Monday, February 13, 2006

More Wikipedia vs Brittanica

Brittanica has made a right royal botch-up of the internet and doesn't seem to be changing as the years grind by.
As for anyone that believes everything on the web, you deserve a kick in the head. Use it as a first pit-stop, learn some lingo or jargon, complement it with a dozen other websites, compare and contrast and then move to the reviewed literature if you need more depth. It is the most basic research skill that you must acquire and when you have access to all the world's information, and experts on both sides of every issue, it is the most crucial skill you can develop.
I believe that books (maybe downloaded but generically expert/peer reviewed) will become deep and brain band-width intensive while easily edited wiki's etc will be shallow and easy to get the gist of. - i.e. not surprisingly they are complementary.
I wouldn't reccomend you subsitute wiki for your chemistry degree but i've found the chemistry topics i've needed to remind myself on are covered quite well, especially the 2005 Nobel prize entry.
The key skill is recognizing something obviously not-false but not jumping to the conclusion that not-false = true.


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