Wikipocalypse

Did you know that Wikipedia has a plan for the end of the world? (It’s not something I would have suspected, before Tyler Cowan pointed to this.)

In the course of the deliberations of the Wikipedia Data Preservation Taskforce, it was realized that although many catastrophes would be survivable, the possibility had to be faced that an extinction level event was possible, albeit unlikely, and plans should be initiated to preserve the encyclopedia in a non-terrestrial environment. To this end, Wikimedia has come to arrangements with many of the world’s scientific institutions for the provision of access to the vast majority of the world’s radio telescopes. [… ] While this is indeed a last-ditch attempt to save the knowledge of humanity, it can be hoped that someday, many years in the future and many light-years from Earth, minds immeasurably different from ours might look upon the works of humanity and understand. To quote Jimmy Wales’ message to the stars:
“While the light of humanity may flicker and die, we go gently into this dark night, comforted in the knowledge that someday Wikipedia shall take its rightful place as part of a consensus-built Galactic Encyclopedia, editable by all sentient beings.”

[The date at the end comes as a slight disappointment]

ADDED: Wikipedia wars. (Full)

July 19, 2013admin 15 Comments »
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15 Responses to this entry

  • Mark Warburton Says:

    “Categories:

    Wikipedia humor
    Wikipedia April Fools’ Day 2009”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hence: “[The date at the end comes as a slight disappointment]”

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    Haha. That’s Alanis morrisette ‘ironic’ right back at me!

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 19th, 2013 at 10:17 am Reply | Quote
  • Francis St. Pol Says:

    “The message will be accompanied by a short video message by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales”

    http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/Wikipedia-Kicks-Off-2010-Fundraising-Campaign-2.jpg

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    This whole Internet begging culture is a sign of something not working.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 19th, 2013 at 10:33 am Reply | Quote
  • Scharlach Says:

    It’s very funny, but on a serious note, I think it’s indicative of the West’s cultural rot that no one over at Wikipedia would ever say, “Hey, this is pretty funny, but if we took it seriously, it could actually be pretty cool.”

    Stay earthbound! Lower your expectations to the horizon!

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m not sure that I’m quite getting the ‘it’.

    [Reply]

    Scharlach Reply:

    Putting Wikipedia’s servers in space or somehow otherwise trying to figure out how to get its data off-world.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 19th, 2013 at 1:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • James Says:

    Wikipedia is a fascinating online community whose sophisticated customs approach a body of common law. Wikipedia’s means of dispute resolution are discussed in this paper.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes, despite some serious problem areas, it’s vastly less corrupt than the population it draws from. Given reasonable expectations of total depravity, its mechanisms work pretty well.

    [Reply]

    Scharlach Reply:

    90+% of WIkipedia contributors are white male computer nerds. Probably middle-aged white male computer nerds.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/wikipedia/8293217/Why-Wikipedias-editors-are-mostly-male.html

    Once again, we see that spontaneous social order and common law are reliant on a shared ethnicity, language, and culture.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    [W]hite male computer nerds… Once again, we see that spontaneous social order and common law are reliant on a shared ethnicity, language, and culture.

    Is this not something to do with the fact that Wikipedia is on a computer, primarily Western and based on European cultural Enlightenment ideals? For a different project, such shared qualities may not be so important.

    You also need to decide if Wikipedia-quality is good enough.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Cyc (from “encyclopedia”)

    admin Reply:

    If you were trying to think up the research approach that was least likely to contribute to AI, it would look a lot like Cyc. An AI, at the minimum, must learn — which is pretty much the exact opposite of encyclopedic pre-programming.

    fotrkd Reply:

    @ admin

    But if you were trying to belittle human “everyday common sense knowledge” it would look a lot like Cyc.

    Posted on July 19th, 2013 at 1:25 pm Reply | Quote

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