[Haskell-cafe] Do you trust Wikipedia?

Tim Chevalier catamorphism at gmail.com
Thu Oct 18 13:16:06 EDT 2007

On 10/18/07, jerzy.karczmarczuk at info.unicaen.fr
<jerzy.karczmarczuk at info.unicaen.fr> wrote:
> Dan Weston writes:
> > I find the mathematics is more accurate on
> >
> > http://www.conservapedia.com
> >
> > Their facts get checked by the Almighty Himself! ;)
> Since decent people here pointed out how my sarcasm may be blessing and
> useless, I must ask (living so far from the Bible Belt that I miss all
> standard American connotations...)
> Are you serious?
> (Not about the checking by the Lord, but concerning the quality of that
> conservapathologia?)

I think he might have been being sarcastic. But I can't be sure.

Anyway, regarding the original question about WIkipedia: I don't
"trust" anything on Wikipedia (or in textbooks, or the ICFP
proceedings, or when someone's telling it to me...) -- I apply
critical reasoning to what I read there, same as with everything else.
If you've read enough Wikipedia articles, you know when things "smell
bad". Citations (doesn't have to be a lot, but every article should
have at least one) to reasonable published sources are a good tip-off
that an article is legitimate. And as others have said, math articles
don't tend to attract a lot of the kinds of people who would insert
deliberately wrong information. As with the Haskell mailing list, you
just have to watch out for unintentionally wrong information (and
enough people watch the math articles that this probably tends to get
fixed quickly.)


Tim Chevalier * catamorphism.org * Often in error, never in doubt
"There are no sexist decisions to be made. There are antisexist
decisions to be made. And they require tremendous energy and
self-scrutiny, as well as moral stamina..." -- Samuel R. Delany

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