Monday, March 26, 2007


Citizendium has been released in an experimental "beta" version. It will complement the original Wikipedia and the Digital Universe. Citizendium's language reflects the slightly more formal and less anarchic design of the encyclopedia as opposed to Wikipedia, with non-anonymous expert "constables" guiding and advising on the content of articles.

The aim of the project is impressive in scope, from Citizendium:

"As to quality, our goal is to capture humanity's multivarious understanding of reality, and thereby to paint a maximally broad and detailed portrait of our universe as accurately as we understand it. An indispensible means to this end is the involvement of many experts who will help guide and, ultimately, approve many of our articles. We expect our approved articles to be, in the long run, as authoritative, error-free, and well-written as encyclopedia articles can be expected to be."

This puts me in mind of the "library" in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, which I am currently rereading. I think that this is a great step forward, and it will be reassuring to know that there is greater reliability in an online encyclopedia.

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