[Foundation-l] VC - alternative resolution

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Sun Apr 6 05:24:16 UTC 2008

As long as you state what the VC will NOT do and are not stating what the VC
will do, you provide the best arguments why we should NOT have a VC.

I do want a VC that has its feet on the ground, that has a responsibility to
the projects and to the board, the organisation and will be accepted as such
because it makes its hands dirty. When the VC is only there to satisfy a
craving for power and political posturing the cure will be worse then what
it aims to cure.

On Sat, Apr 5, 2008 at 1:29 PM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 5, 2008 at 12:09 PM, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
> <cimonavaro at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > On 4/5/08, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >  > And, by the way, I was talking not only about the problems from
> >  > outsider's perspective. There are a lot of simple or complex problems
> >  > of the local communities which are not solved only because there is
> no
> >  > a body which job is to listen those problems. I listed some of them:
> >  > You need an interwiki bot? -- Make it! -- even it is a routine task
> >  > for a number of bot owners. You want to take care about actuality of
> >  > the data inside of articles about countries? -- Do it alone! -- even
> >  > it is much more efficient to have one bot for all projects who is
> >  > doing that. You want to compile a course from de.wv and en.wv
> sources?
> >  > -- No, you can't do that, they are using different licenses. You want
> >  > to connect Spanish, Russian and Dutch biologists who are working on
> >  > Wikimedian projects? -- No, you can't do that because there is no a
> >  > method for doing so. Or -- do it, no one is stopping you! -- Any
> help?
> >  > -- Help? We don't have such institution.
> >  >
> >  > I am not saying that we should take base our work around cases like
> >  > Russian Wikibooks or Moldovan Wikipedia are. However, as the Board is
> >  > the final instance for all real-life and real-time issues, we need
> the
> >  > final instance for community and content related issues. Yes, there
> >  > are a lot of ordinary jobs to do and VC's tasks will be full of those
> >  > types of jobs. But, if we are not making a general purpose body, then
> >  > it is better to think about a number of working groups which would
> >  > address particular issues. Making a body which would address
> >  > all-but-some community/content problems seems to me as making new
> >  > problems.
> >
> >  Can you clarify a point for me please. When you speak of a need for a
> >  "final instance" for "community and content" related issues, do you
> >  mean "final instance" in the sense that it would be "final" in the
> sense
> >  that people would in time learn to respect what it was doing, and then
> >  for the most part not argue too hard, unless they felt it was really
> going
> >  seriously in the wrong direction?
> >
> >  Authority that comes from respect gained from being on the right side
> >  of thorny issues more times than most, is a valuable if not easily
> >  obtainable resource. If that is the kind of "final" authority you mean,
> >  I have no problem. In fact I would whoop for joy the day I saw that
> >  kind of thing get off the ground.
> >
> >  If you mean "final instance" in some harder sense, then of course
> >  we come to the same problems as have been what the Board has
> >  been rightly leery about. Whatever/whoever would be put on point
> >  as a hard and fast authority, with no give at all, could very soundly
> >  be argued to be an editorial control on the content. And really, we
> >  all know we want to avoid that like the plague.
> Hm. Actually, your first point (arbitrating in extraordinary
> circumstances) is related to the Meta ArbCom, which in the future
> shouldn't be a part of VC. An, of course, I don't think that we should
> have a body which would take care about about every article. However,
> one of the jobs of VC should be taking care about systematic
> tendencies inside of the communities.
> According to my intuitive understanding of your options, the answer
> is, of course, that I don't think that we need the final instance in
> the sense of hard and fast authority. The last thing I want is
> interfering in issues of well developed communities because some
> outsider (in the sense of that community; which includes future VC
> members) didn't want to wait a couple of hours or days to leave that
> community to solve the problem. At the other side, out-of-project
> disputes should be addressed somehow, including solving of heavy bias
> (or not so heavy, but systematic bias)  at some project noticed by an
> outsider.
> I am still without a better word for the exact meaning for "the final
> instance", so I'll try to describe: We need a body which would address
> "no one's business". So, if a couple of instances (local admins,
> stewards, some committee...) refuse to take some issue as their
> business, there should be some "final instance" which will take care
> about such issues.
> From time to time we have discussions at Meta about different issues.
> For example, we had a long discussion about bot generated articles at
> Volapuk Wikipedia. After a lot of talk, we came to the political
> solution (much more people was at one side). However, it didn't solve
> the problem. We still need answers for the questions raised there: (1)
> Are bot edits valid as human edits are? (2) Are there some limits of
> bots' usage? (3) Do we need conlang projects? -- I know *my* answers
> to all of those questions, but there is no community consensus about
> them as well as there is no any decision about those issues from some
> Wikimedian body.
> And "Proposal for radical cleanup of Volapuk Wikipedia" without a
> solution produced two more similar requests: proposal for "radical
> cleanup" of Polish Wikipedia, as well as proposal for limiting bots'
> activities (worded something like "to stop abusing bots").
> Again, today we don't have a body which would give answer to those
> questions or which would rise a Wikimedia-wide referendum about those
> questions.
> I hope that I gave to you now a clear description about what do I mean
> under the term "final authority".
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