[INDOLOGY] Fwd: fr.wikipedia and ohter non sa.wikipedia

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Thu Jan 30 10:01:13 UTC 2014

If there is a taboo, I break it all the time.  :-)

I think Wikipedia is an amazing experiment.  It's got flaws, obviously, but
overall I consider it one of the most exciting developments in global
knowledge-sharing that's ever taken place.  Up there with Gutenberg,
surely.  I have an Android phone, which now understands spoken questions,
and often answers them from Wikipedia.  It's completely amazing to have an
encyclopedia in one's pocket.  And the whole model of globalized
collaborative writing is extraordinary, and new.

I was at a lecture a couple of years ago when the speaker was criticizing
something in one of the Wikpedia entries. I had a laptop, and before the
lecture was even finished, I had updated the Wikipedia page to reflect the
lecturer's corrections.  This kind of thing raises all sorts of interesting
new questions about the nature of academic knowlege storage and
transmission, what we trust, and how we manage our relationshop to our
sources.  The history-tracking feature of Wikipedia is absolutely critical
to its value.

There are fights in Wikipedia, of course, over contentious issues.  But the
system and the m
anagers address this issue of conflict, and surprisingly often,
​ things calm down after a while.
imagine there's quite a struggle going on right now at
about Devadatta (Dieudonné).
​ [I checked, and yes there is.]​

An indological case in point is the Wikipedia account of the California
textbook controversy over Hindu history
started in 2005.  If you click "View history" you'll see how much of a
struggle there's been between factions.  It's been stable for quite a time
now, and it's short, factual, and the emotional and aggressive language of
the early versions has been purged and has stayed purged.  Numerous
sockpuppets <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_%28Internet%29> were
active in the early years, but they were eventually blocked by the
Wikipedia managers.  I would say that the CTCHH dispute is an example of
the Wikipedia system working rather well.  It took several years to work,
and the angry middle period was unpleasant.  One has to be patient in such
cases, and take the long view.


On 29 January 2014 17:41, Fabrice Duvinage <fabrice.duvinage at gmail.com>wrote:

> Is there any taboo about contributing to Wikipedia? Though I guess many
> indologists are not against knowledge-sharing for free and improving the
> general knowledge about India, I am the only indologist/sanskritist in the
> fr.wikipedia and feel like hell about it  How is it in other wikis: en, de,
> etc,?
> Sincerely yours,
> Fabrice Duvinage
> 10, rue Alfred Mézières
> 54000 Nancy
> 0652825128
> http://fabriceduvinage.voila.net/
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> http://listinfo.indology.info

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