“Although the bills have been amended since their introduction, they are still deeply problematic. Among other serious problems in the current draft of the bills, the requirement exists for US-based sites to actively police links to purported infringing sites. These kinds of self-policing activities are non-sustainable for large, global sites – including ones like Wikipedia. The legislative language is ambiguous and overly broad, even though it touches on protected speech. Congress says it’s trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the “cure” that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease.“
I like Wikipedia and have used it quite often to lookup info and learn about things. And when I write articles, I try to provide relevant links (often from Wikipedia) so my readers can dig deeper and learn more if they wish.
It is Wikipedia 10th anniversary this Saturday, Jan 15th, 2011. If you haven’t used Wikipedia before, give it a try. If you have used Wikipedia, why don’t you try to help a little. Next time when you have a chance, why don’t you add some useful information or fix a problem you see in an Wikipedia article. Over the years, I have added various pieces of useful information, fixed different errors, and even created a few new entries. If I can do it, I am sure you can do it too.
“Two news stories today may mean that the internet is getting a little less open. Julia Angwinwrote in the Wall St. Journal today about how the number of volunteer editors on Wikipedia has dropped precipitously over the past year. Then, Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine.com discusses reports that Rupert Murdoch is in negotiations with Microsoft to provide content exclusively to Bing, and not Google.”
Before I write about how I (a non-economist) came to defending the Nobel Prize winning Milton Friedman on Wikipedia, let me say that I have been a big fan of Wikipedia for sometime and I often link to its entries to help explain things. And , once in a while, I try to contribute to it by adding things (including new entries) and fixing things.
Here is the story. When I was doing some quick research on Milton Friedman for a previous entry, I noticed a passage from Paul Krugman’s “Who was Milton Friedman?” was quoted in the criticism section of this version of Milton Friedman’s Wikipedia entry. Paul Krugman may be a respected trade theorist, but Krugman is no Milton Friedman nor monetary economics expert as stated by this Edward Nelson & Anna J. Schwartz authored NBER working paper “The Impact of Milton Friedman on Modern Monetary Economics: Setting the Record Straight on Paul Krugman’s “Who Was Milton Friedman?”". (note: I referenced the NBER paper here because I can’t find a link to the Journal of Monetary Economics final version plus I don’t know if that version is more freely accessible online than the NBER version.)
So I ended up adding a quote from the conclusion in the Nelson Schwartz NBER working paper into this version of the Friedman Wikipedia entry. Now, that was not the end of the story because a Wikipedia discussion was started between another editor and myself which I was still responding to this morning. (note: anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, so we are all “editors”)
I hope I have not mis-characterized Krugman’s critique or Edward Nelson & Anna J. Schwartz‘s defense, but I hope my free market economist friends will help me set the record straight or improve on what I wrote in a neutral and encyclopedic manner.
P.S. I guess because I am no expert (in free market economics or anything), I did feel a little bit of “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” In this case here, I read/scanned/enjoyed the N&S paper and did what I can to defend Friedman a little. I would rather see other experts doing a proper job, until then, I can only do what I can with my limited understanding.
P.P.S. Who am I to defend Milton Friedman? Well, in Wikipedia, any idiot can edit an entry. And the fact that I am defending Milton Friedman just proves that this idiot can edit an entry as well. (big smile)
I’ve talked and dreamt about updating Prof. Cheung’s entry for quite a few months now. And I finally found some needed help to start this project.
For the next while, a volunteer team consisting of (in alphabetical order) Angela, Aries, Wallace, and myself (Kempton) are going to expand on and update this Wikipedia entry about Prof. Cheung. Our plan is to edit “often” to include our intermediate updates. We will try our best to provide references and notes as best as we can. But please note that some updates will be “work-in-progress” and as such will be a bit incomplete.
Thanks for your understanding during this renovation period.
I’ve been writing a Chinese column about “user generated media” (自製傳媒) for a local Calgary newspaper since last December. For the May issue, I talk about Wikipedia (維基百科). It is written for the general audience. If you can read Chinese, I hope you will enjoy it.
大英百科全書(Encyclopedia Britannica) 相信大家都聽過，亦知道它的權威地位。那你有聽過維基百科 (Wikipedia)是甚麼呢？它就是現時在網上最常用的百科全書。
Like thousands of Wikipedia users before me, I’ve created a new Wikipedia entry – NeuroArm. Here is an excerpt,
NeuroArm, the world’s first MRI-compatible surgical robot, was engineered using plastics, titanium and other non-conductive material. NeuroArm is a tool that aims to revolutionize neurosurgery and other branches of operative medicine by reducing the constraints of the human hand while maintaining the tactile feedback important to the surgeons.
I think NeuroArm is my third addition after my entries Kevin Roberts (a person that I admired very much) and Lovemarks.
All three are my Lovemarks as I usually only create entries on things or people that I love and admire.
My friend Austin recommended The Starfish and The Spider to me sometime ago. And I finally got my library copy a few days ago and finished it in no time. It is a highly readable book. Here is an excerpt of the book descriptions (emphasis mine),
If you cut off a spider’s leg, it’s crippled; if you cut off its head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish.
What’s the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, craigslist, and Skype? What do eBay and General Electric have in common with the abolitionist and women’s rights movements? What fundamental choice put General Motors and Toyota on vastly different paths? [K: I particular enjoy the little part about GM and Toyota.] How could winning a Supreme Court case be the biggest mistake MGM could have made?
For those that love Wikipedia and cares about its development are concernedaboutthe damaged reputation after the lies of “Essjay” (a self-claimed Professor of Theology who turned out to be a 24-year-old college dropout) was exposed.
Anyone can edit any articles and make a positive contribution to Wikipedia, things get tricky when one start to make claims of expert knowledge (as a result of advance degrees or professorship that one doesn’t have).
As this moment of crisis, I would like to remind ourselves that “The Wikipedia community encourages users to be bold in updating articles.” Next time you see something wrong in a Wikipedia article, don’t worry, go ahead and be bold in fixing the article to make it better.
Read this interesting piece from Washington Post “Open Call From the Patent Office“. Looks like the USPTO is trying some thing interesting here. Following is an excerpt,
The government is about to start opening up the process of reviewing patents to the modern font of wisdom: the Internet.
The Patent and Trademark Office is starting a pilot project that will not only post patent applications on the Web and invite comments but also use a community rating system designed to push the most respected comments to the top of the file, for serious consideration by the agency’s examiners. A first for the federal government, the system resembles the one used by Wikipedia, the popular user-created online encyclopedia.
“For the first time in history, it allows the patent-office examiners to open up their cubicles and get access to a whole world of technical experts,” said David J. Kappos, vice president and assistant general counsel at IBM.