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Re: [Bug-gnupedia] Some ideas for GNU/Alexandria

From: Jimmy Wales
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnupedia] Some ideas for GNU/Alexandria
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 16:29:16 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.2i

Imran Ghory wrote:
> Because Nupedia has censorship (not neccessarily a bad thing but 
> a difference anyway).

I think that this is a widely held misconception, or a very
strange use of the word 'censorship'.

Let's take a really clear example: holocaust revisionism.  Nupedia
could have an article _about_ holocaust revisionism, telling what 
it is, and explaining who is for it, etc.  But it would not _advocate_
for or against it.  

Articles of advocacy are _not_ encyclopedia articles.  If you want
to build a collection of polemical essays from all points of view,
I think that's a *great* idea.  But it is not really an encyclopedia.

Of course, one need not be a complete cultural relativist to
understand that there will always be some controversial topics, or
"fresh" topics, in which after 20 or 100 years, it will be better
understood that the consensus view was _itself_ a form of polemics.

But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try, as much as possible,
to avoid the 'censorship' inherent in polemics, and stick as closely
as possible to a true 'encyclopedic' style.

Nupedia would exclude ads for Microsoft products, short stories,
novels, plays, polemical essays, etc.   But this is not censorship,
it is simply sticking to the idea of an _encyclopedia_, rather than
a _library_.


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