Para los hispanoparlantes, aquí hay una traducción, en mi blog en castellano.
The rise of Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikisource, and many other wikis have led me to think of the importance of the wiki as a collaborative work. Recently, I had the opportunity to write a section for a textbook about nanoparticles, and I thought "just how easily these things get obsolete". And I can also think of that knowledge as partial, a single vision among many. Because the sum of all the visions is what makes reality.
How to get over those pitfalls?...
Then I remembered Wikipedia, the flagship of the wiki media. Just like everyone in the world can contribute to Wikipedia, scientists from all over the world could contribute to the making of a hypothetical, highly respected science wiki-book.
I'm sure there are some projects already having this idea in mind, but to be honest, I know none so far. If anyone knows about any, please let me know.
In this case, I don't mean to use wikis so everyone can edit that science content. I encourage its usage for the content:
- To be instantly updated as soon as new information is available
- To be edited only by qualified personnel in a responsible institution behind, allowing the content to be trusted
- To be readily available online
- To allow a discussion of the material given
Bill Gates had a dream of seeing paper usage disappear while he is still alive. I hate Gates and his empire, but I agree that online contents have a lot of advantages over their paper counterparts.
I envision a future without books... but with plenty of wikis. No library mice, but plenty of wiki-zappers!