Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

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Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#1  Postby Nevets » Mar 13, 2020 6:15 pm

I am bringing up this subject, as it has came to my attention that many members participating in the good fight to establish "good" and "rational" opinions, over that of the irrational opinions spread by Fake news sites and propaganda spewing machines, such as alternative news, complete with their alternative reality, and conspiracy theories, and possibly religious delusions, do not cite any sources whatsoever in their arguments.

Having participated in many debates on many platforms against conspiracy theorists, or political far leftists or far rightists, my method has evolved substantially from when i began using just any newspaper article, or anything i can find on the internet that has been put in writing, to back my claim. I even went through a period where i stopped citing sources, as i was fed up with my arguments being shot down due to the reliability of my source, or the conspiracy theorist finding some legitimate smear he can inflict on the author, to support his claims of the author being a shill, or disinformationist. And in the end, i found actually, wikipedia to be the most reliable source when it comes to tackling those wide of dead centre.

I did begin by checking the source, on every single little sentence i printed, and sometimes there can be "many" sentences, and going through sources and reading every single thing in every single source, especially when the source could be a 1000 page book, is just not practical.
One cannot learn much, going through every single minute little detail, regarding something already minute, just to check the validity of one particular little statement. This is supposed to be done already anyway, by Wikipedia.

Fair enough, if you spend all week, or all month, working on one article, you may get it 99.7% beyond reproach.
However is that practical, to spend all week or month working on something, to learn what? One thing.

I found the most effective way of forming an opinion, is when the opinion is formulated as part of a group effort, mostly in debate, where someone objecting to the validity of a source that was used in a wikipedia article. This can then be debated, with that particular argument either improved upon, or forfeited.

Wikipedia, is not fake news, and it is not alternative news, and it is probably a lot better than mainstream news, that reports on the rumours and unfounded allegations and suspicions, as they happen, and mainstream news probably has a great deal to answer for actually, in the creation of conspiracy theories.
Just look what Jane Stanley caused when she announced live on TV, that WTC7 had fallen 20 minutes before it did. This started all types of insane theories, such as the BBC being in on it, and having advanced knowledge.

Wikipedia is a decent platform to "begin" a "valid" debate with. It does not mean that one believes everything Wikipedia says is 100% correct, nor does it mean one does not know how to go through a wikipedia article with a fine comb and check the validity of every single source, and do the wikipedia editor and moderators jobs for them.
One can only do so much, and this needs to be the job of the person "objecting" to either one source in the argument, or, the entire article. Though it is extremely doubtful that an entire article on wikipedia is going to be 100% innacurate, though there may be room for disagreement on certain sources.

Wikipedia is a Crowd sourced encyclopedia.

Wikipedia may represent the world's most popular online encyclopedia, but its crowd-sourced https://www.livescience.com/7946-wikipe ... urate.html


A 2005 study found Wikipedia to be as roughly as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica. So despite the concerns, it is not bad that after highlighting the concerns, the study showed that it was still as reliable as the Encyclopedia Britannica.

A 2005 study by the journal Nature found Wikipedia roughly as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.livescience.com/7946-wikipe ... urate.html


A 2008 study found Wikipedia to be 80% accurate

a 2008 study in the journal Reference Services Review pegged Wikipedia's accuracy rate at 80 percent https://www.livescience.com/7946-wikipe ... urate.html


Wikipedia also has a differing accuracy rate for different subjects, and in particular the subject of drugs, Scientists found their accuracy to be 99.7%

Their conclusion is that the accuracy of drug information on Wikipedia was 99.7% https://www.zmescience.com/science/stud ... -25092014/







And Academics, "do" use Wikipedia. They use it as an initial starting point. It is not practical for one person that is tracing the footsteps of man from gibbons 20 million years ago, right up to Donald Trump taking presidency, to check the validity of every single little source. This has to be the job of the objector(s).
And this is "exactly", what academics "do", they use wikipedia as a "good" initial starting point.

Many academics distrust Wikipedia[23] but may see it as a valuable jumping off point for research, with many of the reliable sources used in its articles generally seen as legitimate sources for more in-depth information and use in assigned papers. For this reason some academics suggest ‘Verifiability by respected sources’ as an indicator for assessing the quality of Wikipedia articles at the higher education level. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia


Now some valid arguments to be aware of, regarding wikipedia, include editors conflicts of interests, and revenge editing

Incidents of conflicted editing, and the use of Wikipedia for 'revenge editing' (inserting false, defamatory or biased statements into biographies) have attracted publicity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia


Now regarding the belief that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, and can be vandalised, i have actually found this to be untrue. I have found that vandalism is fixed "usually" within seconds, and getting an article published on wikipedia can be a painstaking operation, that can sometimes include having to go over to the Wikipedia editors forum, and turn the article in to a group effort, before presenting it for publishing. And this is supported.

Because Wikipedia is open to anonymous and collaborative editing, assessments of its reliability often examine how quickly false or misleading information is removed. A study conducted by IBM researchers in 2003—two years following Wikipedia's establishment—found that "vandalism is usually repaired extremely quickly—so quickly that most users will never see its effects" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia


There are of course rare instances of Wikipedia failing to eradicate disinformation

False information has sometimes lasted for a long time on Wikipedia. In May 2005, an editor sparked controversy by creating an article about John Seigenthaler that included false and defamatory statements.[19] The inaccurate information remained uncorrected for four months. A biographical article on French Wikipedia portrayed a "Léon-Robert de L'Astran" as an 18th-century anti-slavery ship owner, which led Ségolène Royal, a presidential candidate, to praise him. A student investigation determined that the article was a hoax and de L'Astran had never existed.[20] Journalists from a spectrum of publications have similarly been embarrassed by repeating mistaken or fake information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia


Also, in the links above they are mostly "not" from Wikipedia. But what makes the information in those sources any better? Raising issues about sources is a rational one, but it is only rational if one can say how the source is innacurate, or else, it is irrational skepticism.

Now whilst my use of Wikipedia has been critisized by members on this forum, and claims that this is not an Academic way to conduct debate, i object on the grounds, that appart from "once" when a user used a source to show me that the Norse were not involved in an invasion against Portugal, even though the source itself said those that conducted the invasion were from Nordsee, 2BC, i have never "once" seen anyone use a source, and that is "not" Academic.

Bringing unsubstantiated self proclaimed authority on a subject to the table "is not" Academic in the slightest, and the use of Wikipedia "totally" defeats an arrogant or ignorant and unsupported opinion, even without fine combing to sources.

I also do not have a problem with the users on this forum providing no sources, but to raise disputes on my source, while expecting me to just accept their unsourced opinion, is not Academic.

