Commentary

The convenient encyclopedia

  • by , December 14, 2010

Wikipedia is awesome.

I understand that an elementary school P.E. teacher could write about organic chemistry and publish it for the world to see. And yes, many of the people who see it will probably mistake it for fact.

But seriously, how many elementary school P.E. teachers go online to write about organic chemistry when they know absolutely nothing about it? Talk about a waste of time.

I’m convinced that people are generally good. To go along with that, I believe that the people posting content on Wikipedia make an effort to write the most accurate information they possibly can.

Academics seem to be convinced that Wikipedia is written by a bunch of 4th graders. And Google gets thrown into that category too. Apparently everything that comes from Wikipedia or Google is 100% wrong.

Sure, you need to be careful about what you believe to be fact. And yes, not everything on Wikipedia is ready to be published in an academic journal.

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But I’m not asking to write a research paper and have my bibliography consist of ten different Wikipedia pages.

When will people start to give it the credit it deserves?

I consider Wikipedia to be a valuable source of information. If I hear about something during the day and want to know more about it, I think that Wikipedia is usually a good place to start. Is that so wrong?

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