The Cunctator wrote:
That's right. He fails to show how Wikipedia does not meet his criteria.
So there's more needed.
All right. You asked.
>- They are secondary source works
This means that original research and criticism doesn't belong. To me,
that means that material should really be sourced back to topical
surveys rather than original documents, because of the need for balance.
Therefore, for example, in areas of music, art, literature, theater,
and film, we should be drawing to a considerable degree from the reviews
and criticism written by other authorities rather than doing our own.
For an encyclopedic article, the ideal footnote for an article about a
film is not the film itself, but rather a book or magazine article about
the film. This, among other things, helps with NPOV, and makes sure
that we are a summary of human knowledge rather than having a strange
and wonderful new perspective on something.
>- They are comprehensible to a lay person;
For the most part we are OK on this, though there are some mathematics
and philosophy articles that push it. Douglas R. Hofsteader, Asimov,
and Sagan, despite their many critics, all have the allegorical style of
writing that must be adopted when explaining complex scientific subjects
to the uninitiated. They all value ease of comprehension over rigor,
and we should too.
>- They are edited for a certain uniformity of style
and content across
I believe that this remains the largest problem area, encyclopedically
speaking. We lack uniformity across articles. Now, some of this will
naturally improve with time, but it will never totally correct itself
without greater effort. The various & sundry WikiProjects have helped
enormously with this, and those who have participated are to be
commended. However, this is where there should be some judicious
merging and editing of some of the overdone contemporary culture
articles, and where the unencyclopedic articles should be dropped so
that the criteria for inclusion are reasonably uniform. Without getting
into disputed ground, it is fair to say that we need to have more on
Dominco Scarlatti than on Phish; more on J.S. Bach than F. Joseph Haydn;
and at least as much on John Steinbeck as J.R.R. Tolkien. What we
have instead is the mantra of Wikipedia Is Not Paper which, while true,
has undermined any sort of effort for consistency of treatment.
>- They cover topics that in nearly all cases can be
>researched further in any undergraduate college library
Many of the affectatious articles added on whims cannot; persons with
local and ephemeral fame cannot be researched outside of the area where
they were prominent, nor can obscure pop culture figures from decades past.
- They are
editorial in nature, that is, they are not mere
>of data such as sports scores or stock prices
Well, that describes some of the Rambot entries where they have not been
updated, and there are a handful of articles about CDs and so on that
aren't much more than track listings.
>- They serve a specific niche in a reference
collection, with other
>publications having related roles.
And last, the sense of Wikipedia as having a certain role, that is
shared with other works that are better for their specific purposes, is
a view that is not widely held. It is, at present, a dumping ground for
whatever article anyone wishes to write. That's a start. Maybe that's
OK in the long run too, if that's what we want. But it is most
assuredly not what makes a good encyclopedia.