Cheers to the Wikimedia Foundation

in The LIFESTYLE LOUNGElast year (edited)

Remember what it was like when you found the blockchain world? It was a shiny new toy with a lot of promise — [mostly] decentralized rather than having a central authority, everyone can participate (whether you're an investor, a crypto-enthusiast, a developer, or a blogger/content-creator), topics on every subject imaginable (finance, travel, recipes, fiction, poetry, music, and so much more).

Conversely:
For centuries, encyclopedias have been maintained by various organizations, many academic. It is their "experts" who write the articles, and their editors edit and approve them. To view the content, you had to go read the content in the library (no check-outs for books in the Reference Section) or purchase the entire set of books from the company who published them. Within a year or three, the information quickly became out-of-date as events happened in the world, new discoveries were made, technology advanced, medical knowledge progressed, corporations merged, and so forth. Many of those encyclopedia companies now offer their content online, of course, but it is still managed by centralized corporations, and some of them want money for subscriptions to access their information.

And then:
In the early 2000s, an idea was launched to take the encyclopedia industry from the hands of the centralized companies who produced them and make the knowledge available to everyone online in a [mostly] decentralized manner. That project grew into what is now known as Wikipedia. The concept is that by tapping into the vast resources of the entire human population, we can build a knowledge-base together.

"Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge."


[quote source: WikimediaFoundation.org]


screenshot from WikimediaFoundation.org

In everyday life, we seem to have lost personal accountability. Anyone can say anything these days, and few people seem to be taken to task for what they say. As such, one of the biggest misconceptions about Wikipedia is that it is rampant with incorrect information, but that is simply not true. A recent detractor of Wikipedia commented to me:

Wikipedia... anyone can edit and say anything

My response was:
There is oversight in Wikipedia to help prevent untruths from being published there. It isn't a total free-for-all, but runs in a somewhat decentralized manner like a blockchain runs. Just as we have Blockchain Engineers, witnesses, developers, and everyday users who care about the project and do what they can to vote and steer the project in a good direction, there is a Wikimedia Foundation that helps ensure the integrity and success of the project. There are various levels of editors that check work, make corrections, and ban people that try to run ripshod through the process, and the editors work on a consensus basis — sound familiar?

Every article that is written on Wikipedia as well as any edits made to those articles must contain citations to ensure accuracy. If those citations are not there, the article (or edit) will be rejected. Also, the citations are checked for accuracy.

It is very disturbing to me when avid proponents of the [mostly] decentralized nature of blockchains denigrate other [mostly] decentralized projects like Wikipedia. I have seen this happen over-and-over, though. I really like having a dynamic, up-to-date encyclopedia online rather than having to rely on a centralized, for-profit company like Brittanica or Funk & Wagnalls to publish their once-per-decade hardbound encyclopedia that only contain articles from their "experts" in each field.

I have been a contributing editor at Wikipedia since 2006, and always keep my eye peeled for inaccuracies and make corrections when I am certain I have spotted one. I am very proud of what Wikipedia has built, just as I am proud of what the various blockchains I'm on have built.

The same detractor quoted above went on to say:

I can remember writing papers in school and the teacher not letting us source wiki because it wasn't widely seen as a real source.

My response was:
I do not know if educators recognize Wikipedia as a valid source today or not... BUT, you have to remember that educators (at least in public schools) are part of "The System" that keeps fiat money and long-traditional financial practices in place. They don't want our deviating from the model that is under their control. Blockchain technology and collaborative projects like Wikipedia are bucking that "System" and hoping for a wonderful, new world.

I have encountered much ridicule of Wikipedia here on the blockchain from many different people. Yet, there is definitely a similar Modus Operandi in both projects, and anyone who is a fan of this blockchain should appreciate what Wikipedia is doing. Sure, there is a bit of oversight from the Wikimedia Foundation, but that is necessary to make the project as accurate as possible as well as have the infrastructure in which to operate. In a way, the Wikimedia Foundation is akin to the witnesses of the blockchain.

So, please raise a glass with me to Wikipedia and what they are doing! Cheers!  🥃

 😊

SOURCES
   1 Wikipedia: Encyclopedia
   2 Wikipedia: Wikipedia


15-Apr-2020

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Bang, even on HIVE I did it again... I just rehived your post!
Sorry, no beers or deranged or trdo yet... waiting on steem-engine to make the move to HIVE...
Re-birth of a contest... check it out

Wow, you certainly say a lot here. Back in "the day" when printed encyclopaedia's were a primary source of reference, knowledge simply wasn't growing at the exponential rate it is today. An encyclopaedia set could be up-to-date for 10, or even 20 years in cases. Today, of course, nation's borders change annually, and there is absolutely no way for a printed medium to keep up.

