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My name’s Jeremy. I’m a recovering college student from Kansas City…the one in Missouri. I don’t exactly recall my first encounter with Wikipedia, but it must have been sometime in 2002, and I was instantly hooked. The idea of having a single, unified, unbiased source of near-universal information makes my nipples hard. Ooh, there they go.
Wikipedia is a good thing. It makes information about everything – from the Soviet Union to pinball all the way up to Franz Kafka – available to everyone. Well, everyone in the Western World, at least, but hey, we’re working on it. Not only can your average peasant in Kiev or Japan or Watts access this vast repository of information, he can also contribute to it. This is humanity beginning to preserve its entire history and culture onto the canvas of the digital age. This is a movement that’s only now coming to the attention of the common man. This is anarchy. This is chaos. But it’s successful.
Unfortunately, the more popular this place becomes, the more “opinions” it will attract. Just a few years ago, Wikipedia was something that only the educated and computer savvy were aware of. This was a place where people who could be considered experts in their respective fields worked together to build the project and make it the best and largest encyclopedia in human history. And to some extent it still is. If you read an article about hydrogen or grammatical gender, you can almost presume (with a little common sense and a good perusal of the talk page) that what you’re reading is factual, written by someone who isn’t trying to make you believe something that isn’t true. It’s when you try to read an article about what's going on in Iraq that problems start to pop up. In the past year or so, I’ve noticed more and more users who clearly have agendas. Whether they’re wild-eyed communists with idiotic fantasies of spreading their revolution onto the internet, blathering, insolent children or members of America’s vast, insipid mob of religious zealots, they’ve all accomplished the same thing – ruining, bit by bit, the credibility of this wonderful project.
I won’t pretend to have some sort of magical cure for this problem. Honestly, I’m only good at complaining. Wikipedia is far from wounded, and for every mass of seething retardation within these pages there’s a thousand articles worth reading. Let’s just hope that the unwashed don’t edge out the rest of us. I’d hate to see Wikipedia fall from the sky, wreathed in flames of stupidity and hatred and delusion. Especially when I’ve seen everything it could have been.