Proposal:Future-driven Wikipedia

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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

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  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


Summary

Instead of serving our present by making available knowledge about and from the past, make Wikipedia serve humanity's future by providing knowledge relevant to the future.

Motivation

I am sure most strategists are familiar with the "5 Why?" technique pioneered by Japanese car manufacturers. If one expands it to look not just into causes, by effects (i.e. both backwards and forward), one would arrive at something similar to TRIZ methods used to analyze a problem.

In the case of Wikip(m)edia strategy I would look into purpose. The strategy is supposed to answer "Where do we want to be in five years?". The vision (supposed to serve as a basis for strategy says) "every single person can freely share in the sum of all human knowledge". But a few more whys (you can call them "What fors") about the intended effect are missing.

Why do we want every single person to freely share in the sum of all human knowledge? That's what is missing. Access to knowledge is not everything. Focus, structure and presentation are things inherent (so far) in any knoweldge-sharing and knowledge-access tool.

My personal take on that is biased, but I do believe it's the right focus, right vision and right approach. I am a transhumanist meaning that I

  • expect radical transformation of humanity in the next couple decades thanks to science and technology,
  • look forward to these changes,
  • intend to help humanity go through this trasnformation safely.

There are other forward-looking groups (most of whom are naive and misguided), such as people promoting sustanability, space exploration, basic income and other half-truths. Then there are very backward-looking groups, like radical religious movements, poorly educated and stupid people, violent people, etc. Of course, wikipedia contributors are a self-selecting group. Only those who like to create a knowledge base (edit, type, use a PC, discuss minor details, etc.) would stay in the project. That removes some of the backward-looking people.

But the default backward-looking majority stays here. I am saying that because most of our humanity, including culture, politics, psychology and everything else is backwards. We live forward, but we think backwards. Future events are not facts, they are scoffed at here. Most of the knowledge needed by people, however, is the knowledge about the future.

Yes, it would be great if illiterate poor nasty sick Bangladesh guy would learn about making water filters or study what wikipedia:Election litter is. But isn't it more important for a renowned scientist working on an expert panel for a well-funded multinational research facility writing a funding policy for them to have access to speculative, incomplete and unsure knowledge about the future, so that she can focus her mind and her energy not on making sure her family is healthy and her community is well-governed, but on making sure the light called intelligence doesn't go out in this universe and that we survive the coming transformation and use the power we have to become the best we can be?

Isn't it more important for Wikipedia too?

References

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