Wiki Critics: Your Overconfidence Is Your Weakness


John writes "The Wikipedia entry on "Replies to common objections" now feaures a section titled Quality of other sources. For those nitpickers who want to cast stones at Wikipedia's reliability and accuracy, the list is a somber reminder that other publications can be just as faulty. So it's not that Wikipedia can't be trusted, it's that nothing can! See this Slashdot post for more commentary along these lines."


it's nothing can!

When one achieves a level of scholarship where they realize that this is true, they are on their way to true understanding. Wikipedia is along way from perfect, but that doesn't make it any less valid than any other source. And... if you find a mistake, you get the option of correcting it, something that is not true most of the time.

It's true that no source of information can be trusted, but the problem is that Wikipedia really doesn't make any attempt to be trustworthy. As we Internet users know, the horrible thing about having a worldwide network is that you are immediately connected to all the goofs out there who are looking to spoil the good things.

I agree that Wikipedia has tremendous value; there are certainly many terms entered there that would never make it into a legitimate, published encyclopedia. All the same, there's something to be said for standards. You can't really rely on a global community to ensure a standard of quality.