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
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