An open letter to Jimmy Wales

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

George William Herbert
On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 4:24 PM, Larry Sanger
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> David Gerard said:
> > > Moreover, I assert that it is my right to raise hell not
> > only on this
> > > list, but also on Jimmy Wales' user talk page--if this is really an
> > > open, transparent, democratic project devoted to free speech.
> >
> >
> > It isn't the last two of those things. You need to reread
> > "What Wikiipedia Is Not":
> >
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:NOT
>
> It certainly has changed since I wrote it.
>
> It looks as if you're trying to imply Wikipedia is not devoted to free
> speech, even in discussions about the community--even in discussions about
> the roles and public behavior of the most prominent representative of the
> community.  Perhaps you need to rethink what you're trying to say, David.
>
> > This list is not a free ranting green ink zone.
>
> I resent the implication, David, that I am "ranting."  I am not.


Wikipedia is not and should not be:
* A battleground on which to fight external conflicts
* A primary source
* A social website or discussion board

Wikipedia is:
* An encyclopedia

What you are saying falls into the first categories and not the last.

It's about the project, in a sense, regarding the history of it.  But it's
an aspect of the history that the rest of us were not there for, and which
does not bear on anything significant for the project going forwards.

Trying to use the encyclopedia project, its people and project mailing
lists, to fight a personal vendetta is blatant disregard for the
encyclopedia project.  It's insulting to us and the project.

You could be right on the facts.  I don't have any knowledge either way.
But even if you are, this is not the place for it, and your approach here
was improper and abusive to the project.  It has not helped your reputation,
has not helped clear up the history, has not helped the encyclopedia in any
way.

Please take this somewhere else.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]
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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2

> Moreover, I assert that it is my right to raise hell not only on this
> list,
> but also on Jimmy Wales' user talk page--if this is really an open,
> transparent, democratic project devoted to free speech.  If he wants to
> take
> responsibility, as he does, as sole founder of the project, to represent
> himself that way to the world, and in other respects speak on behalf of
> the
> project--which he does, whether you like it or not--then he ought to be
> held
> to a higher standard than most.
>
> If you don't like my message, that's fine, but do not try to deny my
> right
> to get it out there.
>
> --Larry

Larry,

You know better than that. In any event you've raised your hell and
gotten your answer, both from Jimmy Wales and the Wikipedia community.
There has to be an end to any fuss. This list is for discussion of the
English Wikipedia. Given Jimmy Wales's reluctance to engage you and the
rejection by the community in general of your assertions, it is time to
drop those issues with respect to this list.

"Never wrestle with a pig: You both get all dirty, and the pig likes it."
And I'm NOT talking about YOU liking it.

Fred Bauder



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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Larry Sanger-2
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
George and Oskar, you are both making a fallacious argument.  Of course
Wikipedia, as a reference resource, is not a battleground, a primary source,
or a discussion board.  But WikiEN-L is, in case you didn't notice it, a
discussion board, and it is different from the encyclopedia.  It also has a
great deal of political influence in the project.  It is the closest thing
you have to a town square.  In that context, my argument is sound and yours
completely misses the point.

--Larry


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Larry Sanger-2
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder-2
Fred Bauder wrote:
> Given Jimmy
> Wales's reluctance to engage you and the rejection by the
> community in general of your assertions, it is time to drop
> those issues with respect to this list.

Well, I'm about to bow out.  But I did want want to say that you are
completely wrong that the Wikipedia community in general has rejected my
*assertions*.  In fact, my impression is that half or more of the people who
have weighed in have said, among other things, "I think Larry has a
legitimate complaint."

I think I'll take this to Foundation-L and see if the Board will have the
integrity and balls to make an official statement.

--Larry


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Tristan Thomas-4
Objection, what I think most people have said is that they think you are
probably correct in this little issue about being a co-founder, but to
be honest they don't really care & would prefer not to have their inbox
filled with rubbish.  Most people seem to think that complaining here is
pointless & annoying!  What is true is that they have rejected your
drive to get Wales/Foundation board to apologise & say you were right
all along because they can't see the point & just want you to stop
damaging Wikipedia to get publicity for Citizendium.

