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.


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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