[Foundation-l] Has Wikipedia changed since 2005?

WJhonson at aol.com WJhonson at aol.com
Sun Oct 3 15:33:43 UTC 2010

In a message dated 10/3/2010 8:14:18 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
peter.damian at btinternet.com writes:

> Will, can you try and focus on the three questions and keep this 
> on-topic.
> 1.  Is there a quality problem in certain areas.  Yes or no?
> 2.  If there is a problem, are there any underlying or systematic reasons?
> 3. If there are any underlying or systematic reasons, can they easily be 
> addressed?

1.  One of the foundational works that was used to create Wikipedia was the 
1911 EB.  Wherever that was flawed, we started out flawed.  I'm sure there 
are some who would say that this never occurred, because they can't remember 
that far back.  However should anyone wish to add any article from the 
1911EB, say on Truth or Avicenna or even to incorporate or restructure such an 
article based on that, they are quite free to so do.

2. Wikipedia has grown like a crystal grows in the midst of impurities.  
There are impurities perhaps at the heart of the crystal, and it's also not 
uniform and spherical.  When I do a search on some medieval person (my area on 
concentration) of import, I expect more often than not, to find.. 
something.  In almost every single case, almost every, the article is lopsided, 
unsupported, has wild claims and specific years which we do not in fact know... I 
don't blame the project for these flaws, I see them as a way to contribute. 
 I remember with what we started.

3. I would suggest Peter, should you think it possible, to start a new 
project which is devoted to Philosophy or even to the Humanities, which I think 
is too broad personally, and build it up and use it as a basis from which 
others can make additions to Wikipedia.  That's what I do.  If I encounter, as 
I sometimes do, an article that is so utterly lacking, that I cannot simply 
make a few changes to it, I start fresh, from primary and secondary sources 
and built my own article, in one of my own projects.  Then sometimes, when 
I'm satisfied at the thing of great beauty I've created, I will adds bits of 
it back to Wikipedia.

Flaws in Wikipedia are areas of opportunity for other projects to fill.  At 
the present time.  Wikipedia is not the sole project which exists in this 


More information about the foundation-l mailing list