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KU Maya expert offers ringing Wikipedia endorsement


We've got a story this week about a KU archaelogist who's become an expert the last decade or so on the "2012 phenomenon" related to the Maya civilization and the date Dec. 21, 2012, which is coming up in just a few days now. (Hint: The Mayas did not predict the world would end on Friday.)

When I was talking with that faculty member, John Hoopes, one thing he said caught my attention: He said perhaps the best single source out there on the "2012 phenomenon" is the Wikipedia article on the subject.

Perhaps we're several years past the perception of Wikipedia as something not to be trusted, but I still thought it notable that an article on the free crowd-sourced encyclopedia would get such an endorsement from a scholar. Of course, Hoopes can vouch for its accuracy because he's been one of the main contributors and editors of the page.

He said he's served as a Wikipedia editor for quite some time now, and he's had students in his classes create wiki-style articles on various subjects. He's a fan of getting information out into the world, he said, and Wikipedia is great for that because it's free.

He also told me that the "2012 phenomenon" page will be the featured article, out of about 4.1 million total, on the main page of the English-language Wikipedia on Thursday, the day before the fateful Dec. 21 date.

If you'd like to learn more about the Maya civilization and the whole 2012 thing, Hoopes also recommends this Q-and-A feature he wrote for Psychology Today.

Hoopes did not say that sending a KU news tip to merickson@ljworld.com would help stave off the end of the world. But it couldn't hurt, could it?


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