[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

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[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Pete Forsyth-2
Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb. 29.
I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html

I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)

For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
response to this list message of mine:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

---------- Forwarded message ----------

*From: *Jimmy Wales

*Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM

*To: *Pete Forsyth,James Heilman

*Subject: **A conversation?*


James, I wonder if you'd be up for a one on one conversation. I've been
struck in a positive way by some of the things that Pete has said and I
realize that moving things forward on wikimedia-l, being sniped at by
people who are as interested in creating drama as anything else, isn't
really conducive to reaching more understanding.

I have some questions for you - real, sincere, and puzzled questions.
Some of the things that you have said strike me as very obviously out of
line with the facts. And I wonder how to reconcile that.

One hypothesis is that you're just a liar. I have a hard time with that
one.

Another hypothesis is that you have a poor memory or low emotional
intelligence or something like that - you seem to say things that just
don't make sense and which attempt to lead people to conclusions that
are clearly not true.

Another hypothesis is that the emotional trauma of all this has colored
your perceptions on certain details.

As an example, and I'm not going to dig up the exact quotes, you said
publicly that you wrote to me in October that we were building a
Google-competing search engine and that I more or less said that I'm
fine with it. Go back and read our exchange. There's just now way to
get that from what I said - Indeed, I specifically said that we are NOT
building a Google-competing search engine, and explained the much lower
and much less complex ambition of improving search and discovery.

As another example, you published a timeline starting with Wikia Search.
It's really hard for me to interpret that in any other way than to try
to lead people down the path of the conspiracy theorists that I had a
pet project to compete with Google which led to a secret project to
biuld a search engine, etc. etc. You know as well as I do that's a
false narrative, so it's very hard for me to charitably interpret that.

Anyway these are the kinds of things that I struggle with.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Oliver Keyes-5
I've been in the Wikimedia movement for over a decade now. I've seen
Wikimedia-l. I've seen internal-l. I've had death and sexual assault
threats show up in my inbox. And this, /this/, is genuinely the most
horrified I've ever been by any message I've seen yet.

This email is not a good faith email. it is not, despite the
neutrality of its language, a civil email. It's the kind of blinkered,
detached, ultrarationalist gaslighting[0] I associate with people in
LessWrong.[1]

No assumption of good faith. No discussion of the issues. No admission
that different people can legitimately and normally interpret things
in different ways. The framing of things so that the options are that
James is a liar, stupid, or suffering from PTSD. Whether deliberately
or not, it is deeply manipulative and frames the entire discussion
with assertions that James is disconnected from reality.

Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving,
intentionally, and if
this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it in
a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a
founder. Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have
signed up for them.

And if you instead don't understand why this
sort of message is chilling and terrifying and incredibly problematic,
you need to step back from all of these discussions for a time and go
find someone who wants to explain it to you. Because this is not
productive, and this is not how leaders behave. I appreciate you think
you *have* to participate as some kind of movement moral compass, but,
you aren't, and you don't. And even if you did, the morality
demonstrated by that email is, I suspect, not something any of us want
a part of.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
[1] for other examples of this kind of language, and the thing my
brain immediately jumped to, see how ultrarationalists deal with
people asking if individuals could please stop harassing them for
disagreeing with an idea
http://lesswrong.com/lw/lb3/breaking_the_vicious_cycle/bnrr

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb. 29.
> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
>
> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
>
> For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
> response to this list message of mine:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>
> *From: *Jimmy Wales
>
> *Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM
>
> *To: *Pete Forsyth,James Heilman
>
> *Subject: **A conversation?*
>
>
> James, I wonder if you'd be up for a one on one conversation. I've been
> struck in a positive way by some of the things that Pete has said and I
> realize that moving things forward on wikimedia-l, being sniped at by
> people who are as interested in creating drama as anything else, isn't
> really conducive to reaching more understanding.
>
> I have some questions for you - real, sincere, and puzzled questions.
> Some of the things that you have said strike me as very obviously out of
> line with the facts. And I wonder how to reconcile that.
>
> One hypothesis is that you're just a liar. I have a hard time with that
> one.
>
> Another hypothesis is that you have a poor memory or low emotional
> intelligence or something like that - you seem to say things that just
> don't make sense and which attempt to lead people to conclusions that
> are clearly not true.
>
> Another hypothesis is that the emotional trauma of all this has colored
> your perceptions on certain details.
>
> As an example, and I'm not going to dig up the exact quotes, you said
> publicly that you wrote to me in October that we were building a
> Google-competing search engine and that I more or less said that I'm
> fine with it. Go back and read our exchange. There's just now way to
> get that from what I said - Indeed, I specifically said that we are NOT
> building a Google-competing search engine, and explained the much lower
> and much less complex ambition of improving search and discovery.
>
> As another example, you published a timeline starting with Wikia Search.
> It's really hard for me to interpret that in any other way than to try
> to lead people down the path of the conspiracy theorists that I had a
> pet project to compete with Google which led to a secret project to
> biuld a search engine, etc. etc. You know as well as I do that's a
> false narrative, so it's very hard for me to charitably interpret that.
>
> Anyway these are the kinds of things that I struggle with.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

David Emrany
Oliver

I have also been in the movement for over a decade, and I am sick of
people on all sides distorting facts, gaming the system / manipulating
the community.

IMO, this came to a boil  in Dec 2006 when WMF altered its structure
and purpose and relocated followed by the "COO scandal" [1] and other
things.

I'm glad that community people are now revisiting those early days and
trying to figger out how it all happened so secretly and without a
whimper from the community reps on the BoT  who we entrusted to
protect our stake in our work,and who let us down very badly.

David

[1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/13/wikimedia_coo_convicted_felon/

On 3/10/16, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've been in the Wikimedia movement for over a decade now. I've seen
> Wikimedia-l. I've seen internal-l. I've had death and sexual assault
> threats show up in my inbox. And this, /this/, is genuinely the most
> horrified I've ever been by any message I've seen yet.
>
> This email is not a good faith email. it is not, despite the
> neutrality of its language, a civil email. It's the kind of blinkered,
> detached, ultrarationalist gaslighting[0] I associate with people in
> LessWrong.[1]
>
> No assumption of good faith. No discussion of the issues. No admission
> that different people can legitimately and normally interpret things
> in different ways. The framing of things so that the options are that
> James is a liar, stupid, or suffering from PTSD. Whether deliberately
> or not, it is deeply manipulative and frames the entire discussion
> with assertions that James is disconnected from reality.
>
> Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving,
> intentionally, and if
> this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it in
> a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a
> founder. Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have
> signed up for them.
>
> And if you instead don't understand why this
> sort of message is chilling and terrifying and incredibly problematic,
> you need to step back from all of these discussions for a time and go
> find someone who wants to explain it to you. Because this is not
> productive, and this is not how leaders behave. I appreciate you think
> you *have* to participate as some kind of movement moral compass, but,
> you aren't, and you don't. And even if you did, the morality
> demonstrated by that email is, I suspect, not something any of us want
> a part of.
>
> [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
> [1] for other examples of this kind of language, and the thing my
> brain immediately jumped to, see how ultrarationalists deal with
> people asking if individuals could please stop harassing them for
> disagreeing with an idea
> http://lesswrong.com/lw/lb3/breaking_the_vicious_cycle/bnrr
>
> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb.
>> 29.
>> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
>>
>> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
>> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
>> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
>> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
>>
>> For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
>> response to this list message of mine:
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html
>>
>> -Pete
>> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>>
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>
>> *From: *Jimmy Wales
>>
>> *Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM
>>
>> *To: *Pete Forsyth,James Heilman
>>
>> *Subject: **A conversation?*
>>
>>
>> James, I wonder if you'd be up for a one on one conversation. I've been
>> struck in a positive way by some of the things that Pete has said and I
>> realize that moving things forward on wikimedia-l, being sniped at by
>> people who are as interested in creating drama as anything else, isn't
>> really conducive to reaching more understanding.
>>
>> I have some questions for you - real, sincere, and puzzled questions.
>> Some of the things that you have said strike me as very obviously out of
>> line with the facts. And I wonder how to reconcile that.
>>
>> One hypothesis is that you're just a liar. I have a hard time with that
>> one.
>>
>> Another hypothesis is that you have a poor memory or low emotional
>> intelligence or something like that - you seem to say things that just
>> don't make sense and which attempt to lead people to conclusions that
>> are clearly not true.
>>
>> Another hypothesis is that the emotional trauma of all this has colored
>> your perceptions on certain details.
>>
>> As an example, and I'm not going to dig up the exact quotes, you said
>> publicly that you wrote to me in October that we were building a
>> Google-competing search engine and that I more or less said that I'm
>> fine with it. Go back and read our exchange. There's just now way to
>> get that from what I said - Indeed, I specifically said that we are NOT
>> building a Google-competing search engine, and explained the much lower
>> and much less complex ambition of improving search and discovery.
>>
>> As another example, you published a timeline starting with Wikia Search.
>> It's really hard for me to interpret that in any other way than to try
>> to lead people down the path of the conspiracy theorists that I had a
>> pet project to compete with Google which led to a secret project to
>> biuld a search engine, etc. etc. You know as well as I do that's a
>> false narrative, so it's very hard for me to charitably interpret that.
>>
>> Anyway these are the kinds of things that I struggle with.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Kevin Gorman
Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving, intentionally,
and if this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it
in a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a founder.
Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have signed up for
them.

*Unfortunately, I'm going to have to second this pretty loudly.

---
Kevin Gorman

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 5:48 PM, David Emrany <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Oliver
>
> I have also been in the movement for over a decade, and I am sick of
> people on all sides distorting facts, gaming the system / manipulating
> the community.
>
> IMO, this came to a boil  in Dec 2006 when WMF altered its structure
> and purpose and relocated followed by the "COO scandal" [1] and other
> things.
>
> I'm glad that community people are now revisiting those early days and
> trying to figger out how it all happened so secretly and without a
> whimper from the community reps on the BoT  who we entrusted to
> protect our stake in our work,and who let us down very badly.
>
> David
>
> [1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/13/wikimedia_coo_convicted_felon/
>
> On 3/10/16, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I've been in the Wikimedia movement for over a decade now. I've seen
> > Wikimedia-l. I've seen internal-l. I've had death and sexual assault
> > threats show up in my inbox. And this, /this/, is genuinely the most
> > horrified I've ever been by any message I've seen yet.
> >
> > This email is not a good faith email. it is not, despite the
> > neutrality of its language, a civil email. It's the kind of blinkered,
> > detached, ultrarationalist gaslighting[0] I associate with people in
> > LessWrong.[1]
> >
> > No assumption of good faith. No discussion of the issues. No admission
> > that different people can legitimately and normally interpret things
> > in different ways. The framing of things so that the options are that
> > James is a liar, stupid, or suffering from PTSD. Whether deliberately
> > or not, it is deeply manipulative and frames the entire discussion
> > with assertions that James is disconnected from reality.
> >
> > Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving,
> > intentionally, and if
> > this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it in
> > a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a
> > founder. Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have
> > signed up for them.
> >
> > And if you instead don't understand why this
> > sort of message is chilling and terrifying and incredibly problematic,
> > you need to step back from all of these discussions for a time and go
> > find someone who wants to explain it to you. Because this is not
> > productive, and this is not how leaders behave. I appreciate you think
> > you *have* to participate as some kind of movement moral compass, but,
> > you aren't, and you don't. And even if you did, the morality
> > demonstrated by that email is, I suspect, not something any of us want
> > a part of.
> >
> > [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
> > [1] for other examples of this kind of language, and the thing my
> > brain immediately jumped to, see how ultrarationalists deal with
> > people asking if individuals could please stop harassing them for
> > disagreeing with an idea
> > http://lesswrong.com/lw/lb3/breaking_the_vicious_cycle/bnrr
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb.
> >> 29.
> >> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
> >>
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
> >>
> >> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> >> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> >> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> >> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
> >>
> >> For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
> >> response to this list message of mine:
> >>
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html
> >>
> >> -Pete
> >> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >>
> >> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> >>
> >> *From: *Jimmy Wales
> >>
> >> *Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM
> >>
> >> *To: *Pete Forsyth,James Heilman
> >>
> >> *Subject: **A conversation?*
> >>
> >>
> >> James, I wonder if you'd be up for a one on one conversation. I've been
> >> struck in a positive way by some of the things that Pete has said and I
> >> realize that moving things forward on wikimedia-l, being sniped at by
> >> people who are as interested in creating drama as anything else, isn't
> >> really conducive to reaching more understanding.
> >>
> >> I have some questions for you - real, sincere, and puzzled questions.
> >> Some of the things that you have said strike me as very obviously out of
> >> line with the facts. And I wonder how to reconcile that.
> >>
> >> One hypothesis is that you're just a liar. I have a hard time with that
> >> one.
> >>
> >> Another hypothesis is that you have a poor memory or low emotional
> >> intelligence or something like that - you seem to say things that just
> >> don't make sense and which attempt to lead people to conclusions that
> >> are clearly not true.
> >>
> >> Another hypothesis is that the emotional trauma of all this has colored
> >> your perceptions on certain details.
> >>
> >> As an example, and I'm not going to dig up the exact quotes, you said
> >> publicly that you wrote to me in October that we were building a
> >> Google-competing search engine and that I more or less said that I'm
> >> fine with it. Go back and read our exchange. There's just now way to
> >> get that from what I said - Indeed, I specifically said that we are NOT
> >> building a Google-competing search engine, and explained the much lower
> >> and much less complex ambition of improving search and discovery.
> >>
> >> As another example, you published a timeline starting with Wikia Search.
> >> It's really hard for me to interpret that in any other way than to try
> >> to lead people down the path of the conspiracy theorists that I had a
> >> pet project to compete with Google which led to a secret project to
> >> biuld a search engine, etc. etc. You know as well as I do that's a
> >> false narrative, so it's very hard for me to charitably interpret that.
> >>
> >> Anyway these are the kinds of things that I struggle with.
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
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New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Oliver Keyes-5
In reply to this post by David Emrany
I'm really not sure how this relates to this thread. If you're
interested in discussing the decision in 06, there's another thread
for that.

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 8:48 PM, David Emrany <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Oliver
>
> I have also been in the movement for over a decade, and I am sick of
> people on all sides distorting facts, gaming the system / manipulating
> the community.
>
> IMO, this came to a boil  in Dec 2006 when WMF altered its structure
> and purpose and relocated followed by the "COO scandal" [1] and other
> things.
>
> I'm glad that community people are now revisiting those early days and
> trying to figger out how it all happened so secretly and without a
> whimper from the community reps on the BoT  who we entrusted to
> protect our stake in our work,and who let us down very badly.
>
> David
>
> [1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/13/wikimedia_coo_convicted_felon/
>
> On 3/10/16, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I've been in the Wikimedia movement for over a decade now. I've seen
>> Wikimedia-l. I've seen internal-l. I've had death and sexual assault
>> threats show up in my inbox. And this, /this/, is genuinely the most
>> horrified I've ever been by any message I've seen yet.
>>
>> This email is not a good faith email. it is not, despite the
>> neutrality of its language, a civil email. It's the kind of blinkered,
>> detached, ultrarationalist gaslighting[0] I associate with people in
>> LessWrong.[1]
>>
>> No assumption of good faith. No discussion of the issues. No admission
>> that different people can legitimately and normally interpret things
>> in different ways. The framing of things so that the options are that
>> James is a liar, stupid, or suffering from PTSD. Whether deliberately
>> or not, it is deeply manipulative and frames the entire discussion
>> with assertions that James is disconnected from reality.
>>
>> Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving,
>> intentionally, and if
>> this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it in
>> a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a
>> founder. Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have
>> signed up for them.
>>
>> And if you instead don't understand why this
>> sort of message is chilling and terrifying and incredibly problematic,
>> you need to step back from all of these discussions for a time and go
>> find someone who wants to explain it to you. Because this is not
>> productive, and this is not how leaders behave. I appreciate you think
>> you *have* to participate as some kind of movement moral compass, but,
>> you aren't, and you don't. And even if you did, the morality
>> demonstrated by that email is, I suspect, not something any of us want
>> a part of.
>>
>> [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
>> [1] for other examples of this kind of language, and the thing my
>> brain immediately jumped to, see how ultrarationalists deal with
>> people asking if individuals could please stop harassing them for
>> disagreeing with an idea
>> http://lesswrong.com/lw/lb3/breaking_the_vicious_cycle/bnrr
>>
>> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb.
>>> 29.
>>> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
>>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
>>>
>>> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
>>> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
>>> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
>>> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
>>>
>>> For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
>>> response to this list message of mine:
>>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html
>>>
>>> -Pete
>>> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>>>
>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>
>>> *From: *Jimmy Wales
>>>
>>> *Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM
>>>
>>> *To: *Pete Forsyth,James Heilman
>>>
>>> *Subject: **A conversation?*
>>>
>>>
>>> James, I wonder if you'd be up for a one on one conversation. I've been
>>> struck in a positive way by some of the things that Pete has said and I
>>> realize that moving things forward on wikimedia-l, being sniped at by
>>> people who are as interested in creating drama as anything else, isn't
>>> really conducive to reaching more understanding.
>>>
>>> I have some questions for you - real, sincere, and puzzled questions.
>>> Some of the things that you have said strike me as very obviously out of
>>> line with the facts. And I wonder how to reconcile that.
>>>
>>> One hypothesis is that you're just a liar. I have a hard time with that
>>> one.
>>>
>>> Another hypothesis is that you have a poor memory or low emotional
>>> intelligence or something like that - you seem to say things that just
>>> don't make sense and which attempt to lead people to conclusions that
>>> are clearly not true.
>>>
>>> Another hypothesis is that the emotional trauma of all this has colored
>>> your perceptions on certain details.
>>>
>>> As an example, and I'm not going to dig up the exact quotes, you said
>>> publicly that you wrote to me in October that we were building a
>>> Google-competing search engine and that I more or less said that I'm
>>> fine with it. Go back and read our exchange. There's just now way to
>>> get that from what I said - Indeed, I specifically said that we are NOT
>>> building a Google-competing search engine, and explained the much lower
>>> and much less complex ambition of improving search and discovery.
>>>
>>> As another example, you published a timeline starting with Wikia Search.
>>> It's really hard for me to interpret that in any other way than to try
>>> to lead people down the path of the conspiracy theorists that I had a
>>> pet project to compete with Google which led to a secret project to
>>> biuld a search engine, etc. etc. You know as well as I do that's a
>>> false narrative, so it's very hard for me to charitably interpret that.
>>>
>>> Anyway these are the kinds of things that I struggle with.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

jmh649
In reply to this post by David Emrany
There is not much one can say in response to an email such as that. During
the last month many within the community have come to a similar conclusions
as I did back in Oct following seeing the documents surrounding the Knight
Foundation grant.

The decision I had pushed for back in November has now been made. While we
have lost a lot of amazing people at the WMF, greater losses I believe have
been avoided. I would like to thank everyone who stuck through it all and
thank all the staff who raised concerns. I heard them loud and clear.

I think we have the opportunity not only to learn a lot from all of this
but to become stronger as a movement. I believe we need to make a few
changes. We need to remove the ability of the board to remove community
elected members "without cause" and without community involvement. We need
to have a staff representative at the board table. And I believe Jimmy
Wales should stand for community re election (at which I imagine he would
succeed).

I am here because what we do matters. The content we create has a positive
effect on people's lives. And while I do not plan to go anywhere it is
unfortunate that one needs to be so thick skinned within this movement.

James

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 6:48 PM, David Emrany <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Oliver
>
> I have also been in the movement for over a decade, and I am sick of
> people on all sides distorting facts, gaming the system / manipulating
> the community.
>
> IMO, this came to a boil  in Dec 2006 when WMF altered its structure
> and purpose and relocated followed by the "COO scandal" [1] and other
> things.
>
> I'm glad that community people are now revisiting those early days and
> trying to figger out how it all happened so secretly and without a
> whimper from the community reps on the BoT  who we entrusted to
> protect our stake in our work,and who let us down very badly.
>
> David
>
> [1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/13/wikimedia_coo_convicted_felon/
>
> On 3/10/16, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I've been in the Wikimedia movement for over a decade now. I've seen
> > Wikimedia-l. I've seen internal-l. I've had death and sexual assault
> > threats show up in my inbox. And this, /this/, is genuinely the most
> > horrified I've ever been by any message I've seen yet.
> >
> > This email is not a good faith email. it is not, despite the
> > neutrality of its language, a civil email. It's the kind of blinkered,
> > detached, ultrarationalist gaslighting[0] I associate with people in
> > LessWrong.[1]
> >
> > No assumption of good faith. No discussion of the issues. No admission
> > that different people can legitimately and normally interpret things
> > in different ways. The framing of things so that the options are that
> > James is a liar, stupid, or suffering from PTSD. Whether deliberately
> > or not, it is deeply manipulative and frames the entire discussion
> > with assertions that James is disconnected from reality.
> >
> > Jimmy, if this is genuinely how you are comfortable behaving,
> > intentionally, and if
> > this is the standard that you wish to set, I would ask you to do it in
> > a new community. Resign from the Board. Abrogate your status as a
> > founder. Go create these standards somewhere new, with people who have
> > signed up for them.
> >
> > And if you instead don't understand why this
> > sort of message is chilling and terrifying and incredibly problematic,
> > you need to step back from all of these discussions for a time and go
> > find someone who wants to explain it to you. Because this is not
> > productive, and this is not how leaders behave. I appreciate you think
> > you *have* to participate as some kind of movement moral compass, but,
> > you aren't, and you don't. And even if you did, the morality
> > demonstrated by that email is, I suspect, not something any of us want
> > a part of.
> >
> > [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
> > [1] for other examples of this kind of language, and the thing my
> > brain immediately jumped to, see how ultrarationalists deal with
> > people asking if individuals could please stop harassing them for
> > disagreeing with an idea
> > http://lesswrong.com/lw/lb3/breaking_the_vicious_cycle/bnrr
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb.
> >> 29.
> >> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
> >>
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
> >>
> >> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> >> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> >> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> >> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
> >>
> >> For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
> >> response to this list message of mine:
> >>
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html
> >>
> >> -Pete
> >> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >>
> >> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> >>
> >> *From: *Jimmy Wales
> >>
> >> *Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM
> >>
> >> *To: *Pete Forsyth,James Heilman
> >>
> >> *Subject: **A conversation?*
> >>
> >>
> >> James, I wonder if you'd be up for a one on one conversation. I've been
> >> struck in a positive way by some of the things that Pete has said and I
> >> realize that moving things forward on wikimedia-l, being sniped at by
> >> people who are as interested in creating drama as anything else, isn't
> >> really conducive to reaching more understanding.
> >>
> >> I have some questions for you - real, sincere, and puzzled questions.
> >> Some of the things that you have said strike me as very obviously out of
> >> line with the facts. And I wonder how to reconcile that.
> >>
> >> One hypothesis is that you're just a liar. I have a hard time with that
> >> one.
> >>
> >> Another hypothesis is that you have a poor memory or low emotional
> >> intelligence or something like that - you seem to say things that just
> >> don't make sense and which attempt to lead people to conclusions that
> >> are clearly not true.
> >>
> >> Another hypothesis is that the emotional trauma of all this has colored
> >> your perceptions on certain details.
> >>
> >> As an example, and I'm not going to dig up the exact quotes, you said
> >> publicly that you wrote to me in October that we were building a
> >> Google-competing search engine and that I more or less said that I'm
> >> fine with it. Go back and read our exchange. There's just now way to
> >> get that from what I said - Indeed, I specifically said that we are NOT
> >> building a Google-competing search engine, and explained the much lower
> >> and much less complex ambition of improving search and discovery.
> >>
> >> As another example, you published a timeline starting with Wikia Search.
> >> It's really hard for me to interpret that in any other way than to try
> >> to lead people down the path of the conspiracy theorists that I had a
> >> pet project to compete with Google which led to a secret project to
> >> biuld a search engine, etc. etc. You know as well as I do that's a
> >> false narrative, so it's very hard for me to charitably interpret that.
> >>
> >> Anyway these are the kinds of things that I struggle with.
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Keegan Peterzell
In reply to this post by Oliver Keyes-5
On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:29 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've been in the Wikimedia movement for over a decade now. I've seen
> Wikimedia-l. I've seen internal-l. I've had death and sexual assault
> threats show up in my inbox.


​Me too.



> And this, /this/, is genuinely the most
> horrified I've ever been by any message I've seen yet.
>
>
Nope. I've read worse from you, Oliver.



> This email is not a good faith email. it is not, despite the
> neutrality of its language, a civil email. It's the kind of blinkered,
> detached, ultrarationalist gaslighting[0] I associate with people in
> LessWrong.[1]
>
> No assumption of good faith. No discussion of the issues. No admission
> that different people can legitimately and normally interpret things
> in different ways. The framing of things so that the options are that
> James is a liar, stupid, or suffering from PTSD. Whether deliberately
> or not, it is deeply manipulative and frames the entire discussion
> with assertions that James is disconnected from reality.
>
>
​Many of the active posters write like this to this very public list on a
daily basis, and it is quite hurtful to many people. Much more hurtful than
this private email.

But whatever, let's open up yet another thread for people to go after each
other.

Brilliant move, you civilized people.

--
~Keegan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan

This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
is in a personal capacity.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Keegan Peterzell
In reply to this post by Pete Forsyth-2
On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 6:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb. 29.
> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html


​I'm a firm believer in two wrongs not making a right.

This email has zero context aside from what the reader would like to infer,
as we (the reader) are not the audience.

Publishing this email was just as, if not, more irresponsible than Jimmy
was in sending it.

Those that wish to continue histrionics, take pause before *you* hit send.​



--
~Keegan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan

This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
is in a personal capacity.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
A few things are clear. Having a WMF project intended to compete with
Google is bonkers. The mudslinging and power grabbing tone of many of these
messages seriously turn me off. The only thing they accomplish is that
people like myself are moving in their emotions from depressed to furious.

I do not care for all this bullshit. I sat in on a board meeting in
Rotterdam. It was with Jimmy, Angela and Anthere. It is unlikely to be in
any minutes and I only give it as an indication that I have been on the
inside of what is the Wikimedia Foundation for a longer time.  I do not
think that either Jimmy or James is crazy but I do know that when people
get into situation that are crazy that they will become erratic.

At a time I asked Pete pointblanc for his opinion on something that had to
do with the quality of Wikipedia. I provided him with all the arguments how
and why it would benefit Wikipedia and its quality. I asked him for his
opinion. I asked him what could be done about it. The only result I got was
suspicion. What was it that I wanted from him, why was it that I asked him
all this. I did not get an response that indicated to me that Pete was
interested at all in Wikipedia.

Pete may share the emails. My memory is known to be erratic but not in this.

Ask yourself. What is it that we want to achieve. How can we achieve it.
What does it take and who is on board.

The WMF is not a democracy. Intentionally so. There is a structure with a
balance of power for stakeholders. The only stakeholder lacking is
personnel. In an optimal world it is the ED that speaks for them. Clearly
this did not happen recently and, sadly so.

The disgust that I feel for what is happening is resulting in many negative
effects complementary to what has been widely mentioned. I will describe
how it affects me. I feel more and more disconnected from the Wikimedia
crowd. It is involved in things that are interesting from a sociological
point of view but it increasingly detracts from what the real issues should
be. This mailing list is more than enough, I can not stomach more and
consequently I do not frequent Meta anymore. This sadly means that all the
legitimate reasons for frequenting Meta are lost for me as well. Given that
I associate many of the "pundits" with Wikipedia, I increasingly grow
antagonistic towards Wikipedia. This is spite of my wish for Wikipedia to
do better than that it does. In spite of my preparations for a project that
I am pushing. A project where I hope to engage James in a positive and
meaningful way (and yes we have had initial communications).

Ask yourself what do all these "analysis" bring us but distrust? When the
board comes with a way forward, it is dismissed with "everything we
discussed is not heard". GOOD. Why should they? Pundits do not represent
us.Some of them I know, some of them I respect. But PLEASE concentrate on
what we do. It is not the politics and stuff of the WMF. It is sharing the
sum of all knowledge as widely as possible. Our immediate challenge is to
share in what we already have. That takes a much improved search engine,
that argument I have made for years now, Magnus added an important missing
part to it and I am sure that most readers of this list did not get this
far <grin> and have never seen it </grin>
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 10 March 2016 at 05:46, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 6:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb.
> 29.
> > I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
>
>
> ​I'm a firm believer in two wrongs not making a right.
>
> This email has zero context aside from what the reader would like to infer,
> as we (the reader) are not the audience.
>
> Publishing this email was just as, if not, more irresponsible than Jimmy
> was in sending it.
>
> Those that wish to continue histrionics, take pause before *you* hit send.​
>
>
>
> --
> ~Keegan
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
>
> This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
> is in a personal capacity.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Erik Moeller-3
In reply to this post by Pete Forsyth-2
2016-03-09 16:56 GMT-08:00 Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>:

> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)

Pete, regardless of Jimmy's words in this email, like others, I fail
to see how it's okay to share a private email to this list. I can
think of a few instances where this might be ethically defensible --
like actual fraud being committed -- but this is not one of them. It's
totally fair for people to ask Jimmy to clear the air on stuff
himself, but this crosses the line, at least from my point of view.

This comes down to giving a person you're corresponding with an
honest, open channel by which they can apologize, clarify, and make
things right. By violating that private channel you're making it
implicitly impossible to have that kind of conversation.

Meatball Wiki, as you know, has some wise words on this kind of stuff.
http://meatballwiki.org/wiki/ForgiveAndForget is a good page to
remember.

And no, I'm not a fan how things have played out so far, and I'm not
arguing for just moving on without addressing remaining grievances.
But this isn't how we should move forward. Criticizing people's
actions is fair game, even calling for resignation or other types of
structural and organizational change. This kind of picking out of
lines from private emails ought _not_ to be, in my view.

Erik

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Ruslan Takayev
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
Gerard, et al

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 2:03 PM, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> A few things are clear. Having a WMF project intended to compete with
> Google is bonkers.


I agree totally, but didn't Jimmy once have plans for a Google-killing
machine with a view to buying himself a new jet?

Warm regards,

Ruslan Takayev
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

SarahSV
In reply to this post by Keegan Peterzell
On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 9:26 PM, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> But whatever, let's open up yet another thread for people to go after each
> other.
>
> ​Keegan, we've been told since the end of December that Jimmy favours
radical transparency regarding James's removal and surrounding issues. But
it's now March, and nothing has been released except under pressure or
thanks to others. The result
​has been a huge loss of trust. Trying to stifle discussion will only make
things worse.

Sarah
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Ruslan Takayev
Hoi,
He is (as far as I know) flying coach. It was his own project with his own
money. So what is the point?
Thanks,
       GerardM

On 10 March 2016 at 07:19, Ruslan Takayev <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Gerard, et al
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 2:03 PM, Gerard Meijssen <
> [hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hoi,
> > A few things are clear. Having a WMF project intended to compete with
> > Google is bonkers.
>
>
> I agree totally, but didn't Jimmy once have plans for a Google-killing
> machine with a view to buying himself a new jet?
>
> Warm regards,
>
> Ruslan Takayev
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Keegan Peterzell
In reply to this post by SarahSV
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 12:55 AM, SarahSV <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 9:26 PM, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > But whatever, let's open up yet another thread for people to go after
> each
> > other.
> >
> > ​Keegan, we've been told since the end of December that Jimmy favours
> radical transparency regarding James's removal and surrounding issues. But
> it's now March, and nothing has been released except under pressure or
> thanks to others. The result
> ​has been a huge loss of trust. Trying to stifle discussion will only make
> things worse.
>

​He can favor radical transparency all he wants, that doesn't mean in the
real world role that he currently occupies as a WMF Board of Trustee member
that *he can actually do that*. Airing his private emails as a pressure
tactic to get people to break what is probably legal advice is just absurd
and below board.

--
~Keegan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan

This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
is in a personal capacity.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

SarahSV
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-3
On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 11:18 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> And no, I'm not a fan how things have played out so far, and I'm not
> arguing for just moving on without addressing remaining grievances.
> But this isn't how we should move forward.
>

​Erik, what do you see as the alternative?

There is a pattern here. For example, when James was removed in December,
Jimmy said he was not releasing information about it out of concern for
James.​

He wrote: "a man's reputation is at stake here." [1] "Our choice might have
been to post something blunt and damaging to him ... Remember, a man's
public reputation is at risk here." [2] And "Because a man's reputation is
at stake here, I think it wise to take it slow here. I care more about
James' future than I care about your foot stamping impatience." [3]

Those posts were troubling – on a par with someone on the Board making
James feel that he ought to propose accepting the Knight grant, when in
fact he was the one who objected to it. That James proposed it was then
held up as evidence that he wasn't telling the truth about other issues. [4]

Is this the kind of Board we want? How are we to move forward if we're not
allowed to talk about it?

Sarah


[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales&diff=prev&oldid=697333942
[2]
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales&diff=prev&oldid=697407110
[3]
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales&diff=prev&oldid=697407275
[4]
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales&diff=prev&oldid=704228495

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Benjamin Lees
In reply to this post by Keegan Peterzell
I was glad when I saw Jimbo indicate he was reaching out to James.  At
the risk of sounding hopelessly naive, maybe Jimbo should send James
another email, this time extending a clearer olive branch.  If we're
past the point of no return on that, then so be it, but I would be
happy to know that after three months of talking about and at each
other, you guys _sincerely_ tried talking to each other.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Erik Moeller-3
In reply to this post by SarahSV
2016-03-09 23:21 GMT-08:00 SarahSV <[hidden email]>:

>> And no, I'm not a fan how things have played out so far, and I'm not
>> arguing for just moving on without addressing remaining grievances.
>> But this isn't how we should move forward.

> Erik, what do you see as the alternative?

To clarify, I was specifically objecting to the leaked private email,
not to addressing the issues with James' ejection from the Board. I
know James and worked with him especially on the Wikivoyage migration;
I understand well why he is so widely trusted and why this matter has
cut deep wounds.

I would suggest the following.

* I would still ask to give the Board a little time to finalize their
decision regarding the interim ED, which seems imminent. That means
not just announcing, but also some time to provide support and
orientation in that person's first weeks. (E.g., the interim ED will
need to build a relationship with the Board itself.)

* Until then, I suggest focusing on documenting rather than debating.
What Molly did with the timeline is a fine example of "collaborative
journalism" and the Wikimedia community is at its best when it
collects the facts in an NPOV manner. Coordinating this on a single
page can reduce the forest fire nature of this conflict. I strongly
recommend avoiding one-sided leaks of private emails and such for the
reasons I gave.

