Wikipedia is a nightmare that is slowly eroding and collapsing in and on itself, due to a number of problems (see Wikipedia:FAIL). Despite this, editing Wikipedia is still enjoyable. One can totally reject the idea that it's an "encyclopedia," but at the same time still enjoy editing it. However, if you are a rational person, it is very likely you are going to go insane. This article is intended to help good editors stay sane.
What does it mean to go insane?
- Arguing vociferously with the core community over policy issues.
- Wikistalking or issuing ArbCom cases (doomed to fail) against certain editors you perceive as troublesome or contentious.
- Making up large collections of "evidence" of problems on Wikipedia or certain problematic users.
- Writing detailed essays on Wikipedia policy.
- Making snarky remarks on WP:ANI or to certain administrators.
- Regularly commenting on Jimbo's talkpage about a certain issue, with some dire hope of support.
- Creating off-wiki websites, criticizing Wikipedia, with some aim of changing it.
- Attempts at establishing a conspiratorial cabal (i.e., chains of sockpuppets with sysop).
This behavior will be noticed by THE cabal, it will be regarded as trolling, and
you will be censored you will be dealt with by administrators, ultimately blocked indefinitely if you continue. This is especially true if you don't make large contributions to the mainspace and haven't revealed your real-life identity, leading to rampant speculations of your identity, such as that you are a recently returned sockpuppet or troll.
Now, in the face of blatant Wikipedia failure, how is it possible to stay sane? It is is possible the same way most Wikipedians do, but it's something you'll have to do consciously as opposed to unconsciously.
Most Wikipedians are not particularly aware of or concerned with Wikipedia's failings, and so ignorance is bliss. Those that are generally more aware are the ones that tend to get very stressed out. So, what can you do?
Recognizing the sheer absurdity and futility of Wikipedia, logically there are only two options:
- Quit Wikipedia entirely.
- Edit Wikipedia for personal enjoyment, while fully recognizing that virtually anything you do can (and most likely will) be scrubbed by POV-pushing mobs.
The latter option sounds strange, but it's not entirely unheard of. For a similar philosophical approach to life, in general, see Absurdism.
Wikipedia is not serious business. Remember that if you want to stay sane.