[WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Stan Shebs-2
Phil Sandifer wrote:
>  
> [...] If Larry wants an encyclopedia free of its biases, he should  
> work on one. But he shouldn't call it an encyclopedia run by experts  
> if he's going to dismiss the experts.
>  
There are plenty of experts going at each other with knives on WP;
expertise is simply a fund of knowledge, and does not magically confer
diplomatic, communication, or collaboration skills. In fact, great
knowledge tends to breed arrogance, making conflict more likely, not
less so. CZ adds real names and attributions to the mix, raising the
stakes even further by introducing the possibility of effect on one's
careers. The organizer would need the superior political skills of an
Ivy League dean to make it all work, but Larry's forum postings don't
evidence much improvement at diplomacy since the times he was angering
editors on WP.

Stan


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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Nina Stratton
+!

On 1/17/07, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Phil Sandifer wrote:
> >
> > [...] If Larry wants an encyclopedia free of its biases, he should
> > work on one. But he shouldn't call it an encyclopedia run by experts
> > if he's going to dismiss the experts.
> >
> There are plenty of experts going at each other with knives on WP;
> expertise is simply a fund of knowledge, and does not magically confer
> diplomatic, communication, or collaboration skills. In fact, great
> knowledge tends to breed arrogance, making conflict more likely, not
> less so. CZ adds real names and attributions to the mix, raising the
> stakes even further by introducing the possibility of effect on one's
> careers. The organizer would need the superior political skills of an
> Ivy League dean to make it all work, but Larry's forum postings don't
> evidence much improvement at diplomacy since the times he was angering
> editors on WP.
>
> Stan
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>



--
Sincerely,

Nina
"Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and
conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work." - Abdul Kalam
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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Marc Riddell


> From: "Nina Stratton" <[hidden email]>
> Reply-To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
> Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 08:20:48 -0800
> To: "English Wikipedia" <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium
>
> +!
>
> On 1/17/07, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Phil Sandifer wrote:
>>>
>>> [...] If Larry wants an encyclopedia free of its biases, he should
>>> work on one. But he shouldn't call it an encyclopedia run by experts
>>> if he's going to dismiss the experts.
>>>
>> There are plenty of experts going at each other with knives on WP;
>> expertise is simply a fund of knowledge, and does not magically confer
>> diplomatic, communication, or collaboration skills. In fact, great
>> knowledge tends to breed arrogance, making conflict more likely, not
>> less so. CZ adds real names and attributions to the mix, raising the
>> stakes even further by introducing the possibility of effect on one's
>> careers. The organizer would need the superior political skills of an
>> Ivy League dean to make it all work, but Larry's forum postings don't
>> evidence much improvement at diplomacy since the times he was angering
>> editors on WP.
>>
>> Stan

Ya know what we need in WP, an Article on Expertaphobia: The fear of, and
seeming intimidation by, people who know stuff about things.

Someone, I don't recall who it was, wrote that they would never work on
something where experts were involved. Really? Who would you go to if you
needed heart surgery, or wanted to learn how to play a violin?

Don't look now, but you are working with the aid of experts right now! Those
marvelous persons behind the scenes of this computerized market place who
make all of this possible. Without them we would be typing into the ether.

Ease up!

Marc Riddell

>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> WikiEN-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
>> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Sincerely,
>
> Nina
> "Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and
> conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work." - Abdul Kalam
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l


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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Fastfission
In reply to this post by geni
On 1/16/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 1/16/07, MacGyverMagic/Mgm <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > You seem to know more about it.
> > Are you saying her accusations are unfounded?
> >
> > Mgm
> >
>
> No idea. It's not an area I know much about since other than a few
> skirmishes it isn't something that chemistry has much in the way of
> dealings with.

The problem is the categorization of disciplines can be a very
controversial issue even if the discipline itself does not come with
specific and explicit political or cultural agendas, much less tied up
in questions of identity or the ability of individuals to make
decisions on account of their cultural heritage.

