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Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia (History and Foundations of Information Science)

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is built by a community–a community of Wikipedians who are expected to “assume good faith” when interacting with one another. In Good Faith Collaboration, Joseph Reagle examines this unique collaborative culture.

Wikipedia, says Reagle, is not the first effort to create a freely shared, universal encyclopedia; its early twentieth-century ancestors include Paul Otlet’s Universal Repository and H. G. Wells’s proposal for a World Brain. Both these projects, like Wikipedia, were fuelled by new technology–which at the time included index cards and microfilm. What distinguishes Wikipedia from these and other more recent ventures is Wikipedia’s good-faith collaborative culture, as seen not only in the writing and editing of articles but also in their discussion pages and edit histories. Keeping an open perspective on both knowledge claims and other contributors, Reagle argues, creates an extraordinary collaborative potential.

Wikipedia’s style of collaborative production has been imitated, analyzed, and satirized. Despite the social unease over its implications for individual autonomy, institutional authority, and the character (and quality) of cultural products, Wikipedia’s good-faith collaborative culture has brought us closer than ever to a realization of the century-old pursuit of a universal encyclopedia.

Foreword by Lawrence Lessig
Publisher MIT Press, 2010
History and Foundation of Information Science Series
ISBN 0262014475, 9780262014472
244 pages

Text via MITPress

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Book-Text-Read-Zines · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Eco/Adaptable · Social/Politics

The death of environmentalism: Global warming politics in a post-environmental world

This essay by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus was released at an October 2004 meeting of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and it’s been ruffling feathers ever since.

Introduction

To not think of dying is to not think of living.
— Jann Arden

Those of us who are children of the environmental movement must never forget that we are standing on the shoulders of all those who came before us.

The clean water we drink, the clean air we breathe, and the protected wilderness we treasure are all, in no small part, thanks to them. The two of us have worked for most of the country’s leading environmental organizations as staff or consultants. We hold a sincere and abiding respect for our parents and elders in the environmental community. They have worked hard and accomplished a great deal. For that we are deeply grateful.

At the same time, we believe that the best way to honor their achievements is to acknowledge that modern environmentalism is no longer capable of dealing with the world’s most serious ecological crisis.

Over the last 15 years environmental foundations and organizations have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into combating global warming.

We have strikingly little to show for it.

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