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Re: [ANE-2] More on Wikipedia v. Encyclopedia Britannica

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  • Werner
    Wikipedia is a strange beast. There are areas with good to excelent quality, and many areas clearly sub-par (and the same can be said of the different
    Message 1 of 27 , Mar 2, 2006
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      Wikipedia is a strange beast. There are areas with good to excelent
      quality, and many areas clearly sub-par (and the same can be said of the
      different language versions).
      I've contributed to a few articles (not ANE related) I felt the quality
      was awful, and i believed i had the expertise to rise them a little bit.
      One of the reasons i did it was that i discovered that Wikipedia's info
      is mirrored in a lot of other places, making it one of the primary
      sources of knowledge in the "virtual world", and i didn't wanted to let
      some mistakes pass
      And the process is just curious. The success of the article depends on
      the existence around it of a community of interested people. They are a
      couple of people watching them and making comments or contributions.
      They don't usually step into the others work (unless a serious rework is
      done), and many times a lively discussion starts on the Talk page of the
      article (i always check this page after reading the article). Unlike
      Berinstein's article, i found there expertise is recognized (not by
      name, as everybody uses a nick). Now and then somebody makes a
      "blunder", but if there is a community around the topic it is removed
      with relative ease.

      I've also stepped into controversial matters, and well, .... THERE the
      open nature is not so benefical (it depends of the shape of the
      article's comunity)

      I would commend people to contribute. It's not always a pleasant task,
      but it is an important venue of knowledge for most people, and a good
      series of articles can be a "show-case" to bring the field more on the
      spotlight (especially if you can make them "front page" articles)

      BTW. at least "our" Peter T. Daniels (of all people ;-)) and Peter
      James, have they own entry. NPL is cited but still hasn't got one

      Regards
      Werner Llácer

      cejo@... wrote:
      > In the March issue of Information Today, Paula Berinstein picks up the
      > comparison of Wikipedia and
      > the Encyclopedia Britannica
      > (http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/mar06/berinstein.shtml)
      > <http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/mar06/berinstein.shtml%29> where
      > Nature left off in December
      > (http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051212/full/438900a.html).
      > <http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051212/full/438900a.html%29.>
      >
      > Which leads me to ask if any members of this list are contributors to
      > Wikipedia?
      >
      > -Chuck Jones
      >
      >
    • Robert Whiting
      ... ... I don t see why of all people (even with a smiley) since Peter is quite well known and respected in linguistic and grammatological circles.
      Message 2 of 27 , Mar 2, 2006
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        On Thu, 2 Mar 2006, Werner wrote:

        > Wikipedia is a strange beast. There are areas with good to excelent
        > quality, and many areas clearly sub-par (and the same can be said of the
        > different language versions).
        <snip>
        > BTW. at least "our" Peter T. Daniels (of all people ;-)) and Peter
        > James, have they own entry. NPL is cited but still hasn't got one

        I don't see why "of all people" (even with a smiley) since Peter is
        quite well known and respected in linguistic and grammatological circles.
        Despite his particular manner of discourse (which is shared by a number
        of other people of similar merit that I could name but won't), he is very
        knowledgeable and well read.

        However, perhaps this comment will induce him to consult Wikipedia for
        the first time since he says he has never done so.


        Bob Whiting
        whiting@...
      • Lee Edgar Tyler
        ... I ve made some corrections to it. It is worth noting that the study in Nature did reveal a statistically significant number or errors in Wikipedia over
        Message 3 of 27 , Mar 2, 2006
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          cejo@... wrote:

          >In the March issue of Information Today, Paula Berinstein picks up the comparison of Wikipedia and
          >the Encyclopedia Britannica (http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/mar06/berinstein.shtml) where
          >Nature left off in December (http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051212/full/438900a.html).
          >
          >Which leads me to ask if any members of this list are contributors to Wikipedia?
          >
          >-Chuck Jones
          >
          >6
          >
          I've made some corrections to it. It is worth noting that the study in
          Nature did reveal a statistically significant number or errors in
          Wikipedia over Britannica in the category of "factual errors, omissions,
          and misleading statements": 162 to 123. The errors I corrected had been
          both egregious and long-standing, so my personal experience with
          Wikipedia is not very good.

          Ed Tyler
        • Werner
          The comment and the smiley was because his well known stance regarding Wikipedia ... i found it was too ironic to pass it along uncommented. To help him NOT
          Message 4 of 27 , Mar 2, 2006
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            The comment and the smiley was because his well known stance regarding
            Wikipedia ... i found it was too ironic to pass it along uncommented.

            To help him NOT to consult Wikipedia, at the end of the post i've
            copied his entry as of today (in text format)

            Robert Whiting wrote:
            > On Thu, 2 Mar 2006, Werner wrote:
            >
            > > Wikipedia is a strange beast. There are areas with good to excelent
            > > quality, and many areas clearly sub-par (and the same can be said of the
            > > different language versions).
            > <snip>
            > > BTW. at least "our" Peter T. Daniels (of all people ;-)) and Peter
            > > James, have they own entry. NPL is cited but still hasn't got one
            >
            > I don't see why "of all people" (even with a smiley) since Peter is
            > quite well known and respected in linguistic and grammatological circles.
            > Despite his particular manner of discourse (which is shared by a number
            > of other people of similar merit that I could name but won't), he is very
            > knowledgeable and well read.
            >
            > However, perhaps this comment will induce him to consult Wikipedia for
            > the first time since he says he has never done so.
            >
            >
            > Bob Whiting
            > whiting@...
            >

            Peter T. Daniels


            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            Jump to: navigation
            <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_T._Daniels#column-one>, search
            <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_T._Daniels#searchInput>

            *Peter T. Daniels* is a scholar of writing systems
            <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing_system>. He is notable for being
            co-editor (with William Bright
            <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Bright&action=edit>)
            of the book /The World's Writing Systems/ (1996), and popularising the
            terms /abjad <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abjad>/ (an "alphabet" with
            no vowel letters) and /abugida <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abugida>/
            (a system partly alphabetic, partly syllabic).

