1. Civility and Truth

    Doug Morris, recommended Shapin's (1994) A Social History of Truth which I found very interesting in light of my interest with politeness. Shapin makes an ethno-historical argument that "knowledge is a collective good" of moralistic interdependence. Earlier, the free action and virtue of a gentleman garnered trust as there were …

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  2. 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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  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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