This post is a departure from the “norm” – if indeed there is some sort of norm to this blog. Still, in the unparalleled confusion of facts that characterizes this campaign, today’s remembrance of 9-11 – not to mention the proclivities of subscribers to this blog – a hasty post seems in order.
Within the past couple of hours, I listed to this week’s episode of On Being with Krista Tippett. (http://www.onbeing.org/program/jimmy-wales-the-sum-of-all-human-knowledge/8916) I have always thought that the best time to learn is when all the balls are in the air; the balls-in-the-air construct is most evident when a group or community is learning together, the challenge we face today.
Krista Tippett’s guest is Jimmy Wales, the co-founder and “promoter” of Wikipedia and Chair Emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation. No doubt every information maven who reads this blog has critiqued, questioned, deliberated, and occasionally argued with and debunked Wikipedia. Clearly, every neophyte researcher was been cautioned to challenge herself to “drink deeper of the Pierian spring.”
Still, the dialog between Tippett and Wales deserves a listen or read. It’s about the meaning of truth and of community, the distinction between facts and truth, about the role of the global encyclopedia and of our place in the cosmos. The conversation also touches on a conundrum that I think of often, i.e. how a “fact” or an idea can be true and untrue at the same time.
It may be the solemnity of the day, or the ambiguity of the campaign, a lazy summer morning in September – or then again it may be that the librarian gene kicks in when the topic is Wikipedia. Whatever, today’s On Being exchange between Krista Tippett and Jimmy Wales – and the published responses — gave me pause to think and share with like-minded readers.