Objectors could also help improve the reliability of Wikipedia, by providing better sources, which could then also be put in to the Wikipedia article.

Wikipedia is a good start, for presenting a rational initial argument, particularly when replying to an opinion that provided no source whatsoever.

I challenge anyone to prove otherwise, that Wikipedia could be considered "unreliable".
And lets see what "Academic" sources are used.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#2  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Mar 13, 2020 6:25 pm

You still don't understand how the burden of proof works or that wikipedia pages can be edited by anyone at any time. Thats what makes it unreliable, not how much of it is accurate.

More importantly, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you:
1. 9,9 out of 10 times the quotes you post don't state what you claim they do, more often the opposite in fact.
2. You jump to conclusions that are not in the least warranted by the wiki articles you quote.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#3  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 6:32 pm

I just answered this here:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... l#p2737042

I expect you don't realize this, but the term 'culture' in these contexts doesn't refer to the standard usage of it as is commonly used... rather, it specifically means an identifiable, specific method of creating particular implements, tools, and objects - a material culture. When we go back to the ancient world and prehistoric periods, we know very little about the people because they tended to use materials which decompose, they had no written words, made no monuments, and so left no archaeological remains - the only thing we get to see is the objects they made from durable materials, typically tools, and the style and method of making those tools is labeled with a name like "Hamburg" (typically based on a region in which it's first found, or sometimes a particular style as with 'Corded Ware Culture') to denote that process of manufacturing. As ideas like this can spread between socially and culturally different groups of people, there's no implication that all the people using Hamburg Culture, for example, were the same cultural group of people in that they spoke the same language, had the same religious beliefs, or organized themselves similarly - all it shows and all we can know is that they made specific types of tools in specific types of ways, and we can track the spread of those production methods.

There is one other thing we get to see, albeit rarely and with a lot more difficulty - and that is their genetic history. These techniques are quite modern, really only existing for the last couple of decades, or even just the last decade, so this is the forefront of knowledge. Consequently, it's not something you should be emoting at. It's something that, if you are genuinely interested in, you should be spending your time reading source material about. Wikipedia or some random website on the internet is not going to offer you that knowledge. Wikipedia, for example, as I've told you many, many times is an entry level encyclopedia, written by non-experts for non-experts... it's an introduction to a topic, not the last word, not comprehensive, not complete. If you want to know or have mastery of this topic, you need to be reading peer-reviewed literature published in credible scientific journals.

Now, fair play, you do need to understand some basic principles, and for that Wikipedia is fine. For example, you clearly don't understand what the language families are, what they include, why we label them so. For that, Wikipedia is perfectly adequate, although you'd probably need to follow multiple links and read multiple pages, and once you've done that, you'd have a basic knowledge. Wikipedia is never going to give you any expertise in any topic.

To wit, a good question you could be asking yourself now is that, given there's no proto-Indo-European script and language doesn't fossilize for modern archaeologists to dig up, how it is that we have this concept of a proto-Indo-European people who spread across that massive geographical expanse during that period. But this is not a test. I am not asking you to go read a single Wikipedia page and report back as if you are an expert on it. I am asking you to sit and think whether you know the answer or not in the absence of a sentence on Wikipedia. I think, if you were being honest with yourself, you'd admit you don't have a fucking clue. That's fine. That's perfectly fine. It's hardly general knowledge, and no one's going to laugh at you if you don't know. People who do know, however, will laugh at you if you pretend to know when you clearly don't.

So how about you set yourself the task of becoming informed in this specific field? Given that the history of discovery of proto-Indo-European peoples, their language and material culture goes back at least 70 years, I would suggest that expertise in this area would take many months of meticulous full-time study. Again, you don't need to admit it to me if you don't want to, but at least admit it to yourself that you've not spent even a substantive fraction of that time reading up about it.

...

The problem is not just 'Wikipedia' - it's that you simply cannot master these subjects by reading a beginner entry on a website. You need to know the evidence, you need to read the discussions reported by and engaged with by the experts in this field. You need to know about the material culture, the linguistics, and the genetics to have a rounded perspective. You simply cannot get this from reading a few hundred words on Wikipedia, even if you read them accurately without agenda unlike you appear to be doing each time.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#4  Postby Nevets » Mar 13, 2020 6:42 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:You still don't understand how the burden of proof works or that wikipedia pages can be edited by anyone at any time. Thats what makes it unreliable, not how much of it is accurate.

More importantly, as has been repeatedly to you:

Thomas Eshuis wrote: 1. 9,9 out of 10 times the quotes you post don't state what you claim they do, more often the opposite in fact.
1. 9,9 out of 10 times the quotes you post don't state what you claim they do, more often the opposite in fact.


In a court of law you would need to provide "proof" that 9.9 of everything that i post does not say, what i say it does. Rather than simply "claiming that".. Show me the research method you used, to calculate that 99% of my opinion is based upon misunderstanding what the wikipedia article says.

Thomas Eshuis wrote: 2. You jump to conclusions that are not in the least warranted by the wiki articles you quote.


Rather than simply "saying" i jump to conclusion that are not in the least warranted by the wiki articles i quote, you would need to show examples. And if you wish to drop my accuracy percentage down, you would also require providing more than one example, to show that this is a consistant pattern
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#5  Postby Nevets » Mar 13, 2020 6:47 pm

Spearthrower wrote:I just answered this here:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... l#p2737042

I expect you don't realize this, but the term 'culture' in these contexts doesn't refer to the standard usage of it as is commonly used... rather, it specifically means an identifiable, specific method of creating particular implements, tools, and objects - a material culture. When we go back to the ancient world and prehistoric periods, we know very little about the people because they tended to use materials which decompose, they had no written words, made no monuments, and so left no archaeological remains - the only thing we get to see is the objects they made from durable materials, typically tools, and the style and method of making those tools is labeled with a name like "Hamburg" (typically based on a region in which it's first found, or sometimes a particular style as with 'Corded Ware Culture') to denote that process of manufacturing. As ideas like this can spread between socially and culturally different groups of people, there's no implication that all the people using Hamburg Culture, for example, were the same cultural group of people in that they spoke the same language, had the same religious beliefs, or organized themselves similarly - all it shows and all we can know is that they made specific types of tools in specific types of ways, and we can track the spread of those production methods.

