(The following is a distillation of Cracked's policies and shall be amended as the editorial team and the joyride that is "human civilization" sees fit.)
Cracked was founded in 1958 as a comedy magazine, became a comedy website in 2005, and, given the pace of technological innovation, will transform into a sentient swarm of information hornets around 2084. (We don't know if the hornets will be funny.)
Back in the 1900s, the magazine's biggest concerns were questions like "Exactly how brutally is Mad magazine outselling us?" and "Can a company legally pay people in cigarettes?" But the 21st century brings us new inquiries, namely, "Why is every single cyberpunk trope coming true except for the green mohawks?"
The first Homo Sapiens popped up 300,000 years ago; the internet's just a few decades old. Our meat bodies are built for punching giant sloths, whereas the ordinary consumer refrigerator can access the totality of human knowledge. Global fads are born in Karachi during rush hour and in Patagonia by happy hour. If you're feeling cracked, welcome to the club.
We can't change the fact that our culture is metamorphosing at an increasingly breakneck pace. Centaurs and butter churns will inexplicably become popular again simultaneously, and we'll all just have to live with it for a few days.
Nobody said the future would be easy, and here's how Cracked's coping -- we've codified our editorial standards and site ethos. Behold, The 11 Cracked Commandments, a document we hope will guide the site for years to come. In other words, when the people of tomorrow begin wearing lasagna as a hat, we'll be ready.
We realize some may find such a gesture idealistic. To this we say, "No kidding, a public statement of purpose is aspirational by design." (Also, we made sure there were 11 Cracked Commandments so that nobody would confuse all this with "10 Crack Commandments" by The Notorious B.I.G, a song about a somewhat different topic.)
1. We want Cracked to be accessible and enjoyable to everyone. As such, Cracked is a safe-for-work website.
2. We owe it to our audience to disclose conflicts of interest.
3. We don't take payola, and we clearly label sponsored content.
4. We create original content, and we take pride in it. Here at Cracked, plagiarism is unacceptable.
5. Cracked claims no partisan bias. We believe in the ameliorative power of democracy, and that the measure of a government is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens.
6. We don't punch down.
7. Here at Cracked, we have an ethical obligation to our audience to get the facts straight, furnish necessary context to complex stories, and correct outdated or inaccurate information. Correspondence regarding such should be sent to Corrections at Cracked dot com.
8. Comedy evolves with taste and time. This is why most stand-up routines are not about the telegraph. At this point in human history, absolutely nobody should be surprised when comedy speaks truth to power.
9. When Cracked creates original reporting, we treat our sources fairly (and with confidentiality, as necessary).
10. We believe in the scientific method and its ability to illuminate our world and unify our species in common understanding and purpose.
11. Literally every single person you'll ever meet is making it up as they go along.
Top Image: Nietjuh/Pixabay