Dr. Philip Goff, Will Academia Get Beyond Materialism? |409|

When one tenders an authoritative claim
So, TES, I am not conscious of Wikipedia making any claims of itself. Indeed it says:
We strive for articles in an impartial tone that document and explain major points of view, giving due weight with respect to their prominence. We avoid advocacy, and we characterize information and issues rather than debate them. In some areas there may be just one well-recognized point of view; in others, we describe multiple points of view, presenting each accurately and in context rather than as "the truth" or "the best view". All articles must strive for verifiable accuracy, citing reliable, authoritative sources, especially when the topic is controversial or is on living persons. Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong.

In relation to those who become contributors it says:
Respect your fellow Wikipedians, even when you disagree. Apply Wikipedia etiquette, and don't engage in personal attacks. Seek consensus, avoid edit wars, and never disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point. Act in good faith, and assume good faith on the part of others. Be open and welcoming to newcomers. Should conflicts arise, discuss them calmly on the appropriate talk pages, follow dispute resolution procedures, and consider that there are 5,863,094 other articles on the English Wikipedia to improve and discuss.

It does strike me that those who abuse the intent of Wikipedia should not become the poster children for it - but be taken to be the naughty children they are - notwithstanding they inhabit grown up bodies.

The authors/editors of pages are the ones who 'tender an authoritative claim', perhaps out of habit rather than intent. I see Wikipedia as a play ground for grown ups, but which sadly lets children with PhDs in as well. That might be a weakness for those who want reliable truth claims - but I ignore then hotly contested areas and prefer alternative sources/
 
I don't understand who else would we "blame." it's kind of like saying don't blame the catholic church.
Come on Alex, this is not even an oranges and lemons comparison. Its oranges and a lump of coal. The Catholic Church makes authoritative statements. Wikipedia does not. If the Catholic church was like Wikipedia then all priests could say whatever they thought (way more Anglican) - no actually - any congregant could give an opinion - and the Pope would have to cop it as official thought.

If we followed your logic, we could blame you for what people write on this forum. How'd that go down? Wikipedia is doing the same thing you are, essentially.
 
In relation to those who become contributors it says:
Respect your fellow Wikipedians, even when you disagree. Apply Wikipedia etiquette, and don't engage in personal attacks. Seek consensus, avoid edit wars, and never disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point. Act in good faith, and assume good faith on the part of others. Be open and welcoming to newcomers. Should conflicts arise, discuss them calmly on the appropriate talk pages, follow dispute resolution procedures, and consider that there are 5,863,094 other articles on the English Wikipedia to improve and discuss.
Jimmy Wales certainly did not appear care a jot about those guidelines in one tiff that I became aware of:

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-44495696


Piers Robinson, Tim Hayward, Craig Murray, Neil Clark are all people I follow and trust on Twitter. Robinson & Hayward are academics.

George Galloway is a controversial figure in UK politics/media, but I have no doubt that he is telling the truth here. Wales doesn’t seem to align with Wikipedia’s moral code. Whether he had or now has much to do with the runnings of the site, he surely was aware at the time and could have done something about it. He is a shady character imo, and that shadiness appears to be alive and well. I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if British establishment agencies weren’t directing certain topics or individuals.
 
I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if British establishment agencies weren’t directing certain topics or individuals.
I have no doubt that Wikipedia is being used as a platform by these - any many other- clowns. This is why I don't rely on Wikipedia for anything that is so contestable. There are apparently over 5 million articles and I am pretty confident that these idiots have no interest in the things I look up.

I am quite serious about calling the people who muck around with fake entries as childish and idiots. There's a certain desperate passion to distort what is true for an intended gain that strikes me as singularly spiritually immature. But because what interest me is so remote from that realm I have no sense that any of it impinges upon my use of Wikipedia.

I see Wikipedia as a good, and if that means it has to sacrifice 5% of its capacity to distract these passionate idiots, that's a small price to pay in this age of rampant social media (of which Wikipedia is a form). I feel for the likes of Rupert Sheldrake, who has his bio massaged to diminish his attainments. That's childish and petty and I do think Wikipedia should put a lock on content when a definitive author has asserted a position. For example I do think that Sheldrake should be able to lock his CV, and if he is thought a liar then linked comments can be made.

