[Foundation-l] Introducing a new mailing list
lars at aronsson.se
Tue Dec 5 00:17:24 UTC 2006
Ilario Valdelli wrote:
> I don't understand the problem...
This is a large part of the problem, isn't it? To take just one
example, white Americans feel equal and democratic, and pride
themselves of this, but black Americans still feel oppressed.
Very few whites understand the problem in full but even fewer
blacks understand how little the white understand. How many white
men know what it is like to grow up where none of the presidents
in the history book has your skin color? How many black know what
it is like, never to have asked that question? It is so easy to
shun the difference and so hopeless to try to make a change.
Women, of course, are not a "minority" in real numbers, but often
in perceived power.
All of us wikipedians are also a minority of this kind, underdogs
under the vast dominance of traditional printed, commercial
encyclopedias. Perhaps Britannica, Larousse and Brockhaus feel
that it was sad and unnecessary to take the disruptive step of
setting up Wikipedia, instead of building on their existing base.
They were willing to listen to the young generation, weren't they?
Their experience in quality control and profitmaking should have
been useful, so why on earth didn't the wikipedians apply for jobs
there instead of being unpaid for reverting edit wars? From their
perspective, our obsession must be plain incomprehensible. And
yet there is nothing wrong with us, only with their perspective.
Self-identified subgroups will find ways to communicate, whether
it is women, skin colour, or operating system preference, and this
is nothing we should try to stop. Now the women have formed their
own subgroup within the Wikimedia Foundation. Hey, that means we
have women here! Compared to Linux kernel hackers, that's great
progress. And unlike the United States, the Wikimedia Foundation
does have a female president. How long will we have to wait
before the black people form a subgroup? Did they have a meetup
at Wikimania? (I guess not. I heard it was an almost exclusively
white event.) And will we one day see a special interest group
for black female Linux kernel hackers?
Funny, perspective is what Wikipedia is all about, the NPOV. We
pride ourselves of being able to see beyond our own perspective.
Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se
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