From Hossain Derakhshan at Wired:
Wikipedia has never been as wealthy or well-organized. American liberals, worried that Trump’s rise threatened the country’s foundational Enlightenment ideals, kicked in a significant flow of funds that has stabilized the nonprofit’s balance sheet.
That happy news masks a more concerning problem—a flattening growth rate in the number of contributors to the website. It is another troubling sign of a general trend around the world: The very idea of knowledge itself is in danger.
Now the challenge is to save Wikipedia and its promise of a free and open collection of all human knowledge amid the conquest of new and old television—how to collect and preserve knowledge when nobody cares to know. Television has even infected Wikipedia itself—today many of the most popular entries tend to revolve around television series or their cast. More.
Well, like we’ve said before, when a king cobra mixes it up with a giant sidewinder, it’s hard to know which side to back…
We think naturally of Wikipedia “disappearing” paleontologist Gunter Bechly and diminishing engineering prof Walter Bradley. Social media can, of course, also zap whoever the employees anticipate that Mark Zuckerberg and cronies don’t like. But they don’t pretend to be reference sources.
Wikipedia’s lofty goals were conceived in apparent ignorance of the usual ways human beings behave. One could be getting the opinions of experts, however motivated by the politics of a discipline, as with all encyclopaedias throughout history. But, in a new development, one could just be getting the opinions of trolls —information landfill. Some of it may be salvageable but who’s going to go to the trouble of digging in deep to find out?
ET at 3: The fact that Larry Moran isn’t in Wikipedia is not a good defence for that source. He has been quite active in recent evolution discussions. He was in Forbes in 2015 on that very topic, just for example.
If one wants to know what is happening, Wikipedia is not the place to look. But if a kid wants to sloven through homework in a failing school system and that’s okay with the folks at home, it’s ideal.
Note: Hossein Derakhshan (@h0d3r) is an Iranian-Canadian media analyst who was imprisoned in Iran from 2008 to 2014.
See also: Wikipedians diminish another high achiever sympathetic to ID. Yes, there is sometimes useful information in Wikipedia. But one can say that of the supermarket tabloids as well. It’s a question of how likely that is, relative to stuff we can’t evaluate or should avoid, averaged against the value of one’s time sorting it out.
Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista