Wikipedia: The Concept Of Data-Driven Crowdsourcing Sample Assignment

At the beginning of its conception, the Internet was a poorly organized set of websites and pieces of knowledge that was scattered across the network. However, as the Internet became an integral part of millions of people’s lives, the necessity to collect, arrange, store, and share data properly emerged. Thus, Wikipedia as the global repository of knowledge in all areas emerged. However, being a nonprofit organization, Wikipedia needs additional sources of support to remain sustainable and continue to provide the required services to its target audiences. Herein lies the significance of crowdsourcing as the platform based on which Wikipedia can function. By utilizing crowdsourcing as the guiding principle for the company to operate and provides articles regularly, the Wikipedia leaders both open opportunities for creating quality content and face new threats regarding the lack of control over the process. The specified concerns are essential attributes of crowdsourcing, yet they can be controlled by establishing a set of rigid principles based on which corporate processes occur.

When considering the changes that Wikipedia has experienced, as well as the principles based on which it is run, one will have to recognize the importance of crowd wisdom as the cornerstone of the site’s existence. Although the suggested tool does not guarantee to complete expertise and a profound understanding of a particular subject by contributors, it does create the platform for Wikipedia to continue its progress. The site represents the combined experience of millions of people and, thus provides extensive opportunities for an objective overview of a range of problems, concepts, and phenomena. Furthermore, the specified framework contributes to the rise in diversity levels within the site and opens a cross-cultural dialogue.1 Viewing a certain issue from the perspective of diverse experiences enables one to delve into the nature of the problem and contribute to the expansion of the global knowledge system. Therefore, the choices made by the Wikipedia owner seem legitimate, yet further adjustments are required to retain the corporate integrity and promote the relevant values to Wikipedia’s contributors.

It should be noted that there are several disadvantages to selecting crowdsourcing as the primary tool for handling essential production-related and organizational processes within a company. The lack of control over the choices made by the crowd can be seen as the most problematic aspect of crowdsourcing. Indeed, it is rather difficult to ensure that people do not overstep the set boundaries and add information that is unverified, biased, or simply incorrect. The instances of adding the data that does not reflect the existing situation objectively are known among Wikipedia members; particularly, there is a term for the specified phenomenon. The pages that have undergone massive unverified changes and have been affected by people negatively are termed as vandalized.2 As a result, the information represented at Wikipedia is not considered credible despite the vast range of qualified experts that have contributed to it, and the site cannot currently be deemed as appropriate for academic referencing.

Nonetheless, the specified issue can be addressed by bringing order to the ranks of Wikipedia’s contributors and ensuring that its guests behave according to the set guidelines. The process of organizing a crowd is rather lengthy and painstaking, yet it has a profound and positive effect on the overall management of an organization, as the case of Wikipedia has shown.3 The rise in the popularity of the site and the focus on the independence of contributors have led to the successful management of the information and arrangement of roles within the company.4 Specifically, the contributors to the site have set elaborate standards for introducing new information to the site and creating new pages, as well as adding data to the existing ones and correcting it. As a result, the site is run adequately, with its members handling the continuous flow of data effectively and making it the place where millions of people come to acquire new knowledge.5 The Wikipedia community has become the platform for the company’s growth due to the geeky leadership system and the passion of the people involved in the project.

The idea of crowdsourcing might seem like a rather dubious choice when it comes to managing essential processes within an organization, yet the example of Wikipedia shows that the specified method works once utilized properly. With a clear focus on the relevant values, as well as the creation of the culture of geeky leadership, Wikipedia has managed to not only survive but also strive. The stunning success that the site has witnessed should be attributed to its community and the efforts of its contributors, which signifies the importance of using crowdsourcing right. Wikipedia manages its information systems properly, yet the lack of control over the actions of its contributors introduces the element of risk into its functioning. Nonetheless, the key operations within the system can be regulated successfully by reinforcing the principles of ethics based on which the site operates. The suggested step will create the basis for the site contributors to focus on supervising compliance with the existing standards and principles that users have set, as well as updating these rules to meet new quality demands.

References

Afuah, A. (2014). Business model innovation: Concepts, analysis, and cases. New York, NY: Routledge.

Chen, L., Lee, D., & Milo, T. (2015, April). Data-driven crowdsourcing: Management, mining, and applications. In Data engineering (ICDE), 2015 IEEE 31st International Conference (pp. 1527-1529). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE.

Jetha, M. (2018). MAN6830: Week 4 – Core and crowd [Video file]. Web.

Li, G., Wang, J., Zheng, Y., & Franklin, M. J. (2016). Crowdsourced data management: A survey. IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, 28(9), 2296-2319.

Yang, D., Halfaker, A., Kraut, R. E., & Hovy, E. H. (2016, March). Who did what: Editor role identification in Wikipedia. In ICWSM (pp. 446-455). Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.

