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The hypothesis of this page is that wiki revives oral culture. If this is true then it would make sense to look for oral strategies: TellStories, OnlyTalkWhenSomeoneListens?. [somewhere else is written "... remember one of my first experiences in WardsWiki, elaborating Wiki:ThelepLanguage, which was dominated by the positive experience of an audience giving a constant sympathetic TellUsMore?."]
This page is one of my pet projects; but if nothing happens to it by Fall 2004, you can wipe this crud. -- SunirShah
- Yes, the question is: how far does the hypothesis carry us? "Dialogic" is a good term, because it contains "oral" but sets the level higher: wiki is not about TellStories (for cultural tradition and entertainment) but about TellStories (to add personal experience as a basis for a deeper dialogue). Wiki is little without dialogue. -- HelmutLeitner
Noble, J. and Biddle, R. (2002). Patterns as signs. In Proceedings of the European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Spain, 368-391. Available from http://www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz/~kjx/papers/e03.pdf
Ong, W. (1982) Orality and literacy. The Technologizing of the word. London: Routledge. As summarized by D. Reinking at http://www.coe.uga.edu/reading/faculty/dreinking/ONG.html
I'm taking http://www.mcluhan.utoronto.ca/course_col.htm now to fill out this page. -- SunirShah
- Less structure == more insular community as structure is maintained as CommunityLore. (More structure == more sharing community; more ArchitecturalCollaboration?, and possibly more IncidentalCollaboration and there are GuidePosts)
- Coming to a SharedUnderstanding?.
<anon> odd, wonder if there are stylistic giveaways [of when a page was written]
<Sunir> there are
<Sunir> like optimism, pessimism
<Sunir> also, i find the particular links that are used are indicative of certain periods of time
<Sunir> after all, we can only remember so much, and currently topical links are in our mind more than less topical.
<Sunir> certain authors use certain links more frequently than others as well, especially their own, as they are pushing a viewpoint, threading and weaving it into the corpus
<Sunir> further, less catchy titles get forgotten faster than ones that have some sort of mnemonic structure to them.
<Sunir> and the less organized a page is, the less likely it will be used, until eventually it is organized properly. Then its usage increases rapidly.
"The TowerOfBabel? is the tragedy of CommunityForks" -- AdinaLevin
- If CommunityMayNotScale, then communities may hasten to CommunityFork more often. If OnlineCommunities, especially wikis, operate as an OralCulture, each LabelVocabulary? will diverge so that they two communities will speak about the same ideas with differing terms. TwinPages were a naive attempt to bridge communities, but the pressure to distinct and individual communities will diverge the vocabularies. On the other hand, TwinPages also facilitate coherence between SisterSites. For sisters that are really two spaces for a single community, they may function adequately. Otherwise, expect labels to make little sense without their being a wider scoped CommonContext, like popular culture, industry jargon, or third party proper names.
- This is yet another reason why a universal SemanticWeb mesh is impossible. People use different words for the same thing, and the same words for different things.
Just a few thoughts.
The "different words for the same thing, and the same words for different things" doesn't bother me. Even people using the same words for the same things mean something different. There is no human communication without a translation process between individual languages. Its a kind of "relativity theory" situation. We can't view things the same way, because we have different viewpoints - but we can understand how the views translate and how other people will see a scene from their perspective. One must learn to understand and handle the necessary transformation operations.
- I am in complete agreement, but hence find myself in a quandry. Since I know of several examples where the same word is often used differently in different Communities, I find myself compelled to create a Glossary defining the way I am using it (almost for each audience!) Then, I have to decide whether to "in-line" the definition (at least the first time) or to provide a link to the Glossary. Neither approach has been satisfactory as a general rule, forcing me to tailor each page for each Audience. This (of course) conflicts with Wiki:OnceAndOnlyOnce principles, which also become an interesting impediment to effective communication when taken to the extremes such as the Wiki:YagNi which is totally meaningless to anyone that has not spent a lot of time at c2.
- Which brings me to support your point that "One must learn to understand...". (In fact, this is a foundamental motive for people that appreciate WhatIsKnowledge). This does, however, take time and requires a considerable effort to get to know the Community. Given that wikis are now springing up like weeds, it becomes a daunting problem to master all of these nuances, which may be one of the reasons for the misunderstandings that may lead to flame wars.
- I'm not sure just how to link these musings to the Understanding of Communities objective of meatball yet, so I would appreciate any views anyone may offer.
- -- HansWobbe
Diamond, Jared. Chapter 13 “Blueprints and Borrowed Letters: The Evolution of Writing” (pp. 215-238). In Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1998.
Herodotus. Book V. 55-58 (pp. 61-4); Book VI. 123 (p. 277). In Herodotus, Books VVII. Loeb Classical Library Series, No. 119. Translated by A.D. Godley. 1922. Reprint. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.
- The earliest description of the alphabet. Describes the introduction of the Phoenician alphabet into Ionian culture.
Vansina, Jan. Chapter One: “Oral Tradition as a Source of History” (pp. 27-31). In Oral Tradition as History. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.
- Oral tradition is "verbal messages which are reported statements from the past beyond the present generation." (p.27) "A tradition should be seen as a series of historical documents all lost except for the last one and usually interpreted by every link in the chain of transmission." (p.29) While the tradition is not direct evidence for the event in question, it will still be used as evidence for later events. Recognizing the fidelity of oral tranmission, traditions like hadith evaluate every chain in the link of transmission to determine the accuracy of the text. However, in actuality transmission is more non-linear: most oral tradition is told by many people to many people; e.g. a new birth is told by gossip which eventually becomes historical. People may hear many performances of the same work at different times by different performers, which they fuse together themselves as AnIndividual into a single story (or even multiple versions). Oral tradition is not like the written word, with originals and copies.
- OralCulture requires a social system in order to maintain the integrity of information through time, or else it will be forgotten. Truly novel ideas are a waste of time because they must be embedded somehow in the flow of that social structure. Thus thought is necessarily about communication and communal--in dialogues, in wisemen, in public theatre, in oratory. It also is very conservative and traditional since wisdom won is very valuable, and thus the old wise men who have learnt this knowledge and who pass it on are venerated. Writing, on the other hand, preserves knowledge in a medium that is non-social, freeing it from society, and thus undermining the social structure that maintains knowledge in an OralCulture. As such, writing pushes society towards the young. (p40)
I remember a long time ago learning that an average person's active vocabulary is around 2000 words, and total vocabulary of 10000. What does it mean when a wiki's page count exceeds this number? I found MeatballWiki unwieldy at 2000 and impossible at 3000. WikiWikiWeb imploded at 4000 to the point of no return. Perhaps 2000 is the linguistic tipping point? -- SunirShah