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Popularity, and tinWiki's 'niche'

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posted on Apr, 30 2008 @ 10:49 PM
Hi, all who know about tinWiki and take interest in the project to some degree or other,

First I'd like to just say I'm sorry this long post takes fairly long to say what someone else might have been able to say in much less space. I think as I'm typing, and this is basically my trying to think about tinWiki -- and also, perhaps most importantly, inviting you who read this right now to help tinWiki's future development and refinement and so on by offering some feedback, opinions and thoughts that you might have on the tinWiki project.

I've spent enough time in tinWiki to have looked at some of the website and to have gotten at least some sort of sense of 'overview' over what is found in tinWiki, and over what type of work has been done there, and hasn't been done, too, perhaps. Of course, there's still a big lot that I don't know about tinWiki, though.

Anyway, I'm thinking of something right now, which I also have thought a little bit about, mostly just vague thoughts, though, since a short while back, now. Partly my thought may come from hearing about William One Sac's ideas for improving and adjusting the visual appearance of the tinWiki pages, the "skin" settings and so on. What I'm wondering about is, perhaps I can put it simply by saying, what tinWiki's 'niche' is. For example, what are the most interesting and important things setting tinWiki apart from Wikipedia (I mean the purpose and so on, not simply amount of content and popularity and so on). What is tinWiki's "raison d'etre", as I think they say, the main need that tinWiki is supposed to serve?

My own thought on tinWiki, is basically that it's an important encyclopedia project because of the starting point or perspective taken, which is basically the ATS type of perspective of denying ignorance, to 'look under rocks' that it's 'assumed' or 'expected' that one won't look under. Taking a skeptical or 'anti-gullible' look at what are presented as truths in society and in science, and, I guess, also in the question of what even *is* scientific, real, knowable, and so on. To me, the starting point and attitude is, alone, why I think tinWiki is in some ways extremely much more important than Wikipedia. Wikipedia can, in a kind of way, perhaps be said to be useful mostly in the areas of knowledge where there aren't too much uncertainty. In those topics, Wikipedia has the valuable, but still -- in *certain* ways -- un-promising function of summing up undebated facts, 'stating the obvious', as they say... If you see what I mean. For all those other topics, which are, in my view, the really interesting and in a way the most important topics, Wikipedia assumes something which is not the case: namely that all is 'fine and dandy' and 'we are all reasonable' and can agree on the 'obvious' truth. The problem is that the case regarding humans and fact knowledge is nowhere near simple. Stuff like 'edit wars' are good illustrations of what I'm saying is kind of Wikipedia's problem.

[continues below...]

posted on Apr, 30 2008 @ 10:50 PM
[continued from above.....]

tinWiki takes, in a way, the opposite attitude from Wikipedia. tinWiki is about that knowledge and facts is *not* a simple and plain matter. tinWiki talks about the unknown, and about maybe even the unknowable (at least for what's within reach of, say, normal human beings...). tinWiki talks about stuff like the paranormal, and about hidden political struggles, conspiracies. To me, just having taken that attitude as a starting-point, gives tinWiki a sort of indestructible and guaranteed sharp edge on the 'axe' that tinWiki is, when cutting through the heavy fog of ignorance and disorientation which we, humans, necessarily find ourselves in. In comparison, any other kind of attitude than what tinWiki is based on is, as far as gaining knowledge, unable to 'cut' anything at all. In fact, the presumption of approaching fact knowledge as though it were a book written in plain language, to be read and summed up in an encyclopedia (which is what we're talking about, of course, when talking about tinWiki), is even risking adding to the 'fog', by creating information that is unclear and confusing. Wikipedia has a rule that it should not present 'original research'. That's great, of course, in an encyclopedia that is about summing up existing knowledge.

It's still a problem that there is some kind of basic assumption that information is plain and clear, and can be summed up like a simple story. tinWiki can be an extremely important information technology, so to say, or use of IT, because of the intention of seeking out and gaining overview over that which is precisely *not* known.

Anyway, this is something I think can be helpful for tinWiki's future to have discussed a bit. For example, I wondered if many ATS users work on Wikipedia, and what are their/your most important reason to chose Wikipedia as opposed to tinWiki (when the topic you're writing about is even relevant in tinWiki, of course). I wish that tinWiki gets bigger and better, and more oriented directly towards its goal. For that I think the site needs to have clarified in sentences and statements precisely what *is* the goal, and then the site needs to be modelled around such realizations. For example by keeping the appearance and layout of the pages in a way that fits the goals, and by putting up in very visible locations all the functions that directly relate to the goals, and by removing and/or downplaying all elements in the website that don't actually have to do with what tinWiki is trying to be as an encyclopedia wiki website. Getting some discussion and clarification of tinWiki's purpose, and then 'pushing' tinWiki determinedly on precisely those terms, that's what is the healthy and creative way to go, I believe, for tinWiki to be a better tool in serving its in my view extremely useful function on not just the web but in society....... Conflicts and propaganda wars are a natural part of humanity, as it seems, and the best way to progress regarding that, is to put light on all sorts of topics that it seems are important but that, for some or other reason, get 'buried' and hidden in culture and in everyday life (perhaps from deliberate conspiracy type activity, or just because of carelessness or maybe from lack of courage and 'fear of the unknown' and so on.......)

Trying to sum up then: what's tinWiki's main 'point'? This should be discussed by anyone and everyone who has any thought on that subject whatsoever. tinWiki needs more input, more feedback, more criticism, and more creative ideas from ATS-ers and others who want to 'chop down' some of the weeds and get some more light on all the various topics that people are confused about (with good reason). One way to earn more knowledge is of course to be some kind of scientist or reasearcher, but tinWiki is basically a place for *all* the areas of information that are a bit in the 'fringe', which is also what is precious about tinWiki, in my opinion.


edit: tiny improvements.

[edit on 30-4-2008 by Optimist]


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