Are you boring, not just out loud but in your own head? Do your thoughts make you sleep sometimes? Or maybe you’re 14 years old, and want to get a lot of quotes for your essay really quick so you can get back to Fortnite. Do you ever think about spicing up your boring routine of labs, problem sets, classes, crying, and studying with a 20,000-word article on the War in Donbass, straight from a free encyclopedia?
I certainly do. And if a conflict over territory in Ukraine might not float your boat, perhaps “2016 in arthropod paleontology” will pique your interest. Or maybe you’re intrigued by reading the list of people who received the Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology.
Wikipedia has articles about several topics, including Grateful Dead cover bands, towns with fewer than 50 citizens, cancelled Norwegian TV shows, William Blake experts, specific Pakistani Cavalry units, albums by bands with “Manifesto,” “Death,” or “Klezmer” in their names, knock-off Coca-Cola brands (a brief note from our lawyers: Pepsi is not included in this statement, and neither the Pepsi brand nor any product produced by PepsiCo is a knockoff of Coca-Cola), local hurling championship results, navies of landlocked countries, and 19th-century Austrian gynecologists. There are even articles on “toilet paper orientation,” which the United States Census Bureau continues to tell me is “not information beneficial to society.”
Operating Wikipedia is easy. After typing “Wikipedia” into the “search bar” of “Google.com,” click on the first “link” you see that says “Wikipedia” (a “link” is usually an underlined bit of text telling you that hot singles are in your area, and will talk to you if you click the words you are reading). Then, type whatever you want to learn about into Wikipedia’s own “search bar.”
Be sure not to get Google.com’s and Wikipedia’s “search bars” confused. They look very alike.
Once your search is approved by the Wikipedia staff and you are presented with a variety of articles concerning your search, it’s time to learn. I learned that both Islam and Wikipedia have five pillars. On the one hand, Islam’s five pillars are better because Wikipedia’s list does not include the laudable concept of charity (though Wikipedia replaces charity with a large text box asking for money, the equivalent of watching the internet from obstructed-view seats).
On the other hand, Wikipedia’s five pillars are better because Islam is not an encyclopedia. This is another fact about Islam I was able to learn from Wikipedia, after I was too afraid to ask anybody in real life.
You may ask yourself, “Who do I have to thank for all this new information I have rattling around in my brain about Grateful Dead cover bands and Islam? Who is the looming man at the top of my screen saying he will become very, very weak if I don’t give him three dollars?” Those two people are one and the same, friend: they are Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales! Jimmy, who ever since the unpersoning of Larry Sanger considers himself Wikipedia’s sole founder, is an Ayn Rand-loving objectivist libertarian from Alabama. He also calls the Libertarian Party “insane,” a hypocrisy which apparently is not grounds for bringing back the guillotine. And nothing spells success like starting one of the most trafficked websites in the world but making absolutely no money from it, despite being what Karl Marx would’ve called “uber-capitalist,” though Marx would have said it in German. Something else I learned on Wikipedia is that German is a language spoken mainly in the country of Germany.
You would think that when the collective wisdom of the masses is pooled, some greater understanding and deeper meaning would be found on important scientific, political, economic, and technological issues. Instead, I am 95 percent convinced that Wikipedia’s globe puzzle logo has brainwashed much of the country into believing in a flat Earth. If the idea of Earth as a frisbee appeals to you, consider using Wikipedia today!