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pages: 398 words: 86,023

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih

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Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Marshall McLuhan, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K

Smaller editions, such as French, Polish, Dutch, and even the much smaller Chinese version, each had more representatives than the Japanese Wikipedia. Japanese Wikipedia remained something of a mysterious outlier to the community of global volunteers. A main motivation of global Wikipedians at Wikimania was to meet one another, and particularly the legendary founder Jimmy Wales they’d heard so much about. When Takashi Ota, one of the two Japanese Wikipedians who attended, and who edited anonymously, was told he must meet Jimmy Wales, he famously quipped, “Who’s Jimmy Wales?” The Japanese language is one of the tougher languages in the world to learn because it effectively has three different writing systems, used simultaneously and mixed in varying proportions. It consists of two syllabic scripts, katakana and hiragana, as well as kanji, which is based on modified logographic Chinese characters.

The Wikipedia REVOLUTION How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia Andrew Lih For my wife, Mei Contents Acknowledgments viii Foreword by Jimmy Wales xii Chapter 1_THE WIKI PHENOMENON 1 History 3 Chapter 2_ A NUPEDIA 13 What Is an Encyclopedia? 14 Alabama Rising 17 The Mother of All Directories 23 RMS 24 Linux on the Scene 28 Remember DMOZ 30 The Nupedia Idea 32 Nupedia’s Rules 36 The Nupedians 37 Chapter 3_WIKI ORIGINS 43 Ward’s Start 45 HyperCard’s Inspirations 51 A Web Browser 53 Viola 54 HyperCard Revisited 55 Chapter 4_WIKI INTRODUCED 61 Slashdotting 67 Contributing the Meaning of Everything 70 The GFDL 72 v _Contents UseMod Grows 73 Give Me More Space 75 Server Load 77 Chapter 5_COMMUNITY AT WORK (THE PIRANHA EFFECT) 81 Usenet’s Legacy 83 Lessons from Usenet 87 Growth 88 How Wikipedia Works 90 Urban Jungle 96 Signaling One Another 97 Then Came the Bots 99 Lots of Red Dots 106 Peer Production 108 Dot Map Obsession 109 Essays, Guidelines, and Policy 112 Fix It Yourself 114 What to Include 115 Gaming the Vote 121 Small Ball 122 Gdansk/Danzig Wars 122 Chapter 6_WIKIPEDIA GOES INTERNATIONAL 133 To Split or Not to Split 135 Spanish Wikipedia Fork 136 Making It Multilingual 139 Encoding Language 142 A Colossal Waste of Space 143 Japanese Wikipedia 145 German Wikipedia 147 Chinese Wikipedia 150 Serbian Wikipedia and Kazakh Wikipedia 155 African Languages 157 The Numbers Game 159 Contents_vi Chapter 7_TROLLS, VANDALS, AND SOCK PUPPETS, OH MY 169 Vandals and Sock Puppets 176 Jimbo Doesn’t Scale 179 Chapter 8_CRISIS OF COMMUNITY 183 Criticisms 188 The Seigenthaler Incident 191 The Essjay Controversy 194 Chapter 9_WIKIPEDIA MAKES WAVES 201 JewWatch 202 Microsoft Encarta’s Experiment 204 Wikitorials 205 Nature Study 208 Britannica Goes Free and Collaborative 209 Digital Universe and Citizendium 210 The Future 213 To the Afterword 217 Afterword 219 Notes 231 Index 237 About the Author Credits Cover Copyright Acknowledgments The idea for this book started in 2003, when I met Jerry Michalski for cof-fee at the top of the mountainside campus of the University of Hong Kong.

My fellow podcasters at Wikipedia Weekly were critical in helping me sift through Wikipedia’s history and keep up with developments: Andrew Wallwork, Liam Wyatt, David Still, and Nico Montes. Also, fellow Wikipedia-oriented blog-gers and editors Ben Yates, Geoff Burling, Brianna Laugher, and Danny Wool were instrumental to my understanding of the community. The book would not have been possible without extensive interviews with the principal enablers of Wikipedia: Ward Cunningham, Larry Sanger, and Jimmy Wales. Michael Davis, Tim Shell, Terry Foote. Thanks to Wikimedia Foun- Ac know ledg ments_x dation board members Florence Devouard, Angela Beesley, and Michael Snow for discussions and insights. Smart folks who provided insight on the community and wikis included Re-becca MacKinnon, Ethan Zuckerman, Benjamin Mako Hill, Sunir Shah, Mitch Kapor, Jason Calacanis, Ross Mayfield, and Joseph Reagle.


pages: 218 words: 44,364

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom

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Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, creative destruction, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, peer-to-peer, pez dispenser, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing

The encyclopedia was the savior of lazy elementary school children everywhere. When we heard about a new online encyclopedia, we expected a variation on Britannica—short articles written by experts, covering the basics on a variety of subjects. But then we found out that the entries were all user-contributed. A truly open model. Wikipedia has fascinating origins that in many ways capture the evolution of an open system. It started with Jimmy Wales, a successful options-trader-turned-Internet-entrepreneur-turnedphilanthropist. In 2000, Wales launched a free online encyclopedia to be used by children whose parents couldn't afford their own set. The project, called Nupedia, used peer review. But getting something published on Nupedia was a chore. There were seven steps: assignment, finding a lead reviewer, lead review, open review, lead copyediting, open copyediting, and final approval and markup.

The process was tedious; PhDs and other experts were assigned as authors. As the articles were slowly being churned out, Larry Sanger, Nupedia's editor-in-chief, learned about something called a wiki. Derived from the Hawaiian word for "quick," wiki is a technology that allows Web site users to easily (and quickly) edit the content of the site themselves. Sanger pitched the idea of using wiki technology at Nupedia. Taking a cue from Bill W, Jimmy Wales agreed, and Wikipedia was born. Just like AA, the project took off. Within five years, Wikipedia was available in two hundred languages and had extensive articles— more than one million in the English-language sec- THE STARFISH AND THE SPIDER tion alone—on a host of topics. And just like the AA offshoots, Wikipedia spawned Wiktionary, Wikibooks, and Wikinews. As for Nupedia, it managed to squeeze out twenty-four finalized articles and seventy-four articles still in progress before closing down.

Likewise, Bill W. was the catalyst of AA. He started the organization but stepped aside when he saw that AA was taking off. Bill W. let go of the reins and allowed AA to become its own entity. We see the same pattern with every decentralized organization: a catalyst gets a decentralized organization going and then cedes control to the members. Craig Newmark lets the users of craigslist decide which categories to list on the site. Jimmy Wales allows the members to take over the content of Wikipedia. Brian Behlendorf contributes his computer and lets the programmers take control of the Apache server program. The creator of eMule is the ultimate catalyst. No one knows who he or she is, and he or she has certainly ceded control: the source code for the program is right there for anyone to use. If, instead of giving the software away, the eMule catalyst had stuck around and tried to STANDING ON FIVE LEGS capitalize on the program, eMule would have been sued out of existence.

Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak

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Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, moral hazard, online collectivism, pirate software, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Torstendahl (Eds.), Professions in theory and history: Rethinking the study of the professions. London: Sage. Commons talk:Sexual content. (2013, August 17). Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved August 22, 2013, from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons_talk:Sexual _content/Archive_4 Commons:Deletion requests/file:Jimmy Wales by Pricasso.jpg. (2013, August 20). Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved August 22, 2013, from http://commons.wikimedia .org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Jimmy_Wales_by_Pricasso.jpg 2 4 6    R e f e r e n c e s Community Logo/Request for consultation. (2013, October 29). Wikimedia. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Logo/ Request_for_consultation Conlon, M. P. (2007). An examination of initiation, organization, participation, leader­ship, and control of successful open source software development projects.

Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1(2), 71–75. Horn, L. (2012, April 20). Seven years, one million edits, zero dollars: Wikipedia’s flat broke superstar. Gizmodo. Retrieved from http://gizmodo.com/5903743/seven -years-one-million-edits-zero-dollars-wikipedias-flat-broke-superstar-editor Hough, A. (2012, March 11). Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia chief to advise Whitehall on policy. The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012 from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/wikipe dia/9137339/Jimmy-Wales-Wikipedia-chief-to-advise-Whitehall-on-policy.html Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277–1288. Humphreys, M., & Watson, T. J. (2009). Ethnographic practices: From “writing-up ethnographic research” to “writing ethnography.” In S.

Insiders and outsiders: A chapter in the sociology of knowledge. American Journal of Sociology, 78(1), 9–47. Metz, C. (2007, December 4). Secret mailing list rocks Wikipedia. The Register. Retrieved from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/04/wikipedia_secret_mailing/ Metz, C. (2008a, March 5). Ex-Wikipedia staffer harpoons Wales over expenses. The Register. Retrieved from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/05/jimmy_wales _and_danny_wool/ Metz, C. (2008b, March 6). Why you should care that Jimmy Wales ignores reality. The Register. Retrieved from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/06/a_model_wiki pedian/ Metz, C. (2010, May 9). Jimbo Wales exiles “porn” from Wikiland. The Register. Retrieved from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/09/wikimedia_pron_purge/ Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

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Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Larry Wall, late fees, Mark Shuttleworth, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, peer-to-peer, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux, yellow journalism

This is no 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 203 8/12/08 1:55:45 AM 204 REMI X idle resolve: as I’ve already mentioned, based on the traffic Wikipedia garners, it could earn over $100 million a year if it added advertising to its site. Such is the opportunity of top ten Internet portals. Wikia, another wiki site, was launched by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Its aim is not to build an encyclopedia. Rather, its aim is to be a “platform for developing and hosting communitybased wikis. Specifically, Wikia enables groups to share information, news, stories, media and opinions that fall outside the scope of an encyclopedia. . . . Wikia is committed to openness, inviting anyone to contribute web content.”34 The site is enjoying the Jimmy Wales magic. With eight hundred thousand articles, it is actually growing faster than Wikipedia was at a comparable period.35 The site is already a treasury of human culture. Fans of television shows detail facts about the shows.

