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Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Is Wikipedia Objective? Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
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aflanigan

aflanigan Avatar

Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 14, 2012 - 9:09am

 kurtster wrote:


Its a big deal.  Technology's primary goal was to eliminate the printed word.  It has now about got the job done.

And one good Coronal Mass Ejection of plasma or an enemy's EMP wipes out everything electronic and those books become priceless.

Its quite a risk we are taking.

 
Actually, technology's primary goal is one of improvement.  In the case of books, they were a technological improvement over carved rocks and papyrus scrolls.  More portable, easier to handle,  etc.  For many years technological advancement facilitated paper-based writing to the point where it became ubiquitous.

Now we have the next generation of writing technology.  More convenient, portable, etc. than paper-based writing.

Remember Farenheit 451?  That's how vulnerable paper-based writing was (and the point of the book was, you can't eliminate freedom of thought or literacy by attacking the technology with technology).

Worrying that writing and human expression and culture can be wiped out by an electromagnetic pulse strikes me as black helicopter paranoia.  If you really are worried, before you head to your cabin in the mountains, wrap a few flash drives with a few million books stored on them in aluminum foil, then put them in a body cavity.


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 13, 2012 - 6:05pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses - NYTimes.com
After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.

Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project. (...)


 

Its a big deal.  Technology's primary goal was to eliminate the printed word.  It has now about got the job done.

And one good Coronal Mass Ejection of plasma or an enemy's EMP wipes out everything electronic and those books become priceless.

Its quite a risk we are taking.
R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Mar 13, 2012 - 5:55pm

After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses - NYTimes.com
After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.

Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project. (...)

nuggler

nuggler Avatar

Location: RU Sirius ?
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 3, 2011 - 1:33pm


"I have the power and the right to change history".





Despicable !


Umberdog

Umberdog Avatar

Location: In my body.
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 17, 2011 - 9:07pm

 romeotuma wrote:

How 'bout you don't ever address me at all, dude...  please...  if you continue to address me when I have asked you not to, I will consider it harassment...
 
How about you grow up?

Side note: That would make it better for both of us.


Umberdog

Umberdog Avatar

Location: In my body.
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 17, 2011 - 9:01pm

 romeotuma wrote:
You may be shocked to hear that I am so shocked about something I stumbled on by accident on Wikipedia that I am not going to post the link to it here... yes, a gauche lowbrow like I is squeamish about posting an objectionable link to Wikipedia here...  I am caught in a real conundrum because I am interested in seeing you folks discuss possible disgust as you talk about the unspeakable... the site is replete with pictures...

maybe I am just unsophisticated... but it really shocked me... I can say no more...
 
Wikipedia is edited by it's users. I've never trusted it. I'm never shocked by what people do. I've spent too much time in the real world for that.


R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Dec 19, 2010 - 4:51pm

As Wikipedia celebrates 10 years as an unrivalled source of knowledge, its founder talks to Ian Burrell

Jimmy Wales: 'It's not about how many pages. it's about how good they are'
It’s not yet the tenth day of Christmas and time for lords to start leaping, but one of the great aristocrats of the internet, Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales, can be forgiven for having a spring in his step as he walks the London streets.

Proclivities

Proclivities Avatar

Location: Paris of the Piedmont
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 18, 2009 - 7:18am

 Servo wrote:
My personal rule of thumb regarding Wikipedia is that it can be a handy way of refreshing my memory about things I already know.  Wikipedia articles that I know to be factual can be handy for use in expounding on things I already know.  But IMHO it is utterly useless in learning new things.
 
I agree that it is largely a site of graffiti and personal opinions, but it is not entirely "useless" for learning new things.  Topics which have more to do with Fact and less to do with opinions or aesthetics can be quite useful as learning tools.  I find it good for areas of science (chemistry, electronics, etc.) and geography (without political discussion), among other things, but I more often find it a just a handy way of "refreshing my memory" as well.

Servo

Servo Avatar

Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 17, 2009 - 7:14pm

Wikipedia is just another implementation of Wiki Wiki Web.  Wiki Wiki Web is just another markup language.  As such, it is neither objective or not.

The relative objectivity is in direct proportion to the authoritative oversight that it gets.  In other words, it's only as good as its editorial board.  How many people have checked the names on Wikipedia's editorial board to see how many names they recognize?  Wikipedia articles that back up all claims with multiple authoritative citations (the same standard that a learned publication would demand) can generally be accepted as "authoritative", as long as the citations are verified as real and authoritative.  But even then errors can occur.