There is absolutely no easy answer to it. The question of where
ethnic/gender studies (and its variants) fall within the organization
of knowledge has been something the American academy has been
periodically battling with for forty years (Peter Novick's _That Noble
Dream_ has some great accounts of how the discipline of History in the
US struggled with these issues in the 60s and 70s). The question of
disciplinary disputes (what sociologists sometimes call "boundary
work") has existed since before Copernicus (the question of whether
mathematicians could make statements which impinged on areas of
philosophy was a big one in his era). Categorization of knowledge was
one of the most radical aspects of the original Encyclopedie, and some
scholars (Robert Darnton in particular) have argued that it was in
categorizing religion in the same tree as black magic (rather than a
source of revealed truth) that really invoked the ire of the Church
(rather than the snippy little asides poking fun at the Eucharist).

Which is just to say that while I don't think this is necessarily any
example of systemic racism or sexism on Sanger's part (there are
legitimate reasons for not considering these fields to be top-level
categories, one need not attribute such opinions to philosophies of
prejudice), it is an example of what some of the difficulties with an
"expert-driven" system will be. The problem is, experts don't even
agree on very basic things at times, such as whose knowledge counts as
genuine, such as how knowledge should be organized, such as where a
discipline stops and ends. No matter what decision is made in these
sorts of issues, they will alienate entire disciplines of experts.

I think Wikipedia gets around it, paradoxically enough, by not
pretending to have any expert rule, as well as having a relatively
democratic categorization system (things can be redundantly
categorized). If you don't make the assumption that the material is
heavily mediated by experts, then you don't feel quite as bad if it
doesn't align with one point of view or the other. Or maybe experts
just don't pay a lot of attention to issues like this on Wikipedia for
one reason or another.

In any case... it will be interesting to see how Sanger works this out
over time. He really can't afford to alienate the entire humanities
and if he is perceived as shutting out or, god forbid, segregating
ethnic/gender studies he will probably end up doing just about that.
(I'm not saying he's doing that, I'm just talking about how he will be
perceived.) If he insists on making determinations like this on his
own (if that is indeed what he has done), he will likely end up
stepping on a lot of toes.

FF

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Fastfission
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On 1/17/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I don't see how the page being an aggregation of two separate works is
> relevant - the page as a whole is a work, and the Free Art image has
> been incorporated into it.

The problem with the Free Art license is that it says nothing about
aggregate/collective works, actually. You'd have to interpret their
use of "distribution" to include "aggregation of independent works"
(per GDFL) for it to be kosher.

That being said, I would be surprised if they were against
aggregations of independent works (it would seriously cut down on the
ability to distribute any work), so it could probably be clarified
somehow...

FF

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
On 1/17/07, [hidden email] <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>
> "David Gerard" wrote
>
> > Larry Sanger seems to be doing a lot of one-to-one outreach to
> > academia. If he can work out a way for contribution to a GFDL
> > encyclopedia to enhance an academic career, the growth in quality
> > contributions to the open content pool should be fantastic.
>
> The people slogging for tenure will do it? The professors won't delegate
> it to the grad students? The grad students won't be the people who are
> already writing for us?
>
> If Larry gets tenure-track people to believe it will help them, then it
> really might be a breakthrough.
>
> Charles


Ah, this is related to my own dream: that someday the accessibility of the
knowledge resources that you contribute to will be taken into account as an
important quality. Accessibility is recognized somewhat now in the academy
for tenure, but only obliquely -- while the very prestigious journals like
"Nature" and "Science" are also highly-subscribed to, most of the time
people make tenure based on publications that have only seen the light of
day in expensive journals and books that have very few holdings and thus
very few readers. Sure, this is an encyclopedia, and therefore never going
to count for original research for tenure (much as writing print
encyclopedias or textbooks now generally doesn't get you as many tenure
points) but it would be pretty grand to be able to make the argument that
because you're contributing to a world-wide freely accessible resource
you're actually helping thousands more people than you would by publishing
any other way. If Larry or anyone else can help swing the perception of
working on Wikipedia/Citizendium/whatever away from "wasting time on the
Internet" and towards "helping the world learn about my field," that will be
a good thing indeed.

