Saturday, February 18, 2012

Should you trust Wikipedia?

Sounds like one of mine, but actually one of the Maverick's, over here.  Recommended, as always.

7 comments:

Belette said...

[I'd have posted this there, but couldn't see the "comment" button".]

It seems very odd to me to write an article entitled "Should You Trust Wikipedia?" and not to mention that the page in question has a big banner at the top of it says "This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page...".

That banner should be just a hint to even the most naive of readers that the page might just possibly have, err, issues. No?

Edward Ockham said...

Are you saying we should trust Wikipedia, William? What precisely is your objection?

Belette said...

I'm saying, it depends what page you're on. Some can be trusted (the GW page, for example, and a pile of related ones). Some, without a doubt can't. But finding one that already has a big banner at the top of it saying "this page has issues" and then wondering if you can trust it isn't very imaginative.

Edward Ockham said...

I think the point is quite how bad some of the articles on philosophy are - particularly this one which should be a flagship article. I'm genuinely interested in the question of whether crowdsourcing works, and while there is clear evidence that it works quite well in some areas, it is a disaster in others.

Edward Ockham said...

Also, it's quite odd to say that you can't trust Wikipedia and then someone says 'of course you can, because we tell you which pages you can't trust'. Note also my post today, which concerns a page without such a label.

If you can't trust the 'can't trust' label then you can't trust anything can you?

Belette said...

> If you can't trust the 'can't trust' label

That doesn't really work, but never mind. I'm not defending the philosophy articles. Maverick says that you say that article reads like gibberish; unfortunately "real" philosophy reads like that to me sometimes. In this case quite likely what happens is that someone stuffs in text from their favourite philosopher and then defends in on the grounds that it is well sourced and relevant. This happens, and needs an expert to disentangle.

Edward Ockham said...

>>This happens, and needs an expert to disentangle.

Shock horror, experts needed to edit crowdsourced project like Wikipedia. Surely not.