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.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My policy on citing Wikipedia

Some readers might be wondering why I continue to cite Wikipedia after trashing it as unreliable because of arbitrary censorship of disputed items. Here are the reasons --
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I think that where there is no dispute as to facts or definitions, Wikipedia tends to be a very good reference that is comprehensive and accurate. Also, Wikipedia articles often have good lists of external links and other references. For these reasons, I am continuing to cite Wikipedia. And on subjects that are known to be controversial, e.g., the evolution controversy, knowledgeable people have the sense to take Wikipedia with a big grain of salt. I feel that the real trouble arises when people mistakenly trust Wikipedia because they have no reason to suspect that a particular disputed item has been censored. An example was the controversy over whether or not to list "Of Pandas and People" -- the book that Judge Jones ruled could not even be mentioned officially in public school classes -- in the Wikipedia list of "banned books." IMO most people would agree that it should have been listed -- it met the same criteria as many other books that were listed (the control freaks at Wikipedia completely rewrote the whole "banned books" article rather than list this book). Another example was the controversy over whether the definition of "reverse engineering" should include the "reverse engineering" of natural objects as well as man-made objects. I have proposed that Wikipedia handle disputed items by simply adding them to Wikipedia along with statements that they are disputed and external links to websites where the dispute is discussed or debated.
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> I feel that the real trouble arises when people mistakenly trust Wikipedia because they have no reason to suspect that a particular disputed item has been censored. <

You are trying to redefine censorship. Leaving out irrelevant material is not censorship.

> An example was the controversy over whether or not to list "Of Pandas and People" ... in the Wikipedia list of "banned books." <

The list was supposed to be an example of banned books, by no means complete. There are a great number of banned books that were not included. Adding a book that was not banned at all, such as "Of Pandas and People", would be stupid. Only a stupid person was demanding it.

> IMO most people would agree that it should have been listed <

Can you find more than one who is not institutionalized? I can't conceive of you finding a majority of any group, even your fundie friends.

> it met the same criteria as many other books that were listed <

They were all printed mostly with black ink on white paper for example. But that was not the criteria required for selection in the list of banned books. The books that were on this list were banned. "Of Pandas and People" was not.

> Another example was the controversy <

The disagreement of one pathetic nutcase does not constitute a controversy.

> over whether the definition of "reverse engineering" should include the "reverse engineering" of natural objects as well as man-made objects. <

Of course it shouldn't. How absurd.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:38:00 AM  

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