Wikis and knowledge decentralization

I love wikis. They are my favorite thing in the world. I write for at least 19 of them. But they have an issue, and it’s that (active) wikis are cut-throat, unfriendly places that always end up in the hands of the domain owner, at the expense of writers. This is something a lot of people have caught onto by now, and it’s why a lot of people now ask to be paid when writing for a wiki. And also why more pundits are pushing for such a thing. Acclaimed former New York Times journalist Chris Hedges recently did an, “On Contact”, episode for example, calling on Wikipedia to pay their writers, something that would have been unheard of 10 years ago.

Wikipedia for years billed itself as, “a wiki everyone can contribute to”, and a wisdom of the masses or swarm intelligence effort. Even Jimmy Wales himself admits this is not the case. In his own words, he says Wikipedia is mainly a place of a few hundred people who have known each other for a very long time. These people let in some writing, but only the stuff they like. It is essentially a very large editorial board, predicated on seniority, which frequently gives into demands from online mobs if said mobs have establishment power.

So, is this actually a problem? Yes. People don’t like writing in unfriendly and inefficient atmospheres that will just end up co-opting them in the end anyway. It is true that if you really want something to be widely read, and it’s interesting enough, it will find an audience. But most people aren’t that overzealous. And in a glorified market economy, most people want explicit compensation for anything they do they doesn’t involve eating food, playing video games, masturbation, or child rearing (although there are growing exceptions, and a lot of them). The learning curve and lack of compensation are why so few people actually write for wikis. It takes a ton of altruism and/or political drive to write for any wiki ever. It’s actually a problem endemic to Wikimedia software itself, as each installation exists separately from all others and lacks proper democratic processes. So what is the solution?


I think this can be a not-horrible solution. Less horrible than the existing Mediawiki model. However this model needs people to scan drivers licenses and no one likes doing that. But it still might be worth trying. The co-counder of Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, tried implementing this through Citizendium, but I think the main issue was his continued elitist approach to things. He wasn’t trying to establish a, “citizen’s encyclopedia”, as the name suggests, but rather just a place for experts, who would have extended privileges. Basically a glorified Britannica with some user input. A truly democratic Wiki is possible, but it’d have to be very, very large, even larger than Wikipedia for it to work. Still, maybe worth trying. What about other proposed solutions?

The Encyclosphere?

The, “Encyclosphere”, is Larry Sanger’s latest effort to improve upon Wikipedia, or spitefully lash out at Jimmy Wales for, “hogging editors”. Probably the latter, as he is even more elitist than Wales. Larry Sanger’s encyclosphere clearly is not a solution to the elitism and unfriendliness issue, in that his attempts to scrape existing content, if successful, would just leave him or his foundation as the ultimate deciders.


Everipedia, a separate project backed, but not run, by Sanger, claims to, “fix Wikipedia”, by, “decentralizing”, editorial decisions to whoever has the most online tokens that are for sale on the open market. That is a complicated way to say, “editorial decisions will be made by the wealthiest people”. Well turn on cable news and see how well that turned out


If people want to really decentralize knowledge more without democracy and driver’s licenses there’d need to be something like WikiApiary or WikiIndex (both horribly unmaintained and hard to browse sites). It would be cool to have an online directory of wikis that are fun to scroll through and are ranked by category instead of highly manipulatable, “upvotes”. This seems to be the most practical and immediate solution to the wikisphere. Not that sexy though, and also most people are fine with Wikipedia.

When I had full control of, I noticed that the Wikimedia software is not built for democratic voting decisions, it just gives all the power to the admins full-stop. Now on, a continuation of pre-serge, (ie the “original”) that’s the same dynamic, mostly due to the software. But… thanks to the price drop in VPSs over the last 30 years it’s exceedingly easy to just start your own wiki if you’re not happy with the adminship on or even on my server, you can just set up shop somewhere, and boom problem solved.

For some reason, is doing better than I thought it would as far as traffic, and as far as editors, and we don’t necessarily need something like a good WikiIndex for people to find our site, I still think such a thing would be a good idea. I run a very good Cuck Wiki and no one knows it exists.

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