Interview with a Wikipedian

Jimmy Wales, founder of our favorite
online encyclopedia
, recently gave an interview on Slashdot. His Wikipedia is a
marvelous living illustration of our vision of “honest
collaborative inquiry
“, and he exemplifies what can happen when you
expect the best from

Basically what I think
works in a wikis is to trust people to do the right thing, and trust them as
much as you can possibly stand it, until it hurts your head and makes you scared
for what they’re going to break. Because that is what works. People are not
fundamentally bad. It only takes the smallest of correctives to take care of
that tiny minority that wants to disrupt the community.

I completely agree. We should
optimize to promote good, and if done correctly that will organically prevent
most (though not all) bad activity.