Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 22 seconds

Hi Maha,

Thanks for bringing this up. This problem really lies at the heart of the Federated Wiki – if I understand Ward’s concept correctly. It is about who controls narrative and how control of narrative is a political act. Federated Wiki denies this control to any voice because there is no single platform – no hill for any commander to conquer.

The 6th of October narrative is a very good example. In politics, the faction that controls the narrative of past events claims victory. The most cogent explanation of this – again in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, is Edward Said’s essay, Permission to Narrate (

Fed Wiki has the same potential as blogs and the open web to open debate about the significance of events, but by interleaving argument and warrant drawn from a broad ecosystem of inquiry and debate, and by submerging personalities, it may also force people to reflect more deeply, question more effectively, and so move us closer to truth – or at least to coherent argument if “truth” cannot be found.

This is especially important in today’s political environment where there is so much personality, so much celebrity, and so little real evidence and evidence based argument. What Ward has done is to design better tools for discussion and resolution of conflict, tools that focus us on what is being said rather than on who is saying.

Whether or not people will listen remains to be seen. In its present form, FedWiki is far too geeky and dark to make it into mainstream Internet culture. This isn’t a criticism. I think what we are seeing is a very fundamental system and it will probably be “beta” for a long time. It has great potential. Let’s hope it remains small and obscure until the time is right. We saw what happened with MOOCs.