[Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

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[Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

Yaroslav M. Blanter
Does anybody happen to know why Russia and Moldova are classified as
Global North whereas Ukraine and Belarus are classified as Global South,
from the WMF point of view? There is some discussion (specifically about
Belarus) at the talk page, but it is too heated and I was not able to
get the point.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/List_of_Countries_by_Regional_Classification

I notice this in the Chapter-wide Financial Trends Report 2013. I am
wondering whether this has more serious implications like finance
distribution etc.

Cheers
Yaroslav


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

Milos Rancic-2
I think the reason is more than obvious: Belarus is south of Moldova and
Ukraine is in between, so it went south. As Russia is basically on the east
of all of three countries, it's logical to put it among the northern
countries.
 On Jun 11, 2015 9:59 PM, "Yaroslav M. Blanter" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Does anybody happen to know why Russia and Moldova are classified as
> Global North whereas Ukraine and Belarus are classified as Global South,
> from the WMF point of view? There is some discussion (specifically about
> Belarus) at the talk page, but it is too heated and I was not able to get
> the point.
>
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/List_of_Countries_by_Regional_Classification
>
> I notice this in the Chapter-wide Financial Trends Report 2013. I am
> wondering whether this has more serious implications like finance
> distribution etc.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

Yaroslav M. Blanter
On 2015-06-11 22:03, Milos Rancic wrote:
> I think the reason is more than obvious: Belarus is south of Moldova
> and
> Ukraine is in between, so it went south. As Russia is basically on the
> east
> of all of three countries, it's logical to put it among the northern
> countries.

Not that I object the general reasoning, but Belarus is north of Moldova
(Ukraine is either way).

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

Milos Rancic-2
On Jun 11, 2015 10:06 PM, "Yaroslav M. Blanter" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 2015-06-11 22:03, Milos Rancic wrote:
>>
>> I think the reason is more than obvious: Belarus is south of Moldova and
>> Ukraine is in between, so it went south. As Russia is basically on the
east
>> of all of three countries, it's logical to put it among the northern
>> countries.
>
>
> Not that I object the general reasoning, but Belarus is north of Moldova
(Ukraine is either way).

Besides it's not nice to write spoilers on the public list, I would remind
you that according to the 6th century naming rules, every White Sea has to
be south of every Black Sea. As Moldova is closer to the Black Sea than
Belarus, Belarus is closer to the White Sea, it's logical that Belarus is
on the south of Moldova.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
In reply to this post by Yaroslav M. Blanter
On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 3:59 PM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Does anybody happen to know why Russia and Moldova are classified as
> Global North whereas Ukraine and Belarus are classified as Global South,
> from the WMF point of view?


For some reason this discussion made me think we need a map. So,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Global_North_and_Global_South,_according_to_the_Wikimedia_Foundation.svg

Reminds me of https://xkcd.com/753/.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

Michał Buczyński
In reply to this post by Yaroslav M. Blanter
And they say we, Poles, have a dry sense of humour. Let me guess Milos, you
are on purpouse mixing up two definitions of the "White Sea" (Бело
море / Belo More) in Serbian. :P

Coming back to the question of Yaroslav: this issue comes up regularily and
I find it perfectly valid.

Two years ago in Milan we had a quite heated discussion on this topic. The
problem is that "the global south" is a yet another widespread and
well-intended but inherently lame euphemism for "poor countries" also known
as "the third world", a.k.a. "developing countries" a.k.a. something
different whatever comes handy. Unfortunately, euphemisms bring big
problems on their own.

One huge problem with this division is its heroic simplicity, mixing up
economic differences with social and cultural issues and splitting the
world into white and black, no grey.

Second thing is its mix of geography with socioeconomic issues which leads
to confusions, even in classification by e.g. ITU.

Third thing is: it is arbitrary as no firm metric or threshold is given.
Contrary to the claim, the Wikimedia list is *not* solely based on ITU list
and UN list (what can be actually better, because according to ITU and UN
M49 Bosnia and Hercegovina is "North", when Hongkong, Macau and South Korea
are.. South!).

Certainly, everything can be managable when you remember about the
questionable definitions and build your strategies upon a more refined
thinking. It would be _bad_ if this tag was used as a "support more / less"
flag and financial decisions on particular projects and people were heavily
based upon this underexplained and arbitrary list.

// Side note: even in case of Wikimania 2015 I am aware of at least one
example of a "global northerner" refused a visa to Mexico, which is
allegedly in the Global South.

Personally, I would drop this "global south / north" thinking altogether
and in financial decisions move to some more refined analysis, taking into
account multiple benchmarks like personal income (which is often
distributed far less equal in the developing world).

In the global perspective, I would be happy if the Board considered an
official change of the strategy to some more detailed perspective, openly
communicating which cultural and socioeconomic areas they find particularly
interesting and what are their plans to each of them. E.g.: "why do we
think the Arab world is important and how do we want to build a thriving
community sharing our basic values there?")
However whatever approach will be taken, if would be great if this topic is
even better communicated (I know many people try already, kudos to
Theo10011 and others for https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_South ) and
discussed.

Otherwise people will keep on asking why UAE or Kuwait people are
considered "poor" while Kosovars are labeled "rich".

Best Regards,
michał buczyński

Dnia 11 czerwca 2015 22:14 Milos Rancic <[hidden email]> napisał(a):

> > > I think the reason is more than obvious: Belarus is south of Moldova
> > > and
> > >
> > > Ukraine is in between, so it went south. As Russia is basically on
> > > the east
> > >
> > > of all of three countries, it's logical to put it among the northern
> > > countries.Not that I object the general reasoning, but Belarus is north of
> > Moldova (Ukraine is either way).
> Besides it's not nice to write spoilers on the public list, I would
>  remind you that according to the 6th century
>
> naming rules, every White Sea has to be south of every Black Sea. As
> Moldova is closer to the Black Sea than
>
> Belarus, Belarus is closer to the White Sea, it's logical that Belarus is
> on the south of Moldova.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

Benjamin Lees
On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 6:19 PM, Michał Buczyński <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It would be _bad_ if this tag was used as a "support more / less"
> flag and financial decisions on particular projects and people were heavily
> based upon this underexplained and arbitrary list.

Well...

Based on the applicant's home country, each applicant will be
categorized as either a Global North or Global South applicant, with
the total number of scholarships distributed between the Global North
and Global South being set at 25% and 75% respectively.
https://wikimania2015.wikimedia.org/wiki/Scholarships

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

Asaf Bartov-2
In reply to this post by Michał Buczyński
I agree with everything Michał said.  It's a very flawed distinction, and
it is often misleading.  We at WMF have certainly been paying much closer
attention to contexts at the level of countries and regions than to the
binary divide.

Conceivably, some time investment could result in a better and more
defensible distinction (for example, it would probably not be binary, and
it would probably be tied less tightly to socioeconomics, and take into
account the actual state of the editing community in a country).  It has so
far not been deemed enough of a priority to ever be done.

   A.

On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 3:19 PM, Michał Buczyński <[hidden email]> wrote:

