citation so damn needed

November 21, 2007

I was thinking about Wikipedia's No Original Research policy, the rule that launched a thousand [citation needed]s.

I remember some science fiction book where history and archeology had devolved into a mere meta-research, collating and analyzing former historical studies to synthesize the truth. That was considered true scholarship, not actually going and digging up things yourself. (Wish I could remember the title.)

I understand Wikipedia's need to not be a sounding board for every Internet yahoo with an axe to grind, but in some ways it seems to be a ducking of responsibly. I mean, it has the right to determine just what its role is and firmly stake out a place low on the pantheon of "real" academics and actual discovery.

Quote of the Moment
Now here we are in the age of too much information. The landscape lined with guardrails. Warnings on everything: "Do not touch when hot." "Sharp: may penetrate skin if pressed." "Open with an extreme sense of foreboding."
--Garrison Keillor

Menu of the Moment
--The Gail Ann Coffee Shop, right across the street from me. Great donuts, but this sign made me think of that Monty Python skit. "Err... do you have something without cheese in it?"