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Ray Brady
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3626
Posted: 22 February 2007 at 7:32pm | IP Logged | 1  

"Information is information - I don't understand what invalidates an
encyclopedia."
-----
The primary question in research is the reliability of your sources. For
that reason, you should always try to rely on primary sources whenever
possible. In most cases, you're forced to rely upon secondary sources,
where scholars have sifted through the primary sources for you and
pulled out the good parts.

If you examine the biliographies of most encyclopedias, you'll see that
they're actually tertiary sources. Their researchers don't have the time or
expertise to go back to the primary sources in most cases, so they rely
upon the secondary sources. This they boil down into capsule format for
their readers.

Even in the best of circumstances then, citing an encyclopedia means that
you are at least two steps removed from the actual information you are
reporting. You are relying not upon the words of the people who actually
participated in the events you are reporting on, but upon a
summarization of an interpretation of the words of those people.

In the end, the information contained in an encyclopedia may well be as
accurate as the information you find in primary source material, but it will
never be as persuasive.
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Steve Horton
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3575
Posted: 23 February 2007 at 12:11am | IP Logged | 2  

Apparently Wikipedia is so high-and-mighty that it considers comics to be beneath it:

http://www.halfpixel.com/2007/02/15/delete-wikipedia/


Edited by Steve Horton on 23 February 2007 at 12:12am
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Brian O'Neill
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Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 742
Posted: 23 February 2007 at 1:20am | IP Logged | 3  

Webcomics...which, like wikipedia itself, can be either worthwhile or crap.
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Craig Markley
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3924
Posted: 26 February 2007 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 4  

Fuzzy Zoeller has filed a lawsuit over the vandalizing of his Wikipedia page

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0222071fuzzy 1.html

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David Whiteley
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 2748
Posted: 26 February 2007 at 10:47am | IP Logged | 5  

I hope Sterger wasn't involved.
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Stephen Hippleheuser
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Joined: 13 February 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 138
Posted: 01 March 2007 at 1:56am | IP Logged | 6  

Wikipedia is a good place to find links to other sources of information.  I would not take it as a primary source myself.  Teaching students how to verify if a source is credible is a difficult assignment.  Something as loose as Wikipedia should not be accepted.
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Corey Johnson
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2015
Posted: 01 March 2007 at 11:39am | IP Logged | 7  

A sign that we are truly in the End Times: Tax court cites Wikipedia 8 times in a ruling concerning video poker:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2007/03/tax_court_ci tes.html

For those who don't care for the dirty hippie godless commie bastard version of Wikipedia, you now have an option: Conservapedia!

http://www.conservapedia.com/Main_Page

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Stephen Hippleheuser
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Joined: 13 February 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 138
Posted: 01 March 2007 at 6:41pm | IP Logged | 8  

Thanks for the link.  As a Right Wing Nut Job, Dittohead, and dangerous Christian Conservative tghat link is right up my alley.
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Neil Lindholm
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Joined: 12 January 2005
Location: Macau
Posts: 4148
Posted: 01 March 2007 at 8:06pm | IP Logged | 9  

Man, that site is hilarious. Read their evolution article then read the creationism article. And yet they accuse Wikipeadia of bias. 
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Stephen Hippleheuser
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Joined: 13 February 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 138
Posted: 01 March 2007 at 8:11pm | IP Logged | 10  

The difference is they admit their bias.  It's like Fox News vs. CNN.  The guys who are conservative on Fox news admit what they are.  The liberal media on CNN still try to say they are unbias.  As long as you admit where you are coming from, it's not a problem.

Edited by Stephen Hippleheuser on 01 March 2007 at 8:12pm
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Ray Brady
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
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Posted: 03 March 2007 at 10:58pm | IP Logged | 11  

"The guys who are conservative on Fox news admit what they are."
-----
Bill O'Reilly claims his show is a "No Spin Zone". The network itself claims it
is "Fair and Balanced". "We Report. You Decide." This doesn't sound like
admitting a bias to me.
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Zaki Hasan
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Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8205
Posted: 04 March 2007 at 2:06am | IP Logged | 12  

Fox News would be "Fair & Balanced" if it wasn't for their, y'know, reporting.
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Landry Walker
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Joined: 29 August 2006
Posts: 510
Posted: 05 March 2007 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 13  

Stephen Hippleheuser: "The difference is they admit their bias."

Where and when exactly did Fox News admit a conservative bias? Quote please.
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Sam Parker
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Joined: 01 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 556
Posted: 06 March 2007 at 10:42pm | IP Logged | 14  


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6423659.stm
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Kurt Anderson
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Joined: 18 November 2005
Location: United States
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Posted: 08 March 2007 at 10:24am | IP Logged | 15  

I went to a sales and marketing seminar last week that featured a speaker who promoted Wikipedia as a wonderful resource.  When asked about the credibility of it's information, he assured everyone that it was tightly policed by the Wiki-police.

Every story of errors and misinformation was met with stories from others about how "I've seen them correct mistakes, so I know it works."

I'd no more list Wikipedia as a source than I would this message board.

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Steve Horton
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Location: United States
Posts: 3575
Posted: 08 March 2007 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 16  

Errr - shouldn't the mistakes be corrected BEFORE it's open to the public, not after? After all - someone might be looking at it beforehand.

