[Foundation-l] Wikimedia Job: Volunteer Coordinator

Robert Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Sat Mar 3 13:45:02 UTC 2007

Ray Saintonge wrote:
> The concern that becomes apparent from reading this thread is that 
> living in St. Pete's would very strongly favour having this job go to an 
> American.  To be sure some of the paying jobs can only be done at the 
> headquarters, but this is very much an international organization which 
> should do more to open opportunities for citizens of other nations.  The 
> nature of this opening suggests that the work could be done anywhere in 
> the world without the need to move to the United States.
> Ec

I think that any specific location anywhere in the world is going to 
favor one nationality over another.  Even Brussels is going to be very 
Euro-centric, and I could go on and on about other major cities 
throughout the world.  This is not really a very legitimate reply.

I will say in defense of Florida (although Miami would be a bit better 
in this regard), this is America's gateway to the Caribbean Islands,  
and home to a very diverse  number of  ethnic groups that I would 
challenge you to find anywhere in the world outside of perhaps NYC or 
San Francisco.

To me, this is a very anti-American attitude that is strongly suggesting 
that perhaps the WMF needs to re-incorporate somewhere in the EU.  If 
somebody from say South Africa were to work with somebody from Japan on 
a daily and face to face basis, where would you suggest that they find 
as a common location to meet, work, and live?

I will also defend keeping the WMF in America at least so far as I think 
you would have a very hard time trying to find a place that is more 
politically stable or has similar economic stability and 1st world 
infrastructure necessary to carry out the mission of the WMF.  The last 
realistic attempted military invasion to the heartland of America took 
place in 1812.  Can you say that about any other country in the world 
except perhaps Switzerland?  Even that could be argued in light of WWII, 
but I won't belabor that point.  In addition, the WMF is already in 
America, and much of the legal underpinnings and relationships are based 
upon American law.

I guess I just don't see the point to all of this anyway or why this 
thread has brought out the attitudes that this has.  We are a very 
diverse group of people all working together, where I, as an American 
living in rural America in the heart of the Rocky Mountains have nearly 
daily conversations with people from Poland, the UK, and South Africa on 
collaborative writing projects.  Often I don't even know the nationality 
of the people that I am working with, or even what continent of the 
world they are really at when I am having these discussions.  I fail to 
see why this particular position as a Volunteer Coordinator would have 
to be any different in this regard.

-- Robert Horning

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