The German Wikipedia stopped growing because all the information required for that type of knowledge base has been published. The English Wikipedia is also slowing down because, although it is broader in its design ideals, it has covered with good resolution all of what is basic knowledge and is now just filling in the blanks and exploring the edges.
There needs to be a more thorough wiki based encyclopedia created which will delve to some newly defined deeper level of understanding with a name like Wikideep. The original English Wikipedia could continue as it is with its generally accessible level of understanding but this new one could go more into complex and profound understandings. Perhaps a third wiki based encyclopedia could be created which would explore peripheral ideas in a way that is not so limited by facts with a name like Wikiedge. Something which its base parts could grow by consensus but then the various derivative ideas could be branched off in unforeseen directions and still have multiple ways to easily access the base knowledge. These various levels of Wikiknowledge should be interlinked and the abstract quality level of each could be kept separate by color coding, italicizing, or left-leaning fonts for the various links etc.. English Wikipedia links could be done in green, English Wikideep links could be done in blue and English Wikiedge links done in orange and/or back sloped so people would know even before clicking that the site was experimental and speculative.
There are limits to what people can know and do placed by the nature of our Universe. So far we humans obviously haven’t neared the limits because it is so very easy to come up with new ideas. I do it all the time and probably you do too but until now there hasn’t been a way to give these findings to the general public and all humanity. Now with the Internet and good search engines you can see a lot just by looking. This process is currently progressing rapidly but it is still possible to come up with stupidly simple things which are not yet findable on the Internet, even with the help of Google. For example: The Shirt button alignment trick, which I posted on my blog last week. This idea was probably discovered soon after buttons and buttonholes were invented but I wasn’t able to find it on the Internet and my friends couldn’t come up with the idea even though I prodded them with appropriate questions. Once they saw how to do it they of course called me stupid and condemned me for posting the idea. There are, without much doubt, many ideas that are just as simple and just as obvious after they are seen but which are not generally known and are not on the Internet. It is fun finding these kinds of things but my contention here is that this entertaining activity will soon come to an end, just like the German Wikipedia has stopped growing, because there is an absolute limited number of ideas we humans can discover. The Universe is very, very big but it isn’t infinite. The universe of ideas is also very, very big, no doubt, but it too is not infinite. In the not too distant future it will be very difficult to discover new ideas.
Our wonderful world has intellectual limits.
Should natural knowledge which can injure other people be permitted to be published on the Internet? Should it be illegal to publish precise instructions on how to build Atomic Bombs, make assault rifles, brew poison gas or toxic germs? Or closer to home should people be allowed to have guns, or knives or even ropes? Any of these things might be put to evil purposes although each of these things has their good uses and pundits supporting their right to have them. There is an intellectual debate within the scientific community about access to information and how it should be absolutely unlimited, (except of course for their lab’s secrets).
Here in the United States we have our Constitutional rights and among the highest is the Right to Free Speech. Of course when that right is pursued too vigorously it conflicts with other rights, some of which even preceded the Constitution—the Unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness appear in the Declaration of Independence. We have a lot of built in conflicts in all human interactions and these become very apparent in the application of laws to its citizens. I have my own thoughts which get past most of these unresolvable arguments: What will most likely bring about 12,000 more years of human civilization? And a more immediate concern, What will minimize the suffering of the innocent?
The world of human knowledge is limited to what is made available to us by the Universe but the use of that knowledge would best serve humanity if it is always aimed to promote the long term existence of humanity and the worlds it inhabits.