-- phoebe
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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Fastfission
On 1/17/07, Fastfission <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 1/16/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 1/16/07, MacGyverMagic/Mgm <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > You seem to know more about it.
> > > Are you saying her accusations are unfounded?
> > >
> > > Mgm
> > >
> >
> > No idea. It's not an area I know much about since other than a few
> > skirmishes it isn't something that chemistry has much in the way of
> > dealings with.
>
> The problem is the categorization of disciplines can be a very
> controversial issue even if the discipline itself does not come with
> specific and explicit political or cultural agendas, much less tied up
> in questions of identity or the ability of individuals to make
> decisions on account of their cultural heritage.
>
> There is absolutely no easy answer to it. The question of where
> ethnic/gender studies (and its variants) fall within the organization
> of knowledge has been something the American academy has been
> periodically battling with for forty years (Peter Novick's _That Noble
> Dream_ has some great accounts of how the discipline of History in the
> US struggled with these issues in the 60s and 70s). The question of
> disciplinary disputes (what sociologists sometimes call "boundary
> work") has existed since before Copernicus (the question of whether
> mathematicians could make statements which impinged on areas of
> philosophy was a big one in his era). Categorization of knowledge was
> one of the most radical aspects of the original Encyclopedie, and some
> scholars (Robert Darnton in particular) have argued that it was in
> categorizing religion in the same tree as black magic (rather than a
> source of revealed truth) that really invoked the ire of the Church
> (rather than the snippy little asides poking fun at the Eucharist).
>
> Which is just to say that while I don't think this is necessarily any
> example of systemic racism or sexism on Sanger's part (there are
> legitimate reasons for not considering these fields to be top-level
> categories, one need not attribute such opinions to philosophies of
> prejudice), it is an example of what some of the difficulties with an
> "expert-driven" system will be. The problem is, experts don't even
> agree on very basic things at times, such as whose knowledge counts as
> genuine, such as how knowledge should be organized, such as where a
> discipline stops and ends. No matter what decision is made in these
> sorts of issues, they will alienate entire disciplines of experts.
>
> I think Wikipedia gets around it, paradoxically enough, by not
> pretending to have any expert rule, as well as having a relatively
> democratic categorization system (things can be redundantly
> categorized). If you don't make the assumption that the material is
> heavily mediated by experts, then you don't feel quite as bad if it
> doesn't align with one point of view or the other. Or maybe experts
> just don't pay a lot of attention to issues like this on Wikipedia for
> one reason or another.
>
> In any case... it will be interesting to see how Sanger works this out
> over time. He really can't afford to alienate the entire humanities
> and if he is perceived as shutting out or, god forbid, segregating
> ethnic/gender studies he will probably end up doing just about that.
> (I'm not saying he's doing that, I'm just talking about how he will be
> perceived.) If he insists on making determinations like this on his
> own (if that is indeed what he has done), he will likely end up
> stepping on a lot of toes.
>
> FF


This is a really insightful post. Categorization, and how one categorizes
knowledge (any kind of knowledge) is very far from being cut and dried; and
how one decides to organize the world does say a great deal about how one
perceives it. (Though Geni doesn't see discipline debates affecting
chemistry much, I bet that he doesn't think chemistry is a part of alchemy
anymore either). People sometimes make their entire academic careers around
arguing over classifications, by developing new subdisciplines and branches
when the old ones aren't good enough; this seems to be part of what the
citizendium conflict is about.

I think Fastfission is right that Wikipedia gets around most controversies
by being redundant, allowing people to categorize as they see fit, and by
allowing do-overs: nothing has to be permanently decided. Sure, it's
inefficient in a lot of ways, but it also (like the whole project) provides
a fascinating map of the world and how topics are perceived. It seems like
this particular debate in Citizendium comes from taking a much more
traditional view of deciding that topics have to go in a particular order,
as if the work existed in a hierarchical link structure or was going to be
printed.

