[Foundation-l] How to dismantle a language committee

Tomasz Ganicz polimerek at gmail.com
Mon Jan 12 00:04:40 UTC 2009

2009/1/11 Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com>:
> On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 12:10 PM, Tomasz Ganicz <polimerek at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Well, I think there should be not only computer-linguists experts like
>>> Evertype in LangCom, but you desperately need people who have good
>>> knowledge about culture, sociology and history of the main language
>>> groups, or at least you should be ready to ask relevant outside
>>> experts. I have a feeling that current LangCom completely ignores
>>> historical and cultural background related to language problems which
>>> is quite often a key to make resonable decissions.
>> Actually, it is a misunderstanding of Michael's knowledge. His
>> expertise is, for example, making an orthography for a random language
>> [without orthography]. In fact, we need exactly his kind of linguists.
>> As I mentioned, we are working on raising expertise quality inside of
>> LangCom.
> And just to be more precise. After a couple of years of interacting
> with people in relation to Wikimedia projects, I realized that it is
> not so possible to get a random academician and put them into some
> Wikimedian working body. Usually, those persons are not so interested.
> I see that we have two more options for finding persons with relevant
> level of expertise:
> * to find Wikimedians with this kind of expertise; or
> * that some interested academician contacts us.


I did't want to come back to Belarus Wikipedia case, but at that time
I have found quite easily 2 good experts. One from Univ. of Warsaw,
vice-head o Belaruss literature department and one from Univ of Oxford
(an emeritus professor, specializing in Belaruss politics and
history). It wasn't very difficulit to ask them and get the answers -
quite long and IMHO quite professional.I asked at that time if there
is any interst for LangComm in reading this. The answer was "no", as
at that time the decission was already taken, the situation was quite
hot and arguments showing that the decission wasn't so clever were not
listen simply by default. The stinky egg was already broken and
members of LangComm were simply trying not to smell it :-)

I don't think that such kind of experts good in one case only should
be members of LangComm. It probably doesn't make sense. But it does
make sense to find them for specific purposes and then ask questions
before making final decission. It can be done. Most of them give you
an answer or at least point you to the places you can find it itself.
LangComm should consist of the people who are clever enough to ask
relevant questions and be able to understand and analyse the asnwers.

Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz

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