3 most important things

The first important thing that I learned was synthesizing primary and secondary sources. I feel that this is an important skill because they are both equally important when studying history. Primary sources provide you with what happened, secondary sources provide analysis. This then allows one to add their own analysis and conclusions.

The second important thing that I learned was how to critically read sources. I learned this mainly from our Wikipedia project. It taught me to understand the bias of the writer or writers of a topic and to understand why this bias occurs.

The third important thing that I learned was understanding multiple historical perspectives when looking at different periods of time. For instance, reading both the perspectives of people in power during the Pinochet regime and the victims of the regime.

Peer Review Blog Post

My peer reviewer agreed with most of my proposed edits. I think the feedback about where to put the “Impact” and “Criticism” or combined “Reception” was helpful as well. Most of the other things that my peer reviewer asked me to change the things that are already there, as in the summary of Seven Essays. I plan to use my references that I found to expand the parts about what people think about the book. The peer review will also help me to work with the content that is already on the page, instead of just redoing most of it.

Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality

For my article, there really is not a lot of bias because there is not really a lot of content to have a bias on. It really is just a summary of Mariategui’s work, with not much commentary or obvious biases in its representation. A criticism of this summary is that it is not clear if an agreed fact is being stated or if it is an opinion from Mariategui. One of the only sources so far are the source itself, Seven Interpretive Essays. The only other source is the one I added the other day, which quoted someone citing the work as an inspiration. I have already started improving it, with adding an “Impact” section about the effect that the book has had. I could also improve its publication history, and possibly background as to what brought Mariategui to write the essays.

LA in the News: Violent Protests in Haiti

Protesters demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise faced the police in Port-au-Prince.

Photo: NYT article

In the nation of Haiti, protests have been going on for months calling for the country’s President Jovenel Moise to resign. These protests are happening for many reasons. The problems Haiti is facing is essentially being blamed entirely on President Moise, who has been in power since 2017. These reasons include corruption, a lack of care of citizens by the government, and a horrendous economy. The protests have been going on for a few months, but recently on September 27 and 28, 2019 they have escalated and several more events have taken place out on the streets. A police station was raided by protestors opposed to President Moise. Houses and buildings have been burned down, along with protestors attacking police forces and the police reacting to them with forces such as tear gas.

Protestors have claimed that the president is corrupt and “is not doing anything for us, just killing us,” as stated by the protestor Francois Pericat (NYT). The protestors are also pushing for the Haitian government to investigate how the funds under Moise are being spent, as his administration and allies have been accused of wasting money and resources. The New York Times referenced to the statements of Youri Latortue, a senator who is part of the opposition against Moise, who stated that “Moise will be held accountable for everything that happens in the country today.” (NYT). Moise himself made a statement earlier in 2019 that he refuses to resign, stating that if he does Haiti will be under the “hands of armed gangs and drug traffickers” (BBC). Moise’s speeches have not done anything for decreasing violence, and even cancelled a speech he was supposed to give at the U.N. due to the unrest.

I thought it was interesting in the contrast of how the New York Times (NYT) and how the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) represented the protests in Haiti. Both articles highlighted the demands of the protestors. But the NYT presented a statement from an opposition leader and nothing from President Moise, whereas the BBC article presented a statement from President Moise and nothing from opposition leaders. Both articles mentioned Moise’s corruption, but I thought it was surprising how the NYT did not go into any detail about the opposition leader whom they quoted, Youri Latortue. They merely stated that he was in opposition against President Moise, and that he has a specific stance against Moise. After doing some research, Youri Latortue is quoted in several recent articles in opposition to President Moise, yet in the past has been reported to have been one of the most corrupt politicians in the Haitian government. Without this context, people like Latortue and the opposition in general can be viewed as the solution to Haiti’s political crisis. Yet, he is as corrupt if not more corrupt than the president he is opposed to. This to me is a false representation of the intentions of the opposition on the NYT’s part, and instead the quote that they used of his should be seen as the government officials recognizing Moise’s corruption and not as an answer to Moise’s corruption.

While reading both the NYT and BBC article, I could not stop thinking about DeFronzo’s factors for revolutions. Currently in Haiti, there is a mass frustration (as seen by the protests and violence), elite divisions (institutional opposition to President Moise), and a political crisis (immense amounts of corruption and a failing economy). The only two factors missing are unifying motivations, and the world context. This is very relevant in our class discussions, since we have covered leaders in similar situations to President Moise. Moise’s corruption and failure to care for his citizens harks back to corrupt leaders such as Diaz in Mexico or Batista in Cuba. It is very possible that soon a revolution or extensive reform could take place in Haiti as a result of this violence and mass hatred for President Jovenel Moise.



NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/world/americas/haiti-protests-moise.html

BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-49861759

Articles quoting Youri Latortue in opposition to President Moise: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article235555997.html

Protesters in Haiti burn businesses in push to oust leader

Articles highlighting Latortue’s corrupt past: https://haitiliberte.com/mafia-boss-drug-dealer-poster-boy-for-political-corruption-wikileaked-u-s-embassy-cables-portray-senator-youri-latortue/

Haiti Police, Senator Implicated in US Arms Trafficking Case

DeFronzo: https://larev2019.voices.wooster.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/227/2019/06/DeFronzo-Social-Movements-and-Revolutions.pdf



Class Notes 9/23/2019

Today’s class started with L.A. in the news, with Alex presenting on the expelling of two Cuban diplomats to the U.N. by the United States. Cuba was being accused by the U.S. of using “sonic weapons” to sabotage and attack the U.S. embassy. Cuba’s foreign minister rejected these claims, and some suspect it to have been merely pesticides. From the sources Alex used, they seemed to be neutral, except Fox News in particular had a more anti-Cuban rhetoric.

Next, Professor Holt went into detail about the logistics of the full Wikipedia assignment. She went over what needs to be done on Wikipedia to fulfill the assignment. We then started to discuss the Sadie Bergen article we were assigned to read and talked about systematic bias. Particularly we explored as a class the question of what kind of people edit Wikipedia, and why they do it. We determined that it’s typically people who are invested in the topic and people who have enough leisure time to do so. The Bergen article also talked about how most of the Wikipedia editors are educated white men, and the editors are from majority Christian countries. They are also heavily dependent on secondary and tertiary sources as opposed to primary sources, and in theory the writers and editors attempt to remain neutral in their bias.

We then split into smaller groups to discuss the articles that we each individually chose. Some criticisms and patterns that the class noticed about the Wikipedia articles were things like bias, lack of information, lack of focus, and questionable sources. For instance, a few people picked articles having to do with Cuba and they all seemed like they focused too much on Fidel Castro. Pages for figures like Frank Pais or Celia Sanchez were reported to have had way too much information about their relation to Castro and at times even going on tangents about Castro, when at that point the editors should have just gone to Castro’s own page. A few pages as well seemed to have a pattern of a lack of focus or have a ton of content for something or someone in the past and have almost no content for very recent events.

We ended class with coming back from our discussion and Professor Holt leaving us with a few tasks. First is to complete more of the online Wikipedia training. Next, she instructed us to start officially assigning ourselves articles to edit. Professor Holt then ended with talking about some of the resources provided to us by the Wooster Library page and how to access online sources and archives.



Systematic bias: A bias developed based on the experiences or demographics of the writers or editors.

The “average Wikipedian:” The most common demographics of “Wikipedians” are white, educated, Christian males that live in developed countries.

Neutral bias: A bias that presents all sides to an issue or topic fairly and factually while not leaning to one side or the other.



Quick reference guide for COW Libraries: http://libguides.wooster.edu/quickref

Information page on systematic bias in Wikipedia articles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Systemic_bias

Information page on WikiProjects on Wikipedia and their purpose: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject



Who can edit Wikipedia? What kind of people are typical Wikipedia editors? Why must we keep this in mind?

How can we work towards removing systematic bias in Wikipedia articles and get closer to neutral biases within articles?

What kind of sources are ideal for Wikipedia pages, and for what reasons? What sources are bad for Wikipedia pages, and for what reasons?

Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality

The article that I chose to edit is the page for Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality, which is a collection of essays by the Peruvian Marxist Jose Carlos Mariategui. I think that everything on the article is relevant, but it is organized in a strange an inconvenient way. What seemed distracting to me was how the summaries of the content is organized. This page would seem better if you had a copy of the work in front of you and were following along with the page, but without the work it seems confusing. The article seems neutral, but it seems to forget that Mariategui was the one writing the facts about Peruvian history. Instead, the article states them as fact as if everyone agrees with Mariategui. This article also does not seem to have anything about anybody’s reactions to Mariategui’s essays. I think historically the most important reactions would be from the Peruvian Communist Party, later known as the “Shining Path,” and possibly from other Marxists or even the Peruvian government or population. The only reference is to the actual work itself. There are practically no secondary sources at all referenced. When there is a reference or citation, it is most likely quoting or paraphrasing the work itself. This hurts how Mariategui’s works are represented, as this article might as well be just a summary of his essays with no analysis or interpretation from other sources.

In terms of what could be added, a lot needs to be added. This article is part of the project WikiProject Books, and it barely follows the template and any of its regulations it has. In fact, the only thing that exists on this page is a summary of the work. Nothing about the author, background of the work, genre, or reception. For the talk page there is nothing there, except a link to the WikiProject Books guidelines and main page. This article is deemed a stub based on its current quality. In our readings and class discussions, we learned that Mariategui’s works were very much not unnoticed, as he inspired several movements and leaders in Latin America and especially in Peru. However, this page has nothing of that sort. According to this page, this work merely just exists and there is nothing else beyond a summary of the sections.