[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Bug-gnupedia] Nupedia

From: Jimmy Wales
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnupedia] Nupedia
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 11:38:53 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.2i

Bob, I acknowledge this difference, but I have two responses:

First, I don't think that the difference is irreconcilable at all.
Many people seem to think that Nupedia has a "set way of doing things".
But, we are an open community with the freedom to experiment and
the freedom to change things.  It is true that we have started out
with a strong focus on _quality_.

Second, if 'gnupedia' (and that name will change soon, Hector has
assured me) wants to be a general repository for unfiltered/uncensored
FDL texts, that's great.  I think that's a good idea for a project.
But it isn't an _encyclopedia_; it's more of an _open library_.


Bob Dodd wrote:

> [snip]
> > > In itself, that difference is enough to justify two separate
> > projects.
> > 
> > Perhaps, in the future, this is right.  But please do keep in mind
> > that no policies of Nupedia are absolutely set in stone.  We have had
> > many debates about such things, and will continue to have many
> > debates.
> > We are interested in fostering experimental side-projects to test
> > ideas.
> > 
> > The interesting thing here is to balance many competing goals.
> > 
> > > In fact I would go as far as to say that I wouldn't wish to work on
> > > Nupedia, since the whole principal of intellectual/academic freedom
> > to
> > > write on any subject, and then to allow our peers to comment (i.e.
> > rate
> > > the material), is replaced by small panel of people "who know
> > best".
> > > You have the possibility int he Nupedia organisation of editors
> > > selecting their friends, and/or writers they "respect" as experts,
> > > without other voices being given the opportunity to be heard.
> > 
> > Not really, not if you fully understand the process.
> > 
> > It's a social process.  And it is an _open_ process.  So the chances
> > of Nupedia being co-opted by a small group of dictatorial editors is
> > basically the same as the chances of _any_ open project being so
> > co-opted.
> > To attempt to do so would mean the death of the project, obviously.
> > 
> > I invite you to come on over to our project.  I think that there is
> > at least some chance that the two will be merged.  And then we'll be
> > very interested in working on ideas which alleviate these concerns.
> > 
> > --Jimbo
> Hi Jimbo,
> I guess it's a cultural difference in how we see the role of an
> editor/publisher. I have a strong belief not only in providing free
> access to knowledge, but also in providing an un-edited/un-censored 
> voice to all aspects of knowledge. Nupedia is doing a fine job of the
> first, but not of the second.
> I should own up to a little bit of bias on this one, for two reasons. 
> The first is that my partner is Chinese. Now, he doesn't believe the
> official line that nobody died in Tianemen Square, but he has friends
> that do. Now, what will be the Nupedia line on the Tianemen Square
> "incident" be? Will you call it an "incident", a "massacre", or a
> "counter-revolutionary uprising"?  Since there is a clear difference
> between the western view of what happened and the official Chinese
> view, how will you structure the entry? Without taking sides in the
> debate, it would be difficult for anyone to produce a truly un-biased
> account of what happened. Come to that, how are you going to choose the
> editor for it? Someone from mainland China, or someone from Wyoming?
> For all these reasons, editing a traditional encylopedia (any
> encylopedia, including Britannica) whout taking a strong cultural bias
> is almost impossible. Even haing the Nupedia "community" vote on
> entries will be biased: let's be honest here, both the Nupedia and
> Gnupedia communities are basically North American/European in outlook. 
> The only way we can approach it so that all points of view get
> expressed, is using the Gnupedia (or whatever this project get's
> called, and I agree that making the names so similar was somewhat
> childish) approach, where *everyone* gets to contribute. OK, the work
> with then get rated, but it's still readable if people want to do so.
> So, coming back to my starting point, I see a large and unreconcilable
> gap between the use of editors between the two projects. You use
> editors to preselect voices (albeit with a mechanism to try and handle
> bias), Gnupedia uses editors to help rate and organise unsolicited
> entries (e.g. making sure that all entries on Tianemen Square get
> tagged as synonyms...)
> To my mind, Nupedia is one, western-oriented, narrow filter over the
> content of Gnupedia (a "Britiannica Filter"?) There is a place for it,
> but it's scope needs to be understood.
> /Bob Dodd
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail. 
> http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
> _______________________________________________
> Bug-gnupedia mailing list
> address@hidden
> http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/bug-gnupedia

*            http://www.nupedia.com/            *
*  The Ever Expanding Open Source Encyclopedia  *

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]