An open letter to Jimmy Wales

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Fred Bauder-2
> Another set of replies.
>
> I wrote:
>> > ...  On the other hand, if you pretend that it isn't
>> > happening, or
>> > dismiss my concerns, you'll just be digging yourselves even deeper
>> > into the hole you're already in.  Remember: the world is watching.
>
> Sam Korn replied:
>> What hole are we in, pray?
>
> The reputation of Wikipedia as an endless source of scandal and
> dishonesty,
> coupled with this open letter, in which I decided to use whatever weight
> my
> views have in the "court of public opinion" to confront the project's
> leading light.  Deny it if you must, but you have a problem on your
> hands.

A problem you are trying to stir up. As far as "Wikipedia [being] an
endless source of scandal and dishonesty", that is an artifact of your
own wishful thinking. As the promoter of a competing project your
interest is transparent. I do think an apology is due you from Jimmy
Wales, but that ought to be the end of it.

Fred Bauder


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Larry Sanger-2
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
Two more replies...

Charles Matthews wrote:
> Seems to me you are letting off a fair amount of steam here.  
> That is a
> traditional role of mailing lists, and in particular of wikien.  Your
> unsubtle flaming of Jimmy here isn't likely to change too many minds;
> which is more than can be said for some of your past and more
> insidious
> comments on Wikipedia, in more prominent places.  So go ahead, if it
> lances the boil.

Charles, I wrote an open letter, which has appeared on Jimmy Wales' user
talk page as well as my blog, and now several other places--including this
list.  I'm not merely "flaming" Jimmy Wales on this list.  I am publicly
calling him to account.  I am actually trying to achieve a certain effect,
as I've explained.

I wrote:
> > Deny it if you must, but you have a problem on your
> > hands.

Fred Bauder replied:
> A problem you are trying to stir up.

A problem I am exacerbating--quite right.  Do you have a problem with that?

> As far as "Wikipedia
> [being] an endless source of scandal and dishonesty", that is
> an artifact of your own wishful thinking.

Well, if that's really what you want to think, Fred, I'm not going to spend
my time trying to convince you otherwise.  Suffice it to say that, outside
of Wikipedia's inner circles and its Web 2.0 promoters and fans, Wikipedia's
reputation for honesty and decency is rather less than sterling.

> As the promoter of
> a competing project your interest is transparent.

Your insinuation here, Fred, deserves no reply.

> I do think
> an apology is due you from Jimmy Wales, but that ought to be
> the end of it.

If Jimmy Wales were to apologize, he would have to admit that he had done
something wrong., and for me to believe an apology, I should have to see him
correct the record and say he was wrong.  What are the chances of that
happening?  I think I know Jimmy well enough to know he will never do that.

--Larry


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Tristan Thomas-4
This statement is totally incorrect:

Suffice it to say that, outside
of Wikipedia's inner circles and its Web 2.0 promoters and fans, Wikipedia's
reputation for honesty and decency is rather less than sterling.


I am pretty new to Wikipedia editing but have obviously used it for a
long time before.  Wikipedia has some reliability issues which is why
it's discouraged in schools etc. but it definitely does not have a
reputation for dishonesty & indecency.  I am no Wikipedia die hard fan,
but I enjoy using it & it has proved an invaluable resource many many
times.  In the wider public, it is viewed as a respectable & accurate
encyclopedia, with some issues directly related to the fact that anyone
can edit it.
Mr Sanger-I feel I am very neutral in this debate, having no real
opinion, I also don't really care who "wins", because that's what it is
all about.  I just think this is a stupid thing to keep going on at, all
replies so far have agreed with you that Jimmy did wrong & should
probably apologise or set the record straight.  Your constant gibes at
Wikipedia serve no purpose except to turn many neutral editors who are
here & would probably be happy to help get a NPOV, against you.
Please stop this pointless, yes I'll say it again, pointless, business
for the good of everyone.

Phew, let that off, apologise if I offended anyone, just want to stop
this rubbish.


On 09/04/2009 19:57, Larry Sanger wrote:
> Suffice it to say that, outside
> of Wikipedia's inner circles and its Web 2.0 promoters and fans, Wikipedia's
> reputation for honesty and decency is rather less than sterling.
>    

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

David Gerard-2
2009/4/9 Tris Thomas <[hidden email]>:

> Phew, let that off, apologise if I offended anyone, just want to stop
> this rubbish.


I predict it won't stop it for a moment. Mike Johnson of CZ has noted
before that criticising Wikipedia is the quickest way to publicity for
Citizendium:

http://moderndragons.blogspot.com/2007/05/modern-dragons-now-with-20-more-umlauts.html

As I commented on that post, it's not clear that's good for
Citizendium in the long run. Entirely too many Citizendium
contributors appear to be in it to be against Wikipedia, rather than
e.g. to write an encyclopedia.


