Jon Udell, on Ward Cunningham’s new “federated wiki” project:

Mr. Udell, Thank you for sharing this news about the “federated wiki”. This will make the “old” dominant Wikipedia, for example, obsolete pretty quick, because it is a “consensus engine”. If I understand this new thing correctly, it provides for divergence of opinions and perspectives and paradigms.

The currently dominant “Wikipedia” web site is great in general, but only for areas where there is no controversy, and it compels a kind of “forced” consensus because of its dominance on the Internet, being the general go-to site for knowledge. The result is that anyone with a minority view is sidelined. The “neutral point of view” does not exist because the idea of “consensus” has pretty much the same flaws as the majority rule idea of “democracy”.

So there have popped up wiki’s everywhere, a sort of partitioning of the Internet space, isolating groups of opinion somewhat, but with differing collections of facts. Dissent from the “consensus”, which does not mean a truly neutral point of view the way most of us think of it There is no narrative of “facts” in text without a perspective.

That’s why you can’t get the real deal on divergent and dissenting perspectives or paradigms in Wikipedia. Wikipedia’s perspective reflects that of its arbiters who decide how to apply the “neutral point of view” mandate.

Federation is better than centralization. This is why localization of governance is better than centralization.

But with a network of peered nodes, if I understand this vision correctly, will allow for nodes that refer among themselves and may provide a way for readers to compare the different perspectives. It may work out better than a formalized debate would. IF we can keep itchy censoring bureaucrats and political control freaks from interfering, like they’re doing with trying to push a censorship regime in another “neutral” disguise.