Re: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands

Subject: Re: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands
From: Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com>
To: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 00:58:45 -0400

Dick Margulis wrote:
> While this is all true, I think it misses at least one important point.
> Because of wikipedia's model, a sufficiently strong-willed page editor
> can cause bias and inaccuracy to persist despite the best efforts of
> others to correct it.

Pal, I can't argue there. Somebody wants to camp on a WikiPedia
page, there's no stopping them. Yet they're only changing the
_current_ page; page history is one click away. Insistent re-edits
are immediately apparent, if you look.

> With a more hierarchical publishing model (and I'm
> no fan of hierarchies in general), appeals to a more senior editor can
> initiate a correction. With wikipedia, that doesn't seem to be possible.

Right, it's not -- again, in terms of how the current version of any
WikiPedia page looks at the moment. Such senior editor has no
authority to freeze a page version in WikiPedia's model though, so
... so there's no such thing as a senior editor. You're as senior
as you are insistent. The thinking is that an infinite number of
editors will exhaust all crackpots, eventually. Or, better, for
most moments in time.

> As in any field of human endeavor, the special interest of the few tends
> to bring more focused energy on maintaining an error that benefits them
> than does the diffuse interest of the broader community on correcting
> the error.

Again, no argument. WikiPedia's bet is that since it's available to
_all of humanity_, better angels will prevail. Or our better angels
are doomed. We'll see.

I like and use it plenty. Gets me started faster on most research
inquiries.

That's the thing: WikiPedia is a high-value beginning but
emphatically not an end. Now we're back to Joe's point. There are
no ends to inquiry, and there never were. WikiPedia presumes the
user is enlightened to that fact.

Yeah, WikiPedia is user-editable, and that's what gets all the
attention. Just as importantly, it's user-auditable. They go together.

LQ

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References:
RE: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands: From: Joe Malin
Re: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands: From: Lou Quillio
Re: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands: From: Dick Margulis

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