50 Comments

  1. Caufield is saying that these algorithmically tailored suggestions bring him things and opinons that he likes, which is troublesome that it prevents him from discovering new things: book genres he’s unfamiliar with, opposing opinions, etc… Frazz agrees with a common idiom, but then realizes that in this context “preaching to the choir” actually sounds bad, since this strong agreement is the very thing that Caufield is complaining about.

  2. Yet another in Frazz’s ongoing storyline ‘technology is bad’. Variation 2b) the smug protagonist blaming technology for his own failings.

  3. Yes, that.

    In the olden days, media had to just take a swing at picking things to promote and distribute that they thought would appeal to enough people to make money on it. (There were also limited choices… a couple of newspapers if you lived in a big city, probably just one if you didn’t. Three broadcast networks (and one of those was spun off from one of the others because antitrust). The local movie theater had one screen, so your choice was “yes, watch this week’s movie” or “no movie this week”. So a lot of mass media was blandly designed to appeal to as close to everybody as possible, and offend no one.)

    Now we have media channels which actively adjust themselves to our preferences without much effort. We have lots of choices, but tend to get into a rut and get steered into staying there. Increasingly, we don’t encounter tastes and opinions that vary much from our own (partly by choice, partly by media attempting to cater to what we like.) You get people whose partisan political opinions are routinely reinforced and what we used to call “responsible opposing viewpoints” are filtered out, so it’s hard to BELIEVE that anyone actually holds those opinions for real… it’s got to be some kind of provocation, right? Nobody really thinks that… (insert opinion held by roughly 50% of Americans). Firearms enthusiasts don’t encounter anyone who isn’t also highly supportive of firearms possession. Persons of religious persuasion A just KNOW that everyone else is also religious persuasion A, even if they pretend sometimes to have religious persuasion B (don’t even suggest that there might be anyone with religious persuasion Z walking around.)
    This tends to push people into extreme positions on whatever subjects interest them, and all you get are extremists on one side mocking and belittling the extremists on the other side, with no exchange of actual ideas happening. Why should I listen to THAT guy? He’s an extremist, and not the good kind!
    It’s not enough to think that some politician has incomplete facts or mistaken analysis of the facts they have… we have HATE them if they aren’t one of OURS. I have little faith that (insert political party here) will choose wisely. But, with few exceptions, I don’t think they’re actively TRYING to choose poorly.

    I think Caulfield (Mr. Mallett) is on to something here.

  4. Caufield is, as mentioned, bemoaning the fact that the services he is using him offer him up more of the same in an attempt to get him to keep consuming. Frazz is being yet another heteronormative white-privileged voice of oppression and supporting him. While this is true, these services are just doing what people want and pay them to do. People generally don’t want their views challenged. The kid’s today (whether the transgendered SJWs or the Young Republicans) are literally incapable of having an intelligent discussion with someone with an opposing viewpoint (I’d hazard a guess they can’t have an intelligent discussion of any kind). They’re all soundbites and dogma.

    Now, the funny thing is, modern technology has give me the ability to be happier and more informed. I can find the more innovative bands or movies that might not hit the mainstream and have access to them from nearly anywhere. I can borrow a book from the library at 3 A.M. on a Sunday while in bed. I can fact check any suspect opinion in minutes. The problem isn’t that people don’t have access to things outside their comfort zone. The problem is they don’t want them and plenty of people are making money helping them stay in their bubbles.

  5. I think Caufield’s complaint makes sense for political opinions, but it doesn’t make much sense for me for music or books. It’s true that I seek out books and music similar to ones that I already like, but since similar doesn’t mean identical, it means that as I explore down the chain A->B->C->D, I eventually end in genres or styles I would have never known about before. Music option C needs to be similar enough to B to keep me on the exploratory path, but if it had instead just been some random music option that doesn’t appeal to me, I would have turned it off back in the olden times as well.

  6. Winter Wallaby

    I guess it depends on how much adventure you can handle. I have very broad musical tastes. Instead of just listening to one or two genres, I like to listen to what I consider the best of all types. Whether it’s rap, metal, country, rock, pop, punk, classical, jazz, soul, et al, I’m more interested in finding something equally good as that which I already know, even if it’s different. I’ve found that the algorithms suggesting music to me are very hit and miss. They will suggest really lousy artists just because they’re classified as the same “type” as someone I do like. That said, they have also lead me to some good discoveries.

