For example, the academic journal system, while now online, is mostly a digitized form of the pre-Internet systems not taking advantage of all the new properties of the internet such as effectively free and instantaneous distribution of material.
It’s interesting to compare this with the polymath projects. I wasn’t a part of them, and I don’t know what technology they used, but it might be interesting to look into what they used, with regards to tech and organization.
Building a communal repository of knowledge upon which everyone can build.
One might ask how this might be integrated with asking questions.Consider the benefits of building a reverse dictionary*, and the difficulties**. While complex, it seems a simpler task than “answer questions” and might be a tractable sub-problem.
*Sometimes people in different fields work on similar problems, but are unaware of each other. The question “Can we use ideas from ecosystem management to cultivate a healthy rationality memespace?” seems related.
**How do we make something that takes a description, and finds 1) the idea (if it exists), and it’s names or 2) related ideas?
I looked into the polymath project a bit. I might end up writing a post about my thoughts at some point, but it’s been a significant inspiration for LW 2.0.