User:Bhadani/Better than the Best

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  • Still to be completed, you are most welcome to come here after few weeks. Thanks.

The prime objective of this essay is to have a brainstorming session, on an ongoing basis, to resolve the issues adversely impacting the task of building and preserving (and of course, presenting to the human civilization) the best global encyclopedia, an encyclopedia which is Better than the Best.

Prelude[edit]

We are attempting to compile the sum total of human knowledge, and not the sum total of human knowledge based on consensus. No degree of consensus shall change the truth, as the truth does not depend on the consensus. We, the wikipedians, will have to change our mind set, if we truly desire to build a global encyclopedia, which shall be Better than the Best.

The Project is now in the 6th year since its inception from 15th January 2001, and has crossed several milestones, including emerging as the most vibrant virtual community of volunteers to build the sum total of human knowledge. The time has now come to make the Wikipedia, Better than the Best. This involves a close liaison among the core editors and administrators to protect our contents and ensure that our credibility continues to grow and improve, and we must be able to minimize the impact of disinformation by those who edit with an agenda.

Background[edit]

The issue of the credibility of Wikipedia has been raised by a number of sources. An September 8, 2004 Washington Post article included the following:

  • Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., conceded that at its best, some Wikipedia entries reflect the collective wisdom of many contributors. But he added: "The problem with an effort like that is that at other times, it may reflect just the wisdom -- or lack of wisdom -- of the last contributor."
  • Wales (Jimmy Wales) conceded that Wikipedia's quality may not be up to the level of Britannica. Wikipedia is proposing to implement editorial controls soon that Wales thinks will put it on par with Britannica.

However, we have to swiftly move towards implementation of the editorial controls, without sacrificing the basic wiki-concepts, to protect our credibility. We should not aspire merely to reach a par with Britannica, but to emerge instead as Better than "the Best".

Credibility crisis[edit]

We have entered a stage where we are facing a credibility crisis. The matter has been engaging the attention of the Wikimedia Foundation, as also of the wikipedians, and several of them are concerned about the issues under reference. One wikipedian has beautifully described this sad predicament, which the wikipedia faces, and she talks about the necessity “to protect the encyclopedia from the deluge of nonsense that threatens it every day.” The threats have arisen more from within, as a number of editors and administrators continue to protect the contents based on infatuation and / or on the consensus. They fail to appreciate and understand the point that no degree of consensus can change the truth; and the truth does not depend on the consensus. This is just tip of the iceberg of the credibility crisis in which the project finds itself.

However, many of us agree with the observation that wikipedia does not tolerate nonsense in the long term, and the contents become trustworthy over a period of time. The goal should be to minimize this time span, and to maintain accuracy and encyclopedic tone once it is achieved in order to maintain wikipedia's status as the global encyclopedic standard.

See also[edit]

See also[edit]