Wednesday, September 20, 2006

But That's Your Argument. We Want Someone Else's Argument

Phil has news of an alternative to Wikipedia here, and given what I said here, unsurprisingly, I think it's probably a fairly good idea, if it can be made to work. What my recent experience of Wikipedia indicates is that a fetishism of sourcing has developed which rather is like a particularly ineffective, ersatz and bizarrely frustrating version of the changes which are being proposed anyway: a kind of scholasticism which would be a brilliant parody if it weren't in such poor taste. What's the point of the much-vaunted wisdom of crowds if you get shouted down unless you can cite one of the select few who make it onto the 'reliable source' list, anyway?

6 comments:

Simon said...

Further to my comment on Phil's post, the editor who over-zealously 'moderates' the Nick Cohen page is, in fact, the same person who you've argued with on the Bernard Williams talk page.

Ben said...

Do you have a reference for that?

And, btw, this post is a stub...

Simon said...

This counts as "Restoring deleted material", apparently.

Tommy Herbert said...

Wikipedia isn't about the wisdom of crowds but the donkey-work of crowds. Lots of researchers give the project coverage, but they rightly resist tainting the content with their own point of view. I think it's a natural consequence of that principle to ask that they back up every claim by appealing to a recognised authority.

Rob Jubb said...

Well, there are two things to say about that. 1) Is the donkey-work of crowds truth-tracking, or at least more truth-tracking than other methods? Count me unconvinced. 2) There is a clear problem about what counts as a recognised authority. I'd say the Guardian's Saturday section manifestly does not count as a recognised authority for the content of philosophical works. Other people clearly disagree.

Anonymous said...

"Is the donkey-work of crowds truth-tracking, or at least more truth-tracking than other methods?" Well, more so if it's kept on rails by the discipline of citation, I think. "There is a clear problem about what counts as a recognised authority. I'd say the Guardian's Saturday section manifestly does not count as a recognised authority for the content of philosophical works." Can't argue with that - sheer lunacy. I still think the principle does more good than harm.