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That's probably the worst thing about it. You have no idea who wrote the stuff and why. Books are expensive to produce and usually written by knowledgable experts backed by professional editors and fact checkers. In the Wikipedea article, the very significant claim is made that clocks were invented by 11th century Muslim engineers. The reference is to Hassan and Hill's illustrated survey of Islamic technology which, as far as I can tell, makes no such claim and in fact repeats what is generally held to be true, that the first mechanical clock was made in Europe. What could be more important to the history of clocks than the making of the first one? We still don't know identity, time or place of the mechanical genius who made the first verge & crown wheel escapement.Well the cool thing about Wikipedia is that if you see something you know is wrong you can fix it! Better still don't just fix it, but cite your references, and the fix will likely stick.
Interesting statement, Tom, but the inaccuracies do nothing, in my mind, to strengthen the system. The only strength of the wiki system is its vast holding of topics, and its service as a point of referential initiation. The nature of the information presented there requires more careful validation than a standard encyclopedia, for example.Tom said:It is interesting to note how quickly the assertion of the middle eastern invention of the escapement was refuted in the discussion here. To me, that does not weaken the facility, but rather strengthens it.