    When it comes to books, as long as something is well written, I’m happy to give it a try. I have preferences, but I’ve voluntarily read literary fiction, science fiction, thrillers, espionage, historical fiction, romance, post-modern literature, and foreign literature in translation.

    I don’t think this adventurousness is a sign of my moral superiority, but I do think it keeps things more interesting.

  7. Singapore Bill: Have you ever actually talked to someone born after the year 2000? Your claim about their ability to have an intelligent discussion is vastly overblown and deeply unfair.

  8. Eh, I agree with Singapore Bill on being able to find more than I had the opportunity in the past. If you get in a rut, it’s your own fault and no different that pre digital days when ruts were just as common, what you learned was from one or two sources with no other potential voices, As for talking with someone born since 2000, well it all depends on the kid, how they were brought up, etc. just like in the past. Nothing has changed, really. Just the delivery method.

  9. @James Pollock: Well stated. Thank you.

    @Powers: I have to work and train many born after 2000. Using that demographic, they are surprisingly isolated for such a tech deep demographic. Often the most intelligent and brightest are so broadminded in their willingness to embrace a different opinion or perspective, and yet have no idea of the scope or magnitude of the options out there.
    Example: I have met 3 different women on three different unrelated occasions who want to “improve the plight of impoverished women” and are surprised to find that not all women outside of the US are “impoverished” and that it is also possible to be very very poor in the US and NOT be addicted to drugs.

    And more specific to what I believe is the point, their vocabulary is often very limited to whatever genre they embrace in film and literature.

    It’s actually scary how narrow some very tech savvy people’s world view is.

  10. Singapore Bill – I find the problem isn’t so much that I can’t access any media that disagrees with me. It’s that I can’t access much in the way of media that isn’t designed to blare into an echo chamber, whether I agree or disagree with it. Your comment about people not being able (I’d say more that it’s unwilling) to have a civil discussion with those who disagree with them is also played out in the media.

    And yes, I consider unwilling in this case to be worse than unable. You can learn to be civil, but if you hold the belief that it is your moral duty to be an asshole to people who disagree with you (even if you hold the belief that it’s your moral duty to be an asshole to people who are morally wrong), you are part of the problem.

  11. It drives me crazy. If I like or respond to someone’s post on Twitter or Facebook, the next time I look, that person’s posts are always on top. Which (of course) makes me more likely to respond to them AGAIN, since that the one I see, which makes it MORE likely that they’ll remain on top. Just because I responded to something doesn’t mean it’s my favorite thing in the world, and the only thing I’m interested in.

    And they not only default to that, they make it hard to simply order things chronologically. In fact, with Twitter, I see no way to do that at all.

  12. @ ignatzz – No matter how many times I tried to reset the Facebook sort order to “chronological”, their stupid system insisted on resetting it to whatever it thinks I’m interested in. That’s one major reason why I stopped logging into Facebook.

  13. These days, not only does it reset to “make more money off of me” if you set it to chronological, but they show so few posts under chronological that it’s pretty much useless. If it was easy to see the posts you wanted to, you’d spend less time there, and they’d make less money. Every little thing about the Facebook interface, no matter how infuriating, has been tested to make sure you give the behaviour they want.

  14. When my son was little, he would go to bed with a CD playing. When he was about 6 or 7, one night he asked me for music he had never heard before. For the next year, most nights I pulled out a new CD for him to listen to. Occasionally he’d asked to keep one. He was a precocious kid and musically gifted, and I have a rather extensive (and eclectic) CD collection, so it was fun to expose him to a wide variety of music. I still remember some of his favorites (as they went into regular rotation):

    Gil Shaham and Göran Söllscher — Paganini for Two (guitar/violin duets written by Paganini)
    David Grisman Quintet — Dawganova (bluegrass bossanova by the mandolin master)
    A CD of Bach violin concertos
    Vince Guaraldi (and trio)– Greatest Hits (jazz trio piano of Peanuts animated features fame)
    The Wallflowers — Bringing Down the House

    It’s nice to find music similar to what you already like, but there is nothing quite like the joy of discovering that which you love but did not even know existed…

  15. Online music services have become a fantastic way to find new music. In the old days I just had to get lucky that something unusual would get played on the radio so that I could investigate more, now I can (and do!) discover new music on a daily basis. I can investigate new genres more easily as well, not being limited to pop, country and hip-hop radio.

    In other words, Frazz doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  16. Ja, you had it lucky: for my son it had to be Bach’s Lute Suites, played by Sharon Isben. And it was cassette tapes back then (not all that easy pre-Amazon).

    We had to replace worn-out cassettes twice.

  17. Well, if you had to have your kid lock on to one CD, you could do MUCH worse than Isbin’s rendition of the lute suites!

    But anything can start to get to you when you hear it over and over and over…

  18. “The kid’s today (whether the transgendered SJWs or the Young Republicans) are literally incapable of having an intelligent discussion with someone with an opposing viewpoint ”

    Funny. Those durned young’uns keep saying the same thing about the hidebound fogeys. “They just won’t LISTEN! They don’t understand that things just aren’t the way they remember them any more…”

  19. Trish Lee: Sure, it’s easy to find examples of teenagers who believe stupid things and have narrow views. That’s because it’s easy to find examples of people of any age who believe stupid things and have narrow views. It was also easy 30 years ago, when people were also complaining about how kids were growing up entitled, and unable to think.

    I’ll echo the complaint that the internet/media is an echo chamber for political opinions. But I don’t see any evidence that it’s more so for young people than old people.

  20. ” for my son it had to be Bach’s Lute Suites, played by Sharon Isben.”

    My daughter locked in on the four classic Winnie-the-Pooh shorts Disney put out. Well, I had a box set of the four (on VHS back then) but one of them is too scary (heffalumps and woozles!) so she kept the three she liked in constant rotation, always playing in the background of whatever she was doing. Yes, there ARE more Winnie-the-Pooh animated things-to-buy-available-now-from-Disney, but they are all craptastic, so “we” stuck to the classics. The rain rain rain came down down down, in rushing rising riv’lets, something something something even washed out Piglet.

  21. “I’ll echo the complaint that the internet/media is an echo chamber for political opinions. But I don’t see any evidence that it’s more so for young people than old people.”

    I think the point is that story-telling is how we learn lessons about the world and how it works. Aesop and Jesus of Nazareth created stories to explain things to their followers that are still around today, a couple of millennia later. Back when you were in literature class, likely in your youth, you learned about allusion… story-tellers can make reference to other stories, and (sometimes) assume that listeners are already familiar with those other stories. So a reference to a prodigal son or an unhappy Dane are expected to produce a (predictable) reaction, because we all know the Bible and Shakespeare, right?
    What’s happening now is that we aren’t getting that. We all have different stories, and the overlap is becoming increasingly weak. So if I start talking about a prehistoric family in the town of Bedrock, people my age nod along, because most of us are quite familiar with the Flintstones. “I would have got away with it, too, if not for those meddling kids!” is iconic… except that it’s not, anymore, because today’s children have Paw Patrol and Pokemon, not Scooby Doo.
    Because we have so many more choices, now, than we ever did when we were kids, we don’t consume the same media, and cannot assume that anyone else does so. Back in the olden times, everyone went to work and spent the day talking about who shot J.R., because everyone who watched the show watched it at the same time it was on (except for the difference between east coast and west coast time zones). But today, watching a show episode-by-episode as it gets broadcast is just one way of doing so, and it’s declining in popularity. Substantial numbers of people watch a show by recording it to DVR and watching days or weeks later, or by watching complete seasons at a time on Netflix, or on DVD boxset collections. So even if two people are fans of the same show, one of them may well tell the other to shut up about it, because they aren’t caught up. “No spoilers. NO SPOILERS!!!”
    Since we don’t have these bodies of story in common, any more, our communication focuses more on our differences than our samenesses, and very tiny differences seem to be so much more important. Especially since there are agents of chaos who thrive on our differences. (I won’t name names here, but they would be outraged, simply outraged, to be so named.)

  22. I agree about the lack of common cultural touchstones – My one concern about us not having a TV or streaming subscription is that the kids are going to miss out on a lot of them. (Then my daughter started school, and picked everything up second hand).

    I would argue that the issues with very tiny differences becoming more important are there. (I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – in many areas, today’s “acceptance” isn’t necessarily any better than what we had 100 years ago. We have increased the number of ways to be “acceptable”, but we’re much more picky about where the boundaries of those ways are.)

