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Friday, November 26, 2004



Boy it is jump on Wikipedia week. Frank Poynter points out an article on TechCentralStation by Robert McHenry, formerly Editor in Chief of the Encyclopædia Britannica, which likens a user of the Wikipedia to a"visitor to a public restroom. It may be obviously dirty, so that he knows to exercise great care, or it may seem fairly clean, so that he may be lulled into a false sense of security."

Frank says that most knowlegeable adults use encyclopedias as first order approximations--"They use an encyclopedia to drive a stake in the ground for further study of a topic". Only rubes rely upon encyclopedias.


Wikipedia is destroying the web as a source of information. Those articles are licensed to the public, so sites like,,,,,,, and hundreds of others publish the wikipedia articles under their own name - but they don't update them, so that old, outdated and inaccurate articles are floating all over the net. Few of these bother to explain how these articles were written.

People crow that wikipedia fixed the Alexander Hamilton article as soon as McHenry mentioned it, but if you paste the text from an older version of the article - even one a year old - into google, you'll find it's still there, still being read by someone.

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I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist. -Tammy Faye Bakker :o) Happy Holidays!

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