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

On 24/03/07, Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:

> 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!

The same would apply to a college textbook on genetics or immunology
from 20 years ago.
> 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...

I think perhaps the Wiki method is most suited to current and rapidly
changing topics. 

Don Cox

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