no, i'm not against open content submission. not at all. but learning simply isn't a static process. the encyclopedia's of times past were fucking wondrous, and one could get many a fact (if there is such a thing) from them. however, one could not instruct one's self from an encyclopedia. learning and teaching one's self are very different: learning requires only information in a static form, teaching one's self, on the other hand, requires interaction with information. the ability to manipulate it, to have it explained in various ways, to dispute it, even to discuss it with other individuals. wikipedia will be a useful project, no doubt: the wealth of knowledge there is immense, and i myself use it on a nearly daily basis.
i envision something greater. a site where one may submit as one wishes, yes, like wikipedia. however, i envision a site where the product of chat, forums, blogs and divers other sorts of structured (or semi-structured) information can be combined. more than a site where one can edit any of the contents, but rather a community of learners who help each other. if one knew some subject well, or had mastered a skill, one would provide a means of instruction for others who wished to learn it. if one desired to learn a skill, the other who could do so would help. nevermind the concept of everyone helping each other in real life, or with getting food or somesuch, i won't delve into politics. i intend to make a very simple statement:
knowledge should be free.
i leave it up to each individual to determine how to distribute the knowledge best, but i implore you to question what we have available. any single bit may be damn good -- but is it excellent? is there room for improvement? if so, can you make the improvement? if so, make it, if you can't, facilitate it. this is the hacker ethic as i see it.
- Wark, A Hacker Manifesto
in the style of the communist manifesto, which is to say it's full of a lot of shit, but it has some good stuff. definitely worth checking out.
- the hacker's manifesto, by the mentor.
this is from 1986, when BBSes were big and the old hacker scene was dying. short and sweet.
- the gnu project, by Richard Stallman.
an elaboration of why he started the gnu project, what it's purposes were, and the like.