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Wikipedia and Jacques Rancière's philosophy of radical equality

From Wikimania

Wikipedia and Jacques Rancière's philosophy of radical equality

Presenter Matthew Curinga (Columbia University)
Themes CultureAcademic
About the presenter
Matthew Curinga is a doctoral candidate in the program in Communication, Computing, and Technology in Education at Columbia University. He's a software developer and researcher interested in the ways that Internet-based software supports large scale collaboration and peer production. His research considers both the technical and social implications of new media. In his dissertation, he looks at different types of social software and communities of peer production in terms of their potential to forward freedom. He has a particular interest in peer-to-peer learning, systems where learners and teachers connect individually, outside traditional institutions of learning. For three years he has been part of the research team developing and supporting StudyPlace, a wiki for the academic study of education.

Philosopher Jacques Rancière argues against the authority of scholarly experts; contending that the presupposition of such expertise limits our freedom and perpetuates inequality. This paper explores Rancière's ideas in terms of the Wikipedia project and wikis more generally. Here we examine the technical affordances of MediaWiki, as well as the social workings of the Wikipedia community, as an expression of Rancière's radical equality and as an experiment in universal intelligence. We hope to shed new light on the cultural importance of Wikipedia and develop a framework to evaluate the functioning of Wikipedia in terms of equality and freedom.

Language English
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