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I was in the midst of an essay about Adam Cadre's satire on Wikipedia, where I went to Wikipedia to look for a good logo and got distracted. I just finished reading the entry on the War of the Pacific, where Bolivia lost its access to the sea, an event that still has repercussions in the present day. How did I get there? By two French naval officers, Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars (who was listed on the main page for annexating Tahiti against the wishes of the French government) and his nephew Abel-Nicolas Bergasse Dupetit Thouars, who has a major street in the Peruvian capital of Lima named after him, because he prevented the city from destroyed during its Chilean occupation at the end of the aforementioned war. Since my education has virtually ignored 19th century South American history (outside of references to the French intervention in Mexico and the practice of slavery in Imperial Brazil, both of which relate to the American Civil War), Wikipedia is one of the few ways I can easily read in-depth articles about such historical events.[1]

While you might not be interested in 19th century history like I am, Wikipedia contains a significant amount of information on almost any topic you can think of. Its most powerful feature is that if something is missing or just plain wrong, you can change it. I myself have made over 500 changes, mostly simple spelling and grammar corrections.

[1] One of the others would be to read an newspaper article about it and then use Google in order to search for more information. But since most pages about historical topics on the Internet do not randomly link to high-quality articles on other topics, it is much more difficult than reading Wikipedia. When I was reading the Wikipedia article on Abel-Nicolas, I did not know what the Boshin War was. Instead of having to do further research on multiple pages using Google, I was able to simply click and be instantly transferred to an article summarizing it and describing its relation to the movie . All of the benefits of using a paper encyclopedia without having to search through an index!