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Svip

Wikipedia

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Svip

Lately a lot of criticism has fallen upon Wikipedia, some claims it is not an encyclopedia, some says its information in some articles are just wrong and some claims its methods are wrong.

 

 

Wikipedia (pronounced /ˌwɪkiˈpiːdi.ə/ or /ˌwiki-/) is a multilingual Web-based free-content encyclopedia. It exists as a wiki, written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most articles to be changed by anyone with access to a web browser and an Internet connection. The project began on January 15, 2001, as a complement to the expert-written Nupedia and is now operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia has more than 3,500,000 articles, including more than 1,014,000 in the English-language version. Since its inception, Wikipedia has steadily risen in popularity,[1] and its success has spawned several sister projects. There has, however, been controversy over its reliability.

 

There are three main points where criticism falls upon, Wikipedia:

 

A. Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia

 

The idea is that the way Wikipedia works is simply not an encyclopedia, I personally agree with this, but I see Wikipedia as something unique, or like a new version of encyclopedias. Encyclopedia are written by people in the know (or so you may say), which is then kept static (mainly because most versions is in book form), but also the Internet versions are only updated by the people who owns it. Whereas Wikipedia can free for anyone to edit and use.

 

B. Wikipedia's articles are just plain wrong at times

 

Of course not always are Wikipedia's articles wrong, and some are quite good. But it happens now and then that the writer did not know something correctly or made something up. However, this is merely a problem to less important articles, and thus if you look for general things, it rarely happens.

 

C. Wikipedia's methods just doesn't cut it

 

Wikipedia has different methods of how an article should be written, and to what extint, how to make sure the right things happen, etc. First of all, Wikipedia is not a Freedom of Speech place, it is a Let Us Tell The Truth kinda place - if it is not true, it is not allowed.

 

These are the items I could pick up just now, I think that Wikipedia is a topic worth discussing. But the real question is; can we use it? Personally I use it everyday, and I use it sometimes before Google.

 

Though, I do not blindly trust what it says, thus I read the reference at times (although not always).

 

Related article:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Wikipedia

Edited by Svip

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TheJkWhoSaysNi

Keep in mind that wikipedia have a whole bunch or researchers constantly checking the validity of articles.

 

Try and make a change to an important topic. It'll be restored in minutes. Of course not everything is going to be 100% correct. As you say, articles can be added by anyone. Whether they know what they're talking about or not. Wikipedia is accurate enough for the most part. Since when would you only read one source for any information anyway? If it's important you'll read another one.

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K^2

It depends, of course, but I have personally looked over some articles on Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, which is some heavy stuff that a normal person should not even think about due to a risk of complete insanity, and it is more consistant than most textbooks I have seen. Some articles go into such depths that nine out of ten Quantum Physisists do not understand it. At the same time, it contains articles that are easy to understand for a "normal" person. Most of these are presise. Is it a good place to quote when you are trying to prove something to someone? Not really. Is it a good place to look if you want to learn about something new? Definetly.

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Rown

Rown rampage_ani.gif

Edited by Rown

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just another thug

I use wiki all the time.

 

Now, I would never use it as a source in an academic paper. It's not nearly credible enough. Infact, most teachers specifically say no wikipedia.

 

For my own curiousity and such, sure I'll use it. It's not gospel, but it's rather reliable.

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Mafia Righthand_Man

Lol, I like how Criticism of Wikipedia is on Wikipedia.

 

Anyhow, I see Wikipedia as a great source. There are people that monitor the major articles all the time to ensure correctness and that no one has f*cked with the articles. But of course with every internet source, it's impossible to say for sure that it's info is 100% factual.

 

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millermagic

It is a good resource, but I'm not going to use it for anything official. It is handy to use if I need to look something up quick.

 

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Gardias

I'm terrible for Wikipedia. I'll be bored, and will go look up something that kinda interests me. Then I click on a link that goes to another slightly relevent Wiki. Then another. Then another, until I'm not even remotly close to the topic I started in.

