…what OS the Vatican uses?
Hands up all those who know of Wikipedia? Being that this is a tech-oriented site, I’m sure you all do. Now, keep those hands up if you’ve found yourself going to Wikipedia (or a derivative like Answers.com) as a first port-of-call to find out some information about a topic you don’t know enough about.
I thought as much.
Now, here’s the problem. The Wikipedia has found itself in the mainstream. There are articles comparing its accuracy to that of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Much of this is due to people not understanding what a wiki is, or how the Wikipedia works. All they know is that it’s free and that it gets updated very frequently.
These features are because Wikipedia is a community edited resource. In fact, even the tagline tells you that it’s “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit“. And therein lies the problem.
See, if I wanted to write an article that claims New Zealand has a population of 20,000,000, the only thing stopping me from doing this (if the article hasn’t been locked) is that there will be more people out there who a) know the truth and b) who will take enough interest in correcting it to, well, correct it.
Now look at an article about the Faith. What’s to stop someone writing something heretical or just plain wrong? A recent discussion on the Being Frank blog pointed out that the Wikipedia article listing people who have been burned as heretics was incorrect. Now unless someone reads that discussion, how are they to know that Wikipedia isn’t correct.
And so I end by calling on all of you – especially those of you with knowledge in such matters – to keep an eye on the Wikipedia site and references to it and, if you find something that is wrong, then please correct it! If you read something that seems a bit off, then talk to someone who is more knowledgeable than you in such matters to confirm your concerns. Post in the comments here if you like and we’ll see if we can help.
A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. A little bit of incorrect knowledge can be even more dangerous.
If you’ve got a bit of spare time, pop over to the Catholic Blog Awards and nominate your favourite Catholic Blog.
Ahem. Hint, hint.
I’ve used this site a lot before, and simply forgotten to mention it here on the blog, but Disciples with Microphones is a great directory of good, Catholic podcasts. If you’re looking for some new stuff to put on your MP3 player of choice, go and check them out and their links to the various podcasts they’ve discovered.