The Book Stops Here

To many guardians of the knowledge cathedral – librarians, lexicographers, academics – that’s precisely the problem. Who died and made this guy professor? No pedigreed scholars scrutinize his work. No research assistants check his facts. Should we trust an encyclopedia that allows anyone with a pulse and a mousepad to opine about Jackson Pollock’s place in postmodernism? What’s more, the software that made Wikipedia so easy to build also makes it easy to manipulate and deface. —Daniel H. PinkThe Book Stops Here  (Wired)

This article personalizes the nameless, faceless contributors to Wikipedia. As one expects from Wired, it comes down in favor of this new use of technology, but what I like about the article is its focus on the addictive quality of Wikipedia.

He read a few entries on Greek mythology and found them inadequate. The Edit link beckoned him like a street pusher. He clicked it and typed in a few changes. You can do that?! “I just got hooked,” he tells me.

That’s part of its success.