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..
> 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
> --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~
> You received this message because you are subscribed
> to the Google Groups "Radical Caucus of the MLA"
> group. To post to this group, send email to
> [log in to unmask] To unsubscribe from this
> group, send email to
> [log in to unmask] For more
> options, visit this group at
> -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
> This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available
> for free from

Use video conversation to talk face-to-face with Windows Live Messenger. Get started!