Humberto Maturana has stated “even revolutionaries conserve…All systems only exist as long as there is conservation of that which defines them”. The concept revolutionaries as conservators is reflected in many aspects of society. Sometimes it’s revealed in the establishment of structures similar to those that a movement sought to replace (i.e. Soviet Union). Sometimes it’s revealed in politics (where a revolutionary, change-promoting candidate becomes more of a traditionalist once elected). The system that we participate in will soon make us what the system is. An individual elected to public office, by virtue of participating in the political system will over time, to varying degrees, become a politician. Let’s look at another example: Wikipedia. For last five years, Wikipedia has been the darling of amateur production, the image of everything that’s right with humanity.
Wikipedia has announced changes to how it handles edits of articles of living people. From NY Times:
The new feature, called “flagged revisions,” will require that an experienced volunteer editor for Wikipedia sign off on any change made by the public before it can go live. Until the change is approved — or in Wikispeak, flagged — it will sit invisibly on Wikipedia’s servers, and visitors will be directed to the earlier version.
Wikipedia is being shaped by the field of information it is trying to disrupt. As Wikipedia continues to resemble less of what it was and more of the information validation processes currently in use in traditional resources (like Britannica), it’s simply undergoing the process of becoming the system it exists within.