[Foundation-l] "antisocial production" & pt:wiki policies

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue Jun 30 06:44:18 UTC 2009

Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:
> Marc, you comment is not very optimistic, but it was a great 
> incentive to do what I announced above. Hopefully others will be more 
> encouraged to voice their ideas about other matters, knowing they'll 
> find a friendly hear and some useful and very welcome feedback.

Marc and I just happen to come from a generation of grumpy old men who 
have never had enough good sense to abandon our principles.  If you do 
that long enough the optimism can suffer until you can pull yourself off 
the carpet and try again.
> I'm glad to find Nathan in a better mood this time :-). Of course 
> language is a problem. This is indeed a very interesting problem that 
> I hope has a solution in the international wikipedian community. That 
> is also an obstacle to getting on greater detail in this list since 
> most of its members would not be able to verify and cross check that 
> information.
> The Foundation can't afford to let a Wikipedia on some obscure 
> language (that is not the case of Portuguese) to run wild and be run 
> by some mob. At some time a flag will go up. What then? I could offer 
> some suggestions, but I was hoping that you all would come up with 
> some useful and tested procedures.

It's unrealistic to expect those who do not speak your language to solve 
the problems.  Just because the anglophones happen to be hanging from 
the top of the Tower of Babel does not imply that they have any greater 
expertise.  I am willing to concede that the behaviour on some obscure 
language projects is nothing short of outrageous.  How do you determine 
what the Foundation can or can't afford? Being able to deal with the 
problems requires for the community to have a critical membership mass.  
The Foundation can't demand other solutions without compromising NPOV 
and individual responsibility.  If there are specific problems in a 
project, and nobody knows about them, nothing can be done.
> I'm afraid to have to admit that the lack of interest and advice that 
> I got, so far, covers both list and off-list. I wish that would 
> change, again not only for the present case, but what kind of message 
> is this sending to others? How sure can we all be that there aren't 
> or there would not be other cases in the future?

The lack of interest is no surprise.  Why would anyone with an already 
full plate of problems want to take on a new one?  You can never be sure 
that there will be no other cases in the future. 
> Quite frankly, I would rather be wrong (not a very palatable 
> prospect) but give others the assurance that their voices will be 
> heard, than letting them remember the story of this guy from 
> "somewhere" who blew the whistle and nobody cared.
Preferring to be wrong is very altruistic in an environment where most 
are desperate to be right, and to win. You don't have to worry about 
them remembering that nobody cared when they never acknowledge that 
someone was blowing the whistle in the first place.


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