by Paul Jacob
I've said it before: I like free stuff. I especially like Wikipedia.
The online encyclopedia was designed to let just about anyone write and edit its articles. Working on similar principles to the Linux operating system for computers, Wikipedia is written and edited by thousands upon thousands of volunteers around the world.
Too much time on their hands? Well, their interest and dedication certainly has helped me, for I've gotten a lot of use out of Wikipedia. Its articles are often far more exhaustive and informative than the Encyclopedia Britannica's.
I've talked in the past about Wikipedia's vulnerability to attack. Recently, an academic writer put Wikipedia to the test by attacking its integrity.
Not with argument, but by adding errors into several obscure parts of the encyclopedia. He expected the errors to languish for a days and weeks and maybe even months, before anyone would notice exactly what he had deliberately snuck into the resource.
Boy, did Wikipedia's volunteers prove him wrong! Within three hours, they eradicated each one of his errors . . . and even excoriated him for inventing stuff!
This got me thinking. Government's supposed to be a citizen-involved, self-correcting system. But modern politics doesn't work fast, or well.
Wouldn't it be neat if America would run as well as Wikipedia? Wouldn't it be great if we citizens could more quickly fix the country every time the government screws up, or malign people corrupt the system?
Think outside the box, people!
Paul Jacob's "Common Sense" is published by Americans for Limited Government. Their website can be visited at www.limitedgov.org.