07 December 2009


I have to agree with Matthew White about Wikipedia in that it is intelllectual laziness to cite to it.

To use his comments about Wikipedia:
the McDonalds/Microsoft/Walmart of information. It provides reliably mediocre information at a low, low cost. This drives competitors out of business, reduces diversity, and lowers the standards all across the board. Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when you're curious but don't really care about the quality of your knowledge.

Everyone knows this already. "Checking Wikipedia" has become the information equivalent of "stopping at McDonald's". It reeks of apathy and superficiality.

On the other hand, I will point out that any compilation can be superficial. As I mentioned the last time I mentioned Matthew's comments on this The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions's Section on the Second Amendment is written by a "Second Amendment Scholar" (I think its Stephen Halbrook, but it could be Robert Cottrol). Can we bang on The Oxford University Press for "intellectual laziness"? Or is it that the people who use encyclopedias and compilations as their main source of info without investigating further are the real suffers of intellectual laziness?

When we add in the democratisation of Information then we get to the internet in general. The internet is a place where critical thinking and cite checking comes in handy. Of course, we have the democratic method on the internet where repeating the lie does make it true. Take for example the genocide figure out there that Matthew and I thoroughly trash as rubbish. Unfortunately, that one is up there and pasted all over the internet. Nevermind that it doesn't stand scrutiny.

Not to mention the comments about Nazis and gun control have been discredited at Guncite, a pro-gun website. Guncite even discredits the bogus Hitler quote! Somehow the news didn't get around and people still put Hitler's face up with a comment about him supporting gun control. And anyone who checks will find that the Nazi Party as we knew it was just formed when Britain had its system of gun registration!

Yeah, I just cited to Wikipedia for some of that info.

But like anything else: One should the it as a summary of the info out there and use that as a jumping off point for further inquiry. One should never trust any information without double checking. You can easily confirm any facts with a minimum of research and some use of the old grey matter. I'm offering you my interpretations and opinions in this blog, but obviously you should study other interpretations before you make up your own mind.

I'm not out to convince you of anything here, so you don't have to believe me if you don't want to. I created this page for my own benefit. On the other hand, I do back up what I write, which is more than I can say for some people. The fact that they don't bother following the links is their problem, not mine.

Anyway, there is the Foundation for Critical Thinking out there which I would strongly advise anyone to investigate. The have a model for critical thinking which is fairly useful. Although, I would also suggest learning about propaganda techniques when dealing with info on the internet.

In the meantime, there's this highly useful source of information on the Internet: Chickipedia!

Chickipedia Vs Wikipedia - Watch more Funny Videos