1. Open Communities and Closed Law

    What does the recent news of a Wikipedia CEO who is also a lawyer, an "oversight" function that makes hidden revisions to Wikipedia, and the threat of the Debian Project severing its relationship with its legally chartered non-profit have in common? A strong indication that open communities with a formal …

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  2. Why Culture is Important

    During a conference on Friday, panelists from popular social network sites were asked to speculate about the future. Scott Heiferman, co-founder of Meetup, presented a vision of technological advance and social progress along familiar lines: technology, information, democracy, etc. For example, we might not have to worry about privacy and …

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  3. Wikipedia and Astroturfing

    Clay Shirky notes a cycle of references created by a few people with the effect of promotion: a Wikipedia article for Symphony OS is referenced in a Slashdot article, which is then noted in the Wikipedia article:

    This is an interesting kind of spam, or maybe we could call it …

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  4. Pruning

    The Professional Lurker notes an article by the FreeRange Librarian which identifies the important role of deleting/removing material of dubious quality. This function, too, exists in the Wikipedia: Votes for Deletion. Otherwise, this argument simply reduces to the one of authority which the Librarian has raised in the past …

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  5. Epistemic stances

    When it comes to making claims, about reality or anything else really, a number of different stances might be adopted by the speaker:

    • Objectivity: the claims have a correspondence to reality; they are typically embedded in a framework by which their validity is affirmed. For example, the scientific method posits …
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