[Foundation-l] transparency or translucency?
jamesrigg1974 at googlemail.com
Sat Jan 10 21:39:17 UTC 2009
But the problem is that Wikipedia is *today* proudly portrayed to the
general public as being transparent and non-hierarchical, when it is
semi-transparent and hierarchical.
Obviously, this thread is not going anywhere, so I guess we'll just
have to agree to disagree!
On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 9:29 PM, Parker Higgins <parkerhiggins at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think there's two parallel conversations going on here, which is making it
> hard for anybody to come to an understanding.
> James, it seems like you're saying that Wikimedia (apparently) espouses
> absolute transparency and equality, and in fact only practices those virtues
> to the boundaries of common sense. That difference, between the absolute
> and the common sense, strikes you as disingenuous.
> Everybody else seems to be saying that Wikimedia only ever intended to run
> an organization in a manner consistent with common sense, and that realities
> of how Wikimedia is run are not, in fact, at odds with the founding
> principles, nor have the founding principles been abandoned.
> I will acknowledge that it seems your point hasn't been fully acknowledged,
> but I don't think it's a very strong point. Perhaps the phrase, "to the
> extent possible" has been omitted from some explanations of Wikimedia's
> commitment to transparency and equality, but I don't think that has
> decreased the overall clarity. Yes, Wikimedia is not absolutely
> transparent, and yes, I know you know that. But considering that nobody
> realistically expected or expects the organization to be absolutely
> transparent and equal, as that would come at the cost of functionality, it
> doesn't really make sense to complain about that. And it doesn't represent
> a deviation from founding principles.
> On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:53 PM, James Rigg
> <jamesrigg1974 at googlemail.com>wrote:
>> I do not "describe how - in your opinion - the conduct of the English
>> Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation don't live up to those
>> I'm actually simply pointing-out that the *stated* semi-transparency,
>> and hierarchical structure, of Wikipedia/Wikimedia is contrary to the
>> *stated* principles of transparency and no hierarchy.
>> Nowhere in this thread have I stated that this is a good or bad thing
>> in relation to Wikipedia/Wikimedia.
>> On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 8:37 PM, Nathan <nawrich at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > I don't see the conflict James Riggs is describing. You point to
>> > of principles by Jimmy Wales, and then describe how - in your opinion -
>> > conduct of the English Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation don't live
>> > to those principles. Well, that doesn't shock me and it shouldn't shock
>> > The English Wikipedia is quite transparent, more so than perhaps any
>> > community or organizational structure I've encountered. Only mailing
>> > that regularly deal with personal, private information are closed to the
>> > community. Nearly all decision making of any weight is done on-wiki, with
>> > complete access for anyone who wants it to all or mostly all discussion
>> > precursors.
>> > The Wikimedia Foundation is a business, and by the standards of modern
>> > business it is also quite transparent. Its financial information, its
>> > its employee roster, its job descriptions, its revenue and fund raising
>> > model and its long term goals are all available for your discovery. Every
>> > major decision that impacts the projects is discussed publicly ahead of
>> > time. That *is* transparency, in my opinion.
>> > When someone who self describes as a "newbie" that has not joined in
>> > on the Wikimedia projects posts to the Foundation mailing list describing
>> > what he believes to be a material mischaracterisation, he gets a response
>> > from the founder and the deputy director (and former board member) in
>> > order. Try doing that with General Electric, or really nearly any other
>> > corporation in the world.
>> > Your e-mails indicate that you concluded first and asked second, so
>> > hopefully you will now reconsider.
>> > Nathan
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