Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2020-01-27/Humour

Predicting the 6,000,000th article: I may fall in love all over again!

Sooner or later every Wikipedian will enjoy their 15 minutes of Wiki-fame. Mercurywoodrose is now getting his, having won the 6,000,000 pool by most closely predicting when Wikipedia would record its 6,000,000th article. He predicted that the milestone would be reached on December 1, 2019. Second place goes to ϢereSpielChequers who predicted September 12, 2019. The Signpost proposed a serious interview with Mercurywoodrose. He did not cooperate. -S

  • Signpost: What are you going to do with the $6,000,000 prize? (just kidding!)
  • Mercurywoodrose: I don't know, but if i get in a catastrophic test plane accident and have my legs, one arm, and one eye destroyed, I know what I am doing with $6,000,000. Gentlepersons, they can rebuild me. They have the technology. They have the capability to build the world's first bionic Wikipedian. Mercurywoodrose will be that editor. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster, with more reliable sources.
  • SP: Do you remember why you made the December 2019 prediction 6 years ago?
  • MW: I figured I knew just enough about mathematics to make a somewhat accurate back of the napkin estimate for the date, factoring in a bit of the slowdown in new article creation, and believing that this downward trend in new articles would continue. I'm sure I must have done an actual calculation, but the methods I used would probably give an actual statistician apoplexy. It was a miseducated guess.
  • SP: What's the biggest change you've seen in Wikipedia in that time (other than a couple of million articles)?
  • MW: A team of editors with way too much time on their hands created an automation system for creating new Portals. What's a Portal, you ask? Exactly... On a side note, the biggest change that did NOT occur is that the Deletionists and the Inclusionists are still engaged in a Manichean struggle, with neither side winning. The proof of this is that the number of articles has not gone to zero, decreased by a factor of Thanos, or expanded to infinity and beyond.
  • SP: How many articles have you created?
  • MW: 310 using created by me, and adding up the total articles by HAND. Computers! Ha! Who needs them! I did get into the top 400 editors by edit count, which of course is a meaningless measure, but it was fun while it lasted.
  • SP: What's your prediction for the 8,000,000th article? (the 7,000,000 pool is closed)
  • MW: I cannot predict that, it's beyond my processing capacity as a quasi-quantum computer, but I know what i would LIKE it to be. An article about ME, of course. Hopefully for something worthwhile, not notorious. First Wikipedian to be shot into the Sun for being too sarcastic? Well, that's sort of both...
  • SP: What's your favorite article out of the last million created (since November 1, 2015)?
  • MW: Aside from my own articles created during this time, of which my favorite subject is Jen Bartel (she rocks), I don't know. How about new articles on things I like? My first thought, I really loved Joker. That article was created, oh, wow, on my birthday! I didn't expect that!.
  • SP: Anything else you want to add? Feel free to be serious, philosophical, sentimental, humorous, thank your mother, etc.
  • MW: I'm a little sad that new editors will be facing an ever more complete work, with fewer areas to expand without being an expert. Perhaps we should consider erasing Wikipedia every few decades, and recreating it from scratch, to give new editors that initial experience of joy and wonder that they can be part of this, not just an observer, by clicking that innocent little "edit" tab. But maybe there is hope, maybe that sense of wonder will persist into the future. I know I fell in love with Wikipedia, and while I'm no longer obsessed with editing, I may fall in love all over again.