Well it just does, doesn’t it. All looks and sounds like a great idea in principle. All those volunteers working tirelessly to bring us all honest, well researched, unbiased and (heaven forbid) non-commercial information about any topic that you can imagine.
But in practice…
… it’s just crap isn’t it. And it’s not difficult to work out why. Encyclopedias have always been crap. They were crap when I was a kid (fuck Encyclopedia Britannica) and they’re crap now. And that’s what Wikipedia is, just one bloody great big, know it all, always at the top of the Google search results encyclofuckingpedia.
And what’s my beef with encyclopedias? All they give you are the facts, and the facts don’t mean shit until someone has an opinion about them. I remember, back in school looking for information to help me with homework, that the last place you wanted to look for help was in an encyclopedia because all you ever got were the bare facts. This happened and then that happened, but then this happened. My teachers weren’t going to give me an A+ for regurgitating that. And I hadn’t been paying attention in class so what the hell was I supposed to do!?
Events, dates and stats – that’s not useful information. Until you find a book written by an intelligent human with the skill to blend those facts into a coherent view, who can explain the relevance of these facts to our lives, then they’re just so much trivial pursuit garbage.
I have learnt how to do so many different things through the Internet, from hand rearing a baby bird to illegally downloading exceptional porn. I have been able to unearth real global news in a way that makes me want to wretch at the banality of rolling news shows. And I have laughed my arse off at the ingenuity with which people, with clearly too much time on their hands, have twisted our reality to comic effect. None of this happened when I visited Wikipedia.
I want to read people’s opinions of facts, preferably intelligent people, but anyone with an opinion is more interesting then the cold, joyless, completely uncontroversial facts offered by Wikipedia.
And that my friends is why Wikipedia sucks…I thank you.
Filed Under: Rants