[Foundation-l] What are the assets of the Foundation, anyway?

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Thu Apr 19 05:27:43 UTC 2007

On 4/19/07, Mark Ryan <ultrablue at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 19/04/07, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > I respect your opinion, but your
> > brain seems to be pretty well programmed for fear and aggression.

> These are not appropriate ways for members of the Board of Trustees to
> react to criticism in public. I suggest you peruse WP:CIVIL, which
> will help you to respond more appropriately for a person holding your
> office.

My comment was not intended to be uncivil, and I regret it if it came
across that way. Beyond her earlier comments to the Chair of the Board
("you're on crack", "are you daft?"), Kelly Martin has a well
documented history of aggressive and abusive conduct throughout
Wikimedia projects; in fact, she has openly stated that she considers
"intimidating posturing ... and a willingness to act 'on the edge'"
acceptable "management styles". [1] I do not; I consider them a
rationalization of a deeply troubling emotional outlook.

Nevertheless, I have respect for Kelly and other people like her; she
clearly has tremendous talent and passion for our ends, if not our
means. I have also come to view her as the textbook example of the
"useful aggressor", one of the most problematic social types one can
encounter in any community. The useful aggressor, by virtue of being
useful, has friends and allies, but their interactions with others are
often highly toxic; their views are colored by their fear and their
misanthropy. It is not easy or even desirable to remove them, but it
is essential to limit their social influence, to question their
deepest convictions, and to draw the line when they violate community

Florence, myself and other members of this weird and wonderful
community are certainly not infallible standard-bearers of peace and
love. But one quality I strive for, and one I think any leader should
have beyond worrying about imaginary lawsuits, is reflection: the
ability to honestly assess one's own behavior and actions, and to
improve upon it, instead of merely rationalizing it as a "management
style." I'll let you be the judge whether you find this quality in the
present Board members.

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Kelly_Martin&diff=407834&oldid=407610

Peace & Love,

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

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