I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Idiot-savant Eugene Volokh is two-faced about blogs v. Wikipedia

I call Prof. Volokh -- a blogger on the very popular law blog Volokh Conspiracy -- an idiot-savant because he was a prodigy in math and computer science, getting a BS degree in these fields from UCLA at the incredibly young age of 15 (UCLA must have waived some general-ed requirements), but in his chosen field, the law, he is too stupid to even just recognize his own blatant contradictions. A previous post on this blog shows that he is in favor of arbitrary censorship of blog visitors' comments, and he is completely unconcerned about how this censorship can adversely affect the reliability and fairness of authoritative citations of blogs by court opinions, scholarly journal articles, and other authorities. However, his views on citation of Wikipedia are a completely different story. In a post on his blog, he said,
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. . . .I much admire the Wikipedia project, and my hat would be off to Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales, its cofounders, if I wore a hat. The concept of an encyclopedia that is cowritten by lots of people, each of whom has the power to edit any of its pages — with the main screening mechanism being the possibility of correction by others — sounds odd. But it seems to work pretty well; and of course the real question isn't whether the work is perfectly reliable, but (1) how reliable it is compared to the alternatives, (2) whether that's good enough for the particular use you're making of it (e.g., casual attempts to satisfy curiosity rather than decisions where someone's life or even a lot of money is on the line), and (3) whether the work's advantages in thoroughness, currency, convenience, and low cost exceed the possible reliability disadvantages. (Here, by the way, is the Wikipedia response to the arguments that free editing may make the encyclopedia too unreliable.)

Still, I wonder whether it's good for court opinions, which not only resolve disputes between parties but also effectively create law that governs future disputes, to rely on something that at least has the potential to be so easily compromised, whether as part of a deliberate strategy or not . . . .And I suspect the main source of error in court opinions isn't relying on simply mistaken information but rather relying on one source that says one thing when a dozen other more reliable sources that the court hasn't found say the opposite, and more persuasively. Maybe on balance Wikipedia is good enough, especially when the information that the court is drawing from it is likely to be pretty uncontroversial. Nonetheless, it strikes me as something that judges and law clerks should be cautious about using.

And I suppose that blogs that arbitrarily censor visitors' comments do not have the "potential" to be "easily compromised" as "part of a deliberate strategy"? And Volokh does not even mention one of the main sources of unreliability and unfairness in Wickedpedia articles: Wickedpedia admininstrators' censorship of disputed ideas and factual information. Many of the Wickedpedia administrators are cranks themselves.

For a list of this blog's posts about Wikipedia, just click on the "Wikipedia" label below. The posts in the list will be shown the way that they appear in the home and archive pages.
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2 Comments:

Anonymous Hector said...

> And I suppose that blogs that arbitrarily censor visitors' comments <

Other than "I'm From Missouri", where are these blogs?

> And Volokh does not even mention one of the main sources of unreliability and unfairness in Wickedpedia articles: Wickedpedia admininstrators' censorship of disputed ideas and factual information. <

Nor does he discuss the Sun rising in the West as it is not known to happen.

> Many of the Wickedpedia administrators are cranks themselves. <

You have only shown yourself to be a crank. Not going along with your fantasies and misconceptions does not make one a crank.

Friday, May 18, 2007 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> Other than "I'm From Missouri", where are these blogs? <

The pathetic half-wit was dumped from some other blogs because he posted under a number of assumed names. He has even done that here on his own blog. Before he did it, he even threatened to do it, giving them warning that they didn't need. The bonehead continues to lie about why he was banned. He has turned his misconception into a cause.

Of course they could have banned him anyway if they wanted to. They are private blogs.

The asshole continues to threaten to ban several of us who mop up the floor with him daily and yet he rails against censorship.

Ed Brayton said that it is not good to rattle the clinically insane. I get a kick out of it myself but sometimes I feel like I am pulling the wings off of flies.

Friday, May 18, 2007 4:16:00 PM  

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