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gillies

 

I'm terrible for Wikipedia. I'll be bored, and will go look up something that kinda interests me. Then I click on a link that goes to another slightly relevent Wiki. Then another. Then another, until I'm not even remotly close to the topic I started in.

 

I do the same thing. I like Wikipedia, and it is still useful as a secondary resource for getting more information about things you already know are correct anyway. They are generally pretty good at indicating things that aren't referenced in articles, and most of the articles that get defaced are changed in obvious ways and they are usually pretty quick to fix them up again as well.

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Jay
I'm terrible for Wikipedia. I'll be bored, and will go look up something that kinda interests me. Then I click on a link that goes to another slightly relevent Wiki. Then another. Then another, until I'm not even remotly close to the topic I started in.

Bingo, that is exactly what happens to me. Once I looked up U-boats just out of curiosity, ended up reading (in depth) about nearly everything that happened in world war II, such as the Red Baron, Hitler, etc.

 

And I mean EVERYTHING.

 

As for the reputability of Wikipedia: I dont think it is reputable at all, but I dont deny that the people that contribute to it are morons. There are plenty of learned people who specialise in their fields that toil away so we can learn about what they dedicate their lives to. However there are also morons who come through to cause trouble.

 

My local newspaper (The Advertiser) does use and refers to Wikipedia in a few articles. And I dont think that a professional media outlet should be using something like Wikipedia.

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f3llah1n

Although it is not entirely reliable, not that it claims to be, I would still use it for as a first stop for looking up anything (anything which Google can't find)

 

Yes, there are some things which are wrong, but overall it is pretty much a decent source - if you try doing anything which looks blatantly out of place in a topic, or creating your own page, you will either find the change reverted or your new page slapped with a large "Speedy Deletion" template.

 

I don't really see what all the "controversy" is about, especially saying most of the news stories on it are about the same few topics.

 

Anyway, I for one will continue to use it, as any "proper" encyclopedia can have bad information in them - but for this to be rectified you have to wait until the next year, unless you feel like being a new edition every time one comes out (which still isn't that often).

 

Also, on that subject, if something major worldwide happens (such as the London Bombings or the Tsunami) how long before a large 'official' encyclopedia posting is made, whether it be on a well-respected online one, or on paper? Yet with Wikipedia people add things as soon as they happen, then over time the information is updated and re-organised, and eventually you have a very detailed, factuous entry - and you can be assured it will be only ficticous as it would be a popular entry and scrutonised at by all.

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TheRiverBelow

There was this study done by a website, nature.com, and they concluded that Wikipedia is almost as accurate as Britannica. The article says that the researchers at the website took 42 entries and gave it to experts to review. These experts were not told what article came from which source, Wikipedia or Britannica, then they sent back their reviews to the researchers. They said the average Wikipedia article has 4 inaccuracies and Britannica with 3. Also "reviewers also found many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 and 123 in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively."

 

Original Article

 

Then Britannica accused this site of being incorect. I could not find the original source for this accusation, but here is an article in Fox News: Fox

 

-Peace-

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Moth

i love wikipedia. i go there everyday just for fun or use in school for work like a project about the tiaga plains. and these projects i get high marks on them and i am ok. but the teacher do say not to use it but then again in te end they don't care if the info is right. which is almost always right, well for me at least.

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Tom Toole

There seems to be something wrong with the idea that if enough people agree on something that it is true.

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TonyZimmzy

I think Wikipedia is a godsend on the Internet, it's the website I use to find pretty much every piece of Information I may need, big or small. I trust that most of it is fact

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Moth
There seems to be something wrong with the idea that if enough people agree on something that it is true.

yeah well that a anoth people think the idea is right them it is right on wikipedia is sort of the idea why teachers and other people don't like to use wikipedia. but i do find that there is more info on stuff on subject then lets say a text book and that new info is added when ever unlike a textbook or a book in fact.

 

so like a said before wikipedia is anwsome and i use it when ever it is needed or just for fun.

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Greene

Wikipedia is brilliant for information on most articles.

