Wikipedia is currently running an advert on it’s site for it’s upcoming “Wikimania 2014” event, at London’s Barbican Centre, promising a five day “conference, festival, meetup, workshop, hackathon, and celebration” of all things Wiki.
Given Wikipedia’s undoubted contribution to improving the sum of world knowledge, the jumble of taglines and mottos tagged on to the ad is just about tolerable. However, the last line does raise an eyebrow.
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”, is after all one of literature’s most embedded misquotes. “A little learning is a dangerous thing” – from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism (1711), is a far more challenging statement, implying it does that ignorance is often to be preferred, and is indeed less dangerous than incorrect knowledge.
This is of course almost the exact opposite argument to that being put forward by Wikipedia, and it’s quest to, occasionally haphazardly, roll back the boundaries of human knowledge.