Baxil (baxil) wrote,

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What happens when you stir lots of sugar into hot water, add a string, and let the mixture sit? Rock candy.

What happens when you stir lots of fans into the Internet, add a wiki, and let the mixture sit? This.

As any chemist can tell you, crystallization takes place when you have a supersaturated solution and a nucleus on which to build. This works for dissolved solids. It also works for knowledge.

Wikipedia dismissively calls these sorts of articles fancruft, building from the geek slang term "cruft": accumulated unpleasant detritus. Of course, Wikipedia's not out to haphazardly catalog knowledge, they're out to build a respectable reference. Collecting trivia is the Internet's job.

The Internet shines at it. And, frankly, this is a good thing.

These sorts of compilations are never going to be in fashion. There are a million lists out there of every Pokémon ever named*, and most will end up being both useless and boring to the vast majority of humanity. (Boring being the cardinal sin. Don't tell me web surfers have ever cared about utility.)

But sometimes -- like with the complete list of ACME products in classic Warner Bros. cartoons -- you just have to sit back and marvel: Here is a pristine, flawless piece of crystallized Internet.

Enjoy the taste.

* I use this example purely for its value as a stereotype. If the particular example is distracting you, just substitute your own; one geek's passion is another geek's snarkbait.
Tags: struh won niarb ym

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