            [edit
            <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Peter_T._Daniels&action=edit§ion=1>]


            Bibliography

            * Peter T. Daniels, William Bright: /The World's Writing Systems/,
            Oxford University Press 1996, ISBN 0195079930
            <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Booksources&isbn=0195079930>

            <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ferdinand_de_Saussure.jpg> / This
            article on a linguist <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguist> is a stub
            <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Perfect_stub_article>. You can
            help <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Find_or_fix_a_stub>
            Wikipedia by expanding it
            <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Peter_T._Daniels&action=edit>/.
          • Robert Whiting
            ... Okay -- thanks for clarifying that. As you can imagine, the comment could be all too easily misconstrued. The problem with irony is that it s often not
            Message 5 of 27 , Mar 2, 2006
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              On Thu, 2 Mar 2006, Werner wrote:

              > The comment and the smiley was because his well known stance regarding
              > Wikipedia ... i found it was too ironic to pass it along uncommented.

              Okay -- thanks for clarifying that. As you can imagine, the comment
              could be all too easily misconstrued. The problem with irony is that
              it's often not visible in the written word.


              Bob Whiting
              whiting@...
            • john_j_wall
              Just keep Congress away from it: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4695376.stm All the best, John
              Message 6 of 27 , Mar 2, 2006
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                Just keep Congress away from it:

                http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4695376.stm

                All the best,

                John
              • Peter T. Daniels
                ... From time to time, extracts from wikipedia have been posted to the three newsgroups I read. They have NEVER been accurate, and they have usually been
                Message 7 of 27 , Mar 2, 2006
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                  Robert Whiting wrote:
                  >
                  > On Thu, 2 Mar 2006, Werner wrote:
                  >
                  > > Wikipedia is a strange beast. There are areas with  good to excelent
                  > > quality, and many areas clearly sub-par (and the same can be said of the
                  > > different language versions).
                  > <snip>
                  > > BTW. at least  "our"   Peter T. Daniels (of all people ;-)) and Peter
                  > > James, have they own entry. NPL is cited but still hasn't got one
                  >
                  > I don't see why "of all people" (even with a smiley) since Peter is
                  > quite well known and respected in linguistic and grammatological circles.
                  > Despite his particular manner of discourse (which is shared by a number
                  > of other people of similar merit that I could name but won't), he is very
                  > knowledgeable and well read.
                  >
                  > However, perhaps this comment will induce him to consult Wikipedia for
                  > the first time since he says he has never done so.

                  From time to time, extracts from wikipedia have been posted to the three
                  newsgroups I read. They have NEVER been accurate, and they have usually
                  been atrociously written -- there would be no difficulty untangling
                  their JEPD. And they're not even controversial topics: linguistics,
                  classical music, New York subways.

                  The simple fact that anyone can alter anything, anonymously, at any
                  time, unsupervised, makes the entire enterprise worthless.
                  --
                  Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                • Peter T. Daniels
                  ... You see? That s a lie. I didn t popularize them, I introduced them. ... You see? That s a lie. I don t know whether it was copied from the Unicode
                  Message 8 of 27 , Mar 2, 2006
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                    Werner wrote:
                    >
                    > The comment and  the smiley was because his well known stance
                    > regarding
                    > Wikipedia ... i found it was too ironic to pass it along uncommented.
                    >
                    > To help him NOT  to consult Wikipedia, at the end of the post i've
                    > copied  his entry as of today (in text format)

                    >   Peter T. Daniels
                    >
                    >        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                    >
                    > Jump to: navigation
                    > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_T._Daniels#column-one>, search
                    > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_T._Daniels#searchInput>
                    >
                    > *Peter T. Daniels* is a scholar of writing systems
                    > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing_system>. He is notable for being
                    >
                    > co-editor (with William Bright
                    > <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Bright&action=edit>)
                    >
                    > of the book /The World's Writing Systems/ (1996), and popularising the

                    You see? That's a lie. I didn't "popularize" them, I introduced them.

                    > terms /abjad <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abjad>/ (an "alphabet" with
                    >
                    > no vowel letters) and /abugida <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abugida>/
                    >
                    > (a system partly alphabetic, partly syllabic).

                    You see? That's a lie.

                    I don't know whether it was copied from the Unicode glossary or vice
                    versa, but from one or the other source, it has wormed its way into
                    other places.

                    And if I were to fix it, someone would come along and change it back
                    because Unicode said so.

