Subj: cpov reader
From: nathaniel tkacz <tkaczn@...>
To: Jon Awbrey <jawbrey@...>
Cc: Seth Finkelstein, Gregory Kohs
Date: 10/19/2010 8:38 PM
Hi Jon, Seth, Gregory,
I figure I'll address all three of you because Jon forwarded on my last email.
Firstly, Geert sent the email but it was a group decision. All the editors/organisers, including myself, agreed. It is to be expected that the three of you were unhappy with our decision. What I will say is the CPOV makes no pretensions as to being "open". We have a list where people discuss ideas and events, but we also have a hierarchy. Indeed, my contribution to the reader is titled "A Critique of Political Openness". I believe that Openness simply masks the power dynamics of a group. Not everyone from CPOV agrees with me, but that's my position. The book we are preparing will be freely available and under a commons based license, but it won't be organised like a "bazaar". Geert and I are the editors. We will make suggestions and negotiate with the authors.
Part of the reason that we invited Jon to contribute (and this was also very much Geert's suggestion), was exactly because of his antagonistic position regarding Wikipedia. I know you have described our group as not really critical and as an echo chamber etc. etc. But we are of the opinion that our book will have different kinds of voices. For example, we have a recognised expert on star trek who kept a diary while trying to edit key entries. We have an inclusion from the authors of Wikipedia Art. We are negotiating contributions from Nicholas Carr and Jaron Lanier. We have people focusing on how power is delegated to bots, as a critique of the idea of Wisdom of the Crowds. We have a long interview with a disgruntled former Wikipedian who was very active on the Hebrew and Arabic Wikipedias. We have people focusing on the question of Western Knowledge and classification. We have Joseph Reagle talking about what kinds of
larger social anxieties are expressed through Wikipedia and so on.
We expect the book to be widely read. We expect it to circulate among the Wikipedia communities, in teaching institutions and to a larger public. If Jon (or Seth or Greg, or all three working as a team — we chose Jon because he was the most active on the list) want to contribute another voice to this publication we welcome it. And as I said, we would like to have someone cover the main alternative places for critical info about Wikipedia (how they started, what they cover etc.), perhaps at the end of a larger contribution. (Originally, we invited Jon to compile his best writings into a longer piece.)
Although it would be good for us to have the contribution, I would expect that it would be written not to "help us out", but to have your own views published in a different place and for a different audience. Our book will come out regardless. We would like you to be in it, we would like your voice in our echo chamber (!), and we won't ask you to tone down your views about Wikipedia.
Let me know if you change your mind.
School of Culture and Communication
University of Melbourne
Current project: http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/cpov/about-2/