Why Can't They Leave Us Alone?

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In Orlowsky's There's No Wikipedia Entry for 'Moral Responsibility', I his pointed argument that Wikipedia has no morals and is "the banal reality of trashy, badly written trivia" to be clearly biased argument and slightly offensive. I don't like his generalizations or his sterotypes of a teenage kid with "acne [and] a lot of problems with authority..."

Many students use Wikipedia and, although it may not be an acedemic source, it has credible information about historical events, people, and places. It also is a compliation of loose facts, similar to an encyclopedia, that hasa place for links and references at the end of each section. I like the idea that people, anyone, could share information with everyone else. The reader just has to be careful about what they read and check their sources like a good reporter.

 Why don't informational internet sources make the reader work? Just like any other source, a person should double-check it to make sure it is right. Wikipedia is not in print and it's just as fallable as every other website. If the person gets in trouble for the wrong answer, why is it not their fault? Why do we shift the blame onto others? People should learn from it instead and take responsibility. I personally think that we are so dependent on the ease of the internet and instant communication that we haven't stopped to check if this is a good thing. Or if we have become lazy knowledge seekes.

Also, Wikipedia is not going to become a published book. If it did, it would have the cover, Wikipedia on the front, section headings for each topic and subtopic within the section, and then blank paper for the reader to fill in.

So I disagree with Orlowsky.

 As for the second article Is Wikipedia Becoming a Respectable Academic Source, I reviwed it in an early blog Everyone else is using it. Why aren't you? I believe that Wikipedia is used a lot of quick pop culture information and acedemic searches, but it isn't used in-depth. Nor do I think it should be used for deep, detailed research. It isn't that reliable, but if evaluated by the user, one may find the bibliographies or sources listed at the bottom helpful for research. I conclude that it is valuable and can be used acedemically (if used properly), but is not respected. Yet.

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3 Comments

Jessie Krehlik said:

I agree with you, Jed. While Wikipedia isn't the best source for a research paper, it does often offer insightful and basic explanations on various subjects. But, as you said, anyone who wants to use wikipedia as a source should check their facts before deciding that everything is true. And I don't think Wikipedians are lazy--sometimes it's just more convenient to quickly check Wikipedia, and then look deeper online later.

Jessie Krehlik said:

I agree with you, Aja***. While Wikipedia isn't the best source for a research paper, it does often offer insightful and basic explanations on various subjects. But, as you said, anyone who wants to use wikipedia as a source should check their facts before deciding that everything is true. And I don't think Wikipedians are lazy--sometimes it's just more convenient to quickly check Wikipedia, and then look deeper online later.

Jessie Krehlik said:

Sorry about the double post...I wasn't paying attention to whose blog I was reading. I realized as soon as I posted that I made a mistake...my bad. Sorry!!!

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