Wikipedia's Science 2.0 Article - I Call Poe
    By Patrick Lockerby | June 7th 2010 11:07 AM | 17 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Wikipedia's Science 2.0 Article - I Call Poe

    This article was inspired by Hontas Farmer's recent article and the subsequent comments: Science 2.0 - Darwinian Selection Of The Best Paper.

    I call Poe because Wikipedia's article on Science 2.0 is so far removed from reality that I think it was intended for Uncyclopedia and somehow got mis-filed.

    <!-- jumpto -->

    You bet your britches the neutrality is disputed!

    Science 2.0 or research 2.0 takes its cue from the technologies of web 2.0.

    Research 2.0 is a term coined in 2006 by Ray Poynter to signify market research.  Science 2.0 and research 2.0 do not belong on the same page in the same Wikipedia article.  Chalk and cheese!

    ... sharing is at the heart of Science 2.0.

    • data: For instance, we can share experimental data, so that colleagues can verify our analysis or add their own. Or we can share attention metadata for recommendation algorithms: when we develop new such algorithms, we can compare them more easily if we have a reference set of observations – much like the Netflix challenge.

    • services: In an open research infrastructure, we can mash up common
      services for a specific purpose. We can configure feeds to remain informed of new publications or events that are relevant to us. Or professionals and amateurs alike can take pictures of the sky remotely through services for remote telescope operations.

    What's with the 'we' crap?  Does it imply 'we scientists' as opposed to 'you laypeople'?  That's not science 2.0, it's elitism 1.0 ! And elitism 2.0 !

    I don't see Wikepedia articles on geomorphology which include phrases such as 'we geologists', so why allow it within the science 2.0 topic?  The more so since Wickedpedia won't allow Hank Campbell to say something like: "I invented science 2.0 and own the legal rights."

    I wonder what would happen if Wikipedia wrote that "Coca-Cola, or lemonade, is a drink made of ingredients which vary according to where you buy it."  The law on legitimate satire doesn't apply to a site like Wikipedia which has a publicly stated policy about accuracy of content.

    Michael Nielsen emphasizes that that (sic) researchers constantly run into new subproblems. Researchers often have a small group of trusted collaborators with whom they exchange questions and ideas when they are stuck. Unfortunately, most of the time even collaborators aren’t that much help. They may point the researcher in the right direction, but rarely do they have exactly the needed expertise. One of the goals of Science 2.0 is to scale up this conversational model, and build an online collaboration market to exchange questions and ideas, a sort of collective working memory for the scientific community.
    Nearly, but not quite right.  The implicature is writ large in this paragraph: there is a 'scientific community' and then there is everyone else.

    I don't want to bore my readers to death with this, so I'll cut to the chase.

    You, my reader, whatever your formal qualifications or lack thereof, are a part of the science 2.0 global community of citizen scientists. 

    You don't have to pay to read my wafflings erudite expositions.  You don't have to give three references and a blood-sample in order to comment.  Open access rules here at

    If I write a piece of unmitigated BS on any scientific topic then I am sure that you, dear reader, will be the first to jump on me from a great height.  Others will join you, not because of your reputation or credentials but from the joy of peer review - science 2.0 style.

    Oh yes! Science can be fun!

    There is a major difference between Wikipedia and - here, we don't hide controversies.  Even if I don't like a specific rational comment because I don't agree with it, or because it is rude - it stays.  If I kept only comments that agreed with me and deleted the rest, that would be intellectually dishonest - and I would almost certainly be banned from the site.

    Wackypedia, by refusing to accept error corrections 'from the horse's mouth', is in danger of gaining a reputation for intellectual dishonesty.

    I leave you with this not entirely unrelated thought:

    “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”
    G.K. Chesterton


    I wasn't trying to get people worked up about Wikipedia, that is what it is, though I didn't link to the article either because I didn't think it was very good.

