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1013Re: Wikipedia

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  • G.M. Grena
    Apr 4, 2006
      > ANE2 is hardly the place to discuss the interpretation
      > of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

      I apologize for my tone in that response. I was in a bad mood Sunday
      after losing an hour here in California to Daylight-Saving Time, &
      when asked "who gives somebody the right", I did not assume it to be
      rhetorical. That message was appropriately intercepted by the
      moderators, & I wrote my 2nd/alternative response explaining the
      Wikimedia Foundation not knowing the earlier rendition would still be
      posted.

      > ...a person's knowledge, intelligence, abilities,
      > talents, etc. which are precisely the qualities
      > by which a person is judged before he or she
      > should contribute to an academic enterprise.
      > Victor Hurowitz

      Everybody has the right to write. Content should be the primary
      criterion for contributions because it's impossible to know an
      author's true breadth of "knowledge, intelligence, abilities,
      talents" prior to reading what they've written. I judge books &
      articles (& web pages) by their subjects, not by their writers'
      reputations. I'd love to cite some good/bad examples here, but I
      don't want to incite a verbal riot. I'll just say that I'm willing
      to read anyone who writes extensively on the Hezekiah/Sennacherib
      confrontation & leave it at that.

      If someone obtains a PhD from a respected university, that's a nice
      indication of the individual's ability to achieve a goal & contribute
      to an academic enterprise, but if I'm trying to learn a subject &
      read that PhD's dissertation, it may not be up to date & may contain
      errors, & I would not know it until I did additional research &
      comparison with other publications.

      When I find up-to-date info, how can I effectively share it & bring
      it to the attention of others? Traditional & university publishers
      would ignore me because they don't know my "knowledge, intelligence,
      abilities, talents" due to my lack of credentials; even so, it would
      take them months to get it into print.

      That's the nice thing about Wikipedia; if the content is bogus
      (the "hi-my-name-is-bob" example I cited yesterday), it can be easily
      changed & updated immediately; but the "caveat emptor" is, you (the
      researcher) have to act just as responsibly & double-check Wikipedia
      as you would do with any other source. Publication responsibility is
      a 2-way street.

      Isn't that what you university professors do? Don't you check
      material before you recommend it to students? The flip side of the
      coin is, Don't you also occasionally recommend a work that you know
      contains problems (when they're outweighed by other valuable data)?

      George Michael Grena, II
      Redondo Beach, CA
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