In my writing, I love to toy with the idea of truth and tinker with facts. Objectivity? Historical accuracy? These are things that I, honestly, throw out the window when I write. They are much less capital-T True to me than the feelings behind things.
I do, however, use wikipedia often when I write. It’s great fodder. Often the articles show connections between things that I may not have thought of or give details about things that I didn’t know. Honestly, I am one of those people who goes to wikipedia not only for my facts, but also for my inspiration.
I have heard many times about the dubiousness of wikipedia’s factual accuracy. I have even seen articles on wikipedia say things that I am sure were incorrect. So, I know that people twiddle with the articles. Wikipedia vandalism is not something that’s a new idea for me. But I had always thought of it as something playful and silly. Never before as something subversive.
Some of my (very amazing) friends from university are in the process of making a film about the characters behind wikipedia vandalism. Their research so far is incredibly interesting. It touches on themes of objectivity, the control of information, and subversion. They have started a kickstarter campaign to fund the project, and I, for one, am very excited about seeing it come to fruition.
In support of this project, I would like to start a wikipedia-based prompt. If you go to the main page of wikipedia, on the left-hand side, there is a ‘Random Article’ button. Flip through 10-15 random articles and see how many of them you can fit into one piece of writing. Once you start randomly flipping through random articles, you really get a sense of how much information wikipedia holds. From tiny towns in Europe to obscure sports participants, I am sure that you will mostly come across things you ordinarily wouldn’t write about. It should be quite interesting.
Good luck and let me know what you come up with!