From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Due to the nature of its decision-making processes, any substantial reform of the Wikipedia project faces significant obstacles. We have a status quo problem. Why?

Compounding all other contributory factors to the inertia of reform is the high threshold of support demanded for any change, which can be crudely reckoned at a supermajority of participants. This may be rooted in the original association of consensus decision making with a requirement of unanimity or near-unanimity. This is not the only explanatory hypothesis, however;

  • Fear of change explanation: What we have works, by and large; we don't really understand why. Any attempt to change the formula threatens to ruin it. Why kill the goose that lays such golden eggs, ugly though it might be?
  • Chekov's gun explanation: obstructionist "consensus-seeking" is available as a tool to use, so why would those opposed to a change not avail of it and thereby win the support of waverers and consensus aficionados?
  • Public choice theory explanation: Any sufficiently advanced adhocracy accretes layers of bureacracy and vested interests along the road to oligarchy; few incumbents stand to gain from a change which threatens existing vested interests (cf. admin recall) or establishes new ones (cf. GovCom).

Further reading[edit]