Home / Why Do People Trust Wikipedia? Because An Argument Is Better Than A Lecture  
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Many people trust Wikipedia much more than "official" encyclopedias and traditional news sources.

Well, no shit. That's because, as I've been trying to scream at you people for the past three years, the corporate mass-media news industry sucks. More specifically, the once proud fourth branch of our government has been reduced to screaming-head opinionators formulating commentary on the basis of politicized ratings. In other words, Wikipedia and the news are in two different businesses: one is about facts and the other is about shock and spin. Argue with me all you like, you know it's true.

This isn't conspiracy theory - it's fact and logic, which any objective, rational analysis reveals. The mainstream media is, generally speaking, no longer credible - especially when presenting politics. But what I found most interesting about the linked article is the reasoning Wikipedia's format leads to trust:

But perhaps even more importantly, the general public trusts crowd-sourced Wikipedia articles more than the news because an argument is always more trust-worthy than a lecture. That's the real difference. If you want to know how good a teacher in a school is, you gather up the best student, the worst student, the principal and the teacher and then analyze what they all say together. You don't ask the school's PR director. Wikipedia, even when it comes to contested or hotly-debated articles, does this extremely well, even concerning itself.

In other words, everyone's bringing data to the table and you use your own damn mind to determine which data, etc. is more relevant. The author is right: "This doesn't mean you blindly read Wiki articles without questioning them. But a properly sourced article is simply more trustworthy than a talking head telling you how to think."

Now, if only more people were interested in the truth...

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In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. - Carl Sagan