Wikipedia's perfection (was Re: Discussion of the relative advantages/disadvantages of PAE (was Re: Memory >3.5GB not used?))

Bart Silverstrim bsilver at
Fri Apr 27 14:06:34 UTC 2007

On Apr 25, 2007, at 3:51 PM, Paul Schmehl wrote:

> --On Wednesday, April 25, 2007 15:29:04 -0400 Thomas Dickey  
> <dickey at> wrote:
>> On Wed, Apr 25, 2007 at 01:15:03PM -0600, Chad Perrin wrote:
>>> No kidding.  That professor should have his Wikipedia account  
>>> banned,
>>> and the head of his department should be informed of his  
>>> vandalism.  I
>>> don't suppose you know the name of his Wikipedia account, or his  
>>> legal
>>> name. . . .
>> yawn.  That sort of research has been going on for years.
>> Less interesting is the sort of trash emitted by people who don't  
>> like
>> knowing that whatever they've read on a webpage might not be  
>> completely
>> accurate, and that they might have to do some of their own thinking.
>> regards.
> At one time I had high hopes that the internet would usher in a new  
> era of increased knowledge and reduced gullibility.  Instead it  
> seems to have simply hastened the arrival to the wrong conclusions.

There are opportunities for increased knowledge.  Gullibility,  
though, is part of our human nature.

How many of you delve four levels deep when looking for a quick  
reference on something that, in the long run, you care little about?   
If you're not a mechanic or car enthusiast, do you look into anything  
and everything on how a clutch works, or every variation of four  
wheel drive implementations?  Probably not.  We don't devote time and  
resources into being "renaissance people".  For me, I look up the  
answer, if it sounds reasonable, I go with it unless someone else  
points out a deficiency in the answer.  I need a quick and dirty  
answer to move on to things I *do* care about.

The problem is that people will accept an answer whether it makes  
sense or not.  We had someone once convinced that a "Laser Car Wash"  
cleaned cars by shooting small lasers at the car to clean it.  It was  
something so far left field of what they're interested in and  
knowledgeable about that they just accepted the answer, even though  
there's no way such a system would be affordable (or safe enough) to  
use as a car washing tool.

Then again, there are those that do this intentionally, because  
spreading misinformation is in their best interest and they profit  
from it.  Even schools profit, not necessarily monetarily, by keeping  
students from questioning what they are taught.

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