The objective was an encyclopedia. That meant articles were to be written from a “neutral point of view” (NPOV). And the project was to be run by a volunteer community (though Sanger was originally a paid editor so long as Bomis’s funding continued). To assure that the volunteers felt they were part of a community, the rules had to be rules anyone could live by. Thus was born the “ignore all rules” rule, which Jimmy Wales explained to me as follows: “Ignore all rules” . . . is not an invitation to chaos. It is really more an idea of saying, “Look, whatever rules we have in Wikipedia, they ought to be, more or less, discernible by any normal, socially adept adult who thinks about what would be the ethical thing to do in this situation. That should be what the rule is.” It should be pretty intuitive. And if there’s something that’s counterintuitive, it shouldn’t really be a rule.

This “copyleft” license—the brainchild of Richard Stallman—set the final founding norm for this extraordinary experiment in collaboration. If you’re one of the seven people in the world who have not yet used Wikipedia, you might well wonder whether this experiment in collaboration can work. The answer is that it does, and surpris- 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 157 8/12/08 1:55:27 AM REMI X 158 ingly well—surprising even for Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales. As he explained to me: As people get experienced using Wikipedia and they’re reading it a lot, they begin to have this intuition that Wikipedia is pretty darn good about being neutral on very controversial subjects. And that’s a little bit surprising; I know certainly if you had asked me before Wikipedia what a big problem would be, I would have said, “Wow, I’m hoping that it’s not going to be incredibly biased on controversial subjects.


pages: 369 words: 80,355

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger

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airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Comparisons to the Philippine-American War were inserted by some people and removed by others.17 And then, of course, there were the disgusting images repeatedly posted by vandals. Jeff Jarvis, an important voice for openness in the debate about the future of journalism, blogged that “[a] wikitorial is bound to turn into a tug-of-war” and suggested that an alternative wiki page be set up for those who disagreed with the editorial. The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, responded that he had already done so, creating a “counterpoint” wiki on the Los Angeles Times site for those who differed from the newspaper’s view.18 “I’m not sure the LA Times wants me setting policy for their site,” wrote Wales, “but it is a wiki after all, and what was there made no sense.”19 No sense at all. Wikis try to get everyone on the same page, quite literally. But when a diversity of passionate opinion is inevitable—no editorial has ever been powerful enough to dispel all contrary ideas—a wiki is exactly the wrong idea.

Ultimately, the decision was made to list them with minimal detail: Ryan Clark is listed as “senior in Psych/Biology/English” and Emily Hilscher as “freshman in Animal Sciences.” Only six of those listed have links to their own Wikipedia articles: five professors, and the murderer.10 The debate among “inclusionists” and “deletionists” at Wikipedia continues to this day. But the choice in this instance was made easier by a prior decision made by Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia and its titular head. In September 2006, Wales added some language to one of the wiki pages that serves as a policy manual for Wikipedia: “What Wikipedia is not.”11 To negative descriptions such as that Wikipedia is “not a publisher of original thought,” is “not a soapbox or means of promotion,” and is “not a crystal ball,” Wales added that Wikipedia is not a newspaper “and especially not a tabloid newspaper.”12 Wales spoke and the policy was created, just like Jack Welch deciding that GE will no longer make nuclear reactors.

You can’t do anything about Welch’s decisions because the organization is structured to foreclose that precise possibility; the person at the top is the person in charge. Over the years, Wikipedia has developed a set of policies and processes that enable the community—the network—to make and amend decisions. When the network cannot come to agreement, other processes kick in, including an arbitration committee, and then, rarely, the ultimate arbitration committee-of-one, Jimmy Wales. But those escalations up the chain of command are considered to be failures of the preferred system of bold action by individuals, reviewed and elaborated by the community. “In the early days, I made a lot of policy decisions,” Wales told me, “but that’s not really sustainable.”15 These days, most of his decisions are either essentially coin-tosses when the community is evenly split or judge-like applications of principles that all in the community accept.


pages: 407 words: 103,501

The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

All we have is the great seduction of citizen media, democratized content and authentic online communities. And weblogs, course. Millions and millions of blogs. <Katherine Mangu-Ward> wikipedia and beyond: jimmy wales’s sprawling vision Originally published in Reason magazine (June 2007). KATHERINE MANGU-WARD is a senior editor at Reason magazine. Previously, Mangu-Ward worked as a reporter for The Weekly Standard magazine and as a researcher on The New York Times op-ed page. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, New York Timesonline, and numerous other publications. She blogs at reason.com. JIMMY WALES, the founder of Wikipedia, lives in a house fit for a grandmother. The progenitor and public face of one of the ten most popular websites in the world beds down in a one-story bungalow on a cul-de-sac near St.

He likes elites, he says; they just have to duke it out with the rest of us on Wikipedia and his other projects. “Jimmy Wales is a very open person,” says his friend Irene McGee, the host of the radio show No One’s Listening and a former Real World cast member. “He has very genuine intentions and faith in people. He’ll come to San Francisco and come to little Meetups that don’t have anything to do with anything, just to find out what’s going on. He’ll go to meet the kid in this town who writes articles and then meet with people who run countries. He can meet somebody really fancy and he could meet somebody who nobody would recognize and tell the story as if it’s the same.” >>> the individualist communitarian Rock star status can be fleeting, of course. Whether Jimmy Wales will still be meeting fancy people who run countries five years from now may depend on the success of his new venture, Wikia.

your brain is evolving right now section two - social life, personal life, school identity crisis they call me cyberboy the people’s net social currency the eight net gen norms love online we can’t ignore the influence of digital technologies virtual friendship and the new narcissism activists section three - the fate of culture nomadicity what is web 2.0: design patterns and business models for the next generation of software web squared: web 2.0 five years on web 2.0: the second generation of the internet has arrived and it’s worse than ... wikipedia and beyond: jimmy wales’s sprawling vision judgment: of molly’s gaze and taylor’s watch - why more is less in a ... a dream come true the end of solitude means credits index Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking JEREMY P. TARCHER/PENGUIN Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA • Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi–110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Copyright © 2011 by Mark Bauerlein All rights reserved.


pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/case/acta-open-agreement-secretly-arrived-at/ 172. see ‘Does ACTA Threaten Online Freedom of Expression & Privacy?’, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/media/acta-the-internet-freedom-of-expression-privacy/, and map of June 2012 at European Green Party, ‘Europe-wide Demonstrations against ACTA’, 8 June 2012, http://perma.cc/37XC-3Q4B 173. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, explained the reasons and the impact at the Oxford launch of freespeechdebate.com, ‘Free Speech Debate Launch with Jimmy Wales’, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/media/free-speech-debate-launch-with-jimmy-wales/ 174. I first made this point at an ‘Open Up?’ conference organised by the Omidyar Network; see video here: http://vimeo.com/111748146. The variegated representatives of NGOs did not seem all that keen to take it up 175. see, for example, the Twitris monitoring experiment: ‘Twitris’, http://perma.cc/TP6X-CYVL 176. see Amy Qin, ‘Wenzhou Train Collision’, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/case/wenzhou-train-collision/ 177. see Hirschman 1970 178. see Kirkpatrick 2010, 246–50 179. see the accounts in Markoff 2005, 47–57.

, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/case/acta-open-agreement-secretly-arrived-at/, ‘Does ACTA Threaten Online Freedom of Expression & Privacy?’, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/media/acta-the-internet-freedom-of-expression-privacy/, and Brian Pellot, ‘The Stop Online Piracy Act’, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/case/the-stop-online-piracy-act/. See also ‘Free Speech Debate launch with Jimmy Wales’, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/media/free-speech-debate-launch-with-jimmy-wales/ 36. The Harvard Library, ‘Faculty Advisory Council Memorandum on Journal Pricing’, http://perma.cc/WJD2-Y7H4 37. Janet Finch, ‘Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications’, Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, June 2012, http://perma.cc/HQ4X-6Z2E 38. see David Amsden, ‘The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Aaron Swartz’, Rolling Stone, 15 February 2013, http://perma.cc/DZN2-GGUC.

The American scholar Elizabeth Daley has suggested that the ‘multimedia language of the screen’ may even supplant writing as the primary medium of mass communication online, as Latin was gradually overtaken by vernacular languages such as English, French and German after the spread of printing in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.12 Emojis, GIFs and shared pictures are thrusting up beside text. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, told me that the most frequent and difficult controversies they had to deal with on Wikipedia related to images rather than words.13 When a Polish pole vaulter, Władysław Kozakiewicz, made a rude gesture to the mainly Russian crowd after winning a gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, that was clearly self-expression. Elegantly described in French as the bras d’honneur, this well-known gesture involves emphatically placing one hand in the crook of the other arm.


pages: 158 words: 16,993

Citation Needed: The Best of Wikipedia's Worst Writing by Conor Lastowka, Josh Fruhlinger

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airport security, citation needed, en.wikipedia.org, jimmy wales, peak oil, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking

We hope you will laugh, cry, maybe even learn something, and always remember to dogballs. —Conor Lastowka & Josh Fruhlinger citationneeded.tumblr.com In barely one decade, Jimmy Wales has succeeded in establishing a worldwide network of knowledge. Wikipedia, his online encyclopaedia, accessible on the Internet for free, has become a symbol of a radical change in the media economy. Moreover, it revolutionized the access to knowledge as man’s most important resource and thus contributed to democratizing knowledge. —The Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, awarding the 2011 Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales I saw the Beavis and Butt-Head episode that had Hogan’s “Real American” music on there. I don’t quite remembering it being critiqued by Beavis and Butt-Head. They sounded more like they liked the music and I don’t really remember any criticism of it (except for when it was going, when Butt-Head said “homework sucks”, but I’m not quite sure if he was referring to music or not).


pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

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Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, c2.com, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Kuiper Belt, liberation theology, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe’s law, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra

CHAPTER 5 PERSONAL MOTIVATION MEETS COLLABORATIVE PRODUCTION Collaborative production, where people have to coordinate with one another to get anything done, is considerably harder than simple sharing, but the results can be more profound. New tools allow large groups to collaborate, by taking advantage of nonfinancial motivations and by allowing for wildly differing levels of contribution. Perhaps the most famous example of distributed collaboration today is Wikipedia, the collaboratively created encyclopedia that has become one of the most visited websites in the world. Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger founded Wikipedia in 2001 as an experimental offshoot of their original idea, a free online encyclopedia of high quality called Nupedia. Nupedia was to be written, reviewed, and managed by experts volunteering their time. Wales had had a taste of collaboratively produced work while running Bomis, an internet company he’d helped found in 1996. Bomis was in the business of helping (mainly male) users create and show collections of related websites on subjects like overengineered cars and underdressed starlets; it was like a user-curated Maxim.

