[Foundation-l] More on Wikimedia strategic planning

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Thu Apr 30 23:11:27 UTC 2009

On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 6:23 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/4/30 Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com>:
>> I'd like to see Wikimedia as a community take some 300-year stances on
>> knowledge dissemination,
> Did you mean 300 years?

Yes.  Considering the stakes and our capacity for history, this seems
to me appropriate and possible.

>>> * There is also a big question about languages. The work will need to
>>> be done in English,
>> Can you elaborate a bit?  Could a group that all speak better French
>> than English not do their work in French and have it translated for
>> others?  I would hope the language issue could be phrased as  "All
>> work will need to be translated into English as a shared working
>> language"...
> If, by coincidence, there happens to be a group better able to
> communicate in French than English, then I don't see why they
> shouldn't be able to, but it is pretty unlikely.
> I would advise against choosing committees along language lines,

If the goal is creative communication, groups must be able to
communicate effectively with one another.  If we want to benefit from
the excellent ideas everywhere in the community, an active translation
nexus to ensure refined ideas are shared widely, and groups of great
contributors brainstorming however is most effective for them
(including, often, using their native language) is not unreasonable.

Live meetings require single languages or simultaneous interpretation;
extended deliberation can be more flexible.

> a diverse membership
> of each committee would be far better.

Sue's post covered committees and layered subgroups, some of no more
than a few people.  Certainly the right sort of diversity of
participants in each major area of discussion and at each level of
abstraction or scope is valuable, all else being equal --  say,
diversity of language, interests and background, and type of
contribution.  And yet small groups will always cluster some


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