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> Article ratings system
Peter Damian
post Sun 26th February 2012, 5:27pm
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Has anyone looked at these carefully? You go to the bottom of an article and click 'view ratings' to see what the crowd thinks of its trustworthiness, objectivity, completeness and quality of writing.

I can make little sense of the results, when picking on articles that I know are poorly written, incomplete and untrustworthy. I don't understand the distinction between 'trustworthy' and 'objective'. Could an article be rated as objective, but utterly untrustworthy? Or lacking any kind of objectivity, but entirely trustworthy?

I've commented on the Ockham article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_of_Ockham many times, e.g. here http://ocham.blogspot.com/2010/06/william-of-ockham.html . There are many errors and many omissions and the quality of the writing essentially depends on your view of the Catholic Encyclopedia.

How are the lay public supposed to judge on the completeness of coverage of a subject when the whole point of an encyclopedia is to inform them about it? How can they judge its objectivity?

I agree that they might be able to judge the quality of the writing, but even this stinker http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_western_philosophy, which has a quality template slapped on it, doesn't score that badly.

Interestingly this one, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscellinus , which I can see is a combination of the Catholic Encyclopedia and Britannica 1911, scores worse than the awful 'History of Western philosophy' above. But it's quite well-written, although the style is somewhat antequated, using much longer sentences. A cursory glance shows that the 4chan generation prefer articles with short paragraphs and short sentences. Goodbye Western intellectual tradition.

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sun 26th February 2012, 5:33pm
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thekohser
post Sun 26th February 2012, 5:32pm
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I'd love to discuss this, as I've done some bit of analysis... but on a message board where I feel safer about my content.
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lilburne
post Sun 26th February 2012, 6:17pm
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It is certainly the case that if an article is readable then it will mostly be a cut&paste of something else. Once the WP editors have had a concerted go at it, the article loses coherence.

The presence of antiquated words and phrases is a indication that the article isn't complete tosh.
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post Sun 26th February 2012, 6:40pm
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QUOTE
How are the lay public supposed to judge on the completeness of coverage of a subject when the whole point of an encyclopedia is to inform them about it? How can they judge its objectivity?


Since the point of the Like Button at Faceborg is to provide an insight on what product people prefer in theory, to spam them better with related advertisements, what kind of gain is produced in voting for a page at Wikipediotia?
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melloden
post Sun 26th February 2012, 6:42pm
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QUOTE(Text @ Sun 26th February 2012, 6:40pm) *

Since the point of the Like Button at Faceborg is to provide an insight on what product people prefer in theory, to spam them better with related advertisements, what kind of gain is produced in voting for a page at Wikipediotia?

By pretending to "evaluate" these article ratings, the WMF might get some applause on supposedly trying to make Wikipedia more reliable, thus increasing donations?
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post Sun 26th February 2012, 7:02pm
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QUOTE
By pretending to "evaluate" these article ratings, the WMF might get some applause on supposedly trying to make Wikipedia more reliable, thus increasing donations?


Editor retention + evaluation = more donations

Why are people donating money to a project which is decaying? How much time should be spent telling them that only 41 cents for each dollar of donations are used for server equipment, and that 0 cents are going towards the effective improvement of a page, as everyone is a random passerby who fiddles as they like, with no guarantee of accuracy?
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Fusion
post Sun 26th February 2012, 7:47pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sun 26th February 2012, 5:27pm) *

Could an article be rated as objective, but utterly untrustworthy? Or lacking any kind of objectivity, but entirely trustworthy?

Certainly it could be objective but untrustworthy. If you put down random "facts" without checking, yet with no POV, it is objective, no? But of course it cannot be trusted.

The opposite is harder. Things can be correct so far as they go, yet have serious omissions. I do confess to having done such myself on Wikipedia. Every sentence individually is correct and trustworthy. Maybe people will say that the whole is the sum of its parts so if the whole article is biased by omission it is not trustworthy. I leave that to distinguished philosophers like Mr. Damian.
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