[Foundation-l] Paid editing, was Re: Ban and moderate

Robert S. Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Sun Oct 24 01:17:05 UTC 2010

On 10/23/2010 03:42 PM, wiki-list at phizz.demon.co.uk wrote:
> If at any moment it can be stood on its head then the information
> contained in the articles can never be authoritative. Suppose I have a
> calculator that every once in a while, and quite randomly, adds up two
> numbers wrongly, such a calculator wouldn't be authoritative in its
> results, even when it added the numbers correctly.
> For some things, like who played who in 'West Wing', it is of little
> importance. For medical issues the accuracy is highly important, and if
> one can't guarantee that each page load contains the accurate
> information then one shouldn't be pretending that it is in any way
> authoritative.
I would hope that somebody from NASA trying to plot spaceship 
trajectories around the Solar System isn't going to be using data from 
Wikipedia for those calculations either... or an engineer doing some 
structural load calculations using information about material strengths 
from a Wikipedia article.  I don't see medical issues as being anything 
of a unique case or something that needs to be especially pointed out 
other than it is foolish to use information from Wikipedia or for that 
matter any encyclopedia as "authoritative" without at the very least 
checking the sources used to obtain that information.  Wikipedia isn't a 
replacement for the CRC Handbook, nor the Physician's Desk Reference.  
It shouldn't be either although both are excellent sources of 
information for factual data that can be used in a Wikipedia article.

-- Robert Horning
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