[Foundation-l] Fwd: Has Wikipedia changed since 2005?

SlimVirgin slimvirgin at gmail.com
Sun Oct 3 00:54:38 UTC 2010

On 2 October 2010 22:44, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:

> The problem is how to avoid making rules against stupidity. Because
> you can't actually outlaw stupid. Experts already complain about
> uncitability. I suppose we could advise experts on how to use citation
> as a debating tactic.

Unless we all stick closely to our specialist areas -- not a good
thing if we want to be Wikipedians and not SPAs -- we're necessarily
writing much of the time from a position of ignorance. This is a
normal thing for good editors outside Wikipedia too.

But there has to be a willingness to learn, which is what's absent
from the philosophy articles. Non-experts -- including experts in
other areas -- believe philosophical positions can somehow be worked
out from first principles. But understanding an argument in philosophy
involves knowing who its main proponents are and who they were
responding to, as well as the detail of the argument itself. It
involves years of study!

Citing sources doesn't help because if Wikipedians don't like the
sources, they want to know why we've chosen this source and not some
other. No matter how canonical it is, it'll be questioned, because
they don't realize it's part of the canon.

So I mostly stay away from the philosophy articles on WP. Most of the
editors I know of with a background in philosophy do the same, or have
left in disgust or been banned!


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