Bitcoin’s Wikipedia Page, Circular Citations, Hoaxes with Slate’s Stephen Harrison

Bitcoin's Wikipedia Page, Circular Citations, Hoaxes with Slate's Stephen Harrison

TL;DR: Online magazine Slate’s Stephen Harrison has become something of a Wikipedia expert. And considering how much we rely upon Wikipedia, it’s probably a great idea to know more about how its contents are created and maintained. Harrison is just the dude to help. The episode is available embedded in this article below, and on YouTubeiTunesSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherRadio PublicBreakerPocketCastsPodBean, and Overcast.

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Bitcoin’s Wikipedia Page, Circular Citations, and Hoaxes with Stephen Harrison

Stephen Harrison is fast becoming a favorite read. He approaches topics in a very interesting manner, from angles most miss. Harrison came into my orbit when he tracked down the main editor of the Bitcoin Wikipedia page.

I’ll leave it for you to listen, but the story is pretty great, and probably not at all what you’re expecting. I came away with a deeper understanding of why some of that page’s choices have been made, for sure.

Bitcoin's Wikipedia Page, Circular Citations, Hoaxes with Slate's Stephen Harrison
Stephen Harrison

We also get into the nature of knowledge itself, and how nearly all of us rely upon central authorities. We’re often too trusting. Although Wikipedia is an incredible source, its pitfalls are legendary. But, then again, Harrison delves even further. He explores more recently the tenuous relationship its pages have with sources.

The site has become so ubiquitous, such a given, it’s often citing its own homegrown information — what’s known as circular citation. The problems are somewhat obvious, but they’ve also yielded incredibly funny, and scary, results. Harrison details some of the more notorious hoaxes and errors, and I doubt you’ll ever be able to read a page or source the same.



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