-- phoebe
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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

fredbaud
In reply to this post by Sage Ross

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Marc Riddell [mailto:[hidden email]]
>Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 10:24 AM
>To: 'English Wikipedia'
>Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium
>
>
>
>> From: "Nina Stratton" <[hidden email]>
>> Reply-To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
>> Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 08:20:48 -0800
>> To: "English Wikipedia" <[hidden email]>
>> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium
>>
>> +!
>>
>> On 1/17/07, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Phil Sandifer wrote:
>>>>
>>>> [...] If Larry wants an encyclopedia free of its biases, he should
>>>> work on one. But he shouldn't call it an encyclopedia run by experts
>>>> if he's going to dismiss the experts.
>>>>
>>> There are plenty of experts going at each other with knives on WP;
>>> expertise is simply a fund of knowledge, and does not magically confer
>>> diplomatic, communication, or collaboration skills. In fact, great
>>> knowledge tends to breed arrogance, making conflict more likely, not
>>> less so. CZ adds real names and attributions to the mix, raising the
>>> stakes even further by introducing the possibility of effect on one's
>>> careers. The organizer would need the superior political skills of an
>>> Ivy League dean to make it all work, but Larry's forum postings don't
>>> evidence much improvement at diplomacy since the times he was angering
>>> editors on WP.
>>>
>>> Stan
>
>Ya know what we need in WP, an Article on Expertaphobia: The fear of, and
>seeming intimidation by, people who know stuff about things.
>
>Someone, I don't recall who it was, wrote that they would never work on
>something where experts were involved. Really? Who would you go to if you
>needed heart surgery, or wanted to learn how to play a violin?
>
>Don't look now, but you are working with the aid of experts right now! Those
>marvelous persons behind the scenes of this computerized market place who
>make all of this possible. Without them we would be typing into the ether.
>
>Ease up!
>
>Marc Riddell

Unless I have gotten the personalities mixed up, Stan is himself an certified expert employed in an academic setting, which is one reason he can make such an incisive comment about Larry. When I was butting heads with Larry over [[reality]] and [[knowledge]] on Wikipedia in the old days, we were both doing essentially the same thing, I was doing my original research thing, making up stuff from whole cloth, while Larry was, working apparently from memory, putting forth the party line as taught in a freshman philosophy course, as he understood it. It did not occur to either of us to cite substantial reliable sources. What resulted was mutual disgust, vigorously expressed.

Experts, to function well on Wikipedia, need to more than just proclaim themselves an expert and regurgitate what they learned in school. Particularly they must be familiar with the literature and be able to cite it. That may be a rare talent, as is excellent teaching, the underlying skill that is involved in writing an introductory textbook, which is what a Wikipedia article is, in part.

Fred



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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Marc Riddell


