I may singlehandedly break y'all of depending on wikipedia

Author: fauxlaw ,

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  • fauxlaw
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    fauxlaw
    There are an alarming number of you who depend on wikipedia, alone, for argument citations in debate and forum. Do me a favor: Google "wikipedia reliability" and load the first hit. Tell me that you do not encounter the following: "Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time. This means that any information it contains at any particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or just plain wrong." [bolding by wiki, not me]

    Not a reliable source. Does that sound like a source you would want to have stand in your argument, whatever it is?

    By all means, use wiki, but as a first and last stand, well, you're very easily cutoff at the knees because there are a plethora of more reliable sources. Take the extra time to dig deeper that wiki, and discover what a wondrous world you really live in. Depending on wiki is like accepting whatever you hear/read via social media: generally a load of crap.
  • SupaDudz
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    --> @fauxlaw
    Fairly common knowledge...it's mostly accurate, especially for just general concepts

  • oromagi
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    oromagi
    Do me a favor: Google "wikipedia reliability" and load the first hit. Tell me that you do not encounter the following: "Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time. This means that any information it contains at any particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or just plain wrong." [bolding by wiki, not me]  Not a reliable source. Does that sound like a source you would want to have stand in your argument, whatever it is?
    But what's great about it is that you are quoting Wikipedia regarding its own reliability.  I admire the skeptical sensibility of any encyclopedia that is up front about its own limitations.  In fact, as a lover of democracy, I prefer it.  Wikipedia is a tool for reaching consensus about almost any possible research topic.  Consensus is good and usually quite reliable for the collection of real data- dates, measurement, statistics but the consensus of opinion is always some sluggish middle way between known truths and popular misconceptions.

    Wikipedia is the worst online reference tool except for all the other online reference tools.  Encyclopedia Britannica might have superior editing and fact checking and gatekeeping but when Britannica gets something wrong the researcher has little recourse for correction and must endure the slings and arrows of persistent factoidism.  At least, on Wikipedia, a researcher can look at the history of the article and the log of changes and the sometimes endless debates over controversial assertions. If you are up to it, you can go make the correction yourself and endure the scrutiny of fellow editors.

    What I love about Wikipedia is that it is the 4th most visited English language website but the only website in the top 100 that isn't trying make money off you- no advertisements, no data collection,  no targeted anything- just the greatest amalgamation of facts and explanations ever assembled in the history of man in 20 languages.  Personally, I spend more time reading Wikipedia entries than any other online activity.

    However, Wikipedia's huge size far outscales the small cadre of committed editors.  Wisely, the experienced fact checker focus their attentions on the most read, most dynamic, most controversial subjects.   Huge numbers of seldom viewed entries are seldom checked.

    Here's an entry that made me chuckle recently:


    Clearly a school that doesn't check its own Wikipedia entry very often.  I call that a shame.  If I was a school teacher, I'd be teaching kids how to use Wikipedia properly- as a source of generally agreed facts, as a survey of consensus opinion on more topics than other tool in history, as the best source for introduction to any unfamiliar concept but not as fortress of unassailable truth.  No reference tool can give us that.





  • Athias
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    --> @fauxlaw
    There are an alarming number of you who depend on wikipedia, alone, for argument citations in debate and forum. Do me a favor: Google "wikipedia reliability" and load the first hit. Tell me that you do not encounter the following: "Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time. This means that any information it contains at any particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or just plain wrong." [bolding by wiki, not me]
    Wikipedia's capacity to be edited at any given time doesn't necessarily make it less reliable. Ultimately, the information is either correct or incorrect, source notwithstanding. Wikipedia also provides those who peruse its content references and citations so that the "veracity" of said information can be confirmed. I put that in quotes because studies are often misinterpreted.

    The more prevailing issue I believe is the reliance on "studies." Blasphemy on an online forum, I know, but too often do debaters merely cite a "study" without so much as consider how said studies inform their argument. Furthermore, many a time, they don't read their own references, thereby failing to grasp either the context or the metric in which certain conclusions are made. It's a way to circumvent their responsibility to substantiate their argument, and instead substitute someone else's argument for their own.
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @Athias
    Wikipedia's capacity to be edited at any given time doesn't necessarily make it less reliable.
    <br>
    Wiki says it is less reliable for the reasons it gave. Sorry, just quoting their own self-assessment. No problem starting with wiki, but it should not be the end of the search.
  • Athias
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    --> @fauxlaw
    Wiki says it is less reliable for the reasons it gave. Sorry, just quoting their own self-assessment. No problem starting with wiki, but it should not be the end of the search.
    The irony of this is the information Wikipedia offers on itself is unreliable.

    I agree that research should extend beyond a mere webpage.

