Sunday, 25 March 2007

Acknowledging Google

It’s always interesting to read a book’s acknowledgements. One of the most humorous and most honest acknowledgements that I’ve seen recently is in the preface to Fergus Kerr’s excellent new book, Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians (Blackwell, 2007). Kerr concludes his preface with the remark: “I cannot resist adding a word of thanks to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of the Internet search engine Google, without which my claims to learning would be even more tenuous” (p. ix).

7 Comments:

Wayne Field said...

That's a good one! I predict that this will become and ever more common feature in Bibliographies.

::aaron g:: said...

What about, "I got all of my references from Wikipedia."

Shane said...

I recently heard Kerr speak here in Belgium. The topic of the lecture was the history and prospects of analytical thomism, about which Kerr was unenthusiastic. Kerr kept reiterating that there is a difference between an Analytic Thomist like John Haldane and a person like himself, "a pre-Vatican II Dominican Thomist of the Stricter Observance."

One of Freedom said...

I always find it interesting when some professors rail against the use of the internet. Now I understand that wiki is not a great place to get your information, but it is often as good a starting point as those cumbersome sets of encyclopedias that once served the same function. All sources shouldn't just be taken as gospel anyway, so while I would abhor a paper that used nothing but unqualified sources like wiki. I do think it only fair to acknowledge your sources when they are helpful. What is even more frustrating is that the suspicion of wiki is extended to some of the great theoblogian communities. I've done at least as much theological growing from blogdom as I have from writing papers, and blogdom has the advantage of throwing unexpected curves at you. That is always good (even when it is frustrating).

One of Freedom said...

I thought about that and "at least as much" is quite an overstatement, but I do really appreciate all the great resources the web has afforded. Blogs like this one, Yahoo groups like the Moltmann group and the Resonate group have been indispensible. Just to set the record straight.

One of Freedom said...

I thought about that and "at least as much" is quite an overstatement, but I do really appreciate all the great resources the web has afforded. Blogs like this one, Yahoo groups like the Moltmann group and the Resonate group have been indispensible. Just to set the record straight.

One of Freedom said...

I always find it interesting when some professors rail against the use of the internet. Now I understand that wiki is not a great place to get your information, but it is often as good a starting point as those cumbersome sets of encyclopedias that once served the same function. All sources shouldn't just be taken as gospel anyway, so while I would abhor a paper that used nothing but unqualified sources like wiki. I do think it only fair to acknowledge your sources when they are helpful. What is even more frustrating is that the suspicion of wiki is extended to some of the great theoblogian communities. I've done at least as much theological growing from blogdom as I have from writing papers, and blogdom has the advantage of throwing unexpected curves at you. That is always good (even when it is frustrating).

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