My personal rule of thumb regarding Wikipedia is that it can be a handy way of refreshing my memory about things I already know.  Wikipedia articles that I know to be factual can be handy for use in expounding on things I already know.  But IMHO it is utterly useless in learning new things.


(former member)

(former member) Avatar



Posted: Aug 17, 2009 - 7:01pm

Wiki is down!  I am forced to admit, I refer to it for a lot of things.  And right now, I can't access it and I'm sort of annoyed.  Dammit.
n4ku

n4ku Avatar



Posted: Feb 18, 2009 - 11:51am

...
Red_Dragon

Red_Dragon Avatar



Posted: Feb 1, 2009 - 2:33pm

More random article weirdness...
BasmntMadman

BasmntMadman Avatar

Location: Off-White Gardens


Posted: May 7, 2008 - 11:33am

Lazy8 wrote:
This left-right conflict misses the point. The problem with the wiki model isn't that it is inherently biased to favor one political faction over another, but that it is inherently biased to favor fanatics with lots of time on their hands who refuse to share intellectual space with other views. I corrected the Wikipedia page for a family member; the original got a historical detail wrong. I went back a week later and the error was back. I suppose I could have made more of an effort to persuade the other editor that his source wasn't as authoritative as mine, but it wasn't worth the effort. And therein lies the problem: no outside observer could tell which of us was correct without doing the research that the wiki article pretended to have already done. The fanatic with bad information wins by repetition over better information less-vigorously defended. I use the heck out of Wikipedia. It's a great starting place, but the articles range from terrifically clear and concise to rambling and incoherent. And occasionally dead wrong.
Well, any basic flaws in Wikipedia really are not in the province of the ongoing right-left wrangle. But from what I've seen, the harshest criticism of wiki has come from the right hand side of the political spectrum. It strikes me that wikipedia is regarded as one of those bogeyman institutions, such as the UN. But that's a personal & unscientific view.

After all, wikipedia is a leveller kind of concept:   that the vast sea of the public can hope to present information of quality even close to that of a traditional encyclopedia relying on a few experts. It's also free, definitely a "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" sort of phenomenon. It's a great boon to those who are too poor to afford a large library of books, subscriptions to many periodicals, or a mainstream encyclopedia. It's also fast.

Sure, a determined rightwinger could just as easily edit wikipedia as a leftist with an axe to grind. And from all I've seen, lack of persistance is no defect of the right. Volatility and vulnerability to fanatics are real potential problems with the concept. As others have noted, though, in spite of the drawbacks, when compared to the reference standared Encyclopedia Britannica, wikipedia came out pretty well.

And it doesn't seem to be anarchy. Just look up, well, "wikipedia" in wikipedia, for its explanation of its own inner workings. Naturally, they will be a little favorably biased towards the effectiveness of their setup, but I'd trust their explanation of the mechanics. An excerpt:
Editors in good standing in the community can run for one of many of levels of volunteer stewardship; this begins with "administrator"<53> and goes up with "steward" and "bureaucrat".<54> Administrators, the largest group of privileged users (1,503 Wikipedians for the English edition on February 23, 2008), have the ability to delete pages, lock articles from being changed in case of vandalism or editorial disputes, and block users from editing.
I found a mistake, myself, in an article concerning religion. I forget what argument on what forum led me there. But it gave an analogy to the US Civil War which IIRC made Grant the leader of the Army of the Potomac from the very beginning of the war. At the time I couldn't really believe that such a nobody as myself could actually...edit it.


duchamp

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Location: Florida Panhandle
Gender: Female


Posted: May 7, 2008 - 7:21am

DD redgiff

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Location: Havre de Grace, Maryland
Gender: Male


Posted: May 6, 2008 - 10:37pm

DD redgiff

DD redgiff Avatar

Location: Havre de Grace, Maryland
Gender: Male


Posted: May 6, 2008 - 10:24pm

Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: May 6, 2008 - 10:17pm

DD redgiff

DD redgiff Avatar

Location: Havre de Grace, Maryland
Gender: Male


Posted: May 6, 2008 - 9:14pm

BasmntMadman

BasmntMadman Avatar

Location: Off-White Gardens


Posted: May 6, 2008 - 7:31pm

Zukiwi

Zukiwi Avatar

Location: Montreal's suburb
Gender: Female


Posted: May 6, 2008 - 7:01pm

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