Salt, China, and Wikipedia

Slate has a post up on the abolition of the Chinese salt monopoly, and they are amazed  that something that has existed for 2,600 years is now being abolished. It’s just a short little piece and there is no harm to it, but there is a “China changes after thousands of years of not changing” vibe to it. I was thinking of doing a short post on how complex the history of salt in China actually is. I quickly found out that. Wikipedia has a very nice entry on Salt in Chinese History . If you look at the Talk page you will see that

 ??? This article has not yet received a rating on the project’s quality scale.
 ??? This article has not yet received a rating on the project’s importance scale.

in other words, it is not a typical Wikipedia entry and they could not figure out what to do with it.  In fact it is rather well-done, and summarizes most of the existing English-language literature. A lot of this has been done by a Canadian named Madalibi and someone named CWH, who I assume is Constance Wilhelmina Haversack . CWH has over 10,000 edits, and if you look at a lot of them they have no rating, as if Wikipedia’s hive mind has no idea what to make of them. It’s a nice example of how on-line China resources are evolving.

 

 

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