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Responses to How to Build Wikipedia
Be in Charge and Be Humble - Understand Bias - Appreciate Idiosyncracy - Redesign the Wikipedia Software as a Community - Make Big Plans on Wikipedia - Avoid Cabals - Follow the Spirit of the GFDL - Be Respectful but Firm

Avoid Cabals

Setting up hierarchies is always a temptation, and is why anarchism never works.

Wikipedia is a noble attempt at a limited anarchistic society, and we must remain vigilant.


First, let me say that I agree with this sentiment at least: we must not create a hierarchies.
Not because we love anarchy (which we might or might not; I kinda do like it myself) but because we want to create an encyclopedia to which people generally feel free to contribute.Cunc

Now, that being said, I want to make a clarification. What Wikipedia is, is an open content wiki-based encyclopedia project. Nobody nobly attempted to set up an anarchistic society (I didn't, anyway, and neither did Jimbo). What we did was try to set up the best way to produce an encyclopedia that is open to the public at large. If what resulted is an anarchistic "society" that seems to work, that's grand! I'm very happy! But the purpose of Wikipedia is not to test the theory of anarchism. It's to create an encyclopedia.

The GPL and GFDL are explicitly political documents, and are designed to promote certain forms of societies. It seems that you essentially agree with Stallman's goals, which I like. In fact, I'm operating under that assumption, which is why I use such language. --TheCunctator

Well, GPL and GFDL are licenses. Stallman's essays about them are explicitly political documents. --LMS
Stallman also likes to deny the necessity of any political process to cull or correct material which people make decisions based upon, e.g. source or other instructional capital.24

Do you think we can come up with a common language to properly discuss the social dynamics of the Wikipedia project?
Yes, but it must begin clearly with the constraints that the project has, i.e. the very few m:Governing Operational distinctions 24

Or perhaps we need a good entry on "society" which makes clear what the differences and commonalities between a full-bodied society and the Wikipedian society are. --TheCunctator

I really don't think it matters, actually. --LMS
You are totally wrong, LMS, it matters more than anything else here. Look at the m:Systemic Bias of Wikipedia debate - you can learn something from Jimbo Wales. He has apparently some inability to perceive the way he leaps directly to m:Governing Ontological distinction from personal impression, but he knows that he shares such an ignorance with everyone else. He may believe that the wiki has no duty to anyone else due to claims to be an "encyclopedia" but that belief is based on his other belief that the NPOV is in fact some kind of special route to GOD - that things will become useful on their own through the contributions of all knowledge-holders in the world. Whereas, LMS, I have seen you move instantly to threaten to impose or at least approve some m:Governing Operational distinction, and that you're refusing or failing to comprehend the difference between ethics (the science of morality) and morality itself (one's inner core unshakeable aesthetic). 24

See also : Wikipedia commentary



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