[nSLUG] Re: Wikipedia (Was: "Cat5e vs Cat6")

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Mon Nov 2 03:49:39 AST 2009


Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm getting really annoyed at people pissing on wikipedia.

Anecdote: a couple of days ago, I was talking to a guy who has a
couple of thousand hits on Google, viz. very minor media celeb (but,
for purposes of comparison, way, way more of a celeb than, say, I am.)

He has a Wikipedia page.  He cheerfully recounted to me how:

   + His friends had created it.

   + Other friends had edited it to add some personal info that was
     quite plausible but false and mildly embarassing.

   + Yet another friend had used his web page in a classroom context
     to demonstrate the risks of believing Wikipedia.

Of course I had to go look at the page and sure enough, it says
something about him that can instantly be verified as untrue by seeing
him in person but otherwise would be very hard to validate or
discredit.

Nice object lesson.  OTOH, if I want to get a quick backgrounder on,
say, Caroline of Ansbach or the 30 years' war, I'm not going to be
thrown very far off track if there's an error or even a plausible but
meretricious insertion.


- Mike

-- 
Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
                                                           /V\ 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^



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