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A question that springs to mind regarding this new Wiki is "Why not simply use Wikipedia?" After all, Wikipedia has the benefit of a vast team of editors, millions of users, and the English language version has (as of late January 2012) quite nearly 4 million articles.[1] The obvious question, it would seem, is why reinvent the wheel?

The answer lies with a couple of problems in Wikipedia's stated policy. First, and most obnoxiously, is the "Notability" policy. Designed to help keep Wikipedia factual, it ends up broadly disallowing a whole host of resources invaluable to scholars and serious students - for example, by actually favoring the usage of secondary sources over primary[2] and by requiring every source to provide "significant coverage" of the topic in question. (If scholars abided by these guidelines, a great deal of research would grind to a halt!) The other problematic clause in the policy is the one prohibiting "original research",[2] intended to prevent wild speculation; by disallowing Wikipedia editors from drawing their own conclusions, though, this policy will ensure that Wikipedia remains strictly a work of reference, and not of scholarship.

There are other policy issues than the ones summarized above. Despite proclaiming itself not to be "a democracy," disputes and disagreements must be settled via a "test for consensus."[3] (And that's distinct from a democracy how..?) These consensus-based methods of resolving disagreements potentially favor the weight of public opionion over actual expertise or credentials, which might well result in bias in favor of popular, if not actually sound, opinions.

The above brings up a final issue with Wikipedia: its well-documented favoring of popular topics over topics that are actually important. By way of example, the article on Mjolnir (the hammer of Thor the Marvel superhero) is about 2430 words long and has 81 references,[4] while the article on Mjölnir (the hammer of Thor the Norse god) is approximately 1615 words long and has 17.[5] The article on Skyrim (a video game about killing dragons) is about 4720 words long with 111 references,[6] while the article on the Völsunga saga (a legendary saga about killing dragons) is about 730 words long with 7.[7]

This is obviously just silly.

NotesEdit

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