[Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
41 messages Options
123
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

[Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

mcc99
Dear fellow Wikipedia devotees,

While I'm new to this list, I've been an avid fan and proponent of Wikipedia and all the great service it gives people since it launched.  People can learn not just all the basics of nearly any topic imaginable, but for a large number, readers can with diligence become expert on more than a few and save themselves the cost of tuition/training.  All this, in addition to satisfying their curiosity about millions of subjects.

That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so long as it's relevant and factual.  Unlike the published, single-authority edited encyclopediae of the past, Wikipedia allows anyone with relevant information to contribute to it.  Their additions or other edits are checked by volunteers to make sure the edit isn't a defacement, irrelevant, patently unfactual, or unverifiable.  They are typically left as written or maybe edited only for grammar/spelling.  Wikipedia is a rare success story in democracy of knowledge.  If one feels moved to contribute, they do.  If not, they don't.  It's like voting in a sense, though it's true people in democracies should perhaps take the opportunity to do so more often.  But it's up to them.

Like voting or anything else, to single out a particular group of people based on their indelible characteristics as being desirable as contributors to any field implicitly devalues the contributions not just of those currently contributing who don't fall into that category, but also says to any other group of a particular identity that you care more about the group you're trying to get more involvement from than them.  "Identity politics" is unfortunately a fact of our current political climate and I hope one day we can, as MLK Jr. hoped, judge one another not by skin color (and I'd add gender, sexuality, and a few others), but by content of character.  In the context of Wikipedia, this would translate to the veracity and applicability of contributions made to the vast Wikipedia knowledge-base -- not who in particular is doing the contributing, nor their indelible characteristics of person.

Because identity politics is today part of general electoral politics doesn't mean it need be for anything else, and especially given how such things as a person's ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc., say nothing about what they know about or can do, I don't see how it's relevant to the veracity and applicability of Wikipedia's knowledge base.  I don't care that, for example, a black person (Charles Drew, MD) came up with the process of creating blood plasma, an innovation that has saved millions of lives.  He was tragically and mortally injured in a car accident, however, and so his potential future achievements were lost to humanity.  (He was not refused treatment for his injuries at the hospital he was taken to because of his ethnicity, as is widely but falsely believed; he was just so badly injured that he died.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_R._Drew#Death ).  I also don't care that Adm Grace Hopper (USN) wad female, only that she wrote the first computer language compiler so programmers of lesser brain power than her (such as myself) could go on to program computers without struggling with binary switches and punch cards.  Her contributions were what was important, not her gender, skin color, or anything else as far as her professional achievements go.

If you ask any RN the names of the greatest contributors to the nursing profession, you'll get a stream of women's names.  To suggest that nursing "needs" more men or else it won't be able to achieve its greatest potential would be a crass and inaccurate insult to the many thousands of women who have made modern nursing what it is.  Of course there have been and will be male nurses who stand out as contributors, but only a very small percentage, probably in keeping with the ratio of men to women in nursing.  And yet, despite the high salaries RNs command, are there any gov't-sponsored initiatives to get men into nursing?  If so, it'd be news to me and many others.  But I ask, if men by and large, for whatever reasons, aren't interested in becoming nurses, why make a big deal about it?  Are there gov't-sponsored campaigns to get more women into the relatively lucrative job of refuse collection?  Or, the likewise lucrative jobs of plumber, ordnance disposal engineer, nuclear materials technician, etc.?  No.  But other fields that are a lot less dirty and/or dangerous, yes.  (Think professional STEM fields.)  This isn't by accident, nor is the fact that the nursing profession with its high salaries (for RNs, anyway) is in no hurry to recruit men simply because they're men.  But why should they?  That one receives care from a female vs. male nurse isn't relevant.  To trumpet a "need" for men in nursing minimizes the huge contributions of women nurses and is a patently false proposition.  Nursing needs competent, dedicated people in its ranks.  The gender of them is irrelevant.

This returns me to my primary point, which I hope you can see.  WMF may think this idea to single out a particular group based on an innate characteristic to encourage them to be Wikipedia contributors is good for some reason, but it rests on false assumptions around a connection between one's gender and their competence at any given task.  Unless the task is inherently tied to a person's sexual biology, it doesn't play a part in whether or not they are good or not at something, nor whether or not they want to do it. (I am for example a good improv-style comedian; many have suggested I go to open-mic nights and share my schtick with the crowd.  Thing is, I don't want to, so I don't.  It's enough for me to know I can keep my friends in stitches when I am so moved.)

