Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Today's XKCD sums up my feelings towards Wikipedia pretty well.  Two things I've decided in the recent past. One is that I would like to start making more edits to Wikipedia. It's not that hard, especially for copy-editing things, but also since I'm supposedly learning all this stuff in grad school, I can help make sure all their articles are good and correct etc.

Secondly, many of you have heard of my idea about Wikipedia Bar Edition (TM), formerly known as Wikipedia Pants Edition (TM), but it bears repeating. I think that those bar-top machines that they have at many bars nowadays, usually used for games like "Erotic Photo Hunt" would be a perfect delivery mechanism for Wikipedia.  A quarter gets you three entries or something like that.  I see people using it to verify the bold statements that people often make at bars, and then calling BS when it can't be supported.

The idea that people might edit the entries just to back up there claims (possibly because they brought their laptop to a bar!) has been brought up though (by !). I don't really have a good solution for that...


  1. The Guinness Book of World Records was originally conceived of as a way of resolving "the bold statements that people often make at bars".

    I'm not opposed to more modern technology to debunk blatant drunken bullcrar, though.

  2. Really, I think my point about the bringing a laptop represents a more deep and profoundly fundamental flaw in Wikipedia than a deep or profoundly fundamental flaw in your game.

  3. Yes! I did know that actually, and I was going to bring it up somewhere in my post... but then I decided not to since I thought it would imply my whole plan was doomed to failure. I mean how many bars do you go to that actually have the GBWR, and that's just a $5 book! What I'm talking about is a lot more expensive, albeit with more interesting content.

  4. Couldn't remember if that was you or jcreed who came up with this problem, but yeah you're right. Then again, if malfeasant editors can bring laptops to bars, then so can super-admin lambdacalculus-type people to roll back their edits...

  5. Three wikipedia editors walk into a bar...

    Aah, yes, jcreed was with us when we went to Steak & Shake - it might have been him that came up with the problem, and I just agreed so rapidly it caused me to believe I had thought of it. Alas!

  6. I still can't believe that Jeff Good didn't think Neil Diamond was Jewish. As long as I live, I will never get over this.

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