Thursday, September 28, 2006

I never thought I would be a Wikipedian...

I hadn't heard of Wikipedia until about a year ago. Clearly, I had been living in a cave. I was marking a batch of papers submitted for a second year history class, and noticed that nearly all of them cited this strange Wikipedia thing. Up to that point, every single one of my teachers and professors had warned against the evils of doing research online. Needless to say, given that background and training, I was baffled that so many university students would look to an online encyclopedia! I never thought I would be a Wikipedian. Well, I suppose a lot can change in a year!

I just read up on the 'rules' of editing a Wikipedia page, and tried it out for myself. Now, I'm sorry, I promise this will be the last I blog about the Berlin memorial. I just thought I'd try to put even a little of the information on the thing that I'd accumulated to some practical use, so I edited the first paragraph of the entry on the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Before my edit, part of the last of the paragraph read, "...the stelae are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere." The issue of what the memorial tried to represent always made me uneasy. So, I added some information around that statement. The last half of the paragraph now reads: "According to Eisenman's project text, (the stelae are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere), and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. A 2005 copy of the Foundation for the Memorial's official English tourist pamphlet, however, states that the design represents a radical approach to the traditional concept of a memorial, partly because Eisenman did not use any symbolism."


(A couple of hours after posting the above blog, I was browsing through my 513 and 500 classmates' blogs. Carling's post about her Wikipedia entry on Douglas Point Nuclear Generating Station reminded me that Wikipedia doesn't want any original research. I wonder if my additions constitute original research? But, then again, neither the architect's project text nor the pamphlet are unpublished material, so maybe I'm okay?)

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