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Wales at the tenth anniversary celebration of the Bengali Wikipedia

Wales cites Austrian School economist Friedrich Hayek’s essay, “The Use of Knowledge in Society”, which he read as an undergraduate, as “central” to his thinking about “how to manage the Wikipedia project”. Hayek argued that information is decentralized — that each individual only knows a small fraction of what is known collectively — and that as a result, decisions are best made by those with local knowledge, rather than by a central authority.

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