[78-L] Wikipedia

David Lennick dlennick at sympatico.ca
Tue Mar 5 12:55:57 PST 2013

By the way, in case you want proof of how much it's used, reliably or not, the 
other day I looked up the movie "The Apartment" to get the cast list, having 
just watched it on TCM. The back story presented on television by Ben 
Mankiewicz was taken almost entirely from Wikipedia. And the cast list 
contained at least one glaring error. Joyce Jameson played the Marilyn Monroe 
lookalike, not "blonde in the bar". IMDB credits her as "the blonde".

On 3/5/2013 3:49 PM, David Lennick wrote:
> Well defended, but it still perpetuates errors and faulty opinions as much as
> it contains correct info once somebody bothers to ensure that it's there. There
> were several in that article. Journalists are STILL told never to rely on
> Wikipedia as a sole source, and that's as it should be.
> No it's not time to stop calling it names, sorry. Do you really believe it to
> be that reliable? It's not.
> dl
> On 3/5/2013 3:46 PM, Kristjan Saag wrote:
>> On 2013-03-05 16:17, David Lennick wrote:
>>> Some inaccuracies in this (hey, it's WackyPackia) but one interesting claim,
>>> that the word "blooper" is derived from "blue pencil" (i.e. censorable).
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blooper
>>> dl
>> Isn't it time we stop calling Wikipedia names?
>> Today it's the most reliable source of information there is on this
>> earth. Compared to available printed encyclopaedias there are less
>> errors in Wikipedia, simply because errors are corrected all the time.
>> It's up to you and me to do it, and if we can present good evidence for
>> our corrections no one will complain.
>> I work with a weekly radio programme, playing laidback music from the
>> 1920's till today, mixing things like Bix, Charles Trenet and Fleet
>> Foxes into a two hour music propaganda. Part of my job is to present the
>> tunes, the artists, the times when the recordings were made etc. I look
>> for details in Gelatt, Kinkle, Rust, Cliffe, Feather's Encyclopedia Of
>> Jazz, All Music Guide To Jazz,various other encyclopedias and
>> discographies, both printed and webbased. My experience is: apart from
>> the above mentioned, and a few more well researched publications, most
>> printed material, even dissertations, are less reliable than Wikipedia. Why?
>> Becase most others have been written by experts who have become experts
>> not because of their interest in details, but because they've been able
>> to summarize a topic, sort the details, see what's important and not
>> important and publish their results. This is true expertise, and, I
>> admit, this is why the least reliable articles in Wikipedia are those
>> that try to encompass large areas of information. Few of these articles
>> have been written by acknowledged experts; they are often compromises
>> between various enthousiasts, all with their own agenda.
>> But precisely these enthusiast are the ones who have made Wikipedia
>> reliable in other areas. These are the nerds, the fault-finders, the
>> ones who sacrifice hours and days to check a date, a mx number, a birth
>> place, in order to get it right. Some of those are us; I'd be surprised
>> if no 78 list member haven't, at least once, walked in and corrected
>> misinormation in Wikipedia or elsewhere on the net.
>> And this is Wikipedia's strength: it brings togheter all those expert
>> wannabe's, or true experts within a restricted area, and gives them a
>> chance to influence general knowledge and to collaborate. Most
>> fault-finders are humble creatures: believers in truth in the Karl
>> Popper sense: something is true until it's falsified. And we all profit
>> from this competition. Compare this to the "good" old days when Experts
>> ruled and were responsible even for petty details, which could be dead
>> wrong but remained in the encyclopedias until the next edition twenty
>> years later, sometimes even longer.
>> So instead of calling Wikipedia names: use it to spread what you think
>> is true, add detailed references (what printed encyclopedias did ever do
>> that?) and wait for someone even wiser than you to correct you.
>> It's the ideal world for combattingmisinformation - so why don't we
>> recognize it as such?
>> Kristjan
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