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   RE: [xml-dev] Aggregated content, fact checking, PICS, Atom/RSS (was Ri

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Which set of peers?  How qualified are the peers to review a 
particular topic?  Are they fact checking or simply commenting? 

The problem of aggregation is that it is really publish/subscribe. 
It has no means to:

1.  Vette an authority.
2.  Vette the authenticity of the item offered.
3.  Vette the facts presented in the item offered.
4.  Discriminate among these three vetted items separately
    (it is possible the facts are correct but the item 
     is fabricated; it is possible the facts are incorrect but 
     the authority is legitimate;  it is possible that there 
     are no facts, simply opinions or even art (eg, humorous 
     stories), that is, intent is misconstrued.
5.  Vette the interpretations or intensions of the presentation.

Very different actions follow-on the results of such vetting and 
they vary not only by the filters applied to the source but by 
the intent of the reader/reviewer in the context of the review 
as a speech act.

We have some stunning examples in the last American presidential 
election where in one case the article was fabricated but the 
facts were correct, another in which the article was real but 
the facts incorrect and in which the best authorities were 
dismissed and the least credible authorities acknowledged to 
meet the intensions of the reviewers.  This is politics of 
course but it is played at many scales.  If you post something 
your boss doesn't agree with in an at-will state, he is free 
to dismiss you.  Of course he can do that at any time, but the 
blog can be easily used to create conditions for formal censure 
and all he needs are a few allies to do that.  Still want to 
blog openly or personally?  Caveat vendor.

Peer review is insufficient. Too many motivations enter the 
process.  So tough as this is for humans, one wonders if it 
can be made simpler through automation.   Some aspects can. 
Those should be of interest here, not a simple minded defense 
of the technology or the act of private publishing.

The problem is the amplification aspects of the web.  Its 
advantage is also its weakness.  The argument you are making 
is that it is self-governing.   In a weak way, it is.  The 
problem is discriminating a case where weak governance is 
sufficient and when strong methods are required.  Caveat emptor.


From: Jeff Rafter [mailto:lists@jeffrafter.com]

Maybe I am not as caught up in the whole blog thing as I thought I was. 
But I thought that blogs were peer reviewed.


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