September 24, 2004

Old Geeks for Truth

Andrew Cline at Rhetorica: Press-Politics Journal says that

There will be a serious announcement appearing on this blog, and on A Voyage to Arcturus, sometime in the next few days regarding the creation of an orderly mechanism by which the mainstream media can draw upon the expertise of old geeks, young geeks, and SME (subject-matter expert) bloggers in order to improve the quality of their reporting, especially in regard to technical/specialty items. Watch for it. We prospectively thank you for your support ;-)

Jay Manifold at A Voyage to Arcturus (jokingly?) refers to this in advance as "Old Geeks for Truth".

I'm a big fan of disorderly mechanisms, myself. At least, I think it's hard to create "orderly mechanisms" that are worth more than their cost, so that the partisans of order (among whom I also include myself) need to pick their spots. Still, I look forward to this experiment with great interest.

With respect to linguistic issues, we here at Language Log have spent some time examining (what we think are) mistakes in the popular press and also sometimes in the scientific literature. My prejudice is that the best long-term way to improve the coverage of language-related issues is to work for better linguistic education, not to promote access to a better set of linguistic experts. But there's nothing wrong with better experts, either...

And heck, maybe someday a big political controversy will hinge on the PDP-9's control panel, or the instruction set of the DDP-224, or one of my other long-useless bits of specialized knowledge.


Posted by Mark Liberman at September 24, 2004 10:22 AM