Write for Wikipedia

Over the last couple of days, I spent a lot of time wondering what web content I could create, all by my own.

Narrowing down on an answer was not easy.

I have lived three decades on this planet. Been there, done that – but would it interest anyboy at all?

Ideally, I’d like to create content that lasts forever.

But what is it that lasts forever?

People change companies. Companies change businesses. Businesses change technologies. Technologies change. Even science changes.

No matter what I write today, I’m cluttering up the disk space of some server.

If what I write does not serve a purpose today or is not required to be preserved for future, there is no point in my writing it. I only hope that a few bloggers realise this before they waste their efforts.

In these few years that I’ve known the net, I’ve read through a large number of blog sites, checked many search engines for the content they index and browsed through a large number of other websites created by individuals and companies.

I would argue that internet should be used only constructively for education and archiving and passing on our wisdom to the future generations.

All those websites out there that sell sleaze and whose only purpose is to make money would definitely disagree with me.

Internet, after all, is yet another product of the human mind and has consequently evolved to reflect the human mind. There are a great many number of things in it that have a varying degree of utility and legality.

After a self humbling experience of browsing the internet, which is as difficult as trying to understand the human mind itself, a tired traveller can just ask for two things.

“Organisation and structure.”

This is what Wikipedia has perfected.

To me, seeking knowledge on Google represents “the struggle of the mind to find a solution amidst chaos”.

Google is, beyond all doubts, a great tool for the internet. Given that the internet itself is the byproduct of actions of nerds, musicians, artists, perverts, maniacs, grand mothers, lawyers, psychopaths, educators, kids and pretty much every one else, it is natural that seeking knowledge from the internet is as chaotic like what it is today.

Wikipedia, on the other hand, to me represents order.

I am a structured learner. By typing the same search string into Wikipedia, I’ve often learnt much more than what I’ve learnt from Google.

Wikipedia does not help if you are looking to download warez, cracks, source codes for viruses or anything else illegal. Needs such as these, which have a varying degree of utility and legality, are best addressed by Google.

But what Wikipedia does, and does very well, is it lets you seek information in a very formal, structured and hyperlinked way.

I remember my excitement when I first learnt about hyperlinks from a text book without even having seen one and how fascinated I was by the idea that information can be interconnected in any manner we want. Reading through Wikipedia, I realise that the potential of the hyperlinking has been exploited like never before.

To me Wikipedia represents a dream fulfilled, a truly wonderful legacy that we will be passing on to the generations to come.

If every person can add even just one line to it in his life time, the entire 6 billion strong world can benefit from this wonderful tool. I can only urge every one to participate in the Wikipedia wonder, use it and contribute to it.

PI

Though PI has a reputation of being an irrational number (a number that can’t be expressed as a ratio of two integers), I did a small check to see which vulgar fraction within denominator <1000 comes closest to PI


Fraction Value % error
pi() 3.141592654
22/7 3.142857143 0.040249943
355/113 3.14159292 0.000008491
1043/332 3.141566265 -0.000839973
1753/558 3.141577061 -0.00049633
2152/685 3.141605839 0.000419718

Remembering Gibran

Then a woman said, “Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.”And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Give me oil in my lamp

I perhaps didn’t sing enough of this song when I was taught it at seven. As a little boy I just wondered what Hosanna meant. I didnt like the song because it was so full of Hosanna anyway.

I still don’t know what Hosanna means, there are no authoritative meanings assigned to it as much as I could find from the internet. Possible origins are as varied as Old english, Late Latin and ofcourse Hebrew.

But as I grew up this song took a different meaning. I began to like the simple words that make powerful expressions.

I dont know when I will ever get to sing this song again, or perhaps if I will sing it out loud at all.

But here goes.

Give me oil in my lamp

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Keep me burning ’til the break of day.

Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, to the King of Kings.
Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, to the King of Kings.

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Give me joy in my heart, I pray.
Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Keep me singing ’til the break of day.

Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, to the King of Kings.
Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, to the King of Kings.

Give me love in my heart, keep me serving. Give me love in my heart, I pray.
Give me love in my heart, keep me serving. Keep me serving ’til the break of day.

Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, to the King of Kings.
Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, to the King of Kings.

Give me peace in my soul, keep me praising. Give me peace in my soul, I pray.
Give me peace in my soul, keep me praising. Keep me praising ’til the break of day.

Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, to the King of Kings.
Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, to the King of Kings.

There Shall be showers of Blessing

Year 1993.

One of my close friends, who helped me through a surgery just a few months back suggested that I spend a week end in a Christian camp with him. I agreed, though I am not a Christian by birth, and was present there for two full days, praying, worshipping and singing the glory of Jesus. I learn’t many new hymns and this one was particularly close to my heart.

My friend has moved on with life now. Some where we even pick-up disagreements and we are no longer in touch. But all said and done, he was a good Christian and I regret that I didn’t use him to learn more about Christianity, despite his repeated offerings to help me learn.

I suddenly remember this song today and decided to check if it is available for download. There are only 135 listings even of the Lyrics. I will be pleased if some one is willing to share an mp3 version of this song with me.

There Shall be showers of Blessing

There shall be showers of blessing
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

(Chorus)
Showers of blessings,
Showers of blessings we need;
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead

There shall be showers of blessing
Precious, reviving again,
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

(Chorus)
Showers of blessings,
Showers of blessings we need;
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead

There shall be showers of blessing
Send them upon us, O Lord!
Grant to us now a refreshing,
Come and now honor Thy Word!

(Chorus)
Showers of blessings,
Showers of blessings we need;
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead

There shall be showers of blessing
O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

(Chorus)
Showers of blessings,
Showers of blessings we need;
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead