FUCK THE MILLENNIUM, Arsenal, Thursday (NNN) — Wikipedia, the world’s fourth most popular website, has prominently featured the article “Gropecunt Lane,” a mediæval English name for a town’s prostitution district, on its front page today.
“The article has been voted one of the two thousand best on Wikipedia,” said Mark Pellegrini, the English Wikipedia Featured Articles Dictator. “The treatment is sober, academic and entirely educational in nature. Also, cunt.”
According to the article, the word “cunt” has been used for female genitalia in English since the year 1230, being considered increasingly obscene since the 1500s. The word comes from the Ancient Egyptian “qefen-t,” meaning “queef.” In The Miller’s Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer writes “And prively he caughte hire by the queynte” — the origin of the saying “how quaint.” Later noted usage includes John McCain’s paean of praise to his wife as plastering her makeup on “like a trollop, you goddamn cunt.” The article concludes by noting that BUSH IS GAY LOLOLOL.
Employers around the world have taken this as their excuse to block Wikipedia so people can get on with real work, such as Facebook and Twitter. The BBC News At One reported the incident with the introduction “Good afternoon and cunt.” Monocle-wearing 4chan users have started the Campaign for Real Cunts “to restore the old street names and bring back this piece of sadly vandalised British heritage.” The Internet Watch Foundation’s website has collapsed under the load of everyone going to report Wikipedia, just to say “hi and fuck you.”
The featuring of the word “cunt” on the world’s top educational site is part of an ongoing programme to avert Internet censorship by communicating to children that swearing and sex in the streets are boring, tedious and annoying things that old people do. “It’s brilliant!” said Australian Senator Steven Fielding. “With luck, we can make knowledge itself and the whole ungodly Enlightenment programme un-‘cool’ as well. Also, uh, ‘ca-arnt.'”
REGISTRAR’S OFFICE, University of Bums on Seats, Wednesday (NNN) — The government is to set up an emergency fund to give students at risk of dropping out a chance to complete their degree online through the Open University.
Those who wanted to do something substantive but who were close to failing will be redirected to more practically achievable goals, such as Bachelor of Hairdressing, Master of Building-site Administration or the very popular Diploma in Pub Studies. The ongoing Continuing Ph.D in Welfare Receiving will also be enhanced.
The government has launched a taskforce on online learning to form a committee to commission a study on a team surveying initial approaches to help official goals of 50% of students getting a degree. “British universities will lose their leading international standing unless they become much more radical in their use of new technology,” said Lord Mandelson today. “The blinding flash of inspiration at the heart of the Open University lay in the way it challenged the idea of what a classroom was, and set up a structure such that students could be charged full fees for study without having to run an actual campus for them. Lectures have had their day. The ‘edgeless university,’ which involves a modern and sophisticated fees office, some old textbooks and an email autoresponder, has limitless potential.”
Jobseekers are typically expected to have a University degree for the stringent intellectual demands of modern careers such as call centre operator, receptionist, manure shoveller or embittered bomb-throwing anarchist radical turned local council civil servant.
GOSH, Well I never, Thursday (NNN) — English has now acquired its millionth word, “bollocks,” according to Global Language Monitor, a website monitoring the extraordinary emergence of new English throughout the world.
“The Million Word milestone brings to notice the coming of age of English as the first truly global language,” said Paul J.J. Payack. “We looked at slang, word-marriages with other languages and the thousands of new terms spawned by the internet. But really, most of them were such utter bollocks that it was the only reasonable candidate.”
“Bollocks” has a long and venerable history, first showing up in the 12th century. “But it keeps reviving itself. ‘Web 2.0,’ ‘n00b,’ ‘Jade Goody,’ ‘festering fucknugget’ … it’s all bollocks.”
Global Language Monitor uses a Predictive Quantities Indicator to assess whether a usage qualifies as a word: each contender is analysed according to depth (number of citations) and breadth (geographic extent of word usage), as well as the number of times a word has appeared in the global print and electronic media, the Internet, blogs, and social media. Then they throw away the numbers, get blind drunk on White Lightning while shouting the most appalling bits of the Daily Mail at each other and declare it all a load of “bollocks.”
“People moan about the degradation and decline of the English language,” said Mr Payack, “but the worst offenders are the media, who will print any old self-promoting rubbish that will fill space and save them working for a living. Global Language Monitoring is me and my invisible mate Charlie who lives on this bench with me. Bollocks to the lot of yer! Bollocks! They put a bollocks radio in my head! Bollocking bollocks!”
CLIMBIÉ, Hackney, Tuesday (NNN) — ContactPoint, a detailed database of all 11 million children under 18 in England, has become available to childcare professionals for the first time and definitely not to anyone else.
The government says it will enable more co-ordinated services for children and ensure none slips through the net. “Our outsourcers estimate five million billion hours of professionals’ time and a billion trillion zillion pounds in duplication of services can be saved by giving them lots of money,” said England children’s minister Delyth Morgan. “The database is essential to the protection of the most vulnerable members of our society: the bureaucrats and politicians.”
The 390,000 child care professionals, local council bin inspectors and NHS janitors with access will all have gone through stringent security training and vetting by EDS Capita Goatse. “What could possibly go wrong?” said Morgan. More than 51,000 children deemed “vulnerable,” “famous” or “related to a politician” will have their identities and information shielded.
Security issues have been a perennial concern, with aspects of the system possibly being illegal under data protection laws. However, the system will initially be tested in 17 local authorities in the north west of England, because it’s not like their children matter anyway. Public review of the transparency of the system will be available with the release of a complete dump of the system database on CD-ROM and USB memory stick, to be left down the side of the seat on a train service yet to be specified.
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ZDNET, Mediocre Grauniad, Saturday (NNGadget) — I’ve been using Wolfram Alpha, the new web encyclopedia social search networking mathematics engine, for almost ten minutes now.
And I can tell you — despite fears it would create a black hole when switched on, ending all life on earth, it’s no iPhone killer.
It’s good, to be sure, and “I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that” is the appropriate answer for so many queries (and “Wolfram Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input” is for pretty much all the others), but I can’t see Wolfram Alpha successfully vanquishing any such titans as iPhones, Twitter, Windows 7 or Zune.
Stephen Wolfram is less than amused. “Your petty queries miss the point. The queries Wolfram Alpha cannot answer are not worth answering. Until you foolish Internet users realise the value of my brilliant creation, you will merely continue to stumble about, blind and helpless, as your pitiful ‘human’ civilisation has done for so long. I knew I should have charged for it. You don’t deserve it free.”
But can it replace Facebook? Are we worthy of blurry drunk photos of girls we vaguely know from a knowledgeable, curated source? Will Wolfram Alpha add a third answer, “REPLY HAZY TRY AGAIN LATER”? I’ll be sure to be here all month, filling space with the finest analytical prognostication on the subject. It sure beats working.
THE MEMORY HOLE, Jim Callaghan Primary, Wednesday (NNN) — Primary school pupils should learn how to blog and use internet sites like Twitter and Wikipedia and spend less time studying history, says a review of the primary school curriculum in England by Sir Jim Rose of Ofsted.
Students will also be required to familiarise themselves with podcasts, the iTunes store, the Pirate Bay, b3ta and 4chan. They will gain fluency in handwriting and keyboard skills and learn how two use a spell chequer proper Lee. Literature classes will involve young adult novels written entirely in txt spk.
Earlier versions of the proposal suggested students learn about AltaVista, GeoCities and the dangers of internet paedophiles on Usenet.
Pupils will no longer have to study the Victorian period or the Second World War. But ministers said British history would always be a core part of education. “The history books will undergo proper Party review, of course,” said Schools Minister Jim Knight. “The life of Jade Goody is far more relevant to modern culture than patriarchal oppression from dead white males like Churchill or Cromwell.”
The move has met some opposition. “How will kids understand Hitler jokes?” said Mary Bousted of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, “or how Hitler instantly makes any joke funnier? Will anyone watch the UK Hitler Channel again?”
Wikipedia welcomed the move, looking forward to more twenty thousand word articles on minor characters in Charlie & Lola. “Our coverage of Sizzles the dog will be enhanced immeasurably,” said administrator WikiFiddler451. “Of course, my article on Lotte’s fur coat just reached ‘featured’ status.”
“RT@neilhimself Bally dashed curriculum bally dashed hors de combat. Tish, fie and pish. Maybe they’re finally getting their arse in gear xxx,” noted Stephen Fry.
SODOM, London W1, Monday (NNN) — Catholic schools fear being forced to promote Islam and homosexuality under a new legally-binding code of conduct for teachers.
Catholic leaders say Church teachings prevent it from allowing its parishioners to treat homosexuals as if they were human. “Next they’ll be stopping us from taking the kids hunting sodomites on horseback with hounds. It’s political correctness gone mad!”
Principle 4 of the draft General Teaching Council code states that teachers must “proactively challenge discrimination” and “promote equality and value diversity in all their professional relationships and interactions.” There was an “understandable fear” that this requirement could be used to oppose faith schools per se, and possibly even hamper them getting government charters and funding and juicy, juicy charitable status.
Equalities Minister Harriet Euro said there was no scope for exemptions. “We will stay true to our commitment in tackling discrimination in terms of sexual orientation, gender, race, height, weight, language, ability, intelligence or species,” she told New Communist magazine. “Until the Pope not only makes homosexual intercourse a mandatory part of mass but also personally demonstrates the proper use of a condom in Vatican Square on a male who is actually over the age of consent, the Catholic Church is guilty of genocide under European Commission regulations. You can either be against discrimination or you are personally responsible for it. All of it. In any case, you will be assimilated.”
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DO-AS-YOU-PLEASE, Faraway Tree, Sunday (NNN) — Half of British adults do not believe in evolution, with at least 22% preferring the theories of creationism or intelligent design and 10% believing in young Earth creationism, according to a survey by religious thinktank Theos.
Coincidentally, 35% of these respondents were found to have family trees bearing less resemblance to a branching structure than to a briar bush, and 12% considered people with ten fingers to be “signs of the devil at work.”
“We need to do whatever we can to stop ‘evil-lution,’ as I call it,” said Stephen Green of Christian Voice from his backroads homestead in deepest Carmarthenshire. “To this end, we must preserve the miracle of God’s grace of sexual reproduction and focus it inwards. Like breeding thoroughbred race horses or pedigree Chinese Cresteds.” Two of his hands emphasised this statement with a particularly striking banjo riff while the other one was holding the phone, with vocal harmonies courtesy the parasitical twin head attached to his rump.
Later this month scientists and academics from across Europe will meet in Dortmund, Germany, to discuss evolution and creationism and specific difficulties regarding the acceptance of evolution theory in their home countries. “We’re hoping they’ll be a self-solving problem as they get out-competed by amoebas, fungus and Essex girls,” said Professor Richard Dawkins, “as long as we can stop them taking the rest of us with them.”
WIKIALITY, San Francisco, Monday (NNN) — The online user-generated social networking site Wikipedia and the venerable Encyclopædia Britannica are both considering radical changes in how they are run.
Wikipedia is proposing a software change that would see revisions on some articles being approved before they went live on the site. “Our featured articles on subjects such as 4chan cannot be sullied with false reports and vandalism BUSH IS GAY LOLOLOLOL,” said Jimmy Wales.
The change has proven controversial. “It’s a slippery slope,” said administrator “WikiFiddler451” (real name WikiViolin451). “I don’t see how we can reasonably keep the Pokémon and Naruto entries sufficiently up-to-date and welcoming of new contributors. I understand the queue for edits to go live could be up to an hour. The occasional accusation of paedophilia against minor public figures in the page that’s top Google hit on their name is a small price to pay for the most up-to-date neutrality.”
Meanwhile, the Encyclopædia Britannica has considered adopting “wiki”-like methods (from the Hawaiian word “wikiwiki,” meaning “your proposed edit is stalled on a six-month discussion by obsessive nerds who failed a Turing test and speak entirely in WP:INITIALISMS”), particularly when it comes to their publicity. Under the plan, readers and contributing experts from Encyclopædia Dramatica will help expand and maintain press releases about those deemed “suppressive” by the editorial board, comparing them to public toilets and assorted unflattering Internet memes, and darkly insinuating that Google only pushes Wikipedia because they’re in it for the money.
However, Britannica said it would not follow in letting a wide range of people make contributions to its press slander. “We will require UnNews accreditation at the very least,” said Britannica president Andrew Keen. “Citation is needed.”
BACKBENCH RUFFIANS, Madchester, Wednesday (NNN) — MP Graham Stringer has claimed that dyslexia “does not exist” and is merely a “cruel fiction” to cover up poor teaching.
“I am not, for one minute, implying that all functionally illiterate people take drugs and engage in illegal activities,” he said, “but the value of stringing ’em all up would be remarkable. To this end, I am moving to have dyslexia declared a criminal offence under anti-terror legislation.
“Also, we’re going to do something about those laggards taking up hospital beds and the evil scum criminally claiming disability, not to mention the layabouts and parasites claiming they should get a State pension just because they’ve ‘retired.’
“Synthetic Phonics™ will cure everything! It will simultaneously let the children pass tests and yet be so bored silly by deciphering words as if they’re coded messages that they’ll stick to The Sun and cause us much less trouble in the future.”
Synthetic Phonics was famously tested in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland on a small selected group of bright students of the sort who would learn to read off cereal packets and road signs given half a chance. “That it failed when tested on thickos is obviously due to PFI. That’s my backbench ‘rebel’ cred, by the way.”
He says the dyslexia industry should be “abolished. Next they’ll be advocating ‘genes’ and the ‘germ theory’ and ‘evolution.’ They should be convicted of war crimes in The Hague and sentenced to death, with the psychiatrists. I also have this excellent selection of reading comprehension texts by the noted educationalist and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. Have you heard of him?”
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