Sal, Wikipedia’s “facts” are just whatever survives a troll pillage
|November 23, 2013||Posted by News under Natural selection, News|
Sal Cordova draws our attention to a Wikipedia page highlighting the problems genetic redundancy creates for natural selection, asking how long it will last before Darwin’s trolls lumber in, bellowing.
So far, maybe the page is okay (?): “This page was last modified on 12 November 2013 at 09:18.” (November 23, 2013, 8:10 EST)
To get some idea why Wikipedia is a general problem, here are some examples:
Authoritative entries remain elusive. Of the 1,000 articles that the project’s own volunteers have tagged as forming the core of a good encyclopedia, most don’t earn even Wikipedia’s own middle -ranking quality scores. – MIT’s Technology Review , Ever wondered what editors do? Wikipedia shows us, by not doing it.
Those who “edit” entries to conform to their own biases don’t even bother to hide it; they boast about it. “Last summer someone decided to fix Sheldrake’s Wikipedia article, which, edited by his supporters, had been promoting Sheldrake’s woo in violation of Wikipedia policy on fringe science and pseudoscience. Perhaps you don’t know about this policy, but you can read about it at the link… ” – U Chicago Darwinist Jerry Coyne goes after animal behaviorist Rupert Sheldrake
Wikipedia shocked!, just shocked!! that some editors act for pay to promote stuff. If so, it is a reasonable idea that some also act for pay to demote stuff.
The excuses for the situation are the usual we’re-just-folks spiel and sound anything but convincing.
Wikipedia vs. facts: Someone else discovers the hard way about Wikipedia’s “facts” All that research to get the history correct, and he lost to the trolls. Another Wikipedia edit-ee reports that he was the victim of a 14-year-old.
So is the response to all this supposed to be just another hymn to the Internet? Is the consolation supposed to be that all the abuse and misdirection is “free”?
Maybe what Sal has done should become general: Post the article as intended, with links to scholarly work, at sites where it cannot be interfered with. People can find the unvandalized version at trusted sites through the Google search engine (for example, Uncommon Descent + genetic redundancy).
It will be most enlightening to compare it with the vandalized version. maybe a software told would visualize it for us.
While I understand the problems teachers face with constrained budgets for reference materials, et cetera, based on issues like the ones noted above, I would use any other source—except for free photos. And who knows, maybe another scandal will erupt over photos, in due course.