[Taxacom] exuvia versus exuvium

Jim Croft jim.croft at gmail.com
Fri Jun 6 19:12:50 CDT 2008

On Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 5:38 AM, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:
> Never think Wikpedia is an authority for anything! It is populated by
> anonymous people of dubious (definitionally, because they are anonymous)
> knowledge, with clearly not enough to do. It lacks all real quality
> control, and is a was of time.  Any student that turns in anything with
> a Wikipedia source gets an automatic "F" from me (they are warned ahead
> of time).  Comic books are of equal standing as authorities.
> Corrections only last until the next idiot visits.  Stick with solid
> authorities.

Ahem!   And who is an authority but the next idiot who is convinced he
is not an idiot...  We all have lists of named science souls, sadly
some of whom even reside on taxacom, whose knowledge is distinctly
dubious...  Some of the world's most erudite rubbish has been written
in peer reviewed scientific journals (but thankfully this would
*never* occur on taxacom)...  :)

Rule no 1: *Never* rely on *any* reference work as an authority on
*anything*.  The thing about reference works, like Wikipedia, is that,
by definition, they refer you somewhere else.  And if they don't, they
should be (and in the case of Wikipedia, are) challenged by the
community (http://xkcd.com/285/).  As far as reference works go,
Wikipedia is a hell of a lot more useful, comprehensive, and even more
reliable than the sacrificed trees of Encyclopaedia Britanica that
crammed the bookshelves of our youth, at least in matters of fact.
(But this is the *real* problem with Wikipedia: http://xkcd.com/214/)

Quoting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authority, "In politics,
authority (Latin auctoritas, used in Roman law as opposed to potestas
and imperium) is often used interchangeably with the term "power".
However, their meanings differ: while "power" refers to the ability to
achieve certain ends, "authority" refers to a claim of legitimacy,
justification and right to exercise that power. "  Nope - that's and

[ googlegooglegoogle.... ]  "The wisest have the most authority" -
Plato; yep, he's an old dead dude, must be worth at least a 'C' ...

[ googlegooglegoogle.... ]  "Unthinking respect for authority is the
greatest enemy of , and, "To punish me for my contempt for authority,
fate made me an authority myself." - Einstein; smart science dude plus
irony, yep, definitely a "B+".

[ googlegooglegoogle.... ]  [ googlegooglegoogle.... ]  [
googlegooglegoogle.... ]  Bingo!
"When authorities warn you of the dangers of having sex, there is an
important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with authorities." -
Matt Groening.  Yes!  Real insight!   'A+' for sure!  What?  The guy
writes cartoons and comics?  Damn!  Another 'F'...

Jim Croft
jim.croft at gmail.com

"There are three forces, the only three forces capable of conquering
and enslaving forever the conscience of these weak rebels in the
interests of their own happiness. They are: the miracle, the mystery
and authority."  - Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

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