Monday, January 03, 2005

Larry Sanger on Wikipedia's reliability

Posted by Trent Walters at 7:01 AM
Wikipedia's co-founder, Larry Sanger, writes very Mundanely:
"Wikipedia should not be used as a single source of information for anything. Defenders sometimes add that this is true of all sources of information.... Wikipedia badly needs a review process which the general public can regard as reliable."

To have a reliable review process requires a donation of time and time to search for reliable reviewers for each new entry. Will people willingly give up their time for the common good?

UPDATE: What motivates people to donate their time and effort? Online entertainment pirates don't get paid in dollars but in films and games. What might entice the knowledgable into contributing?

Goatchurch asked for a review of the immunology entry. My skimming turned up no noticeable mistakes. Moreover, they do provide a reference for more information.


Blogger goatchurch said...

Okay, Trent, before you parrot out any more politically-loaded cobblers like that from the people who have most to lose (eg Encyclopedia Britannica) writing for a website backed by the greatest corporate criminals of all time (proud to have "industry leaders" such as McDonalds, Cocacola, Exxon "that have made great strides in using technology for our betterment") in an attack reminiscent of the days when Microsoft was telling us that Linux was always going crap because it wasn't ripping off consumers, perhaps you could tell us:

How much money are the peer-reviewers of authentic scientific papers paid for their efforts?

1/03/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger goatchurch said...

And another thing, Trent: We need proof. It's not good enough to say that so-and-so said that wikipedia entries are of low-grade quality.

With your medical knowledge, and experience of Mississippi riverboat cruises, you ought to be able to find some examples of clear crapness among the half a million pages there. Try starting at:

1/03/2005 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger goatchurch said...

And another thing... If we here had any sense, we'd get our ass in gear and put in a mundane-sf page onto it, since they've already got:

1/03/2005 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Trent said...

I do think it problematic that Britanica criticizes it, but even Larry Sanger, a co-founder of Wikipedia, sees some need of reform. I don't think he (and not I) is bashing Wikipedia. It's healthy for us critique ourselves. But maybe Wikipedia could be best used as a method a starting to branch out elsewhere. For instance, you can make such-and-such proclamation, but back it up with references that someone can go to investigate.

By the way (in case anyone was wondering about Goatchurch's reference), I farted around on a ship, not a riverboat. We did go into the mouth of the mighty Mississipp, but never really traversed it. We spent most of our time on the Southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

1/03/2005 12:39:00 PM  
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