Slate – How Kate Middleton’s Wedding Gown Demonstrates Wikipedia’s Woman Problem. By Torie Bosch

“Depressing,” quoth Peter. Interesting, sayeth I.

It is depressing, but I think it’s interesting given trends I’ve noticed in the past few years on Wiki (oh Wiki, my sun, my stars, my brain). Time was, if you wanted to look something up, say… Oh I dunno, “The Brain” (a better example would be a section of the brain but I’d have such a hard time wading through the articles it would take too long to write this example, therefore proving my point but very inconveniently). What you’d get was an article on the brain, but at the top somewhere it would say, “The brain is where you do your thinking.” And if you wouldn’t otherwise get why people were talking about brains all the time would go, “Ohhhhh THAAAAT’s whyyyyy.”

Now, however, you get a load of neurons and chemical neurotransmitters.

Lately I’ve been on Wiki looking up, for instance: illegal drugs (always in the news), sciencey articles (also in the news), dwarfism (I’m reading Game of Thrones), Gang signs (I forget why, actually), crickets and grasshoppers (gardening), plus a load of historical stuff (historical stuff remains good). And it used to be helpful, but now it’s comprehensive. Clarity vs. accuracy. It used to be useful for the curious layman; now it’s written for doctors and it’s impossible to get the thing you wanted to know. I used to always tell people, before Wiki turned into a thing, “Oh you should use it, because an encyclopedia will tell you all sorts of things you won’t understand, but Wiki is written by normal people, or for normal people, so it’ll always tell you the thing you need to know.” And I don’t think that’s true anymore.

Because it’s written by a bunch of nerdy jumped up trainspotters (men), all on a jag to prove how much they know about every type of Linux, but nobody bothers with the actually important stuff that people need to know, like Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.