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the king of wales ________________________________________________________________

Jim Stem for The New York Times
If anything, Mr. Wales, the founder of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, who has become an unlikely lightning rod for the quality-versus-quantity debate over information on the Internet, is a figure out of a 1930’s Frank Capra film, a likable guy with a Southern twang whose simple social experiment has run away with him.

So Mr. Wales works at keeping it simple and staying dedicated to the Wikipedia ideal of information that is helpful, more or less accurate and “good enough,” to borrow a term from Barry Schwartz, the author of “The Paradox of Choice.”

This applies not just to Wikipedia’s content but also to Mr. Wales’s own style. His home is not an Italianate villa on a grape-ridden hillside in Napa but a four-bedroom ranch house in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he moved for the simple reason that it was sunny and cheaper than San Diego, his former home.

At home, Mr. Wales has honed the good-enough style so well — or rather, not honed it — that the place will not even remotely be featured in House & Garden. He dresses casually, Florida-style, goes by the nickname Jimbo, and although he does drive a foreign car, it’s a Hyundai Accent.


posted by wrangler steve at Sunday, August 13, 2006 >1 comments


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