Hmm... It's more of a "Meta Discussion" topic, so maybe I'll move it in there.
Unfortunately, the author of this particular essay (presumably Millosh (T-C-L-K-R-D)
) isn't a native English speaker, so it's a real slog to read the whole thing, even if you get past the excessive-length problem to begin with.
Take this bit, for example:
At the project level, especially Wikipedia level, we are not anymore in the edit war phase. Actually, edit war phase looks now as super healthy phase for the present phase. Present phase is full of much more intelligent destructive persons at the projects, and even supported by the whole and relevant communities. At the other side, people who are willing to deal with such problems don't get enough support from the upper levels.
This would probably have been written by a native English speaker to read more like this:
On individual projects, especially the Wikipedia projects, we're no longer in the "edit-warring" phase. Actually, an edit-warring phase would be far healthier than the state we're currently in. The current phase features highly intelligent, and highly destructive, users who are tolerated and even supported by the relevant project-level communities, and often the community as a whole. Meanwhile, people willing to deal with the problems caused by these users don't get enough support from users who are more influential within the hierarchy.
On the one hand, it's good to see that still more of them are taking a realistic view of what's going on, Big Picture-wise. Obviously they're more concerned with reversing their decline than with fixing any of the damage they've caused to the internet as a subculture, or to the various academic and journalistic traditions that have been undercut by competition from the freeware sector. Still, it's a good sign.
However, they'll never figure out how to fix these problems, and indeed, there may be no way to "fix" them at all. They also don't realize that the very content-generation model itself, while certainly capable of generating a ton of content, inherently works against them. There will almost certainly be a stubborn refusal to lock down the system, which over time will result in more attrition than they can probably recover from. So when the lockdown phase occurs, it will be more of a reaction to the attrition problem than an evolutionary step brought about by an internal realization that there's no longer any advantage in "open editing," and that their new focuses should be on improving existing content, and on minimizing the negative impact they're having elsewhere on the internet.
Besides all of those reasons, I may clearly see decadency inside of the Wikimedian community. The same decadency which was characteristic of all big societies at the end of the golden era. Bureaucracy is an excuse for not doing things and keeping present positions; openness toward new things is around zero; glorifying of "ol' good days" is more and more common; there are more and more bizarre things; and so on.
Note the use of the term "golden era" - what he's actually talking about aren't merely "big societies." He's talking about empires,
often built on the backs of slaves, mercenary soldiers, exploited workers, and oppressed colonial populations. Empires don't fall because of a few stuffy bureaucrats and nostalgic old-timers. They fall because the number of people who are tired of getting pissed on grows to the point where they can't be mollified or controlled any longer.
At some point, they turn on their masters.