Who’s this Hemenway fellow, anyway?

Like a great many other people apparently did, I read yesterday’s Post-Standard column or article (it’s not quite clear which) reporting that a high school librarian thinks that Wikipedia is a textbook example of an untrustworthy source. Me, I shrugged, thought for the millionth time what a shame it is that so many people see things in only black or white, and went on.

Morbus Iff instead fired off an email to the WEB4LIB list, blogged it, and cc’ed the author of the article. All in a day’s work, until things got interesting. The author of the article, who apparently also has an alter ego as Dr. Gizmo, dispenser of not-so-good technology advice (Doc: you use a hosts file to block inline ads, like the ones I assume would be blinking and flashing at me from those blank spots in your employer’s site if I didn’t have them blocked, not to block popups), took some umbrage at being addressed by someone with the unlikely name Morbus Iff. Me, I would have just googled it, but apparently that’s not his style. Now, he plans on writing on anonymity and civility (one presumes not as “Dr. Gizmo”), starting from the thesis

If opinions have any importance, they have them only in the context of who we are and what we stand for.

That has the potential to be amusing, though it strikes me as unlikely to be successful. Shame the Post-Standard doesn’t seem to have an RSS feed: this is the first time in a very long while that I’ve actually wanted to keep track of a newspaper’s website.


Comment by Martey #
2004-08-27 05:55:29

As I am sure many of us will recall, Christopher Farah already wrote that column (about anonymity and civility online) back in February.

Also, the Doc’s advice to use Windex to clean LCD screens is a bad idea.

Comment by Jake #
2004-08-27 08:22:34

This guy is a hack technologist trying to pass himself off as an expert. On one hand he’s talking about the horridness of Wikipedia taking open source too far. Then on the other he’s writing about how you should be switching to a Linux PC or OSX.

Best advice he can give is to ignore him.

Trackback by Burningbird #
2004-08-28 21:42:29

Truth and Authority

Joi Ito points to an article by a reporter talking about the untrustworthy nature of Wikipedia. It would seem that a school librarian wrote to this reporter saying, that Wikipedia is …not an authoritative source. The librarian, Susan Stagnitta then c…

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <del datetime="" cite=""> <dd> <dl> <dt> <em> <i> <ins datetime="" cite=""> <kbd> <li> <ol> <p> <pre> <q cite=""> <samp> <strong> <sub> <sup> <ul> in your comment.