Best cases are probably scaled-down visions or the opposite of your most-dreaded threats. They may, also, really be your own best vision of where The future of Wikipedia might lead. Don't be conservative. What you write here should really be your own personal best idea of where it could go, and what would personally motivate you to work hard with people you hate, for no money, to achieve it.

The status quo is assessed in terms of worst cases - no one cares if you believe a best case is being achieved and if they did they wouldn't be checking the status quo - but threats, visions and best cases help provide context and most imporantly set vocabulary in which the status quo is described. Nothing original can be said in status quo - if it isn't mentioned in one of the other files it can't be mentioned there.

Short term edit

Dedicated admins edit

The Militia, 20 users granted sysop status, defend the users' visions to the near-death and all of these best cases are realized, and none of the threats come to pass.

Full representation edit

The ideal Wikipedia board is actually recruited and represents a range of cultures and biases, especially with respect to what or who is a 'person', and how authorship and anonymity should be handled. These honest differences are settled with open debate and non-unanimous consensus, and wikipedia authors are generally comfortable with the level of security of person guaranteed by policy.

Sensitivity to other points of view edit

Hard to follow, but what about just the best case of w:symbiosis between trolls and even absurd sysops (within limits) more or less as they discuss here?

Long term edit

Lasting success edit

The Wikipedia project continues to evolve. Its success is sufficient to be useful as a prototype/reference for derivative applications or projects seeking startup funding via traditional methods, volunteerism, or some viable combination. user:mirwin

Virtue as its own reward edit

The anti-globalization movement respects wiki as a neutral point of view and doesn't flood it with 3000 versions of natural point of view all at once. Instead, they recognize that their views are treated with as much respect as funded published academics, and help work out a rigorous protocol for dealing with unpublished or unpublishable literature, work that challenges the validity of science itself, or calls for ends to professions. The wiki becomes an icon of fairness for all those with heretical views, but somehow never becomes anathema to academics, who check it to see that their work is fairly represented, fix minor errors, and get into good "talk" with their most fervent opponents.

Wiki gradually becomes the center of discourse on controversial topics because of its vaunted fairness and its commitment to approaching as close to a natural point of view as the neutral point of view of the target three billionth user will permit. Other encylopedias gradually give up or are bought out by donors who like wiki — and wiki, rather than a search engine, becomes the first stop for most researchers.

Gradually, universities fade away as centers of research but flourish as centers of ethical training, moral example, brainstorming, wild and uninhibited art, and true creative vision. Nobel Prize winners thank wiki on the stand as they accept their rewards, and historians credit it with breaking down barriers between academic, populist, and economic views.

Extended future edit

Holism edit

The foundation ontology of each major culture is described, e.g. the particle physics standard model which serves as the particle physics foundation ontology for other sciences, medieval Catholic foundation ontology, classical Chinese foundation ontology, etc., and likewise for each cosmology. Strong respect for the terms used in each culture brings the best scholars in the world here. Constant effort keeps vocabulary manageable, and under 4000-5000 words for introductory articles - those with the shortest names. The three billionth user comes to the wiki in 2007 with English as a second language, very little time and a low bandwidth connection, and walks away with the most useful description of an ecologically-sensitive garden they could possibly have got in that time...

See also edit