[ANSTHRLD] Wikipedia

Doug Bell debell1 at txcyber.com
Wed Mar 22 10:01:23 PST 2006

Wikipedia works on massive peer review and consensus of a very large number
of readers in many fields.  For areas with a wide knowledge base like
entertainment, modern history, general science and social issues this works
fine.  The large number of sources makes the articles self-correcting.  This
is also what keeps an open source OS like Linux running.

This breaks down when the subject of study is only known to a very few
experts.  Items like medieval onomastics, pre 19th century genealogy,
obscure branches of history and extremely specialized sciences aren't
reliable because only a very small sample of readers know anything about
them.  The statistical sample is too small to be self correcting.

A group of specialists like St. Gabriels does provide the Wikipedia effect
because there are enough people familiar witht the topics to catch the
occasional error.


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