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November 7, 2006

Depressed Sociology Prof Ends Failed Wiki-Textbook Experiment

(East Lansing, MI) After "10 weeks of administrative hell," Michigan State sociology professor Phillip Jenkins is ending his novel Wiki-textbook project.

"I had hoped to bring education to humanity and reduce the costs and other limitations associated with top-quality learning materials," he said, looking glum. "But the imbeciles in my classes just couldn't see the altruism behind the project, and spent most of their time trashing the goddamned thing."

Jenkins was especially peeved at entries made in the section on Post-industrial society.

"I designed the material to reflect that the dominant characteristic of post-industrial society is not just the shift away from property or political criteria to knowledge as the foundation of power, but the character of knowledge itself ," he said, crushing a half-smoked Newport. "But instead we wind up with a passage indicating that Kevin Federline is a 'trailer trash closet butt pirate.' I ask you - is there more compelling evidence of the decline of the modern higher education student?"

A "Wiki" is a collaborative collection of interlinked web pages, all of which can be visited and edited by anyone at any time. Jenkins said that, while he was initially attracted by the "intellectual commons" and "collaborative possibilities" of a Wiki-textbook, the project was doomed from the start.

"The fact that anyone can edit means that the assholes and knuckle-draggers can edit, too," he said. "That means the three smart students who sit up front will jsut go and buy the real text, while the rest of the class learns that Auguste Comte was 'like, this dude who was born in August and liked to bang nine-year-olds.' I say:'Fuck it.' It's back to basics next semester."

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