> And they say we, Poles, have a dry sense of humour. Let me guess Milos, you
> are on purpouse mixing up two definitions of the "White Sea" (Бело
> море / Belo More) in Serbian. :P
>
> Coming back to the question of Yaroslav: this issue comes up regularily and
> I find it perfectly valid.
>
> Two years ago in Milan we had a quite heated discussion on this topic. The
> problem is that "the global south" is a yet another widespread and
> well-intended but inherently lame euphemism for "poor countries" also known
> as "the third world", a.k.a. "developing countries" a.k.a. something
> different whatever comes handy. Unfortunately, euphemisms bring big
> problems on their own.
>
> One huge problem with this division is its heroic simplicity, mixing up
> economic differences with social and cultural issues and splitting the
> world into white and black, no grey.
>
> Second thing is its mix of geography with socioeconomic issues which leads
> to confusions, even in classification by e.g. ITU.
>
> Third thing is: it is arbitrary as no firm metric or threshold is given.
> Contrary to the claim, the Wikimedia list is *not* solely based on ITU list
> and UN list (what can be actually better, because according to ITU and UN
> M49 Bosnia and Hercegovina is "North", when Hongkong, Macau and South Korea
> are.. South!).
>
> Certainly, everything can be managable when you remember about the
> questionable definitions and build your strategies upon a more refined
> thinking. It would be _bad_ if this tag was used as a "support more / less"
> flag and financial decisions on particular projects and people were heavily
> based upon this underexplained and arbitrary list.
>
> // Side note: even in case of Wikimania 2015 I am aware of at least one
> example of a "global northerner" refused a visa to Mexico, which is
> allegedly in the Global South.
>
> Personally, I would drop this "global south / north" thinking altogether
> and in financial decisions move to some more refined analysis, taking into
> account multiple benchmarks like personal income (which is often
> distributed far less equal in the developing world).
>
> In the global perspective, I would be happy if the Board considered an
> official change of the strategy to some more detailed perspective, openly
> communicating which cultural and socioeconomic areas they find particularly
> interesting and what are their plans to each of them. E.g.: "why do we
> think the Arab world is important and how do we want to build a thriving
> community sharing our basic values there?")
> However whatever approach will be taken, if would be great if this topic is
> even better communicated (I know many people try already, kudos to
> Theo10011 and others for https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_South )
> and
> discussed.
>
> Otherwise people will keep on asking why UAE or Kuwait people are
> considered "poor" while Kosovars are labeled "rich".
>
> Best Regards,
> michał buczyński
>
> Dnia 11 czerwca 2015 22:14 Milos Rancic <[hidden email]> napisał(a):
>
> > > > I think the reason is more than obvious: Belarus is south of Moldova
> > > > and
> > > >
> > > > Ukraine is in between, so it went south. As Russia is basically on
> > > > the east
> > > >
> > > > of all of three countries, it's logical to put it among the northern
> > > > countries.Not that I object the general reasoning, but Belarus is
> north of
> > > Moldova (Ukraine is either way).
> > Besides it's not nice to write spoilers on the public list, I would
> >  remind you that according to the 6th century
> >
> > naming rules, every White Sea has to be south of every Black Sea. As
> > Moldova is closer to the Black Sea than
> >
> > Belarus, Belarus is closer to the White Sea, it's logical that Belarus is
> > on the south of Moldova.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
    Asaf Bartov
    Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
https://donate.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Global North/South

Dan Duvall
I recently discovered an article on the subject from Norwegian
sociocultural anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen that might be of
interest here.[1][2] (As a full disclosure about how I came upon it, it was
mentioned in the "Around the Web Digest" of my favorite anthro blog, Savage
Minds.[3] :)

It explores briefly the history of such terms and how they tend to reduce
the diversity of world communities to black and white according to the
enculturated values of those in internationally powerful positions—those at
the moment being highly nationalistic and neoliberal.

"The post-Cold War world is not mainly divided into societies that follow
different political ideologies such as socialism or liberalism, but by
degrees of benefits in a globalized neoliberal capitalist economy. [...]
The Global South and the Global North represent an updated perspective on
the post-1991 world, which distinguishes not between political systems or
degrees of poverty, but between the victims and the benefactors of global
capitalism." [2]

"[...] what is needed are more fine-grained instruments to gauge the
quality of life and the economic circumstances of a community, since most
of the world's population live mainly in communities and not in states." [2]

I would love to see us seek terminology that is more reflective of
knowledge accessibility and cultural representation than of global
economics but, as Amir mentioned, I find those at WMF to already operate
with such mindfulness and distinction.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hylland_Eriksen
[2] http://gssc.uni-koeln.de/node/454
[3] http://savageminds.org/2015/05/09/around-the-web-digest-week-of-may-3/


