Print

Print


http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/520446/the-decline-of-wikipedia/

I've stated plenty of times what I think about "crowd-sourcing" and "collective" things online --  
generally not useful if facts or accuracy or consistency are of any value, or if you don't like 
wasting time. This article shows that Whacky is more screwy than I imagined. The latest brushes I've 
had with Whacky are a whole series of incorrect recording and release dates for various albums, 
contradicting what's on the album cover or CD booklet, contradicting well-researched discographies 
and/or contradicting Billboard articles that anyone can go find with a very brief Google Books 
search. Whacky seems to have just mass-imported all the misinformation in Gracenote and freedb, 
which are also crowd-sourced cluster-f's.

Basically, fact-based knowledge is not up for debate nor is it "democratic" -- it is either factual 
or it is not. ACCESS to that knowledge should be as democratic as is practical. The interweb gets it 
backwards. Every fool has a "voice," under the guise of being democractic. So what happens is bunch 
of foolish noise, and facts get lost in the shuffle. Talk to any teacher and you'll hear about a 
generation coming up who can't tell the difference between a fact and an opinion. "New paradigm" 
indeed!

-- Tom Fine