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

Michael Noda michael.noda at gmail.com
Sun Dec 24 09:55:35 UTC 2006

On 12/23/06, GerardM <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hoi,
> I am a person. I have a name. You know me by my nick, GerardM, you may have
> deduced that I am known as Gerard Meijssen. You are not likely to know my
> full name.

Indeed.  But, would I really be in a different position if you
appeared in the recent changes log as GerardM (535367), which is how
you appear on Slashdot?  Does Slashdot reduce you to *just* a number,
or are you a name there as well?  To me, GerardM (535367) is as much a
name as GerardM, because it's the same name.

> In the Netherlands in the second world war, people had to identify
> themselves and always have their "persoonsbewijs" with them. At the end of
> the war this was abolished. The Dutch government imposed itself by requiring
> people to have a number and then to always be able to have some form of
> identity with them. Many people resent this. I resent this. It is said that
> it promotes security while in actual fact it makes government more
> intruisive while it hardly helps .. mind you I have a background in
> security.

I see; I thought there might be a cultural difference like this at the
heart of your objection.  But I reiterate my question: would imitating
Slashdot be unacceptable, and if so, why do you post there?

> 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. When it is suggested that the en.wikipedia community may have to do
> things as well it is flatly rejected.

I disagree.  All the proposals I've seen work symmetrically, where an
en user on zh is treated identically to a zh user on en, or a ja user
on nl.

> Admins who go overboard in their heavy
> handed zeal of fighting vandalism get a blanket excuse because ``they mean
> well``.

Have you been following news out of en lately?  Several admins have
resigned or been forcibly desysopped by the ArbCom for overzealousness
in vandal fighting in the last few months.

> All in all, my conclusion is very much that, yes people say that the policy
> is wrong, but no they do not want to accept that things will change. 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.

This statement is very hurtful to those of us who are en editors who
are making every effort to find an amicable solution to this
unfortunate situation.  I beg you to retract or qualify it.

-Michael Noda

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