The most common criticism of Wikipedia over the years stemmed from simple disbelief: “That can’t work.” Sanger understood this objection and titled an early essay on the growth of Wikipedia “Wikipedia is wide open. Why is it growing so fast? Why isn’t it full of nonsense?” In that article he ascribed at least part of the answer to group editing:Wikipedia’s self-correction process (Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales calls it “self-healing”) is very robust. There is considerable value created by the public review process that is continually ongoing on Wikipedia—value that is very easy to underestimate, for those who have not experienced it adequately. One other fateful choice, which actually predates the founding of Wikipedia itself, was the name, or rather the “-pedia” suffix. Wikipedia, like all social tools, is the way it is in part because of the way the software works and in part because of the way the community works.

It became valuable precisely because he offered a bargain that limited his future freedom; adoption of the GPL was a serious token of commitment. Wikipedia faced a similar challenge early on. In 2002 the Spanish-language version was growing quickly, but the Spanish users were concerned that Wikipedia might opt for a commercial, ad-driven model. They threatened to take all of their contributions and start an alternate version (a process known as “forking”). This was enough to convince Jimmy Wales to formally forgo any future commercial plans for Wikipedia, and to move the site from Wikipedia.com to Wikipedia.org, in keeping with its nonprofit status. Similarly, he decided to adopt the GNU Free Documentation License for Wikipedia’s content. As with Linus Torvalds’s adoption of a GNU license for Linux, the GFDL assured contributors that their contributions would remain freely available, making them likelier to contribute.


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

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23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Google’s founders and executives understand the change brought by the internet. That is why they are so successful and powerful, running what The Times of London dubbed “the fastest growing company in the history of the world.” The same is true of a few disruptive capitalists and quasi-capitalists such as Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook; Craig Newmark, who calls himself founder and customer service representative—no joke—at craigslist; Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia; Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon; and Kevin Rose, creator of Digg. They see a different world than the rest of us and make different decisions as a result, decisions that make no sense under old rules of old industries that are now blown apart thanks to these new ways and new thinkers. That is why the smart response to all this change is to ask what these disrupters—what Mark, Craig, Jimmy, Jeff, Kevin, and, of course, Google—would do.

The most active contributor was 10 times more active than the least active. Wikipedia is not-for-profit. It has spawned a for-profit search service called Wikia, where users are creating even the algorithms that power it. It has commercial competitors, such as Mahalo, a human-powered search and guide created by serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, who pays his writers. At the 2008 Burda DLD conference in Munich, Calacanis tweaked Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Wikia, for not paying for content. Wales responded that nobody works for free. “What people do for free is have fun…. We don’t look at basketball games and people playing on the weekends and say these people are really suckers doing this for free.” People will contribute their intelligence and time if they know they can build something, have influence, gain control, help a fellow customer (more than a company), and claim ownership.

In no time, the quality of discourse around the first wikitorial descended to the level of that on a prison yard during a riot because the Times had made a fundamental error: A wiki is a tool used for collaboration, but there was no collaborating to be done on the topic of the Times’ wikitorial—the Iraq war. I saw things going to hell and blogged that the Times would have been wiser to have created two wikis—one pro and one con—structured like an Oxford debate. The challenge to the opposing crowds would have been: Give us your best shots and let readers judge. It so happened that Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, saw my post and agreed. He headed to the Times to propose “forking” the wikitorial into two, but by then it was too late. The Times put a stake through the heart of the wikitorial. Since then, when newspaper people talk about interactivity, somebody will point to the danger of the wikitorial. Never mind that the form was misused; wikis now have cooties. Interactivity has its limitations.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

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1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

This free, volunteer-created encyclopaedia is revered and denounced in equal measure: worshipped with fervour by its admirers as a wonder of collaborative creativity and pilloried by critics as a licence for anarchy, a platform for half-truths and a free ticket for ill-informed amateurs to gain credence they do not deserve at the expense of knowledgeable professionals. Wikipedia is the offspring of an ultimately ill-fated collaboration. In 2000, Jimmy Wales, a former options trader, employed Larry Sanger to create a free online encyclopaedia, Nupedia, which would allow anyone to submit an article to be reviewed by expert editors before being published.4 The seven-stage editorial review Sanger designed proved cumbersome and, as a result, Nupedia grew slowly. The first article – on atonality – was published in the summer of 2000, and Nupedia peaked in the winter of 2001 with 25 published articles.

They will not be able to afford an encyclopaedia in any form for many years to come. Wikipedia is creating a global, public platform of useful knowledge that will be freely available to any school, college or family in the world, in their own language. In Africa, even where communities do not have access to the Internet, teachers are using copies of Wikipedia downloaded onto CDs. Wikipedia may get the odd thing wrong, but that misses the bigger picture. Jimmy Wales and his community have created a new way for us to share knowledge and ideas at scale, en masse, across the world. Wikipedia’s message is: the more we share, the richer we are. As Wikipedia spreads around the world not only does it carry knowledge, it teaches habits of participation, responsibility and sharing. Wikipedia is based not on a naïve faith in collectivism but on the collaborative exercise of individual responsibility.

Without effective self-governance idealistic web communities, like so many communes and co-operatives before them, will collapse into an avalanche of diverse perspectives, rants, lies, gossip, falsehoods, truths and hearsay. It is also critical that the contributors do not immerse themselves so fully into the collective that they stop thinking individually. Wikipedia is not a cult. People do not have to read the collected works of Jimmy Wales and attend local cells to be educated in the Wikipedia way. We-Think emerges when diverse groups of independent individuals collaborate effectively. It is not group-think: submersion in a homogeneous, unthinking mass. Crowds and mobs are stupid as often as they are wise. It all depends on how the individual members combine participation and collaboration, diversity and shared values, independence of thought and community.


pages: 254 words: 79,052

Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us Into Temptation by Chris Nodder

4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, game design, haute couture, jimmy wales, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, late fees, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Netflix Prize, Nick Leeson, Occupy movement, pets.com, price anchoring, recommendation engine, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile

This more personal approach (backed up with near real-time updates on the death toll) is much more likely to hit home with passing hikers. Back in the tech world, Jimmy Wales’ “personal appeal” to raise funds for Wikipedia has a positive effect on donations. Wikipedia runs annual fund raising drives, and in 2011 the banner ads it used to accompany the fund raising were crafted through a series of A/B comparison tests to ensure maximum click through, followed by appeal pages designed to tell a story that would maximize conversion and donation amounts. Wikipedia’s A/B tests allowed them to work out that the most effective messages came from Jimmy Wales (the founder and public face of Wikipedia) and included a trustable explanation as to why the donations were needed. Thus, it came as close to being “personal” as is possible from a person that donors had probably never met.

Testimonials suggestions come from my unpublished research into trust conducted at Microsoft Corp. 13 percent purchased without using Internet, number of bad reviews to deter shoppers: “When was the last time you made a purchase without researching online first?” LightspeedResearch (lightspeedresearch.com). April 11, 2011. Retrieved December 2012. FTC guidelines: FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Oct 2009. Personal messages hit home Hanakapiai Beach sign photos credit: Chris Nodder. Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia appeal stats: “Fundraising 2011.” Wikimedia meta-wiki (meta.wikimedia.org). Retrieved November 2012. Facebook Sponsored Stories graphic: “Sponsored Stories in Marketplace” (PDF). Facebook for Business site (facebook.com/business). Retrieved November 2012. Gain public commitment to a decision Failing resolutions: John C. Norcross and Dominic J. Vangarelli. “The resolution solution: Longitudinal examination of New Year's change attempts.”


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

It was supported by a nonprofit charity established for the purpose. By the time the encyclopedia had 50 million users daily, the foundation had a payroll of eighteen people, including one in Germany, one in the Netherlands, one in Australia, and one lawyer, and everyone else was a volunteer: the millions of contributors, the thousand or more designated “administrators,” and, always a looming presence, the founder and self-described “spiritual leader,” Jimmy Wales. Wales did not plan initially the scrappy, chaotic, dilettantish, amateurish, upstart free-for-all that Wikipedia quickly became. The would-be encyclopedia began with a roster of experts, academic credentials, verification, and peer review. But the wiki idea took over, willy-nilly. A “wiki,” from a Hawaiian word for “quick,” was a web site that could be not just viewed but edited, by anyone. A wiki was therefore self-created, or at least self-sustaining.

Under Folklore: “(If you want to write about folklore, please come up with a list of folklore topics that are actually recognized as distinct, significant topics in folklore, a subject that you are not likely to know much about if all you’ve done along these lines is play Dungeons and Dragons, q.v.).”♦ Dungeons and Dragons was already well covered. Wikipedia was not looking for flotsam and jetsam but did not scorn them. Years later, in Alexandria, Jimmy Wales said: “All those people who are obsessively writing about Britney Spears or the Simpsons or Pokémon—it’s just not true that we should try to redirect them into writing about obscure concepts in physics. Wiki is not paper, and their time is not owned by us. We can’t say, ‘Why do we have these employees doing stuff that’s so useless?’ They’re not hurting anything. Let them write it.” “Wiki is not paper” was the unofficial motto.