                    I don't see how this is on topic for ANE2.
                    --
                    Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                  • Werner
                    Dear Peter: Your entry in the german wikipedia is more accurate, then ( as usually is the case, i ve found) As for the relevance to ANE2. While I m reluctant
                    Message 9 of 27 , Mar 2, 2006
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                      Dear Peter:
                      Your entry in the german wikipedia is more accurate, then ( as usually
                      is the case, i've found)
                      As for the relevance to ANE2. While I'm reluctant to be an "evangelist"
                      ( I got involved because of the gross factual errors I found, and I
                      haven't been spared of a flame or two) , it's hard not to see that WP
                      (short for Wikipedia) has become the first stop for many in search of
                      data (your comments -in other post- about it's appearance in newsgroups
                      discussion just show it ) despite all it's shortcomings. The question
                      to scholars - or to knowlegeable amateurs- is: Are we to turn our backs
                      from it ? I think we can not afford it. WP is not a fringe source
                      anymore, and probably it will stay high for at least a couple of years
                      more (an eternity in Internet times). We recently discussed about the
                      way to gain a wider audience to the ANE field. It's hard to tell if
                      coming into WP would do, but at least, it undoubtly will help to raise
                      the quality of the first information -and for most, the only - many get
                      of this field

                      I still remember (some ten years ago) when you were the scourge of all
                      the nuts in one of the newsgroups i was suscribed then. Would not a
                      couple of WP articles have spared you hundreds of posts ?

                      Werner Llácer
                      IT Project Manager

                      Peter T. Daniels wrote:
                      (A lot snipped)
                      > Werner wrote:
                      > >
                      > > of the book /The World's Writing Systems/ (1996), and popularising the
                      >
                      > You see? That's a lie. I didn't "popularize" them, I introduced them.
                      >
                      > > terms /abjad <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abjad>/ (an "alphabet" with
                      > >
                      > > no vowel letters) and /abugida <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abugida>/
                      > >
                      > > (a system partly alphabetic, partly syllabic).
                      >
                      > You see? That's a lie.
                      >
                      > I don't know whether it was copied from the Unicode glossary or vice
                      > versa, but from one or the other source, it has wormed its way into
                      > other places.
                      >
                      > And if I were to fix it, someone would come along and change it back
                      > because Unicode said so.
                      >
                      > I don't see how this is on topic for ANE2.
                      > --
                      > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > SPONSORED LINKS
                      > Near
                      > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Near&w1=Near&w2=Ancient&w3=Columbia+university&c=3&s=48&.sig=rGtsdGcNpZIz8fak1ix0dQ>
                      > Ancient
                      > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Ancient&w1=Near&w2=Ancient&w3=Columbia+university&c=3&s=48&.sig=SR4VLxjfOEnCUhuEWw1qPw>
                      > Columbia university
                      > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Columbia+university&w1=Near&w2=Ancient&w3=Columbia+university&c=3&s=48&.sig=XbnBiSbfNmi75cGkymEq_Q>
                      >
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                    • G.M. Grena
                      ... This was asked earlier this month before I joined ANE-2. In the past year, I ve edited 101 Wikipedia pages, & originated 7: Biblical archaeology (all
                      Message 10 of 27 , Mar 30, 2006
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                        > Which leads me to ask if any members of
                        > this list are contributors to Wikipedia?
                        > -Chuck Jones

                        This was asked earlier this month before I joined ANE-2. In the past
                        year, I've edited 101 Wikipedia pages, & originated 7:

                        Biblical archaeology (all except the "Professional commentary" section)
                        LMLK seal
                        MMST
                        Nahal Tut
                        Nazareth Inscription
                        Pim weight
                        Zayit Stone

                        G.M. Grena
                      • Ford Mommaerts-Browne
                        I have been in the past, but never again. T. Stanford Mommaerts-Browne, GNSN Omaha, Nebraska 68105-1310 (402)932-7094 ... From: G.M. Grena
                        Message 11 of 27 , Mar 30, 2006
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                          I have been in the past, but never again.
                          T. Stanford Mommaerts-Browne, GNSN
                          Omaha, Nebraska 68105-1310
                          (402)932-7094
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "G.M. Grena" <yahoo-ane-2@...>
                          To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Friday, March 31, 2006 12:39 AM
                          Subject: [ANE-2] Wikipedia Contributor was More on Wikipedia v. Encyclopedia Britannica


                          | > Which leads me to ask if any members of
                          | > this list are contributors to Wikipedia?
                          | > -Chuck Jones
                          |
                          | This was asked earlier this month before I joined ANE-2. In the past
                          | year, I've edited 101 Wikipedia pages, & originated 7:
                          |
                          | Biblical archaeology (all except the "Professional commentary" section)
                          | LMLK seal
                          | MMST
                          | Nahal Tut
                          | Nazareth Inscription
                          | Pim weight
                          | Zayit Stone
                          |
                          | G.M. Grena
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          | Yahoo! Groups Links
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                          |
                        • Sam Wolff
                          I don t know anything about Wikipedia, but I ask: who gives somebody the right to contribute an entry on a particular subject? G.M. Grena does not have any
                          Message 12 of 27 , Apr 1, 2006
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                            I don't know anything about Wikipedia, but I ask: who gives somebody the
                            right to contribute an entry on a particular subject? G.M. Grena does
                            not have any connection to the excavation or the excavators at Nahal
                            Tut. Have we entered into a situation where anybody can "publish"
                            anybody else's excavation? If so, we've got a problem here, an ethical
                            one for sure, and possibly a legal one as well. Perhaps scholars
                            shouldn't have anything to do with such enterprises, if this is what we
                            end up with.

                            Sam Wolff
                            Jerusalem

                            > Which leads me to ask if any members of
                            > this list are contributors to Wikipedia?
                            > -Chuck Jones

                            This was asked earlier this month before I joined ANE-2. In the past
                            year, I've edited 101 Wikipedia pages, & originated 7:

                            Biblical archaeology (all except the "Professional commentary" section)
                            LMLK seal
                            MMST
                            Nahal Tut
                            Nazareth Inscription
                            Pim weight
                            Zayit Stone

                            G.M. Grena








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                          • Paul James Cowie
                            Regarding Wikipedia.... ... Well, there s a problem straight away..... Fortunately, one also easily remedied with a little bit of time and effort! ... I
                            Message 13 of 27 , Apr 2, 2006
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                              Regarding Wikipedia....

