Wikipedia Discovers Crowdism

As it turns out, crowd-approved group blog Wikipedia reveals the Crowdist pattern in its “objective” articles and comments:

They concluded that “significant progress could be made by moderating a relatively small number of frequent attackers.” But at the same time, in Wikipedia’s comments “less than half of attacks come from users with little prior participation; and perhaps surprisingly, approximately 30% of attacks come from registered users with over a 100 contributions. These results suggest the problems associated with personal attacks do not have an easy solution… the majority of personal attacks on Wikipedia are not the result of a few malicious users, nor primarily the consequence of allowing anonymous contributions.”

In other words, the wrong people got in power… again. Funny how this happens. In business, in social groups, in volunteer groups and even among fellow employees heading out to lunch. When there is not a clear leader and hierarchy, the snarling Simian ancestry of humans comes forth and we sabotage ourselves by fighting for power like preening animals, “talking monkeys with car keys.”

The problem is us. Crowdism is the theory of what happens when individualism becomes collectivized, and inverts definitions by removing the unpopular complex and unpleasant concepts from within the bigger concept, leaving us with something like a cross between Disneyland and the Soviet Union.

Humans ruin everything they touch. Someone starts up a new idea, and this idea will be powerful so long as it is not widely understood, so that the idea selects its audience. But when people start coming in for demotic reasons — politics, commerce, popularity — then they want to use the idea as a means to the end of their own personal advancement, and they destroy it.

This is why nothing persists in the human world. As soon as something good is formed, it is destroyed. Wherever people gather, they consume whatever they find so that they can advance themselves. Unless this herd instinct is formed, humanity becomes the source of the death of anything good and devolves into squabbling, pretentious rodents who soak up all the resources and leave a wasteland.

We talk a good deal about virtue signaling on this blog, but the fact is that virtue signaling is one method of bullying people out of the way. There are others, but generally, people use language to manipulate each other, not to communicate. As a result, they are like worms creeping through computer data, changing everything into gibberish by redefining it.

Wikipedia provides an interesting model for this because it seems that it would be free of the commercial pressures that are commonly blamed for corrupting everything in the human world. In fact, commerce is just one of the ways that a “tragedy of the commons” occurs, with people acting in self-interest against group interest.

Could Wikipedia be saved? Yes, but only if: it had strong leaders, a caste system, and a strong culture that rewards the honest and punishes the bad. That is the opposite of what it has now, which is a popularity contest. We can see reflections of our society in Wikipedia, and in neither case is the prognosis very good.

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