<CPOV> What dismays me

Dror Kamir dqamir at bezeqint.net
Mon Mar 15 16:27:53 CET 2010

Sorry if I'm repeating some things already mentioned, I couldn't 
thoroughly read the entire correspondence due to heavy workload. I had 
an interesting experience in en-wp recently that made me very concerned 
for the following reasons:

1. Wikipedia has become a complicated scene of bureaucracy. The 
bureaucracy is so cumbersome that it too often entails arbitrary policy 
or rulings with regard to the content and the status of users. Gaming 
with the system for political purposes while using the cumbersome 
bureaucracy is also very common. Currently, Wikipedia's bureaucratic 
system resembles a third-world country's tax administration. Just like 
interested cunning people with connections in the right places manage to 
pay less taxes in such administrations, interested cunning contributors 
to Wikipedia can impose their opinionated content by gaming with the 
bureaucratic system. Since Wikipedia has become the leading site in 
disseminating information, and its content has become the basis of so 
many other websites, the number of such interested cunning contributors 
is rising rapidly.

2. Wikipedia is becoming a monopoly. I am waiting eagerly for a 
competing project, as I am quite afraid of Wikipedia becoming the modern 
Oracle from Delphi. Paradoxically, the free-content approach works 
against pluralism of knowledge (pluralism in the sense that various 
angles of the information are available), because many people prefer 
taking the ready-made content of Wikipedia rather than start a new 
project altogether.

3. Wikipedia has brought the concept of "Verifiability" ad absurdum. 
Common sense judgments about what is and what is not are rejected as 
unsourced while absurd opinions are regarded as facts because someone 
dug deep enough to find an article that mentioned this opinion. Also, 
determining what constitutes a reliable source and what doesn't is often

a back-door from which biasness is introduced. You may not be "POVized" 
but if you know your way in Wikipedia, you can push a certain source, 
convince people to reject another, and have the content as you like it.

To be honest, I recently feel that Wikipedia has become the plant from 
"Little Shop of Horrors" (to make a slight overstatement). It simply 
grew too fast and became too popular, and got entangled in its own 
success. The problem is that this entanglement influences so many people...

Dror K

ציטוט Gregory Kohs:

> What concerns me most right now about Wikipedia and other free,
> open-source resources on the Internet, is that they seem to be driving
> out of business those traditional news- and information-gathering
> businesses that (we would hope) employ content generators who have
> undergone training, have experience, and know better how to synthesize
> data in meaningful ways.  Ironically, it is these traditional sources
> (newspapers, magazines, academic journals, etc.) that entities like
> Wikipedia purportedly rely on for "reliability" in their own content
> regurgitation.
> If we follow this path to its bitter end, and there are no more
> traditional newspapers, magazines, and academic journals... (they
> having all been driven to extinction by free, open-source,
> crowdsourcing miracles)... what will Wikipedia then use to verify that
> its knowledge is in fact "knowledge"?
> "The only source of knowledge is experience."  -- Albert Einstein.

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