Monday, April 23, 2012

Self-Diagnosis: Wikiphilia

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this enough, but I love Wikipedia. There was a time in my life when my thirst for knowledge was crippled by my uncharted apathy. I would wonder how old Harrison Ford was, or I would be curious about how the nervous system works. And that would be the end of it. I didn't want to search for an answer. So a random thought would simply wander into space, unhindered, unanswered, and unimportant. And then came Wikipedia. And suddenly I have demographics, filmographies, and more information on a myriad of topics than I could ever have hoped for. And some of it even has sources!

And now I feel like a genius. I know Jeopardy questions. I bore people with unnecessary trivia. It's great! But with great power comes great responsibility (according to Spider-Man's surrogate father). I have to be careful not to get myself into trouble. Because it's very tempting to correct people. Like the lady at work who said that all Arabian horses are white. I knew (after consulting Wikipedia) that she was wrong. But it was a mistake to tap her on the shoulder and interrupt her phone call just so I could tell her she was wrong.

And the other problem I have is that I'm tempted to make jokes that would come off as pretentious. For example, after extensive Wikipedia research, I've diagnosed myself with Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia. It's just a fancy name for a very normal heart rate thing. It means that my heart rate increases when I inhale and decreases when I exhale. It means absolutely nothing. But I'm really tempted to make this my Facebook status just to freak people out:

"Just so everybody knows, I recently found out that I have Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia. Apparently there's no treatment for it."

And every word of that is true. But I have a feeling that people wouldn't find it as funny as I would. And I have an even stronger feeling that my wife wouldn't find it funny at all. So I probably won't post it (yet).

(Oh, and by the way, Harrison Ford will turn 70 this summer. But the silent film actor of the same name died in 1957 at the age of 73.)

1 comment:

Leah Hollett said...

I totally giggled about the silent film actor...