Friday, March 16, 2007

Death Watch: Wikipedia

When it was launched in 2001, many believed Wikipedia would revolutionize the field of death watching like nothing since the obituary page.

With its clean interface and fast loading times it was the perfect accessory for today's on-the-go death watcher. It even had an entry for "living people" -- it was like it was designed with us in mind.

Recently, questions about Wikipedia have surfaced in the academic world. Of course dropping accurate knowledge about something complicated like the Treaty of Hadiach or Classical Electromagnetism is a lot more difficult than being correct about something simple, like the proper breathing status of Sinbad, star of light family films such as Jingle All the Way and First Kid.

But it was exactly that which Wikipedia botched when it declared the portly comic had died of heart failure on Wednesday. Taken from us, like his Houseguest co-star Phil Hartman, with so much laughter left to share.

Only Sinbad isn't dead. In fact he is currently spreading his fast-talking jocular jolliness on tour. Wikipedia left death watchers out in the cold for almost an hour -- an eternity in the death watching game -- before correcting this egregious error.

A death watcher is only as good as the tools he uses. Sadly, the tool that was supposed to elevate our craft to levels past generations of death watchers could only dream about has proven a hindrance to the very integrity that gives us our authority and sets us apart.

Wikipedia might technically still be alive, but I can speak for all death watchers when I say that it is dead to us.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Maybe we can give wikipedia one more chance? If it was an hour before the bad info was corrected, that's certainly no worse than incorrectly stating that weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq just before the 2003 invasion.

I'm sure Sinbad's publicist is quite forgiving.