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Re: [ARSCLIST] Whacky-Packia outed for what it is -- Amateur Hour in Siberia

On 22/03/07, David Lennick wrote:

> Don Cox wrote:
>> On 21/03/07, David Lennick wrote:
>>> Steven Levy is typical of today's idiotic journalism and the state
>>> of education in general. Bravo for Keen! And my opinions on
>>> Wackypackia are well known to this group and haven't changed (nor
>>> has Wickywackypedera).
>> No doubt Wikipedia contains plenty of errors, but is it any worse in
>> that respect that any current commercial encyclopedia?
>> The days when Britannica was written by top experts are long gone.
>> I have found Wikipedia useful for topics such as rock bands.
>> Regards
> What is the point of calling on a resource where you have to
> second-guess the accuracy of the article in question? 

Generally, the information is not readily available anywhere else.

> Until the day
> comes when Wikipedia cannot be amended by anyone for any reason,
> except with accepted credentials, 

Accepted by whom? To take the case of a rock band or musician, is his
former manager who he split up with in a major row an "accepted source"?

The absolutely true reference encyclopedia that you wish for is a dream.

> Wikipedia is verboten in my house as
> it is in any reputable newsroom. If you want to scan it for laughs, go
> right ahead. I do not and will not rely on anything where Wikipedia is
> the prime source. 

No encyclopedia can be a prime source. Their purpose is to give you a
concise introduction to the topic. For example, I found a very useful
survey of the philosophy of mathematics. Where else on the web would I
find an equally useful article? There are university lecture notes, but
these are one man's opinion.

> As for other publications committing errors, yes
> they do..look at Consumer Reports which just had to retract an entire
> article on testing of car seats. Has Wikipedia ever retracted
> anything?

Frequently, I think. Isn't the whole point that it can be edited and
updated continually, unlike a printed book?

> Sorry, there is nothing you can say that will convince me otherwise.
> And I offer an apology to Siberians, in case nobody else has.
> dl
Don Cox

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