Philip Roth's Squeaky Wheel Gets the Wikipedia Grease

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Philip Roth resorts to public channels to get a Wikipedia entry changed...and succeeds.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

After writing an open (and, of course, extremely eloquent) letter that was published in the New Yorker, Philip Roth got his wish: Wikipedia has changed its entry on his novel The Human Stain to indicate the proper source for its protagonist Coleman Silk. Rather than listing the late New Yorker critic Anatole Broyard as the inspiration, the entry will now indicate that Princeton professor Melvin Tumin, also deceased, was the one who spoke the key sentences from which the novel grew.

What's the Big Idea?

Roth's original request to Wikipedia was denied, even though he was the author of the work, because the site administrator claimed it needed "secondary sources." Because Wikipedia is an open-source site that, theoretically, anyone can edit, all Roth needed to do was have an assistant (one presumes he has at least one) go in and make the change. However, with enough street cred, which the Pulitzer Prize winner obviously has, not only can you write a letter and get it published in a major magazine and expect results, you can have that same letter referenced in the Wikipedia entry itself.

Photo Credit:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.