<CPOV> What dismays me

Jon Awbrey jawbrey at att.net
Tue Mar 16 15:24:19 CET 2010

Patrick & All,

The way I see it, critical practice and critical theory are all about
comparative and contextual analysis, so your radicalism may be forgiven
as an extremely venerable tradition from this reporter's point of view.

No comparison between Wikipedia and other wikis should hedge its horizon
so narrowly that it forgets the role of Jimmy Wales ''sans'' Larry Sanger,
the Wikimedea Foundation, along with its U.S. tax-advantaged status, and the
farming out of content to the profit-seeking Wikia, Inc.  That much, I think,
is enough to render the comparison with Encyclopedia Dramatica rather remote.

Wikipedia may look like anarchy or a Self-Organizing System (SOS?) to an outsider,
anyone who has been through its wringer a sufficient number of times can tell you
that it's "managed anarchy" and that the days of the "e-lightened despot" Jimbo
have yet to diminish and go into the West.  Ample data on that score can be had
by widening your horizon to encompass the English Wikipedia's sibling projects,
and don't forget the House of Lords at Meta-Wikimedia (http://meta.wikimedia.org/).

To give one timely example of JW dictating to the wiki-proletariat, there's an
especially instructive bit of "insurrection squelching" taking place as we speak
on the hyper-campus of Wikiversity.  See this thread on ''The Wikipedia Review''
for links to WV and a sample of current discussion:



Jon Awbrey

Lichty, Patrick wrote:
| Well, in my presentation, I am going to talk about the idea
| of a wiki-based community in general.  Wikimediae communities,
| although anarchic media, create emergent hegemonies which then
| create strange power concentrations, inversions, etc.  In many
| ways, they allow for ad hoc cliques to build massive cultural
| scaffolds and then become organizations, which, as I'm reading
| "The Coming Insurrenction", are in themselves problems.
| I believe that there are only cosmetic differences between Wikipedia
| and Encyclopedia Dramatica.  We can say that one is surely larger than
| the other, but in many ways, the premise, infrastructure, etc. are similar,
| it is merely that the mission is different, and that is basically it.  From
| that initial condition, you have what Keen would call "the enlightened amateur"
| calling the shots, or trolls, in the case of ED, or art-trolls like Kildall and
| Stern (kidding, as this is what Jessie Wales called them) in the case of Wikipedia Art.
| I ask a bit of forgiveness in regards to the fact that I will be looking at Wiki-based
| communities as such and their relationship to filtering and cultural curation in general,
| and not Wikipedia specifically.  It's more of a radical analysis of the genre.
> Patrick Lichty
> Assit. Professor
> Dept of Interactive Arts & media
> Columbia College, Chicago
> 916/1000 S. Wabash Ave #104
> Chicago, IL USA
> "Better to Die on Your Feet Than to Live On Your Knees"


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