Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I am a wikipedia nerd. When any question arises I can check wikipedia for the answer and almost always I am confident in my findings. Wikipedia is built on the concept of open source. The guys who set up wikipedia used many of the same concepts of Lynx. Lynx is an operating system that lives in every major office building. The front of the office will have windows, but many of the tech workers use Lynx. It gives them more freedom and they can share information. The belief was that processing concepts were free and should be shared. Anyone can share information on wikipedia, but open source phenomena and editors insure that information posted is usually accurate. When I check wikipedia I like to see if pages have changed since I last read them. I can also use the sources at the bottom to verify information. For example, did you know that in the 1950's and 1960's Kent brand cigarettes used asbestos that was inhaled by the consumer. I am not really sure if this is true, but I have no reason not to believe it. It is almost the same attitude with blogs. I will not cite Kent cigarettes or a blog in a school paper, but I can use the concepts of that blog to develop my own thoughts. Like reading Paul Krugman's blog was helpful during an economics paper and while I am not sure of Kent's materials the fact reflects a certain attitude of the tobacco companies that if researched would probably lead to some hard evidence. All the open source, posts, and blogs need to read for commentary not published fact. But with that understanding their are substantial benefits of participation.