onsdag, november 19, 2008

Liftarens Wikipedia till galaxen

Jag fick för mig att lyssna på The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy-radioserien (1978) igen och slogs av hur mycket beskrivningarna av guiden låter som Wikipedia:
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words Don't Panic inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

Det är dock också uppenbart att radioserien skrevs i en tid långt innan webben och handdatorer:
Here, press this button and the screen will give you the index, several million entries, fast wind through the index to 'V'. There you are, Vogon Constructor Fleets. Enter that code on the tabulator and read what it says.

Faktum är att texten är annorlunda i bokversionen publicerad bara ett år senare, 1979:
"You press this button here you see and the screen lights up giving you the index."

A screen, about three inches by four, lit up and characters began to flicker across the surface.

"You want to know about Vogons, so I enter that name so." His fingers tapped some more keys. "And there we are."

Det tycks också som om guiden (liksom Wikipedia) har problem med borttagningar:
"If you're a researcher on this book thing and you were on Earth, you must have been gathering material on it."

"Well, I was able to extend the original entry a bit, yes."

"Let me see what it says in this edition then, I've got to see it."

"Yeah OK." He passed it over again.

Arthur grabbed hold of it and tried to stop his hands shaking. He pressed the entry for the relevant page. The screen flashed and swirled and resolved into a page of print. Arthur stared at it.

"It doesn't have an entry!" he burst out.

Ford looked over his shoulder.

"Yes it does," he said, "down there, see at the bottom of the screen, just under Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon 6."

Arthur followed Ford's finger, and saw where it was pointing. For a moment it still didn't register, then his mind nearly blew up.

"What? Harmless? Is that all it's got to say? Harmless! One word!"

Ford shrugged.

"Well, there are a hundred billion stars in the Galaxy, and only a limited amount of space in the book's microprocessors," he said, "and no one knew much about the Earth of course."

"Well for God's sake I hope you managed to rectify that a bit."

"Oh yes, well I managed to transmit a new entry off to the editor. He had to trim it a bit, but it's still an improvement."

"And what does it say now?" asked Arthur.

"Mostly harmless," admitted Ford with a slightly embarrassed cough.

"Mostly harmless!" shouted Arthur.

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3 kommentarer:

Johan sa...

Här passar väl också med följande citat (som jag återfann) : "Liftarens guide till galaxen är en ganska ojämn bok, särskilt när det gäller redigeringen, och den innehåller en del artiklar som den tillfällige redaktören just för tillfället ansåg vara intressanta".

Fast det jag egentligen kom att tänka på, men inte hittade (har jag drömt? kommer det nånannanstans ifrån? eller grepar jag bara dåligt i pappersmedia?) gick ut på att (fritt citerat) "guiden skrevs av förbipasserande medan redaktionen var ute på lunch".

Sten sa...

Du letar i fel bok. Det där om lunch kommer från den femte boken, och eftersom den är alldeles jättedålig har du, som alla människor med god smak, givetvis raderat den ur din hjärna.

Ah, här är det:

Here, on the left-hand side of the room, reports were gathered over the Sub-Etha-Net from field researchers in every corner of the Galaxy, fed straight up into the network of sub-editor's offices where they had all the good bits cut out by secretaries because the sub-editors were out having lunch. The remaining copy would then be shot across to the other half of the building - the other leg of the 'H' - which was the legal department. The legal department would cut out anything that was still even remotely good from what remained and fire it back to the offices of the executive editors, who were also out at lunch. So the editors' secretaries would read it and say it was stupid and cut most of what was left.

(Jag har ingen smak, så jag får komma ihåg sådant.)

Johan sa...

Ok, det där var inte en riktigt lika bra beskrivning av wikipedia, med en stor byråkratisk redaktion som huvudsakligen tar bort innehåll (guiden, då).

Mitt minne råkade visst dra iväg i fel riktning.