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- Maybe you could elaborate. --Chroniclev 06:38, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
"Why You Can’t Cite Wikipedia in My Class" uses this article (Ogyū Sorai) as starting point for critical discussion about Wikipedia
Whining about this article in CACM
A historian diatribing against Wikipedia in the September 2007 Communications of the ACM describes himself as being in the international spotlight (he uses being the subject of a network TV news show as evidence of this!) for banning Wikipedia in class.
In part, he worries that this article erroneously claims that Ogyu Sorai opposed the Tokugawa Shogunate! Also, the article supposedly equates the samurai with the lower classes (looks like a typo to me)! He can't be bothered fixing it, and neither can anyone else, convincing him that Wikipedia is bad.
It's tempting to edit it to shut him up, but others have not. Instead I assert here that I will continue to refer to Wikipedia, even if these two shameful errors are never corrected ... or even if they are corrected then reinserted in a childish feud. Wikipedia is just that important. And I will continue to read research on why some people work so hard to improve Wikipedia, while others prefer to parade through MSM about the shameful injustice to the memory of Ogyu Sorai.
22.214.171.124 22:22, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
- I've removed these claims from the article.--Chroniclev 06:25, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
- This is exactly what I thought when I read the CACM article! I found it very odd that he would propose policy changes to Wikipedia in order to 'correct' this problem while simultaneously refusing (or at least delaying) to work within the Wikipedia framework to actually fix the error. (If wikipedia "doesn't work", it's partly because of people like him... not because it could contain wrong information.) The current policies of Wikipedia would work fine for this sort of thing if people like him would spend the few seconds to fix the errors as they encounter them instead of spending the hours it must have taken to write his many articles and policy proposals about it! (I can't believe he got "famous" for this.) Wikipedia is a communityprocess that gradually converges thanks to joint effort, not a snapshot.
- One counter-argument I could imagine him making is that it is too time consuming for experts to monitor Wikipedia for incorrect information -- it's not worth their while. This could change too if academia actually gave some credit to this sort of publishing. Indeed, it is changing, albeit gradually, with the opening up of the peer review process and the advent of open access journals. We'll see. I guess we'll have to go a long way to induce the condescension of people like him. (Having said all that, I actually do agree with him that Wikipedia should probably not be cited in academic papers, as it isn't a primary source, and doesn't claim to be. But this hardly requires a special university-wide policy, nor a write-up in the NY Times!) 126.96.36.199 22:44, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Whining about whiners who whine about critics
The following two items demonstrate one of the principle concerns that Waters was addressing: anonymity. The academic process, as it has been practiced since the founding of the great universities in the 12th century, relies on rigor, reviewable/accessible evidence and above all accountability. Anonymous articles and postings make this difficult. If articles are intended to be authoritative and worthy of citation, then they must be vetted by recognized experts. Whether or not you want to admit it, "recognized expertise" requires "recognition", which doesn't work with anonymity.
And for the record:
- he didn't ban it, he said it should be used correctly
- he was commenting on wikipedia and wikis in general as symptoms of a larger societal problem, which is the tendency to mistake popularity for correctness
- he pointed out that the self-propelling cycle of popularity->editing->search-engine ranks->popularity is a self-reinforcing spiral
- he comments on the "democratization of access to information" [versus] "the democratization of the information" which can negate the factual basis of the information
WikiProject class rating
This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 04:20, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
- Why You Can’t Cite Wikipedia in My Class - The online encyclopedia’s method of adding information risks conflating facts with popular opinion, Neil L. Waters, COMMUNICATIONSOF THE ACM September 2007/Vol. 50, No. 9