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Petri–Some Things I Think I Think

Written by Donovan Petri

Wikipedia Ain’t So Bad, and Yes, I’m a Geek

 -Ah Wikipedia, it’s the first thing up when you Google something, it contains more than 17 million articles, and has more than 365 million readers. Almost every kid in America has seen its white pages at least once in their lives. Wikipedia even has its sister sites that range from anything that focuses from video games to military secrets. But in schools Wikipedia and all of its sister sites are shunned, exiled, and segregated from the other articles on the internet. Teachers, or at least some of them, believe that Wikipedia will contain false information. And they don’t want anything Wikipedia-related in a student’s work. But just how reliable is Wikipedia?

 Wikipedia articles can be edited by anyone, maybe. Article edits are first checked by people who are volunteers to the organization. And even if some false information does slip through the crack don’t you think if someone reading the article realizes its false they wouldn’t just delete it? I remember in 6th grade me and another kid edited a Wikipedia article to talk in text. But after about one post we were no longer able to edit it! The reason is, or at least I think, that the people that filter new information locked our IP addresses.

 Now in class we are supposed to use other sources instead of Wikipedia. But in truth I don’t think there is a difference. In Wikipedia, anonymous people can edit articles, but filters block them if needed. In a regular article online, the writer can put false information in just as easily as a Wikipedia article, but in the regular person’s articles there are no filters. And just an easy thing to note is how schools want us to use .orgs and .edu’s more then .com. Well im pretty sure Wikipedia is a .org, and a lot of these other articles come from .coms when it gets down to it.

 So Wikipedia is everywhere, it’s in the news, in your home, and I’m pretty sure it’s the first thing up on your google search. And while the reliability of Wikipedia is debated,  I don’t think it needs to be as worried about as it used to be. Back in the early 2000’s when Wikipedia was released it wasn’t a reliable source, but over the years it has been more restrictive about what gets through to be posted, I think teachers are just thinking back to 2004 or so.

So next time you’re on your computer at home I want you to try to edit a Wikipedia article.Just try…then count the seconds before your post is deleted…I’ve got 23 seconds.

 – I remember back in 5th grade, me and my friends would get our Nintendo Game Boy SP’s, a connecter cable and a few copies of final fantasy tactics advanced and then for hours on end trade, battle, and do quests.

Then we started playing Pokémon, and then Tactics Ogre.

 And then something magical happened…the Nintendo DS. All my friends had one and they were playing Pokémon Pearl or Diamond and I was still playing ruby on my SP.

 So I signed up for studies where I would be compensated. I got $245 for pressing a button a few times when the $ sign came up on the screen.

I ran to a Wal-Mart and grabbed myself a DS and thought my life was complete. That is, until 7th grade or so.

7th grade was all about labels, everyone wanted to be cool and everyone wanted to be known for something. I put my DS away and thought is was for good…that is, until 9th grade.

Ah yes…while in a Game Stop we saw an ad for a free Entei…a very rare Pokémon…old feelings were reborn and a few of my peers felt the same way. This, was the birth, of geek week.

 Geek week was a few days where we all played our Game Boys, magic cards, and Pokémon. We were free.

 It died out recently but for the few days it lasts you feel free. So I’m going to tell you, pick up your old DS, slip in some Pokémon and play away, for a day or so. It feels great. And it gave  me the courage to say, “My name is Donovan and I am a giant geek!”

           

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