The Nature of Wikiland Edit
what is wiki?
That is an important question. Everyone participates in Wiki. They say that Wiki is the library where everyone is an author. Society uses Wiki for everything: for government, for business, for entertainment, for communities, for individuals.
But why do it this way? Why, every day, to go sit at a computer and read and write Wiki pages? Why not make laws some other way? Why not buy and sell some other way? Why not meet people some other way?
To answer these questions, we must understand the history of Wiki. We must ask:
How became Wiki?
This is the most important question. Before we proceed further, let us understand the nature of Wikiland.
From Null Came a Wikiverse Edit
Before the year 1995, there was no Wiki. All was null.
That is not really true. Our planet Earth had billions of inhabitants, living in cities or farms, settling plains or forests or mountains, across the continents and islands of the Earth.
It was a society divided into around 200 nations, a society without Wiki. Yes, it was a literate society, a society that for centuries had recorded itself in books, that for decades left evidence of itself in audio and video. From science and electricity, the people were constructing an internet, a global network of electronic communication. The people were spinning a world wide web of information.
Then the first Wiki went online in 1995, opening itself to everyone on the internet. The early Wiki sites were very primitive, but enough to begin.
They made possible the creation of Wikipedia in 2001. The Wikipedia was a place where the people of the internet could gather and store the knowledge of the world, to make it free for everyone. Then the people, equipping themselves with Wikipedia, advanced faster and exponentially.
A Wikiverse gradually took over most of the internet. As Wiki grew in size, more of the people joined to read or to edit, many of these people having before ignored Wiki. The Wikiverse became the single, most important community of our planet Earth. To study, the Wikiverse was the largest and most comprehensive resource. To write, a Wiki was the fastest way. To share, the Wikiverse was the farthest way to spread information.
Several decades after the original creation of Wikipedia, the people experienced "a society that anyone can edit," but a split emerged about what that meant...
From Boldness Came a Wikiland Edit
Though the Wikiverse, by its grand size, held most of the internet, it lacked control of most governments and businesses and remained outside of most parts of society. The people pondered how they could further "a society that anyone can edit", but out of a split emerged two rival factions.
One faction wanted to build a government, a society, and an economy in the real world, and they wanted to collectively and democratically govern it through a Wiki. The people of this faction became the Wikilanders (or Wikilandians).
A second faction wanted to physically jack themselves to a Wiki, so as to live and die in a virtual reality world that they would collectively design through the Wiki. The people of this faction became the Wikigalactics.
The Wikilanders started first. They carefully studied the collected works of Robert Owen and closely examined the reasons why his New Harmony commune failed. Then Wikilanders purchased some farmland and formed a commune outside mainstream society. It would be the boldest experiment in participatory democracy that the world had ever known.
It was agreed that residents of the commune were free to come and go as they wished, but if they stayed, they would have to obey the laws of the community. The "official" Wikis of the community - that is to say, those determining the governance of the community - were broken into three forks: the 'open' fork, the 'proposition' fork, and the 'enacted' fork. Anything in the 'enacted' fork was deemed to be the enacted law of the colony, and was legally binding on the members of the community.
All members of the community were free to edit the 'open' fork. With the support of 5% of the members of the community, anything in the open fork would be transferred to 'proposition' fork, where - for a period of no more than 6 months, they would be cleaned up, before being voted on. It was decided that, each year, the residents of Wikiland would vote on an Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Council. They were, in turn, each primarily responsible for voting on whether pending policies, court rulings, or pieces of legislation in the proposition fork were consistent with the Founding Charter, the Charter of Rights, and the Constitution. If so, they would vote on whether these would be carried into law (by moving the proposal into the 'enacted' fork).
The Founding Charter, the Charter of Rights, and the Constitution of the colony were also uploaded into a Wiki. Upon any proposals being moved to the proposition fork, those proposals required the approval of two out of three branches of Government. In the case of a proposals involving the Constitution or the Founding Charter, they would also be responsible for ensuring that it was consistent with the Charter of Rights. Any changes to these would have to be agreed upon by a vote of all citizens over 18 before being moved into the enacted fork.
So how did it work? Well, imagine, firstly, that there were a number of residents who were kept up all night by dogs barking outdoors at night. Any of them would be free to create an entry in the 'open' fork of the legislative wiki proposing a law outlawing dogs being outdoors at night. Were 5% of the populace to support this measure, the proposal would be moved to the proposition fork. The Legislative Council would then examine and clean up the legislation and, were it consistent with the Founding Charter, the Charter of Rights, and the Constitution, they would vote on whether the proposal would be enacted.
