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Wikipedia in your pocket

Russia’s censorship agency is considering blocking Wikipedia, specifically because of its Russian-language article about the invasion of Ukraine that tells a different story than the one currently being offered by the government.

That has led to Russians downloading the entirety of Wikipedia in record numbers.

Right now, anyone can download Wikipedia in any language. In English, it consists of 6.4 million-articles (including one about me) requiring 87 gigabytes with pictures and 47 gigabytes without.

I found this astounding.

Yes, 87 gigabytes is a lot of memory, but I own flash drives capable of storing 2 terabytes, or 2,000 gigabytes, of data that cost less than $100.

I can own a significant amount of all of human history – at least known so far – in an object smaller than my thumb.

As a child, my family owned less than half a set of Funk & Wagnall’s encyclopedias – A through J only – that occupied more than three feet of shelf space and didn’t include an entry about me.

We’ve come an astonishingly long way in a relatively short period of time.