What is Jimbo Wales? Here is an idea

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What is Jimbo Wales? Here is an idea

Post by ericbarbour » Tue May 28, 2019 6:16 am

He's the Gene Roddenberry of online encyclopedia-things.

https://medium.com/maxistentialism-blog ... acde591fd2
Gene Roddenberry, the utopian visionary/despotic lunatic creator of Star Trek, established a set of strict rules about how people would behave in the future. Roddenberry said that in the 24th century, there would be no money because futuristic technology would provide for people’s material needs. There would be no smoking, no piracy, no religion, and no prejudice. After Roddenberry cast Patrick Stewart as the captain in Next Generation, a reporter joked, “Surely they would have cured baldness by the 24th century!” Roddenberry replied, “In the 24th century, they wouldn’t care.”

Roddenberry also decreed that among the enlightened members of the Federation, there would be no interpersonal conflict. He banned “stories in which our characters do something stupid or dangerous.” The Next Generation writers hated these rules, because, to put it lightly, conflict and danger are traditionally considered important components of a good story.

Next Generation writer Ronald D. Moore (who would go on to write for DS9 and create Battlestar Galactica) said, “It was a constant problem that we just sort of gnashed our teeth about. It never made any logical sense or any dramatic sense. And we were always bitching and moaning about it. And my personal theory was that Gene sort of started to believe in himself as more of a visionary than a writer at a certain point. He started to believe the stuff that he was creating a utopian future and wanted the Next Generation universe to be reflective of the utopian universe that so many people had told him he had been creating for all these years.”

Gosh this sounds familiar. The "despotic lunatic visionary etc" had to die before his writers could create a better TV show. Unfortunately I suspect the loonier loonies have already hijacked the Wikipedia TV Show, and are turning it into a Star Trekkie fan site (as well as other broken or insane things). Trek outlived its asshole creator and I suspect Wikipedia will do the same.
I think one of the worst knocks against Star Trek is that it can be extremely hokey — full of what Ronald D. Moore described as, “stock characters, techno-double-talk, bumpy-headed aliens, thespian histrionics, and empty heroics.”

So is the "Wikimedia movement". But no bumpy-headed aliens, just fat basement dwellers.

(PS, Wikiproject Star Trek is now tracking 3,930 articles and files. They have fallen permanently behind Wikiproject Doctor Who, despite the far greater volume of Trek television and movies, with more new series on the way. THAT is a suitable condemnation of the "Wikipedia Way" all by itself.)

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Re: What is Jimbo Wales? Here is an idea

Post by CrowsNest » Tue May 28, 2019 1:22 pm

Hmmm. Well, the clear difference is Jimmy clearly isn't a despot. He's doing a grand impression of a doormat these days. Maybe if he had been prepared to see his rules enforced with an iron fist in the early years (not proto-Wikipedia when he was The Man, but in the massive growth phase), he might have succeeded in seeing his vision realised.

His last attempt to lay down the law was holding Bishonen to account, and we know how that went. Administrators are meant to the Captains of the Wikipedia Universe, full of virtue, wisdom and judgement. It's hard to stop myself laughing as I write that, given the reality of what it has become. Kudpung is an Administrator FFS, and has been since 2011! He only became really active in mid 2009. When was Bishonen crowned Queen? Mid-2009.

Can anyone name a significant change to how Wikipedia is built or run since mid-2009? Nothing visionary comes to mind. Only measures that go against Jimmy's vision. You've got to assume he only threw himself into all these other projects, to distract himself from thinking about how the people who did ultimately accrue power in the Wikipedia community, have set back his vision of what it could have been by decades. Perhaps even ensuring it never comes to pass.

When it comes to his vision for Wikipedia, Jimmy will surely relish the sweet release of death. He will be most glad that founding Wikipedia will be all that he is remembered for. Since that at least makes clear he is not really responsible for what it will have become by that date. Jimmy probably has another 35-40 years to live, and that isn't nearly enough time to turn the tanker around. You know for damn sure Bishonen aims to out-live him, and therefore have Jimmy know she is still Queen of Wikipedia as he draws his last breath. Nobody would bet against that coming to pass.

I think Jimmy was less a visionary, just an incurable optimist. I bet even now he still harbors hopes that someone in the community who shares his vision, will step up to the plate and by some miracle be able to do what should be possible if the way Wikipedia is meant to work is how it actually works, and give Bishonen her cards. Thank you, but no thank you. Please find another way to spend your days, because the values and ideals of Wikipedia clearly aren't shared by you.

It's like a wonderful hallucinogenic dream.


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Re: What is Jimbo Wales? Here is an idea

Post by Graaf Statler » Tue May 28, 2019 2:18 pm

Jimmy? Someone who had met him several times once described him to me as the not so clever perfect son in law. Maybe seen his adventures with woman not the best comparison, but I understand what he means. It is the modern digital form of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, that is how I look at it and indeed is Jimmy waiting for the miracle of the wizard who comes back. What I don't expect, that wizard is not coming home.

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