Leafing aimlessly through the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s thousands of delicate pages will become a thing of the past. The company has decided to cease publishing its bound version after 244 years, scores of editions and more than 7 million sets sold.
The online user-generated encyclopedia will require editors to approve changes to articles about living people, an effort to curb misinformation and the sometimes nasty food fights made possible by the site’s pioneering format. The changes are either a direct assault on Wikipedia’s soul or a sign of its growing maturity, depending on whom you ask.
In a profile in the libertarian magazine Reason, the founder of Wikipedia explains how and why he launched the controversial site in order “to make the Internet not suck.” Turns out the plan is much bigger than just building a better encyclopedia and is based on the ideas of libertarian economist F.A. Hayek.