Friday, May 6, 2005

Wikipedia: See 'Information,' 'Amazing,' 'Anarchy': "As Wikipedia says about itself, the point is not that it's hard to make mistakes but that it's easy to correct them. Because thousands of people—ordinary, unpaid, outside participants—monitor and edit Wikipedia, errors and vandalism are often corrected in seconds."

"Open architecture is in some sense the only possible way to do what an encyclopedia purports to do: represent the state of human knowledge in real time. Such a project is by its nature so huge that it requires what Wikipedia has: thousands of experts, editors, checkers and so on with expertise in different fields working over a period of years.

"Also, Wikipedia, unlike the World Book, for example, or even Encarta, is updated continuously. When we use the term 'public property,' we usually mean state property, but Wikipedia compromises the concept of ownership without dispossessing anyone: It is truly public property."

"If the vandals are successful, they'll more or less confirm the common wisdom that people are too evil and miserable to be allowed to govern themselves.

"But if Wikipedia grows into the greatest reference work ever made, it will suggest that great things are possible when you merely let people go and see what happens."

And yet, what the Founders knew was that it was because people were evil that they should govern themselves with checks and balances on that power.

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