Friday, May 26, 2006

So some conspiracy theorists have written an essay accusing Wikipedia of suppressing alternative viewpoints. What has happened is that both sides have overstepped the bounds of common sense and fairness, which is not good for either side. Ideologues within Wikipedia, one of which (incredibly) claims to work for the Department of Homeland Security, feel that any coverage of (alternative) conspiracy theories is "giving in" to something or someone.

This, obviously, is stupid and short-sighted since Wikipedia's entire raison d'etre is to document different viewpoints. Of course, the people with whom I'm dealing tend to think that Wikipedia's raison d'etre is to proclaim the monolithic Truth (with a capital T) and to vanquish the ignorant, which tends to be those who disagree with them. I find this view to be indistinguishable from religious fundamentalism. One could call it secular fundamentalism.

But, as might be predicted, the linked essay "exposing" these ideologues is less than persuasive. I find myself yet again a distinct minority occupying what is to me the extremely large and obvious middle ground between dueling paranoias.

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