As for devaluing current contributors should they happen *not* to be female: WMF, like a political party, needs to be careful, I suggest, not to drop a dozen eggs while going to pick up three.  Also, in the process of telling other identity groups you're focusing on just one, you marginalize them.  "Playing favorites" is a trap the gov't has fallen into and the results have been bad for it.

Like others on this list, I also got an email today from someone who subbed me to a supposed Google Group for lesbian Wikipedia contributors.  While I knew immediately it was a fake [1. I'm not female and thus 2. Cannot by definition be a lesbian], its very existence shows the disaffection with the decision.  It also underscores the hazards of going the identity politics route.  For example, to be extra-inclusive within the target audience (women), would this initiative now need to be tweaked to include a special sub-effort of outreach to gay women?  And what about bisexual women?  They are, arguably, like gay women, a group in need perhaps of specific outreach and encouragement.  But maybe the same can be said of black people (or African-American, if you prefer), Lationos (or Hispanics, again, if you prefer), or maybe people of western Asian descent (i.e., people whose ancestors lived in pre-modern era Asia in countries now named China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan).  And then there are people of Indo-Asian ethnicity (India, Pakistan, etc.).  Polynesians.  Mexicas.  Native Americans (or Indians, depending on who you ask).  Gay men.  Bi men.  Gay Latinos.  Transsexual Polynesian-Indo-Asian women, men, or both.  There's no end of it once the precedent is established, and there'll be no peace for the WMF.

The gov't can get away with using identiy politics and pursuing policies of favortism based on whatever aspects they choose to use.  Age, sex, ethnicity, non-natural personhood (i.e., corporate welfare/punishment), etc., are all open to them because they are the gov't.  Unless people are ready to rebel against them, they have the say about where the taxpayers' bounty goes and who is favored over another.  It may annoy some in the pop'n (esp. those not getting the largesse), but too bad.  Unless you're ready to go rebel, you have to accept it.

Non-profit shoestring volunteer-dependent endeavors cannot afford to be choosy or worse, be or appear to be high-handed. One key to success in the marketplace is recognizing that everyone's money is as green as anyone else's.  In the case of WMF, the currency is contributors of knowledge.  WMF can't afford to alienate them in favor of *maybe* picking up a few more volunteers/contributors.  Again, don't drop a dozen eggs trying to pick up three more.  The risk isn't worth the reward.  The only thing WMF has going for itself is popularity and justifiable faith in what it provides.  Lose either of these things and it's done for.  If you start counting such irrelevancies as the physical or similar aspects of contributors (like their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) as being ipso facto relevant to the value of their contributions, you've lost the second thing (justifiable faith).  If you openly, in fact or in appearance, start playing favorites from among your readers/contributors/volunteers for any reason, you are sure to lose the first (popularity).

WMF would be better-served focusing not on the sex, etc. of its contributors, but on its long-term survival strategy.  At the moment, WMF is living hand-to-mouth and relying on end-of-year micro-donations to keep itself afloat.  This isn't a sustainable model.

Wikipedia is a free web-based teaching and reference service.  It is only a question of when someone with a better mousetrap who has a way to make money from their site comes along.  (Remember the #1 search engine in 1996?  It was called "Alta Vista".  Then came Google.   The rest is history, and the big reason for that is simply Google's AdSense.  If Alta Vista had come up with that idea, maybe they'd still be around.)

I won't suggest Wikipedia stop being Wikipedia.  Did Google stop being a free search engine after they learned how to make money from it, allowing them to continue being Google (and more)?  No.  Neither should Wikipedia.  But WMF has to figure out how to become able to sustain itself without the kindness of strangers.  Projects like closing the (so-called) gender gap will actually work against the aim of making Wikipedia more atteactive than it is now as a web site for gaining knowledge but without the heaps of embedded editorializing found today in newspapers on- and off-line, in textbooks covering almost anything but the hard sciences, etc.  Still, it can create for itself opportunities to pay its own way and attract donations that people feel good to make.

