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The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or it may be removed.

Wikipedia:Verifiability is one of Wikipedia's core content policies. The others include Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Jointly, these policies determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles. They should not be interpreted in isolation from one another, and editors should try to familiarize themselves with all three.

The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. The source should be cited clearly and precisely to enable readers to find the text that supports the article content in question.

If no reliable, third-party sources can be found for an article topic, Wikipedia should not have an article on it.


WP:NOR, WP:V, and WP:NPOV are the three core content principles of Wikipedia.


Last time I edited this page, there were 441 episodes of The Simpsons, and every one of them had its own Wikipedia article.

Who am I?[edit]

I have been reading Wikipedia for years. I love Wikipedia. It's a major entertainment medium for me. I'm an information sponge, and I love reading here.

But also, I think Wikipedia might be the first great creation of humanity. There have been brilliant individual humans, like Nikola Tesla, Stephen Hawking, and so on; but humanity, as a whole, has let everyone down. As a group, humans have only ever destroyed things.

As Agent Smith says, humans are a virus. A plague.

With Wikipedia, however, all the great minds of the world can come together and compile a free, publicly accessible, sum total of all human knowledge.

Or, it can become choked with piles of meaningless pop-culture trivia and hundreds of vanity articles on sad-sack indie bands.

As far as my contributions here, I've only ever really fixed punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. Why? I'd rather read. I'm not one of the "editor class": I'm firmly in the "user class" and intend to stay there. There are guys here who seem to spend entire days researching articles, and I'm thankful to them - but I can never be like that. I have a full-time job, and several other hobbies that are important to me. I also have enough of a computer addiction, and want to avoid any chances to be stuck in front of the computer any more than I already am. I wish I could research articles, but it just takes too much time, and I don't think I can do it as well as others.

A dream of mine[edit]

I've been thinking about what size media it would take to store all of the essential information in Wikipedia. By "essential", I mean all the information in Wikipedia that would be nice to store away, somewhere safe, in case alien invaders bombed us back into the stone age, or in case a climate disaster reduced our population to a few scattered breeding pairs in the high arctic.

So, take the entire (English language, for me personally) Wikipedia database, and delete all the indie-rock band articles, all the Simpsons articles, and so on; everything to do with pop culture, meaningless crimes, trivia and everything else. Keep all the science, history, engineering, culture, and so on. As I said, only keep those parts that would be useful in the aftermath of a catastrophe.

How big would this database of essential information be? Could it all fit on a DVDR, or a maxi-sized USB key? Or would it require a raid array?

Even better - could you create this online, referencing the regular Wikipedia database to keep it updated?

Smart Quotes about Wikipedia[edit]

"To have a Wikipedia article, a fictional character should have been discussed in independent and reliable sources beyond the work of fiction itself. Edison, 2007."

After all, the point of an article shouldn't be to summarize a company's gaming manuals, should it? AllGloryToTheHypnotoad 02:55, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

{{Exploding animals}}


The useful life of the universe (at least as far as the monkeys are concerned) is approximately 1E14 years (see 1_E19_s_and_more), as after that the last stars cool off and the monkeys can neither be kept warm or fed any more bananas (since bananas require sunlight, which comes from stars). 31 million seconds x 1E14 years x 1 keypunch per second = 31E20 keypunches per monkey in the useful life of the universe (i.e. 1E14 years). Probability therefore requires 21E33 monkeys typing through the useful life of the universe just to type “to be or not to be that is the question”. The last 2 lines of this Hamlet soliloquy, “The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd.” would require the work of 18E67 monkeys without punctuation; or 9E70 monkeys to reproduce it with its proper punctuation, but still without capital letters or carriage returns.

An interesting question at this point is, is it truly Shakespeare without the carriage returns? And without the capital letters? What about the stage directions?

Anyway, there is only 1E53kg of mass in the universe (see 1_E51_kg]]) with which to create these 9E70 monkeys, their typewriters, and (again) all the paper and ribbons and typewriter repairmen required to keep them going, and that’s assuming you can use up all the universe’s hydrogen and helium to make these things, which again begs the question of where you're now going to find the bananas.

Of course, there's likely fewer than 1E8 monkeys in the universe right now, so... well... you figure out for yourself how long it would take to breed 9E70 from a population of 1E8. Thus, the question of where you're now going to find the monkeys.

Also, you need to keep the monkeys in proximity to each other, because they're taking up all the mass of the universe and otherwise there's no gravity. No gravity would mean that each keypunch will result in the typewriter permanently flying away from the monkey (see Classical_mechanics), and given the low mass-density of the universe (under 1 atom per cubic meter), you've got pretty much no hope of ever getting another letter typed on that particular typewriter by anyone after it flies away, much less 1 keypunch per second. Yes, of course, you could tether each monkey to its typewriter, but first you have to find a tether material to last for 1E14 years. Here's a hint: don't bother trying.

The monkeys also have to be kept as close together as possible to minimize the problem of ripe banana delivery. Unfortunately, keeping 9E70 monkeys in proximity to each other for 1E14 years will mean the probability approaches one that one heck of a poop-throwing fight will wreck the piece of paper that this purported Shakespeare was typed on anyway.

And at that point, you should also consider this theory from the existentialist point of view. Read up on how hard it is on a monkey to be kept in a laboratory. Now imagine that these monkeys instead are being kept in a universe where the only thing they are able to do - anywhere in the universe - is type on a typewriter, eat a banana, bite a repairman, or throw poop at the universe. I'm sure a large number of these monkeys would commit suicide rather than be fated to such a dismal existence - certainly any who evolve a superior intelligence will! But what do you think these monkeys will do over 1E14 years? Evolve. Boy, this is looking even more doomed.

And what would such a project would entail for the entropy of the universe? Since we're attempting to convert the mass of the universe into monkeys, typewriters, ribbons, paper, typewriter repairmen and bananas, and then transporting them into one location, wouldn't that mean a terrific increase in entropy for the universe as a whole? And let's just hope that collecting all those monkeys (and typewriters!) (and bananas!) together in one place doesn't cause the whole mass of 'em to implode into one big Supermassive_black_hole, or you'll never know what they wrote.

So, the infinite monkey theorem proves to be mathematically a theoretical certainty, but at the same time a real-world complete impossibility. Shows you how useless mathematics is, eh? I'm pretty sure that all this proves that this Emile Borel fellow must have been a bit bananas.