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Wiki is paradoxical. There is no simple explanation for wiki. Wiki can be simple and wiki can become arbitrarily complex. It can be seen as a technical tool or as a mere foundation for social interactions. Wiki doesn't enforce a certain form of interactions or content and so can take many different forms. You'd like to have perfect content in your wiki, but then people wouldn't feel up to participate, nobody would criticize and improve it, the wiki would be without life.

Life is paradoxical. There is no life without sun but the sun also kills life. You need BalancingForces. Either the change of day and night or the formation of clouds that form a shield to protect from the sun. The feedback cycle creates fluctuations in temperature and humidity which gives chances and impulses to different forms of life. Living creatures compete with each other, often kill each other, but no-one could live on its own without complex interactions to a living environment.

Law is paradoxical. The need for fair solutions and conflict resolutions creates written law as a safety net for human society. But at the moment law is written down, it separates from the original ideas of fairness or justice and becomes a formal thing, that is now interpreted and misused by those who have the ability or the power to do so. Law gets priority before justice. It must be that way and can't be accepted that way.

Freedom is paradoxical, because humans seek their own way by autonomously finding their own values and principles. Defending new values means that the old values must be denied. Character and individuality is formed - in whatever way - and becomes predictable. One can not have freedom, one can only experience freedom acting and changing in the now. The search for freedom is not a steady state, but a transition leading - if we are succeeding - to a prison where we are happy bounded by our self.

Language is paradoxical. It is built to communicate but ends in misunderstanding. Words represent and model the reality but are misunderstood as being reality. So the words separate us from reality and from each other. Words are thought to have a certain meaning but the meaning can hardly be defined, because you quickly end in an infinite regression. So, we can neither understand our reality, our words, our language nor of course, our thinking. Still we need and make good use of language.

One could go on and on. Science is paradoxical because its objective order is advanced by acts of individual creativity. Music is paradoxical because its individual expressions are understood like an universal language. Religion is paradoxical because it teaches a morale but in the end gives priority to a membership confession. The consistency of school and university concepts is an illusion, an invalid extrapolation of linear thinking. Almost every interesting thing is paradoxical, otherwise it would have become stale and boring long ago, a number or part of a formula. Wiki is interesting and paradoxical.

Wiki is a living thing. It is full of contradictions and opposing forces and processes. A wiki needs leadership but any leader will meet strong opposing forces. Wiki should start with a vision but at the same time the vision should be developed and shared by the current contributors. A wiki should be a peaceful place for people, but conflicts are more interesting and attract spectators, and there are things one can only learn from conflicts. A wiki wants perfect content, but the content should have the quality of incompleteness that invites contributions. A wiki should grow like a plant from a seed always being in balance and beauty.

-- HelmutLeitner

See also: CommunityWiki:ParadoxOfExpression


Helmut, I've just dropped a project of LangueFrançaise translation on WikiEstParadoxal. Very nice piece. -- ChristopheDucamp

Helmut: your prose...

"A wiki should grow like a plant from a seed always being in balance and beauty."
put me in a frame of mind that was conducive to remembering [Bonsai].

I will try to appreciate these paradoxes as I consider today's incident that lead me to post on MeatballMissionDiscussion. -- HansWobbe

MattisManzel, 2006-10-30: Good text Helmut, prison cuts. It creates a feel of man, how could I help the guy seeing it all so clearly but pittyfully distant, like the hush that goes through your soul when looking up into the clear sky on a new-moon night in January. "But there must be something that isn't paradoxical", you think and you want to add it here, just to cheer everybody up a bit. ...

But there isn't.


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