It's only really future release articles that have incorrect info in them.

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Tom Toole

I believe wikipedia used to have a slogan that went something like "Free Knowledge for all" and I thought that there is a very important difference between having knowledge and understanding it.

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Canoxa

Sure I'm a kid from the, still new, computer age, but if you older wiser who were once students couldn't recur to it, why should I? For me, education isn't that much of a serious matter yet, but when it is, I don't think I'll check it. I'll just have my fun for now.

 

By the way, I don't remember what article, but I found a link to another article saying "Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, bitches".

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Canofceleri

Wikipedia is almost the website I spend the most time about. I'm a wikiaddict. The open nature of it does have its drawbacks, but I wouldn't change it.

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Moth
I'm a wikiaddict.

so am i and glad to be one

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Tom Toole

I think knowledge is not all "good". For example, I think we could all live without learning about MDMA or Autocunnilingus or Hitler. I think "the name of the rose" is about this exact subject.

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Otter

Hmm, what a grand idea. Let's forget all about Hitler, or the joys of autocunnilingus. That'll solve all our problems.

 

While we're at it, let's stop reading about the Salem witch trials, or slavery, or history altogether, because it's just so... violents and stuff.

 

I mean, sir, COME ON.

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spoof

Data – Information – Knowledge – Wisdom (in that order)

 

 

Data and information are always objective as long as the source is accurate and exact. Knowledge and wisdom are far more subjective concepts monocle.gif

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Otter

An accurate and exact source has become all but impossible to find these days. So if someone becomes knowlegable in false information, what exactly accounts for wisdom?

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spoof

Perfect Wisdom only occurs if a perfectly wise entity chooses to offer it. This has not happened so far, therefore………..

 

Concepts such as the rational economic man only exist in theory and as we, human beings, can only operate in the realms of bounded rationality (check out the Nobel Prize winning works of Herbert A. Simon), nothing is black or white.

 

As far as wisdom goes, I would posit such a thing only exists if the rest of the population on this rock we call earth agrees, I guess. Such a situation is highly unlikely to happen given that there will always be somebody who disagrees.

 

I refer you to my comments on subjectivity wink.gif

 

Because I don’t have any better an explanation, nor would attempt one dontgetit.gif

 

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SWEETSAPRIK

It's only really future release articles that have incorrect info in them.

No.

 

There is a huge amount of complete bullsh!t on wikipedia. As an example, I posted a topic on this in Gen. Chat quite a while back. It seems the source link has since died, so I'll have to quote it.

 

 

Wikipedia author: False entry was joke

Writer linked journalist to Kennedy assassinations

 

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- A man who posted false information on an online encyclopedia linking a prominent journalist to the Kennedy assassinations says he was playing a trick on a co-worker.

 

Brian Chase, 38, ended up resigning from his job and apologizing to John Seigenthaler Sr., the former publisher of the Tennessean newspaper and founding editorial director of USA Today.

 

"I knew from the news that Mr. Seigenthaler was looking for who did it, and I did it, so I needed to let him know in particular that it wasn't anyone out to get him, that it was done as a joke that went horribly, horribly wrong," Chase was quoted as saying in Sunday editions of The Tennessean.

 

Chase said he didn't know the free Internet encyclopedia called Wikipedia was used as a serious reference tool.

 

The biography he posted, which has since been replaced, falsely stated that Seigenthaler was linked to the Kennedy assassinations and had lived in the Soviet Union from 1971 to 1984.

 

The entry motivated Seigenthaler to write an op-ed piece for USA Today blasting Wikipedia's credibility. He described himself as a close friend of Robert Kennedy and said he had worked with President Kennedy. He said "the most painful thing was to have them suggest that I was suspected of their assassination."

 

Seigenthaler said he doesn't plan to pursue legal action against Chase.

 

He also said he doesn't support more regulation of the Internet, but he said that he fears "Wikipedia is inviting it by its allowing irresponsible vandals to write anything they want about anybody."