Footnotes

  1. Jetha, 2018.
  2. Yang, Halfaker, Kraut, & Hovy, 2016.
  3. Afuah, 2014.
  4. Li, Wang, Zheng, & Franklin, 2016.
  5. Chen, Lee, & Milo, 2015.

Capitalism And Its Benefits To The Public Goods

The countries of the world choose different political and economic systems to organize power within their borders. Today, the predominant system in the world is capitalism, which essentially forms almost the entire system of world trade. The basis of capitalism is the freedom of economic activity of individuals within the state, which provides protection, justice, and order for the functioning of the system by political power.

The capitalist system is one of the main in the modern world since most countries use it for their economic activities. The basis of capitalism is the fact that private individuals and companies own the main economic factors and gain profit from them (Milanović, 2019). In other words, in this political and economic system, there is a free market in which private entrepreneurs produce goods and services and conduct trading operations by making a profit from it, and the state does not intervene in these economic relations. Business owners independently determine the products, sizes, and methods of production, as well as sales markets and trading partners.

However, even though the state does not interfere in the political and economic activities of individuals, its goal is to protect the market and ensure justice and order by using power. In this case, the state can apply common forms of coercion to enforce order, precisely through the adoption of laws and taxation. However, in this case, power is not used to control economic activity itself but to protect citizens and the state in general.

For example, taxes levied on private companies are reassigned to the needs of the country, such as defense, infrastructure development, the social and cultural sectors. Laws promote the fair distribution of rights and duties, for instance, labor law that guarantees the protection of employees. These measures also provide a social order in which individuals and companies are subject to universal national laws and institutions by creating a useful functioning system.

Moreover, despite the social inequality that capitalism creates, this system is one of the fairest. Its basic principle is that each person receives that part of the benefits, or money, that he or she can earn (Milanović, 2019). At the same time, people cannot infringe on the earnings of others. This fact can be observed in any capitalist country, where entrepreneurs with original ideas or successful professional athletes and singers earn millions since they offer services or products that are inaccessible to most. Consequently, such political bases as order, justice, and power are essential components of capitalism.

Capitalism also provides many public goods since it essentially forms the entire internal interaction of states. Individuals occupy their niche in satisfying customer demand and create private products, but some complementary components create public goods for all citizens. For example, private power companies offer paid electricity to the population in their homes; however, they also provide for citizens free street lighting.

From a broader perspective, the private business brings revenue to the state by their taxes, which are used to ensure such a public good as the protection of state sovereignty. Thus, capitalism provides the country with the means that it uses to satisfy the needs of its people.

In conclusion, capitalism is an economic and political system in which individuals own full rights to economic activity and are not ruled or controlled by the government. In this system, objects of economic activity bring public goods to the state, receiving their own profit and benefits at the same time. The state, in turn, guarantees market protection, justice, and order for the stable functioning of the system.

Reference

Milanović, B. (2019). Capitalism, alone: the future of the system that rules the world. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

The Industrial Age And Capitalism

Introduction

Industrial Age can be defined as the time when people became actively engaged in the development of manufacturing machinery. The given historical period is associated with many break-through technological advances and inventions, which consequently permeated almost every aspect of human life. The industrial revolution is closely related to the rise of capitalism as well. Together, these two phenomena substantially contributed to economic democratization through the mass production of goods and the promotion of consumerism. During that time, job opportunities were created along with the opportunities for leisure, which stimulated and accelerated the growth of a productive middle class. Nevertheless, despite multiple positive effects of capitalism and industrial revolution on the economic growth at the individual, organizational, and national levels, mass production can negatively affect traditional, cultural livelihoods, as well as other aspects of social life. It means that capitalism produces both winners and losers. Considering that the issue is highly controversial, the given research project will aim to provide detailed research of the matter.

The Industrial Age: Key Features and Impacts on Society

Having originated in Great Britain in the second half of the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution gained unstoppable nature, gradually spread over the globe, and ushered in the Industrial Age. This stage lasted for several centuries and encompassed a series of interrelated changes in economic and social structures, culminating in the shift of the Western world from agriculture-based systems towards predominantly industrial society (Casassas & Wagner, 2016). Although the time framework and some trends of inindustrialization-oriented transformations varied due to specific socioeconomic conditions in different countries, the core characteristics and impacts of the Industrial Age can be generalized to the following features:

  • Ongoing technological advancements, scientific progress, and inventions of new mechanisms;
  • Extension of transport networks;
  • Minimizationof manual labor via the adoption of new manufacturing techniques and increasing utilization of machinery in production processes (Phillips, Yu, Hameed, & Akhdary, 2017, p. 177);
  • Urbanization and an unprecedented growth of cities;
  • Growing property polarization of society;
  • Secularization of society, including the liberation of spiritual and social life from clericalinfluences, development of atheism, and assertion of free-thinking;
  • Democratization of political structures thatgenerated preconditions for the formation of a rule-of-law state and civil society;
  • Creation of prerequisites for the market economy, freedom of commerce,mass production, banking development, and the rise of capitalism (Casassas & Wagner, 2016, p. 162; Phillips et al., 2017).

