Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wikipedia Fail

My Cambridge professor began our year last year with a very long lecture on plagiarism.  Part of the lecture included a stern talk about using Wikipedia as a source.

Who is he kidding?

I have gotten to the end of a nearly 100 page chapter on ritual and sacred space in a British book published in 1637.  It will be one of my main primary source documents but one question has thus eluded me: the whole thing is a snarky rebuttal against a pamphlet published by a man the author always calls "the Doctor." I probably need to use "the Doctor's" original argument to set up my arguments about my primary source, but I can't figure out who on earth "the Doctor" is supposed to be!  (Yes, my friends, I do believe that I have found my own evidence of the existence of a time-travelling humanoid alien, but I don't think my supervisor will buy it, somehow.)

So, this little bell goes off in my head and I think "maybe, just maybe." I open up a new google window and type in "Heylyn's Antidotum Lincolniense" (the book is mostly in English, I promise, but I guess the Latin titles looked more impressive back then...probably still do! Ha!).

Did you know there is no Wikipedia article on Heylyn or his ginormous rebuttal against this anti-ritual "Doctor"?  All I wanted was a nice brief history: Heylyn was so-and-so, born in this year and lived in this town.  Wrote a tract against Doctor so-and-so's pamphlet titled such-and-such published in blank year.

Was that too much to ask?

Don't worry Professor of mine. Apparently I have outgrown Wikipedia. It will be of absolutely no use to me this dissertation around.  Maybe next time.

3 comments:

Ashley said...

THE DOCTOR EXISTS!!!!!!! Happiest news I've heard in awhile!

But on the realistic side of things... That's amazing that there isn't a Wikipedia article. Must be a fairly obscure title / author? Or maybe it's up to you to write it =]

Paulita said...

i guess cambridge scholars are all busy writing theses for upper-rarified-air intellectual minds and don't have time to summarize/simplify for the average wikipedia blokes :-)

Gaylene said...

You could try an actual encyclopedia... I think your parents have a whole set of real books, I know grandma and grandpa do. :)

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