Friday, November 17, 2006

To the winner go all the spoils

When changing you name makes you money, would you do it? Would you change your name for a pig or a goat ? Accepting such an offer could make me "Pig Meijssen", it would go well with my mascot. The name that the people changed their name to, "Hornsleth", is perfectly honourable. This "project" by the Danish artist Kristian Von Hornsleth is very much intended to demonstrate that international aid fails people. It fails people because it assumes that "the way of the donor" is best.

If you want to be helped you have to do this, that whatever. For me the great thing about Wikipedia is that it helps. It brings information to people. Its intention have always been to bring people information in their language. This means that culture, people and language are respected and that have people are enabled to help themselves.

For the western languages there is an abundance of great information. For many other languages, Wikipedia still has to take root. As the world becomes more wired, I expect Wikipedia will take root and become relevant for as a resource for both the culture, the people and the language.

When it is considered acceptable to bring information only in English, French, Arab, Chinese or whatever is considered a big language, the notion of Neutral Point of View that the Wikimedia Foundation offers is deminished. A NPOV exists because all points can be brought in the diversity that are the languages and cultures that are reflected in the 250 Wikipedias that currently exist.

It may be efficient to concentrate on the "important" languages.. but I do not want to consider the loss.

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