The problem with Wikipedia is that people can go in and alter texts as editors for evil purposes. But if you understand that's what happening why is a problem. Its like complaining that a letters to the editor page is not a reliable expression of news - who'd think that any way?

There are lots of contested domains. There are just somethings you can't get from Wikipedia - get over it. Go look elsewhere and stop griping. One of my friends is seized by the Trumpian idiocy of saying mainstream media is 'fake news' and always lies. So I ask her what she complains. Just get your news from somewhere else. I don't agree with her, but then what I expect from mainstream media may not be what she expects.
 
There are lots of contested domains. There are just somethings you can't get from Wikipedia - get over it. Go look elsewhere and stop griping. One of my friends is seized by the Trumpian idiocy of saying mainstream media is 'fake news' and always lies. So I ask her what she complains. Just get your news from somewhere else. I don't agree with her, but then what I expect from mainstream media may not be what she expects.
The thing is, that very often the areas that are contested are those that matter! Does it matter whether someone looking for a fact about a birds habitat or the mass of the sun comes away satisfied or not, the consequences are hardly relevant. But if someone uses Wikipedia to source ‘facts’ over which to make a decision on voting for a party which wants to bomb Syria or another that doesn’t, the consequences may be enormous.

Are you saying that simply being aware of such truths is enough? That there’s little that can be done? That we should just...‘Go look elsewhere and stop griping.’

For now I will continue to post my thoughts on Facebook and elsewhere, seeking to make wise choices. It’s not much, it may in fact be harmful in some roundabout way for all I know, but it is the best I can do.
 
we describe multiple points of view, presenting each accurately and in context rather than as "the truth" or "the best view". All articles must strive for verifiable accuracy, citing reliable, authoritative sources, especially when the topic is controversial or is on living persons. Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong.
I am a counter-intelligence trained mind - I look into the layers beneath the prima facia, the act, the claim. What humans say, and what humans do, are not the same thing - this is the third certainty behind death and taxes.

'I possess no evidence, I hold no evidence other than precisely 'interpretation and opinion' (which does not belong) - however, I can group with others and we provide as recitation, each other - then use that as Wikipedia-compliant authority, in order to declare that as the 'skeptic' viewpoint'. - And that is given equal relevance with fact, truth, observation and direct testing. See The Tower of Wrong: The Art of the Professional Lie.

By promoting opinion of a modus tollens, modus absesns or raising question about a person's sanity or character: ('Are they a killer? We do not know...' that is simply one viewpoint') as being 'the counterview' - that IS the manufacturing of a claim by Wikipedia. Manufacturing arguments from thin air.

One example can be found here: Deconstructing the Rhetoric around What Constitutes Pseudoscience. In this example, in the recitations given inside of 'Wikipedia: Pseudoscience', cruxial to our debate we hold even here! In the following example, ZERO actual evidence was provided, and what little evidence was provided, did not back up the claim that was foisted by Wikipedia:

Recitations: 75 – 85
a. In club recitations from 8 specific people and their acolytes or replicated materials: 45 – 50 (all of which replicate or simply restate and circularly reference each other)
b. Contradicting recitations or references (instances where the author does not agree with the entirety of the above definition and is falsely touted as a supporting recitation): 30 – 45
Specious References (not specific to recitation or so general as to be useless fodder and dunnage): 35 – 45

The Wikipedia words sound great but - this can be gamed and exploited - this is what I write about, Ignorance as a result of gaming. This is the essence of any agency-controlled media:

Ultracrepidarian - an expression for someone who insists upon tendering an opinion on things, or even or a single topic they know little or nothing about. A group or media entity who saturates available information with worthless, misinforming, disinforming, mis-sense, nonsense, incoherent or other ignoratio elenchi opinion, passed as in-club recitation authority, in order to obfuscate or squelch the argument surrounding an issue.​
 
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Come on Alex, this is not even an oranges and lemons comparison. Its oranges and a lump of coal. The Catholic Church makes authoritative statements. Wikipedia does not. If the Catholic church was like Wikipedia then all priests could say whatever they thought (way more Anglican) - no actually - any congregant could give an opinion - and the Pope would have to cop it as official thought.

If we followed your logic, we could blame you for what people write on this forum. How'd that go down? Wikipedia is doing the same thing you are, essentially.
I am responsible for what people write... that's why David and I moderate.
 
Are you saying that simply being aware of such truths is enough? That there’s little that can be done? That we should just...‘Go look elsewhere and stop griping.’
No. I am saying what is is. Wikipedia is what it is, and it is unfair to mischaracterise it. I get that the most contested realms ar often the most intriguing, but then, relying on any single source is a precarious route to truth. I don't bother with Wikipedia under these conditions because i don't know the integrity of the post. My inclination is to get a picture of then lay of the land via multiple media sources and try to figure out who has integrity. That can take weeks or months. Sometimes I shelve an interesting theme for 6 months or more until the ruckus has calmed down and more temperate commentators have emerged.

There is no point in being impatient to know. By all means check out Wikipedia but be aware of the risks if the theme has attracted the passions of ideologues. If folk are playing by the rules there will be a respectful exploration that may be worth following. My issue is with the bad faith actors who lack the maturity and integrity to play by the rules. The moment they come into play its time to ignore them and look elsewhere.
 
I am responsible for what people write... that's why David and I moderate.
My point precisely. What you guys do makes this forum so valuable. But you are responsible for the manners and not the content. Keeping the peace is not the same thing as assuring what is written is true or right.

This not Wikipedia's model - its not a forum. We can argue whether the Wikipedia model works for all cases, and whether that's a good thing. I think they should lock content but the technical difficulties of doing so may be beyond their means. For example I think Sheldrake should be able to post his CV and not have it changed. But how would that be policed without the resources of Facebook or Google?

I like what Wikipedia does and I see it as a bold experiment that mostly works. I can't get overly excited about the louts who violate the spirit and the rules. I contribute a modest sum each month because I value what I can get from it. I am motivated to think through what it does for that reason.
 
The Wikipedia words sound great but - this can be gamed and exploited - this is what I write about, Ignorance as a result of gaming. This is the essence of any agency-controlled media:
Maybe Wikipedia, as concept, is too grown up for our culture. I agreed its content can be gamed and exploited. But of the 5 million odd entries what portion of the content would that be - and how would this compare to the gaming and exploitation of 'reliable' encyclopaedias dominated by materialistic and conventional thought?

What we are induced to think of as 'safe' and 'reliable' knowledge is nothing of the sort - look at how contested history is in general, and then think about archaeology and the origins of humanity. Do we succumb to the privileged discourses or do we dwell in uncertainty?

The English philosopher John Gray ( I won't give the Wikipedia link) dismantles Western thought in a way that has left me profoundly doubtful of anything that is asserted as 'true'.

So my question to you, TES, is what is the exemplar against Wikipedia fails to match up?
 
No. I am saying what is is. Wikipedia is what it is, and it is unfair to mischaracterise it. I get that the most contested realms ar often the most intriguing, but then, relying on any single source is a precarious route to truth. I don't bother with Wikipedia under these conditions because i don't know the integrity of the post. My inclination is to get a picture of then lay of the land via multiple media sources and try to figure out who has integrity. That can take weeks or months. Sometimes I shelve an interesting theme for 6 months or more until the ruckus has calmed down and more temperate commentators have emerged.

There is no point in being impatient to know. By all means check out Wikipedia but be aware of the risks if the theme has attracted the passions of ideologues. If folk are playing by the rules there will be a respectful exploration that may be worth following. My issue is with the bad faith actors who lack the maturity and integrity to play by the rules. The moment they come into play its time to ignore them and look elsewhere.
It’s not that I’m impatient Michael, I think a useful jig saw ‘picture’ is made up of many parts. However, many people assume that Wiki gives an accurate ball park idea of everything, and it definitely doesn’t. People look to it for quick answers to everything, the vast majority simply don’t have the time that I have, so it’s understandable.

