Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Reality has become a commodity"

One of the best things of being here in the States is being able to watch The Colbert Report everyday. Colbert is definitely one of the comic geniuses and he would probably go down as the most famous political comedian ever!
He is the guy who re-invented the word 'truthiness' and popularised to such an extent that it is common parlance these days. And he, in character, has supported wikipedia as a great example of truthiness! He called it 'wikiality' or reality according to wikipedia. You know the idea that if the majority feel something is a fact, it is made so... And to prove it, he asked his audience to go and change the entry on elephants to say that the elephant population has tripled in the past decade and they did it! Of course, the entry was reverted and the users were banned. And yesterday, he invented a new word - 'wikilobbying', citing a news story about how M$ hired some austrian to modify the entry on M$ in wikipedia to make it sound more favourable to the company. What this means is that if wikipedia is considered to be an encyclopedia of facts/reality, then reality is amenable to the highest bidder and hence the quote! He also made a reward offer to the first person to change the wikipedia entry on reality to his quote and people did do it! Wikipedia responded and protected the entry on reality!
Absolutely marvelous. As someone (I forget the name of the person) said, I am sad that the only meaningful political commentry comes from a comedy show!

Colbert rules!

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