A weird experience

So there I was, happily settled in Heffers with a nice large cup of coffee, looking forward to reliving the Newton-Leibnitz controversy via “the system of the world” when I thought I’d have a quick browse of “The Cult of the Amateur” by Andrew Keen, since it was on a nearby rack. It’s the std.rant about how the internet is killing our kulture, which drowns its few good points in hyperbole. And indeed, in gross error. So naturally I waded through till I got to the wikipedia bit, and lo and behold, there is my name! (I’m sure I’ve heard this before, but only online, which isn’t quite the same as seeing yourself in print when you’re not expecting to be there). I am, apparently, the archetypical example of what is wrong with wikipedia. Not in the sense of me being evil (phew) but me being an expert and yet not being able to impose my views (ironic really). The Times repeats his mistakes. this blog does a far better job of finding the true story. Which is deeply ironic, as Keen’s main point is that the web is cr*p and fine traditional sources like newspapers are far better.

Wikipedia does indeed have problems, and recruiting and retaining experts is one of them, but the situation is far more complex and subtle that AK’s facile description. FWIW, the 1R parole was declared a mistake a long time ago, certainly before the book was published.

Rowing was good today. Lovely weather – clear blue sky, no wind – and we were good. “Composed” said CW.

Comments

  1. #1 Hank Roberts
    2009/02/08

    BBC NEWS | UK | Snow-crazed stoat ‘goes berserk’
    Feb 6, 2009 … A stoat has been spotted crazily gambolling in the snow in a Wiltshire back garden.
    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7875271.stm

    I knew those climate bets would get you …

  2. #2 Joseph Reagle
    2009/02/09

    Good to know my understanding of that case — and Keen’s weakness — isn’t too far off!