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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • If you don't trust public school teachers, why trust Wikipedia, either, which is even less reliable?
    • by jdavidb (1361) on 2005.01.25 10:14 (#37771) Homepage Journal

      I don't trust Wikipedia, per se. Wikipedia just opens up the process to review by myriads of sources, making it more likely that if some item is controversial or uncertain that controversy or uncertainty will be reflected. Ultimately, Wikipedia opens up the process of source checking; hard-to-believe facts will tend to be challenged and sourced if there is a source (or removed if not).

      Imagine the whole Rather memo fiasco concentrated and put on one website, with each viewer of the website having equal participation privileges. The way CBS news handled the situation, they trusted their limited fact checking and never told us how it had been checked (well, at least, not until they were called on it). Had the information been put into Wikipedia, the discussion page for the relevant article would have immediately lit up with all of the objections to the authenticity of the memo. Ultimately, either the article would have to contextualize the information by reporting its source, or it would have been removed as unverifiable.

      Wikipedia is basically a great (though certainly not perfect) process for hashing things over in an attempt to make the truth emerge. I'm interested in my children learning that process more than I am interested in most of their "factual" learning.

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers