The Dalai Lama and Understanding Wikipedia - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

By Noam Cohen

After three days at the Wikimania gathering of Wikipedia contributors in Taipai, with dozens of panels and presentations and even more chats in the hallways, it’s clear to me that the Wikipedia phenomenon can only be understood through contradictions. Here are some of the puzzles that may lead to enlightenment:

Why contribute: happiness or victory?

In a keynote address, Joi ito tried to explain why Wikipedia works as well as it does by citing the Dalai Lama’s distinction between pleasure and happiness. Seeking transitory pleasure is what professionals do by working for the Man (don’t I know it); seeking happiness is what drives the amateurs who have built Wikipedia....