Firstly, I have to comment on yesterday’s images.
They’re all much “lighter” in color than they should be because I “adjusted” the gamma on them, trying to make them brighter. Maybe I should have adjusted the brightness?
Now…on to the subject of today’s blog post.
Wikipedia and I have been walking on separate trails for some time. Initially, I thought the idea of a “public” online encyclopedia was pure genius–but then something happened. Wikipedia “cracked down” on independent contributors. On other words, it stopped allowing just anybody to add just anything to an article. There were probably good reasons for doing this. It’s possible that a whole bunch of crazies, all of them having agendas, descended upon Wikipedia and messed it up.
It’s possible, I suppose.
But it’s also possible that somebody decided that Wikipedia should be a “respectable reference” and so it changed from being a way to determine the truth (through a dialectical process of discussion and argument) into a mouthpiece for capitalism–a propaganda machine–not for a government, but for a economic system that rewards financial power.
Well, it is. I didn’t make it that way. It became a propaganda machine when it was decided that only “respectable” sources would be allowed. No original research. Only what had been “published” in a “respectable” place would be allowed. So, instead of being driven by a dialectical discussion, Wikipedia became a tool of capital. If you have a “respectable” business that does publishing (how on earth do you define that?) and you print something, it becomes true because you printed it.
This is hogwash. It may be true that crazies write crazy stuff on Wikipedia, but having an army of narrow-minded grad students who delete anything lacking a money stamp is worse than all the crazies in Florida. Having money and printing something does not make it true, even if the “respectable” publication has been in business for years and is “established.” Established firms often deal in shady merchandise to make a profit. Wikipedia’s trust that “old established publications” are somehow always truthful is what is crazy.
Let’s take the case of our dear friends at Osprey. Osprey has been in the publishing business for a while, and most of what they print could be generously called “comic books.” They look like respectable reference works only at first glance. Dig a little deeper and you find the equivalent of long blog posts by crazies like me–exactly the opposite of what Wikipedia claims to want to publish. They are just printing “expert opinion” which may be worthwhile but may also be junk. Who’s to know?
Apparently, Wikipedia does not care. In every field, from dentistry to dog collars, they pick and choose what gets published on the basis that a “quality reference” is one printed on paper by a firm that has been doing it for a while. So if you’ve been printing blather for years, Wikipedia will take your blather and give it the “utterly true” stamp of approval, based on how many gallons of printer’s ink were spilled in the creation of your blather-piece.
I recently noticed that on the all-important discussion page (important to me) they are hiding comments marked “blogging.” Here we go. Now “blogging” indicates “utter nonsense.” Well, I never! I resemble that remark!
Lord save us from these misguided do-gooders.
…and now, Wikipedia is turning their attention on “the news.” Good luck on that.