For a very long while, knowledge was privileged and so were books, and only privileged people had access to either. Then came printing presses and libraries, and in this printed age, knowledge was both more accessible and more alphabetical; one could flip through a leather-bound encyclopedia and learn all of the exports of Sweden.
Then there came a time when one didn't flip but scrolled through not only the exports of Sweden but also detailed descriptions of every single "7th Heaven" episode ever made, plus discussions of the circumstances behind Jessica Biel's departure from the show (naughty photos). This editorial triumph represents the age of Wikipedia.
As it nears its 10th birthday Saturday, it has about 17 million articles—3.5 million of them in English—making it the largest encyclopedia in the history of encyclopedias, if that's indeed what it is.
From The Washington Post
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