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Jeremy Shaffer
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 20 April 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 41
Posted: 20 September 2009 at 2:31pm | IP Logged | 1  

You know I added something to Wikipedia about my Top Secret missions for the government and they erased it. (heheheh)
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John Bodin
Byrne Robotics Member

Purveyor of Rare Items

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3858
Posted: 26 September 2009 at 1:29pm | IP Logged | 2  

My wife just mentioned that we have a friend who uses Wikipedia almost exclusively -- he's a very intelligent person, but he maintains that "if it's not on Wikipedia, it's probably not worth knowing." 

I immediately remarked about how Wikipedia is extremely flawed because it is so wide-open and there's always the potential for MIS-information.  I usually think of the notoriously libelous John Byrne entry that was up for a while, so since I was surfing the Web when my wife mentioned this I immediately clicked over to Wikipedia and pulled up the entry for John Byrne.  To my surprise, a quick scan of the content revealed that the current John Byrne entry (as-of a few moments ago) seems to consist solely of facts, details, and generally useful information that doesn't seem to consist of lies and falsehoods.

Definitely a nice change from what I was greeted with the LAST time I checked-out the John Byrne Wikipedia entry!
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108522
Posted: 29 September 2009 at 10:30am | IP Logged | 3  

Well, NOW you've done it. . . . !!!
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Wayne K Purdy
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 07 August 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 844
Posted: 10 December 2009 at 6:25am | IP Logged | 4  

Ron Livingstone plans on suing an anonymous writer  for Libel.

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/736460--actor-s ues-anonymous-wikipedia-writer-for-libel
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Brad Brickley
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 29 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8233
Posted: 12 December 2009 at 2:36pm | IP Logged | 5  

I remember watching Book TV a few months back.  A professor or writer  was talking about how Wikipedia can be useful . That one could use the links features at the bottom of the entry pages and that would be a useful feature of  Wikipedia.  I thought that was a good use of Wikipedia.  I've since tried that approach to it and found the links at the bottom of the pages useful to send me various other websites to find information.
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Jeremiah Avery
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 27 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2431
Posted: 14 December 2009 at 2:55pm | IP Logged | 6  

The links can be helpful, certainly, as long as the main article itself isn't used as the source.  My younger brother said that a professor of his said that it would be acceptable.  After I told him the professor was an idiot, I told him to do something similar to how you use the site, Brad.  I said to look at the links, if they go to scholarly journals then that's helpful and cite that instead - it'd be a much more credible source.
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Matthew Chartrand
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1106
Posted: 14 December 2009 at 5:43pm | IP Logged | 7  

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/microsoft-encarta-d ies-after-long-battle-with-wikipedia/

 Soon wikipedia may be all we have.

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Koroush Ghazi
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 October 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1061
Posted: 17 December 2009 at 7:09am | IP Logged | 8  

Just as politicians are not necessarily the best people for the job, merely the most popular, so too, Wikipedia is not the best encyclopedia, it is simply the one with the greatest quantity of information and is used the most often. Unfortunately quality is not a commodity valued by those without the requisite skills to recognize it.
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Jon Stafford
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 29 December 2010
Posts: 843
Posted: 03 January 2011 at 9:18pm | IP Logged | 9  

Wikipedia is a great place to get a general sense of a subject.  And on non-controversial subjects (say, for example, the taxonomic classification of prairie dogs) it's usually fairly accurate.  But it's not a viable reference in an academic sense.  However, most of the "important" articles contain links to their original source material, which may be valid for citation purposes.

The irony is that the vast majority of Wikipedia entries are written by a small handful of people.
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Andrew Hess
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9767
Posted: 31 January 2011 at 5:52pm | IP Logged | 10  

A few days ago there was a minor Jewish holiday called Tu Bishvat (basically, Arbor Day). I went to Wikipedia and found THIS entry, where some twit had stuck "Tim" and things attributed to Tim thruout, such as observances for the holiday include "Saying hi to Tim, eating pickles and peanuts."

This turned out to be a perfect way of showing my son why he should never use Wikipedia to find out facts. Even though *this* instance was clearly a prank, there are many other entries where the wrong information is not so obvious, nor so benign.


