There are now four ways you can get my new book, Wikipedia Knows Nothing…
1) You can purchase paperback for $10.95…
2) …or eBook for $2.99 from Lulu
3) There’s a new Kindle version from Amazon.com for $2.99 or.co.uk for £1.91
4) or (the cheapest option!) you can download the PDF for free from the ETC Press website.
The choice is yours!
There’s a special pleasure in unwrapping the package that has your own book in it, something that doesn’t come along every day. A pleasing object, Wikipedia Knows Nothing the paperback; she has the same form factor as some low-print run role-playing games I was given by a good friend in Tennessee. Sitting her up on my top philosophy shelf next to my ‘imaginative investigations’ trilogy shows just how light and nimble she turned out. Who could be threatened by such a small thing?
Over at Zenpundit, Charles Cameron has written a response to my blog letter to him (Beyond Space) entitled The Republic of Bloggers, SpiralChris & Pundita. It touches upon many of Charles’ key interests, such as the Glass Bead Game, as well as the double meanings of fruit in paintings.
I think this is the first Republic of Bloggers exchange I’ve been involved with to merge two threads of conversation, since Charles also folds in another blogger, Pundita, and her post O Magnum Mysterium: Why has Christianity declined so much in a land that produces the greatest Christian choirs? This in itself is an intriguing development, and I am doubly interested in the theme of her post, which discusses the decline of Christianity in Britain. About this I might have more to say later.
What does the Wikipedia know, and how can it know it? More to the point, how can anyone using an anonymously edited source, the contents of which change on a daily basis, know that what they are reading constitutes knowledge? In this provocative challenge to contemporary concepts of objectivity, four figures of knowledge – the Wikipedia, scientific experiments, anonymous peer review, and school education – are investigated in order to question the way we understand the world around us.
Rather than support the classical view of an objective world 'out there' that our beliefs must accord with in order to count as knowledge, Wikipedia Knows Nothing argues that all facts are the residue of skilled activities and that knowledge is better understood as a practice. Furthermore, rather than a single 'real world', the many worlds that we each live within form a multiverse about which our subjective knowledge-practices give us broader understandings than the objective knowledge produced by experimental apparatus.
The merit of the sciences doesn't lie in their possessing the only path to truth, but in their capacity to develop knowledge-practices that can resist objections across all worlds. This leads to an urgent need to recognise the role of practices in creating and maintaining knowledge, and the different ways that truth can be stitched together into distinct but non-contradictory patchworks of 'real worlds'. When we do, we must question any claim that knowledge can come from anonymous individuals exercising an unchecked power to silence others – whether this happens on the internet in wikis, or in professional academic discourse.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.
Cross-posted from ETC Press.