[Foundation-l] "antisocial production"

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Mon Jun 29 06:40:33 UTC 2009

Fred Bauder wrote:
>> 'Forget altruism. Misanthropy and egotism are the fuel of online social
>> production. That's the conclusion suggested by a new study of the
>> character
>> traits of the contributors to Wikipedia. A team of Israeli research
>> psychologists gave personality tests to 69 Wikipedians and 70
>> non-Wikipedians. They discovered that, as New Scientist puts
>> it<http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16349-psychologist-finds-wikipedians-grumpy-and-closedminded.html>,
>> Wikipedians are generally "grumpy," "disagreeable," and "closed to new
>> ideas."'
>> http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2009/06/the_sour_wikipe.php
>> I wonder how the mailing list will react....
> Always knew this, Wikipedia is generally an outlet for folks who have low
> interpersonal social skills, or at least insufficient outlets for self
> expression. As to "Disagreeable and closed to new ideas", that is policy,
> Wikipedia is a compendium of established knowledge, not a place for new
> ideas, which we call original research.
The flaw in the latter part of your comments is that I don't believe 
that they were talking about content.  Had it been about content you 
would certainly be right.  Biting newbies, aggressive insistence on 
established procedures and guidelines across a wide range of article 
types, or general impatience are all part of the more disagreeable 
qualities to be found.  As a community grows in size and self-importance 
it becomes easier to ignore new ideas by reacting to them with silence.  
By quietly disposing of new ideas the community's immune system is at 
its bacteriophagic best; it is just not smart enough to distinguish 
between cancers and cures.


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