Tuesday, January 04, 2005

BoingBoing cites Shirky: Wikipedia's "anti-elitism" is a feature, not a bug

Clay Shirky, an academic, responded to the accusations. He is the opinion that some people will always be unhappy with the way it works now. Wikipedia is mostly democratic ( it at least tries to) and that comes with the benefits and shortbacks of democracy. Everyone has 1 vote, whether smart or dumb. I personally like it that way.

Of course librarians, teachers, and academics don't like the Wikipedia. It works without privelege, which is inimical to the way those professions operate.

This is not some easily fixed cosmetic flaw, it is the Wikipedia's driving force. You can see the reactionary core of the academy playing out in the horror around Google digitizing books held at Harvard and the Library of Congress -- the NY Times published a number of letters by people insisting that real scholarship would still only be possible when done in real libraries. The physical book, the hushed tones, the monastic dedication, and (unspoken) the barriers to use, these are all essential characteristics of the academy today.

It's not that it doesn't matter what academics think of the Wikipedia -- it would obviously be better to have as many smart people using it as possible. The problem is that the only thing that would make the academics happy would be to shoehorn it into the kind of filter, then publish model that is broken, and would make the Wikipedia broken as well.

See Also: article_on_wikipedia_antielitism

Response To: An brief article about the troubles in the Wikipedia Project and the already emerged Forks and more liberal Wikis. Larry Sanger a Co-founder of Wikipedia critisizes it's current state: Revert-Wars and anti-elitism.
Slashdot | Wikipedia Criticised by Its Co-founder


Post a Comment

<< Home