Surreal Internet Experience

Surreal Internet Experience

On my PC, the startup page, there is an image where you can click into information about the image. It opens this in the browser Bing, and takes you to a search page with a link to an article, some images links, etc. You can choose what you’d like to explore about the topic of the day.

Today, 7 November 2019, I clicked the link to the River Loaish. On this page, there was an ‘on this day’ in 1860 link – the presidential election of Abraham Lincoln. I noticed that there were two links to Wikipedia – one to en.wikipedia, and the other to simple.wikipedia. I opened both.

Here’s where the weirdness began: Reading through both articles, they differed slightly in their content. (I found out that the simple.wikipedia is actually a wikipedia site entitled “Simple English Wikipedia, but that wasn’t the weird part, just never knew they had that before). What caught my eye was that one of these two said the election date was November 8. Today is Nov 7. Strange.

The other thing on this page was that it mentioned the :Third Party System”. I hovered over the link, and a map of the US popped up on the screen, showing different colors of the states – how they voted in the election. The three parties were: Republican, Democrat, and Populist. The Democrats and Populist were shades of blue (populist being the lightest blue in the bottom right key).

Somehow I managed to close both the en and the simple pages by accident. Grrrr, becuase I wanted to see what happened with the incorrect date – Bing showing that “on this date” in 1860 was on the 8th, and TODAY is the 7th.

I tried to find it again by opening up a new Bing homepage – but I could never find the same link with the headline about the 1860 election, all that came up after I attempted the same thing two or three times was ” NBA star Magic Johnson announces that he’s HIB-positive 1991″. Hmmmmm. Okay.

So, then I decided to go back to my usual browser, Google Chrome to see what was up with the en.wikipedia and simple.wikipedia. That is where I noticed the logo that said “simple english” wikipedia. I opened up both en and simple with the articles about 1860 election.

OKAY, HERE is where it get weird. First of all, both articles said the election was on 6 November (not the 8), AND there was NO MENTION of the Third Party System!! en.wikipedia did have a link to the third party system down at the bottom of the page, above Notes, in a list of links entitled, “See Also”. Clicking that link took me to a page where the same US map came up:

ALSO STRANGE: Today is the 7th – neither the 6th, NOR the 8th. Bing FAIL.

LATER THAT DAY: Now I’ve repeatedly gone back to Bing, and I finally found the page! It is called, “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1860_United_States_elections”, whereas the other pages I’ve been visiting are called, :1860 United States presidential election”. So I’m not totally crazy. This pages DOES say that the election was on 8 Nov, AND it talks about the Third Party System, right in the second sentence: “The election took place during the Third Party System, shortly before the start of the Civil War. “

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