> From: "Fred Bauder" <[hidden email]>
> Reply-To: [hidden email], English Wikipedia
> <[hidden email]>
> Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 20:57:07 +0000
> To: "English Wikipedia" <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium
>
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Marc Riddell [mailto:[hidden email]]
>> Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 10:24 AM
>> To: 'English Wikipedia'
>> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium
>>
>>
>>
>>> From: "Nina Stratton" <[hidden email]>
>>> Reply-To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
>>> Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 08:20:48 -0800
>>> To: "English Wikipedia" <[hidden email]>
>>> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium
>>>
>>> +!
>>>
>>> On 1/17/07, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Phil Sandifer wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> [...] If Larry wants an encyclopedia free of its biases, he should
>>>>> work on one. But he shouldn't call it an encyclopedia run by experts
>>>>> if he's going to dismiss the experts.
>>>>>
>>>> There are plenty of experts going at each other with knives on WP;
>>>> expertise is simply a fund of knowledge, and does not magically confer
>>>> diplomatic, communication, or collaboration skills. In fact, great
>>>> knowledge tends to breed arrogance, making conflict more likely, not
>>>> less so. CZ adds real names and attributions to the mix, raising the
>>>> stakes even further by introducing the possibility of effect on one's
>>>> careers. The organizer would need the superior political skills of an
>>>> Ivy League dean to make it all work, but Larry's forum postings don't
>>>> evidence much improvement at diplomacy since the times he was angering
>>>> editors on WP.
>>>>
>>>> Stan
>>
>> Ya know what we need in WP, an Article on Expertaphobia: The fear of, and
>> seeming intimidation by, people who know stuff about things.
>>
>> Someone, I don't recall who it was, wrote that they would never work on
>> something where experts were involved. Really? Who would you go to if you
>> needed heart surgery, or wanted to learn how to play a violin?
>>
>> Don't look now, but you are working with the aid of experts right now! Those
>> marvelous persons behind the scenes of this computerized market place who
>> make all of this possible. Without them we would be typing into the ether.
>>
>> Ease up!
>>
>> Marc Riddell
>
> Unless I have gotten the personalities mixed up, Stan is himself an certified
> expert employed in an academic setting, which is one reason he can make such
> an incisive comment about Larry. When I was butting heads with Larry over
> [[reality]] and [[knowledge]] on Wikipedia in the old days, we were both doing
> essentially the same thing, I was doing my original research thing, making up
> stuff from whole cloth, while Larry was, working apparently from memory,
> putting forth the party line as taught in a freshman philosophy course, as he
> understood it. It did not occur to either of us to cite substantial reliable
> sources. What resulted was mutual disgust, vigorously expressed.
>
> Experts, to function well on Wikipedia, need to more than just proclaim
> themselves an expert and regurgitate what they learned in school. Particularly
> they must be familiar with the literature and be able to cite it. That may be
> a rare talent, as is excellent teaching, the underlying skill that is involved
> in writing an introductory textbook, which is what a Wikipedia article is, in
> part.
>
> Fred

Fred,

I was not referring to anyone in particular; simply the attitudes some in WP
seem to have regarding the input of "experts"

Marc
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l


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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Mark
In reply to this post by fredbaud
Fred Bauder wrote:
> Unless I have gotten the personalities mixed up, Stan is himself an certified expert employed in an academic setting, which is one reason he can make such an incisive comment about Larry.

Indeed I think this is a general feature.  I was a lot more deferent
towards experts before I went into academia---once you find out how the
sausage is made, and even occasionally get deferred to yourself in an
area where you know your word has no business being accepted
unquestioningly, it's hard to view it in as idealized a fashion.  I'd
say most of the academics I know on Wikipedia are *less* deferent
towards credentials than most of the non-academics are (with some
exceptions).

-Mark


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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by fredbaud
On 1/17/07, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >From: geni [mailto:[hidden email]]
> >On 1/17/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>  but sometimes "how do we
> >> organize this information" is a much harder problem, often requiring
> >> professional help.
> >
> >We get by. The answer appears to be "in as may ways as posible".
>
> That is really an excellent answer. Most of the trouble we have results from trying to impose some pattern on knowledge, which, as we know, wants to be free.

Yeah, I agree.  I wasn't trying to suggest that WP has any problem
with this.  We're flexible enough that we've accommodated most of the
reasonable ways of looking at taxonomy, and the organization stuff
works ok.

But the way it's evolved has had a lot of input from experts helping
with the taxonomy...


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by fredbaud
On 1/17/07, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Experts, to function well on Wikipedia, need to more than just proclaim
> themselves an expert and regurgitate what they learned in school.
> Particularly they must be familiar with the literature and be able to cite it.
> That may be a rare talent, as is excellent teaching, the underlying skill
> that is involved in writing an introductory textbook, which is what a
> Wikipedia article is, in part.

Side benefit of Wikipedia: we're teaching legions (well, thousands) of
people who otherwise never would have had the opportunity how to do
good, well researched and cited academic type writing.

