I long ago lost any interest whatsoever in writing or editing for wikipedia. There was a time, in the early aughts, when I was making a concerted effort to author bits in wikipedia. Mostly, I wrote and edited articles related to Mexican and US geography.
I gave up - mostly because I so frequently found my efforts rejected or altered beyond recognition by the wikipowers-that-be. Perhaps it was laziness on my part, or a certain vanity, but I didn't feel I could meet the requirements. So I quit.
But I still spend an inordinate amount of my online time with the vast wikithing, and I feel grateful to the many people who have stuck with content-creation, there, surpassing my own level of commitment and patience. I have even supported the wikimedia foundation with donations. I say this, proudly, while still acknowledging its faults.
The wikithing most definitely has faults.
Sometimes, if I stumble across an article with an egregious or blatent mistake or bias, I will "watch" it. I won't edit it - as I said, I don't do that anymore - but I will watch it, curious to see when someone gets around to noticing it.
About a month ago, I stumbled across this weird little stub about something called a Squeakinge Lisard. It struck me as a kind of hoax - either an outright fiction or some kind of clever, indirect effort at book promotion (via a link to a "source" which was a novel by some guy - but it turns out the link is dead, so in that case, um, not working so well as a book promotion).
I decided to draw a Squeakinge Lisard (shown at right).
I rather like this phrase, Squeakinge Lisard (especially with the archaic spelling). I would like to propose the phrase Squeakinge Lisard as a generic name for bits of information found in wikipedia that are not, in fact, true, but that have somehow managed to evade the editorial police for an unexpectedly long period of time.
I actually find the idea of bits of absurdist fiction embedded in encyclopedias to be a charming and appealing notion (e.g. Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, by Borges). But I am shocked that the wikithingers have let this Squeakinge Lisard survive so long, unedited and unobserved.
I once had a quixotic fantasy of starting my own wikithing, from the bottom up, with a single requirement: that all the content be untrue. There are people who are making various efforts at this kind of thing: there's uncyclopedia in the Onionesque satire category and there's sorolpedia in the completely fictional orbistertiesque category. I wish them the best of luck.
Meanwhile, how long will it take for the Jimmywalesites to do something about their Squeaking Lisard infestation? Let's watch together, and see...
What I'm listening to right now.
A Tribe Called Quest, "Award Tour."