Saturday, October 25, 2008

I believe that there are some things people do entirely for their own sake, without possibility of ulterior motive or obfuscated goal. For instance, I make small yet hilarious edits on Wikipedia -- an altered verb, a few letters here or there -- with the requirements that 1) the edit is in the article's introduction and 2) it drastically changes the entry's meaning (in the patently false direction).

I get too much satisfaction from every such sabotage surviving more than a year -- what does it say about the thousands of careful readers, and their thousands of edits since? What does it mean for their ontological and epistemic reality -- is there a certain lifespan, a minimum readership, that allows an untested conjecture to graduate to truth? Of course not. But someone, somewhere out there, believes.

These edits bring me a solitary sort of joy, which keeps me smiling long after most have gone to sleep. This joy is my own: I'm friends with several of the Wiki admins, so if I ever share the edits I made, they'll be fixed. If I ever explain the rules of my game, I won't be able to play. It is a joyful abstraction I can never share, except in the name of the anonymous. I do it for the lulz -- And the lulz are enough...


At 6:50:00 PM , Blogger Mitchell said...

This, on the other hand, is a public disservice. They call it vandalism for a reason.

At 4:12:00 PM , Blogger Abraham Akinin said...

the lulz are sufficient and necessary.


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