodista John Kenneth Turner, han aumentado notablemente. Aunque la versión en idioma inglés fue escrita 4 meses antes que escribiera la versión castellana, más personas han visto el artículo en mi pobre español, lo que nos da a entender a quien Turner importa. Espero que los lectores tengan una versión ampliada de él en la brevedad. Habrá sido mi pequeño éxito gracias a Ud., o mera coincidencia, ¡Gracias! Atentamente, Paul Karl Moeller.

Mr. Auné passed away in 2017.

The above article is often accessed through scholar.google.com. The English version was once visible, I have no longer been able to see it – if it is still there, it must be on one of the last pages.

A person mentioned in my footnotes to the John Kenneth Turner article in English (#87 in the original) wrote the following (Jun 23, 2012, full name will not be given out without permission, but can be found within the article).

Hi! I am Maggie Mae in your footnote 87 in the Turner article. I am a relative of Turner, and can provide factual archival information to support my Find-a-Grave article. You have written alot about JKT, and I would be very interested in corresponding with you.

To which I will say at the present: Maggie, if you read this, you will be happy to know that it is a good thing that WordPress readers no longer know what search terms were used to access articles (there are exceptions for people with obsolete computers or networks). Someone was looking for personal information about you, and not Mr. Turner. (Well, it might have been someone with a similar name, but there definitely was a privacy issue involved.)

My answer was:

Dear Margaret,

Thank you very much for your comment. Having a complete name for my footnote adds to my article’s credibility. I spent some time in tracing following your ancestry on RootsWeb. Your name will now figure in the “Acknowledgements” section of my Spanish and English articles on Turner.

This article was the most commented, even though the number of annual views have varied between 16 to 25 per cent of the those given to the Spanish version – almost all the readers being from Mexico.

Excluding a comment deleted which referred to the “usual suspects”, (defamation being disallowed by this author):

User: Efrain Mcshell, Jun 12, 2011
I think some one should make a film, (movie) about Mr. John Kenneth Turner. —

Strangely, the next comment seems to have been made on the same day, and is by “anonymous”, which seems to have been against the policy of the platform:

User: Anonymous, Jun 12, 2011

In reply to: I think some one should make a film, (movie) about Mr. John Kenneth Turner. —
I was lucky enough to come across a first addition of Shall It Be Again? about two years ago. I had not heard of the author and I am far from sharing his views. I bought the book anyway without much thought, it sat in my library collecting dust until I came across it again and decided it was time I read it. Now I want to know more about the author and his life, it is sad how time has buried his works and his accomplishments. A movie never does a person credit but it would still be great if it came out. Even a badly done movie would bring attention back to the deserving Mr. Turner. Also thanks to Paul Moeller for putting the time and research into this article. I have not been able to read it in it’s fulness but I will be sure to put time aside soon to do so. It also deserves more time then a quick glance through.

My article Moral or Ethical Systems for the Determination of Correct Behaviour, was challenged Feb 12, 2010 on one of its points by Emeritus Profesor Klaus Rohde of the University of New England in Australia with the following (the “h” of “http” has been deleted to avoid incorrect use of the links):

Nietzsche’s ethics: misinterpretation — What has been said here about Nietzsche’s ethics seems to me a thorough misinterpretation. See here: [-ttp://knol.google.com/k/]klaus-rohde/nietzsche-s-ethics-its-significance/xk923bc3gp4/95#view.

Inspired by what Dr. Rohde did in the above-mentioned article, I attempted, without the appropiate software, to write a bilingual biography of Marcus Singkhmoser, a secretary (minister) of the Holy Roman Empire.  In spite of my work’s shortcomings, it has been indexed by the University of Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität).  Something of no current importance was even written in three languages, but I now believe this reduces the search engine position.

The following was my reply:

Dear Professor Rohde: I have also looked at your [-ttp://knol.google.com/k/]nietzsche-über-darwin-und-das-urteil-der-heutigen-evolutionären-ökologie#view. These two articles manifest your interest in Nietzsche, in addition to your usual field of expertise, as evidenced on [-ttp://knol.google.com/k/klaus-rohde/]klaus-rohde/xk923bc3gp4/1 and http://blog.une.edu.au/klausrohde/. The following clarifications may be to your satisfaction: My Knol said it would not deal with Nietzsche, contrariwise, it would be rendered irrelevant. I believe that the comment in question only points a finger at “Nazi spawn”, how Nietzsche is to be interpreted, is left an open question. Perhaps your issue, however, is with the Cooper quote. If Nietzsche was not as bad as some understand him to be, based on the first-cited of your articles, he could be a follower of the minusprobabilism moral system. However, that cannot be proven. The opinions of Bertrand Russell do not constitute sufficient evidence, in fact, your cited work is more of an opinion piece than anything else. Knol likes opinions, but I prefer to stay in the realm of what is most probably true. Let us just consider Russell’s more “humane” opinion, and its implications: ‘Russell concludes “There is much to be said for the exercise of a certain ruthlessness, provided this is administered to oneself.”‘, you stated. Similar things have been said about the concept of Jihad, the the Muslim is obliged to wage it, not with the world, but with himself. “It [Jihad] must be fought by means of the Quran and the Quranic message alone. … to tame one’s rebellious nature into complete submission to God is another form of Jihad which is in fact the greater Jihad”. – http://www.alislam.org/books/study-of-islam/jihad.html. This is the kind of talk heard in the wake of 9/11 in the media, quoting highly-placed individuals in their respective governments. Unfortunately, the world deals with the practical effects of followers of religious and secular philosophies, hence, any benign interpretation that can be made of them is moot, unless circumstances justify otherwise. That being said, perhaps in a future Knol, a different angle on my views will be found, more in accordance with what your bilingual article on Nietzsche suggests. A bit off-topic: I feel that your own reference to “right of the first night” therein, is in the realm of myth, hypothesis, or exaggeration. Material on “Droit de seigneur”, “Jus primae noctis”, or “ius primæ (primae) noctis” is found in Vittorio Messori’s “Leyendas Negras De La Iglesia” [Black Legends of the Church], and the well-referenced http://www.kattoliko.it/leggendanera/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1956. On the secular side, there is the Wikipedia piece, and http://www.fibri.de/jus/arthbes.htm. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/532829/droit-du-seigneur coyly mentions a “feudal right said to have existed in medieval Europe”, while the article at http://www.snopes.com/weddings/customs/droit.asp – almost suggesting that such a right existed – ends up by saying, “The historical record shows far more resistance to the droit du seigneur than evidence of its occurrence”. Therefore, while there may be countervailing evidence for your opinion, it remains on less solid ground than what my alleged thoughts are on Nietzschean philosophy. Under the circumstances, I feel that your article does not make the case that there has been a “thorough misinterpretation”, but I would not wish to deny readers the opportunity to judge for themselves the merits of our arguments.  Yours truly,  Paul Karl Moeller