Imagine, secondly, that that there were a number of residents who wanted the Government to create a park in which dog owners were free to walk their dog off the leash. Any of them would be free to create an entry in the 'open' fork of the executive wiki proposing a policy of creating a public park in which dogs were allowed off the leash. Were 5% of the populace to support this measure, the proposal would be moved to the proposition fork. The Executive Council would then examine and clean up the legislation and, were it consistent with the Founding Charter, the Charter of Rights, the Constitution, feasible within the current budget, and within the powers granted to the executive within legislation, they would vote on whether the proposal would be enacted.
In a similar manner, it was the people themselves who determined and designed the construction of the roads, schools, parks, hospitals, and museums of Wikiland.
Imagine, thirdly, that that - following the enactment of the keeping dogs indoors at night Act - a resident had been caught with their dog outdoors at night. Any of them would be free to create an entry in the 'open' fork of the judicial wiki - including the accused - outlining a case for or against the innocence of the accused, a vote would be taken on whether affected members of the community believed there to be a reasonable doubt about the guilt or innocence of said individual, and which of the sanctions within said legislation were appropriate for this matter. Upon a reasonable legth of time, the case would be moved to the proposition fork. The Judicial Council would then examine the case and, were it beyond reasonable doubt that said individual breached said law, and said law was consistent with the Founding Charter, the Charter of Rights, the Constitution, and within the powers granted to the legislature within legislation, and further consistent with prior judgments, the verdict of the community would be passed on the matter, and this verdict would be enacted.
Beyond the official Wikis, many other aspects of life in the Wikiland centered around 'unofficial' wikis. There were Wikis for art, music, original research, textbooks, novels, stories, historical texts, political, social, or cultural discussion, movies, technical diagrams, and countless other things. Oh, it goes without saying, the Wikiland Wikipedia was a crowning jewel of the colony. In fact, most aspects of life in Wikiland were, in some way, centred around a Wiki. And outside the jurisdiction of the Wikiland government, there was an Open Source Association committed to most any project you could imagine.
Stroke of the Pen Edit
After only a few years, the colony of Wikiland found itself dealing with a major problem: immigration. We must understand that Wikiland was new, and only a small fraction of the people of the world lived there, but that the risk of overcrowding was near.
The people, acting through the Legislative Council, had enacted the system of Requests for Citizenship or RFC. The people, in their executive capacities, examined the RFCs and selected who would gain Wikilandian citizenships. The people, in their judicial capacities, ruled upon whether individual RFCs followed the correct procedure.
RFCs were never private. Applicants often revealed their skills and their wealth. Many applicants promoted their histories of contribution to the Wikiverse, or work with open-source projects. Other applicants offered to invest in buying land or building industry.
There became a rapid cycle; some persons would pass their RFCs and gain the Wikilandian citizenship, and then some of these new citizens would examine other RFCs. As the population of Wikiland grew, so did the debate. Who were the best persons to become citizens of Wikiland? What purpose did Wikiland serve?
Was Wikiland a haven for those with the most education or the most wealth? Or was it a refuge for those who lacked opportunity under other political systems? Or was it a reform and collectivization of society?
The people of Wikiland, dealing with overcrowding, noting that their territory was not contiguous, observing their community split under political differences, decided that they could not agree on one way to grow, so there would be three ways. Wikiland divided itself peacefully into three Wikilands, each retaining the Wikilandian political system. The three Wikilands signed the Treaty of Free Association, agreeing that any person could move freely between the Wikilands, but they had to follow the laws of each one. The Treaty came into force, and Wikilandians found themselves divided, but the Treaty became the engine for progress.
Over the coming years and decades, the three Wikilands not only prospered, but thrived. They grew into environmentally sustainable open-source states, each with cities, advanced industry, and the most propserous and just economy ever known to the world.
This forced the hands of the remaining nations of the world. They had to imitate the Wikiland model in order to share in its success. In the wake of Wikiland sprung up a range of states across the globe of the Earth, ranging from social-democratic to libertarian and miminalist, but all modelled after Wikiland.
With each stroke of the pen, another one of these states joined the Treaty of Free Association. In 2038, these states replaced the Treaty with the Federation of the Wikilands, a new interstate system with an Interwiki Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities that applied everywhere. Then the people had solved the immigration problem by filling much of the world with Wikilands. A development in technology then presented another problem for the Wikilands.
Strike of the Axe Edit
In the 2020s, some unexpected breakthroughs led to the design of a device colloquially called the jack.
