Sunday, February 25, 2007

A New Kid in Pedia Town

There's a new kid in pedia town. A while back, I noted the complaints from Newsbusters about "liberal bias" at Wikipedia. To counter the dreaded bias, we now have Conservapedia. Conservapedia has a page with examples of bias at Wikipedia. Some of the complaints have nothing to do with bias, but are of ommissions that could easily be remedied:
Often key facts are missing from Wikipedia entries in favor of meaningless detail. Wikipedia's entry about Indentured Servitude is massive, but it omits any reference to Bacon's Rebellion, which was the turning point for the use of indentured servants in the New World!
Wikipedia has many entries on "concession", but none explaining its main historical meaning (from imperialism). Quantity is not quality
The obvious solution to these problems is to insert a reference to Bacon's Rebellion into the article on indentured servitude and to create an entry on the "main historical meaning" of "concession."

But the real agenda is to create an alternative wikiverse where the right can avoid any accidental contact with reality. Consider the entry on global warming. Conservapedians learn such fun facts as "these scientists are motivated by a need for grant money in their field of climatology. Therefore, their work can not be considered unbiased, though no more than any scientist in any other field." Also, "these scientists are mostly liberal athiests, untroubled by the hubris that man can destroy the Earth which God gave him." That clears that up. The citations (not currently available on the main page) come from sources like Foxnews.com and rightwing think tanks.

I check Wikipedia regularly and I'm fascinated by the entries on a wide variety of topics from pre-code film to Juan Manuel Fangio. I don't accept it as the final word on anything, but it's still a useful tool. Other than being a liberal source of fun and laughter, Conservapedia doesn't appear to have much value.

1 comment:

seiklaz said...

“Other than being a liberal source of fun and laughter, Conservapedia doesn’t appear to have much value.”

I would argue that there could be one other highly effective use for this new pedia. I expect it will gain a high PR during the next pass from Google in a few months. If I am correct in this assumption it could be retribution for the recent “nofollow” wikipedia incident.