  • ATroubledMan
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    I think using Wiki is fine. As mentioned already, there are references to most if not all the information listed on each page. Usually, Wiki gets used for most common knowledge information that many already have some idea on any number of topics and what most debates are about here. It's not like the debates are so complicated that sources outside Wiki are actually required. If we ask ourselves just how important it is to have total 100% factual information on our debates, then we would probably say, "Meh"
  • oromagi
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    If I had to choose between a debate where you could never use Wikipedia or a debate where you could only use Wikipedia I think I would far prefer to use Wikipedia

    If I had to be stuck on a desert island with only one app, I think Wikipedia would have to be that app.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Athias
    The irony of this is the information that the bible offers is unreliable.

    I agree that research should extend beyond a mere archaic mythology.

    The comparison was there to make.
  • Athias
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    --> @zedvictor4
    The comparison was there to make.

    Another impression, and impressions are irrelevant. If you wish to discuss the content of the Bible, then create a thread in the appropriate section. You need not follow me to a thread where the subject is, frankly, not even remotely relevant in an attempt to rehash an old argument.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Athias
    So your impression of Wikipedia was therefore, also irrelevant.

    Fair enough.

    Though it was you who initially presented a data sequence for analysis, which allowed for me to make an inevitable comparison.

    So why do you criticize me for your own error of judgement?
  • Athias
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    --> @zedvictor4
    So your impression of Wikipedia was therefore, also irrelevant.

    Fair enough.
    I haven't submitted any impressions of Wikipedia.  Though, you're more than welcome to point out (perhaps quote) where I did.

    Though it was you who initially presented a data sequence for analysis
    I did, as did some others.

    which allowed for me to make an inevitable comparison.
    The subject matter neither solicited nor necessitated your "inevitable comparison," particularly to biblical content. Hence, irrelevant.

    So why do you criticize me for your own error of judgement?
    It is not my error for which I criticize. Once again, if you wish to discuss the reliability of biblical content, then create a thread in the appropriate section. If you however seek my proverbial kowtow on the subject of religion with these attempts to instigate argument even in threads where the subject isn't relevant, then move along and have a nice day. Get a grip, or take a hike.
  • Melcharaz
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    --> @zedvictor4
    4. Cross-Thread Contamination
    Cross-thread contamination is when a user brings up disputes elsewhere on the site up in an unrelated thread for the purpose of harassing, mocking, or insulting another member. Treat every new exchange with a member with as much of a "clean slate" as possible.


  • fauxlaw
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    --> @oromagi
    While I have maintained that Wiki is not a reliable source - and they say so -  to use independent of better sources, I have just used Wiki in a debate wherein the subject of argument was a map, whose clarity of what I wanted to express had better detail than other sources. Oh, well. Word eating is a matter up for discussion. So much so, I even have a published children's illustrated story entitled "Word Eaters," about frog-looking gremlins whose only diet is words.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Melcharaz
    I presented a fair comparison of two reference texts.

    Acceptance of either data source is largely based upon trust.

    It is therefore fair to suggest that one should not "depend" upon any unverified data source.

  • Athias
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    --> @Melcharaz @zedvictor4
    @Melcharaz:

    4. Cross-Thread Contamination
    Cross-thread contamination is when a user brings up disputes elsewhere on the site up in an unrelated thread for the purpose of harassing, mocking, or insulting another member. Treat every new exchange with a member with as much of a "clean slate" as possible.
    That's exactly what he was doing.

    @zedvictor:

    I presented a fair comparison of two reference texts.
    It wasn't a fair comparison; one of those "reference texts" was never brought up, or even mentioned. Your comparison once again was neither solicited nor necessitated. And further evidence of just how red your hands are is that you brought up this comparison in response to me, and not the author of this thread, much less the other participating members. You were attempting to demonstrate a contradiction in my reasoning as it related to theism by drawing an ineptly constructed comparison by using my statements on Wikipedia, resulting from our deteriorated discussion on Theism.

    Acceptance of either data source is largely based upon trust.
    The acceptance of any data source "is largely based upon trust."

    It is therefore fair to suggest that one should not "depend" upon any unverified data source.
    It is fair to "suggest" that general statement; but why the Bible? Why respond to me about the Bible?

    It's not like I'm seeking your reprimand or anything. But, I'm not oblivious. Your responses have informed me on that which you've attempted to do. And unless you apply consistent logic, and create an appropriate thread in which the subject can be discussed, you are wasting your time.

    Now give fauxlaw his thread back and indulge this nonsense no further.





  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Athias
    Why?

    Relevance.

44 days later

  • sadolite
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    I've never used Wikipedia as a fact based source. Any yahoo can post anything.

69 days later