Wikis : For and Against (Wikipedia in particular)

March 27, 2008

Let’s begin with the FOR case, as presented by the ever engaging Mark Pesce :

the human network » Blog Archive » Why We Wiki

[…] creates a situation where the community is smarter as a whole (and as individuals) because of their interactions with the Wiki. In short, the community will be more effective in the pursuit of its obsession because of the Wiki, and this increase in effectiveness will make them more closely bound to the Wiki. This process feeds back on itself until the idea of the community without the Wiki becomes quite literally unthinkable. The Wiki is the “common mind” of the community; for this reason it will be contentious, but, more significantly, it will be vital, an electronic representation of the power of obsession, an embodied form of the community’s depth of expertise […]

Then we have the NAYs – leading off is Dave Winer :

What’s wrong with Wikipedia

[…] Wikipedia is therefore a puzzle to me. Because while it’s helpful, it also hurts me, because my biography there is more of a vendetta, by anonymous people, who seem self-centered and immature, but it’s impossible to tell what axes they have to grind, because they’re largely anonymous.

Same is true for various activities I’ve participated in. You may argue that I didn’t invent this or that, but surely I had something to do with RSS, blogging and podcasting? Yet depending on when you look, I’m often not mentioned on these pages. This makes it hard for me to claim my work in professional dealings because people consider Wikipedia authoritative. What it says is considered by many to be the truth […]

Followed up, briefly the next day in What’s wrong with Wikipedia, day 2

Anonymous people writing with supposed authority about living people. Too easily (and often) gamed

Finally a useful piece from ‘big media’ (The Guardian) highlighting some specific problems of late :

Wikipedia’s school for scandal has plenty more secrets to reveal

[…] To effectively understand Wikipedia, it’s important to keep in mind that while it’s hyped as a quasi-mystical collective endeavour which spins straw into gold, in reality it’s a poorly-run bureaucracy with the group dynamics of a cult […] ultimately, one lesson from all these scandals is yet more evidence that Wikipedia fits a familiar pattern of idealism being vulnerable to exploitation. I sometimes remind people that ideological communes tend to end badly, too often with a few manipulative leaders extensively profiting at the expense of a mass of followers who lose everything […]


OLPC Downunder! Soon!

March 27, 2008

This is fantastic news – the One Laptop Per Child project has supporters working on bringing the machines here. Of course we have had hackers working on *building* the project as well for some time – kudos to them!

OLPC Australia » About

OLPC Australia has been established to further the goals and aspirations of the One Laptop per Child initiative and those inherent in the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals.Specifically, we will seek to directly address local, regional and international educational needs by fundraising, procuring, developing and distributing educational solutions from the One Laptop per Child initiative.

More links:

Farmer  gives low-cost laptop a proper field test

OLPC laptops set to hit Australia

Today’s Tweets

March 27, 2008
  • 11:24 on the way to work … listening to Fidler talking about porn on The Conversation Hour on ABC 702 #
  • 11:39 @liako do keep me in the loop of your Project Australia thingy – and how can we help you? #
  • 12:06 discovering – all I can say is wow. #
  • 12:12 @CathyE Happy Birthday! Whatever the ‘technical’ date is, have a blast now just because you can 🙂 #
  • 12:12 @andrewsayer Happy Birthday to you! #
  • 12:30 Slashdot : Municipal WiFi Moves Ahead In Houston #
  • 13:11 listening to 2webcrew #
  • 13:30 @Headwellred take a nap, do some hypno, do we need to get you to a doc? #
  • 14:01 @pureCaffeine I’ll second that … the addiciton can be real #
  • 14:18 Make sure you register and come to BarCamp 3 in Sydney April 5/6 No Spectators FTW! #
  • 14:32 following some new peeps thx to @eskimo_sparky’s verbose tweet #
  • 15:20 Q: How many ants does it take to screw in a light bulb? A; Two. #
  • 15:31 rats – my skitch beta expired – now downloading the update on a slow as heck ADSL line. This is a must-have product! #
  • 15:47 listening to Ghosts I-IV again. Quite liking it. #
  • 16:10 got a hot pack on my shoulder where the owies are building up. That’s where I store my stress, I guess. #
  • 16:11 w00t – follow @dwts for the inside on #
  • 16:15 I must say Twitterific constantly freaks me out by using real names instead of twitter names on everyone’s posts #
  • 16:19 @Fifikins Congratulations on Mr 7’s independent spirit and ability to duck off behind the shed with his mates. #
  • 16:31 @notaphysicist I’ve had some success following Tim’s food plans, they seem pretty reasonable actually. #
  • 16:45 @notaphysicist no simple menus, sorry. Just used it as a guide – stay away from white and more beans and lean protein with less fat… #
  • 16:55 @notaphysicist ahh yes, ya gotta leave the flat whites in there *some* of the time 🙂 We found junk food sat’dys really worked, as a reward #
  • 17:03 C’mon redteam, let’s lay some smackdown on the candy asses of @blueteam !!! #
  • 17:05 @notaphysicist Paleo looked attractive briefly – but I really don’t think it is long term workable … from a quick look, that is 🙂 #
  • 17:13 @notaphysicist yes, I think combining bulk cooking with an easy food plan will have maximum results. "Diet is just Die with a T" -Garfield #
  • 18:07 Do I let Mr almost 11 start reading Matthew Reilly novels? if not now, when? #
  • 18:58 helluva sunset in Sydney tonight! #
  • 20:44 @SilkCharm loading Ok here too (Optus cable) err, why are we looking at this again? #
  • 20:50 @SilkCharm Oh. 1 Question : How do I keep Miss 7 going on 8 away from the site? Zowie. #
  • 21:13 @rosshill joining you on blockles for a short time … #
  • 21:41 lolz … playing blockles and didn’t notice lappie battery power draining away 🙂 #

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