The Wiki Defense

Cyclist Floyd Landis did something interesting when he was accused of doping. He used what has come to be called the Wiki Defense. Columbia Journalism Review writer Jennifer Hughes reports that Landis posted all 300-plus pages of his test result to the Web in the hopes of finding an expert (or rather that an expert would find him) to explain what he saw as false-positive results.

The CJR article is chiefly interested in how this has made journalists reconsider tests that were once considered foolproof. I mention it because it is another cultural example of distributed thought. Like the Wikipedia, this defense strategy asks people to volunteer their time and attention–the difference is that in this case, it is not for the common good but for the good of Landis. Has he co-opted the Wiki model for his own good?


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