lawfully

  • 02:58:34 am on October 19, 2005 | 0

    According to Nicholas Carr, quoted by The Register,

    n encyclopedia can’t just have a small percentage of good entries and be considered a success. I would argue, in fact, that the overall quality of an encyclopedia is best judged by its weakest entries rather than its best. What’s the worth of an unreliable reference work?

    You’ve got a point here! The criticism is wrapped up like this by The Register:

    So right now, the project appears ill-equipped to respond to the new challenge. Its philosophical approach deters subjective judgements about quality, and its political mindset deters outside experts from helping.

    And, what does wikipedia have to tell about it, and the refutation thereon?

    Traditionally, Wikipedia supporters have responded to criticism in one of several ways. The commonest is: If you don’t like an entry, you can fix it yourself. Which is rather like going to a restaurant for a date, being served terrible food, and then being told by the waiter where to find the kitchen. But you didn’t come out to cook a meal – you could have done that at home! No matter, roll up your sleeves.
    As a second line of defense, Wikipedians point to flaws in the existing dead tree encyclopedias, as if the handful of errors in Britannica cancels out the many errors, hopeless apologies for entries, and tortured prose, of Wikipedia itself.
    Thirdly, and here you can see that the defense is beginning to run out of steam, one’s attention is drawn to process issues: such as the speed with which errors are fixed, or the fact that looking up a Wikipedia is faster than using an alternative. This line of argument is even weaker than the first: it’s like going to a restaurant for a date – and being pelted with rotten food, thrown at you at high velocity by the waiters.

    See also:

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