On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 5:06 PM, Asaf Bartov <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I agree with everything Michał said.  It's a very flawed distinction, and
> it is often misleading.  We at WMF have certainly been paying much closer
> attention to contexts at the level of countries and regions than to the
> binary divide.
>
> Conceivably, some time investment could result in a better and more
> defensible distinction (for example, it would probably not be binary, and
> it would probably be tied less tightly to socioeconomics, and take into
> account the actual state of the editing community in a country).  It has so
> far not been deemed enough of a priority to ever be done.
>
>    A.
>
> On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 3:19 PM, Michał Buczyński <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > And they say we, Poles, have a dry sense of humour. Let me guess Milos,
> you
> > are on purpouse mixing up two definitions of the "White Sea" (Бело
> > море / Belo More) in Serbian. :P
> >
> > Coming back to the question of Yaroslav: this issue comes up regularily
> and
> > I find it perfectly valid.
> >
> > Two years ago in Milan we had a quite heated discussion on this topic.
> The
> > problem is that "the global south" is a yet another widespread and
> > well-intended but inherently lame euphemism for "poor countries" also
> known
> > as "the third world", a.k.a. "developing countries" a.k.a. something
> > different whatever comes handy. Unfortunately, euphemisms bring big
> > problems on their own.
> >
> > One huge problem with this division is its heroic simplicity, mixing up
> > economic differences with social and cultural issues and splitting the
> > world into white and black, no grey.
> >
> > Second thing is its mix of geography with socioeconomic issues which
> leads
> > to confusions, even in classification by e.g. ITU.
> >
> > Third thing is: it is arbitrary as no firm metric or threshold is given.
> > Contrary to the claim, the Wikimedia list is *not* solely based on ITU
> list
> > and UN list (what can be actually better, because according to ITU and UN
> > M49 Bosnia and Hercegovina is "North", when Hongkong, Macau and South
> Korea
> > are.. South!).
> >
> > Certainly, everything can be managable when you remember about the
> > questionable definitions and build your strategies upon a more refined
> > thinking. It would be _bad_ if this tag was used as a "support more /
> less"
> > flag and financial decisions on particular projects and people were
> heavily
> > based upon this underexplained and arbitrary list.
> >
> > // Side note: even in case of Wikimania 2015 I am aware of at least one
> > example of a "global northerner" refused a visa to Mexico, which is
> > allegedly in the Global South.
> >
> > Personally, I would drop this "global south / north" thinking altogether
> > and in financial decisions move to some more refined analysis, taking
> into
> > account multiple benchmarks like personal income (which is often
> > distributed far less equal in the developing world).
> >
> > In the global perspective, I would be happy if the Board considered an
> > official change of the strategy to some more detailed perspective, openly
> > communicating which cultural and socioeconomic areas they find
> particularly
> > interesting and what are their plans to each of them. E.g.: "why do we
> > think the Arab world is important and how do we want to build a thriving
> > community sharing our basic values there?")
> > However whatever approach will be taken, if would be great if this topic
> is
> > even better communicated (I know many people try already, kudos to
> > Theo10011 and others for https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_South )
> > and
> > discussed.
> >
> > Otherwise people will keep on asking why UAE or Kuwait people are
> > considered "poor" while Kosovars are labeled "rich".
> >
> > Best Regards,
> > michał buczyński
> >
> > Dnia 11 czerwca 2015 22:14 Milos Rancic <[hidden email]> napisał(a):
> >
> > > > > I think the reason is more than obvious: Belarus is south of
> Moldova
> > > > > and
> > > > >
> > > > > Ukraine is in between, so it went south. As Russia is basically on
> > > > > the east
> > > > >
> > > > > of all of three countries, it's logical to put it among the
> northern
> > > > > countries.Not that I object the general reasoning, but Belarus is
> > north of
> > > > Moldova (Ukraine is either way).
> > > Besides it's not nice to write spoilers on the public list, I would
> > >  remind you that according to the 6th century
> > >
> > > naming rules, every White Sea has to be south of every Black Sea. As
> > > Moldova is closer to the Black Sea than
> > >
> > > Belarus, Belarus is closer to the White Sea, it's logical that Belarus
> is
> > > on the south of Moldova.
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
>     Asaf Bartov
>     Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>
>
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
> sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
> https://donate.wikimedia.org
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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>



--
Dan Duvall
Automation Engineer
Wikimedia Foundation <http://wikimediafoundation.org>
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