Thursday, June 23, 2016

'Consensus favors familiar myths': the problem with Wikipedia

"Wikipedia relies on “consensus” as the final arbiter of content, rather than a ruling board of supposedly expert editors, as in, say, the Columbia Encyclopedia. Wikipedia’s continual give-and-take corrections work well for math and science, less well for history and literature where consensus is sometimes ill-informed. Dubious romantic or heroic stories about larger-than-life figures like W.B. Yeats or Ernest Hemingway cannot be dislodged because consensus favors familiar myths."

~ Edward Mendelson, from 'In the Depths of the Digital Age'
The New York Review of Books
June 23 2016

(Edward Mendelson is, by the way, the literary executor of WH Auden.)

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