Wiki vs Open Source

People love to compare Wikipedia to Open Source but guess what: bad, incorrect code doesn’t compile. Bad, incorrect information on the net lives on and non-experts hardly ever notice the mistake [1], via Alice.

True enough, though plenty of cr*ppy code will compile [2].

Comments

  1. #1 David B. Benson
    2008/02/11

    Even worse, the code compiles and then proceeds to make unnoticed mistakes.

    “Good code is hard to find…”

  2. #2 Alexander Ač
    2008/02/12

    William,

    this is off-topic, but might be of interest for you – http://www.buffalo.edu/news/9138 – IPCC SLR predictions are probably underestimated

    [Hmm, I think they are over selling their work. This is improvements in the data-ing of *one* glacier, though a large one. Quite how you jump from that to doubling SLR estimates is mysterious -W]

  3. #3 Munin
    2008/02/12

    Edmund Burke:

    “In my course I have known, and, according to my measure, have co-operated with great men; and I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in the business.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflections_on_the_Revolution_in_France

    It’s a powerful idea, and one that underpins projects like Wikipedia. Though note that he doesn’t suggest the project is led by those who are “much inferior in understanding”.

  4. #4 Alexander Ač
    2008/02/12

    William,

    not me, *they* jump to doubling SLR estimate –

    “If current climate models from the IPCC included data from ice dynamics in Greenland, the sea level rise estimated during this century could be twice as high as what they are currently projecting,” she [Beata Csatho] said.

    I suggest that they somehow extrapolate their results also to other outlet glaciers in Greenland, though this may not be quite appropriate or over selling in your term ;-)

    What seems to be guaranteed it that IPCC does not overestimate SLR :-)

  5. #5 Nick Barnes
    2008/02/12

    “bad, incorrect code doesn’t compile”

    Yes, I’ve worked with programmers who believed that. Unsurprisingly, their code was terrible.

  6. #6 Eli Rabett
    2008/02/12

    bad, incorrect code doesn’t compile with every bad, lame compiler your bad, incompetent boss bought and it certainly won’t run on any bad retarded computer IT foisted on you

  7. #7 Steve Bloom
    2008/02/12

    Without looking my guess would be that she did assume that the other outlet glaciers would behave similarly, but OTOH the IPCC did exactly the same and with even less of a basis.

    OT (but teleconnected): Time for the Stoat to fold his tent?

  8. #8 Steve Bloom
    2008/02/12

    Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary I can prove I’m not just blatting about this since I did read the paper (free copy here). I just don’t remember whether it said anything specific about the other outlet glaciers. That the IPCC was guessing is uncontroversial. :)

  9. #9 Brian Schmidt
    2008/02/14

    Back on-topic, I just looked briefly at Citizendium, the alleged fix for the alleged problem, and I’m unimpressed.

    I think non-experts can spot and fix errors – I’ve done it often enough on wikipedia, including articles and topics I don’t normally edit (e.g., an article on a movie I just saw). I won’t be as good at it as an expert, but there’s a lot more of us non-experts.