Research discussion: Visions for Wikipedia

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Research discussion: Visions for Wikipedia

Pine W
Both of the presentations at the October Wikimedia Research Showcase were
fascinating and I encourage everyone to watch them [1]. I would like to
continue to discuss the themes from the showcase about Wikipedia's
adaptability, viability, and diversity.

Aaron's discussion about Wikipedia's ongoing internal adaptations, and
the slowing of those adaptations, reminded me of this statement from MIT
Technology Review in 2013 (and I recommend reading the whole article [2]):

"The main source of those problems (with Wikipedia) is not mysterious. The
loose collective running the site today, estimated to be 90 percent male,
operates a crushing bureaucracy with an often abrasive atmosphere that
deters newcomers who might increase partipcipation in Wikipedia and broaden
its coverage."

I would like to contrast that vision of Wikipedia with the vision presented
by User:CatherineMunro (formatting tweaks by me), which I re-read when I
need encouragement:

One gateway
to the wide garden of knowledge,
where lies
The deep rock of our past,
in which we must delve
The well of our future,
The clear water
we must leave untainted
for those who come after us,
The fertile earth,
in which truth may grow
in bright places,
tended by many hands,
And the broad fall of sunshine,
warming our first steps
toward knowing
how much we do not know."

How can we align ouselves less with the former vision and more with the
latter? [3]

I hope that we can continue to discuss these themes on the Research mailing
list. Please contribute your thoughts and questions there.





[3] Lest this at first seem to be impossible, I will borrow and tweak a
quote from from George Bernard Shaw and later used by John F. Kennedy:
"Some people see things as they are and say, 'Why?' Let us dream things
that never were and say, 'Why not?'"
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