“Really? Let me look that up”
It’s too easy now to answer lifes little questions- a tap of the phone, a brief typed or spoken inquiry- and voila! the answer. It certainly is a heck of a lot easier than the old days when ‘looking that up’ required going to the bookshelf or even a trip to the library. Hard questions often had hard (to find) answers.
This ease of access, however, is an entirely different game. When you look something up, chances are you are getting the information from Google, Wikipedia, or Snopes.
When I was a young Bondo, a fellow who looked like a character on Leave it to Beaver, came to the house offering the gift of knowledge- the full set of the World Book Encyclopedia.
In the days before the internet or even cable TV, the World Book Encyclopedia was the real deal. I don’t know if Mr. Worldbook was s good salesman or if it was expected that anybody who was somebody in the 1960’s must have a set of encyclopedias, my parents nevertheless made the significant decision to get them. It was significant because they weren’t cheap- the equivalent of probably two grand today.
To me, it was the most enchanted thing I had experienced. They also bought the supplemental Childcraft books, with volumes about scientists, animals, stories, and famous people. I read all of them, and most of the encyclopedias too. I learned more from the WorldBooks than I ever did at school.
The Worldbook Encyclopedia was written by and extracted from scholarly sources. It was thoroughly referenced, and because of the significant cost, it was highly reliable and valid. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t sell. Google, Wikipedia, Snopes? Not so much.
Daily Mail: Facebook ‘fact checker’ Snopes who will arbitrate on ‘fake news’ is accused of defrauding website to pay for prostitutes – and its staff includes an escort-porn star and ‘Vice Vixen domme’
Snopes has been revealed to be partisan hacks. Unreliable. Google has completely corrupted their system with algorithms. So rabid are they to ensure information is cast in a certain light, their searches are now invalid.
But Wikipedia is altogether different. Whereas Google and Snopes reference other sources, Wikipeecrap is often that source.
I think the best way to describe Wikipeecrap is: You get what you pay for.
How much do you pay?
The ‘free encyclopedia that anyone can edit’. Go ahead and try to edit something on there. I tried once. It isn’t true.
I have heard many people- who are significant enough to be the subject of a Wikipeecrap article- complain bitterly about the inaccuracies and few remedies. For example, you cannot edit a page or entry that you are the subject of.
One radio host, Clyde Lewis, related that he found the only way to stop the disinformation and false claims made about him was to file paperwork removing him completely from Wikipeecrap. “You’ll never see Clyde Lewis on Wikipedia” he said.
I wonder what else we will never see on Wikipeecrap?
From researching my little post on John McCain I can tell you- Lots of things. Which also infers that stuff is there that shouldn’t be. Which means to the scientifically inclined- Wikipedia is unreliable and invalid. It is full of error.
If you are looking for the square kilometers of Belgium, or the population of Liechtenstein, Wiki is probably ok. But if it is anything susceptible to any subjectivity- it is best to verify it lest one suffer deep humiliation.
that’s the real deal