Labor and the War: The Industrial Age During the Civil War

One of the most important historical aspects of the Industrial Age was linked to the Civil War. As Greenberg (2018) notes, the enlistment of nearly a half of all the workingmen in the North played a crucial role in the history of the Industrial Age and the history of labor unions in the US. The workers’ integrity was remarkable, some of them joining the army as formulated units under the effect of commitment to democracy (Greenberg, 2018). The lack of union members initiated the need for a change in the industrial system, and President Lincoln called for volunteers what were supposed to stop the inevitable economic disruption.

The lack of specialists in particular professions was particularly acute in 1861. However, in the mid-1862, there was a noticeable growth in the trade union revival (Greenberg, 2018). The Civil War served as a trigger for people’s search for labor reformation and trade union organization. Workers viewed those opportunities as the possibility to protect their rights. The service at war made people more willing to defend their freedom and equality (Greenberg, 2018). Thus, towards the war’s end, the militancy of the soldiers increased. One of the most crucial aspects of labor activists’ work concerned the formation of labor units. After the Civil War, there appeared many “worker-owned producer cooperatives” (Greenberg, 2018, p. 132). Apart from that, the eight-hour working day was accepted, and the labor party was created. Therefore, it can be concluded that the Industrial Age promoted the formation of democratic labor policies in the US.

Capitalism: Core Characteristics

The aforementioned peculiar features of the Industrial Age contributed to the rise of capitalism as a socioeconomic formation. Embodying the liberal ideology that prevailed in the United States and Europe in the nineteenth century, capitalism denotes “a way of organizing the economy” (Casassas & Wagner, 2016, p. 160). Industrialization and modernization are inextricably linked with the development of capitalism-grounded socioeconomic structures (Casassas & Wagner, 2016; Phillips et al., 2017). Concerning the key features of economic relations in capitalist society, they involve the orientation towards profit making, the rule of private property, competition, freedom of entrepreneurship, distribution of produced goods and services through market mechanisms, and so on.

Influences of Capitalism on Contemporary Society: Positive and Negative Aspects

Capitalism undergoes a process of permanent transformations that predefine its impacts on society. The emergence of consumer society, formation of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, social stratification, mass culture development, and so forth are the basic societal transformations associated with capitalism. However, capitalist relations stimulate the development of initiative, practicality, innovativeness, entrepreneurial attitudes, and goal-orientationin individuals, thus, changing their viewpoints, reshaping social institutions, and modifying society as a whole (Casassas & Wagner, 2016, p. 164). What is more, capitalism-caused globalization has made society diverse and culturally heterogeneous, entailing the dissemination of tolerance, democratic principles, and liberal values throughout the world.

Furthermore, impacts of capitalist economies lead to the formation of the knowledge society. Knowledge and information are the main determinants of profitable economic relations. As noted by Phillips et al. (2017), market competition, demand for productivity, and struggle for consumer loyalty have become the driving forces of innovations, bringing about “fundamental changes in human values, ideological trends, social politics and economic structure” (p. 177). Individuals’ differences in educational and intellectual potential result in diverging employment opportunities and can be identified as the main factor of socioeconomic inequality. Accordingly, despite some alterations in its economic methods and underlying principles, capitalism is still influencing the contemporary society.

The positive sides of capitalism are extensively described in the contemporary literature. As stated by Frieden and Rogowski (2014), its major advantage is “the extraordinary productive power that modern capitalism has unleashed, combining land, labor, capital, and human capital in ways that have increased output and income at a previously unimaginable pace” (p. 384). By doing so, capitalism managed to free many people from hard manual work and to foster greater demand for intellectual workforce. However, the given tendency threatens the survival of traditional craftsmanship that is characterized by smaller volumes of output and, usually, higher costs. As Frieden and Rogowski (2014) note, many artisans and farmers, whose work structures are often in line with traditional cultural practices, do not suit modern international markets and cannot survive in them. Thus, the preference for cheap, mass-produced goods by consumers and the choice of more profitable business systems by local entrepreneurs may negatively affect the regional cultural environment and make many customs vanish.

A possible mediatory way through which capitalism and mass production may affect culture is the change of social value orientation. According to Shahrier, Kotani, and Kakinaka (2016), “culture-gene coevolutionary theory argues that human beings learn ideas and culture through a social learning mechanism, and this cultural transmission shapes human behaviors and preferences along with genetical properties” (p. 0165067). It is possible to say that capitalism serves as such a social learning mechanism. It promotes the value of mass consumption and shortened product manufacturing cycles. Additionally, Shahrier et al. (2016) observe that, in capitalist societies, people tend to prefer competition over cooperation. It means they strive to gain more wealth, status, and prestige than others have. These findings may indicate that capitalism can largely contribute to the deterioration of interpersonal connections in communities and consequently lead to the overall worsening of the quality of life in the long run.