I don't necessarily agree that teachers themselves are trying to keep "the system" in place, though I will agree wholeheartedly that the public education system does that on its own through it's bureaucracy and insistence on never-ending-testing to prove metrics. I don't envy teachers put in the position of wanting to teach their students to think critically but needing to teach them how to pass a test. I definitely understand the idea that "being on the internet doesn't make it true," but crowd-sourced information typically ends up being quite correct.

It is absolutely amazing that all of us with our phones have the entirety of human knowledge at our fingertips, brought about solely by people who firmly believe that sharing information is the key to continuing to improve the human situation.

We inherited a full set of encyclopedia that were updated to around 1980 (at a price). With internet becoming a source of information, Wikipedia included we donated the books to a rural school where internet access is limited.

Information should be available, I am sure many around the world check records being added, when researching anything, one would check topic in a few places, however I do tend to find a lot from Wikipedia, so keep up the good work!

Nothing in life is totally free, cost of connection, data and handset or computer all comes at a price, therefore information should be freely available once you are connected.

That's the great advantage of Wiki is that information can be up to date. But when the subject is Political that's when it can get blurry and very subject to bias until the sources are checked out even when the events have yet developed and are still fluid. It naturally takes time to sort out fact from fiction before it becoming a full blown Editing war between the parties involved.

Being information literate is beneficial to all people and as more and more people have access to ready information from the internet, we are able to become information literate.
Awesome article, sis @thekittygirl.

I don't know how good Wikipedia is as an academic source, but I use it a lot for personal se, it is just amazing what topics are covered by Wikipedia!!

Wikipedia is a great tool for everyone. I have seen teachers using it, students learning from it, editors working on it. This interactive source of information is far more attractive to the newer generations than the printed encyclopedias that we grew up with.

I use it a lot for info gathering, and I can't remember ever being led astray. I'm loving using the wikimedia photos. I never realized they have them for almost any subject, but they do!

Cheers to you and Wikipedia, @thekittygirl! 🎉 It certain is a great source of info and thanks for your contribution. 😊

I'm IN. I love Wikipedia! I do a lot of research and a huge fraction of it starts right there.

At the very least it gives me a feeling for what ever topic. If I'm doing serious research I start checking citations and go from there. It's a simply great place.

Cheers to Wikipedia! I often find myself there; it is a very useful resource. I never realized how it is kind of like a blockchain. Your words are insightful. Thank you for contributing (to Hive and Wikipedia)!

My brother used to sell encyclopedias door to door. 😁

This is quite informative...TNX

Hi, friend @thekittygirl

I had not thought about it, but you are right, Wikipedia is a large decentralized network of free use for everyone.

It is a great project that we must support.

Excellent post. Congratulations

I say a big cheers to Wikipedia, I use it all of the time! So much more up to date than those dusty old encyclopedias that came at a great cost!
Thank you for a fitting tribute to this valuable source of information.

It is very interesting, mw would like to learn more about wikimedia.

Good on ya for being a contributing editor - I really appreciate having wikipedia available with such an array of information!

Great post!!! I use Wikipedia for hunting and gathering and frankly, I am a little insulted by the ignorance of your person up there.

Thank you for being part of the team that keeps this tool improving, year after year!

Upped and Reposted

!tip

 last year (edited)
Actually, there has been flack from many people here about Wikipedia. The above-quoted person came-around, thankfully, and has an appreciation for the project now as do several others. One other person in particular, however, remained unconvinced and thought I was lying, but she only would have to check into it more deeply to confirm, but I am sure she won't. She's no longer active on the blockchain, so that says a lot, I think... 🤔

Hehe... It says volumes. Thank you again!

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I agree. I love Wikipedia. I didn't know a lot of detail about their processes, but I do know that the information has to have citations and is checked for accuracy. I occasionally donate money when they put out a plea. I have no idea how they keep the lights on, honestly. Thanks for sharing insights on this, @thekittygirl. As for people not appreciating it or actually speaking disparagingly of it, I think that is as epidemic as COVID-19. Denigrating everything and everyone seems to be the norm these days and I find it psychologically exhausting. I hope that, like other fads, this is a passing thing and that people will come to their senses and realize just how wasteful of life energy it is to spend your time griping.

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