.”♦ The point is not lost on Wikipedians. Some are familiar with a debate carried out by the German branch about the screw on the left rear brake pad of Ulrich Fuchs’s bicycle. Fuchs, as a Wikipedia editor, proposed the question, Does this item in the universe of objects merit its own Wikipedia entry? The screw was agreed to be small but real and specifiable. “This is an object in space, and I’ve seen it,”♦ said Jimmy Wales. Indeed, an article appeared in the German Meta-Wiki (that is, the Wikipedia about Wikipedia) titled “Die Schraube an der hinteren linken Bremsbacke am Fahrrad von Ulrich Fuchs.”♦ As Wales noted, the very existence of this article was “a meta-irony.” It was written by the very people who were arguing against its suitability. The article was not really about the screw, however. It is about a controversy: whether Wikipedia should strive, in theory or in practice, to describe the whole world in all its detail.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Wikipedia, Articles for Deletion/Angela Beesley (3rd nomination), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Angela_Beesley_(3rd_nomination) (as of May 3, 2007, 16:46 GMT). 69. 17 U.S.C. § 512 (2000); see also Wikipedia, Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability _Limitation_Act (providing a summary of the § 512 provisions of the DMCA) (as of June 1, 2007, 09:00 GMT); supra Ch. 5, note 83 and accompanying text. 70. RU Sirius, Jimmy Wales Will Destroy Google, 10 Zen Monkeys (Jan. 29, 2007), http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2007/01/29/wikipedia-jimmy-wales-rusirius-google-objectivism/. 71. Communitarianism is a social theory that rejects the devaluation of community. In asserting that family, friends, and social groups are important to the good life, communitarians focus on three themes: the importance of social context and tradition for meaning-making, the self’s social nature, and the community’s normative value.

Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia Britannica, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclop%C3% A6dia_Britannica (as of June 1, 2007, 10:00 GMT). 16. Id. 17. The History Place, The Rise of Adolf Hitler, http://wwwhistoryplace.com/worldwar2/ riseofhitler/ (last visited June 1, 2007). 18. Cats That Look Like Hitler!, http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/ (last visited June 1, 2007) (using the term “kitlers” to describe cats that look like Hitler). 19. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales underscores that Bomis, his dot-com search engine business, was not directly involved in pornography, pointing out that its content was R-rated rather than X-rated, like Maxim magazine rather than Playboy. This came to light when Wired reported that he had edited his own Wikipedia entry to make it more precise on the matter. See Evan Hansen, Wikipedia Founder Edits Own Bio, WIRED, Dec. 19, 2005, http://www.wired.eom/news/culture/0,1284,69880,00.html. 20.

Wikipedia, Congressional Staffer Edits to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con gressional_staffer_edits_to_Wikipedia (as of June 1, 2007, 09:00 GMT). 53. Time on Wikipedia Was Wasted, LOWELL SUN, Jan. 28, 2006. 54. See generally JAMES SUROWIECKI, THE WISDOM OF CROWDS (2004). 55. Centiare, Directory: MyWikiBiz, http://www.centiare.eom/Directory:MyWikiBiz (as of June 1, 2007, 09:05 GMT). 56. Id. 57. Wikipedia, User Talk:MyWikiBiz, http://en.wikipedia.Org/wild/User_talk:MyWikiBiz/Archive_1 (as of June 1, 2007, 09:05 GMT). 58. E-mail from Jimmy Wales, founder, Wikipedia, to WikiEN-1 mailing list, about My WikiBiz (Aug. 9, 2006, 02:58 PM), http://www.nabble.com/MyWikiBiz-tf2080660.html 59. Wikipedia, User:Essjay/RFC, http://en.wikipedia.Org/wiki/User:Essjay/RFC (as of June 1, 2007, 09:00 GMT). 60. See Noam Cohen, After False Claim, Wikipedia to Check Degrees, N.Y. TIMES, Mar. 12, 2007, at C8, available athttp://wwwnytimes.com/2007/03/12/technology/12wiki.html. 61.


pages: 452 words: 134,502

Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini, David Segal, Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Laurie, Ron Paul, Mike Masnick, Kim Dotcom, Tiffiniy Cheng, Alexis Ohanian, Nicole Powers, Josh Levy

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4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, hive mind, immigration reform, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prisoner's dilemma, QR code, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Skype, technoutopianism, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Dave Dayen You could have watched the nightly news every day during these few months, and wouldn’t have known that any of this happened. The progressive watchdog Media Matters noted in mid-January 2012 that none of the major broadcast or cable news networks ever produced a segment on the SOPA/PIPA fight in their primetime coverage. That’s because ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN all supported the bill. Tiffiniy Cheng The Wikipedia community got closer and closer to approving a site-wide blackout on U.S. Wikipedia, with Jimmy Wales going public about his position in support of a SOPA protest: more and more people understood that SOPA would’ve been narrowly destructive of Wikipedia, but also would have undermined other efforts to use the Internet to broaden access to information. (One of the most extraordinary artifacts from the blackout would be the stream of tweets from jilted middle and high school students whose lack of access to the site stymied schoolwork for a day and provided a fleeting glimpse of what life was like in the prehistoric 1990s.)

EFF, FFTF, Public Knowledge, Mozilla, Demand Progress, CDT and several other organizations and platforms got to work on building towards another day of action. Mozilla helped connect us to WordPress—a top 30 site—and we got a commitment from them that they’d participate. We heard that Craigslist—a top ten site—wanted to get involved. The Wikipedia community got closer and closer to approving a site-wide blackout on U.S. Wikipedia, with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales going public about his position in support of a SOPA protest: more and more people understood that SOPA would’ve been narrowly destructive of Wikipedia, but also would have undermined other efforts to use the Internet to broaden access to information. (One of the most extraordinary artifacts from the blackout would be the stream of tweets from jilted middle and high school students whose lack of access to the site stymied schoolwork for a day and provided a fleeting glimpse of what life was like in the prehistoric 1990s.)

TVShack indexed links to media—including some copyrighted video streams— housed on other sites. On June 30th, 2010 United States law enforcement agencies seized TVShack.net and several other domains that were accused of violating United States copyright laws. In May of 2011, O’Dwyer was charged with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and criminal infringement of copyright, and the United States government initiated the extradition process. Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales initiated a series of public petitions in support of O’Dwyer’s cause. They were signed by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, including more than eighty thousand Demand Progress members. As of late fall of 2012, just after this interview was conducted, O’Dwyer had agreed to a “deferred prosecution” agreement that will let him avoid jail time. Anyone who’s ever posted a link online without thoroughly investigating its providence should be concerned about the fate of a British student who is facing extradition and a ten year prison sentence in America—despite the fact that the crimes U.S. prosecutors allege he is guilty of were not committed on U.S. soil or servers and are not considered by experts to be against the law in the UK.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, mass immigration, Menlo Park, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

It looks like something from a Caro-Jeunet film, and just as creepy – I know already that I don’t belong here. As if to confirm it, a voice asks me from the shadows – “can I help you?” “Sorry, I’m in the wrong place,” I stutter, and head back to the crowd outside. * * * Chapter 2: Courage is contagious “Somehow,” Rop tells me, “the Chaos Computer Club has managed to attract new debates and it’s been able to capture the new things that are going on. Jimmy Wales was here when Wikipedia was really young. Everybody understands that this club tries to find the new issues. And the people coming to the club are those interested in thinking five years ahead. What’s going to happen next?” What indeed. It’s day two of the conference, and I’m pretty sure that the talk I’m waiting to watch is the main event this year. It hasn’t got anything to do with GSM, or mobile phones, and it won’t make headlines for a little while yet.

I can’t be sure, but I think that’s also what John Perry Barlow meant by freedom when he talked about his “civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace… more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.” When information can be reproduced at zero marginal cost, and spread around the world in an instant, it would seem sensible to hope that more knowledge will be put in the hands of more people, and that as a consequence, those who have benefitted from an education might be that bit wiser, and those who have not might be able to remedy their situation. As Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, puts it, “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. Thats what were doing.” When information is distributed not by an ever-shrinking group of global corporations guarding access to a one-way pipe, but by everyone, to everyone, so that it bursts like sunlight into every nook and cranny of the intellectual landscape, it would seem sensible to hope for a level of political and corporate transparency that might purge the world’s elites of their most unsavoury elements.

The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture From a Journey of 71 Million Miles by Astronaut Ron Garan, Muhammad Yunus

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, book scanning, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, global village, Google Earth, Indoor air pollution, jimmy wales, optical character recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, Stephen Hawking, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber for X, web of trust

“If you look at some of the most successful initiatives in the last twenty-five to thirty years,” Cole said, “historically they are open systems.” She pointed out that the Internet began as a free, open network that people could build on, and that applications such as Wikipedia probably owe their success to their open source nature. “I think the success of cooperative models has been shown to be right.” Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales believes that the gift economy is something that we’re just starting to understand. He pointed to the numerous websites and businesses that are built upon open source software and how this is transforming the world. “And we’ve just begun to scratch the surface, because of the tools we have today to bring people together. In the past, you really couldn’t find one hundred people who wanted to do something.

