Last night time, I used to be casually questioning (as you do) which songs from Scottish digital duo Boards of Canada’s seminal debut album, Music Has the Right to Children, use audio samples from Sesame Street? It’s the form of idle fact-checking that people in the twenty first century are blessed to take pleasure in, and so (as you do), I whipped out my smartphone to Google it.
Thirty seconds later, I received so aggravated, I downloaded the Wikipedia app as an alternative.
The downside I confronted is not a brand new one. Many individuals have famous the slow degradation of Google’s search lately, partly a results of macro modifications to the internet’s construction and partly Google’s personal fault for relentlessly privileging its personal advertisements and companies. And on this specific case, after I searched for the album in query, I needed to scroll previous the following:
Only then did I attain the end result I needed: Wikipedia itself. (Turns out that Sesame Street samples are used on a number of tracks together with “The Color of the Fire” and “Aquarius.” Neat!)
I do know, I do know. This is hardly an arduous journey or an essential downside. But in my infinite privilege and petulant want for frictionless entry to trivia, this little scrolling mission riled me up mightily. In reality, it received me pondering: why the hell am I Googling these things anyway? If half of my Google searches on mobile are simply Wikipedia lookups, why not reduce out the intermediary altogether?
So I did: I downloaded the Wikipedia app and may wholeheartedly suggest you do the identical.
I’ll loudly declaim to whoever will pay attention that Wikipedia is truly considered one of the true wonders of the web
It’s not simply that Google search on mobile is dangerous (it is) or that Google shouldn’t be rewarded for its monopoly place (it shouldn’t); it’s additionally that the Wikipedia app is… kinda enjoyable, significantly when you’re a nerd with an affinity for factoids. I don’t find out about you, however give me a couple of beers and subsequent to no provocation, and I’ll loudly declaim to whoever will pay attention that Wikipedia is truly considered one of the true wonders of the web: an honest-to-goodness reward to humanity that, regardless of its quite a few failings, offers exponentially extra utility than hurt on this shabby, fallible world of ours. In reality, after I give it some thought, a lot of what I think about to be “good” or “useful” about “technology” or “modern life” primarily boils right down to “having access to Wikipedia all the time.” So why not make that simpler?
Of course, there are many areas wherein Google will proceed to reign supreme — for locations, information, and imprecise searches for stuff you half bear in mind, however for a sure set of use instances, Wikipedia is simply quicker and extra handy. In reality, it additionally looks like a greater strategy to waste time on my telephone. What’s this, I ask, as I open up the app. An image of the day? Don’t thoughts if I do. Oh, and a high 5 most-read article checklist? Send ‘em my way. And a map feature that lists nearby article subjects? Wikipedia, please, with your little live compass icons that direct you to nearby locations, you’re actually spoiling us.