Thursday, November 25, 2010

Don't mess with me Wikipedia.

A link popped up in the center of the screen as I opened up the main page of Wikipedia, leading to the above post. A plea for money. I tried typing in an article on the search box to skip past this link, but each time I was forced back to this link. Wikipedia will not let me access their stuff until I read their plea for donations. Alright, I click on the page to see if there is a "No thanks" "skip to the main page" option. Nada. Wikipedia wants my money; and they are getting more aggressive in asking for it.

How long will it be before they up the degree of their forcefulness? Soon they'll allocate1/3 of the website priviledges to "subscribers" who pay a fee of 60$ a year. Eventually you will need a membership to view any of the material. It all starts with the simple plea for money.

There is nothing wrong with asking for donations....there is certainly nothing wrong in giving donations. But when the first activity becomes a regular matter, indeed a forceful matter, the organisation no longer deserves to bear a title like "free internet encyclopedia". Now the organisation is lying to me. I don't support organisations that lie. Moreover, the entire philosophy of Wikipedia now begins to erode, as its goal in the first place was to honor the freedom of knowledge and information.

Perhaps it is time we go back to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Throw down some cash for an organisation that has not blushed in demanding it from the beginning.

Perhaps Wikipedia's failure proves that knowledge indeed should not and cannot be free. Yay capitalism!


Theophilus said...

If the "back" button on your browser doesn't solve the problem, your computer or browser is buggy. It doesn't do that on my five-and-a-half year old Mac. If everything's working properly, getting out of the donations page is no harder than escaping from a paper bag.

Also, how would your ruminations in this post affect your view of, say, the Gideons? Should they stop wantonly giving away the Bible, free of charge?

Emerson Fast said...


They do not give
Bibles free of charge. All year long our ministry is stacked with conferences where wealthy businessmen are confronted with exactly the same questions Wikipedia is posing to us now. Every member of Gideons is also required to give a considerable sum of money for the project of bible distribution yearly, and each camp has a committee of individuals who do fundraising.

Capitalism and Gideonism are intertwined.