                              On 2 Apr 2006, at 08:17, Sam Wolff wrote:

                              > I don't know anything about Wikipedia,

                              Well, there's a problem straight away..... Fortunately, one also
                              easily remedied with a little bit of time and effort!

                              > but I ask: who gives somebody the
                              > right to contribute an entry on a particular subject? G.M. Grena does
                              > not have any connection to the excavation or the excavators at Nahal
                              > Tut. Have we entered into a situation where anybody can "publish"
                              > anybody else's excavation? If so, we've got a problem here, an ethical
                              > one for sure, and possibly a legal one as well. Perhaps scholars
                              > shouldn't have anything to do with such enterprises, if this is
                              > what we
                              > end up with.
                              >
                              > Sam Wolff
                              > Jerusalem

                              I believe that there is a distinction easily to be made between the
                              scholarly publication of an excavation and the writing of a
                              encyclopaedic article on the subject, the basic facts of which are in
                              the public domain.

                              The larger - and thornier - questions of course, concern the
                              ownership of knowledge.

                              I'm sure we can all agree that a particular excavation team (and not
                              necessarily just the director!) have a strong ethical and scientific
                              claim to priority in publication (alongside the contingent
                              responsibilities - so frequently neglected - of accuracy, prompt
                              publication and reasonable access costs). But after that? Who
                              actually "owns" the recovered data and artefacts that, with so many
                              years / generations interposed between their deposition and recovery,
                              could be considered as belonging to the entire human race?

                              Fascinating questions - and questions that will only become more
                              important as projects such as Wikipedia build in strength and
                              appeal.....

                              As an ardent wiki host, administrator and contributor - and as a
                              passionate adovcate of freely-available, 'open source' publication
                              (particularly for those projects that benefit from public funding) -
                              I'd be very interested in hearing the opinion of other list-members
                              on this and related topics,

                              -----------------------

                              Paul James Cowie
                              BA Hons (Sydney) GradDipEd MA (Macquarie) PhD in candidato

                              London, England and Sydney, Australia

                              Editor, http://www.ancientneareast.net/
                              Area Supervisor, Tel Rehov Excavations, Israel

                              PhD Candidate, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Macquarie
                              University, Sydney, Australia
                            • victor avigdor hurowitz
                              Dear Paul and Sam and anyone else, IN brief, IMHO, knowledge which has already been published should be and obviously is available to everybody, everywhere,
                              Message 14 of 27 , Apr 2, 2006
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                                Dear Paul and Sam and anyone else,
                                IN brief, IMHO, knowledge which has already been published should be and
                                obviously is available to everybody, everywhere, without
                                distinction. It makes no sense to tell someone "don't pass on what
                                I published in the New York Times, or on the internet on an open
                                forum, etc."
                                However, if that is "new knowledge" either created or
                                discovered by a particular individual, institution, etc., and is
                                properly published, its discoverer
                                or creator should be acknowledged in conventional, accepted manners to the
                                extent that their identity is known to the person passing that knowledge
                                or discovery along. If the identity is unknown, or the venue of
                                publication is not one such as would permit passing on the identity, it
                                should at least be clear that the (second hand) purveyor of the knowledge
                                makes no claim to having discovered or invented it.
                                We will all do well to live by the anonymous dictum at the end of Avot
                                6:6 "Whosoever reports a thing in the name of him who said it brings
                                deliverence to the world; as it is said, `And Esther told the king in the
                                name of Mordechai'" (Esther 2:22).
                                Victor Hurowitz
                                Dept. of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
                                Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
                                Beer-Sheva, Israel






                                On Sun, 2 Apr 2006, Paul James Cowie wrote:

                                > Regarding Wikipedia....
                                >
                                > On 2 Apr 2006, at 08:17, Sam Wolff wrote:
                                >
                                > > I don't know anything about Wikipedia,
                                >
                                > Well, there's a problem straight away..... Fortunately, one also
                                > easily remedied with a little bit of time and effort!
                                >
                                > > but I ask: who gives somebody the
                                > > right to contribute an entry on a particular subject? G.M. Grena does
                                > > not have any connection to the excavation or the excavators at Nahal
                                > > Tut. Have we entered into a situation where anybody can "publish"
                                > > anybody else's excavation? If so, we've got a problem here, an ethical
                                > > one for sure, and possibly a legal one as well. Perhaps scholars
                                > > shouldn't have anything to do with such enterprises, if this is
                                > > what we
                                > > end up with.
                                > >
                                > > Sam Wolff
                                > > Jerusalem
                                >
                                > I believe that there is a distinction easily to be made between the
                                > scholarly publication of an excavation and the writing of a
                                > encyclopaedic article on the subject, the basic facts of which are in
                                > the public domain.
                                >
                                > The larger - and thornier - questions of course, concern the
                                > ownership of knowledge.
                                >
                                > I'm sure we can all agree that a particular excavation team (and not
                                > necessarily just the director!) have a strong ethical and scientific
                                > claim to priority in publication (alongside the contingent
                                > responsibilities - so frequently neglected - of accuracy, prompt
                                > publication and reasonable access costs). But after that? Who
                                > actually "owns" the recovered data and artefacts that, with so many
                                > years / generations interposed between their deposition and recovery,
                                > could be considered as belonging to the entire human race?
                                >
                                > Fascinating questions - and questions that will only become more
                                > important as projects such as Wikipedia build in strength and
                                > appeal.....
                                >
                                > As an ardent wiki host, administrator and contributor - and as a
                                > passionate adovcate of freely-available, 'open source' publication
                                > (particularly for those projects that benefit from public funding) -
                                > I'd be very interested in hearing the opinion of other list-members
                                > on this and related topics,
                                >
                                > -----------------------
                                >
                                > Paul James Cowie
                                > BA Hons (Sydney) GradDipEd MA (Macquarie) PhD in candidato
                                >
                                > London, England and Sydney, Australia
                                >
                                > Editor, http://www.ancientneareast.net/
                                > Area Supervisor, Tel Rehov Excavations, Israel
                                >
                                > PhD Candidate, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Macquarie
                                > University, Sydney, Australia
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                              • Paul James Cowie
                                Dear Victor, You ve concisely summarised my own opinion on these matters.... And a most apposite quotation! Best regards, ... Paul James Cowie BA Hons (Sydney)
                                Message 15 of 27 , Apr 2, 2006
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                                  Dear Victor,

