[lit-ideas] Re: Wikipedia

  • From: "Andreas Ramos" <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 22:46:04 -0700

But there's a different problem with Wikipedia, and all of these systems for 
knowlege. It creates a sense that we have knowledge. But there are many things 
that don't
fit into Wikipedia, and we end up with "well, it's not in there, so it doesn't 

With all due respect, this comment strikes me as a non sequitor. The only people I can imagine assuming that any particular source contains all and only the truth concerning any topic whatsoever are religious fanatics who assume that their Book (be it Bible, or Koran, or Talmud, whatever) is inerrant and contains the sum of all knowledge.

But that's precisely what has happened with the web. The web has indeed become that particular source that contains everything about every topic. For the 20-somethings, if it's not on the web, it doesn't exist.

If companies don't have their products on the web, sales plummet. Kids visit the website, look through the online catalog, compare products and prices, and order online.

When my friends under 30 want to go out to restaurants, they look on the web. If a restuarant doesn't have a web site, it simply doesn't exist.

The newspapers, all of them, are losing readership (and revenues) very fast. Newspapers are collapsing because 20-somethings just don't read papers anymore. They use the web for everything.

Which brings me back to my point: the web creates a sense that everything is there. But it can't. There's much more to the world than the web. Yet to the 20-somethings, they don't see that. It's not just talmudic scholars and their book anymore, it's a whole generation of people. Who would have imagined 30 years ago that we would one day become a world wholely immersed in text, composed of text?


------------------------------------------------------------------ To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off, digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: