Archive for the ‘colbert’ Tag

What the F—k is a Wampus Cat?

WampusCatTruthinessSteven Colbert‘s word for “from the gut” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination or facts.   My take on the word: the difference between professional journalists and Italian journalists.

OK, that was a free shot at a PARTICULAR journalist/particular daily from my experiences as a PAO in Italy, but it certainly does not hold for all Italian journalists.

I have seen professional journalists lean towards Wikipedia, but they still follow up with questions to gather facts.  An amateur journalist is often content with one source saying something they want to hear to gather steam for their side of the story, regardless of reliability of the source.  Amateur reporting is often shallow and one-sided.

This is no reason to knock Wikipedia though.  Wikipedia serves a great purpose and IS the most accessible source of information at my fingertips (when my Internet is not out).

The collaborative efforts to produce “Loose Change” was impressive, but was it easy to dismiss?  Yes.  I was intrigued and piqued until a particular part about cruise missiles that I, as a military member, could call B.S. on.  After that point, it became less reputable.

Unfastened Coins“, on the other hand, was VERY convincing and kept me intrigued all the way through — great parody.

Overall, there is concrete evidence that crowdsourcing works and there is continued promise.  The sum of crowdsource-generated content should be the beginning and not an end for information.

Final questions.  How could Wikipedia be better set-up to better provide accuracy?   They could hire experts in certain fields to validate content and identify those entries.  However, the thing that has made Wikipedia successful IS the transparency and the ability for anyone to submit what they know on a subject.  It SHOULD remain open to everyone.

Lastly, as a test, I picked one of the more obscure subjects of my short history in this world: my senior year of high school mascot, The Leesville High School Wampus Cat!

After moving from Berlin, Germany to Leesville, Louisiana, my father was showing my sister and I our new high school.  When I asked, “Dad, what is a Wampus Cat?” he stumbled and tap-danced around before answering, “Son, I have no f—ing idea.”

Too bad for him, he could have used Google, Wikipedia. Monstropedia, WikiFurChaCha, and TheSupernaturalWorld as starters.

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