[LINK] the failing of wikipedia
brendansweb at optusnet.com.au
Fri Apr 22 12:49:53 EST 2005
Viveka Weiley wrote:
> On 4/22/05, Deus Ex Machina <vicc at cia.com.au> wrote:
>>especially around the edges where there is not
>>a lot of interest.
> I think that's an important point - wikis seem to need a lot of
> traffic to work, and it's the most low-traffic areas of major sites
> like Wikipedia that have the lamest articles. This seems to
> demonstrate that the mob is smarter at least than the median of its
>>the strength of a chain is only that of its weakest link
> but wikipedia isn't a chain, it's an ecosystem. Weak links are eaten.
This is interesting. I remember hearing on Radio National in the last 12 months (sorry, no better reference than that) that "democracy" is an effective basis for discovering facts. The particular example that I remember was of a lost submarine off the US coast (in the ?1950s?). A researcher got a number of experts together and asked them to vote on likely scenarios. The results of that voting allowed them to locate the submarine to a high degree of accuracy. Some fellow was writing a book on it.
There is also a growing number of people who argue democracy is strongly correlated with good economic performance. The argument is basically that democracy provides the transparency which is necessary for long term success.
Wikipedia (and any other reference source for that matter) is of no value if the researcher is unable to make an assessment of the quality of the information from the characteristics of the information (eg spelling, grammar, referencing, citation of competing views etc).
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