- d.

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
Larry Sanger wrote:

> Two more replies...
>
> Charles Matthews wrote:
>  
>> Seems to me you are letting off a fair amount of steam here.  
>> That is a
>> traditional role of mailing lists, and in particular of wikien.  Your
>> unsubtle flaming of Jimmy here isn't likely to change too many minds;
>> which is more than can be said for some of your past and more
>> insidious
>> comments on Wikipedia, in more prominent places.  So go ahead, if it
>> lances the boil.
>>    
>
> Charles, I wrote an open letter, which has appeared on Jimmy Wales' user
> talk page as well as my blog, and now several other places--including this
> list.  I'm not merely "flaming" Jimmy Wales on this list.  I am publicly
> calling him to account.  I am actually trying to achieve a certain effect,
> as I've explained.
>  
Actually, though I may be an "inner circler", the combination of
forum-shopping and an intent to demonise by sheer assertion is not
unfamiliar to me.  Come to think of it - tip of the tongue - ah yes,
you've decided to treat us to some "trolling". Those who have something
in mind that is not merely "effective" - as mudslinging may be - tend to
approach debates in other ways.

>>Fred Bauder replied:

>  
>> As the promoter of
>> a competing project your interest is transparent.
>>    
>
> Your insinuation here, Fred, deserves no reply.
>  
I think that means you're not going to answer Fred, not that you needn't.

Yes, the bit where you write: "Suffice it to say that, outside of
Wikipedia's inner circles and its Web 2.0 promoters and fans,
Wikipedia's reputation for honesty and decency is rather less than
sterling." You know, I think you may really feel that some people are
inattentive enough not to notice the elisions here. You argue, it seems,
that Jimmy Wales may not be a reliable witness in his own case. You
don't, apparently, think you need to justify the claim that you are, in
your own case.  You start off trashing Jimmy's reputation, and then, hey
presto, it's Wikipedia's reputation as an anthropomorphised whole that's
in the pillory.

Cutting to the chase, it seems perfectly easy to say "a pox on both your
houses" in the dispute on the "founder" badge; and yet to defend
Wikipedia.  In fact it's been a good few days, with positive write-ups
in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the London
Observer.  Noam Cohen in the NYT mentions "there is a professional class
of Wikipedia skeptics". If you haven't already, you should see the
context there.

Charles


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
2009/4/9 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:

> I predict it won't stop it for a moment. Mike Johnson of CZ has noted
> before that criticising Wikipedia is the quickest way to publicity for
> Citizendium:
> http://moderndragons.blogspot.com/2007/05/modern-dragons-now-with-20-more-umlauts.html
> As I commented on that post, it's not clear that's good for
> Citizendium in the long run. Entirely too many Citizendium
> contributors appear to be in it to be against Wikipedia, rather than
> e.g. to write an encyclopedia.


Further note from Tara Hunt: "How not to build a community: Part I:
the anti-community "

http://www.horsepigcow.com/2006/06/how-not-to-build-community-part-i-anti.html

"The first mistake I ever made in community fostering is to position
the company I worked for in opposition to another one (can't find that
post, but I was an idiot). So let me offer this unsolicited advice:
Rule #1 in building your own reputation is to never ever ever build it
on the grounds that it is different/better/etc. than an established
company"

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fork_%28software_development%29
- the successful forks don't spend their time railing against the
other tine of the fork ... they get on with being good of their own
account.


- d.

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:
>  Mike Johnson of CZ has noted
> before that criticising Wikipedia is the quickest way to publicity for
> Citizendium:
>
> http://moderndragons.blogspot.com/2007/05/modern-dragons-now-with-20-more-umlauts.html
>  
Fighting red ink with green?

Charles


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 9:44 AM, Charles Matthews
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Larry Sanger wrote:
>> It is not pointless to get the record corrected and to hold our leaders to
>> high standards of honesty.  This may require courage, but it is essential to
>> having a truly open, transparent community that has any chance of deserving
>> the label "democratic."
>>
> One thing about history and Wikipedia, is that we are supposed to let
> historians write it. Really, if you are asking me personally to choose
> between your version of history, and what you say is Jimbo's, I would
> prefer a third-party, dispassionate account.  So much for history.  If
> you also want to advocate for something else, relative to the Wikipedia
> community, go ahead.  This comment is so obviously policised and
> personalised, that I'd prefer to keep a clear wall between it and the
> "foundation myth".
>
> Charles

I agree totally with Charles, here. When "How Wikipedia Works" goes
into its 23rd printing :) hopefully we will be able to rely on other
people's dispassionate sifting of the historical record (what there is
of it; much of what is disputed is over what was said in personal
conversations, though seemingly not much public effort has been made
so far to find out what the other parties in those conversations
think). Larry and Jimmy are not the only early Wikipedians, and
someday hopefully there will be a better detailed history of the whole
endeavor in the black-hole, missing-edit-history years. (I can see
this being printed by one of those obscure university presses, on
thick paper with extensive footnotes...) In the meantime, of course,
the public will continue to learn about the project through the news
and their own searches, as they always have, and the rest of us will
go about our business.

