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Using Wikipedia
03-19-2014, 06:13 PM (This post was last modified: 03-19-2014 06:24 PM by Howard Owen.)
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Using Wikipedia
This is a footnote to a thread in the General forum.

Note on using Wikipedia. I have to apply B.S. filters to anything I read on the Internet. In a case like this, where I know the subject well, I can directly verify the information given in the article. When I'm less certain, especially if I detect various forms of bias in the article, I have to exercise more caution. For things that really matter to me, I conduct a search and look for sources that seem authoritative. If a topic is controversial and current, it's often hard to find anyone with a neutral perspective. In that case I pick sources with a point of view I can recognize. I'll look at Wikipedia, especially the talk page, to get an idea of what sorts of battles are going on around the issues. The edit history can also be very informative in that regard. The WSJ, CNN, the CSM, the NY Times, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, RT, various Russian newspapers (Izvestia is one.this custom Google search yields some English translations of recent Izvestia articles.) and Al Jazeera all have identifiable points of view. I'll also look for local sources.

Where I use an aggregator, as above, I check out the organization's website. If I can't identify a particular perspective regarding the issue I'm interested in, I search for more information regarding the aggregator, once again applying BS filters. For example, the organization doing the story selection and translations at the URL above is Worldmeets.US. ( Here is their "About Us" page and here is their mission statement and board members.) I didn't have to go any farther to see that they are a non profit representing US mainstream media and U.S. subject matter experts.

There is no such thing as a free lunch and there is no such thing as a perfect grasp of the facts of any situation or subject. I do what I can do, when it matters enough to me. It usually doesn't matter as much as all that but at least I have the tools.

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