Ph.D.-defense by Rut Jesus – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Ph.D.-defense by Rut Jesus


Wikipedia has created and harnessed new social and work dynamics, which can provide insight into specific aspects of cognition, as amplified by a multitude of editors and their ping-pong style of editing, spatial and time flexibility within unique technology-community fostering features. Wikipedia's motto "The Free Encyclopedia That Anyone Can Edit" is analyzed to reveal human, technological and value actors within a theoretical context of distributed cognition, cooperation and technological agency.

In the Data-driven studies using data from Wiki log pages, network visualization and bicliques are used and developed to focus closer on the process of collaboration in articles and meta-articles, and inside the article "Prisoner's dilemma" and the policy article "Neutral Point of View". The several tools used reveal clusters of interest, dense areas of coordination, a blend between coordination and direct editing work, and point to Wikipedia's dynamic stability in content and form.

In the philosophical-cognitive studies, a distinction between Cognition for Planning and Cognition for Improvising is proposed to account for Wikipedia's success and mode of editing whereby many small edits are used for its improvement. In the exploratory part an installation of a 'live-Wiki' 'Our Collnnective Minds' piece reflects on several aspects of Wikis, free culture, open source and Do-It-Yourself by engaging in the debate in a more creative and participative form.

These studies contribute to constructing an ecology of the article, a vision of humanities bottom-up, and a better understanding of cooperation and cognition within sociotechnological networks.

Assessment committee:
Associate Professor Lisbeth Klastrup, Digital Culture & Mobile Communication Research Group, IT University of Copenhagen (chairman);
Professor Stevan Harnad, School of Electronics and Computer Science University of Southampton;
Professor Juha Suoranta, Department of Education, University of Tampere

Co-chairman [ordstyrer]:
associate professor Klemens Kappel, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen

Associate professor Claus Emmeche, Center for the Philosophy of Nature and Science Studies, University of Copenhagen.

Total programme:
After the defense, there will be a reception in auditorium C, planned to start around 15:30. Please tell us (by email to Di Ponti [ vulpeto [at] ]) about your presence here, so as to estimate the volume of wikisoup.

After the reception, at 16:30 (estimated) to 18:30, we hope also to see you at a Meta-Ph.D. Performance.