[Taxacom] an uneasy relationship between taxonomy and wikipedia

dipteryx at freeler.nl dipteryx at freeler.nl
Sun Jul 11 02:54:43 CDT 2010

Van: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu namens Donat Agosti
Verzonden: za 10-7-2010 14:50
> A masterpiece of arrogance and style. or an example of how Wikipedia 
> deals with somebody who has some really interesting ideas to enhance
> Wikipedia.

I guess I never thought of arrogance as something to be actively
practiced and mastered ...

The essay appears to be mostly what we had before, but it is now 
clearer and more explicit that it is all from the database-perspective;
a better title would have been: "Wikipedia as a database of life".

In fact that is rather apt. There are three common ways for a 
Wikipedia page to go:
* it will attract enough of the right contributors (who know the topic) 
for an encyclopedia article to arise (to stay that way as long 
as it is actively guarded by those 'right contributors').
* it will attract 'enthousiasts' and the page will be overrun by 
eye-catching detail (often irrelevant, inaccurate, or worse), 
while remaining bereft of actual information.
* it will be strictly regimented (with, among others, the famous 
"an in-line citation per statement") and it will look more and more 
like a database entry.

There is a fairly strong sentiment to turn as much as possible of 
Wikipedia into a database, so perhaps it indeed has some future as


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