I’ve been playing around on various wikis for the past few days, as per the class’s instructions, and long story short, Wikipedia has somehow banned my IP Address. So what are the conclusions I’ve reached after this experimentation (conclusions that are in no way influenced by the harsh and evil censorship brought down upon me by the fascist bastard Jimmy Wales and his band of crooks)?
Wikis are democracy gone mad, and as the recent republican primaries have shown, it isn’t like democracy is all that sane to begin with. (Speaking of which, I’m still holding out for the whole process to devolve into a no holds barred fist fight, like the one seen in John Carpenter’s They Live. And just like in They Live, I want “Rowdy” Roddy Piper to emerge as the victor. This is a nation in need of the sleeperhold—Piper 2012!)
But seriously now, wikis are crazy. And I don’t mean crazy like Crazy Carl of Crazy Carl’s Chevrolet, who’s prices are so low he must be mad, but more crazy like Crazy Carl after he went on that 10 state killing spree because the new 2013 Equinox told him it would be a good idea.
Wikis are crazy because they reduce knowledge into something that can be edited. On wikis, information is something that can be changed by anyone with a working internet connection. A few touches of the keyboard and the world can be changed. I read a wiki page that’s been either vandalized or simply edited by an idiot, and all of a sudden up is down, right is left, 2+2=a bushel of potatoes, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!
God wishes he had the power to causally change the nature of reality this easily. I define my entire existence on what I see on the computer screen, and how can I live in an ever changing universe like that? And what’s more is the constant adjustments—the moment I get use to right being left, some prick goes ahead and changes everything back. Reality is righted again and I have to buy new gloves all over again.
And what about the writing I’ve done on our class wiki? Well, there’s some outrageous slander about me on my page, and while I wrote all of it myself, I still despise that other people can read it. My self-loathing should be between me and a bottle of alcohol.
So in conclusion, wikis are evil, or at least they are when I’m the one writing them.
Our required readings (I really did read them! I just chose to ignore them!) do address this fear, and I’ll admit that I sound like a raving lunatic when compared to them . Lamb in particular argues that since its in the community’s best interest to keep wikis clean, the community will fight against vandals. Fair enough. But like Groucho Marx, I refuse to be part of a group that would have the likes of me a member, and that includes the Wiki community of “anyone.”