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Carrol, I use Wikepedia to find links to a subject I'm researching. For example, I was trying to find online copies of John Selden's book Mare Clausum, and a google search was so clogged with irrelevant references to Selden that it was onerous to wade through. Wikipedia gave me the links I wanted. Diana

> Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 21:08:40 -0500
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [Fwd: [radcaucus] Re: wikipedia]
> To: [log in to unmask]
> 
>           I believe we have discussed Wikipedia on this list
>           before. The following might be of interest to some.
> 
>           Carrol
> 
>           -------- Original Message --------
>           Subject: [radcaucus] Re: wikipedia
>           Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2008 16:03:13 -0700 (PDT)
>           From: Steven Thomas <[log in to unmask]>
>           Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
>           To: [log in to unmask]
> 
> 
>           When I teach, I often look up stuff on wikipedia
>           because I assume my students are looking stuff up
>           there too. And sometimes, students will write papers
>           that seem to rely on wikipedia's explanation of
>           Derrida (or whatever I am teaching) rather than the
>           Derrida that I actually assigned them to read, but
>           more often, they use wikipedia to help them read
>           what I assigned, and this seems like a perfectly
>           good way to use it. And over the past couple years,
>           I've found that the explanations of literary terms
>           (e.g., metaphor, etc.) and theoretical terms (e.g.,
>           the gaze) in Wikipedia to be superior to the
>           explanations I've seen in textbooks and traditional
>           encyclopedias. So, in my view, wikipedia kinda
>           rocks.
> 
>           Obviously, sometimes we can't trust the information
>           in Wikipedia and sometimes the entries are just
>           weak, but everyone knows that -- our students
>           already know that. In contrast, we are expected to
>           trust the information in the Washington Post, New
>           York Times, and The Chronicle of Higher Education,
>           and our students often cite what they see there as
>           "fact." Personally, I am probably more suspicious of
>           these newspapers than I am of wikipedia. What makes
>           Wikipedia superior to the Washington Post and the
>           New York Times is that Wikipedia either cites its
>           sources (even providing very useful links) or tells
>           you in bold letters that no sources are being cited,
>           thus alerting students to the importance of
>           citation. For instance, has anyone seen Bill Moyer's
>           show on "selling the Iraq war"? A classic case of
>           lots of claims about Iraq in the newspapers with no
>           real sources of information.
> 
>           In teaching, I think it's a mistake to tell students
>           not to cite or use wikipedia. They will use it
>           anyway. Rather, we should be teaching them the right
>           way to use it.
> 
>           best, Steve
> 
>           HOWARD HASTINGS <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>           I am surprised to find myself defending Wikipedia,
>           but here goes:
> 
>           One feature I like about this collectively produced,
>           online encyclopedia is that disputed articles are
>           generally tagged as such, with links to opposing
>           views on disputed matter, thus giving students some
>           sense of how knowledge isn't simply "given" but
>           "produced," often under very politicized conditions.
>           (E.g., check the article on Copernucs for the
>           current dispute over his nationality.)  One can't
>           get a good sense of this from textbooks, which can't
>           be revised online the way some Wikipedia articles
>           are, and so often appear to students as Truth
>           dropped from heaven and fixed for all time.
> 
>           When it comes to less contested knowledge, such as,
>           for example, summaries or reviews of classical
>           myths. I don't see why Wikipedia isn't as good as
>           most other introductory sources.  It is more like a
>           library in which one has to sift and sort through
>           sources as one does in a "real" library or a
>           collection of archives, with the reliability and the
>           value of the matter one finds judged with reference
>           to the project at hand. So treating Wikipedia like a
>           unitary production under focused editorial control,
>           and then rejecting it wholesale as automatically bad
>           or untrustworthy when "errors" appear in entries on
>           current political candidates doesn't strike me as an
>           especially scholarly and critical valuation of this
>           resource.
> 
>           Howard Hastings
> 
>           [log in to unmask] schrieb:
> 
> 
>           Grover, you asked what's wrong with Wikipedia.
>           Here's an answer, from the Media Notes section of
>           today's Washington Post:<?xml:namespace prefix = o
>           ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
> 
>           My confidence in Wikipedia has diminished somewhat,
>           to put it mildly, after reading this Eve Fairbanks
>           dispatch in the New Republic: "There was the day in
>           February when an editor replaced a photo of Hillary
>           on her Wikipedia page with a picture of a walrus.
>           Then there was the day this month when a Hillary
>           supporter changed Obama's bio so that it referred to
>           him as 'a Kenyan-American politician.' But such
>           sweepingly hostile edits are usually fixed quickly
>           by other Wikipedia users. Often, it's the most
>           arcane distinctions on the candidates' pages that
>           provoke the bitterest tugs-of-war. "Recently, an
>           angry battle broke out on Hillary's page over
>           whether to describe Clinton as 'a leading candidate
>           for the Democratic nomination' or just 'a
>           candidate,' since each phrase implies a different
>           shade of judgment on her chances. Five minutes after
>           an Obama supporter deleted 'leading' just after 11
>           p.m. on March 8, another editor put it back. Seven
>           minutes after that, the word was deleted again. Some
>           thirty minutes after that, it was put back . . . At
>           around six in the morning, completing the atmosphere
>           of pandemonium, somebody replaced Hillary's whole
>           page with 'It has been reported that Hillary Rodham
>           Clinton has contracted genital herpes due to sexual
>           intercourse with an orangutan.' "
> 
>           Not the kind of source I look to for accuracy.
> 
>           Ted Steinberg
> 
> 
>           Lesen Sie Ihre E-Mails auf dem Handy..
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> 
>           Ye Flippering Soule, Why dost between the Nippers
>           dwell? --Edward Taylor
> 
> 
>           You rock. That's why Blockbuster's offering you one
>           month of Blockbuster Total Access, No Cost
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