Thursday, January 12, 2006

Those who can, do. Those who can't, whine.

Found this attack on Wikipedia today (via this). Here's the summary of the argument presented there:
  1. The entry for "Woman" on Wikipedia contained a subsection on "Vulgar terms" for woman.
  2. Therefore Wikipedia is bad.
Here's an equally reasonable argument:

  1. Dinosaurs were large, slow and stupid.
  2. Therefore evolution is bad.
Next time, please try to improve the article yourself, or mention problems on the discussion page instead of whining about it elsewhere. The power of the wiki process is the ability to modify suboptimal content quickly. Suppose the same article had appeared in a print encyclopedia, how long would it have taken to change it?

(And no, Dilip, the argument that the Chambers Dictionary didn't have vulgar terms listed is not valid. If you want to compare Wikipedia with something, compare it with an encyclopedia. If you want to compare a wiki equivalent with a dictionary, please compare Wiktionary with it. The Wiktionary entry for Woman does not list offensive terms).

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