What is 20 years old

Wikipedia is 20 years old

In the past, if you - let's say - wanted to find out something about "sea lions", you looked up the word in one of the thick encyclopedias on your bookshelf. There were at least 20 of them, sorted from A to Z. That was a pretty dusty affair, because these dictionaries were really expensive and were therefore rarely bought new. The information in it was correspondingly old.

"Fresher" information than in books

Today it's much easier and faster, thanks to Wikipedia. The online reference work is 20 years old today. The idea that everyone can take notes on it has paid off. Those who are familiar with something can add articles to Wikipedia or even create new ones. The only requirement: the topics must be important to the world. In addition, the information should all be correct. So that nonsense is not published, there are people who check the articles.

Errors are quickly discovered and corrected

In doing so, they discovered, for example, that the Rhine is not 1,320 kilometers long, but only 1,230 kilometers. There was a number rotator in it that was just as wrong in old books. This bug was then corrected immediately. Because a lot of people read the articles, mistakes are also noticed more quickly. Today it is safe to assume that articles on general topics contain correct information because so many people can read these articles and get in touch if something happens to them wrong. In the case of the sea lion, I trust Wikipedia and I learn:

"Sea lion stands for the following species from the ear seal family: Australian sea lions, Galápagos sea lions, California sea lions and a few more."