Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff


I just realized one of my favorite things about Wikipedia is the occasional misinformation. I read from Wikipedia more than is normal or healthy I think. Probably several times per day.

Occasionally when reading I come across information that for one reason or another seems questionable to me. So I research it elsewhere, then correct the article if necessary. I feel that it helps develop my bullshit detector.

I’m not talking about vandalism and overtly ridiculous additions, which are easy to spot. I’m talking about the seemingly innocuous bits that are nonetheless untrue. I’m actually surprised how often it is possible to pick up on subtle cues. I guess I have no idea how many I miss, but I have sometimes suspected and researched things that turned out to be true. I take those false positives to indicate my suspicion threshold is at least in a reasonable range.

Misinformation seems rare enough in Wikipedia that it’s still a great source, on par with other single sources. I still start all my learning there. But as with most information sources, you really can’t just blindly trust.

So I posit that Wikipedia is good mental exercise as it openly requires you to stay on your toes.

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3 Responses to Wikipedia

  1. this entire post,

    is one key reason why we are friends. “musings on wikipedia” – by j.f. wiki-holic.

  2. I don’t know Jon, wikipedia made a pretty compelling case that the reverend was a child rapist. And homosexual. And now it looks like his entire listing is gone! I can’t believe they’d do that to a thrice published author.

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