Friday, November 24, 2006

The Wikipedia Knowledge Dump

Now that's esoterica. A site dedicated to the rejected entries of the popular on-line encyclopedia. The motto says it all:

From the bold to the beautiful, from the wicked to the wise, every day the Wikipedia team relegates possibly "inappropriate" submissions to the garbage dump of time. Here, we make selected rejects immortal and preserve them for posterity.

Excellent. You can imagine the entries: Satan Claus, the dark lord who truly presides over our most joyous holiday; there's exophilia and coulrophilia, extreme sexual attractions toward aliens and clowns; the Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit, a Richard Dawkins argument refuting the existence of God.

The creator of the site is physicist Cliff Pickover, an interesting fellow who actually has a bio in Wikipedia. No mention yet of his new project.

One interesting piece I found on Wikidumper (not every post is a Wikipedia reject) was a discussion about Susan Kruglinski's article in Discover magazine about tracking the changes made in one of Wikipedia's entries. The entry was evolution, and at the time of the article there had been over two thousand changes made to the entry by 68 different people. An IBM research team actually laid this 'evolution of evolution' out in a graph to show the changes:

Interesting how it looks exactly like the southwest corner of the United States.

I've been addicted to Pickover's pile of links on his site, especially his growing list of fascinating people and the Alien Tiles Puzzle.


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