1. Early cooperative norms

    Just ten years after the first electronic computer was built, and two years after the release of IBM's first mainframe, a collaborative association was formed by which IBM customers could collaborate, called Share. The following is reminiscent of the many the Wikipedia dictates on keeping a humble and open mind …

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  2. Usage and citation

    There are two oddities associated with concerns about the Wikipedia in the school setting, when teachers do not permit the students to use Wikipedia as a source.

    The first difficulty is that the Wikipedia is often compared to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a resource I was not allowed to cite in …

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  3. A new model of design

    A new model of design

    First there was designers design. Then there was user-centered design. But even that, is now behind the times. Given open development paradigms and "extreme programming" practices, there is another approach to design, which is no "design." Instead one has frequent, incremental, releases that the user …

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  4. Abstractions: the benefits and dangers

    Why is abstraction such a powerful technique in computer science, but a potentially befuddling one in the social sciences? In computer science, abstractions permit one to:

    1. increase the scope of the construct being abstracted
    2. hide unnecessary details
    3. cleanly define object/functions and their interfaces

    Yet, in social science it:

    1. increase …
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  5. Epistomological Authority

    Epistomological Authority

    Two recent discussions have prompted me to return to question of epistemological authority. In the case of the online collaborative Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, a founding participant, lamented the inability of the community to accept and retain contributions from "experts." Also, creationists have re-factored their doctrine into a pseudoscientific …

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  6. Spiritual Photography

    When I watch shows like Ghosthunters, I'm struck by how enamored they are of their infrared cameras and digital recorders. Firenze has an interesting article on how the medium of photography was similarly, originally, receieved.

    Paul Firenze Spirit photography: how early spiritualists tried to save religion by using science j …

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