Rewriting the Gospel (a.k.a. Wikipedia)

View From My Kitchen This Morning

It snowed last night. Only about an inch–but it’s cold, so that inch will likely stick through the day.

What an amazing place I live. The snow comes to ME. I don’t have to GO anywhere to see snow.

Rode by bike to the post-office this morning through snow-covered Golden with a winter shell and a giant, shit-eating grin on my face.

For me, I tend to think of Wikipedia like an Apostle might think of the Gospel: objective truth (though written by imperfect authors and contributors). Obviously, I know that Wikipedia is far from being an authoritative. Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel some reverence for whatever it happens to contain.

So, this morning I’m writing a post for the Atlas blog about The Red Flags Rule (a 2008 law which requires companies to furnish credit to establish an identify-theft prevention program, which was clarified in 2010 to exclude physicians). The memo got out to medical professionals about the Red Flags Rule in 2008, but apparently the clarification memo has been a little slower. So, we’re sharing the good cheer about The Red Flags Rule on Atlas Insights.

Anyway, as part of my research, I dropped by the Wikipedia article and discovered that the article hadn’t been updated since before the 2010 clarification, and still stated that the law applied to doctors, lawyers, and other professions who furnish services and bill for them later.

So, I did my civic duty, and updated the article–but not without a certain strange feeling. It was “okay, this source doesn’t agree with my article. So … (Interlude of exaggerated typing!) Yup. There we go. Perfect agreement!”

Of course, I actually used the 2010 law and a 2011 court of appeals ruling as the sources for my article (and the Wikipedia update). And, of course, that’s how Wikipedia works. But it nevertheless seemed strange.

About Mark Egge

Two truths and a lie: Mark Egge is an outdoor enthusiast, opera singer, and a data science student at Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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