There is nothing about me on Wikipedia. That is just as well. I wouldn’t like what they would put up anyway. I have my own auto-bio on my website and it is far too humble to suit my taste.
There are two problems with a notation about me on Wikipedia, when there finally is one.
- Many of my contributions won’t be recognizable for decades after I die, like this Pro Commerce blog and my creation of Random Selection of legislators. So, no ordinary editor would allow comments related to future innovations, no matter how important.
- I will not be given the appropriate credit for much of what I have done because the prevailing views of how change in our society works are terribly wrong. For example, I created the modern global credit system, yet virtually no one will understand that in 1967 I was thinking about how to use the laws permitting bank check clearing houses for credit cards. Not only did I convene the fellows who jointly created MasterCard with me, I used my unique thinking in creating the legal structure of the card which had long term global implications for credit card success.
I made many contributions to our society, but I had one operating principle that makes sure both history and Wikipedia will have a great deal of trouble understanding my contribution. My rule has always been: ‘don’t take personal credit, share it with many others’.
I adopted that principle because I could see, at a very early stage, that my ability to organize other people to help me in my projects required not being known as vainglorious. I needed, and got, a reputation for not taking credit and always giving it to others. For example, although I was the main person small businesses in the Briarpatch Network wanted as their business adviser, I always took 2-4 other people with me on consultations so they could learn what I was doing.
That’s life. I made a choice and it had many rewards, many. There are now a few drawbacks. One drawback is looking at Wikipedia in my old age (when I no longer need to be humble) and seeing a small and irrelevant entry.
All choices have their consequences.