[Foundation-l] content ownership in different projects

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sun Jun 19 10:01:12 UTC 2011

On 06/18/11 3:28 PM, Apostolis Xekoukoulotakis wrote:
> The fact that the truth is determined by consensus between experts and
> unknowledgeable or between people with contrary ideas is a problem.
> It is not a process that derives the truth since the truth is defined by the
> many,
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_in_research#Wikipedia.27s_Problem
> or the more powerful. That leads to power struggles which many just dont
> want to fight.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_Wikipedia#Editorial_process
> If wikipedia allowed articles to be forked and defined a trust metric that
> showed which article is more trustworthy, that would solve both previous
> problems and would also have contradictory ideas together, thus allowing
> people to have their own opinion about those different opinions and
> wikipedia wouldnt need to hide the strugle behind curtains.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_in_research#Web_Researching_Methods:_From_Google_to_Wikipedia
> Of course, this trust metric would have to be personalized, ie give
> different values depending on who the user trusts.

The best trust metric would need to be DEpersonalized.   If trusting an 
article depends on who wrote it the situation becomes too quickly 
partisan. Even if experts are to be given greater weight in the metric 
there should be a firewall between those experts, and the ultimate 
metric.  Crowd sourcing needs to be about everyone participating in both 
writing and evaluating articles. I often feel that the obsession that 
some Wikipedians harbour for perfect6ion can be counterproductive.

The paragraph you cite begins with "Not too many years ago, people 
looking for information typically researched one place: Google." That 
statement is a load of crap. Whatever happened to books and libraries? 
With the advent of Google did research really become so shallow? Where 
is the depth of understanding? What are the article's authors trying to 
accomplish with cutesy word play between "producers" and "produsers"?
> Why do we need trust?
> Let me just make a simple example. There is an architect , a doctor and an
> economist each writing an article on their fields. Each one of them wants to
> read the others article. They are unable to verify it is correct information
> because they are only experts on their field. How do they solve this
> problem? Well they use different skills, they don't judge the article, they
> try to check the person's credibility. My metric tries to use social
> relations so as to help people that have no knowledge about a specific
> subject judge the experts.
> The absence of knowledge in all fields makes trust a necessity.
> Controversial topics also necessitate the existence of different articles.
> I do agree though that knowledge is not a property of anyone other than
> humanity.

I don't dispute the need for trust. I merely dispute that it should be 
based solely on the *opinions* of experts.  We would do better to foster 
critical thinking on the part of students, and that is woefully lacking 
in today's educational environment. It is so much easier to take the 
words of experts as authority. Maybe too, we need to reconsider the 
entire epistemological framework of a site like Wikipedia at a very deep 


More information about the foundation-l mailing list