sandik, on Aug 14 2006, 12:43 PM, said:
It fascinates the anthropologist in me.
Me, too. Also, as someone who earned money in school as a "fact checker" and rewriter for a scholarly encyclopedia project, I approach this new kind of "editing" with great skepticism.
I do find Wikipedia useful mainly as a quick reminder of things I already know but am having trouble accessing in my active memory.
On the whole, I don't use it for information that is unfamiliar to me.
On the other hand, I've rarely found important errors in things I know about. They do claim to have a lower error rate than Britannica. I helps to have reliable printed material around the house to check.
I avoid Wikipedia completely when the topic is controversial. I would never dream, for instance, of looking up anything to do with the Middle East. And, there are also those odd public relations releases that attempt to pass as scholarly biographies of the writer's pop star clients.
I can see, from a teacher's point of view, why one would try to keep Wikipedia out of the hands of young and naive students. But how do you monitor the ban?