[Wikipedia-l] Re: mail WikiSpecies

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Thu Sep 16 14:36:11 UTC 2004

Anthere wrote:

> It is possible that we do not have the same definition of macro and 
> micro...
> For me, micro is "local" issues, not "may be done by the community" 
> and macro is "wikimedia wide issues" rather than "may not be done by 
> the community".

If that's the board's role, I *strongly* object, and I don't believe 
this is how it was proposed.  it is most important that wikimedia-wide 
issues be decided by the community, and *only* by the community, with 
the board serving only as a neutral arbiter (and vote-counter, if 
necessary).  The community ought to decide its own path; that's how 
wiki-type stuff works.  The community is not as good at deciding 
detailed logistical issues, which I thought is why we had a board.  But 
it's perfectly capable of deciding larger vision- and direction-type issues.

> It seems clear to me, that this decision did not please some people; 
> and we will consider this fact for the next decisions. I am quite 
> surprised that you consider this a total precedent. There are more 
> than one decision which was taken by Jimbo in the past, with none of 
> you all complaining. You trusted that this was a good decision and 
> that there some arguments for taking it. Usually, Jimbo listened to 
> the community, till a consensus arise.

Well, Jimbo gets some deference, having spent over $100,000 of his own 
money on the project, and generally singlehandedly keeping the project 
afloat at various times.  But I think everyone, including Jimbo, agreed 
that the benevolent-dictator model was something that he'd like to phase 
out in favor of community decision-making at some point, and even 
previously he only occasionally made dictatorial-type decisions when it 
was absolutely necessary.

> We will try to do better in the future, to listen more and longer. But 
> I must warn you of one point. Jimbo, Angela and I are all three 
> already streching our time limits. If you all want us to listen 
> better, you will have to help us by providing better insight, 
> summaries and such... and mostly, do not expect us to start polls or 
> votes all the time. Neither of us three are very happy with votes and 
> I doubt we'll start organising votes one by one. In short, those who 
> want to help us take some final decisions will have to wet their 
> shirt, hang around and call people to participate to discussion, 
> create summaries, emulate discussions and co.

I don't see why this is the case: the board shouldn't be the 
bottleneck.  Decision-making on these sorts of things should be done by 
the community, perhaps by a vote if necessary, and then implementation 
can be done by one of the developers.  The board should only be there to 
make decisions that are not reasonable decisions for the community to make.


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