While going through some books for an upcoming piece about work ethic, I noticed a series of questions I wrote after this passage in Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs:
“And the continuing democratization of memory can only accelerate the obsolescence of history as we once understood it. History has been revealed as a fluid intellectual construct, susceptible to revisionism, in which a set of individuals with access to a large database dominates another set with less access. The age-old notion of ‘knowledge is power’ is overturned when all memory is copy-and-paste-able–knowledge becomes wisdom, and creativity and intelligence, previously thwarted by lack of access to new ideas, can flourish.”
Here are the questions I jotted down. They were probably written in 2006:
- What effect does the internet have in combating revisionism?
- Do crowdsourced resources (Wikipedia) prevent a single monopolistic information source from practicing revisionism?
- Does Wikipedia fall into the trap of revisionism by the masses, where majority rule outweighs objective truth?
- When Wikipedia relies on “reputable outside sources,” does it not end up reflecting the same biases as the media conglomerations behind those sources? Is a crowdsourced article more likely to just be a difference of style instead of substance?
- What is a reliable source in a 2.0 world?
It is interesting to look at these questions years later. Anyone feel like addressing any of these questions now that we are in 2010? Share your thoughts in the comments.