Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2011 03:30:06 -0800
From: Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net>
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Fwd: Wikimedia India Program Trust
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
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Thank you Liam for using the term, "organisational roles," instead of
the more pretentious, "movement roles." I find the whole thread
disturbing. I am and have always been a strong supporter of the autonomy
of both projects and chapters, and from that vantage point it is
difficult to see this initiative as leading to anything other than the
undermining of a chapter.
I am also in favor of the autonomy of the projects and the chapters
does not mean autism. Whether we like it or not, there is a relationship
between the chapters and projects. We can create channels to vehiculate it or
we can ignore it and go to have conflicts one after another.
It is all proceeding in a predictable pattern. It pits young amateurs
who have embraced an ideal as a labour of love and who have a na?vet?
about the ways of the world against goal-oriented professionals well
schooled in the sophisms that produce success. This does not establish
intent or malice; it's just the way things develop unless someone is
willing to step away and recognize the process for what it is.
And the way things develop lead to a series of values that are good to
grow and prosper trading companies: selfishness, envy, private property,
exclusivity, greed ... The values of our edditing community are completely
opposed to those. I think we need to establish channels for the values and
motivations of the edditing communities be moved to chapters.
I am an amateur. I am not motivated by dreams of a sinecure or reveries
of prestige. I don't care if anything that I do becomes a polished
feature articles. I don't care if the site has a professional appearance
with consistent format throughout. I am not obsessed by growth, or by
leading the global south by the hand into salvation. It's nice if that
can happen, and nicer if they can figure it out for themselves. My
bottom line remains a commitment to share the sum of the world's
knowledge. Not more, not less.
When I hear of things like these Indian developments,
I start to get the
impression that we have lost our way. As much as the organizers may
deny, it's as plain as day that these two organizations are being set up
to compete. That alienates people.
If members of these organizations were like you it would be impossible to
compete in the worst sense of the word. I also think that we have begun to
lose out way but not by establishing two organizations in the same
territory and that this will necessarily lead to a savage competition among
them but because of the risk that these organizations and the individuals that
compose them were not imbued enought with the values and the mechanisms that
would make this result impossible.
I think there is no reason to believe that we will have more problems by
having 2 organizations in India thant those we have by having 20
organizations in Europe. In fact to go for a similar proportion we should
have 50 organizations in India.