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2 Responses to "Book News for Wednesday, October 3, 2007"
October 3, 2007 at 03:10 PM
"...whose story is handily summarized by Wikipedia (but it's Wikipedia, so take this with a grain of salt)" Normally, I'm the last person to disagree with the importance of being critical of information sources, but I feel Wikipedia gets an unfair bit of bashing.
magazine did a review of the scientific accuracy in a sampling of articles on Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica, and found a comparable number of errors in each source. Apparently even paid experts make mistakes from time to time. One of my favorite authors related a tale of his own experience with the fuzziness of authoritative information. His wife collected encyclopedia sets, which he would often use in researching his books. Once, when checking facts about the Bastille to use as a setting in a historical novel, he encountered different figures for its height. This provided the basis for his observation: "Certainty belongs to those who only check one encyclopedia." It is important in our digital age to be critical of ALL information, not just what you find on Wikipedia.
October 3, 2007 at 11:59 AM
The same story was the inspiration for the film
An American Crime
, with Catherine Keener, that played at Sundance last year. Looks like it's coming to DVD in February. The reviews don't appear to be much kinder: "Something like watching a train wreck, An American Crime is both morbidly riveting and psychologically sickening -- definitely not a film for the weak of heart." (Film Threat)
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