                                  You've concisely summarised my own opinion on these matters.... And a
                                  most apposite quotation!

                                  Best regards,

                                  -----------------------

                                  Paul James Cowie
                                  BA Hons (Sydney) GradDipEd MA (Macquarie) PhD in candidato

                                  London, England and Sydney, Australia

                                  Editor, http://www.ancientneareast.net/
                                  Area Supervisor, Tel Rehov Excavations, Israel
                                  Committee Member, Friends of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

                                  PhD Candidate, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Macquarie
                                  University, Sydney, Australia

                                  On 2 Apr 2006, at 09:54, victor avigdor hurowitz wrote:

                                  > Dear Paul and Sam and anyone else,
                                  > IN brief, IMHO, knowledge which has already been published should
                                  > be and
                                  > obviously is available to everybody, everywhere, without
                                  > distinction. It makes no sense to tell someone "don't pass on what
                                  > I published in the New York Times, or on the internet on an open
                                  > forum, etc."
                                  > However, if that is "new knowledge" either created or
                                  > discovered by a particular individual, institution, etc., and is
                                  > properly published, its discoverer
                                  > or creator should be acknowledged in conventional, accepted manners
                                  > to the
                                  > extent that their identity is known to the person passing that
                                  > knowledge
                                  > or discovery along. If the identity is unknown, or the venue of
                                  > publication is not one such as would permit passing on the
                                  > identity, it
                                  > should at least be clear that the (second hand) purveyor of the
                                  > knowledge
                                  > makes no claim to having discovered or invented it.
                                  > We will all do well to live by the anonymous dictum at the end of Avot
                                  > 6:6 "Whosoever reports a thing in the name of him who said it brings
                                  > deliverence to the world; as it is said, `And Esther told the king
                                  > in the
                                  > name of Mordechai'" (Esther 2:22).
                                  > Victor Hurowitz
                                  > Dept. of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
                                  > Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
                                  > Beer-Sheva, Israel
                                  >
                                • victor avigdor hurowitz
                                  should I have given you credit? Victor BGU Israel
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Apr 2, 2006
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                                    should I have given you credit?
                                    Victor
                                    BGU Israel



                                    On Sun, 2 Apr 2006, Paul James Cowie wrote:

                                    > Dear Victor,
                                    >
                                    > You've concisely summarised my own opinion on these matters.... And a
                                    > most apposite quotation!
                                    >
                                    > Best regards,
                                    >
                                    > -----------------------
                                    >
                                    > Paul James Cowie
                                    > BA Hons (Sydney) GradDipEd MA (Macquarie) PhD in candidato
                                    >
                                    > London, England and Sydney, Australia
                                    >
                                    > Editor, http://www.ancientneareast.net/
                                    > Area Supervisor, Tel Rehov Excavations, Israel
                                    > Committee Member, Friends of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
                                    >
                                    > PhD Candidate, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Macquarie
                                    > University, Sydney, Australia
                                    >
                                    > On 2 Apr 2006, at 09:54, victor avigdor hurowitz wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > Dear Paul and Sam and anyone else,
                                    > > IN brief, IMHO, knowledge which has already been published should
                                    > > be and
                                    > > obviously is available to everybody, everywhere, without
                                    > > distinction. It makes no sense to tell someone "don't pass on what
                                    > > I published in the New York Times, or on the internet on an open
                                    > > forum, etc."
                                    > > However, if that is "new knowledge" either created or
                                    > > discovered by a particular individual, institution, etc., and is
                                    > > properly published, its discoverer
                                    > > or creator should be acknowledged in conventional, accepted manners
                                    > > to the
                                    > > extent that their identity is known to the person passing that
                                    > > knowledge
                                    > > or discovery along. If the identity is unknown, or the venue of
                                    > > publication is not one such as would permit passing on the
                                    > > identity, it
                                    > > should at least be clear that the (second hand) purveyor of the
                                    > > knowledge
                                    > > makes no claim to having discovered or invented it.
                                    > > We will all do well to live by the anonymous dictum at the end of Avot
                                    > > 6:6 "Whosoever reports a thing in the name of him who said it brings
                                    > > deliverence to the world; as it is said, `And Esther told the king
                                    > > in the
                                    > > name of Mordechai'" (Esther 2:22).
                                    > > Victor Hurowitz
                                    > > Dept. of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
                                    > > Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
                                    > > Beer-Sheva, Israel
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                  • Jim West
                                    ... The whole wicked wiki project not only allows persons who have no qualifications to publish entries- but anyone can edit anything you write! So, for
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Apr 2, 2006
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                                      Sam Wolff wrote:
                                      > I don't know anything about Wikipedia, but I ask: who gives somebody the
                                      > right to contribute an entry on a particular subject? G.M. Grena does
                                      > not have any connection to the excavation or the excavators at Nahal
                                      > Tut. Have we entered into a situation where anybody can "publish"
                                      > anybody else's excavation? If so, we've got a problem here, an ethical
                                      > one for sure, and possibly a legal one as well. Perhaps scholars
                                      > shouldn't have anything to do with such enterprises, if this is what we
                                      > end up with.
                                      >
                                      > Sam Wolff
                                      > Jerusalem
                                      >


