Saturday, May 14, 2005

...and another thing!

A wee while ago I had a rant about Wikipedia in The truth is out there: trust no-one.Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent Well last week I went to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and it inspired me to re-read the books. (Film Review: Martin Freeman was great as Arthur Dent, Douglas Adams' jokes were mostly still there and the effects were good, but the film was... OK. Funny, worth seeing, but just OK.)

I was struck by a section from the introduction to the book:
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
Substitute Wikipedia for Hitch Hikers Guide and you'd not be too far off the mark. However, I think Wikipedia could learn from the Guide's DON'T PANIC - a jigsaw globe is not half as reassuring!

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