[Foundation-l] "The problem with Wikipedia..."

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Thu Jun 17 23:03:08 UTC 2010

Pharos wrote:
> This is the best source of the "zeroth law" of Wikipedia:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Raul654/Raul%27s_laws#Laws_by_others
> I believe people have tried to track down the original coiner, but
> noone really knows.

The "original" original of the concept itself is of course
"The Flight of the Bumblebee", with a related concept
being the centipede losing track of it's legs, when it
begins trying to "think through" what it is doing with

<old skool anecdote warning>

In actual fact I employed this kind of formulation to
rebut New Media pundit Teppo Turkki (think of him
as the Finnish equivalent of Andrew Keene, and you
won't go too far wrong) in a debate here in Finland,
in the mid 1990's, on the subject of the future of the

My opinion was that eventually, with the passage of
time the Internet would not be "The Net of a Million
Lies" anymore, at least in terms of any idea that had
been debated exhaustively on the web, though new
lies would regularly sprout of course.

Teppo Turkki attempted to just completely pooh-pooh
the very idea, saying "That might be the way it works
in theory, but in practise... "

To which I replied lightning fast that in fact, "It could
never in fact work in theory, but practical experience
has showed otherwise."

</old skool>


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

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