Wiki Future

Some Observations One of the characteristics of Wiki that I really like is the fact that it seems to model a cognitive net with the titles being conceptual chunks which are linked to related conceptual chunks. Cycles in this structure, both large and small, are rather like human consciousness ruminating on a topic. CognitiveDissonance is present because contradictory ideas are supported. Overloading of ideas -- the same idea expressed in different ways, becomes something of a problem since there is no real integrative element to force closure and web-up these ideas that are the same.
Hmmm... I'm new enough to Wiki to find this elision of context somewhat surprising ... I put this discussion in a Thread discussion and it pops up here as WikiFuture ... the gnomes have been at work. --RaySchneider

The WikiStoneSociety ideas seem to impose more structure and more overhead, but not necessarily of a good kind. I think like Ron that it should be prototyped and tried to see if it really works very well.

Certainly agree there. - PeterMerel

I was the Sysop of Terminal Station in Minneapolis in the early 1980's. Terminal Station was a Citadel-based bulletin board system dedicated to people talking about ideas and had some similarities to Wiki. In a Citadel BBS people could open rooms for discussion and these could be public or private. The Citadel's also allowed a censorship practice (call a spade a spade) called something like Fair Witness -- the idea being that a trusted individual would intervene to scratch flame-wars, profanity of an excessive nature and other such noise off the system.

Which leads back to rule by representatives. The main benefit of the WikiStoneSociety is supposed to be that such representatives are no longer necessary - the wiki community would use the stones mechanism to police itself directly.

Whatever Wiki does my bias is for: a) maximum freedom of expression, even to the point of tolerating idiots to some degree, b) some kind of authorship security so that an author's work cannot be changed except by the author or designated friends ... maybe Fair Witnesses ...

Imho (b) totally loses the WikiNature. Ward's grand innovation here has been to allow all participants to edit eachother. I can't see why versioning, a la CvWiki, is not an adequate form of security here.

That is definitely a cool thing and I agree -- but, and there are always buts -- it is a structure very open to abuse either overt and clumsy or perhaps more clever and sophisticated -- it seems like a judgement call really --RaySchneider

and c) a mechanism for integrating associated ideas so that the Context(s) coelesce --be developed (I'm not sure how to do that without it becoming person-hour intensive ... but maybe some simple hooking mechanism would work -- when you notice that two ideas are linked, then link them and have the generator put up a link list -- anyone can link, but the author linked to can veto the link but not remove it

Why should the author get this veto? He can always take his content some place else if he wants to control it. Why make this a territorial thing?
As an author I feel I have some right to control what I write. I don't mind friendly correction and editing, but I do mind having my stuff distorted or twisted. Moreover, when something I said is used to support something I don't believe in, I'd like at least the possibility of registering my disagreement -- the color of the link seemed like a rather neutral way to do that. --RaySchneider
-- i.e. change the color of the link if it's been rejected by the author in whose idea it appears ... these sort of not so hard to develop mechanisms can 1-- produce more order, without 2-- imposing censorship --> on the flame wars front -- just relinking the flame to a flame-wars context would avoid censorship in the sense of killing the message and let flame-war-fans go and see it and keep it out of the general perception of those trying to be more responsible and serious.

Hmm. Censorship and flamewars? Seems like the WikiNature has fled utterly long before we get to these.

An analogy here is the vast amount of trashy pornography (is that a tautology?) on the net -- I almost never see it even though I know it's there. I don't go there, do that! If we had a relinking mechanism that was appropriate then it might answer a lot of the mail.

This confuses me. Can you explain what "answer a lot of the mail" means, and how your linking mechanism does it?
out of sight out of mind -- if you link things that are trash together you can then either put it in the trash can or leave if for the trash pickers to peruse. The answer a lot of the mail is a phrase which means that an idea meets a lot of the objections ... --RaySchneider
Navigation and Integration seem to me to be the two BIG Wiki problems. A local structure browser would help the navigation problem -- didn't Ted Nelson propose something like YouAreHere in malls to show where you are in a hypertext structure?

Wiki's a network, not a hierarchy. But see WikiCategories for the wiki answer to this.
A hierarchy is a kind of a network -- besides what does that have to do with anything? Navigation of a network is harder than navigation of a hierarchy -- and I don't think I said anything about a hierarchy ... --RaySchneider

Discussion of ReproductiveEthics moved outta here. PeterMerel

The WikiStoneSociety notion is not to stifle debate, but to allow different communities to evolve different position and establish them by trade in a free market of ideas.

(Some people may not like this characature ... I'm doing it to make the point) yet this fundamentally important discussion needs to be linked so that at least the different people can understand each other's points of view even if they don't agree with them. You are a bad person because you don't agree with me -- is a paradigm that leads to wars and killing people which is certainly no fun! Integration and Navigation

On issues like this, it isn't understanding but assumption that causes contention. Folk with one set of assumptions may understand all they like of folk with another set, but that gets them no closer to rapport. The best we can hope for is mutual tolerance; to get that to work we either need good ettiquette or a formal method to resolve communal positions. The reason for considering the WikiStoneSociety is that etiquette has an established history of not scaling.

Hope this has been helpful. --RaySchneider

Regarding AuthorshipSecurity? -- It seems to be a good idea, as long as the author can decide to turn it off if (s)he wishes. One of the best things about Wiki is the WikiMaster(s) that clean up my not-so-deathless prose. I'm always a bit startled to come back to a page to see that the words I wrote aren't there any longer -- but I usually decide that what's there is better than what I wrote. --KatyMulvey
If it has my name on it, I'd like the meaning not to be twisted, even its nuances. Such as they is. Typos and grammos, sure. --RonJeffries


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