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NEW YORK, NY — Last Wednesday, thousands of students of all levels of education woke up to find their sole source of knowledge gone.
Visitors arriving at Wikipedia were greeted by a black screen, with a small number of words on it. The words, if read, explained that Wikipedia had temporarily shut its doors to protest a congressional bill that could shut it down permanently.
Having left their assignments until two days before their Friday morning due dates, the nation’s students had no time to read the forty or so explanatory words and instead made heartfelt appeals to Twitter, demanding it inform them of why they could not access Wikipedia.
Suddenly finding that they had no access to knowledge whatsoever, mass confusion descended on the student population, and the finger pointing began. Everyone from Julian Assange to the Soap industry was indicted.
After much investigative texting and all-caps ranting, Wikipedia emerged as the prime suspect in Wikipedia’s disappearance.
“I think Wikipedia planned this shit,” says class president hopeful Daniel Ornelas, having outdone his fellow students by skimming the three explanatory sentences on Wikipedia’s blackout page, or perhaps even clicking the “Learn more” link.
Once the perpetrator was identified, the outrage was emphatic and palpable as the students recognized the abject injustice in Wikipedia’s temporary refusal to continue to provide invaluable information for free:
By diligently studying volumes of text-message sized broadcasts, the more astute students learned that Wikipedia’s disappearance was due to a conflict between political forces and some manner of activism — but for the throngs of desperate classgoers, a day’s worth of Wikipedia access proved to be an unthinkable price to pay for any sort of protest, regardless of what it hoped to achieve. Assignments could be set back 24 hours or more, grades on the coming test could suffer dramatically.
Yet most students, too distressed by their impending assignments, gave up trying to decipher the complex motives behind Wikipedia’s inaccessible condition, and had no alternative but to continue shouting their grief into the surviving social networks.
Enraged at Wikipedia for not being there that day, students harbored no patience for the day’s other development — rumors about a possible connection between the catastrophic effect of Wikipedia’s temporary absence, and the reason it decided to make itself temporarily absent. Crucial schoolwork had to be done, and Wikipedia was not upholding its end of the unspoken agreement it has had with students since 2007.
Though it seemed like it might last forever, the horrific day eventually came to a satisfying close. Service was restored at midnight eastern time, and a nation of beleaguered youths were finally able to resume their educations.
As relieved students everywhere pushed aside their respective stacks of almost-used of library books and got to work, a Palo Alto senior addressed Wikipedia with a forgiving tweet, summarizing his generation’s sentiment almost perfectly: “As long as you never let this happen again, I don’t even wanna know why you’re being such a bitch today.”
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