Freddie Sayers meets Larry Sanger.
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Chances are, if you’ve ever been on the internet, you’ve visited Wikipedia. It is the world’s fifth largest website, pulling in an estimated 6.1 billion followers per month and serves as a cheat sheet for almost any topic in the world. So great is the online encyclopaedia’s influence is so great that it is the biggest and “most read reference work in history”, with as many as 56 million editions.
But the truth about this supposedly neutral purveyor of information is a little more complex. Historically, Wikipedia has been written and monitored by a community of volunteers who collaborated and contested competing claims with one another. In the words of Wikipedia’s co-founder, Larry Sanger who spoke to Freddie Sayers on LockdownTV, these volunteers would “battle it out”.
This battle of ideas on Wikipedia’s platform formed a crucial part of the encyclopaedia’s commitment to neutrality, which according to Sanger, was abandoned after 2009. In the years since, on issues ranging from Covid to Joe Biden, it has become increasingly partisan, primarily espousing an establishment viewpoint that increasingly represents “propaganda”. This, says Sanger, is why he left the site in 2007, describing it as “broken beyond repair”.
Katie Halper joins Krystal and Saagar to compare how the media treated the deaths of Mike Gravel and Donald Rumsfeld.
Obscurantism and Obscurationism (/ɒbˈskjʊərənˌtɪzəm, əb-/ or /ˌɒbskjʊəˈræntɪzəm/) describe the practice of deliberately presenting information in an imprecise, abstruse manner designed to limit further inquiry and understanding. There are two historical and intellectual denotations of Obscurantism: (1) the deliberate restriction of knowledge—opposition to disseminating knowledge;[a] and (2) deliberate obscurity—a recondite literary or artistic style, characterized by deliberate vagueness.
The term obscurantism derives from the title of the 16th-century satire Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum (Letters of Obscure Men, 1515–19), that was based upon the intellectual dispute between the German humanist Johann Reuchlin and the monk Johannes Pfefferkorn of the Dominican Order, about whether or not all Jewish books should be burned as un-Christian heresy. Earlier, in 1509, the monk Pfefferkorn had obtained permission from Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1486–1519), to burn all copies of the Talmud (Jewish law and Jewish ethics) known to be in the Holy Roman Empire (AD 926–1806); the Letters of Obscure Men satirized the Dominican arguments for burning “un-Christian” works.
In the 18th century, Enlightenment philosophers applied the term obscurantist to any enemy of intellectual enlightenment and the liberal diffusion of knowledge. In the 19th century, in distinguishing the varieties of obscurantism found in metaphysics and theology from the “more subtle” obscurantism of the critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and of modern philosophical skepticism, Friedrich Nietzsche said: “The essential element in the black art of obscurantism is not that it wants to darken individual understanding, but that it wants to blacken our picture of the world, and darken our idea of existence.”
We speak to Willem Buiter, Global Chief Economist at Citigroup (2010-2018). In contrast to our interview with Bitcoin.com founder Roger Ver, Willem Buiter argues Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are essentially is an environmentally unfriendly, speculative fiat currency with no use countries trying to evade Western economic sanctions. He also disputes that it can be used as a currency and discusses why there won’t be mass-scale adoption.
Reich’s distinguished career spans three administrations, including a tenure as Clinton’s secretary of labor. He has been awarded the Vaclav Havel Foundation Prize for work in economic and social thought, and is the author of a dozen books, most recently Beyond Outrage. He is also the co-founding editor of American Prospect, co-creator of the film Inequality for All, commentator on NPR’s Marketplace, and professor of public policy at UC Berkeley. In his thirteenth book, Reich tackles the growing problem of economic disparity by focusing on the relationship between politics and corporate finance. Closely examining that revolving door between the two, Reich compares myths about both the minimum wage and top corporate compensation, and issues a call for civic action to change the status quo.
Sam: If you want to reach my generation, you’re not going to reach them through books .. you have to use movies and videos
Is Joe Biden partially responsible for the huge amount of debt students now have?