way wikis work.
I like the way they are constantly
being improved, but never finished. I like the
way content is shaped by input from many different people.
like that everything
evolves; everything is in flux, just like in life.
I've come to see that everything in life is just a big messy wiki page,
constantly being squabbled over, revised, and reworked by countless
editors. Nothing is ever perfected; nothing is ever finished.
things do get better overall. They get better because of all the
conflict. Just the way a Wikipedia article gets better
all the different viewpoints that have to be
The other day I spent the better part of an hour reading
the talk page for Wikipedia's entry on "High Fructose Corn Syrup."
Fascinating stuff. And nowadays instead of reading the op/ed
pieces in the Times, I jump right to all the hundreds of readers'
comments on any particular column or editorial. They give me
much better sense of all sides of the issue... where different people
are coming from, and what arguments they make. I feel like
gets me closer to the truth, because the truth lies somewhere in
between all the opposing viewpoints. I think maybe what I'm
talking about is
called a dialectic,
but I never read Hegel, so I wouldn't know.
Some people want to believe that there's an authority—a last
word, so to speak. Fundamentalists... Constitutional
originalists... these are people who would like to believe in an
absolute set of laws, laid out by a perfect text, that managed to get
it right for all time. But laws are things that have to
our species evolves. The Constitution and the Bible both have
get updated, wiki-style. (And they do, through new
interpretations.) Otherwise, they won't survive and something else will
take their place.
And so, I've decided I would
like to be a wiki... Wiki-Pete. People
in my life will be allowed to change me. I'll retain some
of editorial control, in case somebody just wants to mess me up for no
good reason. But in general, I'll try to be open
because I think there's so much I could gain from it. One
might help me be more outgoing. Another could make me less
self-absorbed, less given to writing blogs about myself. And someone
punch up my style a bit and make me flow better. I'll never be
finished. I'll never be perfect. But I'll keep getting