 

Chase said he created the fake online biography in May as a gag to shock a co-worker who was familiar with the Seigenthaler family. He resigned as an operations manager at a Nashville delivery company as a result of the debacle.

 

Source.

 

And this is just one thing that happened to get publicity because it was slanderous and happened to someone in the media. At any time there is a crapload of misinformation, errors, and just plain sh!t added in by vandals. That said, the majority of the retarded crap is caught quickly enough. Still, in many cases an error or bit of misinformation has to be noticed. It has to be noticed by someone who knows that it is in fact misinformation. Moreover, with certain articles that person has to have the ability to edit a locked page.

 

Personally I like wikipedia, and I spend more time there than I probably should. As annoying as some might find the vandals, I'd rather have an article that can change at any time (which means it's more likely to have some crap in it), than an article that is locked to most people. If it's locked you have to rely on the few that can change it, rather than benefit from everyone's changes/additions.

 

The only real problem with wikipedia is when people read a page once, don't check any of that info against any other sources, they don't even come back to see if some erroneous bits have been purged. Instead they just assume everything they read to be fact.

 

Having the ability to note a few things a day that I might want to look up later (and do so without taking a trip to the library) is one of the better things about "tha intranets." Even if I was to take note of a few things, the odds aren't that good that I'm going to make a trip to the library, or buy a set of up to date encyclopedias just to satisfy a tiny and fleeting curiosity. Again, that's why I love wikipedia.

 

As I see it wikipedia itself isn't really the problem, the only real problem is people who believe everything they read without question.

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Otter
As far as wisdom goes, I would posit such a thing only exists if the rest of the population on this rock we call earth agrees, I guess. Such a situation is highly unlikely to happen given that there will always be somebody who disagrees.

 

I refer you to my comments on subjectivity wink.gif

 

Because I don’t have any better an explanation, nor would attempt one dontgetit.gif

It's interesting to think of wisdom as democratic. Unfortunately, people en masse will always be incredibly stupid. tounge.gif

 

Sweets, you hit the nail on the head.

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Tom Toole

Wikipedia -"How to build a nuclear bomb in your backyard" -"How to forge a gun" -"how to succeed in insurance fraud"

 

More than just "people in masse" being stupid, I think everyone is stupid. When you teach a stupid person how to use a gun, you kindof get the feeling that they might just use it on you or themselves or someone you care about or someone someone you care about cares about.

 

It's not that guns are bad, guns are just guns. It's not that stupidity is bad, stupidity is just stupidity.

But put them together and you might get something really bad.

 

And what if a person is not just stupid, but mean - envious - greedy ... without ethics, without morals? and the way to what they want is to kill, steal...? -wikipedia might help.

 

And what if a person is crazy? wikipedia will help them in whatever crazy plan.

 

Learning more and more about bumblebees really doesn't seem to help people overcome shyness or obesity or cowardice- but then again why should they live "life" and "reproduce"? - They would just take prozac instead or get drunk everyday.

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K^2

 

Data – Information – Knowledge – Wisdom (in that order)

 

 

Data and information are always objective as long as the source is accurate and exact. Knowledge and wisdom are far more subjective concepts monocle.gif

I don't know if you'd even want to define "Wisdom" in such a context.

 

Data - collection of states/entries.

Information - relation of data to the "known" basis. For example, if I just give you a string of numbers, you might not know what to do with them. If I tell you that they are ASCII codes, you can construct a text. If you happen to recognize it as English, you can read and interpret written words. This becomes particularly important when you start talking about various compression algorithms.

Knowledge - organized information. (I'm over simplifying it here.) Simplest example is the inference knowledge bases. They contain logical statements that are "known" to be true. Such a base can then tell you the conditions under which a certain statement may be true or false. Knowledge bases are very important in Artificial Intelligence.

 

Wikipedia is a knowledge base, but a poor one. The self-consistency monitoring is done by people, and errors are made. The only interconnection is provided with linking. There is absolutely no inference mechanism. It is, however, organized and searchable, which sets it a bit apart from just collection of information.

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