Google supports Wikipedia

February 18th, 2010 at 1:07 pm by David Farrar

Rather pleased to read that Google has donated US2 million to .

Wikipedia is not great for current controversial issues (such as climate change or George W Bush) but I find it invaluable in many many other areas. I use it many times a day

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17 Responses to “Google supports Wikipedia”

  1. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    Not so good on controversial issues?

    Thats because by simple definition they are controversial and subject to a variety of views often extreme. And that leads to those who want to hijack the process. The price of freedom of speech perhaps.

    A bit like the religious debates around here – there will never be concensus.

    On the positive side at least I know I am always right.

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  2. Garfield Herrington (556 comments) says:

    David – I am not sure what is controversial about either George W.Bush or climate change (unless of course you are a conspiracy theorist). Google has to support Wikipedia as it large source of returns on search engine enquiries.

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  3. Kieran_B (76 comments) says:

    I have found that a strength of Wikipedia is the array of scientific sources that articles cite down the bottom of the page. Most articles on Wiki are quite accurate, and you can always check by looking at these sources.

    Most of the questions about accuracy come from the edits which state “GEORGE BUSH WAS TEH WORST PRESIDENT EVAR AND HE SUCKS COCKSS!!!!”. Those are of course quickly revised.

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  4. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    I thought Obama was an educated man Kieran, surely he can spell better that that. :)

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  5. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    Wikipedia is invaluable and proved many of the neigh sayers wrong with its open editing policy, yes occasionally people pull of scams / not substantiated material but most of that is eventually uncovered. It is like any commentary on an issue, a starting point but not definitive.

    As for contraversal issues, I would say it does a pretty good job at remaining neutral / showing opinions based on the consensus but then also having discussions of disagreeing points of view.

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  6. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Kieran’s on the money there. If I righly recall Bush’s entry is subject to very heavy restrictions on who can make changes.

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  7. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    Hmm, but the Climate Change controls go much further. Where you have a contentious subject where the data itself is subject to legitimate debate, Wikipedia so far has suppressed all discussion and debate, mainly through the very industrious Mr William Connelly. He and a legion of clones have actively censored all debate on the issue. With what we are learning about the deliberate deceptions involved with some of the science, this has shown very clearly the problems of having religious attitudes to heresy and dissent imposed on scientific subjects.

    Yes, there does need to be some form of editing control, unfortunately, however in climate change it has certainly been part of the suppression of dissent, a dangerous precedent. Hell, you get a more even handed treatment of homeopathy than climate change on wiki.

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  8. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    It’s fairly obvious for the lunatic fringe on this site, their problem with Wiki’s treatment of climate change is the careful presentation of facts, well supported, as mentioned above, with extensive footnotes.

    And this forces those people to resort to lies and slander, while all around us people incressingly suffer the effects of reckless fossil fuel exploitation.

    But so long as it’s not us white folks, well, that’s OK then.

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  9. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Luc hates the Industrial Revolution.

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  10. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    That bloody wanker George Stephenson sure has got a lot to answer for!

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  11. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Luc is a loathsome bigot.

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  12. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    I think you are being far too polite there Sonny!

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  13. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    Oh so very careful, to airbrush over distortions, that’s Connelly for you. Maybe that’s why he’s recently been banned as an editor and reviewer on Wiki ? Luc, you ARE the lunatic fringe, your whole “consensus” is falling down around your ears man, open your eyes, or is it your belief that lying in a good cause isn’t really lying at all. Because, that’s where your religion has lead you.

    I have tried to post a number of times onto Wiki the simple and undeniable fact that the Bristlecone Pine tree ring data has a poor (less than 50%) correlation with local temperature, and a better (over 60%) correlation with precipitation, and yet every time I did, Connelly removed it, usually within minutes. These were simple facts that even Connelly can’t refute, and yet it was not permitted to post these in Wiki. Why Luc, would they want to not allow simple facts on Wiki, why ? And for posting the assertion (based on peer reviewed literature, no less !) that the BCP’s were reacting to CO2 not temperature, why would that be forbidden to public view on Wiki. Not refuted Luc, not showed to be in error or overturned by later data, but simply not allowed to be posted.

