Archives for Wikipedia



A Few Things (Among Many) I Didn’t Know About Brazil

I am flying to Brazil today for a very brief visit. The Wikipedia entry on Brazil is very good, if true, and now I feel a little bit bad about some of the Wikipedia posts I’ve written in the past. Here are a few interesting facts about Brazil that caught my eye: 1. “Major export […] Read More »



Give Your Children Power Tools, and Buy Them Guns

Last week, I blogged about the conservative/Christian website Conservapedia, one of several Wikipedia copycats. Another of these sites is Uncyclopedia, which pokes fun at Wikipedia’s credibility issues by fudging practically every fact. The site is an impressive piece of mockery, perhaps best judged by its very excellent entry on Freakonomics — a book written, per […] Read More »



Hate Wikipedia? Start Your Own

Have you all heard of Conservapedia? It bills itself as “a conservative encyclopedia you can trust,” and it is pretty fascinating. It has a strong pro-Christian, anti-liberal (and especially anti-N.Y. Times) bent, and is just one of several user-run encyclopedias that have taken root in response (or tribute) to Wikipedia. (Here are our previous posts […] Read More »



Saving the World Through Distributed Computing

A reader named Andrew Gendreau recently wrote in on the topic of distributed computing, which refers to a method of computer processing in which different parts of a program run simultaneously on two or more computers while they communicate with each other over a network. According to Wikipedia (whose reliability is imperfect but often commendable), […] Read More »



Wikipedia Oops

For the record, I do not hate Wikipedia, as I tried to make clear here. As a showcase of communal knowledge, it is astonishingly interesting and useful. But it is also, alas, a showcase of communal knowledge, which can lead to complications. There are other issues too. Back in July, Stacy Shiff published a really […] Read More »



Wikipedia? Feh!

I know, I know, I know: Wikipedia is one of the wonders of the online world. I hear this regularly, especially from young journalist friends and also in e-mails concerning Freakonomics. A casual mention in our book concerning the derivation of the Chicago Black Sox’ nickname began a debate chronicled here, a debate in which […] Read More »