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29.12.09

Research isn’t that important if you write in an encyclopædia these days 

Here’s a very good example for why I don’t think Wikipedia can be trusted. Below is a screen shot of a page at Wikimedia Commons, which I assume is where you can submit pictures for Wikipedia. I applaud those who give up their copyright on images (and have done so myself from time to time), but it might help if they were in the right place.
   Here are some pictures on a page about the Hyundai Sonata Y1:



Problem: not a single one of these cars is the Hyundai Sonata Y1. (Here’s what it actually looks like.)
   On the Y2 page, two out of twelve people got it right, which is roughly how the population works, anyway: for every two smart people, there are ten thickos.
   Granted, Hyundai itself has not helped things by calling the third-generation model, even in Korea, the Sonata II, which I suspect is how this error propagated. That, and people wanting to contribute to an encyclopædia but who refuse to do any research. It’s a dangerous mix.
   Just because a bunch of people believe in erring doesn’t make it true. Which summarizes my attitude toward Wikipedia. And Rogernomics.
   Incidentally, I recognize there are some positive aspects to Wikipedia’s existence—these were covered in the comments to the earlier post. I agree it is a landmark in the growth of the internet. Maybe one of the commenters is right about the science articles having fewer disputes (or, it shows the relatively good training of scientists and their willingness to settle things in a civilized fashion, rather than any merit on Wikipedia’s part).
   And without MediaWiki, there would be no Autocade. (In fact, if Wikipedia were accurate, I would never have started Autocade. It’s partly because of errors like the above that I did.)
   However, it remains the only volunteer site to my memory where a senior admin has gone out of her way to send me email abuse privately (while exposing that you don’t need to be particularly smart to be an admin there). After the Wikipedia defenders came to the site’s rescue in June, along comes one of their own to undo their diplomacy—and then some.

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Note

Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.


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