Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hitchapedia? Wikihiker's Guide?

Just a little more proof from Mr. Adams that we have indeed entered the age of the Guide:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a very unevenly edited book and contains many passages that simply seemed to its editors like a good idea at the time.

Case in point? Wikipedia contains a very well-laid out -- almost scholarly --article on the use of the umlaut among heavy metal musicians. I haven't looked at the history of the article, don't know who started it, or how many times it's been edited, but I'm guessing that it got started by a metalhead to whom it just seemed like a good idea at the time. I can just hear the conversation . . .

Yo, dude. We can write whatever we want to in this thing.

Shaw! Really? We should like hijack it and do something totally useless.

Thus was born what ultimately became a seemingly well-researched and informed article found in Wikipedia. How many of us need to know about the origins and uses of the heavy metal umlaut every day? How many of us care?

On the other hand, how many of us use towels every day? If you don't, please don't tell me because I'd prefer to keep thinking that a shower is a daily part of your life. Did you know there's a wikipedia entry for towels? Check it out! You can now learn all about types of towels, alternative uses for towels and -- oh my! -- you can even see a reference to our beloved Hitchhiker's Guide. Thanks to my friend Marla who pointed that tidbit out to me.

See -- the Guide is invading Wikipedia. It may be in the infant stages, but trust me -- Wikipedia will morph into the Wikihiker's Guide and it will continue to grow and bloom until it eventually becomes the full-fledged Hitchhiker's Guide.

As long as Zaphod Beeblebrox doesn't become president I guess we'll be OK. However, given the circus that's already developing with next year's election, I won't be surprised if we wake up in November and learn that somehow he's been elected.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

I bet middle-class (and those higher on the scale) Americans are the only people in the world who think everyone should take a shower everyday.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I know lots of people for whom a daily shower is not part of their life. In fact, I wonder when the idea of a daily shower got started in America. I bet not till the 70's or so, because before then even most middle-class people didn't have enough bathrooms in a house for everyone to shower everyday.

Wasn't the thrust of your article, but it just stuck out to me! I think I'll have to read The H Guide to understand the other important parts....