Steve Bennett wrote:
On 5/18/06, Anthony DiPierro
Nowadays you don't even have to go to a
library to look up journal
articles. Wikipedians must be getting the information they put into
articles from somewhere, and I find it hard to believe that more than
a miniscule portion of it is straight from their memory.
I know heaps of stuff that isn't in Wikipedia. And I didn't get it from
reading "reliable sources". To take another example, [[Bouchon]]. Any person
who has spent more than a couple of days in Lyon knows what a bouchon is (a
typically Lyonnais restaurant). Yet Wikipedia had nothing on them. I didn't
feel like I was going out on a limb creating a stub about a bouchon saying
that they serve very meaty dishes that many foreigners wouldn't necessarily
appreciate. Of course for the details on exactly what they do and don't
serve, I went to a book.
That was a good beginning, even without sources. If the article had
been written by a Lyonnais he would have been too obvious to him to need
references. People have been able to build on it, and add references. .
I'm offering this account not as what should be
done, but what I believe is
current practice - but the use of a book is even more stringent than most, I
Yes, it's the current practice, but in most cases that's just fine.
Your final comment there is a little difficult to follow. Nevertheless
I tend to give more credence to paper-published sources than online sources.
The interpretation of WP:V that says that any
information that is not
accompanied by a citation should never enter Wikipedia is, IMHO, novel. I
would have nothing against that becoming the official interpretation, but
it's not even close to being the dominant one at the moment.
Insisting that every bit of information be accompanied by a reference is
extremist. For some classes of information it is essential; in many
others it should be added as a matter of habit but with no damage done
if a person fails to include it. Someone else can add it later.
Information can be challenged if someone feels it is important to do so,
but lack of references by itself should not be reason enough to delete a
The ad hoc system in place now is completely backwards.
supposed to get your sources first, *then* write
the article. Believe
it or not I'm completely in agreement with Jimbo that unsourced
material should not be in Wikipedia articles. But just telling people
to do a better job or "be kicked out of the project just for being
lousy writers" is not a very productive way of achieving that.
If we don't want unsourced material, why have we tolerated it so long?
It's not practical.
It remains important for information about living persons to be documented.
I believe in the original idea that Wikipedia is a project that anyone
can edit, even people with minimal education who have not received ivory
It's more important to remember our roots, rather than to put on airs
and pretences about what we are.