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Topic: Wikipedia - A Reminder Locked Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Michael Casselman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 14 January 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1003
Posted: 19 January 2007 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 1  

They should be double-flogged.
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Jacob P Secrest
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 18 October 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4068
Posted: 19 January 2007 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 2  

Why are we arguing about this?

Wikipedia has a disclaimer that states they can't guarantee their website
to have any factual accuracy, this is something Wikipedia itself admits.

There's no room for debate on this.

Edited by Jacob P Secrest on 19 January 2007 at 11:11am
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Brian O'Neill
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 741
Posted: 19 January 2007 at 4:06pm | IP Logged | 3  

The 'wiki-ruke' is, it's OK, until you're the target of the false, misleading, slanderous, etc., entry.
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todd murry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 05 January 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Posted: 19 January 2007 at 5:01pm | IP Logged | 4  

I find Wikipedia very helpful for quick contact information.  If someone mentions “the world’s smallest country, Sealand, is for sale,” and I want an idea of what Sealand is, Wikipedia is a good place to get a rough idea of what is going on.  As far as I’ve seen, the major usage of Wikipedia is this kind of quick and dirty info dump by people who just want to get a basic idea of something and are aware that some of the information may be false.  The Wiki user base is (I think) pretty savvy as a whole are also pretty good at smelling fake info (if an entry begins “<insert celebrity name> is a famous child molester…”, you can’t trust it).  The idea of citing it in law school is ludicrous (see the Wiki site disclaimer), and it should not be allowed as a primary reference in school research, but there is definite value in using it in school as a secondary source, not the least reason for which is that it teaches the valuable lesson that all information, even that from “legitimate” sources, is suspect, and you have to do some legwork to find out the real story.  The entries often hare extensive primary source notations that anyone can follow-up on.  And, although false information and vandalism occurs, the overall reliability (accuracy and completeness) is better than that of asking a friend, posing the question on a message board, doing an online search, or even turning to media informational outlets.  Suspect articles get marked, and additional disclaimers appear at the top of articles needing sourcing or other improvement.  The knowledge base is not perfect, but the thing is just too damn useful to dismiss out of hand.

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Dan Bowen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 14 August 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 952
Posted: 19 January 2007 at 5:36pm | IP Logged | 5  

The bits that no-one really cares about (you know, the academic bits!) are usually accurate and interestingly written.

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Sam Parker
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 01 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 560
Posted: 20 January 2007 at 8:17am | IP Logged | 6  

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on accuracy, neutrality, and the thoughtful vs. the jerks:

http://www.ted.com/tedtalks/tedtalksplayer.cfm?key=j_wales
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Brian O'Neill
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 741
Posted: 20 January 2007 at 2:14pm | IP Logged | 7  

When wikipedia decides that John Byrne is not worthy of inclusion on their site, then I'll agree that wikipedia is not worthy of acknowledgement here.

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Jacob P Secrest
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 18 October 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4068
Posted: 20 January 2007 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 8  

This all started with John Byrne's own article being obviously biased
against him.

Wikipedia is not a good resource, period.
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Brian O'Neill
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 741
Posted: 20 January 2007 at 2:35pm | IP Logged | 9  

Wikipedia is a good concept, marred by the fact that there are too many idiots on the Internet.

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Trevor Krysak
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 4088
Posted: 20 January 2007 at 4:07pm | IP Logged | 10  

 That video Sam linked does not make for a great case. Maybe it was just the presentation itself but I kept hearing a lot of vague descriptions of things. They talk of neutrality but also a voting process. That doesn't sound neutral to me. He talks about how everyone has the ability to affect it but then also mentions that some people have more weight in forming the content. And there was the bit about Wiki books? So they want to make encyclopedia's as well?

 I can appreciate the interest they have in giving people free access to information. I think they have a loooooooong way to go to make it work. But that's my (biased) opinion.
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Jacob P Secrest
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 18 October 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4068
Posted: 21 January 2007 at 4:26pm | IP Logged | 11  

WikiBooks is a collection of freely editable online textbooks.
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Don William
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 24 December 2006
Posts: 65
Posted: 21 January 2007 at 4:29pm | IP Logged | 12  

There are definitly a lot of flows with Wikipedia.  I do use it for work though.  There are a lot of entries that include further references and that is something I find incredibly useful so that I may go to a source.
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