I use Wikipedia [aka our new collective consciousness] as a source of information all the time. It's the most robust encyclopedia site I've found
on the internet (and I have a GOOD friend who works at Britannica in Chicago who gave me free membership!).
That said, anywhere the information your using is important enough to double check, I would double check it. That's why the New Yorker, for example,
has fact checkers.
If I'm writing a blog post, I would use Wikipedia. If I was writing a report for NASA on satellite trajectory, or writing a freelance feature
article, I would use Wikipedia, then look to a couple other sources to make sure I didn't make a very costly mistake.
These days, facts are soooo slippery. Not just in Wikipedia, but everywhere. Just look at the recent Oxford study on Vegetarian diets shrinking the
brain for a great example.
In advertising, it's called Card Stacking - using massaged stats to back up your point, and it's as old as advertising itself.
I like Wikipedia because I can VERY easily cross reference a TON of material. I love the Footnotes and I really like the links at the bottom of
articles. Plus it's great to search dates and names on.
And there's something to be said for a decentralized (I know, I know) encyclopedia built by We The People.
For example, in Wikipedia you can see that George Noory served as a Lieutenant in the Navy's Promotion Department (read propaganda). This is not
found in the Britannica article, but to me seems very important given the context of his show.
Thanks for the thread!
Mod Edit: removed link to personal website.
Mod Note: Terms & Conditions Of Use – Please Review This Link.
[edit on 15-9-2008 by space57]
[edit on 15-9-2008 by GAOTU789]