The stringent adherence to style highlighted by proper citations and bibliographical formats in providing the digital end-user with objective facts is under attack by the various countercultural movements, and coupled with the reality of the younger generation’s aversion to physical reference materials and books, the alarming trends of the present and the future may lead to a complete destruction of the past.
In a blatant example of an information “sit in” that would cause the retro door-to-door salesman pitching the entire benzene scented and crisp complete expanded library of Encyclopedia Britannica to blush and requiring a desperate handkerchief swab of the forehead, the internet’s most trusted information source has been polluted by misguided activism. The small army of volunteer moderators and custodians at Wikipedia face the pending nightmare of the “pesticide paradox”, a term applicable in the software development world, which dictates that with the increasing number of corrections made, a proportional number of errors will exist. Add into this vicious cycle the expansive scale of the online encyclopedia, which rivals the collective galaxy of Oprah’s ego and book club, and the ability of an individual to freely publish as much unmoderated content on the site as possible and suddenly the Battle of Trenton was influenced by a group of colonial and Native American patriotic transvestites armed with gallant sheep dogs and inspired by the prevalence of Martha Washington in breaking through the nepionic glass ceiling of the New World.
Creating an official account complete with editorial privileges, literally takes seconds and does not require an email address or any level of identification.
In order to staunch the flow of inaccuracies and subjective and ridiculous content (there will always exist the class clown, who finds joy in the temporary corruption of information), the integrity of the Wikipedia community relies on self policing efforts in identifying and correcting fallacies. Articles that cannot be validated with evidence are flagged as lacking verification and require more information or sources. Beyond this scope of basic housekeeping, things can get dicey in hurry, especially if an instigator, who is versed in facilitating the proper style, chooses to taint an article with an agenda. A startling example of this subversive tactic of societal engineering with feminist undertones is found in the simple plot synopsis and apparent facts surrounding the science fiction movie “Blade Runner 2049”, which was released in 2017.
The Wikipedia page for the movie includes the basics of what one would expect from an encyclopedia, including storyline, cast, box office gross, audience reaction, release sites, etc. However, in this battlefield of the current polarizing political landscape, there is one notable edition to the article, which promotes feminism and shames heterosexual men, who ironically account for the majority of the film’s audience.
The paragraph, which is titled “Portrayal of women”, is deliberately included within the basic contextual facts of the movie, and highlights the opinions of feminists in grading the film’s effectiveness of forwarding the women’s movement. The senseless diatribe includes this insightful gem, “…the film is “an uneasy feminist parable about controlling the means of reproduction” and that “its villain, Niander Wallace, is consumed by rage that women can do something he cannot.” Just what every movie aficionado yearns to read about, a sociological critique spawned by a seemingly maladjusted individual. Would it be bad form to stereotype this person and the others featured in the write-up as misandrists, or is the diagnosis, too harsh and simplistic?
Intermixing the concept of fact and opinion is a toxic combination that is hazardous to the continued perpetuation of liberty and though not universally tolerated, is unable to be prevented both within the construct of the mainstream media, and unfortunately on a platform which is accepted as an oasis for facts. While the traditional bound forms of encyclopedias possess a cumbersome interface, at least the printed word is immune to the caustics and reckless edits of those in favor of mass reeducation efforts.
After all, one has to possess brilliant mental gifts in evaluating the social order of an imagined futuristic nuclear wasteland populated by synthetic human beings.