Wikipedia wastes my time

Wikipedia logo
Wikipedia logo

Last night, I finally gave up Wikipedia editing. It’s not worth it.

Wikipeida is a bona fide nonprofit, and work on it is charitable. But what makes charitable work “worth it”? Here’s a few reasons:

  1. Have a connection. Charity work with a group of friends counts, as does charity work for an organization in which I have a relationship.
  2. Get value out of it. I like my volunteering with Boy Scouts and my neighborhood association because it’s as much an education for me as it is a benefit for them. Also fulfilling a religious calling is a value.
  3. Some kind of permanence. My charitable effort must make a lasting difference in someone’s life.

Wikipedia does none of these.

I have no connection. I only know two editors, and I have met netiher in person. I value relationships, but I only have “so much time” to develop them. I’m not interested in spending that scarce resource on people whose connection is only editing an encyclopeda.

I get little value out of it. I see no “higher purpose” merit. Sure, maybe a little entertainment on the debates, maybe a little pride in knowing I affected some articles. But whatever value I get is totally offset by the lack of permanence described below.

Among Wikipedia’s largest flaws is the lack of authority. Any clown can destroy your changes. Content that is both not part of common sense of laymen and not easily verifiable will be destroyed by successive edits.

I think it was Science magazine that found that Wikipedia is remarkably accurate for scientific articles. Maybe so, but it’s only because the facts are so easily verifiable. The accuracy and verifiability of other articles are debatable. I’ve especially noticed this in articles with a political slant; way too often they conform to how political authorities market things in ways they aren’t.

Good bye Wikipedia. It was interesting, but you’re not worth my time.

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