[Foundation-l] Has Wikipedia changed since 2005?

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Sat Oct 2 18:52:37 UTC 2010

On 2 October 2010 19:09,  <WJhonson at aol.com> wrote:

> You can sit in your padded room and throw your toys around in a temper
> tantrum, but that still won't change anything will it.

While WJohnson's manner is perhaps unnecessarily brusque here, this is
the point: what to do about this?

Wikipedia does appear to have fallen into its own folk ontology: an
answer to the question "what is knowledge?" that is simple and obvious
enough for smart high school students. And I'm not meaning to
denigrate smart high school students - but they haven't even had four
years of wrangling with the issue of "how do we know what we know?" at
undergraduate level.

Almost-right answers are easy, really solid procedures are rather more

I put forward the computational biology answer (and I had singularly
failed to notice Magnus Manske's name amongst the authors), which is
ten things that I do think will help a lot.

The hard part, then, is how to get idiots a bit less out of experts'
faces. And it does affect the sciences - whenever politics is
involved. I give you the global warming articles, where an actual
no-foolin' renowned expert had right-wing American fundies trying to
vote him off the wiki.

This suggests the problem is: how do you *get across to* someone that
they're just ignorant, in a manner that is duplicable across the wiki,
and do that without breaking our spectacular successes so far?

- d.

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