Wednesday, November 08, 2006

little boy with his finger in the dyke

... and the tidal wave behind him.

I wrote a piece for The Big Issue next week about how hard it was to handle Wikipedia and all its mistakes. I made a point about how I was not going to deal with it myself, because life's too short, I probably didn't say that, but it is. Anyway then I was alerted to the Wikipedia entry on Jacana, which had the most risible statements on it, one about how Jacana had 12% homeless people who made their living by begging. There was an earlier statement which someone else had removed, that said people in Jacana had been murdered for 5c. Totally ridiculous stuff. In amongst some attempts at making sense. I suppose someone wrote a half-researched thing and then someone else came in and wrote some bogus nonsense. Anyway so in a blaze of Jacana patriotism I went in and scrubbed the whole thing and wrote a few paragraphs of my own which I was fairly happy with (I've linked to it but of course there's no guarantee that what you get to is what I wrote). Now of course I have to check it constantly to make sure no-one ruins it with more dumb bullshit.

Really, I have to learn to walk away. But I'm too proud.

That reminds me, I have Hume's official stats on Jacana's demographics in the filing cabinet. Better go and grab 'em.


annabel said...

Wikipedia's entry on Humpty Dumpty is crying out for your attention.

R. Buchstansangur said...

There was a similar incident not too long ago regarding the town of Maianbar (next to Bundeena, south of Cronulla):

Deleted Wikipedia entry for Maianbar

"The locals of Maianbar have a monthly ritual as an offering to the gods. A local is selected by the elders and is crucified at the town centre."

etc. Having grown up in a backwater town myself, I tend to think this vandal was a young person who has spent too much time in his or her hometown.

I love and hate the open source editing of Wikipedia. Love it for obvious reasons, hate it because one hundred years from now, it will be difficult to pin down the POV of people in 2006 because all history written now may be rewritten a thousand times and the only context we'll have access to will be the one in place five minutes ago.

I'm off to see if there is an entry for "Cheryls" now...

David said...

Have you read Tim Richards' novel(la) The Prince? Maianbar won't seem that strange.