As we all know, history is written by victors, but will Wikipedia win its battle for the truth?
For those not familiar with the project, Wikipedia (wikipedia.org) is a free online encyclopedia anyone can edit!
The English version started in 2001 and currently has more than 849,120 articles documenting life on earth, past and present. If you wish to correct some inaccuracies or embellish a subject, you just press the omnipresent 'edit' button, and start changing history.
I, for instance, promoted Hull City FC to the premier league and added Wayne Rooney to their squad list! I then reversed the result of the second world war, so it looked like we won it, not the Americans.
Then a funny thing happened. I felt an unfamiliar emotion: I believe it is called guilt, and went back and changed the pages to their original copy.
I may have made some unfortunate school kid fail his history homework, if he'd been unlucky enough to be using Wikipedia at the time, but apart from that no damage was done.
Then it dawned on me why this project will, despite its sceptics, succeed in becoming the font of all knowledge - there are more good people in the world than bad, and there is no better way to ensure accuracy than by using the power of collective truth.
Microsoft's Encarta is the " History of Humanity According to Microsoft".
It is no doubt meticulously researched, but it is their judgement as to how accurate information is and what importance it should carry.
Academics have long been worried that the internet in general is causing what they call "inforot", where the facts get blurred, and they quote Wikipedia as the worst example.
But it's not just the internet that's to blame for inforot. Mel Gibson has been causing it for years. He re-wrote Scottish history and large parts of the American Civil War for his Hollywood blockbusters Braveheart and The Patriot.
Luckily, the collective intelligence has worked out that uncorroborated descriptions are seldom to be taken as the truth.
But my sabotage of the Hull City article, or 'Wiki-diddling' as it is known, would soon have been corrected. Wikipedia keeps logs of who makes what changes to each page. Sometimes hundred of people can be contributing to a subject, making corrections and counter corrections, thereby giving them the ultimate corroborative truth.
What's more, we do have a precedent for the power of collective intelligence - it's called Linux. The open source community has built an operating system far superior to anything that commercial endeavours have produced.
Of course the web itself is the world's greatest encyclopaedia. People have been setting up websites and filling them with dubious information for years. At least with Wikipedia there is an "edit" button, so that anyone can set the record straight.