By Peter Damian
Andreas Kolbe’s piece on Wikipedia versus Britannica went down pretty well, except for one commentator, who objected that “The projects in the science, logic, mathematics, and music are islands of sanity”.
Really? My own specialism is in the history of logic, particularly medieval logic. It’s a disaster area. I wrote last year about some vandalism to the article on the 13th century logician Duns Scotus, which said that in 2011 Scotus received an honour from the University of Oxford, “together with Lawrence of Arabia, Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien and living University members Rupert Murdoch, Bill Clinton, Stephen Hawking and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck”. When I wrote that, nearly a year ago, I thought it would be immediately removed. Yet it’s still there. I also mentioned vandalism to the article on William Vorilong. That was removed, but there was more added quite recently, including
…continue reading Islands of Sanity
by E. A. Barbour
For much of the 20th century, IBM dominated the data-processing field, both by control of the patents on Hollerith punch-card processing equipment and via considerable later innovation in electronic digital computers. Plus ruthless and aggressive marketing practices. By the 1960s the American computer industry was known as “IBM and the seven dwarfs”. IBM was larger than all of its competitors combined.
And yet, it’s difficult to get a feeling for this from the Wikipedia coverage of the company. Despite a 100-year history, long dominance of the data-processing field, and uncountable thousands of past and current products, the main article is only 65k bytes with 92 references. The entire Category:IBM contains more than a thousand articles, most buried in the “IBM People”, “Power Architecture” and “IBM Products” subcategories, thus difficult to find. The interest in Power Computing products is mainly due to Apple’s use of PowerPC processors in its products in the
…continue reading Elementary, my dear Watson
This week we present an open letter from one of our forum members, Mason (known as “28bytes” on Wikipedia).
Jonathan E. Hochman is the founder of a marketing business specializing in search engine optimization. He is also a long-term Wikipedia participant (since 2005!) and an administrator on the site, where he contributes under the name of “Jehochman”. As he states on his personal Wikipedia profile page, Hochman does not “edit” on behalf of his clients. But truth, on Wikipedia, is in the eye of the beholder. Hochman may not create or contribute to articles about his customers on Wikipedia *now*, but as the following will show, he has done so on numerous occasions in the distant and not so distant past.
28bytes, as the reader may recall, was the most popular candidate in last year’s elections to Wikipedia’s supreme and far from uncontroversial decision-making body, the site’s “Arbitration
…continue reading Another wiki-day, another wiki-dollar