Things On Wikis Mind

In some respects, Wiki's group mind works just like a human's:

Sometimes, Wiki seems a little unconcentrated (several seemingly unrelated, "off-topic" pages on RecentChanges). But be careful not to judge prematurely - maybe it's just Wiki's subconscious mind at work, and these things are subtly related. If Wiki can't make the connections, the thought will quickly vanish. -- FalkBruegmann

If Wiki is a mind, should we listen to it? Perhaps the whole Xp contention could have been averted. Perhaps paying attention to the CodeSmells and the OnceAndOnlyOnce maxims could have. -- AllanBaruz

See VoiceOfWiki

We are not programming Wiki, we are participating in its thought processes. Or do you apply CodeSmells, OnceAndOnlyOnce etc. to your own thought processes? -- FalkBruegmann

Of course. How else is one to measure their current mental state?

Not; how can one possible "measure" mental state? One might describe it, or measure degree of activity, but not much more. Likewise for Wiki mind, I'd say. --BenTremblay

Currently, it seems, WikiWikiWeb is rather engrossed in religious thought. Does this mean it's been going to Sunday School? Or does it maybe mean that it thinks its existence is in danger?

Or is it a reflection of a widening search for meaning

I think that in the very center of the software process there is the art of communication: communication with the users, communication in the project teams, communication between writers and readers of software sources, communication to the computer system. Effective communication about religious issues may be the ultimate challenge for communication abilities and may work as a power training for developers. IMO effective communication results in understanding, even if we do not share the same opinions or beliefs. Understanding means that we have built a model in our mind that allows us to simulate behaviour of a system or to produce and explain viewpoints of a believe. Fighting before understanding seems the wrong strategy (like implementation before analysis). -- HelmutLeitner

With all this talk of wiki thinking, will the wiki be able to think for itself? -- AluoNowu

If by wiki you mean those who meet here then yes, of course. The rest is just a computer system with simple rules that guide the way we converse.

Is Wiki a life form?

No. If you mean the wiki community as a single entity then maybe. See DefinitionOfLife.

I would say no. But it might be a form of intelligence. On the other hand, who knows. The variations of Wiki that have sprouted up might cause me to reconsider since I believe NaturalSearchIsaDefinitionOfLife.

No. And while its alluring to think of Wiki as a connectionist AI, it doesn't 'know' anything. It is only a repository for highly organized information.

And that is different from 'knowing' how? Isn't that just what our brains do, besides also controlling our bodies? Wiki could be just like the brain in the old philosophy question: "How do I know I'm not just a BrainInaVat? somewhere?" In fact, how do we really know we aren't just Wikis in a web server somewhere? See TheMatrix I guess.

I think Wiki is kind of like TheBorg from StarTrek. Though not a 'life' form, it shares a collective consciousness that is interdependent and communal whilst also retaining individuality for each person (everyone seems to see Wiki as a different thing). But it also has its differences; Wiki is based on order via chaos as opposed to order through order.

-- SusannahWilliams?

Ma'am, this has a strong scent of doublespeak about it. Are you suggesting that WhyWikiWorks is partly based on the nature of the chaos inherent in Wiki? How does that lead to order, and of what type? Help me with some definitions here. -- MartySchrader, shaking head (even though that makes it hurt more)

with the chaos/order thing, it's like the 'anyone edit/anyone delete/people are free to do and say what they will' is the chaos bit, but born from that is order, each page has a heading and content of its own, topics follow the OnTopic flow, and rules are generally respected, even tho nobody really sets or enforces them - that's the order through chaos bit. Whereas the order order bit, i.e. Borgs, are highly structured and organized and achieve a high level of order through order. Not really sure that was any clearer. -- SusannahWilliams?

I'm afraid not. And anyway, the recent EditWars going on here put lie to the idea that a non-cohesive "community" (is that an oxymoron, or what?!?) can ever arrive at order over chaos. There needs to be some sort of organizing, rule-establishing authority to make the order appear. It won't happen by itself.

That's not necessarily true. There has to be some sort of organizing, rule-establishing force to make the order appear. But that force could just as easily be a shared purpose and sense of BarnRaising as an authority figure. Plenty of Wikis get along fine without a GodKing, and it seems like this one did too for a long while.

This pattern occurs in UseNet too. The unmoderated newsgroups that survive (as in, remain useful) are those that have a strong sense of purpose to them. The ones that descend into chaos are those where anything goes, and people don't have anything OnTopic to discuss.

Perhaps Wiki's downfall is that it's just become too diverse. -- Jonathan

Not exactly anything new. See ClayShirky's paper A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy.

Oh, and purpose isn't strictly necessary. Principles are. Purpose is just a justification to stick to unstated principles.

Suggestion for this page to add a list of Recent (2003?) hot topics where there are lots of values added, sample pages and contributors, a reverse index of RegularContributors. Maybe at WikiHotSpots? DeleteWhenCooked

Compare: WikiNow, ForgetfulnessAsFilter

See also WikiCurrentTopics, ImplicitTopics


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