In this article for Wired, cultural correspondent Richard Clarke tracks the origins, the day-to-day functioning and the likely future of Wikipedia. He discusses how its founders first regarded it as an adjunct to another site; how “Wikignomes” keep the site up and running; how Alexa and Siri depend on Wikipedia for answers and will depend on it even more in the future; and why everyone who uses Wikipedia still remains slightly reluctant to cite it as a source. Clarke’s lively writing and lucid insights will captivate anyone who uses Wikipedia – that is, pretty much everyone. Open at source
7 min read · Jun 2nd · Three-dimensional human beings can’t thrive in a one-dimensional space
There’s a line that Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian used to repeat back in the halcyon days of 2012. It went something like: ‘The world isn’t flat — but the world wide web is.’
The internet facilitates these powerful, complex parasocial relationships but, at the same time flattens everything that makes the messy, human elements of relationships possible. It flattens audiences, it flattens time and it flattens a lot of nuance.
It’s called context collapse, which is when a piece of information intended for one audience finds its way to another — usually an uncharitable one — which then reads said information in the worst possible faith. (For that piece, I spoke to Elle Hunt, a journalist whose movie opinion tweet exploded into a culture war argument as result of this audience switching.)
~13 min read · 2019-10-21 · Something has happened to our sense of the future. In old movies or TV shows, the future was often depicted as a wholly alien world, a barely recognizable landscape of flying cars, and out of control…