About a week and a half ago, I asked for input re a project suggestion.  ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiTribute ) To date, I haven't gotten feedback because perhaps the list has been filled with discussion about the exclusivity of the 3-month gender gap project funding.  Already, the topic has distracted people from possibilities that may otherwise have been entertained that could generate income for WMF.  Aside from the idea's merits as such, it is also a way to encourage donations/get fees, and in an ongoing basis rather than principally at one time of the year (December).  But even if WMF thinks it isn't worth pursuing, it needs something else -- something it can charge for that will have broad, on-going appeal to many people and/or business entities.  (AdSense, for example, is used by ordinary people with blogs and large high-traffic commercial web sites alike.)  It has to leave people feeling good about Wikipedia and WMF and be popular broadly and "agnostically".  Does your local gas station care if you're male or female?  Gay or straight or bi or asexual?   Or does the Red Cross decide when there's a blood drive that only certain donors will get the cookies and coffee or be encouraged to get them while telling other donors to wait until that particular group has gotten some first?  If they did, donations'd fall off fast, or blood donors would go directly to hospitals to donate -- assuming they still felt like it.

Maybe my note and/or opinion will be ignored, or denounced, or something else.  Perhaps it'll have no effect at all.  But as a devoted Wikipedia enthusiast, donor to WMF, and pro-knowledge-democracy advocate, I can tell you that raising a fence if even temporarily to full participation in WMF activities for Wikipedians interested in seeing it grow is bad on multiple levels: politically, philosophically, practically, and financially, and most especially, relative to its foundational purpose of allowing others to contribute/participate to this great effort of recording the world's collective knowledge on an on-going basis and without hindrance, except insofar as the contributions are accurate, relevant, and sincere.

It's a dream worth keeping alive.  I for one would hate one day to look back on 1Q 2015 and say to the others with me in the nursing home "Yeah, Wikipedia -- it was a sad day back in '15.  The beginning of the end.  I was there.  I tried talking them out of it, but... it just didn't work.  Now we're all stuck with www.selected-contributors-only-o-pedia-not-wikipedia.com and that's nothing close to what we used to have in Wikipedia."

Of course by then, we may all have computers implanted in our brains that tell us anything we want to know just by thinking the question.  Doubt it, but who knows.

Thank you for reading.

Matt
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Fred Bauder-2
 
> That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so
>long as it's relevant and factual.

That's the point; it would not matter if women contributed so long as
it's relevant and factual. Half the humans that could contribute are
not. Actually many more than half, as there are barriers other than
gender.

Fred



_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Michel Vuijlsteke-2
In reply to this post by mcc99
Yes. Finally, a voice of reason.

