Culture: Encyclopedias: Wikipedia the free digital online encyclo shaken by character assassinations
Sad to see that Wikipedia is proving so unstable, with what appears to be a rash of character assassinations insinuated into its pages. Thanks for the Hat Tip from David Koyzis for notice of the thus-far 2-page Wikipedia Watch site. David reports that he had a Wiki biographical article posted about him (I may have been the poster; I think I did mention David in an article on Dooyeweerd as a juridical scholar who's influenced a lot of people in political science, David's bailiwick professionally speaking). David now informs that the article on him was removed because he wasn't notable enuff. The word he uses is "nonnotable."
In another case, the article to which I contributed a bit regarding Dr Albert Wolters (the Copper Scroll expert) gathered an internal Wiki campaign around it to remove it, but it seems to have survived - thanks to the alertness of Steve Bishop. Strange motivations were revealed by strange argumentations on the part of Wiki's platoon of removers. I also noticed in yet another case that a cabal of apparently atheist-Jews, socioligically speaking (and a Wiki article insists we make the distinction between ethnic Jewishness and faith Judaism which is quite inimical to aggressively atheist Jews who demand in Wiki a "neutral" philosophizing from fellow Jews; but, yes, both of aforementioned sociological kinds and divides within in Jewry, I want to respect properly each in its distinctiveness): in any case the cabal insisted on re-writing the introductions to articles on Jewish philosophy and Christian philosophy and, I do believe, Islamic philosophy (if memory serves in all three cases) to define philosophy rationalistically and without regard to the unavoidable presuppositions of a religious kind that may be rationally-based (not rationalistically but) on the inner genius of the particular religion motivating the philosophizing under discussion in a given article (pretheoretical ultimate values that make theoretical thawt possible by serving as its absolute starting point, variously in each individual case of a philosophical venture).
Religious presuppositions, whether disclosed or not, whether conscious or not, go into even atheist philosophies of various sorts (rationalistic or otherwise rational) and, all too often these days, turn up being cited as merely "a scientific atittude in philosophy," one all too often that hasn't been examined by the devotee because it's declared in advance to be absolutely neutral - thus, dogmatically asserted as non-dogmatic. Wikipedia has a whole school committed to this questionable orientation, folks who try to deploy the favoured "POV" acronym as an iron mallet on any article with a Point of View. But even beyond this Wiki cult, there are further extremists who work in Wiki to vitiate articles that start from other beginsels than their own. These extremos are a nitemare even to the smuggest of Wiki bureaucrats of encyclopediated knowledge.
Of course, it should be mentioned that when you start a Wiki article, it's expected that each of the proper names in your article may require a notation that has each appear in red until it becomes a live-link which in turn can take the reader to a new additional article on the person only briefly mentioned in the earlier context. You may write that additional article with just a little knowledge of this additional person regarding whom you (or someone else before you came along) had only made a name-mention in that earlier context. Until a red incomplete linkage is activated so as to enable the clickup a new startup article, the red name-link just sits in its incomplete state for a while. A very short article will turn off the red, link the mention to a new page with the start, however brief, of a new article. It's called a stub. A stub-article may be removed by the administration if it sits undeveloped by someone, anyone, for too long a time. As I recall I tried to get further info about David from him (to me, he is notable), but that got nowhere. I took it that he was just plain Wiki-shy, but you wouldn't assume such from his photo on his blogsite, the one with his leather hat tilted with considerable panache. The semiotics of the pix don't suggest a pesonality given to shyness; nor does his blogsite - on which I congratulate him for its elegance!
My motive at the time was to extend info about the intellectual line that starts with Dooyeweerd in juridics and political science > to extend it to the next generation of legal and political science thinkers, like the venerable Dr. Jan Dengerink, who had been tawt by Dooyeweerd. In the case of David, it's valuable to note that he was tawt by Dr. Bernard Zylstra of D's second generation. Tracing the generations of this approach to poli sci, one can then extend it to younger thinkers of the third intellectual generation and writing now as they develop the trajectory of their reformational Christian-philosophical discipline within the specific field of political science, There are a number of such gents out there now - and along with Dr Paul Marshall, Dr John Hiemstra, and others, Dr David Koyzis is one of them.
The problem here with Wiki is that it thinks far too individualistically (that is, it structures its way of thinking about article-contents far too individualistically with low regard for how thawt functions in sociologically and historically connected ways). When all is said and done, Wiki (tho perhaps itself a kind of hive mind, as some have suggested, but that's just good old Weberian 'bureaucratism') has little consciousness about the growth and development of schools of thawt, and the profound role of the connectivity of lines of thawt across generations from one historical setting to another, and internationally.
Thus, I do believe political science arising from the antecedants cited has an important future in North America and elsewhere (the current Dutch Prime Minister shares some affinity with this school), and I do think that scholars like Dr. David Koyzis of Redeemer University College's political science department (Ancaster, Ontario) are worth monitoring by Wiki as the harvest of contributions from this school of thawt proceeds over the years. I'm already scanning for sight of the rise of students of Koyzis, Hiemstra, Chaplin (ICS, Toronto), Skillen (CPJ USA), Kits (CPJ Canada), Woldring (Free U, Netherlands) to see what continuities, developments, new insights, new problems come to address by this multi-generational community of scholars in poli sci.
It's Wiki's poverty to miss out on these opportunities toward inclusion, and instead to have recourse to its fallback position of smug self-satisified bigotry based on the same old, plus being haunted by internal cults out to vapourize other points of view, especially those Wiki cults which do their mischief in the name of No POV! or the so-called religious neutrality of philosophy, etc. Of course, character assassination which spreads false statements about matters other than interpretation, invents "facts" to demean another person is beyond the pale, and Wiki is trying to do something about that increasing phenom on its webpages. - Owlb