Sunday, June 26, 2005

Wikipedia Sunday

Here is a list of alternative, speculative and disputed theories. An old favorite: orgone theory. A new one: polywater.

How does the Wikipedia, which anyone can edit (although a few people become banned), handle controversial topics? Suprisingly well, thanks to cultural norms and a variety of dispute resolution procedures. For instance, the list above is currently being voted on for deletion, and its neutrality and factual accuracy are being "officially" disputed. It's fascinating to see democratic (e.g. voting), anarchic (e.g. open editing) and other formal and informal mechanisms result in (usually) worthwhile articles.

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