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A hoax article about a war that never happened stayed up on Wikipedia for five years.

Why I don’t use Wikipedia: A hoax article about a war that never happened stayed up on Wikipedia for five years.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

3 comments

  • Patrick Ritchie

    Do you object to the idea of a crowdsourced encyclopedia?

    Or just using it as a discovery mechanism for new knowledge?

  • It isn’t so much that object to a crowd-sourced encyclopedia as I treat it with a great amount of skepticism. I have found Wikipedia, the most well known, to be exceedingly unreliable, especially in areas where there is political controversy.

    I also find it better to go to original sources for my information, which is another reason I do not trust Wikipedia. The rare times I have used it I have found that it provides no direct links to anything outside of Wikipedia itself. I would trust it more if the articles there instead included direct links to their sources.

  • Patrick Ritchie

    Perhaps I am just not skeptical enough, but I have found it to be a useful entry point when researching a new topic. The wikipedia articles usually provide plenty of links to original sources.

    I will admit that I don’t use it for current events or particularly controversial topics, mostly being focused on some new area of science or technology I’m interested in.

    This page on SpaceX is a good example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX

    As of today (1/8/2013) it has 94 external sources cited, including the original COTS contract between SpaceX and NASA:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/189228main_setc_nnj06ta26a.pdf

    If you’re really interested in what the Wiki article writers thoughts were you can also read the talk page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:SpaceX

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