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Re: [ARSCLIST] question about remote recordings from the 20-30s

Hello Tom

On 29/04/08, Tom Fine wrote:
> This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what's wrong with
> Whacky-Packia.
> The key thing that's wrong with it is, facts are stubborn things and
> aren't "democratic" in that anyone's idea or fantasies have equal
> footing to facts and deeply-researched and acquired knowledge. But,
> with the Whacky (wikki) model, any fool can post anything anytime,
> either because they're just a lazy fool who won't find out the facts
> but feels the need to run at the mouth or because they're a malicious
> moron trying to spread untruth (see the recent story on WNYC's "On the
> Media" about the constant war over the Whacky-Packia entries for
> Clinton and Obama).
> There's a reason that old-school encyclopedias hired experts to write
> the articles -- they were seeking expertise! They weren't seeking
> "participation" or "alternate viewpoints" or other agendas. Because
> humans and human behavior are involved, they're not perfect. But
> they're a long way ahead of Whacky-Packia and the web-rabble's idea of
> "facts."
> -- Tom Fine
> PS -- Yeah, I'm elitist. I like to research things, learn and test
> truths, hopefully talk to multiple first-person participants or read
> multiple interpretations of an event and not include my opinions or
> "feelings" in something I'm putting out there as a factual statement.
> This used to be normal, but apparently in the "truthiness" era, it's
> elitist!
I have a 1960s edition of Britannica, from before it was dumbed down.
Unfortunately there is nothing like that available today. 

A modern encyclopedia would be written by journalists and media
professionals, and the picture credits would refer to a picture library
rather than to the original source.

I find Wikipedia very useful for information on recent topics such as
rock bands, and sometimes its brief articles are a good starting point
for other topics. But the whole of the Web is more like a pile of
magazines than a reference library. One should not expect a high
standard of scholarship.

Don Cox

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