    Removed. Banned user Nrcprm2026 is not permitted to edit. Hipocrite (talk) 18:33, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
    is presumably the one who asked me to re-document all the work I had to do with the USPTO to show it was my trademark.   Oddly, Science 2.0 was easier to register than Scientific Blogging, even though it is the name of the site, because Scientific Blogging had only existed for under 3 years at that time whereas Science 2.0 I had used a lot longer.

    I just felt it strange that someone on Wikipedia wanted me to show documentation to prove I should have input on Science 2.0 (and you read my comment there - it was pretty laid back) ... 
    At some point if the definition is not right, the wrong one becomes so prevalent that accuracy does not matter and I'd like to avoid that. Please write hankationpublicationsdotcom and let me know how I can help. I'm tickled you all went to this much work!
    ... when it took no credentials at all to create the original article.

    The first decade of the new millenium has generated a terrific sense of entitlement among younger people - there have been two conferences that have tried to charge a fee using Science 2.0 in their titles this year and in both cases I have asked them, since they are charging (people doing things for free I don't care about) a fee, to show they have licensed it by putting a link to this site.  And in both cases they opted to remove it - it seems they only want to use things they can get 'for free' to make money for themselves.

    Even Wikipedia is likely controlled by marketing people for other companies - the editor before (perhaps the banned one?) had placed us first under EXAMPLES after my comment on the discussion page and someone since moved us down to 16th, meaning we get virtually no value out of being on the Wikipedia page at all.

    And nothing I have ever written on Science 2.0 is under the REFERENCES.   But Scientific American, Science and Wired are somehow all in the top 5 'references' on the topic, despite doing no Science 2.0 ever, that I am aware of.

    edit: as a curiosity I wondered what they wrote about Web 2.0 and, to highlight how prevailing usage can pollute fact, I confess I thought Tim O'Reilly invented the word (though I knew CMP Media had the trademark) but it turns out Wikipedia says it was someone named Darcy DiNucci in 1999.   So accuracy or not, I may be a huge trivia footnote if a big media company puts on a Science 2.0 conference and drags out a court case while they get rich.   I assume DiNucci has not made a penny at it while I know O'Reilly has done well.
    Hank: thanks for the comment.

    I should make clear that I wasn't knocking Wikipedia at large, just this one specific article.  I make use of Wikipedia almost daily.   It is more useful than a thesaurus for finding terms - hence articles - related to my researches, and the articles in turn usually link to reliable sources.

    If the authors of the science 2.0 article had followed the logic of Wikipedia's web 2.0 article I would have no problem with it.

    The web 2.0 article starts with:
    The term "Web 2.0" is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, ... and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with each other as contributors to the website's content, in contrast to websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them.

    That fits with Tim O'Reilly's vision of web 2.0 , the most common use of the term.

    The fact that Darcy DiNucci coined the term has not been used by Wikipedia as a reason for giving that usage greater prominence.  Specifically, Darcy DiNucci's view of web 2.0 as written in  Fragmented Future was about the proliferation of hardware and software used to deliver dynamic content to users , whereas Tim O'Reilly's view was more about user-participation and open access.  Darcy's vision was accurate enough, but the idea of labeling it 'web 2.0' never caught on.  Instead, the term 'fragmented future' was taken up.

    But if Darcy DiNucci had thought to register web 2.0 as a trade mark, then the order of precedence in the Wikipedia article would be at the very least morally wrong.

    As I understand it, science 2.0 takes Tim's view of web 2.0 rather than Darcy's.   But the Wikipedia article reads less as though science 2.0 is modelled on Tim's web 2.0 and more as modelled on Darcy's web 2.0.

    The article taken as a whole is counterfactual and disrespectful to intellectual property rights.

    The whole pont about legal ownership of a registered trademark is that it is only the legal owner of the trademark or their duly appointed agent who is entitled to define the good, service, business model or other thing represented by that registered trademark. 

    If it was lawful for any person whatsoever to publish for public consumption a personally chosen definition of a trademarked term, then that would defeat the whole purpose of having a trademark registration system.

    Wikipedia articles on things which are registered trademarks generally begin with a remark about the term being registered, and to whom.  Even where Wikipedia authors contest precedence of a discovery or invention, they usually give prominence to the person most usually credited with that discovery or invention.  See, e.g. biro.

