Bohgosity BumaskiL <brewhaha(a)freenet.edmonton.ab.ca> wrote:
Great minds discuss ideas.
Mediocre minds discuss events.
Small minds discuss other people.
...Which pretty much sums up the problem with Wikipedia: If we can't
discuss things at the idea level, we're relegating ourselves to the
mediocre and the small.
It's a great point - some of the best encyclopedia articles were
written not by "experts" - but by people who understood that the
import of writing for 'some prestigious encyclopedia' put severe
limitations on the BS permitted in their work - hence forcing them to
be highly conceptual.
But you have to keep in mind the basic fact that - even though there
may be about 72 ways by which Wikipedia violates the traditional
encyclopedia concept - Wikipedia is still an "encyclopedia." Wiki
might make editing faster, but it also makes the publication of BS
faster, and that's the real issue that makes wiki something not
typically suitable as a research publication medium, or even a
research discussion forum.
And anyway Wikipedia is still just a pastiche at best - a place where
there is no impetus to put forth one's absolute "best work." "Best
work" in most contexts involves "creativity" and "eloquence,"
these are the very same aspects of intelligence that NOR was created
to destroy (on Wikipedia).
We might hope though that we could find a way to use Objectivity
(NPOV) to deal with just about anything, but that's not likely without
rating mechanisms. In any case Wikipedia's greatest export might not
even its articles, but rather its objective appoach to treating any
Of course we should not credit Rand too much for fathering the
development of all objectivity. That would be a skymining fallacy. ;-)