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    Wikipedia: Today's Cultural Artifact

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    Artifacts of our own cultures surround us. From art and music to architecture and literature, from philosophy and religion to laws and economics, we live among cultural artifacts that have deep roots.

    Select the single cultural artifact that you believe best represents the culture in which you live today. Present a detailed description of the artifact, and analyze in detail how the artifact relates to the values, beliefs of the culture. Investigate and evaluate the deep cultural roots of your artifact. What historical roots allowed your artifact to come into being? Which cultural periods might have influenced its eventual development? How do you anticipate this artifact being passed to future generations? What kinds of evolutions might it undergo as culture changes?

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    Dear Student,
    Hello and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. If you feel that you need further research and references on the chosen cultural artefact, you can use the references listed below. I have chosen to analyse Wikipedia as a cultural artefact for the simple reason that it represents and symbolises the use of and creation of knowledge in our current society - flaws and contributions weighed in. I think since you are asked to pick a man-made cultural artefact of today this is a good artefact to study and says a lot about our current times. Good luck!

    OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

    Present-Day Cultural Artefact: Wikipedia

    Wikipedia is a global information phenomenon. It is a web-based, free-content and openly editable encyclopaedia that started from the idea of entrepreneur and free internet-knowledge advocate Jimmy Wales. It is accessible to anyone all over the globe with internet access, hence it is multilingual. It's funding is via donations and grants, hence it is not for sale and its mission is to provide quick and comprehensive information access to everyone. While highly criticised for quality since all articles are uploaded by ordinary users who are not vouched-for experts on a particular subject matter, since peer review and content quality standards have been standardized over the years of Wikipedia's existence, it is not a surprise that is now the biggest encyclopaedia on the internet garnering just under 10 million users an hour in the last August 31, 2010 survey. It is run by a board of trustees and all content go through editorial screening with content developing over time.

    I am arguing and proposing that Wikipedia, currently the world's biggest online encyclopaedia is a cultural artefact that best represents the culture we live in today. I understand that it is a digital material with a virtual presence but it is present in offices through mobile phones via computers all over the world. Hence, universally, it is adaptable cross culturally due to its multilingual capacity. With information in demand in today's very digital world, to 'Wiki' something means to quickly browse and find information on something via the internet. In sociology and anthropology, a cultural artefact is any human created material, object, subject, practice or tradition that says something about the culture and practice of its makers. This also includes archaeological artefacts for by studying said remnants of former cultures and peoples, we learn about them and their way of life. A cultural artefact provides a wealth of information including social elements (politics, belief systems, language, etc.), environmental state, economic capacities and technologies of the people that has created said artefact.

    Why Wikipedia?

    We live in the Digital Age. We are all connected to each other one way or the other via a communications technology that is related to the internet. In schools, in offices, in universities and in homes, people turn to Wikipedia - a human-created source/register/store of knowledge. As soon as they log onto the search engine to find ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution presents an analysis of Wikipedia as a cultural artifact that best represents the culture of today. It's history and relevance to the present is traced and explored via it's functions and humanity's need for information and storage of knowledge throughout history tracing the progress from analog to digital libraries.The solution is in the form of a 1,726-word APA format essay with references. A word version is attached for easy download and printing.