Searching For Truth on Wikipedia and Google

As a kid if I wanted more than a simple answer on a particular subject matter, I was told, “go look it up in the encyclopedia. That’s why we spent the money on it.” So I pulled out the World Book Encyclopedia and rifled through page after page until I found what I needed to know.

I’m guessing that nowadays encyclopedia publishers have been put out of business by online fact treasure houses such as Wikipedia. Why bother to open a ten pound, five hundred page tome when you can type into a search engine input box a phrase of choice and get back several pages of results. More often than not, near the top of the results listing will be a link to Wikipedia.

What has happened, though, with instant online accessibility is that, as Jimmy Durante used to say, “everybody wants to get into act.” Besides an official-looking blurb from a prestige or reputable site, there will be several other links offering their take on the issue at hand. When you click on some of the links you find that they don’t always offer as promised.
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