                                      The whole wicked wiki project not only allows persons who have no
                                      qualifications to publish entries- but anyone can edit anything you
                                      write! So, for example, if you publish an entry on wiki about an
                                      excavation- Joe Schmoe can come along and "correct" your entry even if
                                      he has never seen a spade.

                                      The whole project is really ridiculous.


                                      --
                                      Jim West, ThD

                                      http://web.infoave.net/~jwest -- Biblical Studies Resources
                                    • Paul James Cowie
                                      Regarding Jim West s comments regarding Wikipedia... ... Surely a project cannot be inherently wicked , merely the motives or deeds of some of its
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Apr 2, 2006
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                                        Regarding Jim West's comments regarding Wikipedia...

                                        On 2 Apr 2006, at 13:49, Jim West wrote:
                                        >
                                        > The whole wicked wiki project

                                        Surely a project cannot be inherently "wicked", merely the motives or
                                        deeds of some of its contributors.... This is, therefore, something
                                        of an emotive and simplistic characterisation.

                                        > allows persons who have no
                                        > qualifications to publish entries- but anyone can edit anything you
                                        > write!

                                        'Qualifications' is something of a loaded term (there are many
                                        excellent practising archaeologists who do not possess even a degree,
                                        for example, let alone a doctorate) - it surely should not be
                                        essential to have letters after your name (or such is the
                                        implication) to be able to write / contribute to an _encyclopaedic_
                                        article that simply outlines the basic facts and issues of a topic.

                                        Secondly, the current focus within Wikipedia and several other wiki
                                        projects is to incorporate reliable and scholarly citations of
                                        original research, as a means of validating encyclopaedic articles.
                                        Their gradual inclusion over time should make it increasingly
                                        difficult for idle contributors to add whatever they will...

                                        > So, for example, if you publish an entry on wiki about an
                                        > excavation- Joe Schmoe can come along and "correct" your entry even if
                                        > he has never seen a spade.

                                        It _is_ true that anyone can make emendations and corrections to
                                        articles - such is the collaborative nature of the project. However,
                                        should inconsistencies and errors arise, it is a simple matter to
                                        alter / revert the offending changes, the editing process
                                        simultaneously benefiting from accompanying discussion pages for each
                                        article. Should a conflict arise, dedicated channels are available
                                        for arbitration and conflict resolution.

                                        >
                                        > The whole project is really ridiculous.
                                        >

                                        A growing number of people worldwide, both users and contributors to
                                        Wikipedia, would beg to differ.

                                        -----------------------

                                        Paul James Cowie
                                        BA Hons (Sydney) GradDipEd MA (Macquarie) PhD in candidato

                                        London, England and Sydney, Australia

                                        Editor, http://www.ancientneareast.net/
                                        Area Supervisor, Tel Rehov Excavations, Israel

                                        PhD Candidate, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Macquarie
                                        University, Sydney, Australia
                                      • Ford Mommaerts-Browne
                                        ... From: Jim West To: Sent: Sunday, April 02, 2006 9:49 AM Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Wikipedia ... Or, as happens,
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Apr 2, 2006
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                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "Jim West" <jwest@...>
                                          To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Sunday, April 02, 2006 9:49 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Wikipedia

                                          |
                                          |
                                          | The whole wicked wiki project not only allows persons who have no
                                          | qualifications to publish entries- but anyone can edit anything you
                                          | write! So, for example, if you publish an entry on wiki about an
                                          | excavation- Joe Schmoe can come along and "correct" your entry even if
                                          | he has never seen a spade.
                                          |
                                          | Jim West, ThD

                                          Or, as happens, uncorrect the entry, remove spelling, punctuation and grammatical corrections, (after all, these are all things of purely personal preference and style), remove citations, and insert libellous commentary. As is, it is worse than ridiculous, it is actually counterproductive of the creator's stated goals.

                                          T. Stanford Mommaerts-Browne, GNSN
                                          Omaha, Nebraska 68105-1310
                                          (402)932-7094
                                        • G.M. Grena
                                          ... Here in America, our country was founded on the belief that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Apr 2, 2006
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                                            > who gives somebody the right to contribute an
                                            > entry on a particular subject?
                                            > Sam Wolff

                                            Here in America, our country was founded on the belief that "all men
                                            are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
                                            certain unalienable Rights," & the founders of Wikipedia decided to
                                            give all humans on the planet with Internet access the right to
                                            contribute to human knowledge, as they initially bar no one from
                                            their site.

                                            > G.M. Grena does not have any connection to the
                                            > excavation or the excavators at Nahal Tut.
                                            > Sam Wolff

                                            Are you quite sure about that, Sam Wolff? Have you been privy to my
                                            personal correspondence with the Israel Antiquities Authority? Who
                                            gave you the right to post a message to this list asserting a
                                            slanderous charge against me without any source reference? I would
                                            encourage one of ANE-2's moderators to ask Sam Wolff for the source
                                            of his allegation regarding my connection (or lack thereof) to any
                                            excavation or excavators.

