Home > Charity, Community, Learning, Society, Technology > Wikipedia: The Latest Great Human Creation

Wikipedia: The Latest Great Human Creation

December 22, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Wikipedia is a remarkable piece of work. Since its creation on January 15, 2001, the online encyclopedia has blossomed into a power house of over thirteen-million members maintaining over three-million pages of content. Beyond its depth the site also has broken a number of news stories, most notably the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, reflected on this development on NPR in 2007.

And yet despite the sheer size of the resource and the fact that each of its three-million pages are the creation of a voluntary group, the site is considered low-grade and is frequently frowned upon as less a viable resource and more an extensive wall of graffiti and system where bad info prevail. Critics cite a lack of editorial oversight (untrue) or a skepticism about the general public’s ability to craft a legitimate educational resource. Some, it seems, are doubtful that non-experts are capable of creating legitimate info.

Of course any user of Wikipedia will recognize the error of these perspectives. The gradual evolution of the site has been a response to the growing body of users and now includes features that preserve and protect pages from rapid or irrational changes. Users who aim to damage the legitimacy of Wikipedia face hurdles in doing so and every set of eyes who utilize Wikipedia possess the ability to improve or correct material on the site. It is the a constantly expanding resource just like the human race and the collective knowledge we possess.In some ways Wikipedia is an abstract representation of our minds, an artificial symbol that reflects our progress, foibles and pitfalls as intelligent creatures.

Wikipedia is a jewel of human creation. It is the single greatest human creation in the last one-hundred years and perhaps, the greatest and only thing that collective human beings have ever created. Never in our history have we worked together to create something like Wikipedia. Some pose the question of what material would be best to showcase Earth to a visiting group of aliens. What piece of art? What film or piece of music could serve to represent our many cultures and ideas. The answer now is simple: the provision of access to Wikipedia will suffice to reveal just who we were, are and continue to be. We’re an imperfect bunch, ever growing and learning and just like all of our creations are reflections of their creator, Wikipedia reveals just how strong and weak we are.

  1. January 20, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who already knows what they’re talking about on the internet. You always know how to bring an issue to light and make it central. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.


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