Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Theological Implications of Wikipedia and The Democratization of Scholarship

Nowadays, people from different parts of the world can get in touch easily, get to learn from each other more conveniently, and understand the surrounding world broadly and profoundly; many mysterious things are uncovered by so many available sources of knowledge. It’s not because the size of the earth is getting smaller, but because of the enormous contributions of the technology of communication to the world today.

One of the most recognizable impacts of technology that Maria Bustillos discussed in her article, Wikipedia and The Death of The Expert, is the usage of Wikipedia as well as its contributions to academic studies and to the spirit of collaboration among good writers.  Apparently, Wikipedia not only brings its own advantages that offer rich and comprehensive sources of materials for doing research or necessary studies, but also plays the role of a bridge to connect oneself to the outside world, of a kind of “machine” to break through the shell of oneself to reach out to others, and also of the public entry, where all voices are welcome to contribute their thoughts and ideas to enrich the world of knowledge and information.   As David Lochhead comments on the work of McLuhan in a very spiritual and theological sense, “We take our technology into the deepest recesses of our souls. Our view of reality, our structures of meaning, our sense of identity—all are touched and transformed by the technologies which we have allowed to mediate between ourselves and our world.”  Experiencing what is going on in the surrounding world, deepening the meaning of everything, and knowing the identity of oneself through the technology of Wikipedia are possible sources of  theological implications recognized behind the rich source materials of Wikipedia.   Other than that, Wikipedia allows other voices to be heard in contributing their talents and capability to the progression of literature in the field.  It shows a great collaboration among writers, who are also great thinkers. In a similar vein, Melody McMahon contributes an interesting point in her article, Wikipedia and Democratization of Scholarship that, “The collaboration can go even further and maybe the time for rapprochement between ‘professional scholars’ and ‘amateur scholars’ has come.” 

Besides all the advantages that the technology of Wikipedia has contributed to the world of knowledge, the growth of a human person in knowing oneself and the outside world, and the “charity” in allowing other voices to be heard are the great theological implications of Wikipedia and democratization of scholarship.

No comments:

Post a Comment