On 8 January 2015 at 08:07, mcc99 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear fellow Wikipedia devotees,
>
> While I'm new to this list, I've been an avid fan and proponent of
> Wikipedia and all the great service it gives people since it launched.
> People can learn not just all the basics of nearly any topic imaginable,
> but for a large number, readers can with diligence become expert on more
> than a few and save themselves the cost of tuition/training.  All this, in
> addition to satisfying their curiosity about millions of subjects.
>
> That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so long
> as it's relevant and factual.  Unlike the published, single-authority
> edited encyclopediae of the past, Wikipedia allows anyone with relevant
> information to contribute to it.  Their additions or other edits are
> checked by volunteers to make sure the edit isn't a defacement, irrelevant,
> patently unfactual, or unverifiable.  They are typically left as written or
> maybe edited only for grammar/spelling.  Wikipedia is a rare success story
> in democracy of knowledge.  If one feels moved to contribute, they do.  If
> not, they don't.  It's like voting in a sense, though it's true people in
> democracies should perhaps take the opportunity to do so more often.  But
> it's up to them.
>
> Like voting or anything else, to single out a particular group of people
> based on their indelible characteristics as being desirable as contributors
> to any field implicitly devalues the contributions not just of those
> currently contributing who don't fall into that category, but also says to
> any other group of a particular identity that you care more about the group
> you're trying to get more involvement from than them.  "Identity politics"
> is unfortunately a fact of our current political climate and I hope one day
> we can, as MLK Jr. hoped, judge one another not by skin color (and I'd add
> gender, sexuality, and a few others), but by content of character.  In the
> context of Wikipedia, this would translate to the veracity and
> applicability of contributions made to the vast Wikipedia knowledge-base --
> not who in particular is doing the contributing, nor their indelible
> characteristics of person.
>
> Because identity politics is today part of general electoral politics
> doesn't mean it need be for anything else, and especially given how such
> things as a person's ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc., say nothing about
> what they know about or can do, I don't see how it's relevant to the
> veracity and applicability of Wikipedia's knowledge base.  I don't care
> that, for example, a black person (Charles Drew, MD) came up with the
> process of creating blood plasma, an innovation that has saved millions of
> lives.  He was tragically and mortally injured in a car accident, however,
> and so his potential future achievements were lost to humanity.  (He was
> not refused treatment for his injuries at the hospital he was taken to
> because of his ethnicity, as is widely but falsely believed; he was just so
> badly injured that he died.  See
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_R._Drew#Death ).  I also don't care
> that Adm Grace Hopper (USN) wad female, only that she wrote the first
> computer language compiler so programmers of lesser brain power than her
> (such as myself) could go on to program computers without struggling with
> binary switches and punch cards.  Her contributions were what was
> important, not her gender, skin color, or anything else as far as her
> professional achievements go.
>
> If you ask any RN the names of the greatest contributors to the nursing
> profession, you'll get a stream of women's names.  To suggest that nursing
> "needs" more men or else it won't be able to achieve its greatest potential
> would be a crass and inaccurate insult to the many thousands of women who
> have made modern nursing what it is.  Of course there have been and will be
> male nurses who stand out as contributors, but only a very small
> percentage, probably in keeping with the ratio of men to women in nursing.
> And yet, despite the high salaries RNs command, are there any
> gov't-sponsored initiatives to get men into nursing?  If so, it'd be news
> to me and many others.  But I ask, if men by and large, for whatever
> reasons, aren't interested in becoming nurses, why make a big deal about
> it?  Are there gov't-sponsored campaigns to get more women into the
> relatively lucrative job of refuse collection?  Or, the likewise lucrative
> jobs of plumber, ordnance disposal engineer, nuclear materials technician,
> etc.?  No.  But other fields that are a lot less dirty and/or dangerous,
> yes.  (Think professional STEM fields.)  This isn't by accident, nor is the
> fact that the nursing profession with its high salaries (for RNs, anyway)
> is in no hurry to recruit men simply because they're men.  But why should
> they?  That one receives care from a female vs. male nurse isn't relevant.
> To trumpet a "need" for men in nursing minimizes the huge contributions of
> women nurses and is a patently false proposition.  Nursing needs competent,
> dedicated people in its ranks.  The gender of them is irrelevant.
>
> This returns me to my primary point, which I hope you can see.  WMF may
> think this idea to single out a particular group based on an innate
> characteristic to encourage them to be Wikipedia contributors is good for
> some reason, but it rests on false assumptions around a connection between
> one's gender and their competence at any given task.  Unless the task is
> inherently tied to a person's sexual biology, it doesn't play a part in
> whether or not they are good or not at something, nor whether or not they
> want to do it. (I am for example a good improv-style comedian; many have
> suggested I go to open-mic nights and share my schtick with the crowd.
> Thing is, I don't want to, so I don't.  It's enough for me to know I can
> keep my friends in stitches when I am so moved.)
>
> As for devaluing current contributors should they happen *not* to be
> female: WMF, like a political party, needs to be careful, I suggest, not to
> drop a dozen eggs while going to pick up three.  Also, in the process of
> telling other identity groups you're focusing on just one, you marginalize
> them.  "Playing favorites" is a trap the gov't has fallen into and the
> results have been bad for it.
>
> Like others on this list, I also got an email today from someone who
> subbed me to a supposed Google Group for lesbian Wikipedia contributors.
