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Jimmy Wales and Andrew Keen Debate Web 2.0

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mickey.d Avatar
mickey.d
Posted: 01.21.09, 06:25 AM
authoritative vs. unreliable
heybd, I have to disagree. It seems that you equate information with knowledge, and they are not the same (as well, knowledge and wisdom are not the same). Also, if I go to get information from a source, I want it to be an authoritative source, not an unreliable one like Wikipedia. Keen is not suggesting that we get rid of Wikipedia, but should stop looking to it for "knowledge" because of its fundamental unreliability.
zeroprometheus Avatar
zeroprometheus
Posted: 06.25.08, 01:48 AM
From my point of view the only reasonable stance that Andrew Keen made was on the point of media literacy and the negative effects that manifest from the use of wikipedia by teens and youths alike. Although this point does not counter Wales at all it is a valid examination of the fact that media discernment is not taught well enough in public institutions if at all. This is a fault of society and education not of wikipedia, nor should wiki be held responsible for individual users in that respect.
CO4E Avatar
CO4E
Posted: 03.10.08, 02:21 PM
Any attempt at a hierarchy of knowledge is going to become complicated very quickly. We have no simple definition of knowledge. We have no cause-and-effect types or classes to guide us in understanding hierarchies. Many may use Wikipedia simply to acquire context.
Manna Avatar
Manna
Posted: 03.07.08, 11:34 AM
Quote: The thing about Wikipedia is that most of the information is traceable to original sources. At the bottom of each article they list the references, and some of the entries are very thoroughly cited. So if a New York Times reporter were to go to Wikipedia for some information, they could then trace it back to the original source and use that as their citation. Which is exactly why net-literate people are able to use Wikipedia as a launching pad for accessing facts as defined by the true gatekeepers of knowledge. I believe most people critique Wikipedia because they really just don't get it - plain and simple. Wales frames it well while discussing the mass/general critique of Wikipedia - the perception that Wikipedia entries are piecemealed together by thousands and thousands of anonymous users contributing a sentence to each entry (the same argument Keen attempts to deploy). This is simply not the case. Again, 1,000 core editors maintain Wikipedia. If used correctly, Wikipedia is the most powerful tool on the Interweb.
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And the knot comes loose...
heybd Avatar
heybd
Posted: 03.07.08, 11:09 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by michael cronan I would respectfully contest the statement that from Heybd above “I don't think you can say knowing one thing is better or worse than knowing another.” I will use an example from music to hopefully make my point. Stevie Wonder has written hundreds of truly brilliant songs. They have been sampled many times to the point that the samplers get tacit credit for the themes that Mr. Wonder wrote. You could argue that he gets money from ASCAP so no harm is being done. (I am note sure that he actually does receive a royalty) But I would argue that as his musical library becomes buried under the music of those who sample his work. In the future it may be very difficult to find his work under such a burden of borrowers. I would say knowing who Stevie Wonder is a much better thing than knowing one of his copiers. He is the origial source and his music is truly transformative as millions would agree. I don't think that music is the best analogy in this case. First, it is subjective as not everyone likes the same music and some may value the derivative works more than the originals. Also, music is proprietary and recognizable. Knowledge is about facts. Truth is not attributable to any one person, it just is. No one owns it. Someone may receive credit for uncovering/discovering something, but I don't think it's so important that any time someone talks about inertia they mention Isaac Newton. Quote: Originally Posted by michael cronan I am in favor of everyone having access to the information they find interesting; I’d like to in some way know the information is accurate, truthful or at least traceable to an original source. The thing about Wikipedia is that most of the information is traceable to original sources. At the bottom of each article they list the references, and some of the entries are very thoroughly cited. So if a New York Times reporter were to go to Wikipedia for some information, they could then trace it back to the original source and use that as their citation.
Manna Avatar
Manna
Posted: 03.06.08, 12:52 PM
Two facts I found very interesting: Wikipedia is 8th/9th most visited site on the net and yet only have "10ish" employees. The core editorial community of Wikipedia consists of around 1,000 people.
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And the knot comes loose...
michael cronan Avatar
michael cronan
Posted: 03.05.08, 05:45 PM
The Great Divide of Knowledge I think there is a real point of view difference that is evident in this debate. There are important reasons to have information authored by ‘knowable’ sources. The fact that the New York Times reporters cannot cite Wikipedia is a perfect example of why it is important to know the sources. (Jimmy makes a point that you can know who the editors are but they are only relatively easy to find on the site, not listed in context.) I also think that we are now entering a time where we maybe in danger of loosing an academic tradition that is important to the history of knowledge. Additionally the age of the Internet has radically changed the context in which information exists. This is problematic for a culture that does not remember the authors or the academic traditions from the past. I would respectfully contest the statement that from Heybd above “I don't think you can say knowing one thing is better or worse than knowing another.” I will use an example from music to hopefully make my point. Stevie Wonder has written hundreds of truly brilliant songs. They have been sampled many times to the point that the samplers get tacit credit for the themes that Mr. Wonder wrote. You could argue that he gets money from ASCAP so no harm is being done. (I am note sure that he actually does receive a royalty) But I would argue that as his musical library becomes buried under the music of those who sample his work. In the future it may be very difficult to find his work under such a burden of borrowers. I would say knowing who Stevie Wonder is a much better thing than knowing one of his copiers. He is the origial source and his music is truly transformative as millions would agree. We live in a time where information is everywhere and knowledge is more important than ever. I am in favor of everyone having access to the information they find interesting; I’d like to in some way know the information is accurate, truthful or at least traceable to an original source. I’ll close with the most elegant and popular quotation on the subject I could find. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905
heybd Avatar
heybd
Posted: 03.05.08, 11:15 AM
Hierarchy of Knowledge?
Andrew Keen is off the mark with his hierarchy of knowledge idea. I don't think you can say knowing one thing is better or worse than knowing another. People tend to learn things that are relevant to their lives. For instance, until watching this, I had no idea who Hannah Arendt was, but I do know who Pamela Anderson is. Does that make me a cretinous idiot? (I may be one, but that's not the reason.) The more information you can collect in one easy to access place, the better we are. I think individuals can decide for themselves what is most important for them, and obviously the topics that appertain to more people are going to have entries that are more fleshed out and detailed. So that's what I know, and now I'm off to go look up Hannah Arendt on wikipedia.
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