The Wikipedia story is not exciting because of any single person's
contributions to the projects; it's the aggregate over time that
matters, and outside of the larger context of the project, none of our
contributions (no matter how much, or how little) are worth much.
(Founding doesn't mean much if other people don't run with it; and
contributing to a wiki doesn't get you very far if others don't also
build the web). But this is not a negative aspect -- as Andrew Lih
said at the end of "The Wikipedia Revolution," we are _all_ lucky to
have been a part of such a revolutionary project, and we should all
take personal pride in that.

-- phoebe

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Charles Matthews
phoebe ayers wrote:
> The Wikipedia story is not exciting because of any single person's
> contributions to the projects; it's the aggregate over time that
> matters, and outside of the larger context of the project, none of our
> contributions (no matter how much, or how little) are worth much.
> (Founding doesn't mean much if other people don't run with it; and
> contributing to a wiki doesn't get you very far if others don't also
> build the web).
I think the interesting point here is something like "when but more
particularly how does the [[founder effect]] wear off?"  Microsoft is
now post-Gates, in one sense.  The WMF is obviously post the "Wales and
Sanger show", in another.  Arguably wikis can evolve rather faster than
corporations (but certainly they don't always).  Wikipedia has been
particularly dynamic in an evolutionary sense, but on the other hand
there have been people heard to say that it is now hard to change it (I
did, last year ...).  Maybe we're more like a "swarm of gnats"
(http://www.keithhilen.com/Java/Gnats/Gnats.html).

Anyway, that's flesh on the bones of my earlier argument: the history
isn't bunk, but the place became sufficiently complicated at least five
years ago for the echoes of the early day to have become distinctly muffled.

Charles


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

geni
In reply to this post by Doc glasgow
2009/4/9 doc <[hidden email]>:
> Are these IRC transcripts accurate? The source is questionable, but as a
> minor participant in one of the discussions, it does seem to tally with
> my (admittedly fuzzy) memories.
>
>
> http://www.wikitruth.info/index.php?title=Jimbo_Fired_Up

The first one is.



--
geni

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Carcharoth
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 9:44 PM, Charles Matthews
<[hidden email]> wrote:

<snip>

> I think the interesting point here is something like "when but more
> particularly how does the [[founder effect]] wear off?"

Minor point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founder_effect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founder%27s_syndrome

You clearly meant the latter, but both articles are fascinating.

Carcharoth

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

geni
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
2009/4/9 Larry Sanger <[hidden email]>:
> The reputation of Wikipedia as an endless source of scandal and dishonesty,

Nah. Sure journalists have worked out that an attack on wikipedia will
get them some viewer ship but these days the attacks tend towards
outdated recycled stuff or "I don't like it". Fresh scandals not so
much.

> coupled with this open letter, in which I decided to use whatever weight my
> views have in the "court of public opinion" to confront the project's
> leading light.  Deny it if you must, but you have a problem on your hands.

We have many many problems. From the POV of the community Jimbo's
actions with regards to the founder issue probably ranks somewhere
below the fight over the "Country X country Y relations" articles.

> That's only part of it, and not the biggest part.  My biggest complaint is
> that Jimmy has lied about me, and a lot of people have believed him.  I am
> determined finally to hold Jimmy Wales to account for it.

What does this have to do with the foundation or the community?

> Well, Sam, if the honesty or dishonesty of your leader and chief spokesman
> does not concern you, if you don't care that he has used his position to
> distort the truth for personal gain, I doubt there is anything I can say
> that will convince you.

Jimbo is not the leader (sue might have a better claim to that but
hard to tell) and I think chief spokesbeing is probably jay.





