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dalem
07 Mar 07,, 19:53
Linkydink. (http://michellemalkin.com/archives/007002.htm)


Fake professor in Wikipedia storm

Volunteers write and edit the site's thousands of articles
Internet site Wikipedia has been hit by controversy after the disclosure that a prominent editor had assumed a false identity complete with fake PhD.
The editor, known as Essjay, had described himself as a professor of religion at a private university.

But he was in fact Ryan Jordan, 24, a college student from Kentucky who used texts such as Catholicism for Dummies. He has now retired from the site.

I hate Wiki and I only quote from it reluctantly, as a true last resort. But I've never respected it or tusted it, and when someone uses it in the discussion I ignore it. The above is illustrative of why.

-dale

glyn
07 Mar 07,, 20:45
Linkydink. (http://michellemalkin.com/archives/007002.htm)



I hate Wiki and I only quote from it reluctantly, as a true last resort. But I've never respected it or tusted it, and when someone uses it in the discussion I ignore it. The above is illustrative of why.

-dale


I think it was a noble concept, but as usual the ignoble manage to ruin it.

jame$thegreat
07 Mar 07,, 21:05
That is why I use wiki to get general knowledge, enough that I will be able to find and identify reliable sources. Personally I think its a useful tool, but is far from a reliable source itself.

gunnut
07 Mar 07,, 21:38
Wiki has its uses. It shouldn't be held as the gold standard of encyclopedic knowledge, but it's better than most.

I use it as an easy resource on hard stats. Stuff that you can't dispute like the length of a tank or the wingspan of a fighter jet or the number of 737s sold.

Opinions I will take with a grain of salt.

RadioM
08 Mar 07,, 02:34
Go to any University in the world and you will find staff with made up qualifications, or doctoring their research to meet their pre-existing assumptions. Its just the way the world works. Wiki is good for general purpose and/or introductory level research. The same as any encyclopedia.

dalem
08 Mar 07,, 02:41
Most universities and encyclopedia editors have passed through at least one filter of respectability, and done it face-to-face with backgrounds checked too. Any idiot can Wiki, and the above shows that any idiot can help run Wiki.

-dale

RadioM
08 Mar 07,, 02:54
The fact that any idiot can post is what makes it such a strong resource. Where else can you find an indepth explaination of all the Transformers series?

It allows for debate when 'articles' are posted and alternate views to be expressed within the one subject. Few other resources have this capacity.
Sure it's not perfect but it should not be dismissed as a worthwhile resource.

dalem
08 Mar 07,, 03:18
The fact that any idiot can post is what makes it such a strong resource. Where else can you find an indepth explaination of all the Transformers series?

It allows for debate when 'articles' are posted and alternate views to be expressed within the one subject. Few other resources have this capacity.
Sure it's not perfect but it should not be dismissed as a worthwhile resource.

All you're describing is a web forum. It's not a "pedia", it's a general forum.

-dale

Ray
08 Mar 07,, 03:25
Wiki is a good reference tool.

Wiki also gives footnotes quoting authorities.

For debatable issues, it mentions the same to caution the one using it.

It is a noble cause and one should encourage such activities. Google, likewise is a great help. However, if one feels that it would produce a gem, always and every time, then one is expecting too much from an otherwise good tool!

Encyclopaedia Britannica is taken to be a reputed reference book. This reputation has been built over the ages. It is nearly sterling silver. Yet, it is said to have errors.

Wikipedia:Errors in the Encyclopædia Britannica that have been corrected in Wikipedia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Errors_in_the_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britanni ca_that_have_been_corrected_in_Wikipedia)

Therefore, nothing is infallible!

RadioM
08 Mar 07,, 03:27
Except wiki has editors, forums do not.
Plus contentious articles in wiki are signposted as such, this does not happen on a forum.

Wraith601
08 Mar 07,, 04:17
I wouldn't use it in a research paper, but for the purpose of online debates it's more than sufficient.

667medic
08 Mar 07,, 04:33
Wiki is extremely useful for me. I always look at the footnotes to know the references from which they are quoting. If the article appears contentious, it is always flagged as not conforming to the standards of Wiki....

leib10
08 Mar 07,, 04:36
Some material is reliable and written by intelligent people, some is written by morons. Take the good stuff and leave the rest.

Kansas Bear
08 Mar 07,, 04:42
If the information has references and/or sources which can be verified, the person(s) that write/edit the information become irrelevant.

Ray
08 Mar 07,, 04:55
If the information has references and/or sources which can be verified, the person(s) that write/edit the information become irrelevant.

If one finds information in one place with references, then it is far better than wading through a whole lot of books to find the same thing.

Further, if information has reference and/ or sources which can be verified, and that information be deemed as irrelevant, then research papers that are published on a variety of subjects and discipline also should be irrelevant since they too contain references/ sources that back up a contention.

Even on this forum, links back up contentions that one makes. Or else, it becomes merely an opinion.

Kansas Bear
08 Mar 07,, 06:26
If one finds information in one place with references, then it is far better than wading through a whole lot of books to find the same thing.

Isn't that what I just said?


Further, if information has reference and/ or sources which can be verified, and that information be deemed as irrelevant, then research papers that are published on a variety of subjects and discipline also should be irrelevant since they too contain references/ sources that back up a contention.

I never said the information be deemed irrelevant, merely the person(s) listing the reference/source. It doesn't take a Phd to list references which can be checked and verified. I've edited and listed references for subjects on wikipedia, it's not a big deal.