    But beyond that, the stories are never just fiction. What stories you like, and how they’re told (does the version of Little Red Riding Hood that you pick for your child emphasize “stay on the path” above all else?) has a connection to other viewpoints too. So if every story you encounter encourages being creative, speaking truth to power, and being true to yourself, you will have that much harder a time realising that there are people for whom “sit down you’re rocking the boat” isn’t a bad thing to say. (I remember being stunned when I first saw Guys and Dolls, and realising that rocking the boat was supposed to be a bad thing in the context of that phrase.)

  23. After I buy something online, I suddenly start getting ads and sponsored news stories on the item I already bought. I looked up the address/phone number for a company that I needed to go visit for a job interview, now I’m getting continual ads for them as well. It’s all automatic, and very frustrating.

  24. “It’s all automatic, and very frustrating.”

    And they’re using your computer to do it to you.
    To really see the extent, disable scripting languages in your web browser.

  25. James, you’re talking about how things have changed with time, and I agree that the internet/media has become more of an echo chamber than it was 30 years ago. But that’s separate from my statement that I don’t see any evidence that it’s more so for young people than old people.

    I believe that an 18 year old today is more likely to have a polarized political viewpoint than 30 years ago. But I also believe a 50 year old today is also more likely to have a polarized political viewpoint than 30 years ago. The culprit is the way modern internet/media works, not 18 year olds.

  26. Christine: Cycling back to the post title, I knew someone whose boss was talking about a monitoring system that they were going to install at work, and the boss said “It will be like Big Brother!” My friend said “Um, you know that’s not really a positive reference, right?” Turns out boss was referring to the TV show. 🙂

  27. “rocking the boat was supposed to be a bad thing in the context of that phrase.”

    If your youth included substantial boating in small rowboats or canoes, it would probably include at least one example of someone rocking the boat and getting everything in the boat wet or lost. In the context of, well, boats, “don’t rock the boat” has a clear meaning.
    Some people have a similar lack of context for “don’t poke the bear”.

    Anyways, in my wall-o-text polemic above I forgot to mention that an excellent short read on the subject of shared story-telling would be “Lost in Non-translation”, an article (not a story) by Isaac Asimov. Since it’s probably hard to find, the summary is that the parable of the Good Samaritan suffers today because we have no meaningful referent for “Samaritans” except for the parable, which means that we now associate Samaritans with good behavior… the only thing we know about any Samaritans is that one in the parable who does the right thing. Jesus’ contemporaries, on the other hand, hated the Samaritans with white-hot passion and would have openly scoffed at the notion of a “good” one. Highly recommended, if you can get ahold of it.

  28. “that’s separate from my statement that I don’t see any evidence that it’s more so for young people than old people.”

    Yes, it is.
    The point was that for young people today, the notion that everyone would have the same cultural touchstones is foreign. They don’t assume this, because they can’t.

    ” I also believe a 50 year old today is also more likely to have a polarized political viewpoint than 30 years ago.”
    I disagree. 30 years ago was the tail-end of the Reagan White House, and there was plenty of polarity back then, too. But this isn’t the point you wanted to make, and it doesn’t matter.
    I think what has changed isn’t the number of people in polarized camps, but rather the nearness to the extremes of those camps. To attempt to show what I mean, I will assign imaginary numbers to something that is really not subject to numeralization; it is for analogy purposes only.
    Let’s imagine a scale of opinion which ranges from 0 to 100. 0 would be an extreme position, 100 would be as well, and pretty much anything between 40 and 60 would be considered a “center” position. So political party brand “A” might stake out a position at, say, 35, and party brand “B” might say “75 is what right-thinking people believe!”. Actual individuals, who might fall anywhere between 0 and 100, can choose either one of these brands, pick a third brand, or avoid branding entirely, but the folks in the 10 to 45 range will likely settle on brand “A”, and the folks in the 55-90 range will likely settle on “B”, and after elections featuring jousting between A and B the government might put in place an actual policy around 55 (if B won the elections) or around 45 (if A won the elections) with the actual success of each brand pulling the final policy slightly, but only slightly, one way or the other. Ok, with all that, I think that what has happened in the last 40 years or so (my date of reference is the rise of AM talk radio and the repeal of the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine) is that brand A has gone from proclaiming positions around 35 to around 20, while brand B has gone from proclaiming 75 to 95. (feel free to make your guesses as to which is which… there IS a correct answer). I don’t think that the actual positions of the actual citizenry has changed all that much, but the advocacy definitely has. I also think one side is more likely to reject the advocacy, and one side is more likely to join with the advocacy. I am a fairly strong “think for yourself” advocate, and therefore more critical of the side that is (in my opinion) more likely to follow along with the loudest voices, though I’ll criticize either side for doing it, which makes me welcome with neither side.