--
geni

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Sam Korn
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 8:21 PM, Charles Matthews
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Larry Sanger wrote:
>> Two more replies...
>>
>> Charles Matthews wrote:
>>
>>> Seems to me you are letting off a fair amount of steam here.
>>> That is a
>>> traditional role of mailing lists, and in particular of wikien.  Your
>>> unsubtle flaming of Jimmy here isn't likely to change too many minds;
>>> which is more than can be said for some of your past and more
>>> insidious
>>> comments on Wikipedia, in more prominent places.  So go ahead, if it
>>> lances the boil.
>>>
>>
>> Charles, I wrote an open letter, which has appeared on Jimmy Wales' user
>> talk page as well as my blog, and now several other places--including this
>> list.  I'm not merely "flaming" Jimmy Wales on this list.  I am publicly
>> calling him to account.  I am actually trying to achieve a certain effect,
>> as I've explained.
>>
> Actually, though I may be an "inner circler", the combination of
> forum-shopping and an intent to demonise by sheer assertion is not
> unfamiliar to me.  Come to think of it - tip of the tongue - ah yes,
> you've decided to treat us to some "trolling". Those who have something
> in mind that is not merely "effective" - as mudslinging may be - tend to
> approach debates in other ways.
>
>>>Fred Bauder replied:
>
>>
>>> As the promoter of
>>> a competing project your interest is transparent.
>>>
>>
>> Your insinuation here, Fred, deserves no reply.
>>
> I think that means you're not going to answer Fred, not that you needn't.
>
> Yes, the bit where you write: "Suffice it to say that, outside of
> Wikipedia's inner circles and its Web 2.0 promoters and fans,
> Wikipedia's reputation for honesty and decency is rather less than
> sterling." You know, I think you may really feel that some people are
> inattentive enough not to notice the elisions here. You argue, it seems,
> that Jimmy Wales may not be a reliable witness in his own case. You
> don't, apparently, think you need to justify the claim that you are, in
> your own case.  You start off trashing Jimmy's reputation, and then, hey
> presto, it's Wikipedia's reputation as an anthropomorphised whole that's
> in the pillory.

To quote Mr Sanger, "Wikipedia is bigger than Jimmy Wales."

On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 7:04 PM, Larry Sanger
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Sam Korn replied:
>> What hole are we in, pray?
>
> The reputation of Wikipedia as an endless source of scandal and dishonesty,
> coupled with this open letter, in which I decided to use whatever weight my
> views have in the "court of public opinion" to confront the project's
> leading light.  Deny it if you must, but you have a problem on your hands.

Endless source of scandal and dishonesty?  The reputation of
Wikipedia?  The project's leading light?

I credit none of the three.

>> Your concerns seem to be that Jimmy is not acknowledging your
>> role and status as you'd like, and that the community and the
>> Board are silent in the face of Jimmy's doing this.
>
> That's only part of it, and not the biggest part.  My biggest complaint is
> that Jimmy has lied about me, and a lot of people have believed him.  I am
> determined finally to hold Jimmy Wales to account for it.

So it's personal.  There's nothing wrong with that at all; from a
certain point of view, I don't blame you.  On the other hand, I'm not
interested in getting involved.

>> For my
>> part, this silence may be attributed to insouciance -- I care
>> little for the minutiae of history now eight years old and
>> for your personal (yes, personal) dispute with Jimmy.
>>
>> Perhaps you can explain what the world at large, the
>> Wikipedia community and I personally gain from publicly pursuing it.
>
> Well, Sam, if the honesty or dishonesty of your leader and chief spokesman
> does not concern you, if you don't care that he has used his position to
> distort the truth for personal gain, I doubt there is anything I can say
> that will convince you.

I do not consider Jimmy Wikipedia's leader or its chief spokesman.
Perhaps you underestimate the extent to which the project is
community-led, community-driven, community-focussed; I don't know.  I
am not interested, no, in this personal and now-irrelevant dispute.

--
Sam
PGP public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sam_Korn/public_key

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Ken Arromdee
In reply to this post by Sam Korn
On Thu, 9 Apr 2009, Sam Korn wrote:
> Your concerns seem to be that Jimmy is not acknowledging your role and
> status as you'd like, and that the community and the Board are silent
> in the face of Jimmy's doing this.  For my part, this silence may be
> attributed to insouciance -- I care little for the minutiae of history
> now eight years old and for your personal (yes, personal) dispute with
> Jimmy.
>
> Perhaps you can explain what the world at large, the Wikipedia
> community and I personally gain from publicly pursuing it.

If he is telling the truth it seems like a perfectly legitimate request.
Wikipedia obviously cares about the issue enough to have Wikipedia articles
covering the subject and put out press releases mentioning it.  If so, then
Wikipedia should care enough to get those correct.

In other words, if you care enough to get it wrong, you should be expected
to care enough to get it right.


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Phil Nash-2
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
Larry Sanger wrote:
>> All,
>>
>> Earlier today, I had no joy in trying to post this "open letter to
>> Jimmy Wales" on Jimmy's own user talk page: the man himself deleted
>> it.  That is not the sort of behavior I would have expected of the
>> head of an allegedly open, transparent community devoted to free
>> speech.

