[WikiEN-l] Age fabrication and original research

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Fri Oct 2 22:38:06 UTC 2009

On Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 4:46 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:

> If the you've understood a rule as some formality that
> you must comply with when it clearly does not help you've
> misunderstood something. (Either the rule, the applicability of the
> rule, or that it helps; Even a poorly drafted rule can't bind you to
> pointless mechanisations: thats part of the core purpose of WP:IAR)

I'm not sure about that.  The rule against original research is a good
example of a rule to which IAR can't really apply - at least not in all
situations.  The rule is there to protect the encyclopedia from crackpots.
 But no one thinks they're a crackpot.  So if you have an exception for
original research which improves the encyclopedia, you might as well not
have the rule in the first place.

If a secondary source isn't a synthesis and analysis of primary source
> material, then it's not really a secondary source.


Part of your confusion probably stems from that fact that wikipedians
> often treat news reports like secondary sources.  Good reporting is a
> kind of scolarship, but good reporting is rare. More often news
> reporting is just a lossy regurgitation of primary source material (or
> wikipedia!) or even just barely informed speculation.  But thats a
> problem with Wikipedia's misunderstanding the general worthlessness of
> news-media, not a problem with preferring secondary sources over
> primary sources.  The whole notion of distinct classes of "primary
> source" and "secondary source" doesn't map especially well.

Right on.  Very well put.

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