Wikipedia And The Politics Of Openness

Paperback | December 19, 2014

byNathaniel Tkacz

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Few virtues are as celebrated in contemporary culture as openness. Rooted in software culture and carrying more than a whiff of Silicon Valley technical utopianism, openness—of decision-making, data, and organizational structure—is seen as the cure for many problems in politics and business.
 
But what does openness mean, and what would a political theory of openness look like? With Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness, Nathaniel Tkacz uses Wikipedia, the most prominent product of open organization, to analyze the theory and politics of openness in practice—and to break its spell. Through discussions of edit wars, article deletion policies, user access levels, and more, Tkacz enables us to see how the key concepts of openness—including collaboration, ad-hocracy, and the splitting of contested projects through “forking”—play out in reality.
 
The resulting book is the richest critical analysis of openness to date, one that roots media theory in messy reality and thereby helps us move beyond the vaporware promises of digital utopians and take the first steps toward truly understanding what openness does, and does not, have to offer.

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From the Publisher

Few virtues are as celebrated in contemporary culture as openness. Rooted in software culture and carrying more than a whiff of Silicon Valley technical utopianism, openness—of decision-making, data, and organizational structure—is seen as the cure for many problems in politics and business.   But what does openness mean, and what ...

Nathaniel Tkacz is assistant professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick and coeditor of Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:December 19, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022619230X

ISBN - 13:9780226192307

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Open Politics

2 Sorting Collaboration Out

3 The Governance of Forceful Statements: From Ad-Hocracy to Ex Corpore

4 Organizational Exit and the Regime of Computation

5 Controversy in Action

Conclusion: The Neoliberal Tinge

Appendix A: Archival Statements from the Depictions of Muhammad Debate

Appendix B: Selections from the Mediation Archives

References

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness is an important book. . . . At one level it is a fascinating inside look at the operations of Wikipedia – from someone who clearly knows and understands it from the inside. . . . At the next level, Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness is a critique not just of Wikipedia but of the whole idea of openness – one of the sacred cows of the internet, something considered almost beyond criticism. . . . Tkacz challenges assumptions and forces you to question your own views, particularly about openness itself.”