- This is a very important article about one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century.
- It would be a great thing if Wikipedia had produced a good article on him.
- It hasn’t. The article is really really awful.
- Worse than that, if any competent person has actually improved it in the past, the article soon degrades (the commenter gives the current version and a the version from one year ago to prove this).
- Perhaps there is something fundamental in the very structure of Wikipedia itself that prevents it from reaching even basic levels of competence about topics such as this?
The current version shows all the typical weaknesses of crowdsourcing. First, crowdsourcers are typically shy of deleting material, so articles tend to grow to the point of being unreadable. Second, they have no sense of where material ought to go. So the article tends to lose any basic thread it once had. Third, they have no sense of which facts to include, and which to leave out. What facts about Aristotle would you include in a three page article? They don’t know this, so the article tends to move awkwardly from wide, sweeping, often 1066-ish statements about the world and the universe, to what football team the subject supported, or what he had for breakfast in March 1969.