Kritiskt kring Wikipedia
Jason Scott som driver arkivet Textfiles.com, höll ett uppmärksammat föredrag på en hackerkonferens förra månaden: The Great Failure of Wikipedia (även i diverse ljudformat). En frän Wikipedia-kritik, vars utgångspunkt dock snarare är att saker ska tas för vad det är.
I do not dispute that Wikipedia -- for a person who is playing the part of a tourist, a web browser -- is a beautiful success.I centrum för angreppet står den uttalade ambitionen att sammanställa "summan av mänsklig kunskap" (som här hänförs till att Wikipedias grundare ideologiskt är randiansk objektivist). Att Wikipedia inte är någon demokrati, utan styrs av administratörerna, är inget att gnälla om. Men Jason Scott är något på spåren när han pekar på hur politiska konflikter tycks självgenererande (genom bl.a. de ständiga avgörandena om vilka ämnen som platsar och inte).
In the initial phase of Wikipedia you didn't have users, you just had an IP. Well that got to be a little bit wacky, so they started to add users. When you add users, you add identity. When you add identity, you start to add politics, because identities have to keep up their own space. /.../ What Wikipedia has taught us now, is that in a vacuum of politics, politics will be created. There is no vacuum of politics. /.../ Wikipedia holds up the dark mirror of what humanity is, to itself. And it's interesting because of the fact that it is an online experience you're able to see this and this is why I say it's important: You can learn how people interact in a relatively bloodless way. /.../ the function of this speech is not to criticise Wikipedia but to point out how Wikipedia represents the first wave of a coming information war and something where the Internet, as it becomes more important as a source of information, is going to be headed off by certain forces, by certain techniques, some of which are successful and some of which are not, and because Wikipedia has let itself be open to this we are seeing these techniques in use today, where in ten years they will actually affect lives directly. In 20 years, they will be vital to lives.Dessa "tekniker" konkretiseras inte direkt, och de konkreta exemplen i artikeln är nog det minst intressanta där. Däremot levererar Jason Scott en dunkelt fantasieggande konspirationsteori:
there are groups of people now working to destroy Wikipedia. They're doing so by slowly building up karma, and knowledge, and ability in the Wikipedia system. Wikipedia has about 900 administrators. A good portion of them, more than they would like to admit, are people who are working from within to understand it, take it over, destroy it. /.../ I have people who have been working for two years from the inside of Wikipedia to slowly ruin it. They have been able to change rules, they have been able to make administrators get deleted, they have been able to modify how rules are run in some places. Why? It's fun! People will play World of Warcraft for 80 hours a week. There's no difference between that and playing Wikipedia for 80 hours a week. It's even more fun because /.../ People on Wikipedia, some of them think "hey, I'm contributing to the sum of human knowledge."