Thanks to astronauts and cosmonauts Mike Foale, Mike Barratt, Tom Marshburn, Leroy Chiao, Koichi Wakata, and Ellen Baker, Sergei Krikolev, Vladimir Titov, and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden for your contributions to the book. Also, a big thanks to retired astronaut General Kevin Chilton for the expert lesson in geopolitics. Thanks to everyone who has added their voice to this book, including Al Holland, John McBrine, Bill Gerstenmaier, George Abbey, Mike O’Brien, Jeff Manber, Joan Johnson-Freese, Samantha Snabes, former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, Marcelo Aliaga, Gopi Kallayil, Vic Gundotra, Jimmy Wales, Luis von Ahn, Willow Brugh, Wasfia Nazreen, Elena Maroko, Lily Cole, Evan Thomas, Daria Musk, Nick Skytland, Chris Gerty, Ali Llewellyn, Patrick Svenburg, Stu Gill, Rebecca Wright, Emmanuel Jal, Elizabeth Thompson, Amanda Lindhout, and Dan Irwin. Thanks to everyone who has provided moral support through my writing journey, including Chris and Nicole Stott, Ness Knight, Dom Dauster, Hans Reitz, Leland Melvin, Amy Moore-Benson, Maraia Hoffman, and Clay Morgan.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

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3D printing, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, QR code, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Steve Ells, Ray Oldenburg, Vivek Kundra, Tony Hsieh, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, John Tolva, Rob Spiro and Alon Salant, Yancey Strickler, Charles Adler, Perry Chen, Meg Garlinghouse, Mitchell Baker, Dr. Tom X. Lee, Elon Musk, Peter Koechley & Eli Pariser, David Payne and Michael Tavani, Michael Bloomberg, Rachel Kleinfeld, John Mackey, Michael Pollan, Brad Neuberg, Chris Anderson, David Edinger, Scotty Martin, Dr. Regina Benjamin, Frank Perez, Al Gore, Zack Exley and Judith Freeman, Ben Goldhirsh, Adam Grant, David Javerbaum, Dr. Jon Kingsdale, Jane Jacobs, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Jorge Montalvo, Judge Jonathan Lippman, Justin Hall, Molla S. Donaldson, Karl D. Yordy, Kathleen N. Lohr, and Neal A. Vanselow, Peter Block INTRODUCTION I am 39 years old. As an American male, my life expectancy is 76. I’m already in the second half of my life, though I’m often still referred to as a “young leader.” It’s remarkable how much the world can change in 39 years.

Our goals in those days may not have been as noble as helping a country recover from the devastation of war—many dot-coms were frivolous misadventures—but we had seen what could be done by one person and an idea, with the help of technology. Groundbreaking change was possible. And as the dot-com sector regained its footing after the crash, we saw whole industries transformed, as well as the way most Americans communicated and engaged in society. So many of the pioneers in social entrepreneurship, social media, and sustainability are from Generation X and were in some way engaged with the dot-com boom. Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger of Wikipedia, Max Levchin, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel of PayPal, and Chris Anderson of Wired and now 3DRobotics are just a few examples. The core leadership of the Purpose Economy today is from this often forgotten generation, who in many ways produced the architects and catalysts of the new economy. 4. Environmental, Economic & Political Turmoil The growing uncertainty in our society is moving people to find stability within themselves, and to identify the need, to develop empathy for those affected by turmoil.


pages: 187 words: 62,861

The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs Over Self-Interest by Yochai Benkler

business process, California gold rush, citizen journalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, East Village, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental economics, experimental subject, framing effect, informal economy, invisible hand, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game, Zipcar

As we will see when we encounter the phenomenon of crowding out in the next chapter, preserving people’s sense of autonomy is crucial in harnessing cooperation, and research in self-governance suggests that this carries through to autonomy in setting the rules under which one may find oneself punished. What this means in terms of designing systems is that even if some rules or norms must be introduced or set from above, one should still try to build in as many mechanisms for self-governance, and offer as many opportunities for people to participate in reviewing and revising these rules, as possible. Circling back to Wikipedia, we see that this is exactly what Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger (Wales’s then employee and early cofounder) did; they set an initial policy but allowed people to discuss, debate, reinterpret, and enforce it on their own. In the 1990s, there was a surge of interest among legal scholars such as Larry Lessig and Dan Kahan in the question of just how norms can become so ingrained in a culture that people will voluntarily follow them without official regulation or enforcement.

Much more radical than the fact that it is free to consumers is the fact that Wikipedia, unlike television and radio, doesn’t pay a penny for its content; its content is produced by volunteers who write and edit it without wanting or seeking compensation, simply for the pleasure of writing, for the camaraderie of the community of Wikipedians. In short, for all the reasons we have been exploring in this book. The fruits of their collective authorship efforts is a process, not a product. A collaboration that incrementally and imperfectly improves itself over time. In February 2001, when Jimmy Wales first came up with this crazy idea for a web platform that relied entirely on volunteer contributions, anyone who predicted that the result would one day equal or surpass the hallowed Britannica would have been laughed out of the room. Critics claim that Wikipedia is less accurate and authoritative than Britannica and other published encyclopedias. The irony is that kids (mine included) are told at school that they should not use Wikipedia for their research, while academics (on occasion, my colleagues included) will often say things like “When I want to give my students [college or graduate] a handy reference for some basic concept, I send them to Wikipedia; it’s fantastic.”

Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge by Cass R. Sunstein

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affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, availability heuristic, Build a better mousetrap, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, framing effect, hindsight bias, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market design, minimum wage unemployment, prediction markets, profit motive, rent control, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, slashdot, stem cell, The Wisdom of Crowds, winner-take-all economy

It is even probable than those comprising this assembly will on many matters combine great ignorance with many prejudices. . . . It follows that the more numerous the assembly, the more it will be exposed to the risk of making false decisions. —Condorcet, Selected Writings Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing. —Jimmy Wales, Founder, Wikipedia Contents / Introduction Dreams and Nightmares 3 Chapter 1 The (Occasional) Power of Numbers 21 Chapter 2 The Surprising Failures of Deliberating Groups 45 Chapter 3 Four Big Problems 75 Chapter 4 Money, Prices, and Prediction Markets 103 Chapter 5 Many Working Minds: Wikis, Open Source Software, and Blogs 147 Chapter 6 Implications and Reforms 197 Conclusion Realizing Promises 217 Appendix Prediction Markets 227 Notes 231 Index 259 !"

Readers are also permitted to identify persistent vandals and to suggest that they be added to the “vandalism in progress” page. Such vandals can eventually be blocked by Wikipedia’s technology (allowing IP blocking or username blocking). Wikipedia works because the vandals are hopelessly outnumbered by those who want to make the project work. Why Wikis Work (or Not) / It is tempting and helpful to explain the success of Wikipedia through Hayek’s distinctive lens. Jimmy Wales himself has drawn the connection, saying, “Hayek’s work on price theory is central to my own thinking about how to manage the Wikipedia project. Possibly one can understand Wikipedia 156 / Infotopia without understanding Hayek. . . . But one can’t understand my ideas about Wikipedia without understanding Hayek.”9 Certainly, Wikipedia entries often aggregate the information held by numerous people in a way that connects closely to Hayek’s claims about the price system.


pages: 88 words: 22,980

One Way Forward: The Outsider's Guide to Fixing the Republic by Lawrence Lessig

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collapse of Lehman Brothers, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, jimmy wales, Occupy movement, Ronald Reagan

Its focus should be the single common enemy that has corrupted this Republic. Its aim must be to map the process by which we, #outsiders, defeat that enemy. Together. As one people, but not one network. As a federation, with radical differences among us, committed nonetheless to the one end we all must achieve: a government that we could have reason to trust. Our age has given us many different leaders, from Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) to Markos Moulitsas (Daily Kos) to Meckler and Martin (Tea Party Patriots). They reflect a diversity of networks, working on every important issue. They sometimes represent power enough to make the insiders listen. Let us learn how this diversity can act now as one network, as an inter-network, as a cooperating crowd, embracing the open-source principles that define our age, and using them to restore this Republic.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Although the Linux kernel benefited from the contributions of thousands of programmers and had the outside appearance of democratic engagement, for many years it was Torvalds alone who signed off on the formal “commits” to the code. Linux was nominally open, but in its formative stages it was tightly controlled. In the early stages of Wikipedia’s development, the debate over the right amount of founder control split up co-founders Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Although Sanger couldn’t afford to continue working without funding, he and Wales also disagreed about how to handle the real-world challenges that arise when anyone, regardless of expertise, can edit anything; Sanger wanted to be more restrictive and limit the ability to author articles to people formally vetted as authorities. Early in the second year Sanger left; Wales continued on, insisting on maximizing participation and letting anyone create an article.

“In economics,” according to the website Investopedia, “the free rider problem refers to a situation where some individuals in a population either consume more than their fair share of a common resource, or pay less than their fair share of the cost of a common resource.”6 But Nicholas Gruen, an economist who has worked closely with the Australian federal government—most recently on two task forces on innovation and Government 2.0—figured out that for this new class of companies, free rider opportunities were much larger than the cost of free rider problems. Wikipedia succeeded because Jimmy Wales believed that more people would contribute valuable articles to Wikipedia than would vandalize them. This is the Peers Inc paradigm at work: Opening assets up delivers more value and more innovation than keeping them under lockdown. New ways to address bad actors—reputation and trust systems—do change behavior and minimize negative contributions, as they did for eBay sellers, Airbnb hosts, and Uber drivers, who become more conscientious and professional in response to the potential for bad ratings.


pages: 685 words: 203,949

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

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airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

But there was a trade-off: an antipathy toward expertise. This is according to no less an authority than Lawrence Sanger, the cofounder (with Jimmy Wales) of Wikipedia! The problem, he notes, is that anyone—anyone—can edit a Wikipedia article, regardless of their knowledge or training. There is no central authority of credentialed experts who review the articles to ensure that they are factual or that they are being edited by someone with knowledge on the topic. As a reader of Wikipedia, you have no way to know whether you’re reading something accurate or not. And this isn’t an unwitting side effect; it was part of Wikipedia’s very design. Jimmy Wales has stated that experts should be accorded no more respect than novices, that there should be “no elite, and no hierarchy” of them to get in the way of newcomers who want to participate in Wikipedia.

