Here, courtesy of Wikimedia, is a list of the 30 most visited pages in Wikipedia in August:

1. Home page

2. Wikipedia

3. United States

4. List of big-bust models and performers

5. JonBenet Ramsey

6. List of sex positions

7. Wiki

8. Hurricane Katrina

9. Pluto

10. List of female porn stars

11. Irukandji jellyfish

12. Pornography

13. Wii

14. World Wrestling Entertainment roster

15. Jeff Hardy [professional wrestler]

16. Pokemon

17. September 11, 2001 attacks

18. Celebrity sex tape

19. Neighbours [Australian soap opera]

20. Warren Jeffs [polygamist cult leader]

21. C programming language

22. Sasuke Uchiha [fictional anime character]

23. Volkswagen Type 2

24. Priyanka Chopra [Miss World 2000]

25. Morocco

26. Nicole Scherzinger [lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls]

27. United States Air Force

28. Batman

29. List of gay porn stars [a model of wikipedian comprehensiveness]

30. Tupac Shakur

I wonder if “list of big-bust models and performers” and “list of gay porn stars” will be included in the version of Wikipedia that’s being loaded onto those $100 MIT laptops being sent to Third World schoolkids. Oh well, as Kevin Kelly said about the Web, “I doubt angels have a better view of humanity.”

2 thoughts on “Zeitgeist

  1. Seth Finkelstein

    Now, now, Nick – of all the all criticisms of Wikipedia, one of the weakest is one which runs approximately “It has entries on popular culture, and OH MY GOD, it’s got pages about ESS-EEE-EXE, won’t somebody think of the children?”

    If you made a list of the most frequently looked up words in a dictionary, I suspect it would have a lot of sexual and swear words (and indeed, whether taboo words should be included in a dictionary is a big issue).

    But such criticisms only serve to play to the idea that Wikipedia skeptics are a bunch of stuffy fuddy-duddy killjoys who want to rule certain taboo topics out of bounds from their ivory-towered gateekeepering, while The Internet is liberating The People to peer-productively create knowledge (readers – note I’m parodying the rhetoric a Wikipedia booster might use!).

    Having popular pages on popular topics is hardly a flaw in itself.

  2. Nick Carr

    Seth, I didn’t really think of this one as being critical of Wikipedia. I just thought the list was an interesting reflection of what’s on our collective mind. I have to say that Wikipedia’s meticulously categorized “list of sex positions” appears to be quite thorough, and the illustration of the “stand and carry position without support” was a thing of beauty, though the illustration of the “T-square position” was a bit disturbing, seeing as cadavers seemed to be used as the models. Nick

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