In the context of the WikiPedia reliability debate (September 2004)

MattJones has an excellent post : http://blackbeltjones.typepad.com/work/2004/09/authorityanda.html

He basically points out there are two notions :

  • authority
  • autonomy

Wikipedia has plenty of autonomy (a CyberNetics notion) in that it is self-correcting or has a kind of homeostatis / stable attractors. He also gives examples of HistoryFlow being used to demonstrate this.

But autonomy isn't the same as authority.

But as authority can't really be identified, he unfortunately falls back into propagating a SocialEpistemology view that all there is is the sum of social interactions. In other words, autonomy writ-big.

Contrast :

See also :

  • AutoPoeiesis which is a similar (though possibly richer) variant on the autonomy idea

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