Clueville Calling on Wiki Line One
From "Blogging the Code"
I have to bring up [Wikipedia founder] Jimmy Wales, not by name but rather by his Wikipedia site, at least several times every semester when I counsel (actually, when I roar at) students who are under the misimpression that they can use Wikipedia as a legitimate citation in a college-level term paper.
In comments on my article "Mahjongg Associated with Epileptic Seizures in Older Men":
To say I don't much care for Wikipedia is somewhat akin to saying I don't much care for dog sandwiches.
And in response to the question, "What would you pay for google access?" posed to me in a comment thread at BlondeSense, my response, in part:
What would I pay for a subscription to Google search engine services?
I'd pay the same as I would for access to Wikipedia.
They can kiss the wallet in my ass pocket.
My account balance...
Yes, I already said "Zero" at the beginning, but I wanted to find closure by coming around full circle.
The Dark Wraith sometimes gives hints regarding his true feelings about nefarious Internet parasites.
So, what could possibly make me such an ardent detractor of a helpful cyberpop icon of knowledge as Wikipedia has come to be? Could it possibly be the fact that such a huge site with such dense content has no apparent source of ad revenue that could be paying for server space and all the apparent money the founder seems to be making? Could it possibly be that there is no standing independent academic certification of that content? Could it be that even your own dog could be contributing and/or editing content the hordes of Internet factoid mavens quote as God's Word? Could it be the long-standing, unsubstantiated rumors of what kind of people and other entities are actually behind the "non-profit" Wikimedia Foundation that supports Wikipedia?
Or could it be that I am nothing but an out-of-touch Luddite who can't stand the fact that knowledge has finally merged with information, which has coälesced with data to offer the ultimate one-stop stairwell to Final Jeopardy and your very own degree at Online-University.com? That is to say, my long-standing, vocal disdain for Wikipedia could be nothing more than evidence of my own unjustified, inappropriate, pre-Information Age judgmentalism, tainting as it does the credibility of pretty much everything else I assess.
Indeed. For readers' consideration on whether or not my judgment of Wikipedia is worthy, I herewith submit the link to an August 14, 2007, article in Wired News. The title says it all: "See Who's Editing Wikipedia Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign." Read the article. Decide for yourselves whether the fast-track escalator to the Wisdom of the Ages is going anywhere near the hoped-for destination at Quik-'n-EZ Knowledge Central.
Democracy in politics is wondrous: people like George W. Bush can win the popular vote. Democracy in information content is just as wondrous: that dog of yours might be one of the more reliable editors at Wikipedia. In both cases, however, the result is likely to be the same as the service provided by a house of ill repute: the mendaciously desperate doing the unhygienically unseemly to the impenitently detached.
The Dark Wraith must also, and in conclusion, point out that any word beginning with "wiki" is an abomination hated by God.