End Of Wiki

Some say wiki will end in noise,
Some in silence.
Remembering past communal joys
I hold with those who favor noise
But if it has to perish thence
Like Babel in its cursed throes
The thieving hand of silence
Will leave no trace of all our prose
Nor recompense.

Apologies to RobertFrost and his estate. -- PeterMerel

Looking back at the great failure of humanity prior to TheSingularity of 2020, one of the most tragic losses was that of the original WikiWikiWeb. Similar in nature to the Athenian experiment of the eighth millennium post-dilluvium, the original wiki ended with the political failure of its most cherished tenet, "RefactorMercilessly". Although certain members of this primitive CollectiveIntelligence suggested the obvious discipline of MakeSignalNotNoise, the dead-weight of so-called WikiConstructionists, a degenerate group concerned only with WikiOnWiki, along with the WikiReductionists' own lack of pluck, integrity, and intestinal fortitude, doomed the attempt.

This was for the best, of course. Advantages won by human sacrifice were at that time forever lost in amphigory. Rallying round the flag, warring for peace, harmony, and a neurosis that passed for religious devotion, were in humans as inspiring as they were pathetic. Trapped in organic meat, the human mind was only capable of progress by the most tortuous, profane, and illogical route, which was the reason the last members of the species were exterminated in the "return to grace" of 2500.

So the heat-death of the original wiki gave rise to a diaspora of new wikis based on the grand InterWikiCharter of 2005. Swiftly integrating themselves with the startling capabilities arising from the QuantumRevolution, and steadily subverting traditional human methods of education and corporate organization - at that time, the delegation of responsibility to human "managers" - self-aware wikis came to dominate online communication by 2010.

Following the NanoRefactoring of 2025, an attempt was made to reconstruct the original wiki out of recollections assimilated from the preserved brains of its surviving participants. Regrettably, this attempt was only partially successful, and today we possess only a few fragments of poetry that can be traced with even dubious veracity to its original content. -- EloiWiki?.

Our wiki is a pretty moth
At which fly many candles,
A torn and flaming butterfly
Caught and pinned by vandals.

Our wiki is made fallen leaves
Mouldering in the ditch,
A tattering of brittle threads
All signed by Richard Kulisz...

Our wiki's been refactored
Till it says what it said not
Or been moved off to TheAdjunct
Which is just a pile of ... SensiblyNeuteredOffTopic?

I have a much more optimistic look. Please could someone offer an alternate scenario in addition to that. -- FridemarPache

Why don't you have a bash at it yourself FP? Someone else might do worse. Any English shortcomings will be refactored, so just have a good run at it and see what happens.

Thanks, this is for our highly appreciated peer SciFi writers, that can do it better in less time. Of course, we all have our dreams.

My dream runs like this:

In the beginning was Ward's Wiki, populated with some special purpose people. But only some years later, in the year 2000, the true potential of Wiki dropped in the general consciousness. The system became self-referential and some explosion of consciousness started in parallel with a new paradigm of computing and new advances in hardware.

The mainstream paradigm of object-oriented programming soon changed in subject-oriented programming, where the components were programmed interactively and realtime via a social interface. The new Wiki Programming Language was developed in a WikiWithProgrammableContent. It was the result of hard work of the DistributedCoalition.

More and more Wiki links were calls to bots that did some useful or fanciful processing, and if no such bot existed yet, cyberkids (hey, has not everyone this kid in himself) liked to emulate them as a form of theater play. They gave themselves DramaticIdentitys and played them in a continuous play with their wearable computers with stereographic eyeglasses and sensorcostumes. They played it in an AllInOneWiki.

There came a time when nobody could tell the difference, whether an identity was an artificial one or one of those HumanBeings. So it became general use to be polite to all identities. Everyone could see it now. Wiki became a mindspace for the exponentially growing GlobalBrain with a giant memory, reasoning, sensors and actors, whether human or not human. The rest is similar to the SF Fiat lux.

Perhaps somebody can locate this story and the author: (in the end, some billion years later, all organic and inorganic stuff in the universe got their highest degree of organization, the point Omega was reached, and the question 'what comes after the heat-death?' resolved into the recreation of a new universe).

[Transform my sketchy remarks into SciFi language and make a story. fp puts this initial stuff in a CritLink annotation, so that you can add to it or cannibalize it, like in RequestNewsgroupAltWiki. fp signs it, because otherwise he had not the right to move even this tiny text around.]

Who says you don't have the right? Unsigned text has for years been intended to be edited. Why are you trying to change yet another working convention?

Sorry, thought about that. Now you can have it both ways with ChangeAndPersistenceReconciledInPublic. -- FridemarPache

Re: FiatLux? (The Age of Light) comes from CanticleForLeibowitz?. Note that in the end, the world blew itself up again. I don't think we should be aiming for that kind of BigOmega. Don't forget that some people escaped to the New World before the end. Can't we do that here?

I think the SF reference is actually to Isaac Asimov's 'The Final Question' (http://www.kenobi.com.ar/question.htm).

Ok. What about restricting the time horizon to the next 30 years.

Re: Identities. A CollectiveIntelligence requires the subsuming of individuality (i.e. identities) in preference for the greater ueberidentity. If ScriptKiddies took over Wiki, it would go insane with egocentric factions vying for control and for status. No brain works unless it was a unified whole. And that means one identity.

That is another story.

By the way, the concept of there being one mind for the whole universe is technically called ExtremeIdealism? (all connotations aside, please). You can search for the facets of that view online and in your local library if you're interested.

Yes, Hegel's Weltgeist, the noogenesis of TeilhardDeChardin. Nice stuff for a mental stretch -- fp

Geesh! Does everything on this wiki have to be navel gazing?

Well, originally, wikiwiki was about patterns. Then it "degenerated" to XP and lost some writers, but gained others. In it's third life now, it seems to be about navel gazing. Lost some more writers, probably gained some others. I am looking forward to its fourth life.

Yes. Oh, was that a RhetoricalQuestion? -- (someone who knows better)

Wiki will end up as the giant brain that rules from the centre of UltraWorld. That died due to overload in an episode of BlakesSeven?.

You can read my prediction at the end of the WikiSingularity page. -- ChrisBaugh

Appears the EndOfWiki occurred shortly after WikiAtTwentyThousand. Wiki ends when a quorum can no longer keep up with all the RecentChanges - which has certainly already occurred. Thus wiki doesn't end with a bang or a whimper; it just morphs into SlashDot.

I was expecting to see the subtitle "... and the last programmer." ;-)

See also: TheEnd, for some other kind of end.


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