Confused Reporting

 Posted by on 15 November 2004 at 9:38 pm  Jimmy Wales
Nov 152004

Okay, so either a reporter was very confused or Jimmy has some ‘splaining to do:

Blog owners usually don’t allow their readers to add their own comments, preferring their monologues to others’ dialogues. On the other hand, a “Wiki,” which gets its name from the Hawaiian word for “fast,” is a type of Web site that encourages active participation. It’s the approach taken by Wikipedia, the most pervasive quasi-encyclopedia on the Web. Wikipedia is free and contains millions of articles in scores of languages that pop up early in many Google searches, but the articles’ authors are anonymous and can be anyone, so their credibility is dubious.

A computer programmer from Alabama named Jimmy Wales created Wikipedia in 2001, inviting Web surfers to add articles on any topic, and they did, with 1 million articles being added as of last September.

Wales admires novelist Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Philosophy, which the American Heritage Dictionary defines as a doctrine “holding that all reality is objective and external to the mind and that knowledge is reliably based on observed objects and events.” So he believes that contributors should “write about what people believe, rather than what is so.”

Instead of gathering a stable of acknowledged authorities to write its articles, as do traditional encyclopedias, Wikipedia describes itself as “collaboratively edited and maintained by thousands of users.”

The italicized passage is quite astonishing. Even bypassing the misunderstanding of Objectivism, the only connection between reality as objective and writing on beliefs rather than facts is a negative one!

So Jimmy, what’s up with that?!?

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