That last little bit might have been my view :-) but the rest is the
impression I get from people, correct me if I'm wrong anyone

On 11/04/2009 01:33, Larry Sanger wrote:

> Fred Bauder wrote:
>    
>> Given Jimmy
>> Wales's reluctance to engage you and the rejection by the
>> community in general of your assertions, it is time to drop
>> those issues with respect to this list.
>>      
>
> Well, I'm about to bow out.  But I did want want to say that you are
> completely wrong that the Wikipedia community in general has rejected my
> *assertions*.  In fact, my impression is that half or more of the people who
> have weighed in have said, among other things, "I think Larry has a
> legitimate complaint."
>
> I think I'll take this to Foundation-L and see if the Board will have the
> integrity and balls to make an official statement.
>
> --Larry
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>    
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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Larry Sanger-2
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
I can recognize when I am no longer welcome.  I didn't really believe I ever
was welcome to begin with, but I was willing to try.  I've always been
optimistic.

I assume that, since the self-appointed silencers among you are apparently
operating with impunity, I could not possibly continue to press my case here
without continuing to cause an uproar among them.  So I will stop.  Those
who wanted to silence me have done so successfully, just as your fearless
leader did on [[User talk:Jimmy Wales]].

On the issue of whether I am entitled to speak out here, I did want to make
two points.

First, whether or not it really is, Wikipedia (like Citizendium and other
similar projects) ought to be democratic, open, and devoted to free speech
in a certain sense.  The sense is that, as long as a person is generally
abiding by the rules of the community, he has a right to speak out in public
forums, even if others find it "annoying."  If a mob of others are outraged
at what he says, they have the right to try to refute him (under the same
reasonable rules); but they do not have the right to demand that he be
silenced.  As soon as they gain such authority, the mob is de facto making
the rules, which is fine for people who love mobs, but absolutely terrible
for most of humanity and for anybody who cares about justice and other
things that cannot be made into silly acronyms.

Second, virtually all of the arguments of those claiming that I lack the
right to air my concerns on this list work as arguments that I should not
have been allowed to post in the first place.  Surely the moderators were
right to allow me to post, and I was grateful to them for letting me do so.
Nevertheless, since first posting, all I have been doing is defending the
relevance, or significance, of my open letter to Jimmy Wales, or my right to
make it--not really discussing its content at all.  That's a pretty sad
state of affairs, I think.  I actually think that a large majority of
Wikipedians probably sympathize with my letter, but that they are
intimidated by those on this list who have the ability to make up arguments
justifying censorship of someone with a serious, well-justified complaint
about one of the most important leaders of the project.

As to the attacks on Citizendium, I'm not going to bother replying.  Those
who are inclined to be sympathetic toward us will find out about us from
more reliable sources, or from their own observation.  Suffice it to say
that the people who are lobbing the most vicious attacks either know nothing
about the project, or are deeply philosophically opposed to it, and in
either case, their opinion is not worth very much, as far as I'm concerned.
As to those who might be inclined to sympathize with us, but who are
intimidated into silence here on this list, and by mobs in general, let's
just say that you're very welcome to join us.

I do want to say one last thing to the more reasonable people in the
community, who I know have been following this, and who stick things out in
the face of what looks like a brainless mob: while I long ago decided I
couldn't join you, I do admire and sympathize with your situation.
Wikipedia is great--it's hard to abandon.  There are a lot of very smart and
decent people on Wikipedia, and if I have harsh words about the Wikipedia
community from time to time, I hope you'll understand I'm not talking about
you.

--Larry (I'll be unsubscribing right after sending this)

P.S. Apropos of nothing but a throwaway remark by someone on the list: I
have never, ever, not even once, used any account on Wikipedia (or
Citizendium) other than User:Larry Sanger.


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
> Fred Bauder wrote:
>> Given Jimmy
>> Wales's reluctance to engage you and the rejection by the
>> community in general of your assertions, it is time to drop
>> those issues with respect to this list.
>
> Well, I'm about to bow out.  But I did want want to say that you are
> completely wrong that the Wikipedia community in general has rejected my
> *assertions*.  In fact, my impression is that half or more of the people
> who
> have weighed in have said, among other things, "I think Larry has a
> legitimate complaint."
>
> I think I'll take this to Foundation-L and see if the Board will have the
> integrity and balls to make an official statement.
>
> --Larry

Foundation-l is not different from this list with respect to the
questions you are raising. It is meant for discussion of subjects
regarding all Wikimedia projects, not for personal disputes.

Fred Bauder





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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Larry Sanger-2
This is not a mere "personal dispute," Fred.

Anyway, I'm out of here.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email]
> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Fred Bauder
> Sent: Friday, April 10, 2009 8:51 PM
> To: 'English Wikipedia'
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] An open letter to Jimmy Wales
>
>
> > Fred Bauder wrote:
> >> Given Jimmy
> >> Wales's reluctance to engage you and the rejection by the
> community
> >> in general of your assertions, it is time to drop those
> issues with
> >> respect to this list.
> >
> > Well, I'm about to bow out.  But I did want want to say
> that you are
> > completely wrong that the Wikipedia community in general
> has rejected
> > my *assertions*.  In fact, my impression is that half or
> more of the
> > people who have weighed in have said, among other things, "I think
> > Larry has a legitimate complaint."
> >
> > I think I'll take this to Foundation-L and see if the Board
> will have
> > the integrity and balls to make an official statement.
> >
> > --Larry
>
> Foundation-l is not different from this list with respect to
> the questions you are raising. It is meant for discussion of
> subjects regarding all Wikimedia projects, not for personal disputes.
>
> Fred Bauder
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>


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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Puddl Duk
In reply to this post by Tristan Thomas-4
On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 5:38 PM, Tris Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Objection, what I think most people have said is that they think you are
> probably correct in this little issue about being a co-founder, but to
> be honest they don't really care & would prefer not to have their inbox
> filled with rubbish.  Most people seem to think that complaining here is
> pointless & annoying!  What is true is that they have rejected your
> drive to get Wales/Foundation board to apologise & say you were right
> all along because they can't see the point & just want you to stop
> damaging Wikipedia to get publicity for Citizendium.
>
> That last little bit might have been my view :-) but the rest is the
> impression I get from people, correct me if I'm wrong anyone
>

Newsflash: Sanger didn't open the door to this 'founder' dispute.

A man has a right to defend himself.

Larry's open letter is appropriate here. He's addressing Jimbo in
front of the community regarding Jimbo's behavior that involves the
community. It's a pity Jimbo doesn't have the courage to show his face
here. If those IRC logs are correct he seems to have plenty to say
behind Larry's back.

Finally, Larry's words are clear and purposeful, if a little long.
Davide Gerard on the other hand is making comments that are snide and
arrogant and attributing Larry's complaints to something other than
his complaints. David, please stop.

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 6:13 PM, Larry Sanger
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Moreover, I assert that it is my right to raise hell not only on this list,
> but also on Jimmy Wales' user talk page--if this is really an open,
> transparent, democratic project devoted to free speech.


It isn't, and you don't.  I find this part of your argument the strangest.
You require approval and a 50 word-biography in order for someone to post on
your talk page at Citizendium.  The ability to use a user talk page is
clearly a privilege which can be granted or can be taken away.


> If you don't like my message, that's fine, but do not try to deny my right
> to get it out there.


Your right to get your message out there stops at the point where you try to
use someone else's website to do so.
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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Mark Nilrad
In reply to this post by Carcharoth
Wikipedia says Wikipedia was "a complementary project for Nupedia". Citenzendium says Wikipedia was "an accidental spin-off of Nupedia". Is there any reason to say that? How can a project be an "accidental spin-off" of something else?

Noble Story




________________________________
From: Carcharoth <[hidden email]>
To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 2:00:37 AM
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] An open letter to Jimmy Wales

On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 6:13 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2009/4/10 Jon <[hidden email]>:
>
>> I was scanning the list today so I've not read every message in this
>> thread.  What is citizendium?  Is there a linky?
>
>
> http://citizendium.org/
>
> It's another attempt to make a wiki-based free content encyclopedia
> that isn't Wikipedia.

We also have an article on it, as well as one on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizendium
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia


Citizendium have an article on Wikipedia and also one on Citizendium:

http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Wikipedia
http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Citizendium

It's quite interesting reading those four articles and comparing them.

Carcharoth

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Sheldon Rampton
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
I haven't written anything on wikien-l in a long time, but I've been  
following a bit of this thread about Larry Sanger's open letter and  
thought I'd propose something.

Wikis are good for purposes other than creating encyclopedias, and it  
might be interesting to see if Jimmy and Larry could use a wiki to  
resolve their differences.