    All I ask is that the article should be corrected to give proper credit for origination and registration of the trademark together with an accurate definition of what Science 2.0TM means.

    After that, you're on your own, Hank. ;-)

    Great article, Patrick! And, I agree with your very cogent points. ;-)
    Thanks, Eric.  :-)
    Update:  some of the points raised have been edited into the offending article and explained in the diiscussion page by Science 2.0 - Darwinian Selection Of The Best Paper.
    Great article Patrick.  You really illuminated Wikipedia's problems with this subject nicely.  :-)
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    You really illuminated Wikipedia's problems with this subject nicely.

    Yes, you did indeed, Hontas!  :-)

    Seriously, Hontas: your article inspired me to think about this issue so much that I just had to write something.

    I'm disappointed that nobody complained that the Wikipedia article is obviously not satire.  I would have loved the opportunity to demonstrate that Poe's Law may be applied self-referentially when someone calls Poe as a satirical gesture.  Thinking about self-referential terms too deeply is not conducive to continued sanity. :-)
    Satire  I can assure you people who work on Wikipedia take it really seriously.  Which is what makes it all the worse when they are clearly wrong and won't let people with first hand knowledge contribute. 
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Amateur Astronomer
    Today's action at Wikipedia was just routine maintenance. It was Wikipedia taking care of Wikipedia in the Wikipedia style.

    Like any other system it has to be repaired occasionally.

    I didn't volunteer to edit that page because it would be a life time commitment of maintenance.

    We just laid down some calibration markers like the monuments a surveyor puts on the boundaries.

    The professional writers will know what to do with them. For the new comers it will be a learning experience.
    We just laid down some calibration markers like the monuments a surveyor puts on the boundaries.

    Benchmarks: in a survey 100% of hypsographers said they liked them.  :-)
    Someone has removed the Wikipedia Science 2.0 trademark reference!

    The term'''Science 2.0''' is a registered trade mark of ION PUBLICATIONS LLC
    Gone!  Deleted without a word of explanation!

    The not-so-anonymous deleter needs to be spoken to by someone at their university who knows a bit more about trademark law than she or he does.
    I am not surprised.  Wikipedia was once simply flawed but now it is corrupt.  Doesn't that Undo button on there do something?   I didn't see much need to have it in the first line but it is silly not to be noted on supposedly an authority - see the Mickey Mouse entry.   If the scam artists attempting to hijack Science 2.0 competed with Disney they would be removing a copyright from there too.
    Amateur Astronomer
    Maybe we should all start using the trade mark ™ symbol when writing about Science 2.0™. That should fix part of the problem.

    Here are 4 ways to call up the Unicode Character.
    Alt+0153 on key pad with Numlock on.
    Unicode (HEX) utf-8 Character Code 2122.
    Some versions of MS Word - TM placed inside ( ) and auto correct turned on.
    It can be copied from my comment ™ and pasted.

    It is also possible to make your own.
    Super script format on TM

    So everyone can use the trade mark symbol.
    Science 2.0TM

    Hmmm.  Doesn't look right, somehow.  ;-)

    From the edit box here you can just highlight the TM and click the Ax superscript button, 5TH one along - but all you registered users knew that, didn't you?

    Of course, the more certain option is to find the offender's computer and break his WindowsTM.


    Amateur Astronomer
    Woops, my mistake. The symbol should be ® for registered Trade Marks.

    Maybe we should all start using the trade mark ® symbol when writing about Science 2.0®. That should fix part of the problem.

    Here are 4 ways to call up the Unicode Character


    Unicode (HEX) utf-8 Character Code 00AE.

    Some versions of MS Word - r placed inside ( ) and auto correct turned on ®.

    It can be copied from my comment  ® and pasted.

    So everyone can use the trade mark symbol.
    ....or Alt + 0174 ®
    Amateur Astronomer
    “....or Alt + 0174 ®”
    Thanks Eric.

    That also works on my computer.