[Wikipedia-l] pitching an idea
lefevre.10 at osu.edu
Sun Apr 17 16:36:45 UTC 2005
David Gerard wrote:
>Multiple forks save edit wars, but I'm entirely unconvinced they're a good
>thing for the reader. I think NPOV is Wikipedia's really startling and
>useful innovation, on a par with attempting to write an encyclopedia by the
I don't think NPOV is that startling -- hasn't that idea been around in
journalism for the past century? I would think that most other
encyclopedias make that claim.
Furthermore, I don't buy any claims to NPOV. Language is inherently
biased. One bias is what gets mentioned. Wikipedia is more comprehensive
than other encyclopedias in another realm, but Another bias is what
gets mentioned first. Wikipedia articles are currently serial, so there
is always an order to the mentioning of any topic. There are also biases
in the wording and terminology of 'controversial' figures and unpopular
viewpoints. Who arbitrates who is controversial, or what is unpopular?
In the sign-off system I propose, we actually have hard numbers as to
what is controversial and unpopular.
Language did not evolve as a mirror of the truth. Writing that purports
to come from a neutral point of view comes off as stilted and awkward.
Language is a way to debate, argue, and convince. I say put language to
its best use and let proponents make their case.
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