    Sigh. Another wall-o-text. I (and you, collectively) need a break.

  29. James – I’m torn between pointing out that I grew up in the city, and my canoeing experience was limited to approximately one week a year (car camping, not canoeing), but that one of the years with extra canoeing involved Girl Guide camp, where they had us stand up & rock the canoe back & forth to show how stable it was*, and pointing out that, even with the context, it’s similar to the problem of “Good Samaritan”. My context for “don’t rock the boat” wasn’t coming from rocking an actual boat, but “they didn’t want to rock to boat” about people who went along with the crowd even when they knew better. Even people who know (intellectually) about the relationship between the Jews and Samaritans in the 1st century CE may have a hard time bringing that to mind in the context of “Good Samaritan”, because of the strong connotations of that phrase. (To a lesser extent, think about the word “bystander”, now think about “bystander effect”. It’s a different word to me in that context than out of it, because “bystander effect” is something you hear as a single concept so often.)

    I would argue that the lost in non-translation problem applies to other Bible stories too (although I can’t think of any non political ones off the top of my head). It’s even more apparent if you teach them to very young children. At the age of three, my daughter thought that the reason we were taking Great-Grandpa’s stuff after he died was to keep it for him when he rose from the dead. (I had been questioning the value of teaching the Easter story even before that, but this outdid my suspicions.)

  30. Christine: I know James has brought up the Good Samaritan example several times, and I’ve responded several times with the same comedy sketch. But I don’t think you were here last time around, so I’ll say again that this is a good way of making salient the original context of the Good Samaritan story:

    (May be offensive to religious folk, but in my defense, I got this link from a minister 🙂 )

  31. I’m not sure that explains the context very well, but it’s pretty darn clever. (I suspect that it would actually be helpful to people who don’t know the story very well, to point out that it only makes sense with the prejudice that’s in place. Most of the explanations of the story I hear tend to skim over that point, because it’s assumed that you know, and give other cultural context for understanding it.)

  32. “It will be like Big Brother!” My friend said “Um, you know that’s not really a positive reference, right?” Turns out boss was referring to the TV show. ”

    So I mention this to my roommate and she says “What was so positive about the TV show?”

    Which leads to the concept of why would imitating something seen on TV be assumed to be positive. It’s a bit innocuous but if you think of it, it is kind of weird that it’d be assumed that because watching a tv show was a notable experience that it’d be assumed that pretending to be on it would be desirable.

  33. The Asimov article “Lost in Non-Translation” first appeared in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION for March 1972.and was collected in his collections THE TRAGEDY OF THE MOON in 1973. ASIMOV ON SCIENCE (1989); and MAGIC (1996).

    If your local library doesn’t have (or can’t get on ILL) any of the books, I suppose you could drive up to my place in Minneapolis and I’d let you read it in my copy of F&SF. . . .

  34. @Powers: Whenever I go to the local high school to talk to the kids born after 2000, the school administrators lock out this 50 year old man. Still, I’ve met plenty of younger people (early-twenties to early-thirties). I haven’t found them to be particularly well-informed on anything. I’d dare say I wasn’t that much better when I was 20 either.

    @Christine:I’m not sure you can demonize it as being unwilling to engage in conversation with those with differing ideas. For those who are young today, they have grown up in a polarized environment of “gotcha” reportage and echo-chamber TV and radio. They have never had the behaviour of treating an opponent with respect and discussing facts, rather than emotion modelled for them.

  35. @Powers: Whenever I go to the local high school to talk to the kids born after 2000, the school administrators lock out this 50 year old man. Still, I’ve met plenty of younger people (early-twenties to early-thirties). I haven’t found them to be particularly well-informed on anything. I’d dare say I wasn’t that much better when I was 20 either.

