Musing about Wounded Knee and Wikipedia and the US Open

As a child and as a boy, I’d heard about the Battle of Wounded Knee, about Sitting Bull and about Big Foot, but as seen through the eyes of cowboy comics illustrators. My real knowledge about the battle didn’t amount to much as a result.

Today, reading newspaper reports about Tiger Woods and the US Open, I decided I wanted to know more about it, and quite naturally I went to Wikipedia. I found it intriguing that I did not go first to Google, and thought about why. I decided that there was a class of information where I considered Wikipedia to be my first stop; that this class was characterised by something I could not find anywhere else.

What was this unique thing? A notice that said “The neutrality of this article is disputed“. Sure, I’ve known about Wikipedia’s NPOV principles, and about the use of such notices. What I hadn’t appreciated was how important that notice was. What I hadn’t appreciated was that, for some classes of information, I would go to Wikipedia in preference to other places because of the willingness of Wikipedia to point out its own provisionality.

Anyway. I found the article on Wounded Knee fascinating, and spent some time wandering around related articles.

Talking about wounded knees, apparently Tiger Woods has never failed to win a major after ending the third round with a share of the lead. He’s meant to be recovering from knee surgery; watching him play yesterday, one begins to wonder what it would really take to defeat him when he decides he wants to win. Amazing player.

Some weeks ago I let you know that I’m a big fan of Camilo Villegas. Good to see him performing well (he’s lying 6th), this is the best I’ve seen him do at a major, and I’m going to be rooting for him tonight. Defeating Tiger in this mood is going to take something special from someone, and Camilo has the capacity. Every time he stands at the tee he’s thinking birdie or eagle. All he has to do is improve his driving accuracy, and he could be a contender.

3 thoughts on “Musing about Wounded Knee and Wikipedia and the US Open”

  1. Art, I’m delighted you like the site. And yes, I do think Ryan has captured it correctly, that NPOV tags are types of honesty boxes. But it goes further than that; even acknowledging that information needs such tags is a big thing.

    More later/

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