Sunday, September 05, 2010

"The Iraq War: A Wikipedia Historiography"

"The Iraq War: A Historiography of Wikipedia Changelogs" is a twelve-volume set of all changes to the Wikipedia article on the Iraq War.

The twelve volumes cover a five year period from December 2004 to November 2009, a total of 12,000 changes and almost 7,000 pages.

Quite possibly the last item on the giant list of all books I'd someday like to own, but I find the idea of it oddly compelling.

You can go look at digital photos posted online, of books containing nicely-formatted renderings of various versions on a particular page on the Web, here.


Via Matthew Culnane's post "Visiting Deconstruct 2010," which sounds like something I bet I'd have enjoyed, via a hint from @adactio. (Yeah, it's all connected.)

[Added] Another rave review for James Bridle, creator of the above. And here's a link to his page in the brochure for the conference, as it were. Damn. Sounds like the rest of us really missed a good talk. Hope they taped it.

[Added2] See also James Bridle's blog

[Added3] Matthew also mentioned the Billion-Dollar-O-Gram, due to David McCandless of Information is Beautiful. See here and here.

[Added4] And from IiB, do not miss "Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars" (and here). Yep. That's an actual thing.


Matthew Culnane said...

James's 12 volumes are enormous. Quite a project. Like you say, probably not something you'd sit reading on the beach. or indeed anywhere else.

I'd never heard of him before, but he seems to be a fabulously interested and interesting guy. Top fella.

Brendan said...

Thanks for checking in, Matthew.

Yes, I'm right with you: I'd never heard of James before yesterday, and now I want to know more about him.

I hope I didn't come of as too belittling about his Wikipedia Historiography project -- it was just such an unusual idea that my initial instinct was to make a joke. But it does strike me as a true work of art, at least as much as any monument marking progress or a milestone ever has. There are many meanings that one could take from it, and that is another characteristic of a fine piece of art.