To celebrate the end of another magnificent year at The Review, it is perhaps time for a recital of this much appreciated post written by Jonny Cache, The Review’s resident polymath, back in January 2007. In light of Wikipedia’s increasing resemblance to a cult, the final paragraph seems more apt than ever:
Jonny Cache: Wikipedia is a Blog. The word vandalism, as used internal to this Blog, has no determinate meaning to outsiders. As far as external observers can tell, Wikipedia users are constantly vandalizing the subject matters to which many of them have dedicated their lives and sacred honors. By and large, Wikipedia website “administrators” are engaged in a form of anti-education that is warping the minds of naive people about the very nature of knowledge, and there is no reason that real educators should have to respect what goes on there.
The word encyclopedia, as used internal to the Wikipedia Blog, vandalizes the very meaning of the word. Wikipedia has not earned the right to appropriate this word because Wikipedia adamantly refuses to do the things that it would take to earn anybody else’s respect.
People of good will and intelligence granted the Wikipedia experiment the initial benefit of the doubt. In time they began to warn the Wikipedia populace about the collapse of credibility that it was headed for. But all that people of good will and intelligence got for their troubles was a constant stream of spit in their faces.