There is one other thing we get to see, albeit rarely and with a lot more difficulty - and that is their genetic history. These techniques are quite modern, really only existing for the last couple of decades, or even just the last decade, so this is the forefront of knowledge. Consequently, it's not something you should be emoting at. It's something that, if you are genuinely interested in, you should be spending your time reading source material about. Wikipedia or some random website on the internet is not going to offer you that knowledge. Wikipedia, for example, as I've told you many, many times is an entry level encyclopedia, written by non-experts for non-experts... it's an introduction to a topic, not the last word, not comprehensive, not complete. If you want to know or have mastery of this topic, you need to be reading peer-reviewed literature published in credible scientific journals.

Now, fair play, you do need to understand some basic principles, and for that Wikipedia is fine. For example, you clearly don't understand what the language families are, what they include, why we label them so. For that, Wikipedia is perfectly adequate, although you'd probably need to follow multiple links and read multiple pages, and once you've done that, you'd have a basic knowledge. Wikipedia is never going to give you any expertise in any topic.

To wit, a good question you could be asking yourself now is that, given there's no proto-Indo-European script and language doesn't fossilize for modern archaeologists to dig up, how it is that we have this concept of a proto-Indo-European people who spread across that massive geographical expanse during that period. But this is not a test. I am not asking you to go read a single Wikipedia page and report back as if you are an expert on it. I am asking you to sit and think whether you know the answer or not in the absence of a sentence on Wikipedia. I think, if you were being honest with yourself, you'd admit you don't have a fucking clue. That's fine. That's perfectly fine. It's hardly general knowledge, and no one's going to laugh at you if you don't know. People who do know, however, will laugh at you if you pretend to know when you clearly don't.

So how about you set yourself the task of becoming informed in this specific field? Given that the history of discovery of proto-Indo-European peoples, their language and material culture goes back at least 70 years, I would suggest that expertise in this area would take many months of meticulous full-time study. Again, you don't need to admit it to me if you don't want to, but at least admit it to yourself that you've not spent even a substantive fraction of that time reading up about it.

...

The problem is not just 'Wikipedia' - it's that you simply cannot master these subjects by reading a beginner entry on a website. You need to know the evidence, you need to read the discussions reported by and engaged with by the experts in this field. You need to know about the material culture, the linguistics, and the genetics to have a rounded perspective. You simply cannot get this from reading a few hundred words on Wikipedia, even if you read them accurately without agenda unlike you appear to be doing each time.


What you are failing to understand, is that i, as a human, have an opinion, and the opinion i form from Wikipedia, or anywhere else, is my opinion.

But i do provide sources for where my opinion stemmed from, and attempt to show how i formulated that opinion.

You may disgree with my opinion.

But then, that is your opinion.

You undertsand what the wikipedia articles mean, that is the main thing.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#6  Postby Fallible » Mar 13, 2020 6:53 pm

You ”should”, at least, if, you are ”Trying” to present, “yourself”, as a “reasonably” “Intelligent”, “individual”, show that “you”, have “mastered”, the basic “Functions” of, the language, “You” have “chosen” to “Employ”, in your “endeavours”. Rather, than Leaping “straight” to something as “complicated”, as the Legitimacy of Wikipedia, “you” should be “focusing”, On “that”.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#7  Postby Hermit » Mar 13, 2020 7:10 pm

The Wikipedia is an excellent starting point for gathering information, and I applaud the fact that you use it extensively. The problem with the content of most of your posts does not lie with the encyclopaedia itself. Not at all. It lies in the frequency with which you see meanings in the bits you quote from it that simply are not there, and worse, the frequency with which you draw inferences and conclusions from those snippets that cannot be based on the snippets you do quote.

One recent glaring example is your claim that the Norse had to be tough travellers because they come from the "The Hamburg culture", created around 15,500BC. Indeed, the Wikipedia provides references to the existence of the Norse, and it provides links to the Hamburg culture. What it does not provide, neither directly nor indirectly, is a link between the two, or how a connection between two types of societies that are 15,000 years apart could even be meaningful. This is the sort of stuff that springs out of your imagination, not the Wikipedia. And you keep doing this sort of thing again and again.

Thinking of your input in this forum someone should award you with a rank. A very high rank, even. You should be crowned King of the Non Sequitur. You could actually do that yourself. Click on the User Control Panel (UCP) button, then click on "Profile" and fill in the space following "Location" with King of the Non Sequitur. Finish by clicking on "submit".

I have also toyed with the idea of making an avatar for you. It's a slightly exaggerated depiction of how your contributions to this forum.

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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#8  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 7:26 pm

Nevets wrote:I am bringing up this subject, as it has came to my attention that many members participating in the good fight to establish "good" and "rational" opinions, over that of the irrational opinions spread by Fake news sites and propaganda spewing machines, such as alternative news, complete with their alternative reality, and conspiracy theories, and possibly religious delusions, do not cite any sources whatsoever in their arguments.


With respect to this website, it is actually standard practice to cite supporting sources for arguments.

However, that's only really done in more serious discussions. Frankly, your threads just don't warrant that level of substance.

I provided an example here:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/relig ... l#p2736957

Spearthrower wrote:
Nevets wrote:But what is the truth about Thor? Why did Norse people have to be tough? And why did they have to become travellers?
It likely comes from the "The Hamburg culture", created around 15,500BC,

The Hamburg culture or Hamburgian (15,500-13,100 BP) was a Late Upper Paleolithic culture of reindeer hunters in northwestern Europe during the last part of the Weichsel Glaciation beginning during the Bölling interstadial. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburg_culture


Your argument is that the belief in Thor, the warrior culture, and the activity of going Viking is related to the Hamburg Culture from the Palaeolithic.

Your citation merely points to the Hamburg Culture, showing that such a thing existed. What your citation doesn't do is establish any support for your contentions about the worship of Thor, the presence of a warrior culture, or the Viking period or its purported relationship with the Hamburg Culture.

So your source is actually completely worthless and has no bearing at all on anything relevant. You may as well not have cited it because it's not doing anything at all. This is the case with all your 'citations' and it's clear to all of us that this is because you're just not aware at all of what you need to do.



This is just one single example - but nearly every single post you've written on this forum could be used as an example. Your 'sources' are not sources at all - they're show with no substance; they never support the argument you're nominally citing them to support. As such, you're not actually citing any source at all - you might as well not be doing it. So people here are actually meeting you exactly on par with your own performance; you're putting in no effort, so why should anyone else?



Nevets wrote:Having participated in many debates on many platforms against conspiracy theorists, or political far leftists or far rightists, my method has evolved substantially from when i began using just any newspaper article, or anything i can find on the internet that has been put in writing, to back my claim.


I genuinely cannot conceive of how you could be worse. You literally just put up anything you find on Wikipedia regardless of its complete irrelevance to your argument. If your actions here are the 'evolved' state of affairs, I can't even begin to imagine what you used to do - just cite something entirely random and disconnected?


Nevets wrote: I even went through a period where i stopped citing sources, as i was fed up with my arguments being shot down due to the reliability of my source, or the conspiracy theorist finding some legitimate smear he can inflict on the author, to support his claims of the author being a shill, or disinformationist. And in the end, i found actually, wikipedia to be the most reliable source when it comes to tackling those wide of dead centre.


Wikipedia, as I've told you something like a dozen times is an entry level introduction to a topic. It cannot be taken as being anything other than written by non-experts for non-experts.


Nevets wrote:I did begin by checking the source, on every single little sentence i printed, and sometimes there can be "many" sentences, and going through sources and reading every single thing in every single source, especially when the source could be a 1000 page book, is just not practical.
One cannot learn much, going through every single minute little detail, regarding something already minute, just to check the validity of one particular little statement. This is supposed to be done already anyway, by Wikipedia.


Again, you're being disingenuous.

I've already offered you many specific examples.

It's not the information contained in Wikipedia that is being questioned here, it's the relevance of the snippets you're copying and pasting with respect to your arguments.

For example, you'll make a statement like "The Pope sent British troops to the Crusade" and you'll cite a line from a Wikipedia entry that reads:

Wikipedia wrote:The pope (Latin: papa from Greek: πάππας pappas,[1] "father"),[2] also known as the supreme pontiff (Pontifex Maximus), or the Roman pontiff (Romanum Pontificem), is the bishop of Rome, leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state representing the Holy See.


Nothing contained in that sentence supports your contention.

No one reading that can use any single word of it to evaluate the truth of your claim.

It's basically impossible even to believe that YOU think it supports your claim.

That you KEEP doing this requires some explanation. The explanations can be: you are so far removed from understanding that you actually think that line supports your argument; you're trolling knowing full well that it doesn't support your argument; you're astoundingly thick; you're mentally unhealthy; you're on mind-altering substances that mean you are temporarily indisposed to reason or comprehension.

None of them are particularly charming allegations, but it's very hard to conceive of anything else that could explain this absurdity.


Nevets wrote:IFair enough, if you spend all week, or all month, working on one article, you may get it 99.7% beyond reproach.
However is that practical, to spend all week or month working on something, to learn what? One thing.


Well, it really does depend on how big and detailed that 'thing' is. A few years ago, I spent 19 months researching all the available evidence for the origins of European peoples mostly from a linguistic perspective, but also looking at their history and material culture. It was a personal interest project, so it wasn't full time, but I estimate I spent something like 2-3 hours a day, 7 days a week for over a year and a half - so let's say something in the region of 1200 hours. I ended up with hundreds of pages of notes, images, journal papers and a deep sense of satisfaction and nothing else to show for it. So really, the scope is down to your personal interest and the depth to which you wish to know something. Nearly all knowledge runs deeper than a Wikipedia article can ever hope to achieve.


Nevets wrote:I found the most effective way of forming an opinion, is when the opinion is formulated as part of a group effort, mostly in debate, where someone objecting to the validity of a source that was used in a wikipedia article. This can then be debated, with that particular argument either improved upon, or forfeited.


Your modus operandi here doesn't reflect this at all. What you *appear* to find most effective is nonsensical assertions which you entirely fail to support, and when those assertions are challenged, you simply hop onto an entirely new topic and start the process all over again.


Nevets wrote:Wikipedia, is not fake news, and it is not alternative news, and it is probably a lot better than mainstream news,...


Criticism of mainstream news is, to me, an indication of someone inclined towards conspiracy theory. Certainly outlets can have a political bias, but it's not like it's hidden, and it doesn't mean they don't report the news, only that they may either curate the types of story they more or less frequently present, or they may 'spin' stories towards a political bias. However, most people who complain about mainstream news appear to do so because they have whacky ideas that they feel the news outlets don't cover, not because those news outlets are only interested in factual, legitimate news... oh no... because they're biased, or have a shady agenda.


Nevets wrote: that reports on the rumours and unfounded allegations and suspicions, as they happen, and mainstream news probably has a great deal to answer for actually, in the creation of conspiracy theories.
Just look what Jane Stanley caused when she announced live on TV, that WTC7 had fallen 20 minutes before it did. This started all types of insane theories, such as the BBC being in on it, and having advanced knowledge.


That makes no sense at all; I wonder whether these statements make sense in your head before you write them down.


Nevets wrote:Wikipedia is a decent platform to "begin" a "valid" debate with.


There's a whole lot of 'depends' necessarily tacked onto that statement.

Not least is the assumption that the person using Wikipedia can actually read and process the information contained therein.

Merely citing a link to Wikipedia doesn't validate anything. If a person cites a Wikipedia page that doesn't corroborate their argument, then the Wikipedia page might as well be the back of a milk carton for its value in generating material facts to debate.


Nevets wrote: It does not mean that one believes everything Wikipedia says is 100% correct, nor does it mean one does not know how to go through a wikipedia article with a fine comb and check the validity of every single source, and do the wikipedia editor and moderators jobs for them.
One can only do so much, and this needs to be the job of the person "objecting" to either one source in the argument, or, the entire article. Though it is extremely doubtful that an entire article on wikipedia is going to be 100% innacurate, though there may be room for disagreement on certain sources.


You're already repeating yourself and you're also ignoring the actual challenges to your particular usage of Wikipedia.


Nevets wrote:Wikipedia is a Crowd sourced encyclopedia.

Wikipedia may represent the world's most popular online encyclopedia, but its crowd-sourced https://www.livescience.com/7946-wikipe ... urate.html


This is actually a great example of another form of bizarre Wikipedia usage you've employed: citing the banal.

I offered you various examples of this, but my preferred one is:

Water is wet:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water

Wikipedia wrote:Water is wet


No one's going to challenge the contention that water is wet. No one's going to challenge that Wikipedia is a popular online encyclopedia.

But the fact is that with respect to your argument, the statement 'water is wet' is very nearly as relevant as your citation about Wikipedia.


Nevets wrote:A 2005 study found Wikipedia to be as roughly as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica. So despite the concerns, it is not bad that after highlighting the concerns, the study showed that it was still as reliable as the Encyclopedia Britannica.

A 2005 study by the journal Nature found Wikipedia roughly as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.livescience.com/7946-wikipe ... urate.html


This is a form of misusing a source you've not yet employed, but it's worth pointing out here that you don't make an argument by copying and pasting the text from the source, then quoting the source. This just means it was never your argument to begin with.


Nevets wrote:A 2008 study found Wikipedia to be 80% accurate

a 2008 study in the journal Reference Services Review pegged Wikipedia's accuracy rate at 80 percent https://www.livescience.com/7946-wikipe ... urate.html


This is all obfuscation.

Aside from Theropod, no one here has said that Wikipedia is not correct or accurate.

What we've been saying is that your particular usage of Wikipedia is not correct or accurate. When you cite Wikipedia, you don't cite an entry that materially supports your claim, you just cite some random pop quiz fact from Wikipedia as if it justifies something not actually contained in its words.

I can furnish dozens of instances of you doing this.


Nevets wrote:Wikipedia also has a differing accuracy rate for different subjects, and in particular the subject of drugs, Scientists found their accuracy to be 99.7%

Their conclusion is that the accuracy of drug information on Wikipedia was 99.7% https://www.zmescience.com/science/stud ... -25092014/


Irrelevant, but an example of how you tend to wander around different subjects apparently just trying to show you know something.



Nevets wrote:
And Academics, "do" use Wikipedia. They use it as an initial starting point. It is not practical for one person that is tracing the footsteps of man from gibbons 20 million years ago, right up to Donald Trump taking presidency, to check the validity of every single little source. This has to be the job of the objector(s).
And this is "exactly", what academics "do", they use wikipedia as a "good" initial starting point.


I use Wikipedia and I'm an academic. What I don't do is use Wikipedia the way YOU use Wikipedia.

Aside from the specific problems I've already mentioned, another aspect of your misuse of Wikipedia is that you cite something extremely basic but pretend to be knowledgeable, pretend that your citation of it just means you're correct regardless of the fact that nothing in your citation supports your position.

An example of this is what happened when I pointed out to you that you continually misused the term 'papal' by using it as a noun when it's an adjective. You retorted by citing an entry from Wikipedia that explained how the office of the Pope was established. Not only was it completely irrelevant to the point at hand - that you were misusing the word - but it's also completely banal. No one here is unaware of the what the Pope is, or that it's an office of the Catholic Church etc. Citing that sentence doesn't mean you know what you're talking about; it actually indicates the converse.

I am snipping out more iterations of you making irrelevant arguments below about the accuracy of Wikipedia, which has not (except by Theropod) been challenged as these are wholly obfuscatory.


Nevets wrote:Now whilst my use of Wikipedia has been critisized by members on this forum, and claims that this is not an Academic way to conduct debate,...


Here is the central strawman I knew was coming.

See, it takes some rational ability to formulate a long form argument like this, and as such, I don't think you're stupid. That's a problem though because if you were just thick then it would be easy to explain why you've ignored all the actual explicit criticism of the way YOU use Wikipedia as a misunderstanding on your part... but the fact that you've woven this strawman together over hundreds of words suggests that you know very fucking well what you're doing so you can't gain the benefit of the doubt in terms of being innocently ignorant.

This is pure mendacity on your part. And your insistent repetition of this form of misrepresentation is why you have netted such vigorous rejections of your bullshit.


Nevets wrote:i object on the grounds, that appart from "once" when a user used a source to show me that the Norse were not involved in an invasion against Portugal, even though the source itself said those that conducted the invasion were from Nordsee, 2BC, i have never "once" seen anyone use a source, and that is "not" Academic.


Then you've either got a very poor memory, or you're not telling the truth.



Nevets wrote:Bringing unsubstantiated self proclaimed authority on a subject to the table "is not" Academic in the slightest, and the use of Wikipedia "totally" defeats an arrogant or ignorant and unsupported opinion, even without fine combing to sources.


YOUR usage of Wikipedia does no such thing because of the points I've made above.

The fact that you use Wikipedia as a distraction and preening tool means you're not using it as a source, which in turn means that you have made unsupported assertions... consequently, why do other people have to spend their time to do something you're not prepared or capable of doing?

No one has actually made any authority statements - what they've actually done is reject your assertions. As your assertions are unsupported, they're under no obligation to furnish you with multiple sources supporting their rejection - the point is you failed to convince people. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

If you actually offered an academic (no caps needed) argument with cogent, relevant, substantive support and I disagreed with you on factual grounds, I'd offer a source showing why I believed you wrong. That's what I did the first dozen or so times, but your unwillingness to engage on the same level meant I saw no reason to continue doing so.


Nevets wrote:I also do not have a problem with the users on this forum providing no sources, but to raise disputes on my source, while expecting me to just accept their unsourced opinion, is not Academic.


You have again randomly capitalized 'academic'.

You are setting yourself up as an arbiter of what is or isn't academic, but I am under no obligation to defer to you particularly as I do not believe you have any capability in this regard at all. You possess no credibility whatsoever based on your behavior on this forum.

Further, whether you comprehend this or not, this forum is a discussion forum, it's not actually an academic venue. Were it truly an academic venue, then you really would be expected to bring a damn sight more to the table than single sentences from Wikipedia, so there's another central obfuscation present in your argument.


Nevets wrote:Objectors could also help improve the reliability of Wikipedia, by providing better sources, which could then also be put in to the Wikipedia article.


Except that no one (except Theropod) has actually criticized Wikipedia, it's validity, accuracy, or anything else... what they've clearly done numerous times is criticize the way YOU use Wikipedia.

Strawman demolished.


Nevets wrote:Wikipedia is a good start, for presenting a rational initial argument, particularly when replying to an opinion that provided no source whatsoever.


It can establish basic facts; it can't support wild conjecture that is not contained within the Wikipedia entry.


Nevets wrote:I challenge anyone to prove otherwise, that Wikipedia could be considered "unreliable".
And lets see what "Academic" sources are used.


Your strawman is irrelevant. And you've once again capitalized 'academic' for no good reason.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#9  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 7:31 pm

Nevets wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:I just answered this here:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... l#p2737042

I expect you don't realize this, but the term 'culture' in these contexts doesn't refer to the standard usage of it as is commonly used... rather, it specifically means an identifiable, specific method of creating particular implements, tools, and objects - a material culture. When we go back to the ancient world and prehistoric periods, we know very little about the people because they tended to use materials which decompose, they had no written words, made no monuments, and so left no archaeological remains - the only thing we get to see is the objects they made from durable materials, typically tools, and the style and method of making those tools is labeled with a name like "Hamburg" (typically based on a region in which it's first found, or sometimes a particular style as with 'Corded Ware Culture') to denote that process of manufacturing. As ideas like this can spread between socially and culturally different groups of people, there's no implication that all the people using Hamburg Culture, for example, were the same cultural group of people in that they spoke the same language, had the same religious beliefs, or organized themselves similarly - all it shows and all we can know is that they made specific types of tools in specific types of ways, and we can track the spread of those production methods.