About the jack, it is a device for physically linking the brain of a human to the electronics of a computer, so that human and computer could interact through thought. That is, you would jack into the computer and control it instead of your own body. The development of the jack took immense capital, in the waning days of capitalism, and the end result was a very expensive tool, not fit to displace the traditional devices of human-computer interaction.
The jack is just two electrodes connected on one end to the brain and on the other to a computer. The user plugs them and starts dreaming about that. The brain understands the connection as a dream, a lucid dream, with the main difference that the user cannot control the dream beyond the laws of Wikigalaxy. That is, the user cannot fly or have supernatural abilities as people usually do on their dreams.
The server sends the data right to the brain areas: to its visual, auditive areas and receives the movement from the cerebellum, directly. Thus, the user does not need any peripheral besides his brain. It is the ultimate way of interacting with a computer, the union of human and machine minds.
It has revolutionized the world of videogames and entertainment. New movies have been "screened" for Wikigalaxy users as well as most of the famous movies from the past. There is a special genre, Wikimovie, in which the user can participate. It is like an improvisation match, much known to actors. The user is given a role but is not given a script. All of what he must do and talk is his/her own invention.
The videogames world has moved to Wikigalaxy. There have been a large number of new games invented for that system. That has caused a great amount of videogame users to move to the new Wikigames within WikiGalaxy.
The jack gained its primary purpose thus: the most wealthy persons of the world wished to jack themselves to the internet, and meet online in a virtual world. The first wiki virtual worlds, accessed through jacks, appeared in 2031.
It became fashionable for some persons to retire into these virtual worlds. Scholars said that this has caused major illnesses to the regular users: Virtual world addiction, schizophrenia, delusions, psychopathy, mania and depression. Most users have had to be interned into a hospital to cure from these diseases. The residents of these worlds collaborated to construct whatever they wanted, erecting an open-source world through the wiki. To enable the residents to travel between the worlds, they merged into a single Wikigalaxy. As the jack became more common, the population of the Wikigalaxy reached the millions. The number of users has increased exponentially.
This was the problem that the Wikilands now faced: the millions of people who hooked themselves to the virtual reality Wikigalaxy.
Said individuals were contributing nothing to the Wikis or open source projects or governance of the Wikilands in the real world. This lack of productivity became a direct obstacle to the advanced society in the Wikilands. As with everything, people preferred to watch the action than creating it. Just like television or radio. Most people were akin to receive content. Only few people can or want to create new knowledge. As an increasing percentage of Wikilanders moved to the Wikigalaxy, more and more persons spread the alarm. Actions had to be taken.
The Federation of the Wikilands, being a participatory democracy, took the action. They outlawed participation in the Wikigalaxy. Eventually, as a punitive measure, the angry Wikilanders revoked the citizenship of everyone in the Wikigalaxy. Some heated debate flooded the Wikis and messageboards of the Federation with arguments about what came to be termed unWikilandian behavior.
Finally came a compromise in the form of a peace treaty between the first party, the Federation of the Wikilands, and the second party, a group of full-time residents of the Wikigalaxy. The Wikigalactics agreed to move to "safe zones" in Siberia, or the deserts of Africa and Australia, or the caves of the Himalayas, or elsewhere, and renounce their Wikilandian citizenship, so that they would be jacked into the Wikigalaxy in peace. This strike of the axe cut the log of the Wikiworld into two pieces intended to coexist.
But many persons on both sides were not so willing to follow the compromise. Soon, the Governing Federal Democratic League, governing the Wikigalaxy, and the Federation of the Wikilands, governing the Wikilands in the real world, came to a standoff. A war of the Wikiworlds was imminent.
Users from any faction felt a great fraternity to their own group. Peace meetings were organized to try to establish some minor rules. But they always ended in clashes, fights and many were injured on them. When there were some killings on the peace meetings, authorities had to intervene to stop the slaughter.
Rogue States Edit
In addition the split between the Wikilands and the Wikigalaxy, there were other complications. The Federation of the Wikilands had never consolidated control of the real world; there were a number of rogue states beyond its reach.
These rogue states included old-fashioned "nations" with antiquated economic and political models such as capitalism, theocracy, or dictatorship. There were also rogue Wikilands, places in which the will of the people had driven the state to such radical differences with most of the other Wikilands that they were outcast from the Federation of the Wikilands.
The Wikilanders believed that these rogue states were active supporters of those jacked into the Wikigalaxy. Given this, the Wikigalaxy was poised to be a battleground between the rogue states and the Wikilands, and only the will of the people prevented outright war from erupting.