CHAPTER 8 This is according to no less an authority Sanger, L. (2004, December 31). Why Wikipedia must jettison its anti-elitism. Kuro5hin. Retrieved from http://www.kuro5hin.org To Wikipedia’s credit, it contains an article titled “Criticism of Wikipedia,” although that piece is, perhaps understandably, biased toward Wikipedia. Criticism of Wikipedia. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 19, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Wikipedia Jimmy Wales has stated that experts User: Jimbo Wales. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved June 30, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jimbo_Wales “Why would an expert bother contributing . . .” Dharma. (December 30, 2004). Comment on Sanger, L. (2004, December 31). Why Wikipedia must jettison its anti-elitism [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://www.kuro5hin.org This all began with a Star Trek fanzine Jenkins, H. (1992).


pages: 467 words: 116,094

I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre

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call centre, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Desert Island Discs, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Firefox, Flynn Effect, jimmy wales, John Snow's cholera map, Loebner Prize, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, placebo effect, publication bias, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Simon Singh, statistical model, stem cell, the scientific method, Turing test, WikiLeaks

For example, there was a long-standing debate about which of two competing models of ‘microfinance’ schemes was best at getting people out of poverty in India, whilst ensuring that the money was paid back, so it could be re-used in other villages: a randomised trial compared the two models, and established which was best. At the top of the page at Wikipedia, when it is having a funding drive, you can see the smiling face of Jimmy Wales, the founder, on a fundraising advert. He’s a fairly shy person, and didn’t want his face to be on these banners. But Wikipedia ran a randomised trial, assigning visitors to different adverts: some saw an advert with a child from the developing world (‘She could have access to all of human knowledge if you donate …’); some saw an attractive young intern; some saw Jimmy Wales. The adverts with Wales got more clicks and more donations than the rest, so they were used universally. It’s easy to imagine that there are ways around the inconvenience of randomly assigning people, or schools, to one intervention or another: surely, you might think, we could just look at the people who are already getting one intervention, or another, and simply monitor their outcomes to find out which is the best.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

This approach works well, by and large, and has allowed the crowd to grow enormously without being sabotaged by its worst members. Not all versions of the crowd are equally successful at this gentle policing. The year 2016 saw challenges to this approach in the form of “fake news” on Facebook and other social media, and large amounts of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and other despicable vitriol on Twitter. Jimmy Wales has argued that Wikipedia, the crowdsourced encyclopedia that he cofounded, is relatively immune to fake news in part because of its governance methods. By adopting the right principles, norms, institutions, and technologies, the crowd can do a great deal to maintain quality standards, though there may be other trade-offs, like how easily or quickly participants can post new items, how quickly they are shared, who gets to see them, and, yes, how much profit can be earned from the content.

And dedicated geeky leadership from Torvalds and others maintained the ideals, culture, and momentum of Linux. Some Is Not Enough: The Story of a Nearly Failed Experiment What happens when a collaborative online effort follows only some of these principles? How successful will it be? A lot of research would be needed to answer this question definitively, of course, but a fascinating and illuminating experiment occurred in the early years of the web when Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger started an effort to build a free and open, universally accessible online encyclopedia. Encyclopedias have a long history—one of the first was Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia, published in the first century CE—and lofty goals. Ephraim Chambers said that his 1728 Cyclopaedia: or, An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences contained the “sum of all human knowledge.”# They tended to be very expensive, however, and thus reserved for society’s elites.


pages: 188 words: 9,226

Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv

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4chan, Benjamin Mako Hill, British Empire, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative economy, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late capitalism, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, Network effects, optical character recognition, packet switching, postnationalism / post nation state, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, stealth mode startup, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application

Ease of amendment combined with preservation of previous versions (the key qualities of wikis in general) enable both highly granular levels of participation and an effective selfdefense mechanism against destructive users who defect from the goal. At the core of the project lies a group who actively self-identify themselves as wikipedians, and dedicate time to developing and promoting community norms especially around the arbitration of conflicts. Jimmy Wales, the project’s founder, remains the titular head of wikipedia, and although there have been some conflicts between him and the community, he has in general conceded authority, but the tension remains without conclusive resolution. (8) FLOSSmanuals, the organization that facilitated the writing of this text you are reading, was originally established to produce documentation for free so ware projects, a historically weak point of the FS community.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

And as for how those decisions get made? “I have little hope,” he writes, “that voting will make things better.” “What Game Are You Playing?” Of course, not all engineers and geeks have the views about democracy and freedom that Peter Thiel does—he’s surely an outlier. Craig Newmark, the founder of the free Web site craigslist, spends most of his time arguing for “geek values” that include service and public-spiritedness. Jimmy Wales and the editors at Wikipedia work to make human knowledge free to everyone. The filtering goliaths make huge contributions here as well: The democratic ideal of an enlightened, capable citizenry is well served by the broader set of relationships Facebook allows me to manage and the mountains of formerly hard-to-access research papers and other public information that Google has freed. But the engineering community can do more to strengthen the Internet’s civic space.


pages: 259 words: 73,193

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris

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4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, Carrington event, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, moral panic, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test

Like all religions, they’re patient and have a very good understanding of psychology.” Heilman continued to fight for his own version of the truth, one aligned with the traditional scientific method, and ended up looking for a dodge around Wikipedia’s voting system. Although the vast majority of Wikipedia disputes are settled by popular vote, there is one group that could be called a higher authority: the Arbitration Committee. Two years after founding the Web site, Jimmy Wales invented the committee—he chose a dozen people (there are now fifteen)—to settle intractable disputes among editors. Heilman brought his Transcendental Meditation case before this court of last resort on two occasions. To no effect. “The Arbitration Committee,” explains Heilman, “only judges behavioral issues, not factual issues.” Play nice, in other words, and your version of the truth might survive the scrutiny of someone wielding pesky facts.


pages: 224 words: 64,156

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

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1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

The recipe that led to social catastrophe in the past was economic humiliation combined with collectivist ideology. We already have the ideology in its new digital packaging, and it’s entirely possible we could face dangerously traumatic economic shocks in the coming decades. An Ideology of Violation The internet has come to be saturated with an ideology of violation. For instance, when some of the more charismatic figures in the online world, including Jimmy Wales, one of the founders of Wikipedia, and Tim O’Reilly, the coiner of the term “web 2.0,” proposed a voluntary code of conduct in the wake of the bullying of Kathy Sierra, there was a widespread outcry, and the proposals went nowhere. The ideology of violation does not radiate from the lowest depths of trolldom, but from the highest heights of academia. There are respectable academic conferences devoted to methods of violating sanctities of all kinds.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

Smart corporations need to be watching the flanks to see where their industry is heading, not the other corporations they’ve been competing with since before the technology revolution. The list of examples of brands and industries that got whipped out by side-winding newbies is long, and it’s only going to get longer. Do you think the market-leader incumbents saw these competitors coming? Wikipedia. It’s clear that Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book would not have seen this coming. No-one did. Not even the founder, Jimmy Wales, whose first email message to friends upon launching Wikipedia asking them to make a wiki entry said, ‘Humour me and please write an entry about something you have some expertise in’. Not only did they do it, it turns out the crowd knows more than the experts. Wikipedia is not only more up to date, but more accurate than encyclopedias. The problem with this example of disruption is that there’s no longer a business model at all for encyclopedias.


pages: 208 words: 67,582

What About Me?: The Struggle for Identity in a Market-Based Society by Paul Verhaeghe

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Berlin Wall, call centre, cognitive dissonance, deskilling, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, invisible hand, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Louis Pasteur, market fundamentalism, Milgram experiment, new economy, post-industrial society, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, stem cell, The Spirit Level, ultimatum game, working poor

At the dawn of the digital age, Microsoft had a brilliant idea: it would create a digital encyclopaedia, partly on CD-ROM, partly online, that would exploit the full potential of multimedia. Experts around the globe were enlisted; IT specialists wrote programs; a small fortune was invested in the project; and high hopes were entertained of its success. Things worked out differently, and in 2008 the Encarta project died a death. Meanwhile, Jimmy Wales and a handful of volunteers had started up Wikipedia. The rest is history. All over the world, enthusiastic Wikipedians (‘And proud to be one’) work without pay to produce entries whose quality has become extremely high. These days, scientists and academics are as proud as Punch when their work is cited on Wikipedia. Dan Pink uses Wikipedia as an example to rebut the ‘get real’ argument. Imagine, he says, if 15 years ago you had approached an economist with a business proposal to make a free, quality-controlled encyclopaedia using unpaid staff.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

I am quite sure that a couple of decades out, my students’ reputation as contributors to Wikipedia will be as important as their Harvard diplomas in credentialing their professional expertise. If you haven’t tried to contribute to Wikipedia yet, you should! I emphasize Wikipedia in this context because I interpret it broadly as a model for how we might reconstitute expertise and cultural authority in the digital age. It’s not a perfect model, but at least it provides a possible path to authority and knowledge. Jimmy Wales, a cofounder of the collaboratively built online encyclopedia, describes the site’s ethos as “Ignore all rules,” which is further clarified to mean, “If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.” The site dramatically ignores hierarchy, keeping every decision as open to the entire community as possible. While the maintenance of such a large and robust site requires administration, the power of administrators is referred to as “mop and bucket,” evoking janitorial duties rather than substantial, sweeping authority.


pages: 325 words: 99,983

Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language by Robert McCrum

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Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, colonial rule, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, invention of movable type, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, jimmy wales, knowledge economy, Livingstone, I presume, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, Norman Mailer, Parag Khanna, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

It is hardly a coincidence that Jean-Paul Nerrière identified the concept of ‘Globish’ in 1995, the year Netscape marketed its first commercial browser. In this ‘new new world’, the internet could now become a forum for worldwide communities to share information electronically. Enter the ‘people’s encyclopedia.’ Wikipedia marries a Hawaiian word meaning ‘quick’ (wiki) and the classical Greek for ‘education’ (paideia). This project was a creature of the new millennium. It began when Jimmy Wales, the founder of a now-abandoned plan to produce a free encyclopedia, began to discuss with Larry Sanger ways of supplementing his brainchild Nupedia with a more open system of contributions. The upshot was Nupedia’s first wiki, which went online in January 2000. Within three years, Wikipedia was scoring 2–3 billion hits a month. By March 2007 wiki had become a recognized English word, waves of non-English wikipedias had been launched (in Chinese, Dutch, Esperanto, Arabic, Hungarian, Afrikaans and Russian, etc.) and the online family of free-content initiatives had been collected under the umbrella of the Wikimedia Foundation.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

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agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

