i use wikipedia a lot & find the Talk sections revealing, interesting and more thought-provoking than the actual entries. wanted to bring together maetl's comments on the wiki-process with some recent comments about the hyperstitional process. interestingly, this also points to how theories like intelligent design are / should be discussed (opinion vs. fact) in a neutral sphere (is there such an animal?). personally, this is interesting because of my internal conversation. you would think that the space in your head should be neutral territory. don't know about you, but mine ain't switzerland. maybe this conversation can give me some clues, lol.
...Within the Anglobal Oecumenon, the most pragmatically prevalent ordinal functions are alphabetical, utilizing the ordering convention of the Neoroman letters to arrange, sort, search and archive on the basis of Alphabetical or Alphanumerical Order, organizing dictionaries, encyclopaedias, lists and indexes 'lexicogrpahically.' The word 'alphabet' itself performs a (Greek) ordinal operation.
'Lexicography' - dictionary-type order - is used here (as in various fields, such as compilations of number series) to designate a mode of ordering (an ordinal-numeric function) rather than a definite topic ('words'). Although a relatively neglected numerical operation, lexicographic ordering plays a crucial role in concrete (popular-Oecumenic) ordinal practices. It is characterized by: (1) Popularity, (2) Pure ordinalism, (3) Fractionality, (4) Sequential diplocoding, (5) Infinite potentiality ... [tic index]
...To me, one of the most fascinating things about the evolution of Wikipedia has been the emergence of an interface that reflects disputes and ruptures within existing knowledge. It would be all too easy to dismiss these effects as the ineviatable migration of usenet trolls and mailing list malcontents. But maybe there's another phenomenon in effect?
Wikipedia editing is based on a notion of the 'ideal point of view', where the construction of an article should bring no information with it from which to reconstruct the writer's point of view. This view runs screaming into oblivion when faced with an entry like Loop Quantum Gravity.
This isn't a problem with experts vs generalists, it's a problem with points of view clashing with facts. Or what fact is and isn't allowed to be. The essence of the problem is whether or not Loop Quantum Gravity can be declared a competitor to String Theory in terms of a unification of relativity and quantum gravity. String Theorists believe that there are no competing theories to String Theory. Therefore, mu. In this situation, it's impossible for objections and explanations to aspire to standards of neutrality - what is being disputed is the way basic language itself can and should be used. The most important thing that's missing in all this is a sense of humour. But it goes much further than that...
Think part of the concrete method issue is sheer anthropology - Steven Pinker (in his IMHO brilliant 'The Blank Slate') suggests moral pontification is a natural human propensity, along with the associated tendencies to partisan organization (psychological test subjects divided into groups by coin-tossing quickly began to develop strong partisan loyalty to their 'tribe,' attributing all kinds of superior moral virues to it (over against 'the abominable tails' - i extrapolate)). Point is, we can either tolerate a degree of this human nonsense or try to stamp it out. Seems to me, best policy is tolerance without letting it get in the way of more important work. Another (sort of related) question is whether a productive hyperstitional analysis of 'capitalism' can be launched here, locking onto topics with high Hyp. affinity, e.g. money, social science fiction, cyberspace, transhumanism, artificialization, pulp markets, telecommunism (or whatever other genuinely mutant strains of marxism) ... there are a huge number, but partisan cat-fighting and blind heel-digging tends to obstruct their rigorous elaboration - i'm agnostic about the prospects here, but some good carriers would probably help a lot ('good' in this context designating optimum blend of rigour, extremism, contagion and comic absurdity)"
Another reason why superstitions fall short of hyperstition, even when they 'come true', is that they fail to decode the relationship between belief and reality in the way that hyperstition always does. A crucial dimension of hyperstition is an appreciation of the hyperstitional process itself. The superstitious attribute their successes or failures to their fidelity to a talisman or a ritual (Freud was surely right that there is a strong relationship between the behaviours of obsessional neurotics and those of the religious, or superstitious, believer; in observing a ritual, the superstitious person is effectively propiating a god).
From Publishers Weekly. In his last outing, How the Mind Works, the author of the well-received The Language Instinct made a case for evolutionary psychology or the view that human beings have a hard-wired nature that evolved over time. This book returns to that still-controversial territory in order to shore it up in the public sphere. Drawing on decades of research in the "sciences of human nature," Pinker, a chaired professor of psychology at MIT, attacks the notion that an infant's mind is a blank slate, arguing instead that human beings have an inherited universal structure shaped by the demands made upon the species for survival, albeit with plenty of room for cultural and individual variation.