Even on this forum, links back up contentions that one makes. Or else, it becomes merely an opinion.

Anytime someone wants a reference for historical information I've posted, they should feel free to ask.

Ray
08 Mar 07,, 07:26
[QUOTE]Isn't that what I just said?


If you had said so, I am sorry but I missed it!


I never said the information be deemed irrelevant, merely the person(s) listing the reference/source. It doesn't take a Phd to list references which can be checked and verified. I've edited and listed references for subjects on wikipedia, it's not a big deal.


Wikipedia is a compendium of information. Therefore, it has to have verifiable information or else it would be a mere 'opinion'. Therefore, if the material is based on authentic sources, it should be mentioned. Those who append info or edit them, have to ensure that the info is credible and therefore, they have to give references. Reading the reference material and then giving the reference is a necessity or else it would be mere 'garbage in and garbage out'.

Eg. There is a whole lot of debate on Islam. It is mere opinions without quoting the Surahs or the Hadiths.

To me those who do the editing and listing the references are doing a yeoman's service. If you have edit the Wiki, then many should be grateful to you that you could do the social service, while we haven't.



Anytime someone wants a reference for historical information I've posted, they should feel free to ask.


One would rather have the reference readily available so that doubts, if any, are cleared immediately, rather than referrence to the author, who may not be available or inclined.

dalem
08 Mar 07,, 19:25
Except wiki has editors, forums do not.
Plus contentious articles in wiki are signposted as such, this does not happen on a forum.

Wiki's editors are unreliable.

-dale

Kansas Bear
08 Mar 07,, 23:08
Wiki's editors are unreliable.

-dale



SOME of Wiki's editors are unreliable.:)

Wraith601
09 Mar 07,, 04:16
The number of accurate articles far outnumber those that are inaccurate though.

BD1
09 Mar 07,, 08:51
I remember a comment on radio where researchers compared a number of random articles on Wiki and Encycl.Britannica. Wiki won by a very close margin. Of course this does not make it infallible , but it is still quite useful. Of course there is also Conservapedia - Main Page - Conservapedia (http://www.conservapedia.com/Main_Page) . :)

RadioM
09 Mar 07,, 09:15
Conservapedia Ha! This is going to be my new favourite site.
My next project will be to create RadioM-is-right-about everything-pedia.org

Theory of evolution - Conservapedia (http://www.conservapedia.com/Theory_of_evolution)

dalem
09 Mar 07,, 09:47
The number of accurate articles far outnumber those that are inaccurate though.

Baseless.

-dale

Wraith601
11 Mar 07,, 09:07
Baseless.

-dale

No more baseless than decryingt he entire site as inaccurate because one editor exaggerated his credentials, not exactly a rarity either.

The fact is that number of articles reviewed or challenged is rather small compared to the sheer number of articles on Wikipedia.

tanz
11 Mar 07,, 20:08
I can tell you one thing. It's chemistry is right on the money. I use it often and have not come upon an inaccuracy yet.

dalem
11 Mar 07,, 22:30
No more baseless than decryingt he entire site as inaccurate because one editor exaggerated his credentials, not exactly a rarity either.

The fact is that number of articles reviewed or challenged is rather small compared to the sheer number of articles on Wikipedia.

Perhaps I'm just too old-fashioned to believe that a publically-tweakable knowledge base is worth trusting to the same degree as a musty old book. ;)

-dale

Debbie
11 Mar 07,, 22:55
hmmmm......musty books.......

xerxes
11 Mar 07,, 23:02
Wiki is great for names and such affairs .... for example, if you would like all the heads of Hohenzollern familly, it is all there from the most insinificant ruler to the most significant. Therefore, it has it uses. If you were to look that in the library, it will take sometime. Although, myself am an engineer, for the past 6 years or so, I have been compiling the rare detail from history books that I have read in the past and that are not available to general history. For example, the list of the names of the commanders of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces from post-WWII to its end. Stuff like that. Or for example, while everyone knows that von Paulus was promoted in Jan-Feb 1943 to Generalfeldmarschall, few people know that for him to be promoted to Generalfeldmarschall, his commanding officer Baron von Weichs had to be promoted to that rank as well.

Anyways, when wiki became popular, a lot of my work got suddenly published overnight online. Why? it the power behind millions of people who put all these things online on wiki, compare to my personal labor to document these things. But like anything else, wiki has become something bash about. It became cool to bash wiki. If you are real amateur historian, you are NOT suppose to like wiki. I guess that is the way it works .. around forums anyways.

Wraith601
12 Mar 07,, 05:38
Perhaps I'm just too old-fashioned to believe that a publically-tweakable knowledge base is worth trusting to the same degree as a musty old book. ;)

-dale

As I said earlier for formal research, such as a paper or academic project, I wouldn't use for anything other than pointing me towards other sources, some of the articles are extenisvely resourced (the 9/11 conpiracy theory article has nearly 250 sources) but casual learning or forum debates it's quite adequate.

Plus where else will find an encylopedia with extensive articles on Thunder Cats or the A-Team?

roshan
14 Mar 07,, 04:37
I agree that Wikipedia is unreliable. However, it also has a massive volume of information... A lot of it is stuff that you cant access anywhere else. For example, lets say you wanted to find out all the phonemes of the Icelandic language - aside from Wikipedia, where else would you be able to find out such a thing?

I say that Wikipedia is an amazing resource. Unless you were writing a thesis or a formal report, I dont see anything wrong with referring to it.