Why So Much Emphasis on Facts


I first learned in 7th grade history class that encyclopedias are not a viable research tool; they function as a reference for background information. I was not allowed to quote any information I obtained from Britannica or Encarta. The same rule applies for Wikipedia. While wikipedia might be an efficient way to check to see if I won a bet with my friend on whether or not Romeo and Juliet was a flavor, or brand, of cigar, I am not going to cite in my next research paper. So why do sooo many people care if there are slight errors here and there, or if someone makes himself look to be more important then he is.

Wikipedia brings people together to reach a single goal, and that is its true beauty. Forget the fact that Mariah Cary may have an inappropriate nick name for 3 hours, people all over the world have come together to create over 1.5 million articles. That is what wikipedia is all about, open source programming. (See what I did there, I used an open source program to refer to the words open source, its ironic, I'm cool I swear.)

Open sourcing has become such a player in the world of technology that major players such as IBM use open source programs such as, Linux, as the foundation of some of their programs. Open Source has the uncanny ability to bring geniuses and amateur geniuses together from across the globe. Wikipedia is an amazing example of such a collaborative effort. To me, its use an official source is of a second order priority to the amazingness that it encompasses.

According to the article, over 100 court cases have cited Wikipedia. Thats crazy! It makes note that one case was overturned because wikipedia did not meet "reliability" requirements, but it is still amazing to learn that the court system uses wikipedia.

I guess Britannica really has nothing on these guys.