19.218 Wikis, settlers, cowboys, and natives

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 07:01:53 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 218.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 06:56:47 +0100
         From: lachance_at_origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
         Subject: Wikis, settlers, cowboys, and natives


I noticed in Vol. 19. No. 208 that the call fopr papers and the title of
the the proposed collection ("The Wild, Wild Wiki: Unsettling the
Frontiers of Cyberspace") made a certain move towards the rhetoric of
novelty and revolution. It almost undercuts an appeal to tradition.

And I thought of the non-wikish example of the making of the Oxford
English Dictionary and the reader responst to James Murray's appeals for
quotations, as well as the other example of a group effort "par une
société de gens de lettres" the Encyclopédie (and the now multi-volunteer
to translate its articles from the French to English -- see
http://www.hti.umich.edu/d/did/call.html ). Furthermore, there come to
mind the publications of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful

Intriguing that the theme how Wikis are used in teaching composition leads
to questions of readership and the sociology of knowledge. The allusion to
the Wild Wild West (an American television series of the 1960s) is perhps
apt since that show was a hybrid of the classic Western and the espionage
thriller (See Wikipedia for an entry). I say apt because the Wikipedia
encourages what some deem as the rough and tumble atmosphere of the West
of legend, to wit "If you do not want your writing to be edited
mercilessly and redistributed at will, do not submit it.
By submitting your work you promise you wrote it yourself, or copied it
from public domain resources -- this does not include most web pages."

A different take on the thematics of collaboration and resistence...
n'est-ce pas?

Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
Skill may be the capacity to manipulate perceptions of knowledge.
Magic is.
Received on Sat Aug 20 2005 - 02:12:38 EDT

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