[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

Mathieu Stumpf psychoslave at culture-libre.org
Wed Mar 20 10:12:47 UTC 2013

Le 2013-03-18 13:01, Fae a écrit :
> I suggest you step away from the technology component before this
> becomes a mantra. Given a span of 100 years, assumptions become 
> rather
> large. We can start to assume that within one or two decades,
> *everyone* on the planet is data-connected, we can assume that
> language barriers break down or become irrelevant, we can assume that
> connection and hardware costs become vanishingly small and we can
> assume that engagement with human knowledge is fully immersive.

Your assumptions seems really big to me.

I won't discuss the "*everyone* on the planet is data-connected", I 
hope you are right, but to my mind it sounds like a very optimistic 
point of view. This depend a lot on the global economic developpement, 
as well as mankind ability to find a way to sustain such a huge energy 
requirement: electronic devices for everyone imply  electricity for 
everyone (hopefuly clean produced/stored/delivered).

Now "language barriers break down or become irrelevant". That statement 
is so big that I am wondering wether I am misintrepreting an ironic 
statement as a serious one or not. After all I am not an english native 
speaker, so excuse me if you were ironic, but otherwise this is just a 
real case example of how huge the "language barriers" are.

They are many challenges on the language barriers. And to my mind we, 
as wikimedia contributors, can play an important role in this 
challenges. We know that many language are disapearing right now, 
impoverish human culture. Unfortunately I discovered that even on this 
present list some people were using metric like "how many scientific 
papers where published in this language last year" to evaluate wether it 
was an "important language" or something which we may let completely 
disapear (sum of all human knowledge?). So not only there is work to 
preserve language (and culture) diversity, but there's even work to do 
to convince people that it's important in the first place (for 
scientific-centric mind, think about what you need to realize works in 
anthropology and history, for example).

An other thing in which we will, to my mind, be really helpful, will be 
the wikiomega/wiktionnaries integration into wikidata. This will enable 
to see which concepts are covered into which languages, and possibly 
help to build equivalent neologisms with respect to the equivalent 
etymological path/construction in the target language. Moreover this 
could help build new languages, possibly yet another attempt for an 
"international language". Not that I would be enthusiast with such a 
project, I'm fine with learning esperanto which as far as I know is the 
current most successful project in this category. Now, many linguistic 
critics (and also non-linguistic ones, not relevant here) where 
published on esperanto, so maybe some linguists may come with something 
better and that they could be helped with a the semantic cartography 
wikidata could become. It doesn't look like UNO and other international 
organsiation are realy interested to give ressources to build and 
promote an international language, so may be __we__ could do it.

> Developing a strategy would require some big thinking of scenarios:
> * Does Wikimedia get subsumed into a new ecology of open knowledge
> organizations?
> * Does "operations" become irrelevant as it will be naturally 
> factored out?
> * In a future of cheap as chips access, does "access" mean
> socialization and education?
> Classically, one might bounce around environmental scenarios such as
> religious division, hyper-connection social instability (meme
> threats), population crisis etc.
> It's a big talk, and above was mentioned spending 5 years on this.
> Consider how darn slow us unpaid Wikimedia volunteers are to nit-pick
> our way forward, thinking of how we take longer than a year+ to reach
> some conclusions is not unreasonable, and it is not as easy as saying
> "quote examples" as if this was a discussion short-cut.

Are refering to something like "Basic income guarantee" ?

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