"A critical view of America's rapid economic growth"
“A critical view of America’s rapid economic growth” (2017).

Negative Implications of Capitalism in America: The Environmental Injustice

One of the issues that are frequently raised when discussing the adverse effects of capitalism is the environmental injustice problem. According to Faber (2018), the Americans are currently undergoing an “unparalleled assault” on their environment (p. 15). Because of the constant passion for higher profits and the danger of the growing global in the globalization era, business elites in the USA have started a political movement advocating decreased taxes and eliminated government regulation. The major driver of such a demand, according to Faber (2018), is the concession of traditional environmental regulations. Such a crucial change in global affairs has received a title neoliberalism.

The problem with neoliberalism is that it is a kind of political aggression posed on the regulatory accountability of the state. As a result, capitalism has become a trigger of corporate pollution in the USA (Faber, 2018). Corporations participating in the process of destructing the environment involve a large network of policy institutes, foundations, research centers, public relations companies, nonprofit organizations, and political action committees. Faber (2018) calls such an infrastructure the polluter-industrial complex and argues that it aims at discrediting the environmental movement and canceling the environmental justice principles. Therefore, the American capitalism serves as a system for destroying the three decades’ worth of progress reached by the environmental movement.

Whereas the negative impact of capitalism can be experienced by anyone, there are some groups of the population that are more affected than others. The most vulnerable of these are people belonging to the working class. Moreover, people of color and those that are below the poverty level are “selectively victimized” by the negative corporate environmental impact to the greatest extent (Faber, 2018, p. 16). The major problems caused by such effects include living close to waste sites or residing and working in the areas of highly polluting plants and factories. More than that, frequently, African American communities are highly exposed to natural disasters due to the lack of possibility to provide themselves with appropriate shelter from cataclysms.

Other population groups also suffer from capitalists’ anti-environmental actions. In particular, large corporations tend to destroy landscapes that are home places for Native Americans and Appalachian whites (Faber, 2016). One of the most recent cases that perfectly demonstrates the tragedy of the environmental injustice is Hurricane Katrina. The tragedy could have been mitigated if the corporate giants had not destroyed the marshlands around New Orleans (Faber, 2018). Thus, the implications of capitalism are far from being purely beneficial.

Another serious problem arising from neoliberal assaults on labor is the inequality of working conditions among the US employees. As Faber (2018) remarks, there is a disparity in such circumstances for Caucasians and workers of color. In particular, a larger number of occupational hazards is experienced by undocumented Mexican employees and Asian immigrants. Many of these individuals have no choice but to earn for a living by working in agricultural fields of Florida and California that are soaked with pesticides. What is even more dangerous is that the growing geographic mobility of capital makes corporations to reestablish their pollution spots in the Sunbelt, where no strict environmental laws are implemented (Faber, 2018). It can be concluded that while capitalism has presented enhanced job opportunities and other favorable features to the world market, it also has many disadvantages, the environmental pollution being among the most severe ones.

Conclusion

Summing up, while researching the identified problems, it is important to evaluate the underlying features and characteristics of capitalism and industrialism, and understand whether the capitalist system can produce equally sufficient resources for all members of the society. It is essential to comprehend if it is appropriate for the elimination of inequality between people. In the given context, the expected results of the study will be the identification of links between capitalism and the quality of social life, as well as the correlation between mass production and the preservation of cultural conventions, namely, crafts and traditional livelihoods.

References

Casassas, D., & Wagner, P. (2016). Modernity and capitalism: Conceptual retrieval and comparative-historical analyses. European Journal of Social Theory, 19(2), 159-171. Web.

A critical view of America’s rapid economic growth [Image]. (2017). Web.

Faber, D. (2018). Capitalizing on environmental justice: The polluter-industrial complex in the age of globalization. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Frieden, J., & Rogowski, R. (2014). Modern capitalism: Enthusiasts, opponents, and reformers. In L. Neal & J. G. Williamson (Eds.), The Cambridge history of capitalism, vol. 2: The spread of capitalism: From 1848 to the present (pp. 384-425). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Greenberg, B. (2018). The dawning of American labor: The New Republic to the Industrial Age. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell.

Phillips, F., Yu, C., Hameed, T., & Akhdary, M. (2017). The knowledge society’s origins and current trajectory. International Journal of Innovation Studies, 1(3), 175-191. Web.

Shahrier, S., Kotani, K., & Kakinaka, M. (2016). Social value orientation and capitalism in societies. Plos One, 11(10), 0165067.

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