Wikipedia is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

This is just a quick followup to my post on Google Knol, a slick new service from Google that lacks the breadth of Wikipedia, but seems intent on compensating in verifiable depth. Comments were mixed, ranging from agreement with my position that, pedagogically at least, Knol is already on its way to pedia superiority, to concerns over bias in Google products in general.

This is just a quick followup to my post on Google Knol, a slick new service from Google that lacks the breadth of Wikipedia, but seems intent on compensating in verifiable depth. Comments were mixed, ranging from agreement with my position that, pedagogically at least, Knol is already on its way to pedia superiority, to concerns over bias in Google products in general.

However, a couple of reader comments were not only worth a chuckle, but struck me as very interesting assessments of the Wikipedia family of sites. User lmsweetapple wrote:

Because I am a sci-fi geek and he thought it up first, I am disappointed that BBC and Douglas Addams H2G2 site never caught on. The best thing we can teach our students in this over info world is how to be critical consumers of education.

Darn fine point, right? User dave.leigh took the cake with his response, though:

Ah, but the IDEA caught on...It's called Wikipedia. The big difference is that the entry on "Earth" has more than two words. ;)

Now if we can just put Wikipedia in an offline format on a Kindle, expand the entry on the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster (which is actually fairly complete and, notably, not covered by Google Knol), and stamp the words "Don't Panic" on the Kindle, we'd almost be there!

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