The Associated Press annoyingly does this sometimes, with breaking stories - they get them out there before they've had a chance to fact-check the whole thing, and then issue micro-corrections throughout the day.
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Andrew Hess
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 08 March 2007 at 2:42pm | IP Logged | 17  

Steve -

wow, Perry White must be rolling in his completely fictional grave about that.
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Steve Horton
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3575
Posted: 08 March 2007 at 2:47pm | IP Logged | 18  

Yeah, no kidding. Remember when that mine exploded, and that false story came through that said that the miners had all survived? 90% of the papers the next day read "MINERS SAVED!" - only a couple hours later, it turns out it was the Mayor's wishful thinking, and only one miner survived.

That's what happens when you don't fact-check.
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Patrick T Ditton
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Joined: 07 February 2007
Posts: 404
Posted: 09 March 2007 at 10:25am | IP Logged | 19  

JB --

I wasn't aware of your stance on Wikipedia when I inserted some information for a forum member a few days back (about what happened to Charlton characters) -- I wondered what happened to the post. 

Sorry - it wasn't my intention to violate a forum ruling.

won't happen again.
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John OConnor
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Joined: 01 August 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1042
Posted: 09 March 2007 at 4:08pm | IP Logged | 20  

more on Wiki.....

Wikipedia To Check I.D.’s

By Rob Mackey

 

Image of AnonymousTrust me, I’m an expert.

In an interview with Reuters TV in Tokyo, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, the user-edited online encyclopedia, said last night that contributors who identify themselves as experts
will be asked to furnish some proof
of their qualifications.

“It isn’t that hard to verify that someone is a professor. … I mean, we don’t need to run an F.B.I. background check on everyone — we just want to make sure that if someone’s putting
forth credentials, that we look into it a little bit and make sure.”

The Associated Press reports that Mr. Wales “said in interviews by phone and instant message yesterday from Japan that contributors still would be able to remain anonymous.”

The move comes in response to what Wikipedia itself calls “the Essjay controversy.” As Noam Cohen explained in The New York Times earlier this week, Essjay was a prominent contributor to Wikipedia whose lies about his credentials were exposed after they were repeated in an article in The New Yorker.

To the Wikipedia world, Essjay was a tenured professor of religion at a private university with expertise in canon law, according to his user profile. But in fact, Essjay is a 24-year-old named Ryan Jordan, who attended a number of colleges in Kentucky and lives outside Louisville. …

The Essjay episode underlines some of the perils of collaborative efforts like Wikipedia that rely on many contributors acting in good faith, often anonymously and through self-designated user names. But it also shows how the transparency of the Wikipedia process — all editing of entries is marked and saved — allows readers to react to suspected fraud.

Mr. Jordan’s deception came to public attention last Monday when The New Yorker published a rare editors’ note saying that when it wrote about Essjay as part of a lengthy profile of Wikipedia, “neither we nor Wikipedia knew Essjay’s real name,” and that it took Essjay’s credentials and life experience at face value.

Interestingly, The A.P. also reports that Mr. Jordan himself blames The New Yorker’s fact-checking department for not catching him sooner.

Jordan did not return an e-mail seeking comment. But in a note on his Wikipedia “user page” before it was “retired,” he apologized for any harm he caused Wikipedia.

“It was, quite honestly, my impression that it was well known that I was not who I claimed to be, and that in the absence of any confirmation, no respectible [sic] publication would print it,” he wrote.

By allowing expert contributors to remain anonymous, Wikipedia’s plan does seem to raise a question: might it be a good idea simply to abandon the tradition of “screen names” that has grown up with the Web, and start encouraging people to use their real names when they contribute to discussion or debate online?

Polly Toynbee, a columnist for The Guardian, recently spoke about the corrosive effects of anonymity on the Web:

Toynbee, who has written about the abuse she has received from bloggers, said one byproduct of the Internet age has been that when her columns are posted on Guardian Unlimited, the abuse pours in almost immediately: “I have around 50 arch-enemies who seem to get up at about five in the morning — they have obviously never bought The Guardian, they wouldn’t contaminate their fingers with it, and they are right-wingers who hate The Guardian and everything it stands for.

“Letters used to be quite polite, e-mails were a bit ruder. But this is of another dimension, because you can’t answer back unless in public, because they’re anonymous. I think that’s wrong — they should have to put their own names up there. It would make them stop and think twice if they thought their colleagues and families would see what they wrote. Anonymity brings out real mischief in us. It is a debased discourse.”

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Zaki Hasan
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8205
Posted: 10 March 2007 at 1:04am | IP Logged | 21  

As I always tell my students, Wikipedia is a tremendous resource.  Tremendous.  It's a gateway to reams and reams of useful information.  However, follow their links.  Any good Wikipedia article will have citations up the yin-yang, which you can follow for yourself and judge their credibility.  Use Wikipedia to point you towards information, but don't cite it, cite the cites.
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Zaki Hasan
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Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8205
Posted: 10 March 2007 at 12:31pm | IP Logged | 22  

Interesting article that echoes my last post.
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Brian O'Neill
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 742
Posted: 16 March 2007 at 9:08am | IP Logged | 23  

If wikipedia lies about celebrities nobody cares about, will a tree still fall in the woods?:

http://www.physorg.com/news93244796.html

 

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Trevor Krysak
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 3992
Posted: 16 March 2007 at 9:46am | IP Logged | 24  

 Oops.
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Paulo Pereira
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 24 April 2006
Posts: 15541
Posted: 18 March 2007 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 25  


 QUOTE:
As I always tell my students, Wikipedia is a tremendous resource.  Tremendous.  It's a gateway to reams and reams of useful information.  However, follow their links.  Any good Wikipedia article will have citations up the yin-yang, which you can follow for yourself and judge their credibility.  Use Wikipedia to point you towards information, but don't cite it, cite the cites.

Well said.

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