The Importance of Wikipedia

If you have heard it once, it is beaten into your skull. Wikipedia is a bad source. Don’t trust what is written on it. Any fool can contribute to that website. The statistics about who contributes are shocking. My response to all of this: blah blah blah.

Let’s face it: wikipedia is awesome. It is a social experiment just as telling as facebook, and its repercussions are far more positive. It is a free, unique collection of knowledge. And the best part about that knowledge? We get to decide what matters. We. You and me, and anyone else who can type in any language in the world. That’s right. No longer is someone who we don’t know (Mr. Webster or the well-respected Oxford crew) defining and educating us. Wikipedia is the first time in which a community writes, edits, evaluates, rewrites, and assigns worth to … well everything. Wikipedia is knowledge of everything, and we all get to share.

What about intellectual property? How do we know it is true? Yes, these are apparent problems. But are any of us really that comfortable with notions of intellectual property? I am not willing to say that one person owns a particular idea, and I am willing to bet most other individuals do not sit comfortably with that notion either. As for truth? Hasn’t modernity and post-modernity forced us to realize that objective truth is a falsity? Are we still accepting that as an argument?

For a culture that values blogs, facebook, and twitter, what is wikipedia but the encyclopedic collection of all of us who are participating? Wikipedia is a communal blog, and YOU get to write today. So crack your knuckles, adjust yourself in your seat, and share with all of us what you know. Post it on wikipedia, so what you know, I can know too.

Advertisements