Springfield channel 40

Richard Chonak rac@gabrielmass.com
Mon Jun 29 21:24:47 EDT 2009

Martin Waters wrote:
> --- On Wed, 6/24/09, Donna Halper <dlh@donnahalper.com> wrote:
>> First, I never trust Wikipedia.
>     But I saw a rumor on the internet that half of what's on Wikipedia might be true . . .  :)
>     Of course, then you have to apply the great unified gewneral theory that 20 percent of everything that's on the internet might be true . . . 

Applying Tony Kornheiser's rule, you start out with 50-50 odds on just 
about anything.   :-)

So far, the studies comparing Wikipedia articles with articles on the 
same topic from conventional encyclopedias have produced pretty good, 
though not sterling, results for WP.

A 2005 study in "Nature" came up with a 3% error rate for assertions in 
the Britannica articles it had experts review, vs. 4% for the Wikipedia 
articles.   On the other hand, Britannica challenged the study's 
methodology.   A study of several historical articles (just 9 were 
sampled) came off worse for WP, with 80% accuracy (whatever that means) 
vs. 95% for other sources.

OTOH, the WP articles on Star Trek trivia are probably maintained with 
obsessively scrupulous accuracy.


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