When the ‘bad faith actors’ turn out to be one of the inventors, (Jimmy Wales imo) I have to seriously question where the integrity in the site is found. I totally agree that this is one aspect of Wikipedia and that shouldn’t detract from the millions of honest contributions therein. Like individuals, we should accept their bad bits as well as their good - sometimes truly awesome bits.

Probably I’m sensitive to the ‘bad’ because that’s where my interests often lie.
 
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But of the 5 million odd entries what portion of the content would that be - and how would this compare to the gaming and exploitation of 'reliable' encyclopaedias dominated by materialistic and conventional thought?
What portion of our DNA SNP base determines who we are? What moves the horse? What lights off a nuclear weapon? What determines the outcome of a football match? What causes cancer to trick the immune system of the body? A whole legal contract turns on the selection or definition of one key term.

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language." ~Wittgenstein​

Remember it is not the mass of facts we carry in tow, rather a simple few minor features which we 'tweak' which determine our true differentiable nature. If I cite off 99 facts, which everyone knows, and slip in one lie - I am defined only by that lie in terms of my impact upon the world. Wikipedia cheats on the critical matters upon which it needs to cheat, nothing more.

For instance - the definition example above wherein they foist a corruption of the word 'Pseudoscience' - allowing it to be defined as a disdained 'subject' and not 'a set of methods/assumptions which masquerade as representing science' - in this way, rather than fake skeptics (who employ corrupt methods which pretend to represent science) constituting pseudoscience, instead, we who sincerely seek answers in a difficult topic of meaning, and make no pretense at all as to 'representing science', are nonetheless, considered 'a pseudoscience'. Simply for the sin of the ideas we ponder, and not any pretense of constituting science ourselves. This little bit of leaven, raises the entire cake of cultivated ignorance.

An entire domain of mankind's ignorance underpinned through one slight misdefinition of a term.

That is why I said, I use Wikipedia for incontrovertible facts ... but not for objective truth, nor especially deontology, politics or the paranormal - subjects which traditional encyclopedias left alone, save for the official non-current history thereof.
 
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There are lots of contested domains. There are just somethings you can't get from Wikipedia - get over it. Go look elsewhere and stop griping. One of my friends is seized by the Trumpian idiocy of saying mainstream media is 'fake news' and always lies. So I ask her what she complains. Just get your news from somewhere else. I don't agree with her, but then what I expect from mainstream media may not be what she expects.
I think when President Trump speaks of fake news, he is talking about something altogether more concerted that these distortions of the record on Wiki. When he talks about Fake News, he is talking about the MSM in the states, that:

Ignore evidence that the gas attacks in Syria were actual perpetrated by the opposition (funded and equipped by the US).

Made enormous play of the idea of Russia collusion, when a senior reporter at CNN was caught by a hidden microphone admitting that the investigation was a "Nothing-burger" - i.e. they new ages ago that Mueller would find nothing against Trump!

Hid the severity of the problems caused by uncontrolled immigration.

Etc Etc.

Yes it is a question of scale, but ultimately scale does matter.

David
 
My point precisely. What you guys do makes this forum so valuable. But you are responsible for the manners and not the content. Keeping the peace is not the same thing as assuring what is written is true or right.

This not Wikipedia's model - its not a forum. We can argue whether the Wikipedia model works for all cases, and whether that's a good thing. I think they should lock content but the technical difficulties of doing so may be beyond their means. For example I think Sheldrake should be able to post his CV and not have it changed. But how would that be policed without the resources of Facebook or Google?

I like what Wikipedia does and I see it as a bold experiment that mostly works. I can't get overly excited about the louts who violate the spirit and the rules. I contribute a modest sum each month because I value what I can get from it. I am motivated to think through what it does for that reason.
Rome Viharo, Wikipedia, We Have a Problem | Skepticism ... - Skeptiko
 
I agree with Michael. I too make a small donation to Wikipedia on occasion, also use it for a link, and I am told that I have helped an african child to access the internet...Wikipedia does not seem open-minded or deliberately contentious, especially on controversial subjects, it is mostly dismissive. This is irritating but does it need to be more? That would be like expecting a child's encyclopedia to provide information on guerrilla warfare.

