"the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time..." -- Kerouac

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Last class blues, part 2

This is way too down-to-earth to constitute anything more than a small part of our final discussion. Nonetheless, you probably saw this wikipedia freak-out. And that makes me think we could talk again about the rules (should there be any in a frontierland?) and the status of information in the blogosphere, a subject dear to the heart of John.

But this class likes to think deep, outside-the-lines thoughts. So play a little of His Royal Badness and think about crazy stuff we could talk about.


At 2:36 PM, Blogger John said...

I read the freak-out. I don't blame him -- but there's so much more to this. Given the context, I'm guessing you wanted to link people (John) here.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Nile said...

There's no way to read that and not be affected by his words. "I was also his pallbearer" sent chills down my spine. We have mentioned many times the potential for abuse on blogs, but nothing brought it home quite like for me.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger JPrzech said...

What about Seal? "No we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy."

At 6:53 PM, Blogger coturnix said...

Danah Boyd and Jimmy Wales respond to the Wikipedia story.

Danah's blog, Apophenia, is a great resource for some of the students' papers, methinks. Dig through the archives...

At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

The sad truth is, the New York Times and Washington Post do this too. Remember Gary Webb, who broke the story of CIA/Contra crack trafficking in L.A.?

Never an apology from the "paper of record", after they quietly withdrew their own character assassination of Webb, whose career was ruined (and who eventually committed suicide) as a result.

Certainly, the 'sphere will contain more mistakes, but it makes less pretense of pure 'objectivity'.

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

...lo and behold, as if on cue, another example of MSM (NY Times, again) getting an accusation wrong... see Colin's link above to the interviews with bloggers to the link to Kausfiles


At 9:31 PM, Blogger Christopher Michael said...


You’re absolutely right, the only difference is that with mistakes in Wikipedia I feel as though we (as the audience) truly learn from the mistakes rather than simply read an apology and "move on" to the next story. Take a look at the entry for John Seigenthaler Sr. on Wikipedia now (if you haven't done so already).

In all honesty, learning about the aftermath and the root/correction of the mistake kinds of makes you forget exactly what the exact problem was in the first place (other than a false accusation was made).

I don't mean to make light of a negative situation, but I feel that if there ever was a false accusation made that had to do with me or someone I knew (by the way, let's hope there never is), I'd want it to be on Wikipedia rather than with any news agency. Let's be honest, those "other sources" seem to get two, three, or more stories for the price of one...false accusation that is.

Then again, I’m sure this didn’t even put a dent in Wikipedia’s popularity…I’m sure if anything it increased traffic. Man, we’re all part of a vicious cycle aren’t we?

At 7:07 AM, Blogger ericdbernasek said...

Forgive me ahead of time for rushing in like a fool, but all intelligent discussion aside, what about the most immediate reaction: how do we know these are false accusations?

Also, I have to agree with Chris: if something like this showed up in MSM, it would be far more difficult (if not impossible) to fix.

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