Under the banner of the precautionary principle, activists burn the fields where GE research is going on and threaten the researchers. “All technology should be assumed guilty until proven innocent,” said Dave Brower, founder of Friends of the Earth. That is a formula for paralysis. (I can imagine Dave responding, “A little paralysis might do a world of good about now.”) • Hear now “The Fable of the Steak Knives,” as told by the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales. His software engineers were spending a lot of their time imagining problems that would occur on Wikipedia and then devising software solutions to head off the problems. He explained why that is the wrong approach:You want to design a restaurant, and you think to yourself, “Well, in this restaurant we’re going to be serving steak. And since we’re going to be serving steak, we’re going to have steak knives, and since we’re going to have steak knives, people might stab each other.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

In the early years of the twentieth century, the Italian physician and researcher Maria Montessori developed the primary educational system that still bears her name. Montessori classrooms emphasize self-directed learning, hands-on engagement with a wide variety of materials (including plants and animals), and a largely unstructured school day. And in recent years they’ve produced alumni including the founders of Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin), Amazon (Jeff Bezos), and Wikipedia (Jimmy Wales). These examples appear to be part of a broader trend. Management researchers Jeffrey Dyer and Hal Gregersen interviewed five hundred prominent innovators and found that a disproportionate number of them also went to Montessori schools, where “they learned to follow their curiosity.” As a Wall Street Journal blog post by Peter Sims put it, “the Montessori educational approach might be the surest route to joining the creative elite, which are so overrepresented by the school’s alumni that one might suspect a Montessori Mafia.”


pages: 385 words: 101,761

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum

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3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

When Barbara Walters asked Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin what they considered the most important factor behind their success, to her surprise, they didn’t say it was their college professor parents or their Stanford University engineering degrees. “We both went to Montessori School,” Page said, “and I think it was part of that training of . . . questioning what’s going on in the world, doing things a bit differently.” Montessori schools use games to teach children how to discover knowledge. It’s perhaps no accident then that Montessori alums include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Sims video game creator Will Wright, and rap mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Other entrepreneurs with educational backgrounds in art, design, and music where play is intrinsic to learning have founded a whole slew of new companies, including Kickstarter, Tumblr, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Vimeo, Android, and, of course, Apple. And the list goes on and on: Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, one of the top incubators for new start-ups in Silicon Valley, studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, in addition to getting his PhD in computer science from Harvard.


pages: 353 words: 91,520

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

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affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, school choice, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

Since the days of Maria Montessori, educators have had a growing understanding of what excellent elementary schools should look like. More recent work that’s been done in Reggio Emilia and Waldorf schools has added to the richness and variety of the education models that exist at the elementary level. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on several of our country’s most successful innovators: Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google), Julia Child, Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. The article suggested the Montessori School experience was the most important aspect of these influencers’ education, setting them on a life path of creativity, passion, self-direction, and comfort with failure and ambiguity. The Google founders were featured on a Barbara Walters/ABC special. When asked if having college professors as parents was important to their success, they said it wasn’t.


pages: 330 words: 88,445

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler

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Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Clayton Christensen, data acquisition, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Google Earth, haute couture, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, life extension, lifelogging, Maui Hawaii, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, rolodex, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, X Prize

University of Virginia psychologist Angeline Lillard: Angeline Lillard and Nicole Else-Quest, “The Early Years: Evaluating Montessori Education,” Science, September 29, 2006, 313(5795), pp. 1893–94. When professor Jeffrey Dyer…and Hal Gregersen: The innovators Dyer and Gregersen are referring to include everyone from high-tech pioneers like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, SimCity creator Will Wright, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to culture-shaping creatives like rapper/entrepreneur Sean Combs, chef/entrepreneur Julia Child, and Nobel laureate author Gabriel García Márquez. In 2004, when Barbara Walters interviewed Page and Brin, she asked if the fact that their parents were both college professors was the major reason for their success. Page felt otherwise: “We both went to Montessori schools, and I think it was part of that training of not following rules and orders, and being self-motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world, doing things a little bit differently.”


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

They’re not creating the content they distribute—that’s done by publishers in the case of search engines, or by individual members in the case of social networks. Rather, they’re simply gathering the information and arranging it in a useful form. This view, tirelessly promoted by Google—and used by the company as a defense in the Costeja case—has been embraced by much of the public. It has become the default view. When Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales, in criticizing the European court’s decision, said, “Google just helps us to find the things that are online,” he was not only mouthing the company line, he was expressing the popular conception of internet businesses. The court took a different view. Online aggregation is not a neutral act, it ruled, but a transformative one. In collecting, organizing, and ranking information, a search engine is creating something new, a product that reflects the business’s own editorial intentions and judgments, as expressed through its information-processing algorithms.


pages: 285 words: 86,174

Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Chris Hayes

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, carried interest, circulation of elites, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kenneth Arrow, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, mass incarceration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, Vilfredo Pareto, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Nearly every single one of the most transformational new approaches to coordinating human interaction over the last ten years could not have happened without the Internet: the political organizing and fund-raising of MoveOn, blogs, and Obama for America, just to name a few. Wikipedia provides a genuinely new form of authority during a time when traditional sources of authority have suffered a historic decline in trust. This is no small accomplishment. In his eccentricity and slightly quixotic zeal, Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales is something of a Francis Townsend for this age. The crucial difference being that while Townsend hoped to have the government implement his vision, Ayn Rand devotee Wales was able to implement his “plan” without having to convince a single legislator of its efficacy. We can imagine and hope that organic, Internet-facilitated cooperation can create new institutions that disrupt and break the monopolies of the old ones.


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

But we do know that some of their core principles—the emphasis on letting students explore, direct their own learning, and work on projects instead of taking tests—can also be found at Montessori schools, which have been around long enough to have a track record of adult success stories. And what a track record Montessori has. Today, so many former students of this private-school system (which only teaches as high as eighth grade) are now running major companies in the tech sector that these alumni have become known as the Montessori Mafia.24 Their ranks include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and the cofounders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. (The former Google executive Marissa Mayer—now the head of Yahoo!25—has said that Brin’s and Page’s Montessori schooling, though long ago, remained a defining influence. “You can’t understand Google unless you know that Larry and Sergey were both Montessori kids,” according to Mayer. “They’re always asking, Why should it be like that?


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Under Wikipedia’s policy of largely open editing by any interested party, this entry has now been edited over 8,000 times by over 1,000 people—almost entirely by people who have been convinced of the guilt of Knox and Sollecito ever since the crime was committed back in 2007. Throughout their complicated legal ordeal, including one conviction, its overturning by a second court, and another conviction, these self-appointed editors continually revised the page to eliminate any potentially exculpating evidence and to emphasize the likelihood of guilt. The controversy over the entry grew so intense that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales got involved. Wales studied the matter and issued a statement: “I just read the entire article from top to bottom, and I have concerns that most serious criticism of the trial from reliable sources has been excluded or presented in a negative fashion.” Shortly thereafter, he wrote, “I am concerned that, since I raised the issue, even I have been attacked as being something like a ‘conspiracy theorist.’”


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

For implanting the dream of how a digital society and economy might function, I thank Internet cultural pioneers including Howard Rheingold, Mark Pesce, David Pescovitz, Mark Frauenfelder, Xeni Jardin, Cory Doctorow, John Barlow, Jaron Lanier, RU Sirius, Andrew Mayer, Richard Metzger, Evan Williams, everyone on the Well, Richard Stallman, George P’or, Neal Gorenflo, Marina Gorbis, and Michel Bauwens. For leading digital enterprises in ways worth writing about, thanks to Scott Heiferman, Ben Knight, Zach Sims, Slava Rubin, the Robin Hood Cooperative, Enspiral, and Jimmy Wales. For sharing with me some of the perils of growth-based business and being open to discuss alternative possibilities, I thank Frank Cooper, Gerry Laybourne, Sara Levinson, Bonin Bough, Jon Kinderlerer, William Lohse, Ken Miller, and Judson Green. Thanks to my publisher, Adrian Zackheim, for recognizing the single most important and counterintuitive assertion I’m making here, and to my editor, Niki Papadopoulos, for making sure it comes through loud and clear.


Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (And What We Can Do About It) by William Poundstone

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, global village, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, manufacturing employment, Nash equilibrium, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, the map is not the territory, Thomas Bayes, transcontinental railway, Unsafe at Any Speed, Y2K

It often goes by a name that only a coder could love: cloneproof Schwartz sequential dropping. That's CSSD for short. ("Schwartz" refers to another social choice theorist, Thomas Schwartz.) Condorcet voting, often the CSSD variety, has been widely adopted by other online communities. Among them is the online reference Wikipedia, which uses approval voting as well. Wikipedia founders Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales dealt with issues that do not exist as acutely with Linux. A Linux contributor has to know how to write code. A Wikipedia contributor can be totally ignorant. "Trolls" is the term for Wikipedia contributors who can't accept criticism and keep reversing edits and reposting articles that others have deleted. In some ways, Wikipedia is a scary, Animal Farm vision of democracy gone feral. In May 2005, Wikipedia contributors debated the etiquette for supplying formal titles in biographical entries.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

January 2001 brought two innovations that profoundly disrupted the existing order. Steve Jobs launched Apple’s iTunes application, and within seven years, iPod owners had purchased and downloaded five billion songs. Already reeling from piracy, the big four music companies felt compelled to allow individual songs to be sold at a price Apple chose (ninety-nine cents), inevitably undermining the sale of entire CDs, the centerpiece of their business model. That same January, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger launched Wikipedia. Within seven years this nonprofit effort would contain ten million entries in 253 languages, changing the way people gathered information. Wikipedia and iTunes were reminders, as if any were needed, that we had entered the dawn of a new digital democracy that granted more power to individuals. Page and Brin were convinced that Google would become an even more profound disrupter of the existing order.


pages: 538 words: 121,670

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--And a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

asset-backed security, banking crisis, carried interest, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, crony capitalism, David Brooks, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Pareto efficiency, place-making, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

