Wikipedia, Because somebody was gonna bring it up sooner or later.
Post #41 MillenniumArmy Oct 24 2007, 8:04 am
Post #42 Demented Shaman Oct 24 2007, 8:43 am
I also find it hard to come to actual conclusions about certain topics such as global warming, war in Iraq, and WTC, because I don't know for sure who to believe and which sources are correct. Of course I lean towards the general consensus of most of the other people, but I often feel that I don't have the capacity to fully argue or discuss them in any really enlightened manner. Especially when you have one person saying something and citing a source, but then another person saying the complete opposite and citing another source. Sometimes it's even just interpretations of varying data. Ultimately, however, it's just the fact that it's too much work to actually dig and find the truth and the fact that I'm not an expert myself in any of the issues. This is why I dislike discussing any serious issues which are dependent on facts and actual evidence and events, because I and everyone else are just too uninformed most of the time.
MA: What you do is make sure everything's legit with the current article. Then you cite THAT VERSION. Not the main page. By citing the current version you can be assured that future edits won't mess up the information you already have.
So you should have cited the current version (before you vandalized it). It's your fault for not doing so.
I understand this position, and it is part of the reason our lack of a competent and credible media is such a dire problem for a democracy. Our very form of government is dependent on a well informed populace. Is it not therefore our civic duty to question as deeply as possible into the issues surrounding our votes?
Post #45 MillenniumArmy Oct 24 2007, 6:25 pm
So, wikipedia isn't reliable then.
If I, personally, am going to have to go through each and every cited source at the bottom of each page for each section of information that I read in the wikipedia article itself regardless of whether they have been revised/corrected or not, then what's the point of reading the wikipedia article itself in the first place anyways? Well, like many have said, they only use wikipedia in the sense that they use the cited sources listed at the bottom of each article, which there is absolutely nothing wrong with; infact if these cited sources point in the right direction, you simply cannot go wrong with it. It's arguably the best feature about wikipedia right now.
Say I spend 5 minutes reading up information in a wikipedia article (the information, not the references/cite sources yet). After reading all info, I cannot immediately belief everything that I've read hasn't been tampered with. So now what I am going to have to do is spend another 5 or so minutes reading each and every cited source/reference listed in that wikipedia article just to make sure that the wiki article itself is accurate. And because I am having to do this, this means that in your initial point of view, wikipedia's reliability is unknown. After checking each cited source and reference can you then declare the reliability, accuracy, and precision of the wikipedia article.
But look what you just did; say that wiki article you read points to 10 different cited sources. You just spent about 50 extra minutes reading other more reliable articles elsewhere than wikipedia (reason they are more reliable is because one has to verify that wikipedia matches the information listed in said cited source). During those 50 minutes, you've probably accumulated all necessary information for whatever you need; thus you've wasted your time reading the wikipedia article itself. Why waste time with something so unreliable (in the sense that nothing you currently view on the page can be trusted).
So yes, if you truly want to know a subject more, you can use/go to the cited sources listed at the bottom of the wikipedia article. That's wonderful! Even professors and teachers can't go against that (assuming that they allow any form of online sources). But reading the wikipedia article itself in the current state in which you are viewing the document alone exposes you to inaccuracy and perhaps even misleading information. Checking the cited sources at the bottom may prevent one from being mislead, but again if you are going to go that far, you might as well not be using wikipedia (the actual info, not the references) in the first place.
Thus in conclusion, the wikipedia article is unreliable and may lack accuracy or precision. The cited sources could (and should) be used at the bottom, but those links point away from wikipedia, meaning you have to get trustworthy information away from wikipedia.
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