Flickering in the hinterland of some dusty synapse in my cerebral cortex lies a memory. I remember things in video, little snippet archives of life experiences. And so in this dusty flickering video clip with specks of dirt going across the screen, I see myself as a kid tip-toeing through a library, feeling all stuffy and closed-in, and Mom showing me how to use the card catalog.
Fast forward and I'm in high school trying to do some research. After finally securing the microfiche on which my topic is supposed to exist, one microfiche machine isn't working. When I put the film into the other one, the text printed on the little black plastic rectangle is unreadable. So much for the technology of the 80s. Off I go in search of an encyclopedia written on that old outdated stuff called paper... end of dusty video memory.
Well, gone are the days of paper encyclopedias and microfiche! Whenever I need to know something, within seconds and a few strokes of a keyboard from my comfortable living room, Wikipedia presents to me a succinct overview of the topic. As I now spend much of my free time seeking to serve the world by helping to improve and expand Wikipedia, I wonder what people did before this incredible resource was created. Even today apart from Wikipedia, it's very hard to find a proper summary of any topic on the internet. There's plenty of sources that give a couple of sentences or meager paragraphs, but one will spend at least an hour searching through documents before getting anything that gives a concise but detailed overview of any topic.
Everybody wants to make a difference in the world. For anyone capable of even basic research and writing, improving the Wikipedia resource is an incredible way to serve our fellow humans, and especially the younger generation, whose memories 30 years from now will not be of struggling with microfiche but of swiftly and efficiently following quality references provided in Wikipedia.