Phi Beta Cons

A Know-It-All Free-for-All at NAS

The National Association of Scholars justifies its decision to conduct an online symposium on “Wikipedia and Higher Education” as follows:

Whether because teachers fear that Wikipedia-research scants deeper and more wide-ranging inquiry, or whether ivory-kneed fact-peckers sound alarm at the encroachment of the information superhighway into the Great Piney Woods of academe, the resistance to Wikipedia is undeniable . . .
We at the National Association of Scholars face a conflict of values here. For although we take traditional stands in favor of reasoned inquiry and authoritative evidence, we also support free institutions, of which Wikipedia is one . . . we also reflect on the “all-are-welcome” notion that invites everyone to become a contributor. Clearly some kind of gate-keeping is needed . . . Ideally, the university is an institution that upholds rigorous standards of intellectual authority yet remains open to all who would willingly abide by and compete within those standards. Is Wikipedia an embodiment of that spirit or a conflation of it?

Do the wikis know it all or not? Join what promises to be a savvy discussion here.


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