Friday, March 13, 2009

Defending Wikipedia

Just finished Professor John Tosh's 'The Pursuit of History'.
Within its introduction, Professor Tosh discusses E. H. Carr and his work 'What is History?'. Carr seems to have been something of a windy ghoul, but Professor Tosh writes-
"In Carr's view history is the property of a literate and powerful elite. There is no sense that history might be claimed by the disposessed and the marginal, and hence no intimation of what later came to be known as 'history from below'. "
I cannot help but think that Wikipedia's critics hold precisely the same view. Wikipedia is the only vehicle ever invented by which all the world's people can contribute to the writing of history. Inevitably, this results in confusion and error; but better for it to be riddled with confusions and errors capable of later correction, than for elitists like Carr to take a perpetual monopoly on history.


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