Word of the Day: wiki-fact

wiki-fact (noun): Something as portrayed as fact by someone who’s sole source is the online encyclopædia, wikipedia. Earliest known usage: Jorge Cham during a lecture at the University of Cambridge, October 2007. The relationship between the variables p (probability that a wiki-fact is true), and b (the number of Internet users who believe the wiki-fact to be true) is an area of open research.

Aside: Jorge Cham is the creator and author of the popular web comic, “Piled Higher and Deeper“, sometimes described as “The Dilbert of Academia”. His talk in Cambridge was very funny although almost entirely based on the material in his comic which was a bit disappointing since I was hoping to hear more about the “inside story” on his characters. Two things he did let slip: the character of Cecilia is based on a former girlfriend and the inspiration for “Nameless Guy” is Jorge himself. After the talk Jorge signed books (which I’ve never seen on sale in this country so I was very pleased to be able to buy one) but sadly I had to rush off so wasn’t able to wait in the large queue to have it signed.