Ennui phil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2008 04:15 am
@philosopherqueen,
Wikipedia is amassing invaluable information and the future of the company will be more feasible.
0 Replies
 
Rose phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2008 06:22 pm
@philosopherqueen,
I like it. It's usually my first stop when I want to look something up. Then of course it gives you all these other references. And I find I just go from one page to another until I have what I want on the subject.
0 Replies
 
sarek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 12:30 pm
@philosopherqueen,
Some research that has been done has shown Wikipedia to be not much less reliable than other informational media.
It works a little bit like the human brain itself. Along with its abilities to correct itself. With the additional power provided by the wiki format also comes additional uncertainty.
avatar6v7
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 12:39 pm
@sarek,
Wikipedia is not a serious research website, but it doesn't claim to be either. In spite of its supposed unreliability its hardly worse than many physical encyclopedias and it is considerably more extensive and easy to use
BlueChicken
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 08:44 am
@avatar6v7,
Am I the only person who doesn't have a problem with Wikipedia's factual accuracy (at least to some of the extremes demonstrated here) but more with the obvious bias that oozes through some of the entries?

Information-wise, Wikipedia tends to be valid insofar as the method of citations allows you to check many of the claims made, if they seem misplaced or otherwise. Often, knowing nothing of a topic (such as the mating habits of the domestic chicken) Wikipedia offers a quick idea as to the information with a citation to follow up the information. Rather than seeing Wikipedia as an encyclopedia, with the information contained taken at face value because it appears in the encyclopedia, it is more useful to see it as a giant HTML base with links to various pieces of information.

More to the point, Wikipedia seems to be a haven for interpretations which lead to very slanted biases.The entry for Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), for example, offers a section of her "lagacy" longer than that of her "criticism", which of course would have nothing to do with the campaign of Objectivists to limit or eliminate the anti-Objectivist material on the internet (which seems to wax and wane with time).
A more neutral or toned-down example is the entry of Jacques Derrida (Jacques Derrida - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), which offers a section of "criticisms" approaching the length of his "work" section revealing an interesting way to look, at whom one scholar has called, "Saint Jacques." Given the English and American leanings of Wikipedia, and the reputation Derrida has in both of those spheres, this is hardly surprising but far from what I would identify as representational of him as a whole.
The bias for me has always been the downside to Wikipedia: not the information, but who is offering it. Without any method of quality-control, and complete anonymity of users, the slant some articles offer is much more damaging than wrong information in my view. Certainly when there is a "BlueChicken" entry available I will be slanting it towards my own ends, which is something I would question anyone with personal stakes either for or against individual articles has (or will have eventually) done. (To be fair, there are articles approaching "BlueChicken", the closest being Blue Foot chicken - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Although not always factually accurate, I would identify the problem with Wikipedia being more of who is editing rather than what they are editing.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 09:19 am
@Aphoric,
Aphoric;28043 wrote:
My med-micro teach won't let us use wikipedia as a source when researching articles because it's not credible.
Being on the faculty of a major medical school, I fully agree. But it's not something that I have to tell the medical students, interns, residents, fellows, and pharmacy students who are on my clinical team. They all know that if they need real information, they go to either 1) source material (eg Medline), or 2) comprehensively referenced peer-reviewed topic summaries (eg textbook chapters, review articles in major journals, UpToDate).

Wikipedia is not a fully referenced source, and it is certainly not peer-reviewed. I don't know what level of education you are, but if you're making professional and certainly clinical decisions based on Wikipedia, then you're going to be smashed into tiny little bits in a lawsuit if a patient has a bad outcome as a result.
avatar6v7
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 06:16 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Being on the faculty of a major medical school, I fully agree. But it's not something that I have to tell the medical students, interns, residents, fellows, and pharmacy students who are on my clinical team. They all know that if they need real information, they go to either 1) source material (eg Medline), or 2) comprehensively referenced peer-reviewed topic summaries (eg textbook chapters, review articles in major journals, UpToDate).

Wikipedia is not a fully referenced source, and it is certainly not peer-reviewed. I don't know what level of education you are, but if you're making professional and certainly clinical decisions based on Wikipedia, then you're going to be smashed into tiny little bits in a lawsuit if a patient has a bad outcome as a result.

If there are any doctors currently making a diagnosis based on wikipedia I am deeply worried. I am just defending it as useful, naturally other sources are better for reliability and fullness, but for quickly checking facts on somthing it works very well. People seem to have unrealistic expectations of what it should be doing.
0 Replies
 
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 08:08 am
@philosopherqueen,
Wikipedia took a major step in credibility when it found ways to prevent malicious or moronic changes to its contents. There are still, however, major problems relying on its articles as anything more than a quick overview. I will confine my observations and remarks to larger entries in the humanities where I some ability to judge, and omit those to rock music and current cinema where for all I know, there are few problems.

That the entries are dependent on the quality, and objectivity, of it contributors is perhaps the most serious drawback. One has only to follow the discussions by the writers of an entry to conclude that as a group project it hardly inspires trust. Moreover, these SAME PEOPLE provide the links, and one is never sure whether those links are 1) to recognised authorities, or 2)are inclusive of all the major viewpoints.

Having followed the evolution of several entries in subjects of personal interest, I have watched the content change rather dramatically from month to month. One is never really certain whether the entry one reads today will not significantly change after continued discussion as its committee changes.

In this democratic age of ours, one should I suppose, expect such knowledge by committee. I do not challenge the motives or personal integrity of its members, who generally take some pains about their efforts, but I do have serious reservations about their qualifications, since most of the larger entries seem written by, for lack of a better word, amateurs in the area covered, and not recognised experts. Just as importantly, in any committee there are usually one or two dominant individuals that both drive the process and lead the rest towards a particular conclusion. This group dynamic seems as operative in Wikipedia entries as in other spheres of life.
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 10:06 am
@philosopherqueen,
I think the problem with both the Wikipedia and traditional encyclopedias, are that the best people to write the entries are not doing so. There is always a need to question based on the bias of why certain aspects are included, emphasized, discarded, or diminished. I think a noble effort of humanity would be to gather encyclopedic entries from experts within various fields. Until that happens though, all encyclopedic information will never be anything more than a way to wet one's toes in sea of information.
0 Replies
 
Quark phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 07:57 am
@philosopherqueen,
Wikipedia can be mentioned as the new dimension of encyclopedia culture, this is a open source project means it can be changed by everyone. Thought lies in the background should be affected by Linux. As I can observe so far, people are getting involved open source day by day even within commercial organizations.
0 Replies
 
Albert Camus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Apr, 2009 10:34 pm
@philosopherqueen,
I'm a wikimaniac..... nuff said. But seriously tho, I have found wikipedia to be a great tool Smile
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 06:08 am
@philosopherqueen,
As an information provider Wikipedia is an awesome tool, you only have to look 1 place, where everything else has it's information dividing in endless of seperate sites, thus I have often wasted much time getting irrelevant search-results.

HOWEVER!! Wikipedia are a "public place" so to speak, where fools and idiots can have their say, thereby pollute decent articles with nonsens and inaccurate/false information.
0 Replies
 
 

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