At 03:28 PM 5/31/2010, David Gerard wrote:
> On 31 May 2010 19:46, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd(a)lomaxdesign.com> wrote:
>> These are issues that I've been thinking about for almost thirty
>> years, and with Wikipedia, intensively, for almost three years
>> specifically (and as to on-line process, for over twenty years). So
>> my comments get long. If that's a problem for you, don't read it.
> ... Has it really not occurred to you that *you're* trying to convince
> *us* of something? In which case, conciseness is likely more useful
> than defiant logorrhea ... Oh, never mind.
on 5/31/10 6:17 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax at abd(a)lomaxdesign.com wrote:
It's occurred to me that you'd think that and claim it. I'm not
writing for you, David. I'm writing for certain others who want to
read this, and there may still be some left. If I considered it worth
my time to write polemic, i.e, the "useful conciseness" that you seem
to want, I'd do it. I know how to do it. It simply takes about three
times as much time to cover the same topic in a third of the length.
And I don't have that time. I really don't have the time to write this....
Or to say it more clearly, even:
I don't think convincing you is a worthwhile use of my time.
You are not that important, and your influence is rapidly fading. You
were not personally the cause of Wikipedia's problems, though you
typify certain positions that are part of the problem itself. Those
positions are effectively created by the structure, or the lack of it.
You could possibly be a part of the solution, but you'd have to
drastically review and revise your own position, coming to understand
why it is that power is slipping from your grasp or the project is
becoming increasingly frustrating.
No, I'm writing to this entire list, even if it seems I responding to
a single post. I know there are some here who get what I'm saying,
and they are the ones I care about. It's even possible that I'm
writing for someone who will read this after I'm dead. I'm old
enough, after all, to see that as coming soon, and I have cancer.
Slow, to be sure, and I'm more likely to die from something else,
but.... it makes me conscious of my mortality. Do you really think I
care about what you think?
I know myself pretty well, and I'm definitely not trying to convince
you, I'm not in a relationship with you and I'm demanding nothing of
you, not even that you read this. I just write what I see, it's what
I've always done, and there have always been people who very much
didn't like it. And others who very much like it. I don't normally
write to this list, but I saw that some were really trying to grapple
with the problems, so I made some comments reflecting my experience
and ideas. They have always been unwelcome, largely, from those whose
positions are untenable when examined closely.
There have been others like me, in some way or other, who did this on
Wikipedia. If they were unable to restrain themselves, or didn't care
to, they've been blocked or banned. Wikipedia doesn't like criticism,
but the *large* consensus is that it's necessary. Unfortunatley, the
large consensus almost never is aroused, it takes something big to
get their attention.
To summarize a recent incident:
You can take away our academic freedom, we don't really care that
much about it, and those were troublesome editors anyway, but take
away our pornography, you're in trouble!
Same issue, really. But the meta RfC on removal of Jimbo's founder
flag, based on his action at Wikiversity, was stagnating at about 2:1
against it until the flap at Commons, when editors started pouring
in, and it's currently at about 4:1 for removal, last time I looked,
with huge participation.
And Jimbo resigned the intrusive tools (block and article delete)
that he'd used. In spite of his prior threat that effectively said
"I'm in charge." Don't assume my position on this! I commented,
though. I commented on the problem at Wikiversity in a few places,
and got a confirming email from Jimbo as to what I'd said about it,
and certainly no flak from him. I neither oppose consensus, nor the
needs of administrators and managers of the project. I'm trying to
assist, but, I know to expect this from long experience, there are
always people who don't want such assistance, because it serves them
that things are the way they are. If anyone actually wants
assistance, write me privately. I do know pretty much what could be
done. But I certainly can't do it alone! and I wouldn't even try,
other than putting a toe in the water and tossing a little yoghurt in
the lake to see if it's ready to take.
you never know.
Bravo! And thank you for your honesty - and your perception.