February 9, 2005

Latest Cites & Insights

Walt Crawford's latest has been posted. I consider C&I to really be required reading, so I don't mention it automatically when a new one comes out. This one I feel that I should point out because it has extensive commentary on the Wikipedia -- what it is, what it isn't and why we should all just get a grip. Personally, I love the thing, and I've suggested my 12 and 9 year old sons use it for their research projects at school. Among the topics: gold and the planets in French. In both cases, it served them very well, better than most other web resources and better than a lot of books I was able to get for them. All this to say is that the Wikipedia has its place, we just have to understand what it is. The naysayers and the utopians are bot a little right and a little wrong. Would I suggest that a York undergrad do all his or her research using the Wikipedia? Of course not. But it can be a good starting place for some basic info that should be certainly supplemented with other books, encyclopedias and perhaps some journal articles, depending on the level.


Anonymous said...

Walt Crawford here. What a wonderful comment--particularly your eight-word summary of my conclusions: "Why we should all just get a grip."

(You have no idea how close I came to canning that essay because of length and the fact that I had no new conclusions to offer...and how glad I am that I didn't, even if it did result in a couple of minor flames.)

John Dupuis said...

Thanks, Walt. I would vote for putting it all out there and letting the flames fly. After all, as long as the debate stays healthy and constructive (more or less), it helps us all formulate our own opinions and be able to contribute further to the debate.