I don't like Wikipedia.

I used to love it - but like those tempestuous teenage affairs I've fallen out of love with Wikipedia and am actually beginning to wish it would just die quietly.

I'm particularly irked by the all-too common pleadings from Jimbo Wales, Brandon Harris and any one of the other paid or otherwise deeply involved persons desperate to get us to give some money to the Wikimedia cause.

I'm a charitable sort and I give time and money whenever I can to all manner of intellectual pursuits but Wikipedia appears to be at odds with the web - and like the Peacock - seems to be suffering under the weight of its own success - or should that be excess?

  1. It seems to me that Wikipedia is trying to be the Web - rather than be part of it - by collecting, standardising and disseminating knowledge of all forms and in all varieties. Variety is the spice of life - and articles on Wikipedia vary from the blindly inaccurate to the bewilderingly complex. Recall that this is supposed to be an encyclopedia - not a collection of doctoral theses.
  2. It's jiggering searches. Google is particularly bad in this regard as it seems that everything I need to reference is now on Wikipedia and it's difficult to ignore. This is like asking a guy to consider the car and ignore the scantily clad female hood ornament.
  3. I have charity fatigue. I'll give when I can but I already pay towards the web just like everyone else. Everyone has bills, of course, but as a hard-nosed businessman sometimes you just have to accept that your business model doesn't work. In fact, I found the web far more interesting (and useful) before Wikipedia got to the size it is. The information was often wrong and poorly presented but at least I could usually find what I was looking for.

Like the peacock, you can't ignore Wikipedia, but like that wonderful tail - it's not all that wonderful when everything is considered.

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Replies to This Discussion

My cat brought an owl into my house a few years ago, and as I waited for it to get dark so that I could encourage it to fly out, I went online to try to figure out what kind it was.  Wikipedia had this to say about owl behavior.  Hilarious.


An owl's behavior is not strange at all. Owls eat
cheese and pie. They like to home-bake their pies
because they think it tastes better that way. Also,
they raise their own cows to make their own cheese.
They think it tastes better this way too. That is why
you never see owls in the super market buying cheese
or pie. Owls do not want you to see them doing any of
that, so they stop when ever a human shows up. So if
you happen to be hiding and see an owl making cheese
or pie, do not let them see you, but they probably
will with their amazing vision. If they do see you,
which they probably will, they will attack you and
call their friends and other owls that are not
necessarily their friends to help them, so you are as
good as dead unless you run. If they start attacking
you, do not bother with a gun-it will be useless.
Instead, just run until they catch up, and I assure
you that they will. When they catch up to you, you
must summon the powers of DOOM. The powers of DOOM
will make it so you can use dark magic. Here is the
summoning chant:

                                        By the powers
of the Bobian Islands,
                                        I summon the
powers of the Bobian Islands.
                                       The powers of
the Bobian Islands can help.
                                       They can help
me to get rid of my foe.
                                       Help me make
them go away, now!
                                       Now let me
have the power of the Bobian Islands!!!!!
After that, you will be granted the powers of DOOM.
The powers of DOOM work even better against owls than
anything else. Unfortuantely, the powers of DOOM do
not work when you are being attacked by owls, when you
are about to be attacked by owls, when an owl is close
by, or when you are within 55,996 miles of an owl. So
if you want to use the powers of DOOM, you better have
a rocket ship and really, really, really good aim. Oh!
I forgot one thing! You can't use the powers of DOOM
in outer space/any where besides on Earth.

I don't like Wikipedia either ... I have to check the answers in some more trustworthy place. 




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