As it is the fifth most visited site on the Internet, that means it leaves about $150 million on the table every year.29 As a believer in Wikipedia, and the values of Wikipedians, this is a hard fact for me to swallow. The good (at least from my perspective) that could be done with $150 million a year is not trivial. So what is the good that the world gets in exchange for Wikipedia’s abstemiousness? As Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, described it to me, “[W]e do care that… the general public looks to Wikipedia in all of its glories and all of its flaws, which are numerous of course. But the one thing they don’t say is, ‘Well, I don’t trust Wikipedia because it’s all basically advertising fluff.’ ”30 So the Wikipedia community spends $150 million each year to secure the site’s independence from apparent commercial bias.


pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, George Santayana, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, mandatory minimum, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

In the end, CBS News described the number of participants as “staggering”: 4.5 million people signed a petition circulated by Google; 350,000 citizens wrote to their representatives via SopaStrike.com and AmericanCensorship.org; and over 2.4 million SOPA-related tweets were written on January 18.11 An online White House petition garnered 103,785 names; in its response to the petition, the government officially announced the bill’s demise: “Moving forward, we will continue to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis on legislation that provides new tools needed in the global fight against piracy and counterfeiting, while vigorously defending an open Internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation.”12 Corporate giants like Google, respected Internet personalities like Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales, and civil liberties organizations like the EFF were all integral to the victory. But the grassroots geek and hacker contingent was also present—including, of course, Anonymous. They churned out videos and propaganda posters, and provided constant updates on several prominent Twitter accounts. When the blackout ended, corporate players naturally receded from the limelight. Anonymous and others, however, continued the seemingly endless fight.


pages: 514 words: 152,903

The Best Business Writing 2013 by Dean Starkman

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Asperger Syndrome, bank run, Basel III, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, computer vision, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, fixed income, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, late fees, London Whale, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Parag Khanna, Pareto efficiency, price stability, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, the payments system, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, wage slave, Y2K, zero-sum game

Once again, the technologists—and the technocratic agencies they are enlisted to support—are presented as objective, independent, and free of any ideological leanings. Nowhere do we learn that Tim O’Reilly runs a profitable corporation that might stand to benefit from the government’s embrace of open-data platforms, or that Craig Newmark is a committed cyber-libertarian who used to worship Ayn Rand. Or that Jimmy Wales, who is advising the British government, is so enthralled with Rand and objectivism that he named his daughter after one of the characters in a Rand novel. Nor do the Khannas tell us that the public embrace of “open-data platforms” is often accompanied by an increase in government secrecy or a growing reluctance to fund public journalism. (Why fund the BBC if “citizen-investigators” can now be asked to do all the digging for free?)


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Or could it be that it never actually had any genuine lessons to impart about “the Internet” and that such lessons are always transitory and in flux? Or take Wikipedia, which is easily the solutionists’ favorite template for rebuilding the world; books with titles like Wikinomics and Wiki Government are a testament to the role this one website plays in solutionists’ imaginations. The problem with using Wikipedia as a model is that nobody—not even its founder, Jimmy Wales—really knows how it works. To assume that we can distill life-changing lessons from it and then apply them in completely different fields seems arrogant to say the least. Worst of all, Wikipedia is itself subject to many myths, which might result in Wikipedia-inspired solutions that misrepresent its spirit. “The bureaucracy of Wikipedia is relatively so small as to be invisible,” proclaims technology pundit Kevin Kelly, confessing that “much of what I believed about human nature, and the nature of knowledge, has been upended by the Wikipedia.”


pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Pingit, platform as a service, QR code, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, US Airways Flight 1549, web application

A great crowdsourcing platform is also one of the hottest conferences on innovation on the planet—known as SXSW—but more formally as South-by-South-West. It is held annually in Austin, Texas. Haven’t heard of SXSW? Have you heard of Twitter? Of course . . . Well, Twitter wasn’t launched at SXSW, but its “buzz” and rapid growth are often attributed to its appearance at SXSW in 2007. Foursquare launched at SXSW, along with a bunch of other start-ups and apps. In 2006, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia and Craig Newmark from Craigslist were the primary speakers. In 2008, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook took the stage, and in 2010, Evan Williams, the CEO of Twitter, was the primary personality on the interactive stage. Figure 8.11: PanelPicker at SXSW is a great example of structured crowdsourcing (Credit: SXSW) However, SXSW uses crowdsourcing to select most of the topics for its interactive week.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

And back in 2008 Britannica had announced that it would begin to accept unsolicited user content, which, upon acceptance by Britannica editors, would be published on a dedicated portion of the Britannica website. Shifting to exist only online and accepting some content from users represented tacit acceptance of the model of what had become the most popular encyclopedia in the world: Wikipedia. Wikipedia (combining the Hawaiian term wiki, meaning “quick,” with encyclopedia) was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001. Wikipedia is based almost exclusively on volunteer labor—it is essentially a platform for user writing, reading, and editing. This model facilitated the very low-cost creation of a comprehensive encyclopedia in short order, sharply contrasting with the expensive, multi-decade efforts involved in producing print encyclopedias. In 2005 the British science journal Nature carried out a peer review of selected scientific articles of Wikipedia and Britannica and found that “the difference in accuracy was not particularly great,” lending credence to the value of user-generated content.


pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

It turns out that the type of people in the group and the way they interact spell the difference between success and failure. Wikipedia is perhaps the most famous collaborative project. The real secret to its success, though, isn’t merely its millions of volunteers. It is, as communications professor Joseph Reagle dubs it, the culture of “good faith collaboration” that Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales labored to put in place—a commitment to Quaker-level civility. Not long after launching Wikipedia, Wales penned an open letter to all potential contributors (by which he meant the entire planet), arguing that the project would only work if the contributors struggled constantly to remain polite to one another. “Mutual respect and a reasonable approach to disagreement are essential . . . on this incredible ridiculous crazy fun project to change the world,” Wales wrote.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The Californian Ideology chugs along, finding new forms for new times. Steve Jobs remains secure in his perch as an industry icon, his example now posthumous and unimpeachable. The industry’s triumphant individualism has been augmented by the introduction of Ayn Rand as Silicon Valley’s de facto house philosopher; her atavistic arguments for the virtues of selfishness and unfettered enterprise have found supporters from Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales to Oracle’s Larry Ellison. Unabashed cyber-libertarianism, combined with an avaricious and wholly unconflicted brand of consumerism, permeates America’s digital elite. Evgeny Morozov, a fierce critic of the industry, highlighted two important strains of belief in his recent books: the congenital utopianism of Silicon Valley moguls and their attendant faith in technological solutionism. Political strife, social injustice, economy inequality, the thorny challenges of human behavior and even the randomness of life—all might fall away when presented with a sophisticated technological fix.

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns

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anti-communist, bank run, barriers to entry, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, creative destruction, desegregation, feminist movement, financial independence, George Gilder, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, lone genius, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing, urban renewal, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

A new vogue emerged for “going Galt,” or restricting production so as to avoid higher taxes. Her novels touted anew by Rush Limbaugh, Rand was once more a foundation of the right-wing worldview.10 Even as she was reclaimed by her most avid fans, Rand’s work transcended contemporary politics. One of the many ironies of Rand’s career is her latter-day popularity among entrepreneurs who are pioneering new forms of community. Among her high-profile fans is Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales, once an active participant in the listserv controversies of the Objectivist Center. A nonprofit that depends on charitable donations, Wikipedia may ultimately put its rival encyclopedias out of business. At the root of Wikipedia are warring sensibilities that seem to both embody and defy Rand’s beliefs. The website’s emphasis on individual empowerment, the value of knowledge, and its own risky organizational model reflects Rand’s sensibility.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

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Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

The second generation of the Internet enjoys much of the same spirit and enthusiasm for openness and aversion to hierarchies, manifested in the ethos of Satoshi, Voorhees, Antonopoulos, Szabo, and Ver. Open source is a great organizing principle but it’s not a modus operandi for moving forward. As much as open source has transformed many institutions in society, we still need coordination, organization, and leadership. Open source projects like Wikipedia and Linux, despite their meritocratic principles, still have benevolent dictators in Jimmy Wales and Linus Torvalds. To his credit, Satoshi Nakamoto aligned stakeholder incentives by coding principles of distributed power, networked integrity, indisputable value, stakeholder rights (including privacy, security, and ownership), and inclusiveness into the technology. As a result, the technology has been able to thrive in the early years, blossoming into the ecosystem we know today. Still, this deistic hands-off approach is starting to show signs of strain.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

This early impact is important because the communities that evolve—inside or outside organizations—can take on a life of their own. Communities that are creating things develop their own rules (written and unwritten) that govern issues such as communications, appropriation, and the form and manner of contribution. The Wikipedia community, for example, has so far resisted the idea of advertising, and it has become such a potent force that Jimmy Wales has backed away from adopting an advertising model, despite the potential for a windfall. In the Linux community, Torvalds is careful to respond constructively to criticisms from other developers. This is typical of many open-source communities. Issues are debated publicly on e-mail lists and Web sites, which helps build consensus for final decisions on, for example, which code and features to include in official releases of programs.


pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler

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affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, commoditize, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kenneth Arrow, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto

As we shall see, some of the solutions can themselves be peer produced, and some solutions are emerging as a function of the speed of computation and communication, which enables more efficient technological solutions. 140 Encyclopedic and almanac-type information emerges on the Web out of the coordinate but entirely independent action of millions of users. This type of information also provides the focus on one of the most successful collaborative enterprises that has developed in the first five years of the twenty-first century, Wikipedia. Wikipedia was founded by an Internet entrepreneur, Jimmy Wales. Wales had earlier tried to organize an encyclopedia named Nupedia, which was built on a traditional production model, but whose outputs were to be released freely: its contributors were to be PhDs, using a formal, peer-reviewed process. That project appears to have failed to generate a sufficient number of high-quality contributions, but its outputs were used in Wikipedia as the seeds for a radically new form of encyclopedia writing.