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Thread: Wikipedia?

  1. #1
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    Wikipedia?

    What do you think about wikipedia? do you think is it a good course for information or just a place where everyone can write anything they want?

  2. #2
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    take what it says with a grain of salt
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

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  3. #3
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    Its ok for quick information but not something I would use without further verification if I was putting my name behind what I found.
    Global Warming or: None like it hot
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  4. #4
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Credibility

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

    "It is in the nature of an ever-changing work like Wikipedia that, while some articles are of the highest quality of scholarship, others are admittedly complete rubbish. We are fully aware of this. We work hard to keep the ratio of the greatest to the worst as high as possible, of course, and to find helpful ways to tell you in what state an article currently is. "

  5. #5
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    Sometimes there are some pretty links to other sites so you don't have to go only on what the entry says. Then again, it is a good source for Google searches to a multitude of sites. Both are good sources for education.

  6. #6
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    Its okay, but use several other sources. The WWW is the playground of disinformation. The media likes to call it "spin".
    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
    -Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
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    "Unspun: finding facts in a world of disinformation".

    Basically, the authors said-

    -People use fear to promote their ideas (FUD: fear, uncertainty, doubt) so if it's scary, be wary.
    -Watch out for dramatic ideas that match what we want to believe (data in the service of ideology)
    -If it's pictures vs. spoken words, pictures win, but seeing is not necessarily believing.
    -Average is not typical
    -We think in stereotypes, so ask, Is the picture in my head an accurate representation of reality?
    -Try to disprove your own idea; What fact could disprove it, what evidence has not been considered?
    -The more misinformed we are, the more we are convinced that we are right.
    -Ask, Would I feel this way if I were hearing this the first time? Have new facts emerged since I made my initial decision?
    -Hearing something often makes us think it happens more often
    -Many anecdotes is not data.
    -To evaluate a dramatic claim, ask : Who stands behind the info, does the source have an ax to grind, by what method was the info obtained, how old is the data, what data collecting assumptions were made, how much guesswork was involved?
    -While everyone has a bias, disinterested people are more likely to be trustworthy than advocates.
    -Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.
    -Even a good study from a reliable source can be wrong.
    -Is the source highly regarded and widely accepted?, is the source an advocate?, what is their track record?, what method is used?, does the source show its work?, is the sample random?, is there a control group?, does the source have the necessary skill?, have the results been replicated or contradicted?
    -correlation may not mean causality.
    -you can't be completely certain, but you can be certain enough; use the standards of evidence: preponderance of evidence, clear and convincing, beyond a reasonable doubt.
    -look for general agreement among experts (but consensus is not proof).
    -check primary sources.
    -crosscheck everything that matters.

  8. #8
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    WOW, WhoIsThat! Great post.

    And yes the Internet abounds with agendas, half truths, lies and deceptions but more information freely available than in all human history. IMO the lack of information is the biggest enemy of intelligent choices. True, you have to evaluate the available "facts" but that beats none at all.

    Don't want to start a debate, but before the Internet, I used Consumer Reports for decades to educate me on important purchases. Beats walking into some place and buying the first thing I see or the one the best salesman convinced me to buy.

  9. #9
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    The idea behind Wiki is we know more as a collective than individually.

    The jelly bean experiment for instance. When asked to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar, the more people that guessed the closer the average was to the right number. That's fine with some things like Star War facts but when special knowledge is needed, not.

    I don't know why so many quote Wiki as I think it should be a last source except for instance something about the Beatles.
    "What Fools these mortals be"....Puck

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvacker View Post
    ...

    The jelly bean experiment for instance. When asked to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar, ...
    Had a guy giving a class do this experiment. While others guessed away, I told him he would have to empty the jar first. He was reluctant. Turns out he had a ball in the middle. Just a verification of WhoIsThat's great post.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerryd_2008 View Post
    WOW, WhoIsThat! Great post.

    And yes the Internet abounds with agendas, half truths, lies and deceptions but more information freely available than in all human history. IMO the lack of information is the biggest enemy of intelligent choices. True, you have to evaluate the available "facts" but that beats none at all.

    Don't want to start a debate, but before the Internet, I used Consumer Reports for decades to educate me on important purchases. Beats walking into some place and buying the first thing I see or the one the best salesman convinced me to buy.
    You wouldn't believe the trouble I had finding that book. Everybody talks about fact-checking but nobody talks about how they actually do it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerryd_2008 View Post
    Had a guy giving a class do this experiment. While others guessed away, I told him he would have to empty the jar first. He was reluctant. Turns out he had a ball in the middle. Just a verification of WhoIsThat's great post.

    What was his purpose? Was he teaching the class?
    "What Fools these mortals be"....Puck

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvacker View Post
    What was his purpose? Was he teaching the class?
    Yes, a project management class at IBM. Guess he was trying to open students' eyes to not proceeding into solutions without knowing the facts or based on assumptions or maybe it was some people speak with forked tongue.

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