Wikipedia is not the Devil

Someone on the WEB4LIB mailing list left a note about the Post-Standard article Librarian: Don't use Wikipedia as source. The complaint being that Wikipedia is non-authoritative, not to be trusted, and that "part of [this librarian's] job is to help [her] students develop critical thinking skills." (which I could rant a whole 'nother piece on - as Edward Wigg puts it "critical thinking does not require you to rely on appeals to authority.").

The article rubs me the wrong way, personally. There are just as many sites out there that DON'T have disclaimers on them, yet are used for reference far more often than not. Say I want to research mythology. Should I use the Encyclopedia Mythica, which looks all professional and has an entry on centaurs, focusing only on Greek mythology, (which is great if my worldview is that theology, and not on the evolution of centaurs into other books, games, and species)? Or should I use Wikipedia, which has far more to say, far more "links" to "learn" from, and an exact history of what was modified, by whom, and when?

As an anal librarian, researcher, or scholar, I would MUCH prefer to lend my talents to Wikipedia, correcting any errors I might personally see, contacting those who made said errors, et cetera.

Also, the librarian who sent the email didn't mention or know that Wikipedia HAS been recently adding "authoritative" data, now copyright free, from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica:

"The 1911 edition is no longer restricted by copyright, and it is available in several more modern forms. Much content from the 1911 edition has been incorporated into Wikipedia; a quick count in July 2004 claimed around 1950 articles. A large number of these are about historical figures or events, and are unlikely to require much revision to remain excellent summaries for the foreseeable future."

What this one librarian deems "too far", I see as a strength: I'd much rather be able to correct an error RIGHT NOW then to contact a supposedly or admittedly authoritative site, inform them of an error, and receive no response, lackluster hubris, or worse yet, blanket acceptance (as blanket acceptance on an authoritative site is worse than a lie on a non-authoritative). Similarly, I doubt that the Encyclopedia Mythica would be interested in listing the "evolution" of centaurs and the suffix "-taur" into non-mythological, but related, beasts.

In essence, I WANT the combined intellect, though fallible, of zillions of people. Zillions of people, with the free ability to contribute, will always create a stronger entry than a force-fed, group-analyzed, committee blurb.

HooLleleYY OWl Ll TURds!

For the first time in, literally, two years, I'm caught up on my magazine reading (which I do so cover to cover, else they're not worth my purchasing power). I'm only twelve days late (my original "concentrated effort" goal was the first of August, but I failed to adequately schedule the first week of existing subscription arrivals... did I mention I regularly suffer under 10 to 15 subscriptions?) Naturally, because of my fervored attack on the magazines, I'm now seven weeks behind on comics, but those should go by relatively quickly (and I can't wait to get to VERTIGO VISIONS or the newly collected 2020 VISIONS graphic novel, of which I have the original print-run).

You don't know how good this feels!

Gmail Full!

"You are currently using 1023 MB (102%) of your 1000 MB." Woot!

Xbox Gamertag

Long story short: I bought an Xbox and Halo last week because of the whole ilovebees ARG (must.. .. fully .. immerse.. . myself!), and have since signed up for Xbox Live as "Morbus Iff". Currently, I've got the following capable games: DDR: Ultramix (whee!), Crimson Skies: High Road To Revenge (eh), and Project Gotham Racing 2 (too simmy for my tastes, but playable). So, uh, if you want to kick my ass, put in a friend request for me or something.

I Had A...

Someone mentioned Planned Parenthood's "I had an abortion" shirts, and as everyone is so wont and quick to do, thus began the lampooning. I don't want to make fun of 'em - I want to help the cause.

First, I'd like to give one of these shirts, free, to everyone who gets an abortion. See, these shirts are all about awareness, and there's no better way to discuss a touchy subject them to start off with a punchy ice breaker: "I had an abortion and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

Secondly, I'd like another line of shirts to be made reading "I had incredible sex with someone who looked just like you." One of the easiest, pro-active ways to increase awareness about abortions is to, well, have more abortions, thus increasing vital marketing statistics and the amount of free shirts being worn. One way to accomplish this is to increase the amount of rape, and this new line should certainly push the already lustful into pure animalistic fury.

Gmail Invites

I've got six Gmail invites. Bribe me.

LibDB Wiki Updated

LibDB and Drupal

A bit ago, I converted the Gamegrene backend over to Drupal, a content management system built with PHP. Drupal is one of the only PHP projects I've seen that makes me want to be a better PHP developer: it's good code, good people, and good thinking. I'm a zealot, and I've converted my friend Pixel too.

For various reasons (which I'll be explaining on the wiki shortly), I've decided to integrate my LibDB project with Drupal. I've been working on it all this week, and I'm impressed with the progress I've made, as well as the continued help, comments, and enthusiam from the Drupal developer and user community. I really feel this is a strong move for the future of LibDB, and it's heightened my excitement for the inevitable success. More later.

Singin' Fool

I'm a big fan of music/dance games, so naturally, I bought Karoake Revolution Volume 2. And I gotta tell ya, you haven't experienced Morbus until you've seen me bellowing Britney Spears (like "Baby One More Time" and "Toxic") at the top of my lungs.

This has been going on for a while (just ask the inhabitants of #apache on, as well as this IM paste between Rael Dornfest and I:

(10:51) Morbus Iff: man, oh man.
(10:51) Morbus Iff: i played a demo of Britney's Dance Beat for PS2 last night for two hours. and it was a demo. it had one song. i listened to the same britney spears song about 60 times in a row. and then, i added the game to my amazon wishlist.
(10:52) Morbus Iff: boy oh boy.

And yes, I did eventually get Britney's Dance Beat, both for PS2 AND Gameboy.


Silence is Golden

I just unsubscribed from nearly every mailing list I'm on. It feels good.


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