Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jimmy Speaks

I recorded a couple of video clips of Jimmy Wales giving the keynote address at the WCET conference in Portland. Unfortunately, the stage area was so dark that the video really turned out lousy. I was able to salvage the sound files and turned them into a little audio file for you to listen to. Each segment is about 3 minutes in length.

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In the first segment, he is answering criticism that was received from the media when Wikipedia "locked down" some of their pages. See for example: the BBC, the New York Times, and the Rough Type blog.

In the second segment he answers a question about how higher ed can use some of the principles of Wikipedia to move more quickly into the 21st century (or something like that).

My favorite parts are: a) in the first segment he uses the phrase "the Pope is a poopy head" (taken out of context, listen to the file to hear the whole thing), and b) in the second segment he says "one of the big opportunities that I see .... is killing the textbook companies." Of course there are several textbook companies who help sponsor the conference.

  • He talked about all the different languages of Wikipedia articles. (currently 107 languages have at least 1,000 articles, English makes up 1/3 of the total articles with German ranking second in quantity of articles)
  • He talked about his Wikimedia Foundation.
  • He talked about WikiBooks in relation to killing the textbook companies.
  • He thinks Campaigns Wikia will have an impact in the 2008 election.
  • He is also shocked that there are over 10,000 articles posted in the Muppet Wiki.
  • The person who introduced him mentioned that author Jason Lanier has called Wikipedia "Digital Maoism." I'm going to do some reading about that. BTW, on my trips to China I have learned that Mao is mostly revered as a great man over there ... for what it's worth.
  • And finally, he doesn’t think net neutrality is very important. He doesn’t agree with many of the net neutrality proponents, but he also doesn’t think that the government should be determining this in the first place. The biggest problem is the lack of choice (ISP) in most local markets.
BTW, that second photo is not his imitation of Lee Harvey Oswald, just one of those unfortunate still images that none of us would ever hope to see of ourselves.

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