On 29 July 2011 10:50, David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Thus we end up with blithering insanity like the
sources" being used unironically, as if being listed on WP:RS
*actually makes a source humanly reliable*. This is particularly
hilarious when applied to newspapers - no-one who has *ever* been
quoted by the media would think this way.
(For those of you aware of the hip Bayesian way to calculate
uncertainty, this is what happens when your network has allowed
probabilities of 1 or 0.)
Also, I must note: everything Wikipedia gets right is when it's doing
it to be useful to the readers, and everything Wikipedia gets wrong is
when it's doing it to appease battling editors. The binary nature of
"reliable sources" is largely an attempt to get editors to stop
arguing, at the cost of doing increasing disservice to readers.
It gets worse when editors internalise the no-shades-of-grey
black-and-white ideal of "reliable sources" and suggest blithering
insanity such as that supplying a quote translation is forbidden as
This is put up with because editors think it's better than editors
fighting. While editors fighting is bad (although, as Alex Curran has
noted, we drop editors into an arena then we're surprised when they
fight), I suggest we really need to consider whether what it's doing
to our epistemology is worse.
It's an attempt to solve the problems with people by turning yourself
into a robot. Funnily enough, doing this leads to really bad and