Wikipedia will shut down Wednesday to protest SOPA, the civil-liberties-destroying law that otherwise indifferent rich internet people actually care about. A day without Wikipedia sounds terrifying and exhilarating all at once. Just imagine the possibilities!
The online encyclopedia is the sixth most popular site on the internet, handling 234 million page views each day on the English edition, which is the one shutting down. What will we do without it? The right question is, "what won't we do without it:"
- Lie to your friends. You will be able to make up so much shit Wednesday. For example, "Ricky Gervais never married his girlfriend of 35 years because he doesn't believe in God." (It's actually his girlfriend of 29 years.) Your incredulous friends will whip out their iPhones and find.... nothing.
- Make your students do actual real research on things. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales issued a "student warning" on Monday, urging people in shool to "do your homework early." But a headache for students is a boon to teachers and professors: They can force students to consult primary sources - or at least to consult secondary sources directly, rather than via an encyclopedia.
- Send enemies to Wikileaks and/or Enyclopedia Dramatica. They're sorta like Wikipedia, except you can get in trouble for viewing them at work.
Disclaimer: These probably won't work on people who've figured out how to work Google Cache.
Better ideas are, of course, welcome in the comments below.
[Image of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales via Getty Images.]