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Wikipedia: ?We report. You comply.?

Saw this article: Wikipropaganda []

Made me think. Extremists give us geeks a bad name. What do you think? Civil discussions please.

I straddle the fence on being conservative or liberal and also on the issue of global warming paranoia. However, I believe there should always be fairness in debates. Both sides should be allowed to present their views.

It is discouraging that Wikipedia is so kids will rely on it for all their information...what legacy are we leaving them?

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This is a perfect example

In reply to: Wikipedia: ?We report. You comply.?

of why you should believe very little of what you read without checking it out yourself.

Unfortunately, checking it out yourself can be time consuming and sometimes difficult. I just take it for granted that I'm wrong about something. I may not know what it is, but I know it (the error) exists. Most likely I'm wrong about a lot of things.


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then that's why we assign a $$$ *value* for vetted info...

In reply to: This is a perfect example

then that's why we assign a $$$ *value* for *vetted* info...right? Extreme example - I *could* get financial, sports, or international news from the "village drunkard", but I typically choose other sources instead for their high consistency of accuracy and timeliness...

I really do like the Wikipedia idea, but I find it a bit sad but not too surprising how unprofessional the entries are. I use it as a starting point and check out the references for the *real* info, ya know?

I'd really like to know what the Wikipedia debate is like in information sciences circles.

If I really needed to have higher assurance on stuff and soon, then I'd pay for a service. I think Britannica and some others are offering credit and/or compensation for entries after you submit them and your background in the subject matter is verified.

Here's some alternatives to Wikipedia:

I also like the way some storied professional orgs display some info, then request payment for the remainder. I think it's one of the best way I've heard of as of yet to deal with this. I think Financial Times and Wall Street Journal have this system...



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I tend to trust wikipedia more than most sites...

After all, the more editors a site has, the better the information will be right? Wisdom of crowds is not something to underestimate and will always be greater than the wisdom of an individual.

Obviously wikipedia can not allow global warming deniers to take over their articles on global warming.

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see, that's where I'm torn at this - wisdom of the crowds...

In reply to: I tend to trust wikipedia more than most sites...

I really like the wisdom of the crowds concept and it's very real effects. And I'm not certain Wikipedia is exactly "broken", but that depends on how you define "broken". However...well, I guess I don't think the wisdom of the crowds alone is best for a single definition/explanation of something...

I think I'd enjoy going through several entries of definitions/explanations and then create/enrich/refine my own understanding from that input. However, that last step might just be the crux the matter - the reader expends time/effort to produce their own understanding. Now if you wanted convenience, you'd probably like someone who has a similar manner of producing an understanding to yours to write the definition/explanation. And so...we pay $$$ to people we "elected" via "wallet-voting" to take on that task which makes it easier on us to performs that last step - easier, but not effortless... I'm almost getting in cognitive effects in information science and economics...

I think wisdom of the crowds is good for many things...but not everything. I've heard a few interviews and read a few articles on "wisdom of the crowds" - do you know in which situations its better or worse than other "determination systems"?



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Wikipedia aims to be an encyclopaedia

Isn't the whole point of an encyclopaedia, to be a resource of information for when you can't expend the time to do your own research?
That means they need to keep marginal views from overtaking their articles.
If you want debate, you're better off trying something other than an encyclopaedia. That's not what they're for.
Wisdom of the crowd I think is perfectly fitting for an encyclopaedia. After all, an encyclopaedia is little more than an compilation of the consensus's humanity has on... everything.

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Isn't the problem that some members of the crowd

In reply to: I tend to trust wikipedia more than most sites...

are more heavily weighted than others? In other words when put into action, the "wisdom of the crowd" is often just elitism wearing the mask of populism.

That said I'm not sure Wikipedia represents a "crisis" for our time. I would like to believe that any sane person growing up with the web at their fingertips will understand the need to verify information. There are always people who believe anything they read (especially if it affirms their preconceptions) and there are numerous web site, talk radio, newspapers, and cable news channels willing to take advantage of this fact. But sensationalistic propaganda masquerading as journalism is nothing new to our time. Some people will dig further, some people just want to be reassured that they are right.

I always look at Wikipedia as a jumping off point, not an end in and of itself. The irony of this story is that even though I agree that Wikipedia is far from "the people's encyclopedia" I am more suspicious of the NRO's motives than I am of Wikipedia itself.

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Limited Use

In reply to: Isn't the problem that some members of the crowd

Wikipedia is fine for limited use stuff and things that there really is NO debate about - for instance what is a nucleus or information on rock bands or definitions of computer terms - things like that. These pieces of information are also readily available and easily double checked across the internet at a variety of other site - Wikipedia just puts them in one place for free.
If you rely on Wikipedia for information about say, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict or the War in Iraq or the War on Drugs, or Christianity or Global Warming - then you are just asking for incorrect information (IMO). There isn't any opinion or agenda behind the definition of quartz like there is for the claim of a Palestinian state.
So my suggestion is always take Wikipedia with a grain of salt, always try to find at least ONE other source that backs up the info and stick to mundane easy to check stuff - not politically, racially, philosophically, or religiously charged topics.

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In reply to: Limited Use

You should always be critical of what you read regardless of who wrote it.
But my point is, I'd rather trust an encyclopaedia that has the world's largest group of editors and fact checkers than something written by a single expert, who are not necessarily immune to having an agenda either.

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