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BS: Wikipedia (general discussion)

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GUEST,Penguin Egg 30 Jun 08 - 08:06 AM
Rapparee 30 Jun 08 - 08:39 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 Jun 08 - 09:38 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jun 08 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 30 Jun 08 - 10:06 AM
Amos 30 Jun 08 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Jon 30 Jun 08 - 10:21 AM
irishenglish 30 Jun 08 - 10:34 AM
katlaughing 30 Jun 08 - 11:47 AM
Muswell Hillbilly 30 Jun 08 - 12:05 PM
Rapparee 30 Jun 08 - 12:18 PM
irishenglish 30 Jun 08 - 12:24 PM
Irish sergeant 30 Jun 08 - 01:30 PM
Muswell Hillbilly 30 Jun 08 - 01:42 PM
Riginslinger 30 Jun 08 - 04:02 PM
Amos 30 Jun 08 - 04:24 PM
Geoff the Duck 30 Jun 08 - 04:51 PM
Les from Hull 30 Jun 08 - 05:35 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Jun 08 - 09:09 PM
Bee 30 Jun 08 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,Geoff the Duck 01 Jul 08 - 10:09 AM

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Subject: BS: Wikipedia
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 08:06 AM

Anyone use Wikipedia? I do. It seems to have everything in there. If it was published, I wonder how many volumes it would have?


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 08:39 AM

Yes, and take it with a heaping pile of salt -- not all of the information is accurate (although they try) and some of it is slanted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 09:38 AM

It does as a take off point, just as long as you don't take it as gospel.

As with any media that can be edited by any person with a computer, it's not reliable and you can find some decidedly dodgy material in there, although it does try to moderate the worst bits.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 09:43 AM

It's kind of the "USA Today" of encyclopedias.


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 10:06 AM

I know that it may not quite have the reputation of an Encyclopedia Brittanica, but it covers areas that the Brittanica wouldn't touch with a barge pole, say Punk rock or the films of Jean Van Damme.

However, how big would it be if it was published? I get the feeling it would be something like a 1000 volumes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 10:16 AM

It's huge and broad. It provides wonderful background for a wide spectrum of fields of interest. The areas where it gets dodgy are often popular or current topics without much depth to them. As a cultural dictionary it is phenomenal. Cum granulo salo.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 10:21 AM

Wikipedia's info on Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: irishenglish
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 10:34 AM

I take Liz's position as the best. Certain things, like most bios of a person are fairly accurate, but at best should be used as a starting off point. That is how I use it at this point, and it is helpful that there are frequently links to other articles, official websites etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 11:47 AM

Here's someone's answer from a similar query elsewhere on the internet:

Assuming no special formatting, and that images and tables took up only as much space as their text representation (much smaller than they actually are), where each page contained 8000 characters, and each volume 400 pages, Wikipedia would cover more than 1250 volumes (a 1250 estimate was made based on data from August 2007, when there were as many as five hundred thousand fewer articles). If nice formatting were added and images and tables were expanded, this number would be greatly expanded; perhaps even (though this is pure speculation) to double the estimate size.

By the way, this is including only the English Wikipedia: just based on the _number of articles_ in other languages, a copy in every language available might be as much as 5 times as big (though it would be likely to be smaller than that as the English Wikipedia has, on average, longer pages than most Wikipedias).

Regardless, it is doubtful that Wikipedia *can* be printed; by the time a single copy was published it would be out of date.

My source includes an image (of the August 2007 estimate), you may find this most illustrative.

    * 2 months ago

Source(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Size_...


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 12:05 PM

A friend of mine had to completely re-write (due to massive inaccuracies) an entry on an English rock band, The Move. Having had the information verified by a reliable source, it was re-published. This friend got a very abusive e-mail from the original writer of said article. Like the poster, irishenglish sayus, use the entries as a jumping off point and nothing more


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 12:18 PM

The six basic problems with data on the Internet:

1. Typos.
2. Accidental or deliberate errors of fact.
3. Opinion stated as fact.
4. Out of date information.
5. Bias.
6. Deliberate fraud.


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: irishenglish
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 12:24 PM

Granted, there are probably many mundane entries on wikipedia that are essentailly correct, but alas, when I use it, its not for such topics as the history of the umbrella, or the invention of adhesive tape. Instead, its for a bio of someone, or a band, which as Hon Sec. and Rapaire have pointed out, is a little dodgy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 01:30 PM

It's great for a starting poing as long as you're not doing scholarlt research and it usually has good links. I have used it as a start for researching articles . Neil


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 01:42 PM

Neil, it's my experience that the links are generally the best part of the whole article


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 04:02 PM

The problem I have with it is, it's constantly changing. I have gone in and looked something up, and then gone back later to verify what I had and found it missing or changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 04:24 PM

The same core flows exist in Wikipedia as exist in any example of human information.

1. Incomplete facts
2. Injection of data that has no bearing or is doistortive or is inapplicable.
3. Distorted sequences of events.
4. Skewing importances.
5. Falsifying or distorting time.
6. Contradictory data not resolved.
7. SImply false data.


The more of these flags you get, the worse the data is tot hink with. You get a lot more of these in the rantings of a hot political diatribe, or one of Novak's columns, for example, than you do from anything that survives 24 houras on Wikipedia.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 04:51 PM

If you want REALLY DODGY information try this one - http://uncyclopedia.org.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Les from Hull
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 05:35 PM

That's excellent Geoff. And for useful information about the Universe click here Don't Panic


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 09:09 PM

Anythingg in Wiki to with Religion or UFOs is hotly contended...


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: Bee
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 11:45 PM

I use it mostly to look up sciencey stuff, in the realms of biology, paleontology, archaeology, etc., and in those fields it seems pretty good, always lots of links to published papers or universities or original research. It also seems pretty decent with regard to literature, art history, and not bad on actual history, if you check the links.


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Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia
From: GUEST,Geoff the Duck
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 10:09 AM

Hitch Hikers' Guide to the Galaxy is supposed to have "Don't Panic" in warm, friendly letters. Why do the BEEB always use spiky frightening ones?
Quack!
GtD.


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