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

WJhonson at aol.com WJhonson at aol.com
Sun Oct 24 20:31:32 UTC 2010

If anyone is "relying" on Wikipedia, then they have a fundamental  
disconnect from what we were and still are trying to do.
The entire point of Wikipedia today, is to make people think, not to stop  
them from thinking.
That is why we now, for the first time in history, have a method, if it's  
not actual practice in every article that's only a time and effort issue... 
a  Method for citing deep to the actual source from which any particular 
piece of  wisdom is taken.
No other work, in the history of man, has had this ability.  Wikipedia  
cannot be compared to any other encyclopedia, because nothing like it, has ever 
 existed before.  All of your arguments about the type of knowledge it does 
 or does not contain as like so many pieces of tissue paper thrown against 
a  concrete wall.  And yet you cannot see that.
I always tell people that Wikipedia is not the *source* for a piece of  
evidence.  They should look at the sources cited in the article, and if  
anything is questionable, then question it with a fact tag.  I regularly  remove 
fact-tagged phrases and sentences, as should anyone.
Saying it's not an encyclopedia, it's a "project" is mincing words.   The 
OED was a project, the ODBN was/is a project.  That doesn't mean they  have 
no product.  What it means is the project produces a body of work,  that body 
of work is the encyclopedia called Wikipedia.  The project is  also called 
Wikipedia, because it's a unique, never-ending project to produce an  
encyclopedia.  A situation that has also never exited before in  history.
I'm certainly, for one, quite happy, that those people who refuse to  
understand what we're trying to do, have been expelled from the work.  Note  
carefully, I did not say they don't understand it, I said they refuse to  
understand it.  There are plenty of (failed) projects that mimic more  closely the 
mind-set of a person who believes that an approved final-version  should be 
produced.  Perhaps those people would be happier at a project  like that.
The majority of the world, has voted with their clicks.  We can see  the 
results for ourselves.
In a message dated 10/24/2010 1:18:20 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
wikimail at inbox.org writes:

someone's going to have to engage in the campaign of educating  people
on why not to rely on sources like  Wikipedia.

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