[Foundation-l] Has Wikipedia changed since 2005?

Peter Damian peter.damian at btinternet.com
Sat Oct 2 17:04:02 UTC 2010

---- Original Message ----- 
From: <WJhonson at aol.com>
To: <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2010 5:37 PM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Has Wikipedia changed since 2005?

> But are [sic] mission is to explain things to that level.

You have totally missed Sarah's point.  She said

>>Academics don't have the time or patience to explain basic points for
>> years on end to people who feel that reading books or papers about the
>> subject is unnecessary.

Read the last part of her sentence. Academics don't mind explaining basic 
things, even when they aren't paid.  It's for explaining it to people who 
think it is *unnecessary* that they don't have patience.  The internet 
acronym for this is RTFM.  Have you heard of "Randy from Boise"?

> When I read an encyclopedia article on Number Theory for example, I should
> be able to use just that work, perhaps other articles, to get all the
> information I need to *understand* the article.  Although I might want 
> more depth,
> I shouldn't need to refer to any outside work to get the breadth.

You missed the point again.  Sarah is not saying that the *readers* need to 
understand the basics.  She is saying that the problem is with *editors*.

> By saying what you did above, you are essentially stating that in order 
> for
> our readers to even understand an article they need a background in it.  I
> can't agree.

Wrong. You misunderstand the point.  The point is that philosophy is one of 
those subjects that people think is easy to write about, although it isn't. 
Plus, it attracts a lot of "editors" whose belligerence and aggressiveness 
is in inverse proportion to their grasp of the subject.  I could name half a 
dozen specialists who left because of this.


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