Some of the links are on a secondary topic and provided for those who might be curious about the feudal rite in question.  The Snopes article seems to have at least one extra paragraph.  While any of the cited sources may be biased, this one may be the weakest, as it has gotten some bad press recently – even by Forbes.

There was more correspondence, with more of Dr. Rohde’s articles being suggested.  The following, here edited, was my reply a day after such additional correspondence, but exactly what is being replied to seems to have become lost:

Dear Dr. Rohde, The comment of [Feb.] 12, 2010 6:00 PM is most welcome. Allow me to confirm that I am in agreement with it, and probably with Russell’s second interpretation. As for, “If Nietzsche was not as bad …”[sic – ellipsis in original], … I had wanted to quote from a book called “The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria”, by Peter Pulzer. In his first mention of Nietzsche, one could arrive at the misconceptions that you point out in your Nietzsche article. However, a later reference by Pulzer clearly confirms, in your words, Nietzsche’s “contempt for antisemitism, and his opposition to narrow-minded nationalism.” In response to your Feb 12, 2010 8:27 PM comment: I believe I will have no reason to disagree with you on Schopenhauer. … . Readers, Dr. Rohde, in addition to his academic honours, is ranked as one of the top 20 of the 500 writers of top-quality Knols. …  Yours truly, Paul Karl Moeller.

While not part of the current series, a recent “like” in the article “Why I do not Believe in Edenics” by Dr. Joseph Suglia led to the discovery that he is another academic with articles about Nietzche.

An article on moral and ethical systems was selected as one of the best knols – the links are not valid, the “h” has been deleted from “http” to avoid their use:

One of the Best… — The curating team at Knol Publishing Guild (KPG) has selected your work as one of The Best of Google Knol (-ttp://www.scoop.it/t/the-best-of-google-knol). Click the link to view your curated Knol: -ttp://www.scoop.it/t/the-best-of-google-knol/p/183766095/moral-or-ethical-systems-for-the-determination-of-correct-behaviour-paul-karl-moeller  We encourage you to press the Reaction and Share buttons to promote your work and ours. The KPG Team: -ttp://knol.google.com/k/knol-publishing-guild-kpg-members-and-membership#”

Although I had thought that the relevant web-page had long disappearred which shows the above honour, it still exists, depending on how wants to view it (but clicking the image links will give an error, as the knols no longer exist, we once again warn:

The link of this sentence gives the general concept of the page of the KPG Team an the superimposition of an image from my page.

There is no possibility of performing a search, so getting to page 8, where the above work is listed, must be done through this link. Thre reference is about halfway down, on the left.

My article on conspiracy theory (which had a little clue to my background, which no one has yet noticed:

User: Basit Rahman, Apr 13, 2010

NIce article! — Nice article on conspiracy theories and I think that such theories are even deeper than what is mentioned in this article and there is much more to explore about such conspiracies but in my opinion, actual concern is that how such global conspiracies can be tackled and there is much more to be written on this.

One of my articles ended up doing surprisingly badly – only 105 views on this site to date.  In comparison, it had more than 250 views on knol during its first 110 days. Perhaps it should have been shorter, but the fact is, the current difficulty in finding it seems to be the result of social media crowding it out in favor of living persons with the same surname. More individuals have looked at my own data, while the obscure Marcus Singkmoser does 30 per cent better, in spite of Alexandre-Maurice Delisle being an important figure in Canada:

Interesting New Knol — Added to the list. The purpose of the list is to highlight good and interesting topics and content as early as possible and also to accumulate in one place good new content on Knol and promote it in social media. -ttp://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao-k-v-s-s/interesting-new-knols/2utb2lsm2k7a/3036 Regards

The name Narayana Rao is of fame in the history of India, and more recently, in broadcasting.  The one who wrote the above was identified as an academic.  What has been particularly frustrating for me is not being able to determine what the KVSS after the name signifies. I should have asked. The best I get from the Internet is that it is “Kar Vivad Samadhan Scheme”, that is, something to do with taxes, which would hardly interest us.

After many years, in the course of writing this, I have discovered that this article is in scholar.google.com.

The comments to more recent articles are all in their correct place, as far as I can determine in a short period of time.

Originally published February 12, last updated March 15,  2018. Paul Karl Moeller.

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