[iDC] "Wikipedia Art"

Stephen Downes stephen at downes.ca
Tue Feb 17 19:13:39 UTC 2009


There is eventually going to be a power struggle on Wikipedia. This will 
occur because, in the process of enforcing MPOV, citations, notability, 
etc., Wikipedia has created a power structure. It is no longer a freely 
collaborative enterprise, but one now where a smallish group of people 
(the moderators can make decisions that over-rule the majority. This is 
a classic instance of a power structure, and makes Wikipedia  a tempting 
target for an organization large enough and self-organized enough to 
effect the take-over.

Wikipedia's only defense against this sort of action (and the Wikipedia 
Art page is a first of a kind (though if one believes the deleters' 
comments, not even that), not an anomaly) is to return to its 
collaborative roots. It's nice that this particular attempt to subvert 
the power structure is art. Subsequent attempts to control the 
encyclopedia will not be so benign. It must be necessary for the users 
of Wikipedia - that vast majority of people who for the most part only 
make occasional edits, who are not insiders, and will be moved only by 
egregious errors and omissions - to be able to over-rule the power 
structure. If this does not happen, then when one of these actions 
succeeds (as it inevitably will) we will have lost Wikipedia as a voice 
of knowledge and reason forever.

Since I don't exxpect the (current) Wikipedia elite to relinquish power, 
this post is written for the record, so I can say "I told you so" later on.

-- Stephen

Zbigniew Lukasiak wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 2:24 PM,  <koltzenburg at w4w.net> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> sounds interesting to me but I do not seem to find any page of that name,
>>> An article appeared on Wikipedia -- called "Wikipedia Art" -- with the
>>> following description:
>> would you mind posting the link?
> It was deleted:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Wikipedia_Art
> Now it all depends if they make enough noise that it be heard in main
> stream media - then Wikipedia will have a real problem with it.
> I do like the paradoxical nature of it and I do think it is a kind of
> art - but if they let it bury so easily then I guess it really is 'not
> notable'.


Stephen Downes  ~  Researcher  ~  National Research Council Canada
http://www.downes.ca  ~  stephen at downes.ca        ** Free Learning

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