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IDIOCRASY– Wikipedia

Wikipedia  is;  ‘The Free Encyclopedia that Anyone can Edit’.

It means what it says.  Anyone can write an entry about anything.   And entries can change every other minute.

When Wikipedia  first arose in 2001,  some folks used it to make ‘official’ entries about fictional characters.   One could search for Spock and get a referenced biography.

Aware that Wikipedia was not an authority, many users search a topic get the bare bones and then do a subsequent search, using the footnoted ‘authorities’ or  various points raised in the article.

No one with a fully operational brain would accept Wikipedia as is/where is as any authority on anything but fictional characters, the plots of shows, and similar categories.

There has been proof after proof, from famous users learning they were HIV positive or Homosexual, or dead via a Wikipedia article.

The errors made range from the ridiculous to the vicious.

Some are done for fun, just to prove they can be done.  Others are to twist facts and push their agendas.

Anyone can write an entry, so one should read a Wikipedia   entry as one would any questionable document.

Of course, this implies that those who go to Wikipedia have the intellect to discriminate between fact and fantasy.  To understand the warning that Wikipedia posts; that is, that anyone can make a post.

As most people are a bit dumber than Forrest Gump they believe anything posted on Wikipedia as if it is the Encyclopedia Britannica.

What do you think?

3 points
Legend

Written by jaylar

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4 Comments

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  1. What you say is unfortunately correct. I work part-time at a senior level in a university library and often find myself advising students about how to give references in their work. One piece of advice that I have to give more often than I would like is “Don’t ever user Wikipedia as a source” – but they still do!

    There are some parts of Wikipedia that I have no problems with. For example, there are some immensely detailed accounts of people from history that have clearly been written by people who know what they are talking about. I see no reason to distrust their accuracy – why would anyone want to tell lies about Princess Sophia of Sweden, who died in 1611, for example?

    The job of a librarian used to be to direct people to reliable sources of information, and now it has more to do with keeping them away from the unreliable ones! One of our professional skills is being able to spot the differences!

    • I know exactly what you are saying. Many University instructors will tell their students the same thing. But many people consider Wiki an absolute authority. Just t knowing that anyone can edit it should be enough to have a reader step back.

      • At least with books on the library shelves you know that they have been published after proper assessment by people who can be trusted. It has become very easy these days for anyone to get into print or to produce articles on various websites.

        I should know – I do it myself! I have written a large number of pieces on poetry that I have published on my blog. These blogs get hundreds of hits every day – and the hit rate is noticeably higher during school terms than in vacations. It would not surprise me to learn that my analyses of famous poems are being copied and pasted into school assignment all over the world. I happen to think that my pieces are high quality – but that is only my view, and I could be completely wrong!

        • A lot of education is not thought it is repetition. Although, depending on the poem, I would rather read it myself and see what it says to me, in real life, some times at school you don’t want to be ‘different’ so you read what someone else says it means.

          Yes, you have the lazy but you also are dealing with people who need to conform.

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