Previously on Full Metal Dreams
The moment I laid eyes on en.wikipedia.org, I feel like all I need to know about almost everything there is to know about humanity can be found there.
June 15, 2005
In my job as an Internet Researcher some ten years back, precious hours were wasted pretending I was doing work. It was the middle of November. There were deadlines to beat, and quotas to meet. But instead of doing more items for production, I was browsing Wikipedia and reading articles not relevant to my research. I would defend my low output by saying to my superior that I was searching for leads. It was an excuse, she readily bought, given that I was the only one who knew how to use the search engines. But, when no one is looking; when everyone in the room disappears behind the pile of paper works needed to finish before the end of the day, my own pool of knowledge swelled with every page loaded onto my desktop's screen.
My work station becomes a place of learning.
Old days they were, when Web 2.0 was new. When Facebook has yet to make a hit, and smartphones used to be a bling. Wikipedia already was in the web, albeit, competing with Groliers and Britannica. Compendiums of knowledge from a past age, relics whose days were numbered.
They challenged the wiki to show authority. To produce well-written works showing no bias. Claiming that collaboration results in poor fact checking, these encyclopedias brushed off Wikipedia as nothing but an overview of knowledge. When citations were needed, the hard bounds still had authority.
But times are changing.
I remember, Five years before the rise of the Internet, I used to rent desktop computers, not to browse the web. But to borrow discs of Groliers and spend the next hour reading articles of information, and watching video clips that sometimes come with the entries. Multimedia, as we know today, the medium was a step ahead from the still pictures that endeared us to the tomes of encyclopedias at the library. I have always been a scavenger of knowledge, and no matter what form I come across, I would pass judgement based from experience.
Thus, Wikipedia appealed to me.
Now years have passed. The encyclopedias are no more. And information is free when you search it on Google. Everyone consults the wiki, and in turn, even the masses learn. At a time when the web is replete with facts, truth can be distorted. When authority of the source is in question, sometimes it is best to let the Wikipedia serve as the arbiter.
Britannica would roll over its grave.
For ten years, my favorite online portal sought donations for its operations. To make it free and untouched by advertisements. And for ten years, I let others pay for the leisure I enjoyed for free. Such a freeloader that I was.
Now that I have the means and some cash; to celebrate the nerd within; and to make amends for the lost production because I was foraging for knowledge enriching only me,
It's time for payback.
With a click of a mouse button confirming my transaction on Paypal, the second time I parted a gift to keep the rest of humanity informed, I made a donation to Wikipedia and felt good.