I’m rediscovering Wikipedia. I remember that half my time in school – especially around the evenings was spent scrolling through the interwebs, reading up about things that interested me. More often than not, I found that a useful starting point for everything I liked, and everything I wanted to know more about, was Wikipedia. The layout was simple, the information was presented with hyperlinks to sources. What I loved the most about it was that it was chronological. This held true for articles and wikipages about everything under the sun. People, places, topics – everything started off with contextualization and background.
That meant that you could open a Wikipedia page, start off with absolutely no knowledge about something, but leave the page with a lot of information about a subject. And the best part was that you understood the relevance of what you had read.
I loved the front page also – with an article of the day, this day in History. It was delightful. And I grew to admire the work Wikipedia did in terms of maintaining a community that could edit pages, or help to translate pages and make information more accessible. It’s a phenomenal project, and helped me with several projects through the years.
My 6th Grade Computer Science website – about various Rock Bands, primarily sourced information from information from there. Most MUN research binders contained printouts of Wikipages. It was delightful.
My fascination with encyclopedias dates back to before I discovered that the internet was a thing. And Wikipedia embodied all of what I loved – I got to read and learn things.
Law School changed that – because of the concept of “sourcing” and the “authority of sources”. I stopped reading Wikipedia because I had to search harder to find better sources – and over time, lost all the interest I used to have about surfing across Wikipedia pages. Starting with an actor and ending up with a social movement, for example.
It’s nice to be in that space again.