Monday, June 20, 2005

Wikipedia exercise: Mukhtaran Bibi

Drilling backward from one of my referrals, I was interested to find that this site was the first hit on someone's Google search for "Mukhtaran Bibi story." The fascinating part is that if any site should be first it should be that of Tom Watson, which appears at #7, after the NY Times and a few other references. Go figure.

Events such as this give me hope that computers and technology a still a long way off when it comes to matters of human reason and judgement. Wonderful tools they, but like dogs that are bred to assist in the herding of sheep, they will always remain in the role of impressive tools, designed to make human efforts a bit easier, but not to the point that humans will not be needed for control. Whew...

Meantime, the Widipedia entry for Mukhraran Bibi is a contemporary case study in how a real time, living information medium is available for anyone's use. I have not been in the habit of using Wikipedia as a foundational source for anything important, but after looking at this entry I will be taking it more seriously.

For those who don't know, Wikipedia is -- well, heck, what am I doing?
Go look it up and learn for yourself.
While you are there, take a look at the Mukhtaran Bibi entry and take time to read the details. Notice that there is an "edit" capability in every segment. Anyone can use it, but do so at your own peril, because anyone making changes will leave little binary tracks and if they/you are incorrect, then all the world can find out. Look for the "history"tab at the top of each entry to see a record of who left tracks before. My guess is that only those who really know what they are talking about, or think they do, bother to tinker with Widipedia. In time, those who think they know what they are talking about will be overcome by those who really do. Let's hope.

Here is a warning from Wikipedia:

All contributions to any page on Wikipedia are released under the GNU Free Documentation License (see
for details).
If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and
redistributed at will, do not submit it.
By submitting your work you promise you wrote it yourself, or copied it from
public domain resources — this does not include most web pages.

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