Arnon Grunberg

Secret fame


I cannot say that I’m a heavy user of Wikipedia, but nevertheless as most people I use it from time to time as I use public bathrooms from time to time. Wikipedia of course is public, but by no means a bathroom.
This insightful article by Nicholson Baker in The New York Review of Books reveals, among other things, who are the contributors of Wikipedia.
As Baker puts it: ‘Very smart people dropped other pursuits and spent days and weeks and sometimes years of their lives doing "stub dumps", writing ancillary software, categorizing and linking topics, making and remaking and smoothing out articles—without getting any recognition except for the occasional congratulatory barnstar on their user page and the satisfaction of secret fame.’ All fame should be secret. We don’t need Wikipedia for this lesson, but still it would help us a lot.