There is one other thing we get to see, albeit rarely and with a lot more difficulty - and that is their genetic history. These techniques are quite modern, really only existing for the last couple of decades, or even just the last decade, so this is the forefront of knowledge. Consequently, it's not something you should be emoting at. It's something that, if you are genuinely interested in, you should be spending your time reading source material about. Wikipedia or some random website on the internet is not going to offer you that knowledge. Wikipedia, for example, as I've told you many, many times is an entry level encyclopedia, written by non-experts for non-experts... it's an introduction to a topic, not the last word, not comprehensive, not complete. If you want to know or have mastery of this topic, you need to be reading peer-reviewed literature published in credible scientific journals.

Now, fair play, you do need to understand some basic principles, and for that Wikipedia is fine. For example, you clearly don't understand what the language families are, what they include, why we label them so. For that, Wikipedia is perfectly adequate, although you'd probably need to follow multiple links and read multiple pages, and once you've done that, you'd have a basic knowledge. Wikipedia is never going to give you any expertise in any topic.

To wit, a good question you could be asking yourself now is that, given there's no proto-Indo-European script and language doesn't fossilize for modern archaeologists to dig up, how it is that we have this concept of a proto-Indo-European people who spread across that massive geographical expanse during that period. But this is not a test. I am not asking you to go read a single Wikipedia page and report back as if you are an expert on it. I am asking you to sit and think whether you know the answer or not in the absence of a sentence on Wikipedia. I think, if you were being honest with yourself, you'd admit you don't have a fucking clue. That's fine. That's perfectly fine. It's hardly general knowledge, and no one's going to laugh at you if you don't know. People who do know, however, will laugh at you if you pretend to know when you clearly don't.

So how about you set yourself the task of becoming informed in this specific field? Given that the history of discovery of proto-Indo-European peoples, their language and material culture goes back at least 70 years, I would suggest that expertise in this area would take many months of meticulous full-time study. Again, you don't need to admit it to me if you don't want to, but at least admit it to yourself that you've not spent even a substantive fraction of that time reading up about it.

...

The problem is not just 'Wikipedia' - it's that you simply cannot master these subjects by reading a beginner entry on a website. You need to know the evidence, you need to read the discussions reported by and engaged with by the experts in this field. You need to know about the material culture, the linguistics, and the genetics to have a rounded perspective. You simply cannot get this from reading a few hundred words on Wikipedia, even if you read them accurately without agenda unlike you appear to be doing each time.


What you are failing to understand, is that i, as a human, have an opinion, and the opinion i form from Wikipedia, or anywhere else, is my opinion.

But i do provide sources for where my opinion stemmed from, and attempt to show how i formulated that opinion.

You may disgree with my opinion.

But then, that is your opinion.



You did not provide any source that justifies your opinion, ergo it's not actually a source as I literally explained to you in the post you're supposedly replying to.

Of course, there's yet another distracting misrepresentation in there where you suggest that I say you're not entitled to an opinion, or that I fail to understand you have an opinion... that's obviously fuck all to do with anything I said.

The point is whether your opinion is justified. One way of justifying one's opinions would be to cite a source corroborating or providing evidence for that opinion. That's specifically what you failed to do. Your 'source' contained zero support for anything you said, so why did you cite it?

I didn't 'disagree' with your opinion: I rejected that it was justified. I also happen to know plenty of reasons why your opinion wasn't worth the electronic paper it was written on, but that's secondary to the fact that you failed to substantiate your contentions.


Nevets wrote:You undertsand what the wikipedia articles mean, that is the main thing.


And another example of your arrogant condescension which nets you only this: get the fuck over yourself, chap.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#10  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 7:36 pm

Hermit wrote:The Wikipedia is an excellent starting point for gathering information, and I applaud the fact that you use it extensively. The problem with the content of most of your posts does not lie with the encyclopaedia itself. Not at all. It lies in the frequency with which you see meanings in the bits you quote from it that simply are not there, and worse, the frequency with which you draw inferences and conclusions from those snippets that cannot be based on the snippets you do quote.



See Nevets? Stop rushing through. Read it carefully. See the actual points being raised, not the absurdly fantastical versions you tend to come up with.


Hermit wrote:One recent glaring example is your claim that the Norse had to be tough travellers because they come from the "The Hamburg culture", created around 15,500BC. Indeed, the Wikipedia provides references to the existence of the Norse, and it provides links to the Hamburg culture. What it does not provide, neither directly nor indirectly, is a link between the two, or how a connection between two types of societies that are 15,000 years apart could even be meaningful. This is the sort of stuff that springs out of your imagination, not the Wikipedia. And you keep doing this sort of thing again and again.


And further, the idea that you have provided a source is completely disingenuous when nothing contained therein actually supports your claim.

You may as well have looked up the word 'traveler' on Wikipedia and cited a line from that - it would have provided just as much justification for your opinion as citing the entry on Hamburg Culture, i.e. nothing.


Hermit wrote:Thinking of your input in this forum someone should award you with a rank. A very high rank, even. You should be crowned King of the Non Sequitur. You could actually do that yourself. Click on the User Control Panel (UCP) button, then click on "Profile" and fill in the space following "Location" with King of the Non Sequitur. Finish by clicking on "submit".


Assuming this is an Elective Monarchy, I doth fain submit unto thee, oh lord of the non-sequitur.


Hermit wrote:I have also toyed with the idea of making an avatar for you. It's a slightly exaggerated depiction of how your contributions to this forum.

Image


That's pretty darn good work Hermit. I'm convinced.

Err, what was I meant to be convinced of? Whatever it was, that's compelling.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#11  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 7:41 pm

Nevets wrote:
In a court of law you would need to provide "proof" that 9.9 of everything that i post does not say, what i say it does. Rather than simply "claiming that".. Show me the research method you used, to calculate that 99% of my opinion is based upon misunderstanding what the wikipedia article says.


The method used was 'reading your posts'.

The source material is here:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/member/Nevets/posts/

You can cross-reference it by reading how essentially every single time you made such a 'mistake' either myself or myself and numerous other people pointed out that you had entirely misunderstood or misrepresented what Wikipedia said. Perhaps it's not 99%... it might be 98%... but whatever the case, it's nearly every time.


Nevets wrote:
Rather than simply "saying" i jump to conclusion that are not in the least warranted by the wiki articles i quote, you would need to show examples. And if you wish to drop my accuracy percentage down, you would also require providing more than one example, to show that this is a consistant pattern


I've shown examples. Not only have I shown examples, I replied to those posts nearly every time explaining why the Wikipedia you'd cited wasn't relevant to your argument. You just keep ignoring it.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#12  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Mar 13, 2020 8:07 pm

I did not say, write or imply that wiki is incorrect or wrong. What I wrote was that wiki is not “reputable and consistent”. It isn’t, and ANYONE that would like to debate this is welcome to try. I do not appreciate my position being distorted by anyone. If one is going to cite my statements do so accurately. My post in relation to this thread is not cryptic nor obscure. Neither is it hard to find. I also hold that there is a big difference between wrong, and my descriptors. Wiki may well be correct about one topic or another at any given point in time, but there is no way to know whether a citation will be correct from one moment to the next. This, by definition, is not consistent nor reputable.

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/relig ... l#p2736987

Now, perhaps a retraction is in order.

My point stands. At what point in time does a citation hold validity? Before, during or after an edit?

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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#13  Postby Sendraks » Mar 13, 2020 8:21 pm

Quoting wikipedia and forming rational opinion are two completely different things.

Your posts neatly demonstrate that no amount of wikipedia quoting is going to help you form rational opinions. Thinking critically and rationally is a skill, separate from just quoting evidence. If you can't think rationally or critically, then no amount of evidence you quote is necessarily going to help you form rational views, especially if you are unwilling to challenge your confirmation bias.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#14  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 8:23 pm

But hey, in for a penny eh?

Let's just show some random ones:

The problem for you is how easy this is. I am going to just click on a random page number of your posts, and I can almost guarantee I'll find a perfect example.

Nevets @ William the Conqueror and Catholicism

Nevets wrote:
The Norman invasion really only pertains to the time around the battle of Hastings, When William the Conqueror became First Norman King of England

William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard,[2][b] was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_the_Conqueror


Your argument is that the term 'Norman Invasion' only pertains to the time around the Battle of Hastings, and then you cite a source that tells us who William the Conqueror was but doesn't show that the term 'Norman Invasion' only pertains to the time around the battle of Hastings.


Nevets @ ADL Tabatabai & the Prophet Muhhamad & David Icke godhead

Nevets wrote:
I never ever said Saladin invaded Turkey.

Mehmed the conqueror did, when he collapsed what was left of the Roman empire, and declared himself first Roman Emperor.

Mehmed II (Ottoman Turkish: محمد ثانى‎, romanized: Meḥmed-i sānī; Modern Turkish: II. Mehmet Turkish pronunciation: [ˈikindʒi mehmet]; 30 March 1432 – 3 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror (Turkish: Fatih Sultan Mehmet), was an Ottoman Sultan who ruled from August 1444 to September 1446, and then later from February 1451 to May 1481. In Mehmed II's first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce Peace of Szeged. When Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451 he strengthened the Ottoman navy and made preparations to attack Constantinople.

At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. After the conquest Mehmed claimed the title "Caesar" of the Roman Empire (Qayser-i Rûm), based on the assertion that Constantinople had been the seat and capital of the Roman Empire. The claim was only recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehmed_the_Conqueror


Your claim is that Mehmet invaded Turkey; your source says nothing at all about Mehmet invading Turkey. Obviously, we can read past the anachronism there to the Turkish beyliks, but the point is that Mehmet was the ruler of the Ottoman Empire which even then incorporated most of modern Turkey - he was "Turkey" so why would he be invading it?


Nevets @ ADL Tabatabai & the Prophet Muhhamad & David Icke godhead

This one was hilariously confused.

First you'd mistaken Mehmet for Saladin, then you claimed as above that Mehmet invaded Turkey, then when I pointed out that Mehmet didn't invade Turkey being Turkish himself, you responded with this:


Nevets wrote:
Nothing to do with it? What, do you think Muhammad just woke up one day in Medina, raided a caravan and decided to head straight for Turkey? No, the Holy lands came first

Saladin (/ˈsælədɪn/; 1137 – 4 March 1193), was the first sultan of Egypt and Syria[4] and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty. A Sunni Muslim of Kurdish ethnicity,[5][6][7] Saladin led the Muslim military campaign against the Crusader states in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen and other parts of North Africa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saladin


So even though we were talking about Mehmet and you were supposedly explaining to me why it's relevant, you launch off into talking about what Mohammed did (800 years prior to Mehmet in a different part of the Middle East and from an entirely different ethnicity), then you provide a citation to Saladin... :lol: ... sorry, it's still amusing... Saladin being 500 years after Mohammed, and 250 years prior to Mehmet, so what on Earth is the citation meant to have any relevance to?


http://www.rationalskepticism.org/chris ... l#p2736263

Nevets wrote:
What is important, is, what is the big deal about Aethelstane is? He was not even the first anglo-saxon to lay "claim" to being King of England.
Alfred the Great was, so why are you using Aethelstane and not Alfred the Great?

was King of Wessex from 871 to c.  886 and King of the Anglo-Saxons from c.  886 to 899. He was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf of Wessex. His father died when he was young and three of Alfred's brothers, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_the_Great


Your argument is that Alfred the Great was the first Anglo-Saxon King to lay claim to being King of England. You then cite your Wikipedia one-liner which contains absolutely nothing whatsoever about Alfred the Great claiming to be King of England - all that's there is a basic one line entry saying 'Alfred the Great is this dude' - and if anything, it says that Alfred was "King of Wessex" and "King of the Anglo-Saxons", so it offers no support at all.


http://www.rationalskepticism.org/chris ... l#p2736274

Nevets wrote:
and we have "already" covered on a different thread, how the Carolingians were among the first barbarians to pledge loyalty to the Papal, through Clovis I

Clovis I, king of the Franks, was the first important barbarian ruler to convert to Catholicism rather than Arianism, allying himself with the papacy. Other tribes, such as the Visigoths, later abandoned Arianism in favour of Catholicism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope#Nica ... %80%931054)


Your claim is that Clovis I pledged loyalty to the Pope (actually, you misused the term "Papal" again), whereas the source you offered to support that claim says that he allied the Pope. Pledging loyalty would make him subordinate to the Pope, whereas an alliance is not one of subordination.


http://www.rationalskepticism.org/chris ... l#p2736139

Nevets wrote:The Norman conquest did not happen overnight.
They first had to remove the previous incubants, of Vikings, that were "Pagan".

Æthelstan encountered resistance in Wessex for several months, and was not crowned until September 925. In 927 he conquered the last remaining Viking kingdom, York, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelstan


Your claims is that the Norman Conquest had to remove 'incubants' - presumably you mean 'incumbent' pagan Vikings - whereas you offer a source talking about Aethelstan defeating the last remaining Viking Kingdom which occurred in 927, which is 139 years prior to the Norman Invasion.


http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... l#p2736161

Nevets wrote:Whilst i am being accused by Spearthrower, of misrepresenting Spearthrower.

