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Tragedy of the Commons

May 10th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Normally, I’m as big a cheerleader as anyone for the whole peer-produced / wealth-of-networks / here-comes-everybody idea. But I’ve just seen what happens when you try to crowdsource the production of a novel via wiki, and my eyes are still burning. By harnessing the power of the Internet’s distributed intelligence, Penguin produced something orders of magnitude more awful than any individual bad writer could have come up with.

Tags: Language and Literature



4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 von Laue // May 10, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Are we to assume that all the contributors’ motives are pure?

    Seems to me, and I’m just hittin’ fungoes here, that this is a huge win for distributed (or popular, or crowdsourcing, meeeeaah!) intelligence boosters. It’s a spectacularly “hilarious” Phish-covers-Eazy-E sort of result, the sarcasm of a thousand Subarued souls, singing along with Trey at the University of Connecticut to “Automobile” .

    Just because the project initiators didn’t mean for shithouse writing to happen…well, that’s just more proof of the value of distributed intelligence! Or, it’s proof that it sucks, or worthless mere anecdotes, or fucking intarweb-retard noise, depending on what one already thought about all that.

  • 2 mtc // May 12, 2008 at 2:40 am

    I dunno, I can believe that excerpt was someone’s serious attempt at prose. A lot of people seem to think the ability to use a thesaurus is all it takes to be a good writer.

  • 3 Clyde Mays, Jr. // May 12, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    This makes me happy that I never tried my “wikiscript” idea.

  • 4 Ike // May 12, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Written by a committee, was it? Who was it who said that a committee is the only known form of life having many stomachs and no brain? Q.E.D.

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