Barriers to genetic exchanges between two populations can prevent pollen from one population from falling on stigmas of another population; in other words, barriers can prevent cross-pollination (the action), or cross-fertilisation (the result).
Such barriers can be :
- geographical (when the two populations grow in two different places);
- ecological (when populations are not being similar enough to allow crossing);
- seasonal (when flowering times are different).
- and will, be it conscious or inconscious. Most people would probably agree wikipedias exchanges could be said to be resulting from conscious will (or conscious un-will).
Geographical barrier for cross-fertilisation
We are separated by langage barrier and data barrier
How can we improve issues related to langage barrier ?
- common mailing list for common issues (mailing_list-s ?) or common forum (much better in the long run)
- how to help with translation of articles
- translation machine for final user is real bad quality on average
- but what about translation machine to help enrichment of one langage text with another - does not require a good translation, but require to be very handy for easy management of text between one page and another)
How can we improve data barrier ?
- update all int phase III
- work toward a phase IV where all langages are on the same database
- common user space
- linking between existing articles in one langage and non-existing in another
- coding issues related to special characters
- work toward a more accessible meta for all wikipedias. Is it possible that welcome page on meta is not related to size representation ? (equal access to the different wikis). Or not ?
- could some of the wikipedia pages (not encyclopedia article) be in a common space (documentation on copyrights, documentation on software...)
Seasonal barrier for cross-fertilisation
There is a time lag between us.
Bigger international wikipedias could be somewhere in-between the 6 and the 8 development stage, while the en.wiki was said by some to be around the 17 on this scale
- How much do our different stages in development could impact cross-fertilization ? Which communities are more likely to benefit from it ? What type of benefit ?
- If different development stages prevent cross-fertilization to occur, what can we do to speed up the smaller ones development
- Promotion (There is also an English Wikipedia available, International promotion material, Trophees du Libre)
- Bringing up english people to int.wikis (teaching) and non-english to en.wiki (learning) to speed up maturing process
Or maybe is it better not to speed anything ? Or is it too late already ?
- Would specialization be interesting ? NPOV is an ideal - international wikis being mostly one additional source of knowledge, but not expected to follow the main wiki quality ?
Ecological barrier for cross-fertilisation
We must share similar values enough for cross-fertilisation. (If we want it. It is also possible we don't really want to)
- Which values must be common ? Copyrights issues ? Some neutrality (even if slightly different) ? Free content? Access for all (age, localisation, langage, education level)? Openess (banning issues) ? Name-calling ? Other values ?
- Are we sure we share them ? How can we estimate we share them enough ?
If we are, could we work toward common space and discussions for these values ?
If we are not, what can we do to go in that direction ?
In biology, some claim two individuals are said to be of the same species when they can cross-reproduct, others claim it is when they look similar.
Are Wikipedias willing to be from the same species through looking very similar, or through being able to really cross-fertilize ?
Do we just need to varnish ourselves ?
Will barrier for cross-fertilisation
Well, this has to do with diversity. Maybe is that not the place to discuss about it. But, fertilisation is not about just one bringing something to another, it's the birth of a new slightly different wikipedia. Diversity of language and point of views manifest more value, and will help neutrality goal (see Thoughts on Wikipedia interlanguage priorities).
On the other hand, some fear setting-up a common wikipedia organisation could somehow reduce cultural diversity, as international wikipedias could loose their specificities. But, why wouldn't Arabic go in length about prayer 'solat' while french just leave a note about it ? It is just specialization. Not destructive fusion.
For those who have a vision of enlarged community, how to share it with those who merely see international wikipedias as potential uplifts from the "main" one ?
Maybe symbiosis would be a much better word than fertilisation ? And maybe symbiotic communities are the way for a truly comprehensive and neutral, yet evolutionary encyclopedia ?