Monday 29 June 2020

An ode to Wikipedia

When we began our research, the first writing advice given by my supervisor then was that we should not quote/cite from Wikipedia. His reason was that since it was something where anyone could edit the content, the authenticity was questionable. That was impressed upon my mind and I gave the same advice to my students. I altered my stand a bit and told them that they could start off reading their basic information from Wikipedia and then follow it up with the references given on the same page towards the end. Of course they love their Wikipedia and the depth of information it offers and I cannot but accept that fact. Wikipedia is easy, basic and comprehensive and quite useful for a beginner who is seeking information on any topic. But the copyleft philosophy of the website is something that is quite impressive - free for all to edit, contribute and use.

Piqued by curiosity on being a Wikipedia editor, I signed to become an editor and voila! the process was quite an easy one. I began editing content and then realised that one cannot be frivolous about the additions and deletions. Since the content is out there for everyone to read and cite, there is a greater responsibility associated with the same, I concurred.

But this present post is a dedication of love to Wikipedia for certain pet peeves of mine. Here it goes: In the recent years, say five years or so, the availability of films on various platforms has been mushrooming at a quicker pace and these have enabled people like me to access many films which were hitherto inaccessible. While I watch these films, mid-way I pause and quickly change the tab to Wikipedia and read the entire plot of the film. I know that this dampens the thrill of watching the plot unfold but not for me. I know the plot but like to watch how it has been handled by the director. And here, Wikipedia is something that succinctly provides the content for me - Not IMDB which is limited in content but good in rating; not the reviews which are mostly one-sided and not useful to know the storyline. But Wikipedia gives out the spoilers and the other sundry stuff which is quite interesting to read and is a separate thrill altogether.

Well, so I am armed with the exact storyline possessing full knowledge of the killer, the twists and other giveaways and I watch the film - with the same intensity if I were watching without knowing the storyline. And , Wikipedia has always been my faithful ally except in some cases where the information furnished is short and just a peek into the plot.

Well, Wikipedia is definitely the go-to place for me when it comes to reading film's storylines and spoilers.

Raising a toast to the humble Wiki and here's to many more Spoiler Alerts!

All images are from Wikipedia - the copyleft website!

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