A year later, ''the apple is a fruit''
had become a
real article. The pirannah affect was born.
I must admit, something called the "piranha effect" prompted a rather
different image in my mind. Instead of an effect produced by editors
swarming to a new article and improving it, my first thought was of the
current discussions on en: about the problems with Votes for deletion.
The concern there is that perhaps the swarm devours and destroys, and
not just destroying articles (some of the articles warrant destruction),
but also sometimes damaging people's self-esteem and the community
I suppose most swarms that I can think of in nature tend to be pretty
destructive (locusts, sharks, wasps, crickets, etc.). Perhaps we should
consider that we've accomplished a lot just in being able to generate
positive results from swarming behavior at all. We may not be perfect at
harnessing the swarm yet - sometimes the "smart mob" reverts to being a
plain old mob - but it's pretty impressive nonetheless.