A Suggested Christmas Gift

I just gave $100 to Wikipedia.

I've heard all the stuff over the years about how it can be unreliable, or worse, to which I say: then go fix it! That's the whole point. If you don't like what you see, think it's inaccurate, plain false, or could be improved, then do something about it if you care. If you don't, then it must not be that important to you. For me, for the things I reference — mostly historical or scientific things of import to non-trivial people — I find it to be not only adequate, but frequently amazing. The idea is brilliant and I'm happy for my friend Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales whom I've never met in person, but had frequent email and USENET exchanges with from about 1995 – 1999 or so. Sadly, I lost touch with him after that (Diana, if you know how to reach him, could you clue him into this post — and my pseudonym from back in the day?).

Here's what Jimmy has accomplished.

At its core, Wikipedia is driven by a global community of more than 150,000 volunteers – all dedicated to sharing knowledge freely. Over almost eight years, these volunteers have contributed more than 11 million articles in 265 languages. More than 275 million people come to our website every month to access information, free of charge and free of advertising.

But Wikipedia is more than a website. We share a common cause: Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's our commitment.

I can imagine getting pretty excited about such a lofty goal.

So, if you use Wikipedia yourself, or, you enjoy other resources (such as this blog) that make heavy use of it, won't you consider a donation today?

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Brock on December 25, 2008 at 15:00

    I've already donated because it is awesome (they certainly get my money over NPR), but it's also really frustrating at times if you disagree with the consensus on anything (or worse, disagree with a zealot with more free time than you). Any attempt to introduce a contradictory opinion often gets deleted before the day is out, even if the evidence is on your side. There are many examples of this happening. It's one of the reasons I like Knol and Squidoo – authorial power to at least get a word in edgewise.

  2. Richard Nikoley on December 25, 2008 at 15:12

    I have never even attempted to edit or author an article on Wikipedia and probably never will. That's what's great about division of labor, and I can just donate or not donate. Hopefully, if there's enough value in it, support will be sufficient to ensure a continuous improvement process.

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