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

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Sun Oct 24 20:17:56 UTC 2010

On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 3:31 PM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 24 October 2010 20:26, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
>> Put it in a fixed form, like on a CD, and then you can call it an encyclopedia.
> Unfortunately, you're running behind the English language.

I saw your name and was ready for the usual response to that argument:
"stop trolling, of course Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.

> http://twitter.com/#!/alisonclement/status/8421314259

Well, yeah, it's not something that's going to be easily fixed.
Reminds me of the comment by Sanger at the end of "Truth in Numbers?":

"A lot of kids are consulting wikipedia as the first and often the
last source of information on anything that they're curious about.  If
it continues on in that capacity, we might have a generation of kids
who have a fundamental confusion about basic principles of

It's not something that can be fixed with a few simple changes.  But
"to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop
educational content under a free license or in the public domain",
someone's going to have to engage in the campaign of educating people
on why not to rely on sources like Wikipedia.

Wikimedians are probably not the best candidates for doing that,
though.  On this very list we have an argument that Wikipedia is not
less reliable than traditional encyclopedias.

On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 4:15 PM, geni <geniice at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 24 October 2010 21:07, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
>> No, that wasn't my claim.  I am, however, accountable for what I say.
>> And the idea that Wikipedia could "turn out to be an encyclopedia" is
>> silly.  It either is, or it isn't, and in this case, as I have
>> explained, it isn't.
> No you have explained that you have decided to draw a line in the sand
> in terms of reliability to define what is and isn't an encyclopedia.

No I haven't.  I drew the line in the sand based on the fact that
Wikipedia is not a fixed work.  I also pointed out that even the
Wikipedia article on Wikipedia doesn't say that Wikipedia is an
encyclopedia, it says that it is an "encyclopedia project".  I then
went on to compare the reliability of Wikipedia to that of

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