    Simplest explanation ? Religious dogma, science is about facts, theories and data, religion is about belief, and that’s what climate change has degenerated into.

    And you couldn’t refute a single fact I posted on the “Hockey Stick”, not a single one, just dogma and assertion, give it away.

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  14. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Ed, aren’t you the idiot who posted the comment that without tree ring data (with the decline “hidden”) there was no blade to the hockey stick?

    And I replied that the blade is the instrumental record, not the proxies (although some proxies show the beginnings of a blade).

    Like Israel’s New Zealand based hasbara outfit, your missed truth becomes others missing truth, in your terminology.

    For a thorough discussion and refutation of McIntyre’s objections (which appear to be the source of your claims) you should read this:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/yamal2009/

    I’m sure you won’t because you are determined to career down the slippery slope of denial until human civilisation, not to mention over half of the other existing species, are truncated or extinct, but this is the crunch quote:

    The new chronology based on all of the available data up until 1990 can be considered as a more ‘conservative’ indicator of the likely history of wider-regional tree growth in the southern Yamal area. This new Yamal_All series exhibits a slightly lower level of mean tree growth over the 20th century than is shown in previously published series (see Figure above). It nevertheless provides essentially the same picture of relatively high tree growth in the 20th century in the context of the last two millennia. A number of other studies have also reported enhanced germination and growth of larch trees during the 20th century in north central Russia (Devi et al. 2008, MacDonald et al. 2008, Shiyatov 2009).

    If one accepts a link between enhanced tree-growth and warmer summers in this region, the re-examined evidence indicates that the “20th century was unusually warm” as was concluded in our previous publications (e.g. Briffa et al. 2008, p2281).

    Any breakdown in scientific consensus is only in your imagination, and that of others on this site who are given free rein to, amongst other things, advocate the genocide of all Muslims. You keep such lovely company.

    Here is the fact I take note of: nearly all of our climate scientists are telling me the planet is warming to a dangerous, for humans, level, and it is caused by our activities, and we should do something about that.

    End of story.

    It’s like my accountant telling me I should pay my GST bill or I could eventually go to jail.

    I take their advice because they have credibility and I don’t like their projected consequences. If it turns out I can defraud the IRD with impunity, and that the planet is really cooling, not warming (although isn’t that also bad?) I will have words to say, for sure.

    You and your odd mixture of denialists just don’t have street cred, sorry.

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  15. Nil Einne (20 comments) says:

    Yeah the scientific consensus is breaking down. That’s why the vast majority of national science academies of the developed world and many of the developing world still support the existance of a consensus. Oh wait…

    As several people have said, wikipedia usually does fine on many controversial topics particularly those where the science or evidence is very firmly on one side. Not perfect but that’s an unreasonable expectation. Most people who complain it doesn’t are those with an obvious bias of their own who aren’t happy that wikipedia gives due weight and therefore gives little credance to their pet conspirary theory or pseudoscientific POV, be it on climate change, September 11, JFK, homeopathy, vaccines, GWB, Obama’s citizenship, evolution, the speed of light, aliens, the moon landings, free energy, Diana, naked short selling, the age of the earth, mobile phone, powerline radiation, complex numbers or neuro-linguistic programming. Note that I have a reasonable mix of things which both those commonly considered the far-right and those commonly considered the far-left tend to cling to. As well as a few people unfamiliar with wikipedia may not recognise.

    If you want to complain, the bigger problem comes when the evidence is far more confusing, particularly areas that are less scientific and more social although even then it often does an okay job. Those controversial areas without a wide interest (or at least without a wide interest from the developed anglophone world) or with a strong developing-developed or English-non English bias are probably the most problematic (for obvious reasons, the English wikipedia will usually reflect the views of the developed and/or English speaking world more strongly so systemic bias can come in when such a natural bias exists).

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  16. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    “That’s why the vast majority of national science academies of the developed world and many of the developing world still support the existance of a consensus. Oh wait…”

    What parallel universe do you live in?

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