(Editor's Note: Welcome back Mike K, who brings us this week's No Politics Friday [tm])
Unlike some, I have no beef with Wikipedia. Such a source of collective information was going to happen on the Internet at some point, and the model they use strikes me as the best way to handle it. However there are two things that occur regularly on the site that get me laughing:
1) Absurd Entries. Entries that are treated as quite serious though their very existence creates a smirk on your face. There are Wikipedia entries for Cameltoe, Vaginal flatulence (Qweefs, as the kids say), Drunk Dialing, and Italian Beef. The real challenge the writers face with these pages is to make them serious enough to get past the vetting process; presenting all your sources for Cameltoes without having to stop from laughing is a feat in and of itself.
2) Geeked-Out Entries on Non-existent things. Entries that were written by people (a person?) so obsessive about their pop-culture loves that they start writing and don't know where to stop. I noticed this while looking at the Wikipedia entry for Megatron. Take a peek at that page – it is really detailed. And long. Hitting the "Print Preview" button told me that there was 27 pages (!) worth of detail on the Transformers villain. Thomas Jefferson only has 24 Pages.
This is also something that one can turn into a fun game – find an absurdly long entry on a geek staple and find another Wikipedia entry that is shorter. So the classic game for the Nintendo 64, GoldenEye (15 pages) beats out the entry for the Koran (13 pages). Pikachu (8 pages) gets a ton more space than the philosopher Jurgen Habermas (5 pages). The Predator (14 pages) has more pages than The 14th Amendment (12 Pages).
I can keep this up all day. The Lord of the Rings (20 Pages) beats out the The Dropping of the Atomic Bombs (19 pages). That episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Angelus kills Giles' librarian girlfriend Jenny Calendar (10 pages) has more written about it than Four Quartets (9 pages), as well it should. And, god bless it, The Jedi (16 pages) beats out The Moon Landing (15 pages).
No entry on Roast Beef or the Jedi
One of the great things about Wikipedia is that work filters almost never block it, and you can still look quasi-respectable searching it if your boss walks by. I encourage you all to throw your favorite examples from #1 or #2 above into the comments section this Friday afternoon.
One thought on “The Sum of Human Knowledge.”
Predator vs. the 14th Amendment. Coming to theaters near you, August 2008.
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