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Arctucrus t1_j1sbsel wrote

I get the joke; I'm saying it doesn't really make sense.

> The joke there is that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, but facts can't be.

This is strictly true, but I mean... You can't just transfer facts to others, you have to communicate them, through some sort of medium. Facts can't change, but they can be presented dishonestly via crafty use of the medium used to communicate them. So... saying "Facts can't be edited by anyone," I mean, you're missing the point. That facts can't be edited is irrelevant; We're discussing the quality of fact-communicating mediums.

And when it comes to Wikipedia, I reiterate; It's not what it used to be. Especially with highly-trafficked subjects, it itself tends to be pretty accurate. Yes it can be edited by anyone but that alone doesn't make something a poor resource -- If anything, present-day Wikipedia is a great example of that. Since its early days it's developed a robust infrastructure of guidelines, systems, and more, to quickly identify bad actors and correct misleading information. All of that is upheld by a humongous global network of volunteers, all of whom adhere to and some of whom even helped develop that infrastructure. It's much more reliable than it was 10 or 15 years ago; This pervasive and common idea that essentially "Wikipedia is a laughingstock and completely unreliable resource because it can be edited by anyone" is pretty outdated now.

So, you explain your joke to me, and now here I'm explaining my point: Your joke's punch line relies on outdated information to uphold its logic. It does not make sense anymore.

> Wikipedia has always been a good resource....if you follow up on their sources of information. It isn't a source, but it is a very solid starting point.

This also isn't a counterargument to my points because you're treating Wikipedia like it's the only source like that or like there's something inherent about Wikipedia that they could do better that makes it lower quality. That isn't the case either; What you're referring to is literally the case with all secondary and especially tertiary sources of information, and that's just the nature of those kinds of sources. That's nothing to dunk Wikipedia on specifically, that's just how the world works.

It's not all that dissimilar to the age old adage "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its life believing it is stupid." If you judge secondary and tertiary sources (either specifically and by name like Wikipedia OR in general) for requiring their consumers to treat them like a starting point and to follow up on their sources of information, you're rigging the game against them from the beginning. That's their nature. In other words, it's a feature, not a bug.

> It's an actual fact that email was invented in 1971 (he was only 8) and Shiva claims to have invented it in 1979. Even if there was one result saying Shiva invented email there would be thousands saying Ray Tomlinson did. Kinda hard to miss that, unless intentionally.

None of this is relevant to our specific little dialogue in this little corner of this thread. Thanks though, I didn't have all the details on this timeline, so I appreciate having it clearer now!