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The web’s best reference encyclopedia – Wikipedia

Interesting article about the Wikipedia

Now when eBay launched, people were skeptical, because the site wasn’t trustworthy. The curious thing about trust, though, is that it is a social fact, a fact that is only true when people think it is true. Social facts are real facts, and have considerable weight in the world. The fact that someone is a judge, for example, is a social fact — the authority that attaches to judgeship is attached by everyone agreeing that a certain person has the right to make certain statements — “Court is adjourned”, “I sentence you to 5 years in prison” — that have real force in the world. Those statements are not magic; their force comes from the social apparatus backing them up.

Ebay has become trustworthy over time because the social fact of its trustworthiness grew with the number of successful transactions and with its ability to find and rectify bad actors. Indeed, the roughest periods in eBay’s short life have been when it has seemed in danger of being a platform for fraud.

The Wikipedia online encylopedia has become the best authority on the web. It is an amazing collaborative project. A new invention of human ingenuity. Some complaints of spam around the web. More complaints from the right-wing pundits about an obvious bias in the articles (i.e. articles about Marx, Castro, Chavez, Palestine are not polemical screeds in hidden praise of Adams, Reagan, Bush, Zionism).

Great and immediate reference material with live links to more in-depth material. The way the web was supposed to work. Leaves DMOZ, and the Yahoo directory far behind.

As a reliable and comprehensive source may soon rival Brittanica and the other behemoths of the off-line world. Already beats them on everything computer and contemporary.

Long live the Wikipedia.

One Comment

  1. Bushwick Bill Bushwick Bill

    Wikipedia: invented by an American, an American with Southern roots, even!

    Yet another wonderful thing given to the world by America. It’s no wonder the world hates America: we invented modernity.

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