<CPOV> Some articles for further thought

Jon Awbrey jawbrey at att.net
Fri Jul 16 04:32:38 CEST 2010


That "article" by Sandra Ordonez is a bit of PR fluff,
written by a PR jobber who is exhibiting her PR wares
to the next potential employer.  Fare enough, that's
what PR people do.  But any real journalist ought to
be embarrassed to be writing such soft-soap in 2010.

Jon Awbrey

Seth Finkelstein wrote:
>> Juliana Brunello
>> This article presents a very optimistic view concerning crowdsourcing
>> and wikipedia in general. Seth Finkelstein responded to it and has
>> used, once again, the word 'cult' to describe WP.
> 	Indeed I did. But do note more of the context:
> Quoting the author: "Trust the Crowd; Its Smarter than You"
> My brief riposte: "Nonsense. Crowds are notoriously dumb. Wikipedia is not a "crowd" - it's a cult.
> 	So, I was responding to the idea of a "crowd" which is a
> "smarter than you", where the characterization "cult" seems quite
> fitting alongside that idea.
> 	But rather than noting that in a brief comment I "once again"
> used the c-word, I think it more significant to draw attention to,
> well, let me say that portions of the article seem quite at variance
> with my understanding of events, and I do not think the author will
> respond to my challenge to substantiate part of her account. In
> specific, in the aftermath of the scandal about a very high-ranking
> Wikipedia administrator falsely claiming to be a professor, including
> lying about it to the _New Yorker_, this claim is made:
> "In fact, in the months that followed, I found the community became
>  self-correcting by encouraging the use of real names and identities.
>  It found a way to help prevent this type of issue from happening again."
> 	I said: "Please provide some evidence this in fact happened
> broadly, as opposed to a few extremely narrow contexts. There are
> several examples that gainsay it."
> 	One could perhaps carefully parse and redefine the above
> claim, but it seems to me at best extremely overreaching in terms of
> the meaning an ordinary reader would take from it.
> 	FYI, in a second comment, I recommended the column I wrote
> about that scandal:
> "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive"
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/mar/08/media.comment
> "Frequently, what is naively viewed as spontaneous generation is in
> fact the product of a relatively small number of people who have been
> induced to provide a huge amount of unpaid labour. The lifeblood of
> Wikipedia is selling heavy contributors a dream that their donated
> effort will give them the prestige of an academic."


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