<CPOV> The World According to Jimmy Wales?

Jon Awbrey jawbrey at att.net
Mon May 24 14:38:20 CEST 2010


Maybe there's an off switch on the Jimbo Machine,
and I really hope we find it someday, but in the
meantime it roves the world searching for places
where they haven't heard his line of bull before.

The only thing that will save the world is that it's finite.

Jon Awbrey

Maja van der Velden wrote:
> Hi,
> Until i started to prepare for my presentation at the CPOV conference, 
> i never really paid attention to Jimmy Wales. Now i do ;-) So i read this 
> interview with him in a Norwegian newspaper last Saturday. The article 
> has the title ' Jimmypedia'. Here is a section from the interview 
> (translated from the Norwegian):
> ----
> Jimmy Wales on several occasions expressed that Wikipedia is going to 
> save the world.
> "I think Wikipedia has already saved the world. But I still think the 
> biggest impact lies ahead, "he said.
> -In developing countries, access to information has been extremely 
> limited and in many languages, we are the first encyclopedia that 
> exists. When you talk with people who try to help schools in Africa, 
> they say that they teach material from textbooks that were written 30 
> years ago. People in Africa may know more about what happened in England 
> in the 70th century than what happened in the neighboring country until 
> recently. The lack of information is an opportunity for tyrants, and 
> others who want to manipulate the truth.
> He thinks the first Wikipedia page in the Arabic language is important, 
> even though it still only has 125,000 articles.
> "There has never existed any traditional encyclopaedia in Arabic. Now 
> there is here. A few years ago as many books were translated into Arabic 
> in one year as there were books were translated into German in one day. 
> So there is a huge population that has not had access to information the 
> rest of us take for granted. And one of my favorite projects is the 
> Wikipedia page in the Wolof language in Senegal. So far, only 1000 
> articles, but it's a start. I am incredibly excited at the idea that we 
> are in Wolof. I love it.
> ----
> Where does this 'saving the world' idea come from? What does it mean in 
> the context of Wikipedia? Anyone knows?
> What he says about encyclopedias in Arabic is of course nonsense (there 
> is a rich history of encyclopedia-writing in the Arab world). Wikipedia 
> itself has some entries on Arab encyclopedias:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclopedia#Arabic_and_Persian
> and for some examples of their authors, see:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Encyclopedists
> A quick look online and i found these Wiki-style Arabic 
> lexicons/encyclopedias:
> Global Arabic Encyclopedia: http://www.mawsoah.net
> Dahsha: http://www.dahsha.com/
> Is it his ignorance or is Wales purposely creating a world in which 
> he/Wikipedia can be the saviour?
> Greetings,
> Maja


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