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Re: [ARSCLIST] Whacky-Packia outed for what it is -- Amateur Hour in Siberia

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Lennick" <dlennick@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Don Cox wrote:
> > On 22/03/07, David Lennick wrote:
> >>  Has Wikipedia ever retracted
> >> anything?
> >
> > Frequently, I think. Isn't the whole point that it can be edited and
> > updated continually, unlike a printed book?
> And isn't the whole point of my rant (resisting the temptation to type this
> next phrase in upper case) the fact that *anyone* can amend  *anything* in any
> Wikipedia article, with nobody questioning the amendment until someone notices
> the inaccuracy? As far as I'm concerned, that renders it potentially 100%
> unreliable. If it leads you to a source that you trust, well and good. But you
> could have found that source yourself.
But...in the standard non-digital encyclopedia, various presumably-expert
parties contribute the material...usually without significant consideration
of their leanings! And, if an article is (or later becomes) totally
inaccurate, this can't be corrected until the next edition is published!

I have a 1916 edition of the Book Of Knowledge (actually a set thereof)...
and it is interesting to read through a volume and note how much of the
content later became inaccurate, inapplicable, or otherwise useless!

We have two choices: First, we can compile a set of contributions by
contemporary-to-the-project experts. These will represent their interpretations
of the applicable data, at the time their contribution was made. This will
remain unchanged until a new edition is published...and may, in fact,
omit contributions from those who were either not contacted or were
contacted but were unable to provide their data in time.

Second, we can (a la Wikipedia) ask all parties who have, or think they
have, any knowledge of the subject in question...with alterations to be
possible at any time. The risk of this, of course, is the danger of
changes made by the ignorant...and the danger of changes made by parties
with a personal "axe to grind." As with anything in the 21st century
that is accessible to the general public, there also exists the
danger of intentional "cyber-vandalism" based only on the same drive
that inspires children to push over one another's stacks of blocks.

You pays yo' money (if any) and you takes yo' choice...

Stevenc C. Barr

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