David Olivier, Monsieur 'a' letter with a kind of tail going around it david.olivier.name.
This user opposes speciesism.
I do not believe that the WP NPOV policy makes sense in any NPOV sense. I also believe it is my right to believe that, and participate none the less in Wikipedia, respecting as much as NPOV as can be made sense of.
The phrase "verifiability, not truth" is either nonsense, or a form of hidden POV.
Nonsense: By definition, a verifiable assertion is one the truth of which can be ascertained. So on the face of it, "verfiability, not truth" is a contradiction in terms.
But the contradiction is obscured by verifiable being explained in terms of "reliable sources":
"Verifiable" in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source. (Wikipedia:Verifiability)
In common day WP practice, "reliable sources" are such as peer-reviewed journals. Whether or not they can be counted upon to say the truth is a matter of debate, and to consider them outright as reliable is just one (unverified) POV.
The issue, however, is not just one of contradiction. Emphasis on procedure, as opposed to truth, is the hallmark of operationalism, which would that there is no truth, just (in some sense) correct or incorrect procedures. That itself is just one debatable opinion. It also strongly tends to favour established opinions, and is thus deeply conservative.
Disputes arise, and there will necessarily be some way they will be settled. The NPOV policy is an attempt at establishing general principles for settling those disputes. I believe it to be deeply flawed.
It is true that if we do without it, we have no general solution for disputes. But perhaps that is the way it must be.
- I think you're misunderstanding the point here, though perhaps WP's explanation of this could be improved. There is certainly a strong sense of the word "verifiable" in which it means "proven to be correct," which is closely related to the use of the term in the WP "formal verification" page. But there is a also a weaker sense, which is clearly the one being used on the  page. In this, a claim is verifiable to the extent that there exists the possibility of doing further research to verify it. So the claim "it is now 40 F in New York City" is verifiable for me if I easily know how to confirm or disconfirm it (say, using weather.com); the claim "there are extraterrestrial civilizations within 1000 LY of earth" is not verifiable by any practical means available to me or any other human at this time.
- What wikipedia's standard requies, then, is just what I require of my students who write research papers: not, first and foremost, that everything they say be true, but that where there is reasonable possibility of dispute, they document their sources so I can see on what basis they made certain claims, and when in doubt I can go look it up, which I do perhaps 2-3% of the time. That permits us to engage in a mutual process of truth-seeking; if I think the original source is dubious, wrong, or simply misinterpreted by the student (or if, as sometimes happens, I learn that the student & source was right and I was mistaken), the reference has provided a pathway towards mutual apprehension of the truth. This is accomplished by proper documentation, even if the documented claim is not itself true. We all seek the truth, but we start from where we are; WP's standards seem modest and reasonable, and the standard of absolutely certain truth that you seem to be demanding would leave us with a very short work, probably consisting mostly of mathematics. There are places for that, but WP's goal is not nearly so narrow.--ScottForschler (talk) 20:04, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Olivierd/Benio76/Zelig33 "sockpuppetry" case
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