Hi, I'm looking for how to propose a new wiki project for civic engagement in your local community, stating what the community needs, making and implementing a plan. Michael - email@example.com
The Multiversity or Multiwikiversity?
In the America of today Universities are just another business. Obtaining one of their degrees is like purchasing a 3 bedroom home. $ 200,000 is, as 2011, a fairly common price for the cost of a Bachelor's degree at one of the major american universities. the quality of the education imparted is difficult to measure objectively. One thing is clear however: universities (with few exceptions) do not do a good job in recording and passing on knowledge efficiently. I will take Medicine (and specifically Internal Medicine) as an example. Washington University in St Louis is one rare exception, as it publishes "Washington Manual of Internal Medicine" which does pass on "the state of the Art" in Internal Medicine. The passing on of the "state of the art of knowledge" in Internal Medicine is actually assumed by the editors of textbooks such as Harrison's and Cecil's. It is the editors of these textbooks who are the repositories of medical knowledge. not the universities themselves. Universitites produce thousands of research papers, but no individual could read them all and come to a synthesis of the "state of the art". What we need is an institution that operates this synthesis and produces manuals which represent the "state of the art" in each of the different disciplines that make up science and technology, business, accounting and so on and so forth. I hope I have explained the concept clearly enough. Also universities do not teach people how to have ideas or how to be creative. Actually it is more likely that university programs will kill genius. Take a talented young biologist who joins the laboratory of an established professor to study for a PhD. The young guy will have some ideas of his own, perhaps weird and unconventional. The professor most likely will tell him to put his ideas on hold and work on the professor's own project, if the student wishes to continue receiving his scolarship and complete his Ph.D. Then the student is put to grind the brains of hundreds of rats in a food processor to produce the protein the professor needs for his own research. More often than not, the ideas of the professor are wako too, and the project will not work. This is why the Wright brothers, Guglielmo Marconi, Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla did not develop their revolutionary ideas at a University. I believe innovation can be taught, and rather easily. Imagine a guy eating a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. The next morning the guy wakes up, goes to his refridgerator and finds he has no bagels, but has a only butter croissant. He cuts the croissan in half and spreads the cream cheese on it, then puts the smoked salmon on it and voila' a new recipe is born. Something never offered at Einstein's Bagels before. This simple process of tweaking and changing things a little bit can easily be taught to 4 year olds. Yet universities do not do it. My vision of a MULTIVERSITY is an institution that teaches innovation and that records and updates the "state of the art" in a Given Discipline. Alessandro Testori