Free speech? That's a novel idea. We frequently tell recalcitrant editors
that the First Amendment does not apply on Wikipedia,
and many of our policies, e.g. [[WP:SOAPBOX]], [[WP:TRUTH]], [[WP:NOR]] are
inimical to free speech. However, this is beginning to bore the hell out of
me as being not far off Jorge Luis' Borges description of the [[Falkands
War]]. I suspect I'm not alone. Whinge as much as you like on your own blog,
go to the media if you like, but I am dangerously close to issuing several
entirely policy-related blocks. Permanent ones. PS Please wish me a Happy
Birthday.





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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

WJhonson
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
 
In a message dated 4/9/2009 10:21:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time,  
[hidden email] writes:

"Sanger  and most media sources consider Wales and  Sanger
co-founders.[cite][cite][cite] Wales disputes it, saying  that,
although Sanger played a vital part in the formation of Wikipedia  and
his role is regularly underestimated, Wales alone should be  considered
the founder.</cite>">>


-------------------------
 
Currently the Wikipedia article doesn't seem to mention this controversy  
whatsoever, and consistently calls Sanger co-founder.
 
Will Johnson
 
 
**************Feeling the pinch at the grocery store?  Make dinner for $10 or
less. (http://food.aol.com/frugal-feasts?ncid=emlcntusfood00000001)
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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

James Farrar
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
2009/4/9 Larry Sanger <[hidden email]>

> Fred Bauder replied:
> > A problem you are trying to stir up.
>
> A problem I am exacerbating--quite right.  Do you have a problem with that?

Yes. You can't complain that something is a problem when you are the
one who is causing it.

Basically, shut up and go and cry in a corner.

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

James Farrar
In reply to this post by Brian J Mingus
That would be a matter for Foundation-l then, not wikien-l.

2009/4/9 Brian <[hidden email]>:

> Honestly, it's important enough that the Foundation should take an objective
> look at the facts and make a statement about Wikipedia's history.
>
> On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 7:36 PM, Larry Sanger
> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> All,
>>
>> Earlier today, I had no joy in trying to post this "open letter to Jimmy
>> Wales" on Jimmy's own user talk page: the man himself deleted it.  That is
>> not the sort of behavior I would have expected of the head of an allegedly
>> open, transparent community devoted to free speech.  I would like
>> Wikipedians in general to be apprised of my concerns.  I believe they are
>> serious and well-justified, and they should not be dismissed without a
>> careful hearing.  I do not ask that Jimmy Wales reply here on this list.
>> But I do ask that "the powers that be"--including the Wikipedia community,
>> the Wikimedia Board, and the media--hold Jimmy responsible for his very
>> shabby behavior toward me.
>>
>> Let me be clear.  This is not just an attempt to "tell my side of the
>> story."  It is me confronting Jimmy Wales publicly for lying about my
>> involvement in the project after many private requests to stop.  You might
>> disagree with me about many things, but we need not disagree about the
>> facts
>> as they can be found in various Internet archives, nor about the necessity
>> of keeping our leaders honest.
>>
>> A readable copy, with some updates, can be found here:
>>
>> http://blog.citizendium.org/2009/04/08/an-open-letter-to-jimmy-wales-copy/
>>
>>
>> http://blog.citizendium.org/2009/04/08/updates-re-open-letter-to-jimmy-wales
>> /
>>
>> The letter itself follows.
>>
>> --Larry Sanger
>>
>> ===============
>>
>> Jimmy, I don't know a better place than this for an open letter to you
>> [i.e., than on your user talk page on Wikipedia]. I recently read the Hot
>> Press interview with you. The lies and distortions it contains are, for me,
>> the last straw, especially after
>> <http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/xodp/message/1720> this came to light,
>> in which you described yourself as "co-founder" in 2002.
>>
>> I've reached out to you on a couple of occasions to coordinate our
>> "versions" - well, my version and your fanciful inventions - about how
>> Wikipedia got started. Last year I read about a speech in which you
>> represented me as being more or less opposed to Wikipedia from the start -
>> despite it being my own baby, really - and I wrote to you saying that if
>> you
>> keep this up, I will speak out. Well, I'm finally speaking out.
>>
>> In Wikipedia's first three years, it was clear to everyone working on it
>> that not only had I named the project, I came up with and promoted the idea
>> of making a wiki encyclopedia, wrote the first policy pages and many more
>> policy pages in the following year, led the project, and enforced many
>> rules
>> that are now taken for granted. I came up with a lot of stuff that is
>> regarded as standard operating procedure. For instance, I argued that talk
>> should go on talk pages and got people into that habit. Similarly, after
>> meta-discussion started taking up so much of Wikipedia's time and energy, I
>> shepherded talk about the project to meta.wikipedia.org - and after that,
>> to
>> Wikipedia-L and WikiEN-L. I insisted that we were working on an
>> encyclopedia, not on the many other things one can use a wiki for. I came
>> up
>> with the name "Wikipedian" and other Wikipedia jargon. I had devised a
>> neutrality policy for Nupedia, and I elaborated it in a form that stood for
>> several years on Wikipedia. I did a lot of explaining and evangelizing for
>> Wikipedia - what it is about, why we are here, and so forth - for example,
>> in  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Our_Replies_to_Our_Critics%22>
>> Wikipedia:Our Replies to Our Critics and a couple of well-known posts on
>> kuro5hin.org  <http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/7/25/103136/121> like
>> this
>> one and  <http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/9/24/43858/2479> this. I also
>> recall introducing many specific policy details, the evidence for which is
>> in archives (such as on archive.org) and no doubt in the memories of some
>> of
>> the more active early Wikipedians.
>>
>> These are only some examples of ways in which I led the project in its
>> first
>> 14 months; after I left, there was a lot of soul-searching in the project
>> about what would happen now that it was "leaderless" (see the quotations
>> linked from  <http://www.larrysanger.org/roleinwp.html> this page). When I
>> was involved in the project, I was regarded as its chief organizer. As you
>> can still see in the archives, I called myself "Chief Instigator" and
>> "Chief
>> Organizer" and the like (not editor).
>>
>> I also want to correct you on something that tends to harm me: your
>> repeated
>> insinuations that I was "fired." In the Hot Press interview, you said I
>> left
>> Wikipedia because you "didn't want to pay him any more." You know - and so
>> does everyone else who worked at Bomis, Inc., around a dozen people - that
>> at the end of 2001, you had to go back to Bomis' original 4-5 employees,
>> because of the tech market bust, when Bomis suddenly lost a million-dollar
>> ad deal. Tim Shell told me I was the last person to be laid off. He told me
>> - the day I arrived back from my honeymoon, as I recall - that I should
>> probably start looking for new work, because of the market. I was made to
>> believe, and always did until a few years ago when you started implying
>> otherwise, that I had been laid off just like all the other Bomis
>> employees.
>>
>> In those first three years, Wikipedia did three press releases, in which we
>> are both given credit as founders of the project. I
>> <
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia%27s_first_press_relea
>> se> drafted the first press release in January 2002; you read and approved
>> it before posting it on the wires. Moreover, you must have read the many
>> early news articles that called us both founders. You could have complained
>> then - when you were CEO of the company that paid my paycheck. But you
>> didn't. In fact, you called yourself "co-founder" from time to time.
>> Evidence of this has surfaced in the form of
>> <http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/xodp/message/1720> this post to xodp
>> in
>> which you begin, "Hello, let me introduce myself. I'm Jimmy Wales,
>> co-founder of Nupedia and Wikipedia, the open content encyclopedias." While
>> your company supplied the funding and you supplied some guidance, I
>> supplied
>> the main leadership of the early project. This is why Wikipedia's second
>> press release also called me "founder," in 2003 - just after I broke
>> permanently with you and the Wikipedia community - and the Wikimedia
>> Foundation's first press release described me the same way, in early 2004.
>>
>> I had nothing to do with the second and third press releases, and, as Bomis
>> CEO and Wikimedia Chair, you approved all three. But now read what you told
>> Hot Press recently. The interviewer asked: "Sanger said that proof of his
>> being co-founder is on the initial press releases. Are you saying that he
>> basically just put himself down as co-founder on these press releases?" You
>> answered "Yes." How could I "put myself down as co-founder" in 2003 and
>> 2004, when I wasn't even part of the organization? This is an attempt to
>> buff your reputation while making me look like a liar - but your simple
>> "Yes" answer can be refuted with
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Press_releases/January_2002> a
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Press_releases/January_2003> few
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Press_releases/February_2004>
>> URLs;
>> you were a contact on all three press releases.
>>
>> Beginning in 2004, you began leaving me out of the story of Wikipedia's
>> origin. You began implying, to reporters, that you had done a lot of the
>> sort of work that, in fact, you hired me to do. You have even implied that
>> I
>> was opposed to various ideas that were crucial to Wikipedia's popular
>> success - when those were, for all intents and purposes, my own ideas. A
>> good example is Daniel Pink's
>> <http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/wiki.html> article for Wired
>> Magazine - in which you implied that I had little or nothing to do with
>> Wikipedia.
>>
>> You still do this. You told the Hot Press interviewer, "Larry was never
>> comfortable with the open-editing model of Wikipedia and he very early on
>> wanted to start locking things down and giving certain people special
>> authority - you know, recruit experts to supervise certain areas of the
>> encyclopaedia and things like that." This is a lie. I was perfectly
>> comfortable with the "open-editing model of Wikipedia." After all, that was
>> my idea. I did not want to "start locking things down" -  or to "recruit
>> experts to supervise certain areas of the encyclopaedia." I challenge
>> anyone
>> to find any evidence in the archive that I did any such thing. For my early
>> attitude toward expert involvement, see
>> <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Deferring_to_the_experts> this column,
>> written a year after the project started. Besides, your claim doesn't make
>> sense. Even after a year, I was hoping that a revitalized Nupedia would
>> work
>> in tandem with Wikipedia as its vetting service. Though you increasingly
>> disliked Nupedia as Wikipedia's star rose, it was always my assumption that
>> you felt the same way about at least the potential of the two projects
>> working together.
>>
>> It was one thing, in 2004, to leave me out of the story of Wikipedia. It
>> was
>> another to assert in 2005, (1) for
>> <http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l/2005-April/021452.html>
>> the very first time, that
>> <http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l/2005-April/021446.html>
>> somebody else had the idea for the project, contrary to
>> <
>> http://web.archive.org/web/20010406101346/www.wikipedia.com/wiki/Wikipedia_
>> FAQ> what had been on the books since 2001, or (2) that I am not co-founder
>> of the project. But in both cases, people scanning the Wikipedia-L mailing
>> list archives found old mails in which you contradicted yourself.
>> <http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l/2001-October/000671.html
>> >
>> One embarrassing mail has you giving me credit - as, of course, I always
>> had
>> been given credit - for the idea of Wikipedia, and
>> <http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/xodp/message/1720> another
>> embarrassing
>> mail surfaced just a few days ago in which you called yourself "co-founder"
>> of Wikipedia.
>>
>> I find your behavior since 2004 transparently self-serving, considering
>> that
>> this rewriting of history began in 2004, just as Wikia.com was getting
>> started, and you started promoting your reputation as the brains behind
>> Wikipedia. There is a long "paper trail" establishing virtually all of my
>> claims about Wikipedia, and which refute your various attempts to rewrite
>> history.
>>
>> I have not publicly confronted you about this before, to this extent.
>> Public
>> controversies are emotionally wrenching and time-consuming. I know I might
>> be (verbally) attacked more viciously than ever by your fans and
>> Wikipedia's. (To them, I just point out that Wikipedia is bigger than Jimmy
>> Wales.) I have mainly limited myself to answering reporters' questions -
>> keeping my more harshly-worded statements off the record - and to
>> <http://www.larrysanger.org/roleinwp.html> this page on my personal site.
>> Occasionally I couldn't help objecting to some particularly outrageous
>> claim, but I never went all out.
>>
>> I thought that the evidence against your claims about me would shame you
>> into changing your behavior. But, five years since you started
>> misrepresenting my role in the founding of Wikipedia, you're still at it.
>>
>> I have been content to watch you reap the rewards of the project I started
>> for you, largely without comment. You (with Tim Shell and Michael Davis,
>> the
>> Bomis partners) did, after all, sponsor the project. After leaving
>> Wikipedia, I went back to academia and, after that, worked for a succession
>> of nonprofit projects - these days,  <http://www.citizendium.org/>
>> Citizendium.org and now also  <http://www.watchknow.org/> WatchKnow.org. I
>> have not tried to cash in on my own reputation. I have been approached by a
>> number of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and publishers and have
>> always
>> told them that I have my own plans. If I had wanted to cash in myself, I
>> wouldn't have moved away from Silicon Valley back to Ohio, as I did, in
>> order to lower my costs in supporting the non-profit projects which I've
>> made my life's work.
>>
>> The Hot Press interview is the straw that broke this camel's back. I resent
>> being the victim of another person's self-serving lies. Besides, I don't
>> want to set a poor example in my failure to defend myself.
>>
>> Please don't say I'm making mountains out of molehills. When you go out of
>> your way to edit Wikipedia articles to
>> <
>> http://workbench.cadenhead.org/news/2828/wikipedia-founder-looks-out-number
>> -1> remove the fact that I am a co-founder, or
>> <http://www.wikitruth.info/index.php?title=Jimbo_Found_Out> ask others to
>> do
>> so, I don't call that correcting "very simple errors," as you told Hot
>> Press. What angers me is not any one error, but the accumulated weight of
>> your lies about me - I've mentioned only a few of them here.
>>
>> Finally, you might protest that you have said, several times, that I am not
>> credited enough. For example, you told Hot Press:
>>
>> I feel that Larry's work is often under-appreciated. He really did a lot in
>> the first year to think through editorial policy. . I would actually love
>> to
>> have it on the record that I said: I think Larry's work should be more
>> appreciated. He's a really brilliant guy.
>>
>> This sounds like a fine sentiment. But how could it be sincere? What better
>> way to ensure that I am "under-appreciated" than to contradict your own
>> first three press releases and tell the Boston Globe, just two years later,
>> that it's "preposterous" that I am called co-founder?
>>
>> I have two further requests, not of you, but of those who deal with you:
>> the
>> Wikimedia Foundation and reporters.
>>
>> First, I ask the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation to reiterate the
>> Foundation's original position (as expressed in its
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Press_releases/February_2004>
>> first
>> press release) that we are both, in fact, founders of Wikipedia. (I note
>> that the author of the recent history of Wikipedia, Andrew "fuzheado" Lih,
>> was
>> <
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Press_releases/February
>> _2004&action=history> among the authors and contacts for this press
>> release.) If the Foundation is unwilling, I request an explanation why its
>> corporate view has changed. Is it simply because Jimmy Wales has made his
>> wishes known and you enforce them?
>>
>> Second, I request any reporter who interviews you about the early history
>> of
>> Wikipedia and Nupedia to interview me as well, so I can correct anything
>> misleading. They should know that there are many details in my 2005
>> <http://features.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/18/164213&tid=95>
>> memoir
>> of Nupedia and Wikipedia, and my story has never varied. I would also
>> appreciate it if a reporter were to inquire about my request, above, to the
>> Board of the Wikimedia Foundation.
>>
>> Larry Sanger ([hidden email])
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>> [hidden email]
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>>
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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by WJhonson
>
> In a message dated 4/9/2009 10:21:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> [hidden email] writes:
>
> "Sanger  and most media sources consider Wales and  Sanger
> co-founders.[cite][cite][cite] Wales disputes it, saying  that,
> although Sanger played a vital part in the formation of Wikipedia  and
> his role is regularly underestimated, Wales alone should be  considered
> the founder.</cite>">>
>
>
> -------------------------
>
> Currently the Wikipedia article doesn't seem to mention this controversy
> whatsoever, and consistently calls Sanger co-founder.
>
> Will Johnson

