Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Slate magazine: "Wikipedia's notability policy resembles U.S. immigration policy before 9/11: stringent rules, spotty enforcement."

Same topic: Scott McCloud, patron saint of webcomics (and comics in general) is "fed up with Wikipedia".

There's a lot to be said about notability guidelines, but it's all been said so many times. (Google inclusionist deletionist.) It's clear, at this point, that something should be done. But that's like writing "americans shouldn't vote for republicans" -- easier said than done. Wikipedia is now a complex society and culture, with its own internal dynamics and inertia.

Too, there's a balance to be walked, and nobody knows quite how to walk it. How do you keep major webcomics in, but still make sure Flat-Earthers and guru-come-con-artists can't finesse their way into exuberant coverage?

Good quote from the Slate article:

When people go to this much trouble to maintain a distinction rendered irrelevant by technological change, the search for an explanation usually leads to Thorstein Veblen's 1899 book, The Theory of the Leisure Class. This extended sociological essay argues that the pursuit of status based on outmoded social codes takes precedence over, and frequently undermines, the rational pursuit of wealth and, more broadly, common sense. Hierarchical distinctions among people and things remain in force not because they retain practical value, but because they have become pleasurable in themselves. Wikipedia's stubborn enforcement of its notability standard suggests Veblen was right. We limit entry to the club not because we need to, but because we want to.

No comments: