[Haskell-cafe] Do you trust Wikipedia?
Andrew Coppin
andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Fri Oct 19 14:50:38 EDT 2007
Paul Brown wrote:
> On 10/17/07, PR Stanley <prstanley at ntlworld.com> wrote:
>
>> Do you trust mathematical materials on Wikipedia?
>>
>
> I trust most of them to not be wrong, but I don't trust them to be right.
>
> Mathematical concepts are bit like binary search -- getting the flavor
> right isn't that difficult, but being concise, complete, and correct
> is very difficult even for experts. In non-mathematics books that
> I've read (econometrics, operations research, etc.), some of the bits
> of exposition on fundamentals (multi-var calc, stats/probability,
> etc.) are not wrong but not quite right.
>
> For lay purposes, wikipedia is probably fine, and any resource *that
> people use* that makes an effort to educate and inform on mathematical
> concepts deserves some thanks and support.
>
> My $0.02.
>
I'd probably agree with most of that.
I read a fair bit of stuff on Wikipedia. Some articles are really quite
interesting, some are far too vague to comprehend, some are just
explained badly, and a fair few are near-empty stubs. It's pot luck.
Do I trust the material to be "correct"? Well, let me put it this way:
If I read something from Wikipedia that's "wrong", what's the worst that
could happen? It's not like I'm going to *use* this information for
anything important, so... ;-)
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