News is not good on the Wikipedia front. (Please, someone stop me if I start using battle metaphors to often around here…) Adam Curry has been doing some self-aggrandizing in terms of his Podfathership, and now there has been some character assisination going on that has really accentuated the Wikipedia problem. Because, you see, there are now a couple of seemingly reputable reference sites on the Internet that are snatching Wikipedia text verbatim (without human eyes) to answer questions people pose.
…the bigger problem is that Wikipedia is so often considered authoritative. That must stop now, surely. Every fact in there must be considered partisan, written by someone with a confict of interest. Further, we need to determine what authority means in the age of Internet scholarship. And we need to take a step back and ask if we really want the participants in history to write and rewrite the history. Isn’t there a place in this century for historians, non-participants who observe and report on the events?
That is the critical question. What does authority mean in the age of Internet scholarship? (I just want to ask questions today, not attempt to answer them. I’m tired.)
And so the disruption goes…
UPDATE: See this NY Times Lesson Plan on the Wikipedia woes.