Hmm, that’s interesting

So, I went to Wikipedia to check up on something. And I read what they had to say and thought, yes, that’s about how I would say it was. Only to realise that they were quoting me.

And, you know, I’m not sure I trust a reference source that is getting their information from me.

16 thoughts on “Hmm, that’s interesting”

  1. Oh no… that recursive paradox has caused a black hole of logic… and Richie is starting to make sense….

    AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

  2. Unless it was on Scandium, I suppose?
    But, yes, one goes to a reference source to obtain information that is superior to that which one has oneself so this added very nearly zero to your knowledge of the subject. What it did tell you was that *someone* (maybe just one person in the whole world) who had access to Wikipedia thought you were right.
    Wikipedia is useful but the data cannot be better than the knowledge of those that input it

  3. Good for you Timmy. Most people would blog “See, I was right all along”.

    Like believing six impossible things before breakfast the effort to imagine that you might be wrong is good intellectual exercise.

  4. Surely you can now follow Ritchie’s example- you can now link to that Wikipedia topic to prove- PROVE, I tell you!- that you’re right.

  5. @john77

    I hope you aren’t being sarcastic.

    Everyone in the whole world has access to wikipedia. Every information source is only as good as the people who write it.

    The type of people who edit wikipedia to input actual useful stuff (i.e. not about American college basketball players or the plot summary of your latest chick-flick – although this can be useful as well) are generally academics with nothing better to do.

  6. I quote you to my daughters but that is in the hope they might start thinking a bit more critically about the lefty ideas they absorb by osmosis amongst the Grauniadstasi, not as the lastword on any particular subject except perhaps scandium.

  7. What it did tell you was that *someone* (maybe just one person in the whole world) who had access to Wikipedia thought you were right.

    Not quite. The point about Wikipedia is not that it must be correct but that it must be “verifiable”.

  8. For anyone who wishes to consider wikipaedia as an authoritative source on any subject that’s even mildly contentious, I give you two words to ponder on… “William Connolley”.

  9. @ JQ
    No, I was not being sarcastic.
    I refer to wikipedia for information on subjects about which I know zilch but not on subjects where I know a lot

  10. Similarly, a contestant on Mastermind was once rung up to advise on questions for his own specialist subject, as he was a leading authority on it! Tee-hee!

  11. >one goes to a reference source to obtain information that is superior to that which one has oneself so this added very nearly zero to your knowledge of the subject.

    Sure, but that could also happen with a proper encyclopedia, so that in itself is no criticism of Wikipedia.

    >Wikipedia is useful but the data cannot be better than the knowledge of those that input it

    As JQ said, that applies to every encyclopedia or information source of whatever type, so it doesn’t succeed as a criticism of Wikipedia (nor is it a comment that has any interest).

    (And your ‘clarification’ just said something entirely different again.)

  12. @ Cal
    What your refer to a my “clarification” was in response to JQ, not to Tim, so of course it was different.

  13. Yes, I know it was in response to JQ. It didn’t clarify anything, and just made a different point again, and said nothing interesting (“I refer to wikipedia for information on subjects about which I know zilch but not on subjects where I know a lot” — funnily enough, before Wikipedia I used to consult encyclopedias on subjects I knew nothing about, but not on subjects where I knew a lot.)

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