I do not understand. This folly makes me want to rant.
How, exactly, could it be considered to be a "good thing" to give the people who read Wikipedia articles the opportunity to rate whether they think the articles are:
This is just an opinion poll, there is probably nothing intentionally democratic about it, and it would be incorrect to say that opinion polls prove anything other than what a relatively narrow and non-random sampling of general opinion might be about a thing.
Therefore, unless you are attempting to forecast something like (say) election polling results, if you extrapolate the results of the poll in an attempt to indicate that it is significant - i.e., that it actually means/indicates
a valid truth or argument - then you are on a hiding to nothing.
For example, surely millions of Germans couldn't have been wrong about their Austrian leader called Hitler - could they? Well, yes they could have been, and they apparently were - big time.
It is not possible to attempt to ameliorate the mediocre state of something written by the unqualified and uninformed in Wikipedia by saying "Well, it has the consensus of the majority of equally unqualified and uninformed readers (peers), so it must be true/correct."
That would be a non-sequitur.
You don't vote on a logical argument to prove whether it is right. The argument must be able to stand the hard light of scrutiny - of critical thinking and the test of reason - before it can be said to be correct/true.
"Nullius in verbo." Motto of the Royal Society, London. Take nobody's word for it; see for yourself.
I am embarrassed to admit that I had created a few Wikipedia articles and contributed to several more, before this epiphany hit me. Now I only create and update Google knols, with chosen collaborators (where I can find them) who are at least as qualified as I am in the subject in question. I became tired of the irrational, biased, self-important and ignorant edits and comments on Wikipedia, and the seemingly perpetual moronic or ignorant vandalism. In a knol there is stability and control. The quality of the result is likely to be as good as the minimum quality and depth of knowledge of the authors/contributors.
I was brought up to use and explore Grolier's Children's Encyclopaedia (a set of volumes), and later the Encyclopaedia Britannica (an even bigger set of volumes)
- from the age of 11 years.
EB could never have been able to achieve and then maintain its authoritative standing if it had not been meticulous and rigorous in its choice of academic contributors and the peer review of their contributions - and I don't mean the fatuous so-called "peer review process" of the IPCC climate material. "Scientific consensus"? Yeah, right. And I believe in fairies too.
For these and other, lesser, reasons, it is difficult to see how Wikipedia could be regarded as being able to even approach
authoritative credibility. If Wikipedia editors believe that there is some sound rationale for implementing such a poll, then they are compounding the folly. Deming would be rolling in his grave.