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-   -   Wikipedia (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=179322)

Dagobahn Eagle 06-10-2007 09:22 PM

Wikipedia
 
What is everyone's opinion on Wikipedia? For those who really do not know (aw, come on), Wikipedia is an encyclopedia unique in that the vast majority of articles can be freely edited by everyone. I myself have become a devoted 'Wikipedian', and I think this system really has merit as well as a great future. Studies and peer-review disagree as to how accurate the encyclopedia is, but have found that its science articles are on par with those of leading encyclopedias (Wiki's own article on its reliability).

I personally think Wikipedia is a good starting point for research, although I would not quote it directly. For example, if you're looking for the definition of a train, look it up on Wikipedia, find it, and then cite the source Wikipedia uses (in this case the article would be 'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train' and the source would be 'Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (1948). Rules: Operating Department, p 7'.

I recommend this video by the founder for more information. Let's get this discussion started.

Edit: Oh, and here's my longest-by-far contribution. I finally got it to look pretty good, with nearly every statement sourced, after five hours of work last night (ugh). It still needs images, though, and public domain pictures of the area are hard as Heck to come by.

Tyrion 06-11-2007 12:21 AM

I think it's a wonderful idea and it's been executed very well. Having said that, I trust all articles except political ones, as those tend to welcome an undue amount of bias for obvious reasons.

Mike Windu 06-11-2007 04:05 AM

I like it, and I trust it. It's very reliable as a starting point for research. I usually hit wiki before I hit google so I can have some semblance of an idea of what to talk about.

Pho3nix 06-11-2007 07:51 AM

I love Wikipedia. Brilliant idea and site. I visit everyday :)

Even though it seems like 'everyone can edit' It's actually pretty controlled. For example, if someone edits "GEORGE W. BUSH IS GAY" on his Wikipedia article it gets reverted back to It's original form within minutes.

Dagobahn Eagle 06-11-2007 03:15 PM

M-hm. A good way to check if an article is trustworthy or not is to look for a bronze star (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...inkFA-star.png) in the upper-right corner while viewing it (example: Laika). If the star's present, the article is Featured and thus good material. Of course, it may still have factual holes, but the star means it meets the quality standards of Wikipedia and has received peer review, and that goes a long way for me.

Dagobahn Eagle 08-15-2007 05:44 PM

US Courts use Wikipedia.

Interesting, and both good and bad news in a sense.

Nancy Allen`` 08-18-2007 07:10 PM

I think it's great, however the fact that anyone can edit it, or change things on the site, is a bit of a problem. Who's to say, for example, someone won't change the page on Vietnam to be more anti American?

The Source 08-18-2007 08:51 PM

I personally believe that Wikipedia is a horrible concept. Since anyone can alter the information on the board, the chances of obtaining biased opinions are very high. The college I go to has banned Wikipedia from report references, college computers, etc... At the beginning of class each year, the college has made it a policy to inform the students. According to several of the professors, students have been getting false information from Wikipedia. During the last semester, several students wrote inaccurate reports that were similar. When they were asked where they got the information, they all said they looked to Wikipedia. We had a massive epidemic of Wikipedia usage one year, and the professors held a emergancy meeting. They descided to ban the usage of Wikipedia, and then they did a study on its accuracy. It turned out that Wikipedia is only correct about 35% of the time. Take it for what it is worth. If the information you are looking at doesn't come from a library, educational system, or a book encyclopedia, you are most likely looking at biased information. Thus, Wikipedia is not a good resource.

Jan Gaarni 08-22-2007 01:34 PM

To use Wiki just by itself is a mistake.

In fact, using any reference just by itself is a mistake. :)

But Wiki is a good starting point. If you know little or nothing about a subject, you can get a nice overview at Wiki on which you can search more about it, either on the net, library, or wherever.

I also think there are safety features that prevent unscrupulous alterations to articles. If it's detected, admins can revert back to a previous article.
But don't quote me on that. :p

Either way, it's a good starting point for research, and can give you many clues on what the thing you are looking up do/who is/are used for, etc...

Thor the Bassis 08-23-2007 05:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Source
The college I go to has banned Wikipedia from report references, college computers, etc... At the beginning of class each year, the college has made it a policy to inform the students. According to several of the professors, students have been getting false information from Wikipedia. During the last semester, several students wrote inaccurate reports that were similar.

For a start why are college students basing reports on wikipedia? Personally I like it but would never base any work i did on it. Wikipedia is useful but only at a low level of detail to get an overview on a subject not to research detail on a subject - personally this sounds like the students own fault not that of wikipedia.

In subjects such as science where the more detail you go into something the more complicated it gets wikipedia often presents the simplified version that schools would teach and is invaluable in providing a basis for research but would never have enough detail for college. If you care enough about your college course i would think you would use library sources - at my school we're encouraged to distrust anything we find on the internet without cross-referencing but it doesn't mean it can't be used successfully.

Sabretooth 08-25-2007 08:45 AM

I think Wikipedia is a good and fairly reliable source of information on just about anything you can think of. Sure, people claim about inaccuracies, abuse and what-not, but that's just inevitable and it gets corrected in a couple of days. Wikipedia brings up the facts fast, which is the best thing followed by a google search. I've found Wikipedia invaluable in getting info on something I've never heard of before.

Wikipedia also serves as an episode guide, a geek guide, a music guide, a research tool and tons of stuff. I'm a proud Wikipedian under the ID "Sabretooth" (look me up!).

Thor the Bassis 08-25-2007 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sabretooth
I think Wikipedia is a good and fairly reliable source of information on just about anything you can think of. Sure, people claim about inaccuracies, abuse and what-not, but that's just inevitable and it gets corrected in a couple of days. Wikipedia brings up the facts fast, which is the best thing followed by a google search. I've found Wikipedia invaluable in getting info on something I've never heard of before.

Would like to clarify what is said earlier - wikipedia is good. If people get wrong info in a college report it's their own fault.

Maxstate 04-10-2008 03:30 PM

There's nothing wrong with wikipedia in general, there is something rotten to the bone with its articles. After a while, a well-written article will crumble under the rivalry of the users contributing to it, who are trying to constantly outdo each other by posting more and more technical, unusable information. For someone that's interested in knowledge, and especially -since we're in the information age - garnering a lot of good knowledge at a fast rate and on my own, I can both praise and shun wikipedia.

Some articles however short are great. Good and easy to read, lots of practical and easy-to-understand information that you can use and learn whether you've never dealt with the subject or have been studying it for longer. But then... there are others. Most mathematics and science articles can vouch for me. Seriously, it took me 3 days to understand the concept of a mathematical plane. 3 days. The penny didn't really start rolling until I "made" a plane in a fun little physics game.

Looking back at the article with new knowledge, it's easy to understand. But for young autodidacts I recommend the random, Web 1.0 HTML websites that wiki users use as reference or books. At least until this techno-babble fad as Tanqexe called it goes away.

Ben Paddon 04-10-2008 07:14 PM

Wikipedia is a brilliant idea ruined by the small-minded ideology and narrow perception of the people who run it.

tk102 04-10-2008 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ben Paddon
Wikipedia is a brilliant idea ruined by the small-minded ideology and narrow perception of the people who run it.

Could you elaborate on who you mean by "people who run it"? If you mean the editors of Wikipedia, well that's *us*.

Ben Paddon 04-10-2008 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tk102
Could you elaborate on who you mean by "people who run it"? If you mean the editors of Wikipedia, well that's *us*.

The people who run it, i.e. the team of Admins who patrol the site, and the administrative body who run Wikipedia and the WikiMedia Foundation. I'd strongly urge anyone who thinks that Wikipedia is "great" check out [WikiTruth].

Kain 04-11-2008 03:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tk102
Could you elaborate on who you mean by "people who run it"? If you mean the editors of Wikipedia, well that's *us*.

To be fair, "people who run it" may encompass some good people. But since about 75% of the human population isn't worth its weight in dirt...well, needless to say, it's a valid point, regardless of whether or not he meant to offend someone.

Astor 04-11-2008 06:38 AM

Well, that was a complete waste of time. You don't like wikipedia? fine. But you should leave people to make up their own minds about it - not force silly 'consipiracies' or similar that seem to be propagated by that site.

And using a Wiki to 'expose' the truth about the 'evil' Wikimedia foundation? Really?

tk102 04-11-2008 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kain
But since about 75% of the human population isn't worth its weight in dirt...

Hey, there's a 3/4 chance you're referring to me. I'm probably offended by that. :p

Inyri 04-11-2008 11:27 AM

Wikipedia is as good a source as any. Of course naturally you should cross-reference any source you use to ensure that the information is accurate and unbiased. If you can find multiple sources stating the same thing, trust it. If you read a Wikipedia article and can't find corroborating evidence anywhere else, you should probably look for a better source.

There are books that are just as full of crud as a bad Wikipedia article, though, so I don't know why people make a big deal of it and claim it's "unreliable" -- then again I don't like generalizations usually. :)

Jvstice 04-11-2008 11:35 AM

it's a good place to find where to start asking questions and find references to sources, but I definitely wouldn't use it as a source in a paper in its own right because of the whole anonymous editing thing.

Inyri 04-11-2008 11:38 AM

We you shouldn't use Wikipedia for the same reason you wouldn't use any encyclopedia -- it's not a legitimate source beyond the age of 12 or so. Any college professor would look at a paper -- even if you cited the Encyclopedia Britannica -- and go "...really? Really. Come on."

So it's not necessarily that Wikipedia is an inappropriate source for a paper -- all encyclopedias are. :)

Maxstate 04-11-2008 11:45 AM

There's a difference between let's say person x doing a 10 week internship at a large company and making a report or book about it, and the wikipedia entry for that company.
You see, the article will probably be partially based on that book or report if it were put on the web, which is good. But that information can become corrupted due to misinformation or even just plain format changing by someone else. And seeing how someone else can be anyone else, I tend to disagree with you.

But to each their own I guess.

Kain 05-04-2008 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tk102
Hey, there's a 3/4 chance you're referring to me. I'm probably offended by that. :p

Ah, but there is a 1/4 chance that I'm not. Personally...nah, I don't like those odds.

But anyways. Anyone who uses Wikipedia for a book report needs to fail. Seriously, I learned some cool things about stuff like Lord Soth and Count Strahd (see D&D Dork), but aside from those things (which I also later confirmed on my own), which are trivial at best in real-world scenarios, it's really just a good place to waste time.

Totenkopf 05-04-2008 06:37 PM

It's probably good as a jump off point, but the universal editing function often makes the info somewhat suspect (incorrect info, editor biases, etc...).


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