[WikiEN-l] Age fabrication and original research

Ken Arromdee arromdee at rahul.net
Sat Oct 3 16:00:25 UTC 2009

On Fri, 2 Oct 2009, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
>No it's not. 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.

That's how rules actually work in Wikipedia.  Ignoring a rule--especially a
rule about sourcing--is going to get you pounced upon by rule mongers.  And
in a dispute, the rule mongers are always right.  It doesn't matter if the
rule actually does any good.

You're talking about an ideal Wikipedia and I'm talking about the one we're
stuck with.

>A decent secondary source, written by people familiar
>with the limitations of the primary material and with consideration of
>the available data and scholarship, is that sanity checking.

In that case, it's not a (decent) secondary source at all, and the initial
idea--that there are no secondary sources--was correct.

The idea that a newspaper article that quotes the date from the primary
source is going to do any more sanity checking than you would...  isn't true.
It's a legal fiction, or we might say, a rules fiction.  We pretend that the
source will do more checking...  but we're just pretending, because we have
a rule which says "secondary sources are better because they check things",
and the rule has to be true.

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