Hi. My real name is Richard Morris. Salix alba, the white willow, is a search term I tend to use when working on plant databases. And I'm Salix alba on meta and Salix alba on the French wikipedia. I was renamed from Pfafrich in Feb 06.
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I've involved with a permaculture project called Plants For a Future. I'm intrested in creating an colaborative online plant database which information the uses of plants, growing plants and the relationship between plants. We'v a website  for the project and been much inspired by wikipedia.
On three occasions I've emailed an academics to ask for clarification on certain points. In all occasions I've had speedy and informative responses, and in one case a preprint was sent. This could be a model for improving wikipedia-academia links, it avoid the Wikipedia:Vanity problem and Orignial research. If you do decide to email an academic, be courteous, do not assume they know the in's and out of wikipedia policy, and be specific in your request.
I seem to be seeing an awful lot of name calling in wikipedia, but that I mean applying tags with negative connotations, be it applying the terrorist tag to Earth First!, calling just about anything which falls under Category:Alternative medicine pseudoscience, calling people (Jim Hoffman) who style themselves 9/11 researchers conspiracy theorist. So much effort goes into fights over these tags. Surely we can do better than that?
To me these tags represent a very black and white view of their subjects whereas the reality is much more complicated. Is there a fixed boundary between a researcher who's scrutinising the governments claims (a much needed public service) and conspiracy. Where is the boundary between Non violent direct action and terrorism.
And pseudoscience. There is an inbuilt implication that only the scientific paradigm is worthy. Even though many of these traditions have served their communities for thousands of years, had their own methods of investigation. We know so little about how ourselves work, why the caring touch can do so much. End of the day different disciplines serve to provide models of the mind, body and spirit. To dispose of one model so quickly and without thinking does a great disservice to the aims of an encyclopedia trying to capture the wealth of human knowledge.
Take Jung who studied that most pseudoscience of pseudoscience Astrology, together with many other traditions. His work gave rise to one of the first personality topographies MBTI closely correlated to the more statistically sound Big5 typography, which in turn has traits strongly correlated with gene expressions. So astrologers may have got a lot wrong, but observed variations which today are begining to be revealed by by genetic. Who'd have though it.
Often what we seem to find is odd balls who made a lot of mistakes (indeed that's the way science often progresses) but do attempt to study fields outside the mainstream, and often uncover something of worth in their travels. Edward R. Dewey is a prime example, devoting his life to studying cycles, he's recently taken a bashing from the rationalist brigade, who seem to want to deny any form of periodic behaviour, leaving us with only a list of different cycles and no overview page linking the topics together. Yes many of Dewey's theories are flawed but sometimes he hit gold.
It might be alright if science itself was perfect, but its scope of investigation is limited. Quantifiabilty works well when the different factors can be easily separated, but the world was not constructed like that, and anything really worthy of study (say how to bring a child up well) has so many interacting variables that our current scientific paradigm is doomed to fail.
p.s. my interest in Jim Hoffman, is that we were both interested in mathematical graphics and he visited my old department once.
About the time when wikipedia reached its 1,000,000 page I had an idea for an interesting April fools sub-title:
Here's my guide to where to find the best arguments on wikipedia.
See also: The Wikipedia FAQK In fact, Wikipedia is the largest and most comprehensive collection of arguments in human history
Some of the articles I've started.
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