<CPOV> The World According to Jimmy Wales?

Jon Awbrey jawbrey at att.net
Tue May 25 04:45:12 CEST 2010


Maja initiated a thread titled "The World According to Jimmy Wales" and
quoted several statements by Jimmy Wales, concluding with the question,
"Is it his ignorance or is Wales purposely creating a world in which
he/Wikipedia can be the saviour?"

Mr. Wales proclaims himself the "spiritual leader" of Wikipedia
and persists in having a major impact on its course and character.
After five years of experience tracking the statements of Mr. Wales
and discussing them with other experienced editors and users, I think
I can safely make certain generalizations about their consistency and
credibility.  I gave my considered impressions in the context of the
thread already underway.

I am not all that interested in individual agents, as a rule, not even
self-proclaimed "spiritual leaders", so I immediately detached one of
the more general themes that was suggested by Joseph Reagle's remarks.
I am more than happy to move on to that if anyone else is, but when
a compelling question of individual cases is raised I will probably
be compelled to say what I know about it.  Everyone is of course
free to gather their own experiences, because science, as we know
is based on reproducible experiences.

Jon Awbrey

nathaniel tkacz wrote:
> gregory, jon, john and others,
> i think perhaps things have been blown slightly out of proportion. we all
> agree that this is a place for critical discussion. part of this might
> include discussions of articles written by jim wales, but it is important
> that such discussions are directed, historicized, connected to other things
> etc etc. so far i think this has been happening. hopefully we all agree that
> what jim wales has for breakfast is not relevant, while his comments about
> what he sees as the purpose and function of wikipedia are.
> let's not forget that there are also many other things the list can and has
> been considering (the conference topics are a good guide here, but there's
> room for more!). indeed, i am concerned that this conversation might be
> taking energy away from these other discussions!
> gregory: nobody here is being moderated for having a critical opinion. i
> hope that the list is able to recognise its reason for being and works outs
> the details on its own!
> john: i don't think it's in the interest of the list to start moderating
> people. generally, we are still trying to encourage contributions. hopefully
> there will be enough that you like and find rewarding for you continue on
> the list. so far i don't think anything has been said that warrants a
> heavy-handed response, and i'm not even sure what such a response would look
> like. (also, because i come from a humanities-based, french theory heavy
> background, i'm not used to people talking about being scientific. i think
> however, when i say "informed", we mean something similar. i just want to
> make it clear that even though i don't use the word "science" do describe
> what i want for the list, it doesn't mean i therefore encourage "personal
> axe-grinding", naysaying and gossip!)
> at this stage i would just like to encourage people to keep writing about
> the important issues that wikipedia raises. individual people might play a
> part in these issues, but let's make sure it stays about the issues.
> best
> Nate Tkacz
> Research Fellow,
> RMIT University
> Twitter: http://twitter.com/__nate__
> Homepage: www.nathanieltkacz.net
> Current project: http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/cpov/about-2/
> On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 1:49 AM, Gregory Kohs <thekohser at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I am hopeful that nothing in my commentary was a falsehood.  I know Jimmy
>> Wales personally from multiple telephone conversations and numerous e-mail
>> exchanges with him, over the course of three years.  I have arrived at my
>> opinions on the basis of my learning about him through those private
>> discussions, as well as his lengthy history of publicly-documented
>> manipulations and other foibles that would lead any "neutral" observer to
>> question whether Wales exhibits shame the way most of the rest of us do.
>> I would be disappointed for this list to be "moderated" because one of us
>> has expressed a vociferous opinion about a noted leader in the world of
>> "point of view", but if the powers that be feel that my contributions should
>> be censored, so that others might more happily remain here, just let me
>> know.  I don't care to be a part of a mailing list community that doesn't
>> respect dissenting views, anyway.
>> Gregory Kohs


inquiry list: http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/
mwb: http://www.mywikibiz.com/Directory:Jon_Awbrey
knol: http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/3fkwvf69kridz/1
oeiswiki: http://www.oeis.org/wiki/User:Jon_Awbrey

More information about the cpov mailing list