[Taxacom] The strain between Wikipedia and Science

Jim Croft jim.croft at gmail.com
Sat Mar 5 18:41:44 CST 2011

in the spirit of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tephrosia


On Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 11:24 AM, Stephen Thorpe
<stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
>>and one of the synonym genus names is a Legume
> would Jim care to be a bit more specific?
> ________________________________
> From: Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com>
> To: "dipteryx at freeler.nl" <dipteryx at freeler.nl>
> Cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Sun, 6 March, 2011 1:12:19 PM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] The strain between Wikipedia and Science
> The main issue for modern information management is not that Wikipedia
> compilation can be mindless (and I think you are being a little
> uncharitable - there is often quite a bit of editorial judgement that
> goes on), as in this example but that it is manual.
> There appears to be no way to build in dynamic content that is
> generated and maintained in other databases and generally play the
> linked data thing and see an information element in context. It is
> essentially a bunch of static hard coded text hard linked to another
> bunch of static hard coded text. Its apparent responsiveness is little
> more than a large and active bunch of humans responding.
> Wikipedia would be much more exciting (useful?) if it had, say, a
> taxonomy block (from the Catalogue of Life, for example), or an
> embedded map (from GBIF, for example) that would be updated
> automatically as the databases behind them are changed.  Don't get me
> wrong - I love the Wikipedia and the whole notion of free and
> distributed knowledge.  I just wish it had more dynamic and real time
> content, as is, warts and all, independent of Wikipedia editorship.
> Under this model Wikipedia editors argue over the suitability of the
> link, and once agreed, what is delivered is up to the link - no
> [citation needed] needed; the link is the citation. But that is
> probably unlikely to happen.
> [ A particular problem with the example under discussion is that is an
> animal (*hack*! *ptui*!). There are no combining authors for reference
> audit trail and accountability, we can not be sure that all the
> synonym combinations have been accounted for, and one of the synonym
> genus names is a Legume. And that is why taxonomy can never have nice
> things... :)  ]
> jim

Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~ http://about.me/jrc
'A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point
of doubtful sanity.'
 - Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)

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