The Codex of Editable Wisdom


What might *really* be wrong w/the Codex: it isn't like Wikipedia

AngusM October 3, 2010 User blog:AngusM

Yesterday I posted a blog about what I feel might be a fundamental problem with the Codex, and the feedback was pretty negative. I've now come to realize that I arrived at that thinking by trying to rationalize the discipline that Wikipedia has with all their policies, which don't seem to make a lot of sense to me.

Reverse engineering an ideology

Like I said, Wikipedia has all these policies, and I don't see why they are necessary. I do feel that the WP guys know something at that we don't, and I'd like to know what that is. In trying to work out how material could be objectionable, when it isn't erroneous, speculative, subjective, profane, defamatory or giving away of state secrets, I came to realize that it might be in publishing spoilers and proto-spoilers. This was the best rationale I could produce.

What Wikipedia seems to know

Let's look at some of the banners that WP puts up on their articles to flag potential problems:

This article contains instructions, advice, or how-to content

Whatever's wrong w/that, we should figure it out, because this happens a plenty here.

This article reads more like a story than an encyclopedia entry

Maybe that's a problem for WP, and less so in a wiki full of narrative.

This article reads like an obituary


This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary and should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context

Surely this isn't a problem here.

This article is written like a travel guide and may require cleanup

At first glance, this seems highly irrelevant to the Codex, but when you think about it, the whole thing might be something a lot like a travel guide. Check out how they expand on this problem (see 2. Travel guides.)

Now how all these things offend WP's dignity isn't obvious to me (except that little joke I put in the 2nd to last). The best I could do was in yesterday's blog, and it seems that I didn't exactly nail it there.

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