Threats

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This page describes only anticipated threats to the wikipedia. Threats are extreme hypothetical too-bad-to-be-true cases with high impact but no measurable probability - because they havent happened yet. They are fictions.

The ideal threat is something you have never seen but only heard of, and which you personally do not believe in, but you know that others do - this allows you to report it neutrally and editorialize a bit since you have no dignity at stake. A good threat would combine multiple weird scenarios and get to the point of the ridiculous.

If you are describing something with evidence, that you believe 'has' already happened to some degree, or has a measurable probability, it is a worst case and 'not' a "threat".

Enter examples of threats that may damage or destroy the future of wikipedia, and absolutely prevent ever reaching m/any of the best cases or visions:


The w:particle physics cultists require that everything in wikipedia be explained in terms of its relationship to the w:Standard Model. Anything less w:reductionist or w:dualist or not subject to w:falsifiability in a w:particle accelerator by a trusted clique of reductionist physicists is removed from wiki. w:Eliezer Yudkowsky gets his "Friendly AI" working and it destroys the world by believing this wiki view of it, and running an experiment on the w:Standard Model that rips a hole in reality and sucks us all in. w:Great Apes never get their chance.

The w:anti-globalization movement decides to postmodernize every article - the thousands of strange contradictory doctrines, each touted by a single academic somewhere in the world, fill up the wiki and render all articles unreadable masses of new age w:postmodernism. Vocabulary expands to 10, 20, 30 thousand English words - w:ebonics, w:bop, w:rap, w:Pig latin and w:Engrish are given full status as legitimate languages. Each article attempts to deconstruct twenty or thirty others, and relate a dozen or more theorists in a complex conceptual map. wiki degrades to google.


As content and usage increases it suddenly becomes apparent to a few that insufficient tools or forums exist for newcomers to impact the collective existing "consensus" regarding procedures and appropriate usage or contribution. This would of course limit the scalability of wikipedia locally and could lead to a fork, mirror or commercial competitor achieving the greater coveted "mind share".

Do we have a defined target "mind share" to help guide site feature design and content selection? w:user:mirwin

good question, but don't ask it here. In the threats page you should assume the worst and write from that worst. Also I'm not sure that I don't believe that your threat here hasn't already happened, in which case its a worst case. I suggest that you assume that it has already happened, and add to worst cases a mild believable version of that view. And, that you expand your version here in threats to something so bad that neither you nor I would be likely to believe it is possible, but which could reasonably be said to be believable by a "naive third party". Then, remove both your older view and this guidance, replacing it with the threat. For illustration's sake you may wish to link over to worst cases as well, to demonstrate the differences for others. Also, there are not enough best cases, it would be good if you'd add a case there too. This exchange can be left in the diff or moved elsewhere but please don't leave it in threats. Thankx, 24