    @Christine:I’m not sure you can demonize it as being unwilling to engage in conversation with those with differing ideas. For those who are young today, they have grown up in a polarized environment of “gotcha” reportage and echo-chamber TV and radio. They have never had the behaviour of treating an opponent with respect and discussing facts, rather than emotion modelled for them.

  36. @Singapore Bill – I’m sure that there are just those who don’t know how (and I’m sure that informs the problem I see too), but I have definitely seen criticism of willingness to try and talk as a version of condoning or supporting the other person’s viewpoints. I don’t know if you saw the online outrage when news sources (e.g. the NYT) published profiles of leaders of the alt-right or even of the average Trump voter. Maybe it would have been ok had the story been published under the headline “The people who are ruining our country, and how we can try to stop them”, but one wouldn’t think that such a headline was necessary to make the point. (From some of the comments, I’m not sure that that would have worked.) Part of it is a very authoritarian response – “these are bad people, because they believe things that bad people believe”. Similarly, look at how upset people get at “she’s someone’s daughter” campaigns to encourage people to respect women. Talking to people in language that will get through to them is wrong, and we shouldn’t try for that sort of baby steps. “She’s someone” should be enough to make any decent person respect women, therefore that is the language that’s used.

  37. “Whenever I go to the local high school to talk to the kids born after 2000, the school administrators lock out this 50 year old man.”

    Try volunteering with some organizations that serve younger people. Turns out the schools welcome the people who are doing that.

    “They have never had the behaviour of treating an opponent with respect and discussing facts, rather than emotion modelled for them.”

    Perhaps hold off on generalizing about people you admittedly haven’t had much opportunity to talk to.

    What I see is that they can criticize, both accurately and fairly, things they see the “grownups” do that aren’t working. The problem they often have is in coming up with workable alternatives that would work better. Admittedly, some of the pushback they get is non-supportive and dismissive without solid reasoning (and besides, the kids aren’t even real… they’re crisis actors!) Generation gap is not a new development.

  38. I am baffled by the claim that the people who turned ‘liberal’ and ‘socialist’ into vile insults, or, from the other side, spouted ‘crypto-fascist’ and bitched about ‘the Man’ at the least provocation, were accepting and willing to engage in honest debate. The Good Old Days fallacy in full force, I suppose.

  39. Oh, I don’t know; I was genuinely surprised at the open tone and free declarations in this interview Dick Clark did on American Bandstand with the Jefferson Airplane. This would have been around the summer of 1967, on ABC.

  40. Kamino Neko: Because some A are B, all B are A, right? There have always been the intolerant and extreme but it certainly is moreso. It’s the form of discourse that’s been modelled for so long now that people don’t know it’s possible to discuss ideas and not just shout down different opinions.

  41. Singapore Bill: I don’t see anything that resembles “Because some A are B, all B are A” in KN’s comment.

    I think it’s a little more that after several thousand generations of “Kids today don’t know how to think good, like they did back in my time,” we should be a little suspicious of that claim. Or at least require a little more evidence than just saying it over and over again. For that matter, I have to say that I find statements like this deeply ironic:

    “They have never had the behaviour of treating an opponent with respect and discussing facts, rather than emotion modelled for them.”

    It actually strikes me as deeply disrespectful to dismiss an entire generation as unable to have intelligent discussions.

  42. I’ve definitely seen fairly scholarly analyses that say we have gotten more polarized and less willing to talk to people who disagree with us, in part because it’s so much easier to find (and restrict ourselves) people who agree with us. I’m not 100% sure what exactly the interaction between this and the fact that people are taking more extreme positions is (I know that’s partly an effect of the grouping, but I’m not sure if it’s also cause.)

    As a millenial, this seems normal to me, but I’m not sure that my generation is a driving force. It’s just happening during our lifetime.

  43. Christine: Yeah, I agree that the polarization is growing. I just don’t see any evidence that it’s particularly age-correlated.


  44. A family dinner.
    “And above all, let’s not talk about the Dreyfus affair”.
    They talked about it.

  45. It appears WordPress resolves embedded image links only at the end of a comment (in a separate line). Here’s the cartoon that Olivier tried to include:

  46. P.S. Nope, that wasn’t it. The problem was the form of the Wikipedia-URL. This should work:

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