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1019Re: [ANE-2] Re: Wikipedia

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  • Peter T. Daniels
    Apr 5, 2006
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      G.M. Grena wrote:
      >
      > > ANE2 is hardly the place to discuss the interpretation
      > > of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

      (Anyway, the Declaration is not part of the law of the land.)

      > 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)?

      You seem to be missing two points entirely.

      (1) The naive reader has no way of knowing whether what appears in
      wikipedia on any particular day is accurate or not. Mr. Cowie's vision
      of every article spiraling ever upward in excellence is nothing but pipe
      dreaming.

      (2) What university professor -- or other knowledgeable person -- has
      the time (setting aside the inclination!) to review every wikipedia
      posting that might impinge on their area of specialization? What teacher
      would be so foolish as to assign readings in wikipedia, knowing that the
      content could be altered at any moment by anyone whatsoever?

      Thirdly, you yourself exemplify another problem. You posted pictures of
      an artifact you own, and you were told by an expert in exactly that sort
      of artifact that it was, with extremely high probability, not genuine;
      yet you continued to make protestations, and still adduced supposed
      "parallels" that had no relevance to the artifact at all. This suggests
      that expert testimony, whatever the topic, is not of interest to
      laypersons if it contravenes their expectations. What's to stop you from
      editing a wikipedia article on ancient sealings to include your
      artifact, so as to enhance its prestige? (It probably hasn't occurred to
      you that doing so might also enhance its monetary value, but that
      certainly has occurred to unscrupulous antiquities dealers who have no
      interest in antiquities other than their market value.)
      --
      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
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