I am sorry they are hostile to individuals, humans are. I don't take it so seriously and if you feel threatened, then first de-throne the tyrant in your own mind. If it has influence, then by its fruits it shall be known.
 
I don't dispute there are problems with the Wikipedia content. I do dispute that Wikipediais responsible. It is a radical good faith experiment in open and collaborative knowledge/opinion sharing that is abused by immature intellects. I think it is fair to critique their model and approach, so long as we do so from a position of knowing what the intent is, and what the constraints are. Make a monthly donation to the cause because I do believe that the intent and the model is a noble one. Whether it endures the offences and injuries perpetrated by the intellectual louts is another matter. Maybe, as a culture, we are too immature, yet, for this kind of enterprise. It would a sad thing if the mental adolescents took down something designed for grown ups.
 
Most institutional ideas are corruptible, even while the principle is good. Education for eg is liable to manipulate future adults to comply, but without an education people are ignorant and compliant without options.
 
it is mostly dismissive. This is irritating but does it need to be more? That would be like expecting a child's encyclopedia to provide information on guerrilla warfare. I am sorry they are hostile to individuals, humans are. I don't take it so seriously and if you feel threatened, then first de-throne the tyrant in your own mind. If it has influence, then by its fruits it shall be known.
You are incorrect. No, the problem does not reside with the critics of Wikipedia in this thread (being tyrants) - If you want to be in this discussion - then please discuss the issue. Present logic, evidence, conjecture - and please resist the temptation to argue by insulting rhetoric. The problem resides with Wikipedia - and useful idiots (not meant to include those of us in this thread) who do not maintain a clear enough mind to spot its shenanigans. (A children's encyclopedia SHOULD contain an expose on guerilla warfare, btw)

Let's look at an example near and dear to the heart of this very forum. Below is Wikipedia's summary on the Explanatory Models of NDE's for instance. They use Skeptics in the Pub Psychologist, Chris French, former editor of Skeptic UK magazine, Nihilism activist, fake skeptic and 'science communicator', to summarize the explanations - under the Authority, Restrictive Control and Blessing of Wikipedia:
Spiritual or transcendental theories
"the afterlife claims of NDE researchers [are] pseudoscientific." This statement is the theme of the summarizing paragraph for this very short section. As well "Because of the vagueness and imprecision of the survivalist account, it can be made to explain any possible set of findings and is therefore unfalsifiable and unscientific." Ambiguous, equivocal and utter bullshit - a malicious misrepresentation of what science is and does; and further how reliability versus probative value is derived inside scientific methodology.
This is called Ignorance - Wittgenstein Descriptive Error - and is not just a logical mistake, but rather is defined as oppression (and not skepticism). But the subject is given nothing more than this... It is akin to using the rapist to write the police summary on the rape they just committed. Then what follows is a long and exaggerated expose on 'the real answers' (which all cannot be subjected to falsification testing, so they masquerade as science).
Psychological explanations
Depersonalization
Expectancy
Dissociation model
Birth model
Psychological explanations
Neuroanatomical
Neurochemical
Multi-factoral
Low oxygen
Altered blood gas
Other
Moreover, they fail to mention that none of the researchers in the Research section, support any of the Psychological models, even after decades of research. This would be a key point to bring up, one would think. If a knowledgeable researcher (say Pin Van Lommel) attempts to enter anything to the contrary as a Wikipedia contributor - it will be deleted and their associated email/account will be black-flagged as a disruptive presence. I am going to borrow a word I just learned from Superqualia today, anomie.

Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a condition in which a club, group or society provides little or negative ethical guidance to the individuals which inhabit it or craft its direction.​

This is basal corruption, I wish it were merely stupidity dressed up in lab coats, but it is not - it is the worst form of humanity. And indeed it is correctable by having ethical people replace those who forced it to materialize in the first place.
 
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