[Wikipedia-l] Wikispecies

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue Aug 24 13:14:27 UTC 2004

Gerard Meijssen wrote:

> I have read with amusement the arguments why the Wikispecies project 
> may not be a good idea by some of the ToL people. As much as I admire 
> the work that went into the ToL and still goes into the ToL, it is 
> also a project that has proven in the past that it is not open and 
> willing to cooperate outside of its own project. When I asked to 
> consider cooperation to come to a universal wikipedia taxobox, the 
> answer was look at all our previous discussions things have been 
> decided,, no we won't have that all over again. 

This is an interesting observation for the general situation.  It is 
quite a typical occurrence as systems mature.  As a project grows it 
develops ways of doing things that work to the satisfaction of the 
majority, and a if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it mentality sets in.  
That's both good and bad.  It preserves what works, but tends to shut 
out innovation. 

I've encounterred Gerard's innovation in another context where I have 
been doubtful of its applicability.  The problem with innovation is that 
there are often unforseen implications that can disrupt other 
practices.  Simply telling someone to read the past discussions is 
evasive.  Saying that an issue has been decided, and that the need for 
further discussions has been obviated is not very wiki.


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