One true book

A Reading Note

On why we can do without Wikipedia:

It seems to me that if Wikipedia disappeared, similar information would still be available for the most part, but in more contextualized forms, with more visibility for the authors, and with a greater sense of style and presence.

Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget, page 143

But isn’t this a fact of Wikipedia’s namesake—the encyclopedia—as well? There’s a reason that once you reach high school you are no longer permitted to quote from the encyclopedia: it’s an inferior resource. It would be dangerous to forget that.

Whether they are cordial or not, Wikipedians always act out the ideal that the collective is closer to the truth and the individual voice is dispensable.

Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget, page 144

Elsewhere, Lanier calls this the “one book” philosophy: the idea that all the world’s knowledge could be collected into one true book. Which naturally leads to there being no books—and no truths—at all.

Related books

You Are Not a Gadget

Jaron Lanier

Lanier’s manifesto brings attention to the many ways in which human behavior is being mechanized by technology.