[Foundation-l] Wikimedia Foundation 2008-2009 Annual Plan

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Wed Jul 2 20:23:14 UTC 2008

On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 4:08 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 3:48 PM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
>> Ultimately, the purpose of the WMF is to help people spread free
>> knowledge, not to collect money in a bank account.
> Anthony?
> When you play blackjack do you bet all your money the first time the
> odds look like they are in your favor?  Why not?

I don't play blackjack, because the odds are rarely in my favor, I
don't have the skills to determine when they are in my favor, and the
casino wouldn't allow me to bet all my money only when the odds are in
my favor anyway.

> You'd just bet the
> money later when the odds looked no better. ...  If you did, you would
> not be playing for long.
Depends what you mean by betting "all my money".  If casinos let
people count cards and bet "all their money" when the odds were in
their favor, then I could probably get a loan any time I needed one,
so "all my money" isn't really well defined.

> Presumably operating Wikimedia isn't entirely like gambling, but the
> truth remains that sometimes there will be times where luck (or good
> judgment!) is in short supply, and it would be a loss to everyone if
> things ran dry and either had to either shut down or change
> drastically simply because income is not constantly distributed
> through all time.
Sure, there's a point where you can save too little.  But my argument
is that there's also a point where you can save too much.  Gerard
seemed to be suggesting that not spending = saving = good; always, not
just to some extent.

> Would you really rather a future where the foundation found itself
> subject to the whims and manipulations of large sponsors (or public
> fads!), possibly against the interests of the mission,  because a
> failure to heed these forces would result in program cancellations,
> layoffs, or other results which the management considered to be
> unacceptable?

No, I wouldn't.

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