<CPOV> The world according to Jimmy Wales?

Maja van der Velden majava at ifi.uio.no
Mon May 24 21:20:10 CEST 2010

Hi all,

Joseph, it's a very interesting topic - i am looking forward to  
reading your book! Have you come across this idea that Wikipedia will  
save the world?

Would be nice if someone remembers where else he said this. And what  
doe he mean by "I think Wikipedia has already saved the world"? I am  
trying to write something for the CPOV Reader and this might be  



On May 24, 2010, at 2:35 PM, Joseph Reagle wrote:

> 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}

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