I have become a fan of Laura Calder’s show French Cooking at Home on the cooking channel. A few months ago I noted here that the recipes were good, but the pacing puts me to sleep. I also pointed out that she will occasionally hold up a tray at an awkward angle to the camera. I am past all of that now. The recipes are tremendous takes on classic dishes. She has a subtly charming accent. She approaches her subject matter with informed confidence. Her James Beard Award for best cooking show (fixed location) is well earned. As her biography demonstrates, she is a master of her craft. Speaking of biographies, a comment on her home page has endeared her to me more than you can imagine:
Please note that biographical information on Wikipedia is consistently incorrect and should be ignored. If you are a journalist seeking facts about Laura Calder, please contact this Web site.
I had the opportunity to meet Andrew Mayer, author of the steampunk series The Society of Steam. He and I disagreed on a lot. I liked him a great deal. We argued about illegal downloads of copyrighted material. You would never have guesses that the one against illegal downloads (me) had zero titles in print and that the one for illegal downloads (Mayer) had two titles out with another on the way this fall or winter. It would be poetic justice for me to tell you to enjoy his immense talent on the down low, but as I am either married to or friends with the entire editorial department of his publisher, I beg you to follow the proper channels. We were spiritedly discussing an author’s right to the integrity of his creation and his right to keep others from altering his creation. We drifted in to the “impossibility” of plagiarism and I mentioned the haphazard horrors of Frankensteinian definitions on Wikipedia. I kicked a hornets’ nest.
I have used Wikipedia as a launching point to a query, but everything then has to be verified. Apparently, Wikipedia is a shibboleth among the Creative Commons crowd. Its failures, such as its unreliability, a big one for an encyclopedia in my opinion, are overshadowed by it’s vision of a whole bunch of people gathering in service of a common, noble goal. I concede. Wikipedia and its offshoot Wiktionary, are the end-all be-all of knowledge. I want to join the feel good group effort. I volunteer an adaptation from my last post of the inferior “enthusiast” to the vastly superior “enthusiant.” It’s official now.
Wiktionary has probably taken it down by now, but it existed. Tlön is coming.