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Beware of WikiAnswers…

Posted Jan 11 2010 12:00am 2 Comments

As I’ve just discovered, there’s a fundamental flaw with WikiAnswers (aka Answers.com) – any cretin with an Internet connection can screw things up. I had just posted an answer, and was in the process of expanding upon it when some twat – whose answer was actually wrong – overwrote my answer!

Naturally, I went back and put it right, but there’s no guarantee that the same retard – or another – won’t do the same thing again.

WikiAnswers needs to change things so that answers can’t be overwritten – just added to (which is what I do anyway, out of basic courtesy, even when the answer is hopelessly wrong (see the HK flour question, below).

I’m perfectly happy to share my knowledge (and if I don’t know the answer I won’t post one, or I’ll find out), but I see no point in wasting my time posting useful information if it can simply be overwritten with something entirely wrong – the whole concept of Improving an answer is to add to it or correct it, not replace it. Especially when it was correct in the first place.

And one question, for pity’s sake, was “What is the nutritional function of food?”

Well, it stops you dying for a start! But what do they expect in reply to that, ffs? A 5,000 word dissertation on human nutrition?

Another – the one the troll trampled all over – was “How many types of milk are there at the market?” That’s supermarket, here in the UK.  Honest answer, go and see, you lazy sod! What I actually said was “Simple answer – go see. Many markets have websites, where you can see what they have before you go, or buy online”. Which the cretin replaced with “Cow milk”! Bloody fool doesn’t even know the possessive plural for cow. For the hard of thinking, it should have been “cows’ milk”.

It does, however, explain why I’ve seen so many stupendously moronic answers there* – the good stuff has been overwritten by the retards. That, or the truly intelligent and well-informed people are staying away out of frustration. As will I, if nothing changes.

*Another question was “What is HK flour?” (I was looking for the answer to that one myself), to which some gonk had answered “A firearm from Heckler and Koch.” How the hell do you get a gun from a question about flour? It beggars belief. The answer I posted, after I’d found out eslewhere – unless it’s been trashed by now – is that it’s Hong Kong flour, a highly-bleached white, wheat, flour, or it’s Harvest King, an American brand of flour.

I’ve emailed WikiAnswers about this, and if they don’t change things I certainly won’t be going back – I advise anyone who is intelligent and well-informed not to bother sharing their knowledge at WikiAnswers unless things change for the better – because, people, we’re outnumbered by the morons, in case you haven’t noticed. At least we are online – in the real world, I think, the jury is still out, but it’ll be a close-run thing.

I firmly believe, as I have said here before, that knowledge has little value if it’s not shared, something I devote a great deal of my time to doing, via my two blogs, but I also firmly believe in not wasting my time when what I write can be trashed by someone who couldn’t find their own ass with flashlight and a mirror on a stick.

And, of course, WikiAnswers and the various other websites on the same theme, pander to the fundamental laziness I wrote about in this post – the mindset that thinks it’s acceptable to just ask somebody for information, rather than find out for oneself (there is, for example, no shortage of websites and blogs covering the subject of nutrition). Look, if you’re capable of posting a question at WikiAnswers, you’re perfectly capable of going to Google and finding out for yourself.

Can you imagine what would have happened if James Watt had thought “Ooh – now who can I ask about why that kettle lid is banging up and down? I know, I’ll put a notice on the village notice-board.” Yes, I know the tale may be apocryphal, I’m just making a point, which is that Watt  belonged to an apparently now dying breed that preferred to figure things out for themselves, rather than pester someone else, and plunder their hard-won knowledge. And no, sharing knowledge is not the same thing as pandering to lazy freeloaders.

Angry, me? ’kin right…

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Comments (2)
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Ron Patient Expert

Cheers Janie.

I shudder to think what the answers are likely to be to the question WikiAnswers - Is Tiger Woods mentally ill?

but it's bound to bring the trolls out in force! 

Ron.(Tried to post a reply,but it's not working.)

I just discovered a site called TheyAnswer which lets you ask people you know for answers, recommendations, and reviews. And somehow TheyAnswer automatically targets the right people to answer your questions. Amazing! I also added TheyAnswer on my wbsitee so people can contact me and ask me questions. It’s better than Wikianswer :)

 http://www.theyanswer.com
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