* Once the Board has a bit of bandwidth, the Chair of the Board
(Patricio) really is the primary person to look to for bringing
closure to this matter. Dealing with issues with current and former
Board members is _precisely_ the kind of thing a Board Chair needs to
demonstrate leadership on, because it can't be done by committee.

* To do this in a manner that's both transparent and consistent with
community norms, I've suggested engaging a professional facilitator.
(I believe Pete has also said so several times.) There could be a
private/public meeting, where there's a private discussion with James
and the facilitator, and a public joint statement that comes out of
this, even if it ends up being "agree to disagree". It's the
facilitator's job that this comes to pass.

* That public bit could lead into a general public discussion with the
Board. I would recommend a metrics meeting style format (video + IRC
backchannel) with a wiki page to submit questions beforehand, and +1
them.

If that plan seems sensible, I would also suggest Jimmy disengage on
the James Heilman matter from here on and leave this issue to the
Board Chair to bring closure to.

Hope that helps. I know this has all been exhausting for lots of
folks, so please take it in the spirit in which it is intended, i.e.
to help bring closure to it in a step-by-step way.

Warmly,
Erik

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Jimmy Wales-5
In reply to this post by Benjamin Lees
On 3/10/16 8:18 AM, Benjamin Lees wrote:
> I was glad when I saw Jimbo indicate he was reaching out to James.  At
> the risk of sounding hopelessly naive, maybe Jimbo should send James
> another email, this time extending a clearer olive branch.  If we're
> past the point of no return on that, then so be it, but I would be
> happy to know that after three months of talking about and at each
> other, you guys _sincerely_ tried talking to each other.

I agree completely.  My email, which seems so horrifying to a few
people, was meant exactly as that.  The truth is, I am genuinely
bewildered and finding it very hard to understand why James says things
that the entire rest of the board find contrary to fact.

There is nothing horrible about encouraging him to think about whether
emotion has blinded him.  When so many other people who know the facts
are telling you that you have it wrong, it's a good idea to pause and
reflect.

And yes, it would have been more charitable and kind to include other
options in that email.  I wrote it as an opening to a dialogue, not as a
formal statement of position to be analyzed in public.  I invite people
to think whether Pete's publishing of it was done in the interests of
healing and harmony, rather than to further inflame and create drama.

There's a lot more to respond to on wikimedia-l, and I may do so this
weekend.  But there's one thing that is worth saying quite strongly:
There was never a project at the Wikimedia Foundation to build a search
engine to compete with Google.  This has been confirmed by engineers
working in that area.  I have been very straightforward in telling
people what I know about it, and I have not seen any evidence that the
people who have told me what happened have lied to me about that.

What there was, and this has become clear only recently, was a proposal
by Damon, passed around with great cloak-and-dagger, with his ideas
about how we could and should do that.  Those ideas never got traction
and never made it to the board level.  What was proposed to the board
was an investment in internal search and discovery.

There's also the side issue - and I don't mean it is unimportant, I mean
it is a side issue - of the language in the Knight Foundation some of
which apparently survived from Damon's early brainstorms.  I am not
happy about that language, but my understanding is that the Knight
Foundation is fine, that they understood and understand that the
deliverables in the grant - which is what matters - are modest and
reasonable as an exploration of what we should do next in this area.

--Jimbo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

George William Herbert




> On Mar 10, 2016, at 1:25 AM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ...
> Those ideas never got traction
> and never made it to the board level. ...

I don't think you are lying or being deceptive, but it seems apparent in the various half-explanations that it did, to James, who either got mangled explanations and assumed worse or heard worse from someone incorrectly.  Thence to mistrust.

Assuming nobody is evil or insane, we have clear evidence and now open admissions of communications breakdowns at several levels and confused, contradictory explanations about who thought what secrecy was required and why.

It seems like those fed upon each other into misunderstandings and mistrust.

Have you not considered that lack of transparency and openness would have the same internal effect as external?
 

George William Herbert
Sent from my iPhone
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Jimmy Wales-4
In reply to this post by Pete Forsyth-2

   
Indeed George I agree with everything you have said about the internal effects of lack of transparency and openness.  Assuming I and other board members who continue to press for full openness about the James situation  are eventually successful this will all become more clear.


Sent from my Samsung device

-------- Original message --------
From: George Herbert <[hidden email]>
Date: 2016/03/10  9:49 AM  (GMT+00:00)
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?





> On Mar 10, 2016, at 1:25 AM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ...
> Those ideas never got traction
> and never made it to the board level. ...

I don't think you are lying or being deceptive, but it seems apparent in the various half-explanations that it did, to James, who either got mangled explanations and assumed worse or heard worse from someone incorrectly.  Thence to mistrust.

Assuming nobody is evil or insane, we have clear evidence and now open admissions of communications breakdowns at several levels and confused, contradictory explanations about who thought what secrecy was required and why.

It seems like those fed upon each other into misunderstandings and mistrust.

Have you not considered that lack of transparency and openness would have the same internal effect as external?
 

George William Herbert
Sent from my iPhone
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