Currently the way in which the conflict is being expressed is leading  
toward more polarization and hostility rather than less. One of the  
things we see frequently often on wikis, however, is that people who  
have strong disagreements about some topic can nevertheless agree to a  
considerable degree on what an article about that topic should say.  
The process of reiteratively editing a single article often leads to a  
synthesis that multiple parties accept. (In some cases, a mediator or  
arbitration committee may need to render a judgment, but this is only  
necessary in a minority of cases.)

So here's my proposal, if Jimmy and Larry would agree to it: Why don't  
they both start a wiki page in which they both edit and revise a  
statement describing the history of Wikipedia and their roles within  
it? Rather than do this on Wikipedia, I would suggest doing this on a  
private wiki that only they and other parties of their choosing are  
allowed to see. If they would both agree to go through this process, I  
think they might find it possible to work out something that they can  
both accept. And if they can't reach and agreement, they can look for  
some independent third parties to mediate.

Right now there is some obvious hostility between them, but I think  
they both should have good reason to want to overcome that. They both  
played crucial roles in creating what has now become a remarkable  
project of great benefit to the world, and they both should feel pride  
and satisfaction in what they've accomplished. Watching this conflict  
simmer and bubble (as it has now for years) is a bit like watching the  
Beatles feuding after the band broke up. I think it would be better  
for both parties' reputations, and for their personal happiness as  
well, if they could find some way to reconcile, and the current  
process doesn't seem to be leading that way.

Just a suggestion.

-------------------------------------------

SHELDON RAMPTON
Research director, Center for Media & Democracy
Center for Media & Democracy
520 University Avenue, Suite 227
Madison, WI 53703
phone: 608-260-9713

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Seth Finkelstein
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
> David Gerard
>
> Seth Finkelstein is apparently going to try for another hatchet job on
> the subject in the Guardian, after his previous one was severely
> gutted (in case you're wondering why it didn't appear to make sense).

        David Gerard is speaking blithering nonsense. I presume he's
talking about my article:

"Sting in the Scorpions tale is the exposure of Wiki's weakness"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/dec/18/wikipedia-jimmy-wales

        It wasn't "gutted". I voluntarily took out one paragraph from
a draft, which discussed an incident involving him arguably abusing his
powers. This was done after another involved Wikipedian made an
extensive calm, rational, and to me convincing, case not to include
the incident, partially on humanitarian grounds.

        His (Gerard's) bullying reflected immense discredit on him, and
if anything, added an implication of a cover-up. _Guardian_ editors
should have made clear that any attempted intimidation would not work.
Overall, it was quite a counter-productive performance. And while he
didn't quite manage an "own goal", the community really should be
aware of how poorly his conduct presents The Encyclopedia to those
not already besotted.

        I'd also say his comment about "didn't appear to make sense"
says more about him than about my article.

        Many factors go into the focus and editing of a column. Do not
think the sun rises because a small rooster crows loudly.

--
Seth Finkelstein  Consulting Programmer  
Web site - http://sethf.com/
Infothought blog - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
Larry Sanger wrote:
>
>
> If you don't like my message, that's fine, but do not try to deny my right
> to get it out there.
>  

You Are JoeM, And I Claim My Five Pounds.


Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen


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It all makes sense at the end

KillerChihuahua
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tjC0mYfcrg

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 8:49 PM, Larry Sanger
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> First, whether or not it really is, Wikipedia (like Citizendium and other
> similar projects) ought to be democratic, open, and devoted to free speech
> in a certain sense.  The sense is that, as long as a person is generally
> abiding by the rules of the community, he has a right to speak out in
> public
> forums, even if others find it "annoying."  If a mob of others are outraged
> at what he says, they have the right to try to refute him (under the same
> reasonable rules); but they do not have the right to demand that he be
> silenced.  As soon as they gain such authority, the mob is de facto making
> the rules, which is fine for people who love mobs, but absolutely terrible
> for most of humanity and for anybody who cares about justice and other
> things that cannot be made into silly acronyms.


