Thursday, January 19, 2006


I enjoyed Ben Vershbow's post on If:Book yesterday, which exposed the political culture of the Metapedians.

Their starkly polarised positions are reminiscent of the principal doctrinal factions of early Christianity that would eventually evolve into the fan-bases of the Blue (Venetii) and Green (Prasinoi) chariot racing teams in the hippodrome at Constantinople.

Deletionists chant garbage out, garbage out, whilst their ideological foes the Inclusionists preach that Wikipedia should be changed "only when no knowledge would be lost as a result".

Caught in the middle are the Mergists, dedicated to the kind of information housekeeping that would merge texts deemed not notable and encyclopedic enough for their own record.

There's talk of Wiki law, but no strong-armed executive figure like Emperor Constantine to organise the Wiki equivalent of the First Council of Nicea.

The clash between Immediatists and Eventualists is an important sub-dispute over whether the immediate or the long-term value of the encyclopedia should form the underlying principle of its expanding architecture (and external appearance).

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