Article on the usefulness of Wikipedia

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Why would you go fishing further than the sea?[edit | edit source]

A wise man once said “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it”.

The man was the English philosopher Samuel Johnson. The time of saying this was the 18th century.

It is certainly not bad to know things. But in the world of today it is often really easy to find information. Basic education is compulsory in all developed countries. Libraries are often accessible to anybody. There is the internet. There are search machines, Google, Yahoo and others.

But the great and ever growing information flow also brings with it problems. It is ever more difficult to separate relevant information from irrelevant.

Take the word inflation, for example. In 0.22 seconds the Google finds you 32 Million sources on the internet. So - which ones do you choose for a further look? Well, probably the first ones. But often they just accidentially happen to be the most popular, coming way up on the list. Often you will need a more systematic approach.

It is here that Wikipedia can help. More on that in the next article...

Joukko (talk)12:56, 4 March 2008