Jonathon Delacour in Wiki epiphany is wary of collective creativity.

Wikis say content is created by every one who seeks to participate; it's free domain. A brace-face Iowa teen can edit the work of a British Ph.D - and vice versa.

Writers schooled in old-world print practices cringe as individual ownership gives way to collective production. ThreadMode offers some means of identification. But then someone scoots two entries together, edits out the names, and boom - the contributers meld into the identity of the wiki. It's now melded and collective.

[Would someone figure out the direction of this page and take us there? The page/topic seems to be water-logged, going nowhere. MorganMC]

What makes us so worried about being recognized for our accomplishments -- even a two-line post on a wiki? We want the world to know what we've done. The fear on a wiki of not being given credit for contributing is very real and distinct, I think. Or maybe "fear" is the wrong word. Or maybe it's not. - LindsayLarson

Some people get scared of those who frighten so easily when the concept of recognition is shunned. Maybe we should stop looking at the wiki like it's a big social experiment and start looking at it as a possible generator of great wisdom and even greater knowledge. The problem is, rhetoric - bastion of the writer's faith - preaches no such ideal as knowledge, there is only that which may be known to some, never all.

And that brings up an interesting argument:

* premise 1) knowledge is never universal
* premise 2) the ideal wiki seeks to create universal knowledge
* premise 3) there are those of us who fear the wiki
* then,
* conclusion) those of us who fear the wiki have grown accustomed to the idea of finite knowledge.
* conclusion 2) ignorance is bliss
* conclusion 3) change scares ignorant people
* then,
* final conclusion) conservatives are know-nothings

We should all stuff that in our pipes and smoke it, like the good collective that we are.

If I work hard and it ends up that I am doing all the work for what's supposed to be a CollectiveProject, I want the credit.It's important to receive WikiRecognition for scholarly work. Afterall, it's me that has done the research and the time consuming work, and to allow someone else credit who did nothing but come in and change a few words is not satisfying. I know we're all supposed to be a part of a team, but then let's act like it and share the responsibility. So many times there's a group of people and there are always two or three who carry the brunt of the work, only to have everyone share an equal amount in the end. True, the wiki will help everyone with the research I have done. That's great. It will be a universal tool inwhich many people will read and learn, and maybe add their "TwoCentsWorth". It's the sliders I worry about. If that's ignorance, so be it. A WikiWriter just wants to be recognized for what he has done. Why should a senior in high school get credit for a senior's thesis because he wrote some things in it. I think for many of us it's still an unknown and it'll only be by constant use an WikiCommunities involvement that we will evolve and change our thoughts on the WikiWorld./BillProznik

In MeldedIdentity, it's not just a question of style or hyope, but working on a wiki should give you the power to be known and allow everyone working in the WikiCommunities to know you.BillProznik

The whole idea of a WikiEpiphany is to build.BillProznik

Melding of the Pastiche

I hear an awful lot about personal identity being a thing of the past, that artists like Picasso and scientists like Einstein ripped off any creative thought we might conjure, essentially imprisoning the future of the creative artist to their past.

But I’m not going to fall into a funk over imitation. Our identities began the melding process from the very first nanosecond of conception. Yeah, I have my dad’s hair. I could shave it off – but instead I style it like Scott Weiland’s. I like my dad’s hair styled like Scott Weiland’s. I like it because the ladies notice me when I’m having trouble at the fax machine. They can help me send copies when the time is right. And in between we can wonder what makes films like American Graffiti different.

Which brings me to Fredric Jameson and his use of the word "pastiche."

:Pastiche is, like parody, the imitation of a peculiar or unique style, the wearing of a stylistic mask, speed in a dead language: but it is a neutral practice of such mimicry, without parody’s ulterior motive, without the satirical impulse, without laughter, without that still latent feeling that there exists something normal compared to which what is being imitated is rather comic.

And with that postmodern word, I thought about melded identity and the wiki format. It seems the collaborative process is one big pastiche attempt to find truth in simulacrum -- or at least speed up the attempt. I like the refactoring effort, but of course I'm skeptical. Ah, maybe we're putting too much pressure on the wiki. Well, here's another interesting quote anyway. I believe it with about fifty percent of my heart -- much like everything else.

“The simulacrum is never what hides the truth – it is the truth that hides the fact that there is none. The simulacrum is true.” -- Ecclesiastes


Melded Identity is everywhere, whether it be on a blog, wiki, or on the web at all:

Family- as Jeppe mentioned, we all posess some family traits that create a melded identity as a family. This is also seen in school. How many of you have older siblings? I don't but I know many people who were frustrated because their identity as an individual was somewhat melded with older siblings. Teachers had preconceived notions about students because their family members that had been in class acted a certain way. Instead of being treated as individuals, they were subject to a "melded identity"

Friends/Cliques- The usual percetion that all members of a group are one. "Those are the jocks" or "Those are the preppy kids". Maybe I'm hitting more on stereotypes with this one, but I'm thinking as I type.

Groups and Orgainzations- Any of us who are members of an organization know that there is a tendency to group all members into one. Everything we say as individuals has the potential to impact the group, or be perceived as the opinion of the entire group.

Good or bad, melded identity is everywhere, and it takes a variety of forms.

Berne and Jeppe make some excellent points and they're ones worth considering.

What's all this fuss about uniqueness anyway? When you think about it, no single individual is in any way completely unique. We share genes with other family members so obviously we are going to share traits with them. We take on the traits of our friends just by hanging around them. While we may have a different mixture of traits, none of the traits are unique, for they've all been traits of another individual at some point or another. So, when you think about it, none of us are truly unique individuals.

So when we're getting all worked up about protecting "our" work and trying to get proper credit for "our" work, do we truly think that no single individual has ever considered our point before or had the same thoughts themselves? That's highly unlikely. So, why do we get so disturbed by something like melded identity? Isn't each individual's identity a melded identity?

Did that make any sense?


I read an article by Cyndi Tromba titled [ "The Deconstructed Classroom"] about a week ago. Berne I think you began to touch on its subject: the perception that all members of a group are one. She specifically compared "insiders" and "outsiders" in the classroom. And she wondered if the "outsiders" would remain on the outside if teachers and authority did not label them with words and looks, because of a slouch or a style of clothing or relation or looks.

Cyndi suggested that teachers could reduce the number of labels by speaking E-English or E-Prime in the classroom. It deals with the verb "to be." Instead of saying something "is" you'd say something "appears." Instead of saying "Johny is angry," you'd say "Johnny seems angry."

Cyndi thought that positive identity change could take place by using this language. She believed that "outsider" and "insider" class distinction could be reduced. She wondered what effect the reduction of class distinction would have on the social and political heirarchy.

That's a lot of wondering, but I wonder. "Is" it worth it? To be honest, I often like being an outsider.

Oh no, I just had about twenty pages worth of ideas at once. I better get out of here.


It seems that we are constantly struggling between a need to be recognized as an individual and a similarly strong need to belong to a categorized group.

Most people would insist that they want to be strong individuals, non-conformists, someone who will stand out in a crowd. But conversely, those same people will also want to be part of a defined generation. They want to have a national or cultural identity. They want to have pride in their region, in their community.

A melded identity seems undesireable at first glance--conlicting with our culture of rugged individualism--and yet, melded identity is what many people crave, whether they realize it or not.

But at what point are you considered to have a melded identity. Perhaps the desire to be part of a larger group or identity actually comes from the desire to be unique. Or rather, perhaps the very reason someone wants to be a part of one group or identity is because of its differences from another. Again, individuality is brought to the forefront.

Therefore, being part of a MeldedIdentity might actually be another expression of individuality.

And, of course, that is all a bunch of nonsense and double-talk.


Even though wikis are a collaboration of ideas, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is a bad thing. Sure, most people like to be given credit of their work, but the threat of someone actually taking credit for your work shouldn't scare anyone. A MeldedIdentity is something that we all have dealt with. It can consist of a preconcieved notion by any one person, and that can come from any number of outside sources. I think that being a part of a larger group cna give confidence to some people, because they become a part of a group and therfore are not critcised as harshly. Who knows what people want, but what I do know is that individuality depends on the individual, and only they know what they really want.


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