a perspective transformation

From an essay entitled “The Critics Need a Reboot. The Internet hasn’t led us into a new Dark Age” by David Wohlman, via Wired on August 18, 2008:

The explosion of knowledge represented by the Internet and abetted by all sorts of digital technologies makes us more productive and gives us the opportunity to become smarter, not dumber.

Think of Wikipedia and its emergent spinoffs, like Wiktionary. Imperfect as they may be, the collective brainpower contained within these kinds of sites — and the hunger for learning and accurate information they represent — is something human history has never known before.

… consider the Public Library of Science: By breaking the publishing industry’s choke hold on the circulation of scientific information, this powerful online resource arms scientists and the masses alike with the same data, accelerating new discoveries and breakthroughs.

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Innovative Journalism

Via Threat Level on August 6, 2008:

Threat Level is one of four finalists in the 2008 Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism for our readers’ work digging up over 100 self-serving anonymous edits performed by corporations and governments on Wikipedia.

Readers used WikiScanner to uncover the shenanigans: that’s the searchable web mash-up crafted by CalTech graduate student and internet superhero Virgil Griffith. Griffith merged a database of Wikipedia edits with internet address records, allowing anyone to search on the name of a company or agency, and see all of the anonymous Wikipedia edits made from its address space.

When Griffith announced the tool last August, we realized that a lot of chicanery could now be exposed with a little effort. So we set up a Reddit widget and asked you to do all the work. You submitted the Wikipedia manipulation you uncovered, and voted up the most shameful whitewash jobs.