Wikipedia: Good Source or... Not

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by puglover, Apr 30, 2007.

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Wikipedia

  1. Wikipedia is reliable - I approve

    65 vote(s)
    58.6%
  2. Wikipedia is reliable - but I disapprove

    7 vote(s)
    6.3%
  3. Wikipedia is not reliable - but I approve

    26 vote(s)
    23.4%
  4. Wikipedia is not reliable - I disapprove

    9 vote(s)
    8.1%
  5. I have never used Wikipedia

    1 vote(s)
    0.9%
  6. Chuck Norris disapproves of Wiki-nerds (other)

    3 vote(s)
    2.7%
  1. puglover

    puglover Disturber of Worldviews

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    Some swear by the methods of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Others believe it is a tool of Satan for the very same reasons.

    What do you think of the open-source system for encyclopedias?
     
  2. Harbringer

    Harbringer Your A One Flower Garden

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    Really, what source is reliable?

    edit:Wow, I just realized that ive made the kind of post that i hate when posters make, im so sorry
     
  3. flamingzaroc121

    flamingzaroc121 Emperor

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    i actually trust wikipedia because it is right 97% of the time
     
  4. Godwynn

    Godwynn March to the Sea

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    I'm a big fan of it.
     
  5. Gaius Octavius

    Gaius Octavius Deity

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    I don't like to use it, but where else are you going to find free information like that? (I'm asking this seriously - are there better places?)

    What a lot of "experts" and other educated people who rail against it don't understand is that the reason it's so popular is not because anyone can edit it, I think, but because it's free. You have to subscribe to others like Britannica, Grolier, et al., to be able to view anything more than the smallest blurb, and that's just not right. Knowledge should be free. Anything else is fascism. :D
     
  6. Harbringer

    Harbringer Your A One Flower Garden

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    I like your thinking, knowledge should be something to be shared, not locked away like that.
     
  7. Left

    Left Real Game Out Here

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    I'm a fan.

    Its a good place to start research, but don't just end with wiki.
     
  8. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    Wikipedia is a good website, since it's quick and addicting.

    That said, it's an awful source, since you have no guarantee I didn't just **** with the page 10 minutes before you got there.
     
  9. puglover

    puglover Disturber of Worldviews

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    :goodjob:

    I think another attraction is the fact that field testing with a crowd of viewers who can edit eliminates most concerns of bias by an individual. I once went to the library to look up information about the reliability of personality tests. And on the same shelf were two books with entirely different blurbs:
    "How your personality sign can affect your daily life!"
    "How personality tests have corrupted the science of psychology as we know it."
    Now I had no way of knowing if either of them were reliable at all, because of how opinionated the authors were. But then I went on wikipedia, and got a nice short blurb from either side of the debate that satisfied me.

    Let's review: I went to the library and spent half an hour getting nothing, then went online and spent a couple minutes getting the tiny bit of information I needed.
     
  10. Babbler

    Babbler Deity

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    Anything pop culture or some similar import: I trust and use Wikipedia, without reservation.

    Anything of real import: Not in a million years.
     
  11. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    I completely agree with you. However, it doesn't change the fact that it is not a reliable source - not because anyone can edit it, but because of problems that are inherint in the wikipedia process.
     
  12. Commodore

    Commodore Deity

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    Exactly. I will use it because it is convenient, but it is by no means the end all be all of research. If I am to use Wiki as a source for something official, I will always research other sources to confirm that what the Wiki article states is indeed correct.
     
  13. skadistic

    skadistic Caomhanach

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    Universities are starting to deny the use of Wiki as a resource. That says alot to me.
     
  14. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    depends. If you want to know like a specific date, or some objective fact, or a general overview of a subject, it is great. If you want to actually learn in depth about something it is really only useful insofar as it can link you out to reputable places. In philosophy in particular it is notoriously HORRIBLE, ruled by pomo and/or deconstructionist fanboy idiots with no knowledge of the discipline.
     
  15. mrt144

    mrt144 Deity

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    its a good start
     
  16. Maimonides

    Maimonides Emperor

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    No, it's because anyone can edit it. That means it's completely unreliable.

    Maybe in Utopia, but, on planet Earth, information is the most valuable commodity.

    Exactly.
     
  17. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    I agree that this is generally a good thing, but you can run into trouble with regards to things that are highly specialized and technical.

    Example:

    In the wiki entry for the philosophy of consciousness, someone kept bringing up the work of David Chalmers, who is one of the world's greatest experts on the subject, to substantiate his BS viewpoints. He had some support from the wiki-editing peanut gallery as well. So DAVID CHALMERS HIMSELF shows up and tries to correct a misrepresentation of his own work, and the peanut gallery shuts him down for being "bias". :lol:
     
  18. Pasi Nurminen

    Pasi Nurminen Deity

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    It's great in theory, but in practice allowing a bunch of nobodys with no expertise on what they write to write as they please renders it useless. The standard wikipedian (I hate that term) response to that is that "good" information will eventually rise to the surface, making Wikipedia either incorrect or correct depending on which time I choose to rely on their discordant mob.
     
  19. Fëanor

    Fëanor Chieftain

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    you can just look at the history and see whoever **** with the page since the page was created, and look up each and every version ever created.

    Usually in the Talk pages there is also tons of good sources and extra materials that can be helpful for research.
     
  20. Fugitive Sisyphus

    Fugitive Sisyphus Escape Artist

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    It depends on how accurate you need to be. For the average school report accuracy is unimportant compared to raw data therefore Wikipedia is a good source.
     

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