Wikipedia is Evil

Okay, maybe 'evil' is a little harsh...but their goal is nothing short of unbelievable.

If you haven't noticed their Big Brother-esque reassurances that there will neeeever beeee aaaaads (aslongasyoudonatesomemoney), and read their mission statement--it's basically this: To compile all knowledge. All of it! Ever. Possibly in every language, too, but I'm not as sure about that part.

I'll deal with the futility of this goal later. But first, let's look at how they're doing this.

The idea of an encyclopedia that users can edit seems fantastic. Sure, there's the initial doubt of huge personal bias, but there are so many users representing such a diverse chunk of the population, and so many of them are completely dedicated to the idea of objectivity, that I think we have all gotten over this. In fact, kids (at least 7th graders in District 203) are now allowed to use it as a source. But there's something that bugs me about this.

Objectivity. No, I'm not talking Ayn Rand's silly idealism, I'm talking about the notion that any information can be presented without any hint of bias.

The thing is, bias is what makes stuff human. And not just human, but also convincing in a way that allows us to still question its flaws--we all know that it's better to read a primary source, and come to our own conclusions about it, than it is to go to a tertiary one and let them deal with all the heavy thinking (as long as our essay deadline isn't in the next two hours, at least). So Wikipedia, by completely eliminating all bias, has just made it way harder to unsnarl the sources. Any bias there is going to be trickier to find, and their quest for absolute legitimacy through rock-solid standards means that there's no chance of people being able to step forward and say things like, oh yeah this is where it comes from. In general, I don't see enough primaries referenced on Wikipedia to go do the work myself--I believe the general process is clicking on the links at the bottom, then going to the links within those websites.

Also, Wikipedia displays the unique idea that a lot of humans, working together, can achieve near-robotic perfection. Are we Skynet?

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