Changes which Wikimedian age will bring
This is the third text in the series Wikimedian age. Previous article are:
There were two interesting moments while I was writing previous post from this series: one was related to the identifying the (future) Virtual Reality age as the part of the coming Wikimedian age and another was related to putting together the main inventions of the Internet, Google, Wikimedian and Virtual Reality ages.I said that the VR age will be dependent on free knowledge accomplishments of the Wikimedian age. While it may be true, I think that it will not be the biggest accomplishment of the Wikimedian age, something which will change the history course, like industry or computers did it earlier, for example.
The idea came to me when I tried to formulate what would obsolete the Internet, Google, Wikimedian and Virtual Reality ages.
So, let’s compare two characteristics of all ages: Who were/are/will be the architect of the age, and what are the roots of the idea?Inside of the following list I am giving just cardinal answers, as well as it is some kind of simplification, of course.
- Agricultural age
- Architects: Some unknown “geniuses” who realized that it is possible to cultivate plants and animals;
- Roots of the idea: Hunger.
- Industrial age
- Architects: A number of scientists, inventors and economists.
- Roots of the idea: Better processing of materials.
- Post-industrial age
- Architects: Some scientists and economists closely related to the superpower governments.
- Roots of the idea: More efficient economy.
- Internet age
- Architects: (US) military scientists.
- Roots of the idea: (US) military needs.
- Google age
- Architects: Programmers and economists related to business.
- Roots of the idea: Searching and classifying data.
- Wikimedian age
- Architects: Contributors.
- Roots of the idea: Business model based on free accessible knowledge.
- Virtual Reality age
- Architects: Programmers and economists related to busines?
- Roots of the idea: Workers mobility?
I put question marks inside of answers related to the VR age because I gave them according to the present knowledge. However, as the VR age should come after the Wikimedian age, it is questionable are these answers are correct.
What are the main differences between answers for Wikimedian age and all other answers?
Architects of all other ages came from the elite. Architects of the Wikimedian age are all humans who are able to edit pages on Wikipedia and similar projects.
Yes, it is possible to say that architects of the Wikimedian age may be the Foundation Board, Chapters and Committees, MediaWiki developers, administrators of various projects and so on. But, try to count how many people are inside of all of those bodies! Only English Wikipedia has more then 400 administrators. All chapters have around 1000 of members and so on. If we just count “all present suspected”, we may conclude that even the central group of projects, Wikimedia projects, are far from elitist. And this number is still in develop phase, as well as there are a number of other projects which are the carriers of the age: wide range of Wikia projects, Wikinfo, Anarchpedia and so on.
But, in reality, the main architects of the age are not even those people who are working on organizational things. The main architects are people who are writing articles, who are talking to each other, who are making edit wars, who are trying to find solutions for such wars; people who are making templates and all others who are building projects actively.
If my prediction about the coming of the Wikimedian age is right, all future ages will be anti-elitist, too. This means that architects of the future ages will be ordinary people, too. And this means that it is very questionable if the Virtual Reality age will be leaded by an elite group of programmers and economists.
And if it will not be leaded by such group, it is possible to conclude that all of the virtual reality engines which exists now are not the conceptual predecessors of the Virtual Reality age (while they are, of course, technology predecessors).
Roots of the ideas of all other ages are strictly based on economical needs. The roots of the Wikipedia is at least with two sides: one is related to the business model, the other is related to free knowledge. However, business model roots are relatively quick abandoned. And it is safe to say that the majority part of ideas behind of Wikipedia are based on the ideas of free software.
If the Wikimedian age would come with such characteristics, it would be a big social switch for humans: from development on material and selfish needs, humankind is starting to develop itself with basics in freedom and common good.
And it will be interesting to see how one small idea may make maybe the biggest switch in the history of Western civilization, at least; if not the whole history of humankind.
This is the third text in the series Wikimedian age. Texts from this series are:
- Wikimedian age is coming
- Obsoleting past ages
- Changes which Wikimedian age will bring
- Contribution to the future of the wiki