Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our Shared Responsibilities

On Friday for some reason there were very few of us still at work after lunch. While I suspect the reason is that we were not fast enough to get away, I have no hard evidence.
Since a lot of this company's business is dependent on our mainframe infrastructure, one of my co-workers was attempting to learn a little about that system.
He turned to Wikipedia and began to share his new-found knowledge with the rest of us.
Almost immediately, there was dispute.
Two of my co-workers with mainframe experience began to argue about time lines relating to the hardware and software versions.
One in particular began to talk about Wang Computers. And Wang emulators. And interfacing with Wangs. I thought I might die, but eventually he stopped and I could breathe again.
Anyway, the debate ended and both of the guys who had argued about the Wikipedia entry turned back to continue their original tasks as though nothing had happened.
I was dumbfounded.
"Hey!" I inquired,"That's it?"
I needed to be more direct.
"Wikipedia is wrong! Do something about it!"
They refused, citing "work ethic" and "end-of-day deliverables".
This is unacceptable. We have a responsibility to correct wrongness on the internet in all forms.
On Wikipedia, this is pretty easy.
Twice a week, I correct the erroneous entry which lists Elvis as "deceased". Anyone who has been to Graceland knows that to be a fallacy, but none of the rest of those millions of visitors a year bothers to correct Wikipedia but me.
Other places on the internet can also be wrong, and correcting these is a little more tricky. Generally, you have to email the webmaster of the site.
Since I spend vast quantities of time proofreading the entire internet, I've created a handy template. Fill in the parenthesis with your own corrections and feel free to help me in this monumental task.

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Dear Webmaster,

On your website, three pages under the link for (kittens), in the (fourth) paragraph, (second) line, I believe the word you are looking for is ("whom").
Please correct this immediately.

Thank you and good day,

(Garrick)

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For more technical websites, try this one:

Dear Webmaster/Webmistress,

While reviewing your website for accuracy and completeness, I noticed that on the fourth page under the link for (Dark Lords of the Sith) you have listed (Quotes from the Dark Lords) and among these ("Luke, I am your father"). This should be corrected to read ("No, I am your father") as (this is the actual line from the actual movie which you pretend to be an expert about yet have obviously never seen you pathetic poser).
Please correct this immediately.

Thank you and good day,

(Garrick)

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With an arsenal of friendly little emails like these, someday we can have the error-free internet we all deserve.

-G

p.s. Don't try applying either template in an email to the webmaster of Pr3++yG33kyTh1ng. I have it on good authority that (in addition to being generally unstable) he considers all errors to be "artistic statements".

2 comments:

Darrell said...

What?? There's a webmaster here?

Garrick said...

Mistress, technically.

But I have almost complete posting rights.