Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital Age (Tech.edu: A Hopkins Series on Education and Technology)
This book is an excellent treatise on the controversy over authority and expertise. Scholarly, written for an academic or more specialized audience, it is still accessible to the general reader, and well worth the effort. It addresses concerns many have about the ease of not only obtaining but changing information found online, specifically on Wikipedia. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone with any or no credentials, a fact that disturbs many of those who have traditionally been knowledge’s gatekeepers, such as academia or printed encyclopedias. The author counters the arguments point-by-point, in an elucidating discussion that drills down to logical inconsistencies in the counter-arguments. For example, although Wikipedia is easily changed, all edits are readily accessed, so users are able (if they are interested, which they should be) to see what controversies may exist behind any entry as it currently stands. It also points out that amateurs are often experts in new fields (such as programming, gaming, etc.). The arguments are applicable to any venue where expertise and authority are cited, making the case for better and more critical examination of all sources. This important book is an essential discussion about how knowledge is disseminated and when it should be believed.
Johns Hopkins University Press