Wikipedia on Radio 4

  WhiteTruckMan 01:54 19 Jul 07
Locked

click here

Tuesday at 11:30 am.

Just a heads up for anyone who may be interested. I'll certainly try to catch it in my truck, circumstances permitting.

WTM

  acxxxx 02:11 19 Jul 07

I liked Clive Anderson until that inerview with the Bee Gees (he came off allot worse as the interviewer).

  Quickbeam 09:11 19 Jul 07

If you missed it, use the 'listen again' feature click here

  Kate B 11:12 19 Jul 07

I wail in despair whenever I see someone quoting Wikipedia as a source. It can be a useful starting point for research, but it can also be a nightmare. If you've got a strong stomach and want to see the kind of knots contributors tie themselves in, have a look at the entry for swinging and click on the discussion tab. It goes on and on about definitions, who should be included, what is and isn't acceptable - quite an eye-opener!

There's a lot to be said for the wisdom of crowds - it's why Ask the Audience is such a good option for contestants stuck on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - but Wikipedia isn't quite the same as it doesn't solicit knowledge from a broad range of people; instead the entries are written by a very narrow range of people who consider themselves experts. Many are, of course, but as we know with well-meaning so-called computer experts, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

  namtas 12:01 19 Jul 07

Surely no one accepts Wikipedia as a reliable factual information source do they? it is a mix of information largely unresearched, by people who think that they are experts in their chosen field.

  Jim Thing 12:12 19 Jul 07

To paraphrase an old internet classic: "On Wikipedia, nobody knows you're not an expert."

  Kate B 12:46 19 Jul 07

namtas, they do, unfortunately! You'll see people on forums (even this one, occasionally) quoting it as an irrefutable source.

Jim Thing, that's an excellent paraphrase. The problem with Wikipedia is that I don't think there's any kind of verification of who people say they are, so you can get all sorts of people with all sorts of agendas wading in to entries. I wish they'd teach people in school how to research and how to use the internet effectively. It's not just Wikipedia - lots of people quote all sorts of websites to back up arguments and sometimes they're good sources and sometimes they're not.

I'm reminded of the rash of 9/11 conspiracy threads we suffered - do you remember the way some of the conspiracists trotted out the most absurd nonsense as gospel simply because it was on a website?

  WhiteTruckMan 22:57 24 Jul 07

I did and I found it interesting. It also seemed (to me) to be a reasonably balanced view of the pros and cons, being somewhat limited by the 30 minute length of the program. There were no great surprises, but even so I think perhaps I may be changing my opinion just a little bit about it. Thats not to say that I will stop consulting wikipedia-far from it! Merely that I amy just look elsewhere for some things as well.

WTM

  Forum Editor 23:06 24 Jul 07

with resources like Wikipedia. It's the one mentioned by many people - that of being considered an irrefutable source of factual information.

I've had conversations with people who have said 'yes, it's true, it's in Wikipedia' - as if that's an end to debate.

  brundle 23:13 24 Jul 07

Just take a look at the endless battle over the 180Solutions/Zango entry;
click here
click here.

I like Wikipedia as a concept, but you have to be aware of its limitations.

  Brumas 23:09 25 Jul 07

Call me old fashioned but I still consult my oldish set of Encyclopaedia Britannica to verify certain facts - if, it is not to be found because it is too current, I then try several places on the internet.

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