Truth vs. truthiness
April 15, 2010 7:42 PM   Subscribe

The Truth According to Wikipedia (SLYT)... A 48-minute documentary about Wikipedia, the internet, democracy and knowledge.
posted by mondaygreens (9 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Excellent video, I saw it yesterday. I ended up with some questions about class as it relates to the web and crowd sourcing and the effect of technology on what we call "knowing something", which I am still trying to formulate.
posted by idiopath at 7:51 PM on April 15, 2010

Absolutely - wherever money is meeting technology, we should sit up and pay more attention, a different kind of attention than" feature comparisons" and "value for money" - whatever that means. Because new things are being sold to us in familiar language all the time, while, if you agree with Keens, increasing personalization might be making all of us more narcissistic and vulnerable to ideologues/advertising.

Considering the fact that money is what makes anything technological possible, we might be more wary of equating it so readily with progress.
posted by mondaygreens at 8:05 PM on April 15, 2010

For instance, what the internet has made possible the creation of a seemingly endless variety of niches - within which your most precise material desires might be catered to and within which you might be disconnected from the world around you in problematic ways. At the very least, this requires a rethinking, if not a thorough investigation and better regulation.

I do hope this giddiness for "smarter" technology runs its course quickly and we can start trying to put up stronger defenses against being constantly invaded / pitched.
posted by mondaygreens at 8:22 PM on April 15, 2010

I can't believe no one watched that! I can't believe anyone who watched that had nothing to say about it!

So I have to conclude that it's me. I killed this link.
posted by mondaygreens at 3:16 PM on April 16, 2010

So what are the main points?
posted by storybored at 8:29 PM on April 16, 2010

Well it starts like this: Guy at Wikipedia saying (with violent air-quotes):

Growing up, I had to rely on old technology to find information. There was something called a "card catalog" at the "library" - and this would be a building where you'd find these, I don't know how to explain it, manuals - they were often called books. They were usually on some kind of pyrus printed with, like ink, like you normally find in, like a stylus, only a stylus that can actually eject something forth onto a surface... They even had this thing called an "Encyclopedia set", and it was usually about 26 or 27 large "books".

Main points - from what I can remember and articulate:

*it sets up an interesting conflict between techno-forward people who believe that newer technology (Wikipedia etc) can enable better things - access to information, less censorship, more democratic ways of connecting and creating things - and some critics who argue that we need to be more skeptical of technology that is so radically personalized that it makes us more narcissistic and isolated, and not buy, literally and intellectually, so quickly into the narrative of progress and possibility that is being pitched by, say, the iPad. (The film doesn't mention the iPad - was made in 2008.)

*it raises the question of "expert" knowledge and whether we can function better or at all if the gatekeepers of knowledge (scholars, librarians, people with advanced degrees etc) are disregarded (thumbed down, in crowdsourcing terms) and free, easy opportunity is equally available to a 17-year old with an erection and an 76-year old woman who knows a lot about cheese to express their views, write a book, contribute to Wikipedia etc. (This is the truth vs. truthiness argument.)

Those are the two big ones that interested me, but it has a lot of very opinionated and jittery people talking about Important Stuff like truth and democracy. Worth watching, IMHO, especially if you are given to constant anxiety about Where We Are Going as a species.
posted by mondaygreens at 9:45 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

storybored: the perspectives I found most intersting were a man talking about the relationship of wikipedia to traditions of oral history and populist knowledge (and seeing wikipedia as a positive development), and another talking about wikipedia and internet crowd sourced media in general as a symptom of self absorption and egotism and the libertarian individualist perspective.
posted by idiopath at 9:49 PM on April 16, 2010

posted by harold_dumbacher at 12:48 AM on April 18, 2010

harold_dumbacher: "Wikipedia!!!!"

Oh no - they caught us fascist leftists with our pants down, our conspiracy is exposed, whatever shall we do now that the sheeple have been informed?
posted by idiopath at 12:55 AM on April 18, 2010

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