Friday, February 2, 2007

Wikiality ABC's for Judges from Steven Colbert

Before citing Wikipedia in judicial opinions (see previous posts here and here), judges might benefit from a short course on the subject by Steven Colbert, on Comedy Central, January 30. Colbert loves Wikipedia, "the Encyclopedia where you can be an expert even if you don't know what the hell you're talking about."

His definition of "Wikiality" is: "When Wikipedia becomes our most trusted reference source, reality is just what the majority agrees upon." (Of course, when Colbert says it, it's funny.) For the rest, including Colbert on the commodification of reality, run the video above, or click here. Highly recommended.

Wikipedia is fine as a quick place to start, as long as researchers are aware of the way postings can be manipulated. But judges who cite to Wikipedia as authority in opinions undermine their own authority.

Many thanks to one of my students for passing this on.