• Tag Archives wikipedia
  • Wikipedia’s “Tyranny of the Unemployed”

    Evolution News and Views, (an intelligent design blog) recently did a post whining about how ID proponents can’t force Wikipedia to represent them in a favorable light because a few “unemployed” evolutionists with too much time on their hands vigilantly monitor Wikipedia and immediately remove/modify any pro-ID edits. The post mentions a “highly technical” study (the implication being it’s too technical to read yourself, so just trust them…) which allegedly concludes (in a roundabout way) that:

    …on Wikipedia, “fact” is established by the party with the free time that’s required to wear down everyone else and exhaust them into submission.

    In reality, the article (which is very interesting) draws no such conclusions. It is primarily concerned with edit wars, how to detect them, and the patterns of their resolutions. Far from criticizing Wikipedia’s accuracy, the article actually praises it, citing a 2005 Nature article:

    …independent studies have shown that, as early as in 2005, science articles in WP and Encyclopedia Britannica were of comparable quality.

    One of the real conclusions of the article is that the vast majority of the (already small) number of controversial articles are eventually settled as the the controversy becomes well outlined. By explanation:

    …we find it quite plausible that certain articles can become so well polished that it becomes extremely hard to pick a fight about them.

    But the ID folks do not like it when the evolution “controversy” is portrayed accurately, with the scientific evidence on one side and the religiously-motivated dogma on the other side. They don’t like it when well-informed Wikipedia contributors illustrate, point-by-point, exactly how much of the alleged “scientific controversy” over evolution relies on articles from non-peer-reviewed and ID-biased journals. In short, they seem to be realizing that accurate information is the enemy of intelligent design.

    via Wikipedias Tyranny of the Unemployed.

  • Free Wikipedia to Orange mobile users in Africa and the Middle East

    Orange telecom has announced their intention to provide free Wikipedia access from all Orange mobile handsets in Africa and the Middle East, regardless of cellular plan. In my mind, this is one of the most effective humanitarian efforts in recent history. Tens of millions of customers will be given access to information which can make a dramatic change in their lives, from information on agricultural pests and well-pump designs to women’s rights.

    I hope other telecoms in these areas follow suit.

    via Orange offers free Wikipedia access to mobile users in Africa and the Middle East.