Writing in The Guardian, the esteemed technologist Seth Finkelstein offers a clear and concise picture of Wikipedia’s delusional alternate reality:
One of Wikipedia’s major public relations successes has been in misdirecting observers into a narrative of technological miracles, diverting attention from analysing its old-fashioned cult appeal. While I don’t mean to imply that everyone involved in Wikipedia is wrapped up in delusion, that process is a key factor. A charismatic leader, who peddles a type of spiritual transcendence through selfless service to an ideal, finding a cadre of acolytes willing to devote their lives (without payment) to the organisation’s projects – that’s a story worth telling. But not abetting.
This is particularly interesting to me at the moment, because one of the faithful is trying to get me banned from editing the Wikipedia article on Net Neutrality, simply to silence a point of view.
Wikipedia is the place to go when reality doesn’t live up to your expectations. Wiki-reality is so much better than real reality that once you go there, you’ll never come back. Kudos to Seth, information entropy’s biggest enemy.
David Isenberg, who should be basking in the afterglow of his successful Freedom to Connect conference, is very upset with The Guardian for publishing Seth’s opinion. The poor dude should join the debate rather than try to silence other points of view. Oops.
UPDATE: The ultimate Wikipedia bogey-man is Daniel Brandt.
UPDATE: See The Register for a cute satire If Surgery Was Like Wikipedia.