Related Articles

9 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

That was a fairly inspiring riff on the “mile wide inch deep” problem – cheers.

ReplyReply
mygif
TheDerangedBear said on August 7th, 2007 at 11:19 am

That’s really smart. Haha, awesome stuff man.

ReplyReply
mygif
Aardy R. DeVarque said on August 7th, 2007 at 8:19 pm

Speaking as a degreed librarian (and no, I will not call myself guybrarian, libraryman, or libratorr), thank you for not only getting it, but putting it in writing.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Wikipedia doesn’t have a whole lot on the specifics of Byzantine armour, for example. ”

True, but it could, if interested people put their minds to it. By contrast, there would be little incentive for a commercial encyclopedia to address the topic in any depth, and no economic case for it. Published books would likely take the form of an expensive specialized academic monograph, or a picture-rich coffeetable book with not much textual information (and that of questionable veracity).

There are areas in Wikipedia that get into pretty deep detail. And not just about Buffy and Trek. There’s a fair amount of information about locomotives and their parts, like all the different kinds of linkage used to join train cars.

While wikipedia certainly has flaws (largely in the process area, and the little napoleons with weird ideas of what’s a credible source) complaints about the depth of coverage of topics are on very shaky ground, given that it can change drastically over relatively short periods of time (months or years) if even a single person gets a passion for adding their pet subject.

ReplyReply
mygif

Oh, also, the best way to get deep details on Byzantine armor would probably be to post pages and pages of the kind of information you want, but that is intentionally made-up and feasible, but wrong.

Knowledgeable people will feel obligated to correct it.

A basic principle of the internet: more information is obtained by asserting a falsehood than by asking a question.

ReplyReply
mygif

Jon, I’m not disputing that Wikipedia and the net in general has great potential to become the information clearing house we all want it to be – simply the actuality that it isn’t such, and isn’t going to become such any time soon, either.

ReplyReply
mygif

I’m sorry but this is a problem to be fixed by time.

ReplyReply
mygif

First: Tycho, not Gabe.

Second: He’s no fan of Wiki at all. Behold: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2005/12/16#1134748680

ReplyReply
mygif

No, Bryan, it will not happen. Not for a million years. If you disagree it’s probably because you’re not an expert in anything.

Peace out,
Jon

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments