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Re: <nettime> The strange love affair of Wikipedia and EGS
E. Miller on Fri, 23 Jun 2006 21:09:56 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> The strange love affair of Wikipedia and EGS


If I might play the contrarian for a moment...

lotu5 brings up another wonderful example of the issues that have kept
Wikipedia in the news lately.  Social dynamics and Neutral Point Of View
(NPOV) are huge issues on Wikipedia impacting credibility and quality, and
there are certainly participants who have agendas that should be disclosed.
So I went to check out the articles.

In the spirit of encouraging transparency and NPOV, it's worth noting that a
user with the handle of lotu5 has been an active advocate for EGS in the
Wikipedia talk and discussion forums, and was/is enrolled as a student at
EGS.  The casual reader of the original written-in-the-third-person Nettime
post may be forgiven for missing these bits of particularly relevant POV
information, possibly because they wasn't mentioned in the post.  At all.

>> Also, if political controversy is the question, EGS is a university, not a
>> very politically controversial subject at all.

This statement dodges the true issue a bit; The status of EGS as a
university is relatively clear, but the stature is a bit more controversial,
and that probably engenders differences of opinion on Wikipedia.  To me,
there's a gap between the way that EGS presents itself and the number of
neutral, verifiable, and trustworthy third-party references that establish
credibility.  And the diploma-mill-like generic name and logo don't help
much, either, nor do contributions and verbal attacks on Wikipedia that are
stylistically akin to the tactics of Scientologists or Karl Rove.  They may
be brilliant philosophers at EGS but there's a remarkable lack of
marketing/PR savvy.

And for the record: I had not seen nor read these Wikipedia articles &
discussions before yesterday.  I briefly looked into studying at EGS a
couple years back, seemed like a great concept and fantastic lecturers but
the email I got back from Prof. Schirmacher at EGS made it clear to me that
the school's pedagogy isn't particularly anchored in encouraging a diversity
of viewpoints; in my case, he said (paraphrased) that he didn't want anyone
who thought like an American.  I was quite charmed [disclosure:
facetiousness.]   So the reader is invited to draw their own conclusions
about my particular inclinations, opinions, and biases -- and to assess my
credibility accordingly.

Eric


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