Okay, forget about my last post. NOW IS THE TIME TO PANIC! Wikipedia is GONE!
That’s right, gone. Sure it’s just for 24 hours, but this is still disastrous!
Where will we get our information?! How will we do our homework?! How will we survive?! Face it, we need Wikipedia! Don’t even try to deny it. Wikipedia is a service, that pretty much everyone with a computer uses. Sure the information on it isn’t always 100% correct, and anybody can edit it, so you could have a Ricky Gervais moment, and just make up something ridiculous, and watch people lap it up. But that’s beside the point.
So why is Wikipedia allowing us to suffer like this?
Wikipedia has gone into “blackout” mode for 24 hours in response to the “Protect Intellectual Property Act”, and the “Stop Online Piracy Act”. Before writing this I decided to try read up on what these are, and why Wikipedia is against them. I failed to find this out. Each article I read just confused me with lots of initials (Does anybody know what ISPs or RIAAs are?) and lots of numbers, which were possibly related to money. But I could be wrong on that one.
So I did what everyone does in times of doubt. I googled it. As per usual, the first thing that came up was Wikipedia itself. Which I clicked and that brought me to the Wikipedia blackout screen which said:
Without Free Knowledge
For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”
So the way I see it, the American government is going to do something that restricts our right to free information.
It’s actually quite amusing though, to see all the links to the so-called “coping websites”, which help people cope with the loss of Wikipedia. Some websites, such as the Guardian are even setting up “replacement Wikipedia” websites. I mean really?
To be honest though, there was a brief moment of panic when I couldn’t look up “heat loss factors for mugs” (don’t ask). And by brief moment of panic, I mean I actually screamed. Then refreshed the page about ten times to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating That just goes to show just how much people these days rely on the Internet to look stuff up. It’s actually quite scary.
But not quite as scary as clicking a link, and finding yourself reading Fox news (Fair and balanced? I think not!). That was a traumatising experience.
So until next time just remember:
WE NEED THE INTERNET! Because not even jazz hands can make this better.