I was browsing through the net, as I do on a daily basis, and came across McSweeney’s, the publishing house set up by Dave Eggers. Their protest page lists 10 amusing facts to get you through the day when you have no access to Wikipedia, including “8. Trees can speak. They just choose not to.” and “10. You know that girl you really like? She doesn’t like you nearly as much and never will, unless your interest in her suddenly vanishes, in which case she may well start to like you. This may seem like a paradox, and it is, assuming that a paradox is a medieval weapon of torture.”
I also tried to access Wikipedia pages at least twice today, failing to remember about the blackout. Twice. Anyway, here are my 10 ways to help you get you through a Wikipedialess day:
1. Remember what you did before Wikipedia? Nothing. Learn to do nothing again.
2. Realise that Wikipedia is run by mysterious editors who sometimes don’t get things right. They’re not gods. Good, you’ve learnt something.
3. Use your mobile phone and feel like a blackout cheat.
4. Use other sites. I know it’s difficult and feels weird but believe me there are other sites out there with information on them.
5. Switch off your site. Even if it only gets 2 visitors a day those 2 dedicated visitors will feel like you feel. Cross. And that will make you feel better. Take that Wikipedia!
6. Moan about it to your mates. This is one of those times when moaning become legitimate. It’s far better than “my milk ran out and I couldn’t get to the shop because my toilet broke and there was water everywhere so I had to wait in all day for the plumber who charged a mint…”
7. Get out. That’s right, leave the house. Leave your laptop. See the outside world. There, isn’t it beautiful? What do you mean what time does the blackout end?
8. Take up smoking again. Only joking. I meant drinking.
9. Look it up in an Encyclopedia. You must have one somewhere from 1987, given to you as a present. You never opened it. Now is the time. It’s a funny looking big thing. A book.
10. Press F5. One of the great lessons of life on the internet is that if you don’t like something press F5. Try it. Keep trying. Don’t give up.