Tuesday, September 12, 2006
When I was in 5th grade, a salesman came to our house at 275 Van Street and sold my dad a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica and a set of Junior Encyclopaedia Britannica. I remember how excited I felt and looked at them constantly. The junior set had red covers and were full of pretty pictures referencing the subject matter. The set graced the bookshelf in my room and I looked through them often...then as years went by, I poured through the real set - they were heavy with dark brown covers and made me feel smart. The sets, probably a little obsolete these days, now grace my sister's bookshelves in her own home. My sister and I are amazed at the money dad must have spent on them. Even though she has DSL and her 7 year old son Cody has already started learning how to the use the internet, she makes sure that they take down the encyclopaedias. She doesn't remember that salesman coming to our house, but she certainly recognizes the benefits from that visit. Nowadays, we're all internet and Wikipedia is nabbing its share of media attention these days. I love Wikipedia because anybody can load their personal knowledge and then there is opportunity for other users to refute or add to that knowledge. Information about people and subject matters that would probably never make it to the Encyclopaedia Britannica is there now. Arguably, some of it most certainly less than factual but that's part of the fun and readers are encouraged to follow links and seek out further sources. And, time for a plug, nobody is more Wiki-riffic than my friend David Shankbone. Check him out.