I am also being misrepresented.

He is going around the entire forum, "highlighting" in black ink, my error that William the conqueror was first king of England, whilst at the sametime not realising, that William the conqueror probably was the first King of England, because those before him, including Harold Godwinson, who William the conquror defeated, was only king of the anglo-saxons

often called Harold II, was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Godwinson


You cite a Wikipedia entry to support your argument that no one before William was King of England, and that specifically includes Harold Godwinson... and yet your Wikipedia citation quite specifically says that Harold Godwinson was King of England.


The same exact point reiterated but with an amusing twist:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... l#p2736177

Nevets wrote:
Even though the link below i show you, does say "anglo-saxon king of England", i have already shown you, that when you look deeper, you find that there was never an anglo-saxon known as anything else other than King of the English

Harold Godwinson (c. 1022 – 14 October 1066), often called Harold II, was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Godwinson


Here you elect to cite a Wikipedia entry to support your claim that there were no Anglo-Saxon kings of England, but even you see that the citation expressly contradicts you stating exactly the opposite of your claim... so why would you even cite that when it contradicts you?


Honestly, I could go on and on - every page of your threads contains multiple examples of you doing this.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#15  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 8:32 pm

theropod_V_2.0 wrote:I did not say, write or imply that wiki is incorrect or wrong. What I wrote was that wiki is not “reputable and consistent”. It isn’t, and ANYONE that would like to debate this is welcome to try. I do not appreciate my position being distorted by anyone. If one is going to cite my statements do so accurately. My post in relation to this thread is not cryptic nor obscure. Neither is it hard to find. I also hold that there is a big difference between wrong, and my descriptors. Wiki may well be correct about one topic or another at any given point in time, but there is no way to know whether a citation will be correct from one moment to the next. This, by definition, is not consistent nor reputable.

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/relig ... l#p2736987

Now, perhaps a retraction is in order.

My point stands. At what point in time does a citation hold validity? Before, during or after an edit?

RS



If I didn't accurately render your position, then please excuse me. I was just trying to head off Nevets' strawman on which this entire thread is based wherein he claims people have been criticizing the value of Wikipedia rather than the manner in which he specifically uses it. As you criticized Wikipedia in some terms, I just wanted to make sure to simplify and separate your particular criticism from all the other criticism specifically of Nevets' usage of Wikipedia.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#16  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Mar 13, 2020 8:37 pm

Fair enough, ST.

I’ve had a vile outlook on wiki for years, and recent events here have deepened the tone of that view even more.

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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#17  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 8:51 pm

theropod_V_2.0 wrote:Fair enough, ST.

I’ve had a vile outlook on wiki for years, and recent events here have deepened the tone of that view even more.

RS



That's because we're old crusties mate. Both of us (although me only just) come from an academic tradition where, when you had to write a paper, you'd have to hustle your arse to the library to snatch books like they were bog-roll in a coronavirus outbreak before some other cunt beat you to it, read 10 books of 1000 pages or more just to have 8 fucking citations from them to substantiate your thesis. :naughty2:

For me, I tell my students to read Wikipedia, but to be well aware that I've read all the relevant pages of Wikipedia too, so if they're going to cite something they've discovered through Wikipedia, it had better clearly indicate to me that they'd gone and read the actual source material and cited a longer or different passage than that available on Wikipedia. Although, to be honest, most of the depth of information required for my classes just isn't available on Wikipedia, so it's usually just a heads-up rather than a major concern.
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#18  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Mar 13, 2020 9:42 pm

Yep, I clearly remember being kicked out of the library at closing time on several occasions. Those books they wouldn’t let you take away were the worst. There were no copy machines so hand written notes had to suffice. Sometimes I felt like a monk sequestered in a small dark room copying some dried and crackled parchment. Other times I felt like an automaton unable to form an independent thought. I worked at a school bus factory a full 40 hours a week during my entire collegiate exposure, which included summer sessions. There are entire years that felt like doing hard time at a forced labor camp.

I had to walk 10 miles in hip deep snow uphill both directions just to get to the library.

I agree that the citations provided in support of wiki articles are where the meat lies. I wonder why our new friend hasn’t used some, indeed any, of those scholarly references? Is it intellectual laziness, or something else?

RS
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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#19  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 10:01 pm

Let's share this here because I think it's both amusing and relevant:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... l#p2737111

Nevets wrote:That is because you dont use Wikipedia properly. You dont just read bits and pieces. You dont just read one article.



http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... l#p2737117

Nevets wrote:If he knew how to use wikipedia, he would know, i got to those cultures, because my original source on my history of Norway, told me that the Arhensberg culture was connected to Norwegian history, and that thread told me that those other cultures were linked to the arhensberg cultures.

He doess not realise, what you do, is you click on the blue wording, and that takes you to an other page, that gives you more information on that word.



So now the charge is that I just don't know how to use Wikipedia 'properly' which is why I am criticizing his citations from Wikipedia that don't actually support his claims.

Presumably the bullshit he's trying to pull here is that if the information supporting his claim isn't in the sentence he cites, then the obligation is on me and others to click on the 'blue wording' and read multiple articles until we find out that Nevets was right all along. :lol:

Makes you wonder why he then chose to copy and paste a line from Wikipedia that didn't support his argument.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

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Re: Reliability of Wikipedia in forming rational opinion

#20  Postby Spearthrower » Mar 13, 2020 10:02 pm

theropod_V_2.0 wrote:Yep, I clearly remember being kicked out of the library at closing time on several occasions. Those books they wouldn’t let you take away were the worst. There were no copy machines so hand written notes had to suffice. Sometimes I felt like a monk sequestered in a small dark room copying some dried and crackled parchment. Other times I felt like an automaton unable to form an independent thought. I worked at a school bus factory a full 40 hours a week during my entire collegiate exposure, which included summer sessions. There are entire years that felt like doing hard time at a forced labor camp.

I had to walk 10 miles in hip deep snow uphill both directions just to get to the library.

I agree that the citations provided in support of wiki articles are where the meat lies. I wonder why our new friend hasn’t used some, indeed any, of those scholarly references? Is it intellectual laziness, or something else?

RS



Snow! Cor what luxury! When I were a lad, we had to swim through primordial lava to get to school.

Oh wait, no.... and in fact, I had copy machines! :grin: I still have hundreds of pages of printed sections of books turning yellow and dry in my parents' loft back in the UK.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

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