[Foundation-l] English Wikipedia ethnocentric policy affects other communities

Sam Korn smoddy at gmail.com
Sat Dec 23 16:29:35 UTC 2006

On 12/23/06, GerardM <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 12/23/06, Sam Korn <smoddy at gmail.com> wrote:
> > With the very greatest respect, Gerard, this is all a long way from
> > putting a non-secret number after someone's username.  It's not even
> > as if you couldn't go to a different wiki and use a different number
> > if you wanted -- you'd only have to make a new account.
> You do not get it do you. It is not about the number being secret. I am not
> a number and I do not think it correct that people are equated with a
> number. Reducing people to numbers is evil.

Yes.  Which is why you use *both*.  The two.  Names and numbers for
those who can't read the names.  Perhaps we can even turn the numbers
off for you if they offend you so much.

> > > The current policy will, when the English language Wikipedia insist in
> > > keeping it, effectively sabotage the Single User Login.
> >
> > You are again spouting untruths.  1) There is no reason the English
> > Wikipedia will insist on keeping the policy; 2) there is no reason why
> > SUL will be sabotaged because almost everyone thinks SUL is a good
> > thing _including en.wikipedia users*.
> Using words like "spouting" is not really helpful. It shows disrespect.


> have not read what I wrote correctly; it says clearly that WHEN it is kept,
> it sabotages SUL. Please read what is written and react to that.

Oh, you mean *if* it is kept.  Your "when" implied to me that you were
certain it would be kept.  Misunderstanding, clearly.

You didn't really address my point, though.

> > > The other thing that I have noticed is that in the proposals it is only
> > the
> > > people from outside the English language Wikipedia who are forced to do
> > > things.
> >
> > Is there evidence for this accusation other than your polemics?
> Clearly, the people not from en.wikipedia have to use Latin script. They are
> told to accept numbers, they are told to accept transcriptions /
> transliterations.

Under what assumptions?  The policy that is *now in the process of
being changed*?

> Admins who go overboard in their heavy
> > > handed zeal of fighting vandalism get a blanket excuse because ``they
> > mean
> > > well``.
> >
> > As an en.wikipedia Arbitration Committee member (though not for much
> > longer) I can tell you that this is absolutely not true.
> But when people implement what is "universally" considered a broken policy
> then it is perfectly ok because it is in the policy right ? In the thread
> this excuse was used repeatedly.

Well, are you going to punish someone for following the written
instructions?  If policy is completely meaningless, we might as well
give over to anarchy.  I don't know about you over at nl or OmegaWiki,
but on en.wikipedia we try to discuss changes before we make them.

> > No, it is seen as an *unnecessarily burdensome imposition* to *demand*
> > of users.  To expect people to read usernames in languages they don't
> > understand or even pronounce is also an imposition.
> We disagree here. In order to not see question marks, little blocks, you
> need to install fonts. It is likely that you can not pronounce my name. It
> is a fallacy to think that knowing how to read Latin script makes you able
> to pronounce words in a different language.

No, but I can recognise it.  I may not pronounce your name correctly,
but I can make a reasonable guess that I can remember for the future.

Seeing a name, a word
> originating from another language gives you a handle, by installing fonts
> you get a handle. If people do not do this, it is THEIR problem. It should
> not mean that it is ok for them to roll their problem over onto others.

And of course if we use the Latin script on an English wiki all these
problems go away...

I'm not even going to bother arguing the font question any more, as
you clearly consider blackmail an effective method and I don't.

> > This
> > > leads me to conclude that people in the English language Wikipedia see
> > > themselves as a rule onto themselves and will not really consider the
> > > arguments of others.
> >
> > Of course we are.  You've got us at last.
> >
> > Will you please stop your inflammatory, unpleasant and baseless rhetoric.
> You find the arguments unpleasant, it does not mean that they are wrong.

True.  But they are wrong.  Or have you got any evidence to the contrary?

> Calling these arguments inflammatory and baseless means that you do not
> recognise that I put serious effort in making my case.

No, it means I think you're deliberately being offensive.  I'm sure
you're putting plenty of effort in.

It demeans me and in
> effect you thereby deny that I argue in good faith.

I'm finding it very difficult to assume good faith with you, yes.

It is fine when you find
> it unpleasant. This is an unpleasant affair for me too.

I make a point of apologising if I've offended someone.  Can you do the same?


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