Sunday, July 23, 2006

Divine Inspiration From the Masses - Los Angeles Times

Divine Inspiration From the Masses - Los Angeles Times:

This LA Times article makes some interesting points, but also exemplifies part of the problem with most mainstream media. For example, there is a feeling that an article needs to be balanced i.e. presenting both sides of a story. Often this means trying to present a balanced picture even when that approach is in fact not warranted. An article needs to be objective, but that is not the same thing as presenting both sides of an issue with equal wieght. How many articles on global warming mention or discuss the tiny minority of detractors (I read an article on this point regarding global warming recently, if we can find it, we'll link to it)? That's the noise that mucks up the industrial age media; that shadow of a doubt that gets cast on the uninformed viewer.

The article jumps all over the place exploring different aspects of open-source, but here are a few excerpts on Yoism (when I have time, I will follow that link or this one to its homepage and learn more about what it is).

"Behold, brethren. The 'open source' movement, long championed by computer whizzes as a way to solve problems using the input of all, is increasingly being applied to other disciplines including literature, scientific research and religion.

Yes, religion. Yoism - a faith invented by a Massachusetts psychologist - shuns godly wisdom passed down by high priests. Instead, its holy text evolves online, written by the multitude of followers - much the same way volunteer programmers create open-source computer software by each contributing lines of code."

Adherents of Yoism — who count Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud among their saints — occupy the radical fringe of the open-source movement, which is quickly establishing itself as a new organizing principle for the 21st century.

and at the end of the article:

"The open-source frontier is religion. That's where Yoism comes in. But is it really a religion? Chester L. Gillis, chairman of Georgetown University's theology department, is skeptical. Yoism, he says, embraces a transitory view of reality that contradicts traditional concepts of religion based on belief in fundamental truths."

There's an authoritative source in religion that [Yoism] lacks. It doesn't talk about revelation from the divine," he said. "Any religion that hopes to survive is essentially conservative — it conserves elements of the faith. This one lacks that." [funny stuff]

But Yoans have an answer for Gillis. As it is written in the Book of Yo, "There always exists the possibility of one day discovering that all our current truths are indeed wrong."

Another interesting link the article provides is to this. Here is the quote:

Larry Sanger, a former Wikipedia employee often credited with the original idea for the project, called the online reference work an extraordinarily successful experiment. But he quit to escape its cult of equality.

Sanger recently launched Digital Universe, an online project that will include reference works written by volunteers but edited by experts, according to his plans. "The Wiki is just one prototype," he said. "Think of the principle."

No comments: