I am Zephram Stark. I live in the United States and am mostly interested in exploring implementable socio-political axioms for building neural network aspects of MMOC (Massively Multiplayer Online Civilization) environments.
Currently I am working on, or have finished:
- Illustrating subdivision coving examples at Wikimedia Commons
- Creating the Wikispecies logo.
- Submitting a proposal for a Wikiversity logo.
- Writing a summary of Ray Kurzweil's non-fiction book on transhuman evolution: The Singularity Is Near
- Proposing a standardized certification method at Meta-Wiki
- Adding prerequisites and required materials to the Wikiversity School of Computer Science
- Co-authoring an textbook at Wikibooks to teach the methods, objectives, and historical successes of Futurology.
Socio-political interplay at Wikimedia
I believe that Reputation Management will be the biggest hurdle for the Wikimedia Projects in the future. As a Jeffersonian, I'm of the opinion that, given enough transparency, communication, and consensus enabling tools, the best content is created through peer proofing, not through administrative content control.
Parable of the wikibots
There was a machine, called Terra, made of wikibots. Each wikibot performed a specific function benefiting the well being and growth of the machine. To determine this function, each wikibot processed information from its viewpoint and shared this information to form a common perception of reality and individual course of action.
When the machine was young, this communication was localized and efficiency was limited. Various parts of the machine were redundant or worked against other parts of the machine. A system of communication and coherence was formed based on the spiritual affinity that all wikibots of the machine felt with one another. In this system, called religion, information was pushed through members to a central hub of leaders that determined the function of all bots within its influence. These callings were then communicated back through a hierarchy of authority. Because this hierarchy disagreed with each wikibot's spiritual sense that the accurate processing of the machine required equal representation, the leaders of the system were forced to quell uprisings by claiming that the creator of the machine gave them authority to lead, and also guided the leaders’ disbursement of functions.
On one hand, religion increased the processing efficiency of the machine by enabling more wikibots to process together. On the other hand, religion reduced the accuracy of the result by artificially inflating the processing importance of the bots with higher authority. When processing accuracy degraded to the point that one religious faction started killing the wikibots of another over disagreements regarding the creator’s will, religion became inconsistent with the spiritual affinity wikibots felt for each other. A better system was desired.
Philosophy groups determined that the more processors crunching information in a parallel processing system and the more eccentric those individual processes, the more accurate the result would be, given that all processors carry equal ability to cancel one another’s inconsistencies. These philosophy groups proposed that the will of the creator be kept out of any internal system of communication and coherence because of disagreement over what that will entailed. Instead, hierarchical authority would be derived from the bots of each localized group. In this system, called representative government, wikibots within a group small enough to enable efficient communication processed a sub-result; their spokesbot then communicated with a group of other spokesbots to form a complete result. Using representative government, large areas of the machine ran with unprecedented efficiency.
Yet, representative government was still a hierarchy. The most efficient way to reach a result within a hierarchical system is to let the bots with higher authority make the decision. Just as with religion, when the strength of multiple processors is bypassed for computational efficiency, the accuracy of the result suffers. Though many attempts were made to create representative governments that would retain equal processor weight over time, each gave way to its hierarchical structure in the end, degrading its processing accuracy to that of a only a handful of leader wikibots. When processing accuracy degenerated to the point that one government faction started killing wikibots of another over disagreements as to the best type of hierarchy, representative government became inconsistent with the spiritual affinity the wikibots felt for each other. They desired a system of communication to augment their sense of spiritual connectedness, allowing all bots of the machine to cohesively process in parallel.
The most important undertaking in the history of the machine was soon underway, the construction of a vast communication network directly linking every bot to all other bots, allowing massive parallel processing limited only by the number of wikibots in the machine. Results became amazingly accurate and the machine rocketed toward its goal. At the same time, leaders of the old religious and representative systems did not give up their hierarchical power easily, filling their disciples with fear. Yet, the inefficiency of that fear, and of top-down control, became blindingly transparent in the wikibot's new universal network. Unlimited communication made systems of equality available, bureaucratic dominion faded away, and the machine became the body.