<CPOV> The world according to Jimmy Wales?

Joseph Reagle joseph.2008 at reagle.org
Mon May 24 14:35:28 CEST 2010

On Monday, May 24, 2010, Maja van der Velden wrote:
> Where does this 'saving the world' idea come from? What does it mean  
> in the context of Wikipedia? Anyone knows?

This is a theme, what I call the "universal encyclopedic vision", that continues from the early twentieth century. I discuss this in my forthcoming book, but here's a few notable quotes:

> H. G. Wells felt that "Encyclopaedic enterprise has not kept pace with material progress" but when the "modern facilities of transport, radio, [and] photographic reproduction" were embraced the creation of a permanent world encyclopedia would be "a way to world peace": "Quietly and sanely this new encyclopaedia will, not so much overcome these archaic discords, as deprive them, steadily but imperceptibly, of their present reality." \acite{Wells1937wbi} 

> Suzanne Briet captured this sentiment when she wrote of her library's reading room of three hundred patrons: "peaceful with their books. Peace through books." \acites[Suzanne Briet, *Entre Aisne et Meuse . . . et au delà*, Les cahiers ardennais 22. (Charleville-Mezières: Société de Ecrivains Ardennais, 1976), 87, quoted in][5]{Maack2004las}

>  "To the men, women, and children of the world who, by increasing their knowledge of the earth and its people, seek to understand each other's problems and through this understanding strive for a community of nations living in peace, the *Encyclopaedia Britannica* dedicates this volume." \acite[Ted Pappas citing G. Donald Hudson, Walter Yust, eds., *Encyclopaedia Britannica World Atlas* (Chicago: Britannica, 1956),

Kevin Kelly writing of Ted Nelson:

> Wearing a ballpoint pen on a string around his neck, he [Nelso] told me -- way too earnestly for a bar at 4 o'clock in the afternoon -- about his scheme for organizing all the knowledge of humanity. Salvation lay in cutting up 3 x 5 cards, of which he had plenty.... He spoke of "transclusion" and "intertwingularity" as he described the grand utopian benefits of his embedded structure. It was going to save the world from stupidity. \acite{Kelly2005waw}

More information about the cpov mailing list