Pot meet kettle.
http://en.citizendium.org/wiki?title=Talk%3AHomeopathy%2FDraft&diff=100448194&oldid=100448185
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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Anthony-73
On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 10:44 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 8:49 PM, Larry Sanger <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> First, whether or not it really is, Wikipedia (like Citizendium and other
>> similar projects) ought to be democratic, open, and devoted to free speech
>> in a certain sense.  The sense is that, as long as a person is generally
>> abiding by the rules of the community, he has a right to speak out in
>> public
>> forums, even if others find it "annoying."  If a mob of others are
>> outraged
>> at what he says, they have the right to try to refute him (under the same
>> reasonable rules); but they do not have the right to demand that he be
>> silenced.  As soon as they gain such authority, the mob is de facto making
>> the rules, which is fine for people who love mobs, but absolutely terrible
>> for most of humanity and for anybody who cares about justice and other
>> things that cannot be made into silly acronyms.
>
>
> Pot meet kettle.
> http://en.citizendium.org/wiki?title=Talk%3AHomeopathy%2FDraft&diff=100448194&oldid=100448185
>

And don't forget
http://en.citizendium.org/wiki?title=Talk:Homeopathy/Draft&diff=prev&oldid=100448877
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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Seth Finkelstein
In reply to this post by Larry Sanger-2
> Oskar Sigvardsson
> If you want free speech, use your blog. You can say whatever you want there.

        In watching this incident unfold, I've been impressed
regarding the way that the take-it-to-where-Jimbo-*is* strategy
appears to be *right*, as a matter of effectiveness. Despite the limited
perceptions of those who are quick to deem critics as trolls, I'm
fascinated by the group dynamics and sociology of Wikipedia.

        Now, phrases like "free speech" can lead to knee-jerking as people
rush to recite cliches. Yada, yada, First-Amendment-is-government,
private-legal-rights, blah, blah. Like the old joke, we should just
number those arguments, so people could simply say "#17" or "#23", and
get them out of the way. Been there, done that, got the flame-wars.

        We're really talking about qualities like ethics and fairness
in pursuit of justice (very vague words, I know). What's so interesting
in specific here, is that only now has Larry Sanger's evidence reached
some of the relatively tiny number of core editors who are highly
influential in shaping the relevant Wikipedia articles. And apparently
only because it was put in the places those editors read, over many
formalistic and legalistic objections (WP:THISPOLICYMEANSWHATISAYITDOES).

        That is, on his website, the "right" people *DID* *NOT* *READ* *IT*.
You could link to it. You could have a _Guardian_ columnist repeatedly
refer to it in articles about Wikipedia 1/2 :-). You could bring it up
over and over in various comments. *DIDN'T* *MATTER*. Only a very
particular setting was effective in this case.

        It should be needless to say, but this is significant for
building an encyclopedia. More broadly, it's a lesson in, let's say,
"information flow", that has some important implications for trying to
ensure accuracy.

--
Seth Finkelstein  Consulting Programmer
Web site - http://sethf.com/
Infothought blog - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/

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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

Brian J Mingus
In reply to this post by Mark Nilrad
In my opinion what Wikipedia says about this matter is entirely irrelevant.
Wikipedia is not a source of authority on the matter - the Wikimedia
Foundation is.

On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 7:59 PM, Mark Nilrad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Wikipedia says Wikipedia was "a complementary project for Nupedia".
> Citenzendium says Wikipedia was "an accidental spin-off of Nupedia". Is
> there any reason to say that? How can a project be an "accidental spin-off"
> of something else?
>
> Noble Story
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Carcharoth <[hidden email]>
> To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 2:00:37 AM
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] An open letter to Jimmy Wales
>
> On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 6:13 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > 2009/4/10 Jon <[hidden email]>:
> >
> >> I was scanning the list today so I've not read every message in this
> >> thread.  What is citizendium?  Is there a linky?
> >
> >
> > http://citizendium.org/
> >
> > It's another attempt to make a wiki-based free content encyclopedia
> > that isn't Wikipedia.
>
> We also have an article on it, as well as one on Wikipedia:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizendium
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
>
>
> Citizendium have an article on Wikipedia and also one on Citizendium:
>
> http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Wikipedia
> http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Citizendium
>
> It's quite interesting reading those four articles and comparing them.
>
> Carcharoth
>
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> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
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>
>
>
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Re: An open letter to Jimmy Wales

WJhonson
-----Original Message-----
From: Brian <[hidden email]>
To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
Sent: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 10:54 pm
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] An open letter to Jimmy Wales

In my opinion what Wikipedia says about this matter is entirely
irrelevant.
Wikipedia is not a source of authority on the matter - the Wikimedia
Foundation is.>>
-------------------------

Foundations like companies are mostly the worst possible historians.  
They have a vested interest in rewriting history to match their current
goals.

Will Johnson




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