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Joe Hollon
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13202
Posted: 31 January 2011 at 7:38pm | IP Logged | 11  

There was an article on the front page of my local newspaper about a tree in the middle of town.  The article used the scientific name of the tree and of course wrote the name incorrectly.  I had just the say before gone over the rules of binomial nomenclature with my students and mentioned how I always see it written incorrectly in the press.  This was perfect!  So I showed the article to my class and then I noticed...in a published article, in a newspaper....and on the front page.....the article sited Wikipedia.  Something like this, "According to Wikipedia these trees..."

I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  Any Middle School student knows you can't site Wikipedia.  How could a newspaper publish that?
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Joe Hollon
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13202
Posted: 31 January 2011 at 7:41pm | IP Logged | 12  

Here's the article: http://wnewsj.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=187901& ;SectionID=49&SubSectionID=&S=1

Incorrectly written scientific name in paragraph two, Wikipedia citation in paragraph six.
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Joakim Jahlmar
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 10 October 2005
Location: Sweden
Posts: 6080
Posted: 01 February 2011 at 2:57am | IP Logged | 13  

Joe, it is at the very least nice of them to cite that they ARE using Wikipedia. I shudder to think how many do, but don't give the reference.


Andrew, when Doris Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, a Swedish paper (possibly one of the tabloids) reportedly drew upon Wikipedia by copying her bibliography without double-checking it in any way, apparently. Some prankster had thrown in the non-existing title "Poop" in the batch.
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Joe Hollon
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13202
Posted: 01 February 2011 at 5:00am | IP Logged | 14  

"it is at the very least nice of them to cite that they ARE using Wikipedia. I shudder to think how many do, but don't give the reference."

***********

I don't know.  I think leaving a source out of that paragraph would've given them more credibility.
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Joakim Jahlmar
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 10 October 2005
Location: Sweden
Posts: 6080
Posted: 02 February 2011 at 6:11pm | IP Logged | 15  

More credibility, yes. But under false pretences.

I'd rather know IF they're using it, precisely because it affects the credibility.
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Joakim Jahlmar
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 10 October 2005
Location: Sweden
Posts: 6080
Posted: 02 February 2011 at 6:12pm | IP Logged | 16  

(Needless to say, the best thing altogether would have been for them to use a different source to begin with, obviously.)
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Matt Clouser
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 September 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 145
Posted: 16 November 2011 at 6:50am | IP Logged | 17  

Got a chuckle out of this ...

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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108522
Posted: 16 September 2012 at 9:06am | IP Logged | 18  

Somewhere, Josef Goebbels is laughing is ass off.
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Morgan Talley
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 21 October 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Posted: 21 October 2012 at 2:20pm | IP Logged | 19  

Not surprising, my school frowned upon information taken from Wikipedia.  I myself only use it for tv/movie plots and info.
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108522
Posted: 26 October 2012 at 6:47am | IP Logged | 20  

Not surprising, my school frowned upon information taken from Wikipedia. I myself only use it for tv/movie plots and info.

••

Early on, I found I could not trust it even for that! I don't recall which film it was, but I remember reading a description and thinking "…that's not what happened. . . "

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DW Zomberg
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 June 2012
Posts: 381
Posted: 05 April 2013 at 1:42pm | IP Logged | 21  

Just took a look at the entry for Arthur C Clarke's novel 2001. The site notes that one nation launches nuclear weapons at another in the book's finale, when, in fact, the missles were launched at the Star Child.

Yeesh.

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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108522
Posted: 25 November 2013 at 5:26am | IP Logged | 22  

Recently I took a glance at the page allegedly presenting facts about me. Once again, most of the information is incorrect, sometimes subtly, sometimes wildly. Even things I corrected have been "edited" back to their former inaccuracies. (Someone, somewhere seems determined that my American citizenship will never be listed accurately, for instance.)
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Jon Levin
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 July 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Posted: 03 August 2016 at 8:09pm | IP Logged | 23  

This is a terrific and gets the points across accurately.
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