August 8th, 2004

Tom Lehrer is Smug


9:45 PM

ME: I shall put this token in the turnstile.
TOKEN: I am going into the turnstile.
ME: Now I shall push the turnstile and walk at the same time so as to walk, in one fluid motion, through the turnstile and onto the T platform.
TURNSTILE: I shall refuse to turn.
ME HAND ON THE TURNSTILE: I too shall remain immobile as the rest of my body walks through the turnstile.
ME SENSITIVE AREA: Oh look now we are being brought into quick and swift contact with the closed hand on the turnstile.
ME: Ow, sure glad that didn't hurt.
five minutes pass
ME: Ok, now that hurts.
ME SENSITIVE AREA: Ok, now this really hurts.
ME: I want to throw up.


ME SENSITIVE AREA: You do realize this is the most action we've seen in a very long time, don't you?
ME: Shut up. Just-- shut up.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

I am going WIKI CRAZY

Since starting the phonemonkey job I've become a bit enamored with Wikipedia. It's becoming a rather nice resource, really, and being something I am reasonably sure I can browse safely at work, a great source of reading for those between-call times when Metafilter's either bustificated or just plain boring.

I started just reading through Wikipedia's frontpage stuff, looking up the Featured Article first or maybe one of the "Did You Know...?" sidebar items. Then I'd just start clicking through links I found interesting to see where I'd go. As is the case with a hyperlinked resource, you don't go "deeper" into the data, you just keep going "around." Angstrom and I even developed a game so far only called The Wiki Game, though Angstrom has suggested the full title of

The Wiki Game
or, How Best To Kill Ten Minutes At Work

Collapse )

I've also grown very fond of editing articles. Being an "open-content" encyclopedia, Wikipedia allows anyone and everyone the opportunity to add and modify articles until they're blue in the face. It's encouraged -- one of the philosophies of the site is "be bold". You can write or modify whatever you like should you feel so bold, but you do so under the knowledge that anyone else feeling bold enough can modify what you've done. Of course, there's a comprehensive system of backups kept (with diffs shown for each iteration, how handy) to keep vandalism from being permanent (notice how I didn't say "keep vandalism at bay" because Revert Wars and personal biases are the biggest form of Wikipedia drama today, hooray.)

But everybody likes clean, well-formatted, coherent articles with proper spelling and grammar, so if you're the type who feels compelled to take the time out to clear up a typo or put a period where it needs to go, man, you're gonna love this place. I've stopped my link-running, I've stopped playing the Wiki Game, pretty much all I do now is hit "Random page" and see if there's something, anything that I can clean up. The best part is that it's not mindless pedantry, no -- it's contributing to a rich, useful Internet resource! Hoo hah!

Besides, there's a personal bit of pride in knowing that I helped tweak articles on subjects I love. Or that I got to spruce up an article about something famous like the Eiffel Tower. The community seems okay, almost early 90s Usenet like in feel. Lot of well-read, dry-wit types among the trolls and clueless newbies. Quite interesting to see.

So that's what I'm doing besides, like, playing Diablo 2 or sleeping. Or chasing cats around. Or going to work, presumably.