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Wikipedia

donald.keller
Posts: 3,709
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8/11/2013 4:08:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Okay everyone... What do you think?

CON:
It's open edit.

PROS:
Highly sourced.
Not so easy to vandalize.
Moderated.

===================================

I think Wikipedia is as good a source as any. It's not easy to vandalized, and most things have a lot of sources.

If an article isn't trusted, it'll tell you.

People wrote it? Every source is written by a person. Edits must go through the Talk page first, so it isn't that easily messed with.

A test shown that Wikipedia only has (on average) 1 error more per article than the Encyclopedia Britannica. These is actually a very good record, and shows that Wikipedia is almost as creditable as the Encyclopedia Britannica, making it much more reliable than just about any other source you will find online.

1 ) http://news.cnet.com...

While it's not the prettiest source, calling it a bad source is simply unwarranted.

But what do you think? Do you think Wikipedia should be considered a valid source?
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donald.keller
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8/11/2013 4:13:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I go with the basis that any website has the ability to be correct...

All individual sources are held at face value until proven unreliable.
If someone sources back to Wikipedia, I'm not going to attack the source he used... I'll attack his argument. I could go to his Wikipedia source and (most likely) find it was very accurate.

Attacking a source because it's Wikipedia is cheap and cowardly. You never prove he's wrong, in fact, he most likely isn't wrong.
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/11/2013 4:14:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Don't use Wiki for political things. Use it for history, science, etc.

If it seems iffy, rather than using Wiki, simply use the source that Wiki is using.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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8/11/2013 4:38:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This this a joke, dude? Wikipedia is nice for quickly finding out basic stuff, like dates, names, etc. For anything complex, anything hard to understand, or anything controversial it is totally and completely useless. Even the sourcing is horrific; they often give links to newspaper articles.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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8/12/2013 1:21:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Most of the stuff in Wikipedia is not controversial, so quoting the article is a fair way to summarize the facts. But on some subjects they make assertions not supported by the references, they ignore countering data and arguments, and they cherry pick references. I think the rule is that it's okay to use Wikipedia as a summary of something if you can back up a challenge to the source by going to the sources they used. If you need the population of Switzerland or how much oil is consumed by China, Wikipedia is convenient.

Another thing that happens in debates is a need to summarize scientific theories, political ideologies, or characteristic beliefs of religion. If you are debating "vacuum energy" you need to orient the interested reader to what you are talking about. A Wiki article can summarize without being relied upon to say whether the idea is true of not. It's useful in that role.

My conclusion is that it is like any other source. You have to decide whether a particular article is reliable based upon whether you can defend it if challenged.
donald.keller
Posts: 3,709
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8/12/2013 2:48:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/12/2013 1:21:21 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
Most of the stuff in Wikipedia is not controversial, so quoting the article is a fair way to summarize the facts. But on some subjects they make assertions not supported by the references, they ignore countering data and arguments, and they cherry pick references. I think the rule is that it's okay to use Wikipedia as a summary of something if you can back up a challenge to the source by going to the sources they used. If you need the population of Switzerland or how much oil is consumed by China, Wikipedia is convenient.

Another thing that happens in debates is a need to summarize scientific theories, political ideologies, or characteristic beliefs of religion. If you are debating "vacuum energy" you need to orient the interested reader to what you are talking about. A Wiki article can summarize without being relied upon to say whether the idea is true of not. It's useful in that role.

My conclusion is that it is like any other source. You have to decide whether a particular article is reliable based upon whether you can defend it if challenged.

Everything I've said so far comes down to this...
Every source is held at face value until you prove it's bad... Saying 'It's Wikipedia' is simply cowardly and replaces a logical argument with a stereotype.

If someone uses Wikipedia, they might be right still, and that article might prove it. Until I prove it doesn't, I have to accept their source.

Saying "It's Wikipedia, so it's wrong" is like Ad Hominem towards websites.
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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8/12/2013 2:56:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/12/2013 2:48:34 PM, donald.keller wrote:

Everything I've said so far comes down to this...
Every source is held at face value until you prove it's bad... Saying 'It's Wikipedia' is simply cowardly and replaces a logical argument with a stereotype.

If someone uses Wikipedia, they might be right still, and that article might prove it. Until I prove it doesn't, I have to accept their source.

Saying "It's Wikipedia, so it's wrong" is like Ad Hominem towards websites.

For Wikipedia, I agree, but there are generically bad sources. I had a guy quote an article about gay teachers having a plan to make school kids gay. The source was "The Onion." He didn't know it was satire. More generally, there are doubtful sources like supermarket tabloids and ideological websites where it's reasonable to at least raise suspicions because of the source.
donald.keller
Posts: 3,709
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8/12/2013 3:00:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/12/2013 2:56:44 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/12/2013 2:48:34 PM, donald.keller wrote:

Everything I've said so far comes down to this...
Every source is held at face value until you prove it's bad... Saying 'It's Wikipedia' is simply cowardly and replaces a logical argument with a stereotype.

If someone uses Wikipedia, they might be right still, and that article might prove it. Until I prove it doesn't, I have to accept their source.

Saying "It's Wikipedia, so it's wrong" is like Ad Hominem towards websites.

For Wikipedia, I agree, but there are generically bad sources. I had a guy quote an article about gay teachers having a plan to make school kids gay. The source was "The Onion." He didn't know it was satire. More generally, there are doubtful sources like supermarket tabloids and ideological websites where it's reasonable to at least raise suspicions because of the source.

lol I completely agree... I just.. I can not believe someone used the Onion XD
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