Second Thoughts on Wikipedia

Having thought on this all evening, I now think that both the detractors and proponents of Wikipedia are correct. The deal is that the system works and is self-correcting, but only for the things for which are a set of people who have the facts, time and inclination to stay on top of entries they care about. For things like my poor bio, truths without a constituency of defenders are screwed.

4 Replies to “Second Thoughts on Wikipedia”

  1. I actually know of an instance where someone tried to rewrite history and was almost able to until the wikipedia put the facts straight. You can not trust everything in it but you can’t trust anything you read totally anyway. Many so called “experts” have been wrong.

  2. Which is exactly why you shouldn’t be in it. I know it feels like the other kids just had a meeting and decided you aren’t cool enough to play with them, but there’s an important reason for that rule. I’m not defending the characterization “vanity page”, because you’re right, it wasn’t one. Even so, you’re apparently not “encyclopedic” enough *precisely because* not enough people spoke up to defend your page. If enough did, then enough people would know enough to settle on a fair, NPOV article about you.

    The reason Wikipedia is not a broken system is that–while it depends on a level of commonality to every piece of information to make its fact-checking work–when the fact-checking fails it tends to err on the side of deleting the information altogether. Your bio isn’t so much “screwed” as protected–what’s not there can’t be wrong.

  3. Peter, you are kind of making my point. Wikipedia works well on information everyone already knows, less well so on anything else. This makes it less of an encyclopedia and more of a crib sheet – WikiCliffNotes. If it was billed as “a quick route to a shallow understanding” then we’d be cool on the whole thing.

    So, you think that the convernance was working as it should? Information someone has to look for or confirm is no good and should not be included, but information someone thinks they know should be in whether correct or not.

  4. No use talking to Wikipedians. They live exclusively in the “Wikipedia universe”, where they can live without the ridicule that they experienced as children because they were borderline autistic screwjobs or hopelessly retarded twats that couldn’t hack it in the real world.

    Thankfully, Wikipedia legitimizes their dysfunction and cares for them in a way that insane asylums can’t, so no need to argue with them. Kookoos should be left in their own little worlds and not encouraged to live in the real world where they could hurt themselves with knives.

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