Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wikipedia and Cheating

This story, saying that Wikipedia is considering changing its editorial policy and making it more difficult for just anyone to edit is bad news for one of my random ideas.

My idea is this: How to get a high mark in an arts subject at university.

  • Find out who the examiners are or are likely to be, what subjects they know a lot about, and what areas they know a lot less about.
  • Find an area they don't know much about but which is on the fringes of the topics that are likely to come up.
  • Learn how it fits in with the topics they do know about.
  • Write an exam essay on it, making up a lot of the data that the examiners won't know.
  • Just after the exam, edit Wikipedia to say the same as you said in the exam, but in slightly different words...

Like most of the best methods of cheating, this is of course only slightly less work (if at all) than actually getting the good mark honestly. My personal favourite method is designing phase-conjugated contact lenses, one of which would look normal, but when both worn at the correct angle, could make an image of some important piece of information appear in front of your eyes. Of course, someone who could design and use such a system could probably get a very good mark on a physics exam...

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