In reading the pieces on Wikipedia I was struck by a paradox that I call Darwinian Equality. It seems that one of the fundamental assumptions of Wikipedia is that the best will rise to the top – in a survival of the fittest kind of way. At the same time, there is the promotion of a sense of equality – everyone can be an author if they choose to login and take the time to make the edits. These seem contradictory. While I value the social experiment that is Wikipedia – it is intriguing that Sanger is forking Wikipedia with his new Citizendium project and adding in some more traditional views of expert editors. Is this an attempt to resolve a fundamental philosophical conflict? A means to create a better (or at potentially more reliable) end product (AKA knowledge)? Or the process of liminality ending and structure reformulating?
Of note, is the quote on the Rough Type blog in response to Sanger’s idea as a wikipedia for “stick-in-the-muds”: One response from StrayPackets, is that: “‘If an attempt to craft a wiki that strives for accuracy, even via a flawed model, is considered something for ‘stick-in-the-muds,’ then itâ€™s apparent that many of Wikipediaâ€™s supporters value the dynamics of its community more than the credibility of the product they deliver.'” Apparently, the essential problem with the current wikipedia is that people have no stake in it, so it is easy to abuse the system. Is this simply another example of the potential problem of anonymity in regards to community and/or accountability? Or is the blogger way off base here?