That is good enough. Original research by Jimmy Wales is no better than
anyone elses.

Fred


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

FT2
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
The article [[History of Wikipedia]] has the /encyclopedic/ content on this,
which has been broadly stable since 2007 (revision as at today:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_Wikipedia&oldid=282677650#Early_roles_of_Wales_and_Sanger).



While drawing attention to a page is a renowned and effective way to
guarantee disruption on that topic, that is how /Wikipedia/ presently
represents the history. Anyone can edit it, if it is not encyclopedically
written.



How you personally, or Jimmy personally, represent it /off wiki/, is your
own off-wiki real world disagreement, and not a matter of editorial
interest. It reflects on the two of you, but that's a personal view and
unencyclopedic OR.



More to the point:



On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 7:04 PM, Larry Sanger
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> > The reputation of Wikipedia as an endless source of scandal and
> dishonesty, coupled with this open letter, in which I decided to use
> whatever weight my
> views have in the "court of public opinion" to confront the project's
> leading light.  Deny it if you must, but you have a problem on your hands.



> (Snip) My biggest complaint is
> that Jimmy has lied about me, and a lot of people have believed him.  I am
> determined finally to hold Jimmy Wales to account for it.


I don't agree with your characterization of the encyclopedia as being
universally held, nor even that this would be the widest held view out
there, sorry. I see gradual traction from the "real world" endorsing, not
rejecting it, if a trend must be found.

Your determination to "hold" anyone to anything (account or otherwise) is of
course a matter for yourself and those involved; it's not salient to
Wikipedia editing. Since Jimmy doesn't edit the pages much if at all these
days, and  the Foundation is independent of editorship (as you surely
realize), none of this is relevant to encyclopedia writing. It's all
politics and desires for perceptions and personal matters, to put it
crudely. You say the encyclopedia's credibility and your reputation are at
stake, but the encyclopedia entry is fairly well written and the
reputational issue that is so important to you, is a "real world" dispute
that most editors who write the content have no stake in at all.

Answering your point to Sam Korn: Could I live with being a member of an
encyclopedia whose two founders have both at some point acted poorly or said
things that were ill considered, or sought personal reputation and
aggrandisement? Yes -- because /none/ of that is going to matter a damn when
someone looks up the Carbon atom, or Hamlet, or even the entry of the
history of Wikipedia itself.

I'm not engaged by you or Jimbo, I'm a volunteer writer on a project to
produce an encyclopedia. Take the dispute and so long as the encyclopedic
pages' content is reasonably well written, put the dispute somewhere else
and I promise to ignore it completely.

My personal view on who needs to change their stance in this, and who has
not acted to the highest standard (one or both of you) is formed, but would
not help the projects /encyclopedic content/.


FT2
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