17 November 2005

Those strangers at Wikipedia

David and I were discussing something once and I made some kind of assertion, I don't remember what, maybe that the sun rises in the east, and as he often does when, apparently, he does not trust me to get the simplest facts straight (note italics and boldfacing. Hmphf.), he went haring off to the web to check what I had said on Wikipedia.

So I asked in that light casual tone that should serve as a warning, how he knew that what he found on Wikipedia was correct? As he launched into what was sure to turn into a lecture about how wikis work and the nature of collective information, possibly accompanied by a quick sketch of some kind chart showing the proportion of all human beings who know what they are talking about better than I do, I just cut him off and got to the real point of my question: Why is he willing to blindly accept the word of a bunch of strangers with internet access but he doublechecks what I say? Hmmmmmm?

Well, it seems that the Guardian, if not wondering quite the same thing, was at least wondering how trustworthy Those Strangers on the Internet are. Here is a link (via Chris Abraham) that I found during my recent "time of no time" about who they asked and what those people found.

All-in-all Wikipedia scores pretty well, even though I couldn't find a page for California Tortilla.


Hjalti said...

Interesting link. It doesn't suprise me that wikipedia is a C+ or B student. In my opinion, 10 points better than most newspapers and TV. Trust, but verify?

I'd believe ANYTHING you say Leta.

Liza said...

Not that you have the time, but have you thought about giving Wiki the benefits of your wide-ranging and occasionally random intellect? (BTW, in case anyone was wondering, that's my favorite kind of intellect.) Then if David doubts you on something, he can check with you to see if you were right. ;)

Rosellen said...

I second Liza's motion. Leta, surely you can add something to wikipedia, thus establishing indisputable credibility with David.

Plus, those of us who are suitably impressed with your wide-ranging intellect would be entitled to brag that we know (reading someone's blog qualifies as a relationship, sort of, don't you think?) a contributor of wiki.