You can see this in how some professors are making Wikipedia articles
be "the class writing project" for some courses...  Even they consider
it an environment where both the process and final products are good
practice for that.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Thomas Dalton
> Side benefit of Wikipedia: we're teaching legions (well, thousands) of
> people who otherwise never would have had the opportunity how to do
> good, well researched and cited academic type writing.

According to Wikipedia (see how easy it is? Why can't the newspapers
manage... it's just 3 words... oh well...) a Roman legion generally
consisted of between 1000 and 6000 men, so no need to correct
yourself.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

geni
On 1/17/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> According to Wikipedia (see how easy it is? Why can't the newspapers
> manage... it's just 3 words... oh well...)

Because they have rules against useing wikipedia as a source.

--
geni

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Stan Shebs-2
In reply to this post by Marc Riddell
Marc Riddell wrote:
> Ya know what we need in WP, an Article on Expertaphobia: The fear of, and
> seeming intimidation by, people who know stuff about things.
>  
I think there is one somewhere already, maybe on meta.
> Someone, I don't recall who it was, wrote that they would never work on
> something where experts were involved. Really? Who would you go to if you
> needed heart surgery, or wanted to learn how to play a violin?
>
> Don't look now, but you are working with the aid of experts right now! Those
> marvelous persons behind the scenes of this computerized market place who
> make all of this possible. Without them we would be typing into the ether.
>  
Indeed, I'm an expert in some areas myself, and there are even a couple
articles in WP where I could fairly lay claim to being the "leading
authority" on those topics. There have been plenty of times where I've
seen a moronic edit and spluttered at the screen "who do you think you
are, to be questioning *me*?", and times where I was tempted to add an
interesting detail, and then realized that I only knew it because of a
private email in my possession - so the WP addition must await
publication of the book.

WP is an unusual challenge for experts, because you can't just say "X is
true" and have a crowd of adoring students copy it down uncritically.
It's much more like being the ringer at the pool hall, where you go in
unknown and have to impress people with your present skill rather than
your past reputation. I think it's a good challenge for experts actually
- can you command respect for your knowledge using your words alone,
without falling back on the CV? We have some pseudonymous experts in WP
who are really world-class and receive considerable deference, so it can
work that way.

Stan


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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Mark
In reply to this post by Philip Sandifer-2
Phil Sandifer wrote:

> On Jan 16, 2007, at 2:39 PM, geni wrote:
>
>  
>> I doubt it. To me it loks like one person went looking for a fight and
>> managed to find one. I still think "wait and see" is the best aproach
>> to Citizendium.
>>    
>
> The decision in question is without a doubt a bad one that  
> fundamentally de-emphasizes major academic disciplines in favor of an  
> underinformed view that has no place in a project supposedly devoted  
> to experts.
>
> It points to a fundamental flaw in Citizendium, and one that wouldn't  
> surprise anyone who saw Larry's name attached to it - it's an  
> encyclopedia that favors experts that's run by someone with a view of  
> the academy that is wildly out of step with current senses of what  
> mainstream academic thought is.
>  

I don't think that's entirely true---academia is not a monolith, and
"mainstream academic thought" depends on who you ask.  This particular
case is more or less a small portion of the debate over "critical
theory", which is considered unmitigated bullshit by large sections of
academia, but extremely important by other large sections of academia.

-Mark


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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Mark
On 17/01/07, Delirium <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Indeed I think this is a general feature.  I was a lot more deferent
> towards experts before I went into academia---once you find out how the
> sausage is made, and even occasionally get deferred to yourself in an
> area where you know your word has no business being accepted
> unquestioningly, it's hard to view it in as idealized a fashion.


"I am what passes for an expert in field x. This is a frightening concept."


