I disagree :-)
Yes, it is the way how classic encyclopedia worked. But Wikipedia is not
a classic encyclopedia, and I don't see the sense to bound ourselves
possibilities just to please some old traditional rules.
Classic encyclopedias were written by scholars, Wikipedia is not.
Wikipedia say, everyone can work on an encyclopedia, and because of
this, the content included in Wikipedia is far more richer and broader
than in a classic encyclopedia.
Scholars have limited capacities. A lot of things scholars cannot pay
attention to everything. In give everyone the possibility to pay
attention to what they think is interesting and important in their life,
we can free a lot of potentials that the scholars cannot.
Scholars have their own point of view. Over eons scholars thought only
what kings and knights did are important for the history. We know today
this is wrong, and the scholars of today are happy if they can find a
garbage dump from a village of thousands of years ago, so that they can
catch a glimps about how people lived then. Suppose the people in those
villages could have recorded their lives with the oral citations.
In the history of science it is proven many times that also amateurs can
provide breakthroughs and insights that scholars neglected. Done in an
orderly way oral citations on Wikimedia projects can provide a lot of
sources and informations that the scholarship are not able to because of
the lack of capacity, interest, ideology.
And Ziko, you didn't answer Lodewijk's question. Lodewijk asked examples
where Castelo (in this case me) think oral citation is inavoidable. And
he asked you to say how this can be solved without oral citation. The
method you come upon is not a solution, because maybe no scholar will
probably ever write anything about the crab catchers when the coast of
Shandong was still rural. Which means, you think this would be lost for
ever. And you take it is (probably as sad), but given. But I think there
are possibilities where we can save such knowledges. And that is engage
and enpower volunteers to gather these informations, as I said, in an
Am 25.02.2012 11:47, schrieb Ziko van Dijk:
Yes Ting, and for these cases there is the method of
This is a means to create what the Anglosaxons call "primary sources".
It is recorded and can later be used by a scholar (historian,
ethnologist etc.) for his research, for his "secondary sources".
These, with their scholar reflections, can be used by an encyclopedia.
There are good reasons for this way. One is, that it is not very
practical to cite from audiotapes/audiofiles. Another, that what this
individual is describing may be true for his personal environment but
cannot be generalized to others. For that, one needs the scholar.
Remember: witnesses are the most unreliable source ever. People tell
you plain nonsense - not because they want to ly or are stupid but
because the human brain is simply not created to be a historian. It
has the greatest difficulties to store information truthfully. So you
need to record, and compare the different assertions from different
It is a possibility to record oral and visual expressions from
illiterates, and only later to do something with it scholarly. But all
this has nothing to do with Wikipedia.
2012/2/25 Ting Chen<wing.philopp(a)gmx.de>de>:
Mountain, the first ever editor on zh-wp, and
still active until today, told
me the following story one day (it was before the Oral Citation project but
I remembered the story very well):
He came from the coast of Shandong, and his father told him that earlier
there was a local tradition where people went early morning to the coast to
catch crabs or mollusks (one of them). They used to use a special technique
to catch the animals. But meanwhile no one is using this technique anymore,
not only because there are now plenty of crabs or mollusks on the market
from the hydroculture, but also because the coast which was wild earlier are
now all urbanized, with oil terminals and harbors and those. When Mountain
told me that story he felt he would like to write down those stories because
in maybe 10 or 20 years, latest in 50 years, no one would ever know that
there was such a thing on the world. And that tradition would be lost for
ever. But he also felt he could not write them on Wikipedia because he had
no resources, because until now no of the ethmologists ever had interested
on such traditions and no academic resources ever mentioned it. With the
Oral Citations Sourcing it would be possible to interview the old people or
even let them show how the techniques worked.
On 25.02.2012 09:02, wrote Lodewijk:
just to make the discussion clearer: could you just give say 5 or 10
examples of topics where you believe oral citations are unavoidable? Then
hope that Ziko in his turn can explain how we can write about those
examples without using them.
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