Recently, on Tumblr

Day 28. 66 pages, 32,070 words.

Yesterday, I found this.

Yes, it is the TL;DR Wikipedia.

Now, I accept that I have ranted at great, possibly-even-ironically-extended length about the whole “tl;dr” thing before, and what it means for the intellectual world in general. Attention spans have never been shorter and the “tl;dr” culture can arguably be seen as a sign of our collapse into black holes of inattentiveness.

However, this is a little bit of genius, isn’t it?

Take that, Wikipedia!

Needs more pages, as of writing this post there’s only about 20.

The TL;DR Wikipedia encapsulates what is right about the “tl;dr” concept, while lampooning what is wrong with it and making fun of those who use it as a platform for either wilful ignorance or laziness-based apathy.

It elevates mockery and self-deprecation to an art-form, and in that sense I cannot find it in my black, shrivelled little heart to hate it. Because that is what good satire does, even if a case could probably be made for this being unintentional. Plus, like Wikipedia itself it seems to be a free-for-all.

Yes, there’s probably danger in a bite-sized series of dumb, inaccurate answers to encyclopaedic topics. It could be a symptom of growing acceptance or just of increasing tolerance in the form of humour. And yes, I still hate the idea of “tl;dr” where it applies to any situation in a non-humorous context. But damn if this isn’t a humorous context.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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