- d.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Nina Stratton
In reply to this post by Marc Riddell
On 1/17/07, Marc Riddell <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>
> > From: "Nina Stratton" <[hidden email]>
> > Reply-To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
> > Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 08:20:48 -0800
> > To: "English Wikipedia" <[hidden email]>
> > Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium
> >
> > +!
> >
> > On 1/17/07, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >> Phil Sandifer wrote:
> >>>
> >>> [...] If Larry wants an encyclopedia free of its biases, he should
> >>> work on one. But he shouldn't call it an encyclopedia run by experts
> >>> if he's going to dismiss the experts.
> >>>
> >> There are plenty of experts going at each other with knives on WP;
> >> expertise is simply a fund of knowledge, and does not magically confer
> >> diplomatic, communication, or collaboration skills. In fact, great
> >> knowledge tends to breed arrogance, making conflict more likely, not
> >> less so. CZ adds real names and attributions to the mix, raising the
> >> stakes even further by introducing the possibility of effect on one's
> >> careers. The organizer would need the superior political skills of an
> >> Ivy League dean to make it all work, but Larry's forum postings don't
> >> evidence much improvement at diplomacy since the times he was angering
> >> editors on WP.
> >>
> >> Stan
>
> Ya know what we need in WP, an Article on Expertaphobia: The fear of, and
> seeming intimidation by, people who know stuff about things.
>
> Someone, I don't recall who it was, wrote that they would never work on
> something where experts were involved. Really? Who would you go to if you
> needed heart surgery, or wanted to learn how to play a violin?
>
> Don't look now, but you are working with the aid of experts right now!
> Those
> marvelous persons behind the scenes of this computerized market place who
> make all of this possible. Without them we would be typing into the ether.
>
> Ease up!
>
> Marc Riddell
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> WikiEN-l mailing list
> >> [hidden email]
> >> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> >> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l




Fair enough. As long as my intelligence, experience, and ability to learn
aren't discounted. I've been made to feel small a lot in my life by
"experts", simply because I didn't have one or two pieces of paper. It's all
good now and I love my career and life, but Wikipedia is important to me
because it's pretty much the opposite of my past.

People respect my skills and insight here. It's greatly improved my
confidence level on all fronts. In fact (why yes, it's quite ironic), I'm
planning on going back to school and getting my long-lost bachelor's and
masters in Human Services as a direct result of my time here (among other
things - my job plays a big part in it too).

Some of the editors that I've come to respect the most on Wikipedia are not
only non-experts, they're teenagers. My teenage collaborators have been
extremely active, and have gotten references to things no one else could
find. They're also knowledgeable, helpful, and kind. When I say teenagers,
I'm talking 14-15, not 18-19. They've impressed me in their editing and
insight more than any "expert".


> > Sincerely,
> >
> > Nina
> > "Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us
> and
> > conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work." - Abdul
> Kalam
> > _______________________________________________
> > WikiEN-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> > http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
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> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>



--
Sincerely,

Nina
"Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and
conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work." - Abdul Kalam
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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Sage Ross-2
> I think the first scenario would still be a major breakthrough;
> requiring graduate students to write their literature papers for
> Wikipedia is a whole different beast from (a few idealistic) graduate
> students writing on top of their other duties.

Wikipedia is written for the layman, a graduate student's papers are
written for the expert. Writing for Wikipedia requires different
skills than the ones graduate students are being tested on with their
papers, and the skills currently being tested are required, so writing
for Wikipedia would have to be in addition to, it can't be instead of,
academic papers.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Troubling news on Citizendium

Nina Stratton
On 1/18/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> > I think the first scenario would still be a major breakthrough;
> > requiring graduate students to write their literature papers for
> > Wikipedia is a whole different beast from (a few idealistic) graduate
> > students writing on top of their other duties.
>
> Wikipedia is written for the layman, a graduate student's papers are
> written for the expert. Writing for Wikipedia requires different
> skills than the ones graduate students are being tested on with their
> papers, and the skills currently being tested are required, so writing
> for Wikipedia would have to be in addition to, it can't be instead of,
> academic papers.
>
> Excellent point. I mainly copy edit for clarity and readability. An
encyclopedia just isn't any good if the average reader (or a learning child,
perhaps) can't or won't read it.

--
Sincerely,

Nina
"Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and
conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work." - Abdul Kalam
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