Wikipedia as a URI Lookup Service

Often when working with RDF or trying to be generally Web-like, one needs a URI to identify something. It's easy enough to come up with your own URI but it would be incredibly useful to be able to see what URIs others have used for the same concept or entity.

Say, for example, that I wanted to express an interest in Linguistics or that I subscribe to American Cinematographer. What URIs would I use?

At first I started pondering a service that would allow you to search for URIs by a human-readable description of the concept/entity. URIs could be submitted to such a service and where duplicate URIs existed, users could assert a "same-as" relationship between them. It could also be possible for preferred URIs to be voted on or, where appropriate, an authoritative URI claimed so people could normalize their references.

But thinking about it more, I wonder if Wikipedia might play a role here. A large proportion of the concepts and entities that a disparate group of people might want to refer to are probably described in Wikipedia (or it's easy to make them so). So an obvious URI to start with would be the link to Wikipedia.

In the cases where a better (perhaps more official) URI exists for a particular concept or entity, then Wikipedia itself could specify the authoritative URI.

What do people think?