Quick follow up to the post below on the reliability of Wikipedia entries. David Weinberger calls on expert groups to certify entries in the online encyclopedia as one method to address authority. He calls it OurPedia.
[Update: Chris Anderson, who's exploring the physics of the "long tail," talks about the probabilistic nature of Wikipedia, which explains in part its success. He concludes with this key idea:
The Web is the ultimate marketplace of ideas, governed by the laws of big numbers. That grain... is the weave of statistical mechanics, the only logic that such really large systems understand. Perhaps someday we will, too.]