[nSLUG] Wikipedia (Was: "Cat5e vs Cat6")
ak621 at chebucto.ns.ca
Tue Nov 3 10:31:00 AST 2009
On Mon, 2 Nov 2009, Daniel Morrison wrote:
> 2009/11/2 Richard Bonner <ak621 at chebucto.ns.ca>:
>> *** A number of years ago in the U.S., Wikipedia was used to falsely
>> discredit some political rival. I don't remember the details, but
>> believe that some page on some politician was subtly altered to imply
>> negative things.
>> Until they get complete control over it, there's a good reason I
>> call it "Why? Ki-pedia".
> But who is "they"?
*** Those that have the website.
> And... if "they" had complete control over it, it
> wouldn't be wikipedia, would it? It would be another commercial
> encyclopedia, and it wouldn't be free.
*** Not necessarily.
> I'm not saying Wikipedia is perfect. There is a price to pay for a
> comprehensive, free, modern knowledge database.
*** I agree. However, I believe that the true price has not yet
been revealed, and I believe that price will be a negative one in too
>> That problem isn't unique to Wikipedia. That's why journals,
>> newspapers etc. publish retractions.
> *** Does Why?-Ki publish them?
> Um, it's called the "history" tab, which shows every change ever made
> to any article. Also, there is the "talk" page, wherein there is
> discussion regarding changes. Far more accessible than a tiny "oops we
> made a mistake" in some future edition of a print publication.
*** Sounds good. Thanks for the heads up on those points. I rarely
use the service other than as a basis to look elsewhere.
>> Wikipedia even cites Britannica. Obviously, the printed Britannica in
>> your parent's basement has no such update.
> *** No, but at least it had editors overseeing every scrap of
> information going into it.
> You just don't get it, do you. There is an editor overseeing^H^H^H
> creating every scrap of information going into wikipedia. There is, in
> fact, orders of magnitude more of them. They're called "the public".
> Granted, they may have fewer scruples and more bias or blatant bad
> intent then many scholars.
*** ... and that is exactly my problem.
> But there are no guarantees in life. Do you
> believe everything written in Britannica? You shouldn't. How about
> everything in the Chronicle Herald? Yeah, right.
*** I have far more belief in Britannica than in daily newspapers,
especially since the latter's journalistic standards have fallen so
much in the past decade or so.
> Again: Wikipedia isn't perfect. But it's an incredibly large and
> diverse public database of information that is freely accessible to
> everyone. No, you shouldn't blindly believe everything written in it.
> But you shouldn't blindly believe anything written by someone else. If
> you want guarantees that your information is 100%, there is only one
> way: research the topic yourself.
*** Which is what I do. Of course, Why?-Ki turns up often during
that research, so it's hard to ignore.
Again, my problem is that too much of the public *will* believe
what is written there as the truth.
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