[WikiEN-l] Defeat: Notability is Policy

David Goodman dgoodmanny at gmail.com
Sat Feb 2 23:29:07 UTC 2008

many of us think important both the physical world and the world of human
imagination, and interpret a comprehensive encyclopedia as including both
what would have been in a traditional scholarly encyclopedia if it had no
size restrictions, and what pertains to present day popularity.
Personally, I am much more interested in the scholarly part, but I know that
the way of really having full overage of academic topics in Wikipedia is
including everything for which there is some claim of suitability. At
present, when almost one-third of the member of the National Academy of
Science do not yet have articles, when two articles on the incoming
president of Barnard was just put up for deletion by an experienced
administrator, we should be expanding scholarly content, not denigrating

We should also of course be expanding whatever is noteworthy otherwise, for
popular culture of any significance--long range importance obviously
uncertain. There is no contradiction between the two. But when people write
upon humanistic topics based on old textbooks,  and  describe plot  by
 transcribing the content frame by frame, we will not attain our potential
with either of them.
On Feb 2, 2008 12:24 AM, Bryan Derksen <bryan.derksen at shaw.ca> wrote:

> Philip Sandifer wrote:
> > We need to think seriously about our standards of quality, and be sure
> > to line them up with, you know, what people seem to want. When our top
> > 100 pages are largely porn and Pokemon, well, it becomes hard for me
> > to really justify slashing our porn stars and television episode
> > coverage on anything other than the firmest and most damning of grounds.
> Just last night I spent an evening going through several hundred
> articles about various remote galaxies tidying up the usage of a
> template I'd changed. Most were identified only by NGC number and many
> of the ones that did have a photograph had only a blurry smudge that
> didn't mean much to anyone except a professional astronomer.
> I find it hard to believe that the subjects of most of those articles
> were even remotely in the same ballpark of notability as a random
> episode from the TV show Scrubs, which is watched by millions and has a
> dedicated fan base. But articles about galaxies are Scholarly, so I
> don't expect anyone's going to purge that particular pile of minutiae
> any time soon. Better to go after the stuff that actually
> _distinguishes_ us from the Traditional and Scholarly encyclopedias.
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David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.

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