Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Female parts, according to Wikipedia

Recently, if one were to look up Female reproductive system (human) on Wikipedia, the reader would be introduced to the article with the following two sentences:

The female reproductive system contains two main parts: the vagina and clitoris, which act main things that help a woman have an orgasm. This is when a female recieves sexual pleasure by fingering herself or using a dildo.


This was the scientific "truth" for exactly 3.161 days. Judging from the Henrik-o-meter from the month of June (as a surrogate for July traffic), we can assume that the article in question gets about 509 page views per day.

So, we can estimate that this travesty of content was opened approximately 1,600 different times.

And none of those readers fixed it.

I thought we're constantly told by the Wikipediots that Wikipedia is so wonderful because of how self-correcting it is, and how crummy paper encyclopedias are because they can't be quickly corrected the way Wikipedia can.

Well, I doubt 1,600 people have ever opened Encyclopedia Britannica to learn that the female reproductive system is dedicated to "when a female recieves sexual pleasure by fingering herself or using a dildo".

6 comments:

Anthony said...

Plus, for the last 5 1/2 hours the text was up there, an administrator was the last editor, so pretty much any "sighted versions" feature Wikipedians have proposed, wouldn't have helped.

ankit said...

Nothing can be error free...if we can't help a cause, we shouldn't atleast criticize it. If there is an error better correct it, rather than mocking it.

Gregory Kohs said...

Ankit, that's the problem with Wikipedia. You are duped into thinking that this process of "correcting errors" will lead us on a straight path to Knowledge and Truth.

Scientific studies have shown that Wikipedia is getting less and less accurate over time. When we mention these studies to the Wikipediots, they call us "trolls" and ask us to either pitch in and help, or to go away. Meanwhile, they labor onward under a software mechanism that INVITES failure.

Sorry, I owe my charitable time and intelligence to human undertakings more worthy than Wikipedia. Why not try to build an encyclopedia at WannaSpell.com? It's the same basic ontological design.

ankit said...

wikipedia.org is a big asset for us. A study in 2007 revealed that Wikipedia contains 4 errors/page as compared to 3 per page in Britannica. So, I think its quite commendable.
If you feel that there are flaws in Wikipedia and you insist in creating another encyclopedia at wannaspell.com, which follows the same design, what point does it make?

Gregory Kohs said...

Ankit, I don't disagree that Wikipedia.org is a big asset. I am disappointed and angered that it is not better managed, by people with integrity, who have experience in reference publishing.

The "study" to which you refer was not peer reviewed, and in fact, it was deliberately biased. You ought to take off your rose-colored glasses and read this:

http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/02/community_and_h.php

Now, since I've spent so much time with you, Ankit... would you mind telling us who you are, what are your credentials, how much experience you have in the area of reference publishing? It would seem that without any information like that, your opinions are rather random and unfounded.

ankit said...

Well, I got in touch with Jimmy Wales while he was in BITS-Pilani, India. I am a Final year Computer Science Engg. student.

I am not into the field of reference publishing. But, i do write for local dailies and college magazines. Basically, interested in writing stuff.

I am looking forward to make some valuable contribution to Wikipedia or atleast something worthwhile in that direction.

Are you somewhat related to Dr. Larry Sanger?