Wikipedia vs Books

I’m sick and tired of people trying to discredit information found on the internet. That thought is, in and of itself, in fact, what is ignorant. Knowledge is knowledge, wherever it is found. Whether you read it in a fifty-year-old respected text book, on a Wikipedia page, or in a bathroom stall, words are words, wherever they may be found.

Should one believe anything they read online? No. But, should one believe anything they read in a book, hear on the news, or heard from a friend either? No! Of course not. No matter where you observe, collect, or acquire knowledge from, you should never just take it at face value. You should always question the source of the material, even the source of the source of the material, if it’s unbiased, out-dated, respected, the different angles and contexts, only a theory, and so on.

Not only that, but many popular and respected books have already been digitized and released on the internet in the form of PDFs. Furthermore, the knowledge you’ll find a lot of times on Wikipedia was simply reiterated from a book anyway. It’s just another medium for information.

What’s the most common argument? “How trustworthy is Wikipedia when anyone can add info to it?” Well, first of all, that’s not entirely correct. Some pages are protected. In any case, that’s wonderful! What we end up with is a much more collective kind of knowledge, that can be constantly updated and improved, whereas with a traditional book, errors, misspellings, etc., could not be corrected until the following edition, which often took years, if a new edition came at all.

Again, we must never forget the constant of always checking the source regardless of where the info is coming from. Another important thing to understand is that no matter what, just because something is widely accepted and popular, does not mean it’s correct. Look at the flat earth debate. I don’t even need to tell you what I personally think, to make that point.

I was thinking of creating a poll for this, but that defeats the point I’m making. We should use whatever available means and tools we can to educate ourselves. It’s not one or the other.

Knowledge is power.