                                            > Have we entered into a situation where anybody
                                            > can "publish" anybody else's excavation?
                                            > Sam Wolff

                                            Niels Peter Lemche asked for some specific examples. Since Nahal Tut
                                            caught your eye, let's go there & see if there are any references in
                                            the References section of that page to see who really published the
                                            info on that page first:

                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahal_Tut

                                            G.M. Grena
                                          • G.M. Grena
                                            ... Jimmy Wales & the Wikimedia Foundation (based in Florida) encourage anyone with access to an Internet-connected computer to edit, correct, or improve it.
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Apr 3, 2006
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                                              > who gives somebody the right to contribute an entry

                                              Jimmy Wales & the Wikimedia Foundation (based in Florida) encourage
                                              "anyone with access to an Internet-connected computer to edit,
                                              correct, or improve" it. More info on contributing to its content is
                                              available at:

                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Contributing_to_Wikipedia

                                              Think of the Wikipedia as a multi-person blog that collects
                                              information in a format many people benefit from. I, for one, enjoy
                                              being able to get basic information on many subjects, with convenient
                                              links to related material. I always search the Internet & my local
                                              libraries for details on questionable/disputed content, & check
                                              source references for accuracy on important info.

                                              Most vandalism on the Wikipedia is obvious, especially since each
                                              edit is timestamped. If you're reading about coastal development
                                              along the Great Barrier Reef, & suddenly read, "hi my name is bob",
                                              chances are very good the page has been vandalized, & you should
                                              revert to an earlier version. Just click on the History tab at the
                                              top of each article & compare page versions; here's an example:

                                              en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Great_Barrier_Reef&oldid=42986935

                                              Controversial topics usually carry a warning at the top of the page:

                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human

                                              > Have we entered into a situation where
                                              > anybody can "publish" anybody else's excavation?
                                              > Sam Wolff

                                              No. Look at your logic: How could somebody who, in your
                                              words, "does not have any connection to the excavation or the
                                              excavators" possibly know anything worth publishing? Where would
                                              they get it?

                                              I would submit that people working on an excavation know each other,
                                              & would be cognizant of the dig-director's right to the editio
                                              princeps. How many times in the past century has there been a big
                                              fight between 2 parties over ANE publication rights? The only ones I
                                              can think of off the top of my head are the Ebla tablets & DSS.
                                              Neither of those disputes involved the Wikipedia!

                                              Furthermore, if a renegade were to publish a significant find from a
                                              site before the director, that person (usually a student) would
                                              garner a very bad reputation & probably not be allowed on any other
                                              sites. For a student, there would probably be detrimental academic
                                              repercussions.

                                              A good example of the honor code in action is the Zayit Stone with
                                              the astounding Paleo-Hebrew/Phoenician abecedary; it was found in
                                              July, but not published until the director, Ron Tappy held a formal
                                              press conference in November. The gentleman who discovered it
                                              (Michael Homan) had ample opportunities to trump his accomplishment
                                              last summer to the press, his blog, & the Wikipedia. He's to be
                                              commended.

                                              Since you commented on my Nahal Tut entry, anyone can visit that page
                                              & see my references in the References section. All I did was
                                              condense the Israel Antiquity Authority's press-releases, which were
                                              extremely terse overviews to begin with:

                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahal_Tut

                                              I added a few sentences to emphasize LMLK seals, & the entire article
                                              is less than 300 words. I would submit that the final report, when
                                              the excavators publish it some years hence, will contain
                                              significantly more content. The Wikipedia entry gives interested
                                              parties a "heads up" advantage. I believe it's going to affect
                                              everyone who writes about Neo-Assyrian chronology.

                                              G.M. Grena
                                            • victor avigdor hurowitz
                                              Dear All, ANE2 is hardly the place to discuss the interpretation of the Declaration of Independence of the United States. Nonetheless, it is hard to desist
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Apr 3, 2006
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                                                Dear All,
                                                ANE2 is hardly the place to discuss the interpretation of the Declaration
                                                of Independence of the United States. Nonetheless, it is hard to desist
                                                from frontally criticizing your use of its "all men are created equal" in
                                                defense of Wikipedia's editorial policy or lack thereof. The fact is that
                                                NOT all people are of equal scholarly ability, or any other ability for
                                                that matter, no matter what their God
                                                given right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness happens to
                                                be. In a court of law, all men and women have equal right to due process
                                                of law and a fair trial. Governments should treat all their citizens
                                                "equally" in collecting taxes and granting benefits. Yet all these things
                                                and others have absolutely nothing to do with 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. When you chose a doctor you would hardly pick one
                                                randomly out
                                                of a crowd of people because "all men are created equal". When you chose a
                                                spouse, you don't just spin a wheel or flip a coin because "all men are
                                                created equal". And when a person searches for information he or she
                                                doesn't
                                                ask just anyone, but goes to an expert. I've belaboured this
                                                enough. You can apply what I've said to what Wikipedia should and
                                                shouldn't provide/

                                                Victor Hurowitz
                                                Dept. of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
                                                Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
                                                Beer-Sheva, Israel



                                                On Mon, 3 Apr 2006, G.M. Grena wrote:

                                                > > who gives somebody the right to contribute an
                                                > > entry on a particular subject?
                                                > > Sam Wolff
                                                >
                                                > Here in America, our country was founded on the belief that "all men
                                                > are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
                                                > certain unalienable Rights," & the founders of Wikipedia decided to
                                                > give all humans on the planet with Internet access the right to
                                                > contribute to human knowledge, as they initially bar no one from
                                                > their site.
                                                >
                                                > > G.M. Grena does not have any connection to the
                                                > > excavation or the excavators at Nahal Tut.
                                                > > Sam Wolff
                                                >
                                                > Are you quite sure about that, Sam Wolff? Have you been privy to my
                                                > personal correspondence with the Israel Antiquities Authority? Who
                                                > gave you the right to post a message to this list asserting a
                                                > slanderous charge against me without any source reference? I would
                                                > encourage one of ANE-2's moderators to ask Sam Wolff for the source
                                                > of his allegation regarding my connection (or lack thereof) to any
                                                > excavation or excavators.
                                                >
                                                > > Have we entered into a situation where anybody
                                                > > can "publish" anybody else's excavation?
                                                > > Sam Wolff
                                                >
                                                > Niels Peter Lemche asked for some specific examples. Since Nahal Tut
                                                > caught your eye, let's go there & see if there are any references in
                                                > the References section of that page to see who really published the
                                                > info on that page first:
                                                >
                                                > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahal_Tut
                                                >
                                                > G.M. Grena
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                              • G.M. Grena
                                                ... 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
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Apr 4, 2006
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                                                  > 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
                                                • Peter T. Daniels
                                                  ... (Anyway, the Declaration is not part of the law of the land.) ... You seem to be missing two points entirely. (1) The naive reader has no way of knowing
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , 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@...
                                                  • Sandberg
                                                    Peter T. Daniels Wrote: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 5:16 AM ... wikipedia on any particular day is accurate or not. Mr. Cowie s vision of every article
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Apr 5, 2006
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                                                      Peter T. Daniels Wrote: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 5:16 AM

                                                      >(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.



                                                      So there is really more security for the printed text?

                                                      >(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?


                                                      After reading all these posts about Wikipedia, a.k.a. waste of time, I'm glad I rely on the older school of printed pages instead. It's more reliable for the reader, and profitable for the author.

                                                      Now sometime back I came across a PDF file that refused any printing, any editing, any saving or copying etc. The text and photos were locked. So if you wanted a section from this publication/book you'd either have to buy the publication or manually key stroke selected portions of the authors work.

                                                      So if I may ask, why can't original works by authors or specialists be electronically frozen, making it difficult for others to edit, thus riding on the shirttails of those who have already done the work?

                                                      Mark Sandberg

                                                      Eugene, Oregon
                                                      mspalaeo@...


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                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    • Ford Mommaerts-Browne
                                                      ... From: Peter T. Daniels To: Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 9:16 AM Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re:
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Apr 5, 2006
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                                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                                        From: "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
                                                        To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 9:16 AM
                                                        Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: Wikipedia


                                                        | 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.)
                                                        |

                                                        I know that I am stepping off-topic here, but bare with me - there is a point to be made.
                                                        The Declaration IS the law of the land, (if 'the land' is the USofA), because the US has 'Common Law', whereïn Custom gains the force of Law. In fact, the Declaration of Independence has been cited by courts to uphold or to overturn decisions, rulings or findings.
                                                        Now, IF I didn't happen to see Prof. Daniels' comment; and IF I hadn't happened to have taken some law courses, (to become a more-roundly educated and [hopefully] better historian), where I learned a couple of things; and IF the moderators hadn't let this post through, (this is, of course, assuming that they do), then the rest of the readers of this post may have accepted that the DofI is NOT 'the law of the land'.
                                                        We're starting to get a pretty iffy mound here. THIS is the problem with Wikipedia. Supercilious, self-appointed supervisors are given leeway to control content whereät they are not the experts who they present themselves as being. This is the 'best-case' scenario. The worst-case we have been redescribing at length. Yayhoos and _hoi polloi_, (or, as my coöperating teacher was wont to call them, 'The Great Unwashed'), can post any silly thing, and let it stand until somebody who knows better, (read 'other'), amends the tract.
                                                        As an example: familysearch.org, the database of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, includes innumerable pedigrees tracing lineages through the Norse gods to the kings of Troy, through Jupiter, to Javan ben Japhet ben Noah, and on up to Adam, who was created by God. A very nice capstone to any family-tree. And the WWW has spread and proliferated this hodge-podge, this meaningless mishmash of mental masturbation, to genealogies all around the planet.

                                                        ***Here's the bottom-line: There will be those who, seeing the problems and pitfalls with which the Wikipedia is fraught, will dismiss it, almost out-of-hand, and neither use it, nor endorse it. There will be those who will, seeing that potential promised by the Wikipediasts, give it a whirl; find that there is no real accountability, and minimal responsibility; have an extremely negative experience; and join the first group. Yet, there will still be those, with stars in their guileless eyes, who will continue to believe in the project, much as a long-suffering wife may continue to believe that her husband will take the pledge, and never touch liquor again. Rarely will members of groups one and two convince those of the third group; and, equally rarely, will those of group the third sway those of the first two groups.
                                                        At this particular juncture, I suggest that we all agree to disagree, on this topic; and spend time on such where we may.
                                                        Apologies for the lengthy post.
                                                        T. Stanford Mommaerts-Browne, GNSN
                                                        Omaha, Nebraska 68105-1310
                                                        (402)932-7094
                                                        BA UNL (1986)
                                                        BS UNL (1988)
                                                        Scholar without Portfolio
                                                        Secondary Social Sciences Teacher and Chef, by training
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