> While I knew immediately it was a fake [1. I'm not female and thus 2.
> Cannot by definition be a lesbian], its very existence shows the
> disaffection with the decision.  It also underscores the hazards of going
> the identity politics route.  For example, to be extra-inclusive within the
> target audience (women), would this initiative now need to be tweaked to
> include a special sub-effort of outreach to gay women?  And what about
> bisexual women?  They are, arguably, like gay women, a group in need
> perhaps of specific outreach and encouragement.  But maybe the same can be
> said of black people (or African-American, if you prefer), Lationos (or
> Hispanics, again, if you prefer), or maybe people of western Asian descent
> (i.e., people whose ancestors lived in pre-modern era Asia in countries now
> named China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan).  And then there are people of
> Indo-Asian ethnicity (India, Pakistan, etc.).  Polynesians.  Mexicas.
> Native Americans (or Indians, depending on who you ask).  Gay men.  Bi
> men.  Gay Latinos.  Transsexual Polynesian-Indo-Asian women, men, or both.
> There's no end of it once the precedent is established, and there'll be no
> peace for the WMF.
>
> The gov't can get away with using identiy politics and pursuing policies
> of favortism based on whatever aspects they choose to use.  Age, sex,
> ethnicity, non-natural personhood (i.e., corporate welfare/punishment),
> etc., are all open to them because they are the gov't.  Unless people are
> ready to rebel against them, they have the say about where the taxpayers'
> bounty goes and who is favored over another.  It may annoy some in the
> pop'n (esp. those not getting the largesse), but too bad.  Unless you're
> ready to go rebel, you have to accept it.
>
> Non-profit shoestring volunteer-dependent endeavors cannot afford to be
> choosy or worse, be or appear to be high-handed. One key to success in the
> marketplace is recognizing that everyone's money is as green as anyone
> else's.  In the case of WMF, the currency is contributors of knowledge.
> WMF can't afford to alienate them in favor of *maybe* picking up a few more
> volunteers/contributors.  Again, don't drop a dozen eggs trying to pick up
> three more.  The risk isn't worth the reward.  The only thing WMF has going
> for itself is popularity and justifiable faith in what it provides.  Lose
> either of these things and it's done for.  If you start counting such
> irrelevancies as the physical or similar aspects of contributors (like
> their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) as being ipso facto
> relevant to the value of their contributions, you've lost the second thing
> (justifiable faith).  If you openly, in fact or in appearance, start
> playing favorites from among your readers/contributors/volunteers for any
> reason, you are sure to lose the first (popularity).
>
> WMF would be better-served focusing not on the sex, etc. of its
> contributors, but on its long-term survival strategy.  At the moment, WMF
> is living hand-to-mouth and relying on end-of-year micro-donations to keep
> itself afloat.  This isn't a sustainable model.
>
> Wikipedia is a free web-based teaching and reference service.  It is only
> a question of when someone with a better mousetrap who has a way to make
> money from their site comes along.  (Remember the #1 search engine in
> 1996?  It was called "Alta Vista".  Then came Google.   The rest is
> history, and the big reason for that is simply Google's AdSense.  If Alta
> Vista had come up with that idea, maybe they'd still be around.)
>
> I won't suggest Wikipedia stop being Wikipedia.  Did Google stop being a
> free search engine after they learned how to make money from it, allowing
> them to continue being Google (and more)?  No.  Neither should Wikipedia.
> But WMF has to figure out how to become able to sustain itself without the
> kindness of strangers.  Projects like closing the (so-called) gender gap
> will actually work against the aim of making Wikipedia more atteactive than
> it is now as a web site for gaining knowledge but without the heaps of
> embedded editorializing found today in newspapers on- and off-line, in
> textbooks covering almost anything but the hard sciences, etc.  Still, it
> can create for itself opportunities to pay its own way and attract
> donations that people feel good to make.
>
> About a week and a half ago, I asked for input re a project suggestion.  (
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiTribute ) To date, I haven't gotten
> feedback because perhaps the list has been filled with discussion about the
> exclusivity of the 3-month gender gap project funding.  Already, the topic
> has distracted people from possibilities that may otherwise have been
> entertained that could generate income for WMF.  Aside from the idea's
> merits as such, it is also a way to encourage donations/get fees, and in an
> ongoing basis rather than principally at one time of the year (December).
> But even if WMF thinks it isn't worth pursuing, it needs something else --
> something it can charge for that will have broad, on-going appeal to many
> people and/or business entities.  (AdSense, for example, is used by
> ordinary people with blogs and large high-traffic commercial web sites
> alike.)  It has to leave people feeling good about Wikipedia and WMF and be
> popular broadly and "agnostically".  Does your local gas station care if
> you're male or female?  Gay or straight or bi or asexual?   Or does the Red
> Cross decide when there's a blood drive that only certain donors will get
> the cookies and coffee or be encouraged to get them while telling other
> donors to wait until that particular group has gotten some first?  If they
> did, donations'd fall off fast, or blood donors would go directly to
> hospitals to donate -- assuming they still felt like it.
>
> Maybe my note and/or opinion will be ignored, or denounced, or something
> else.  Perhaps it'll have no effect at all.  But as a devoted Wikipedia
> enthusiast, donor to WMF, and pro-knowledge-democracy advocate, I can tell
> you that raising a fence if even temporarily to full participation in WMF
> activities for Wikipedians interested in seeing it grow is bad on multiple
> levels: politically, philosophically, practically, and financially, and
> most especially, relative to its foundational purpose of allowing others to
> contribute/participate to this great effort of recording the world's
> collective knowledge on an on-going basis and without hindrance, except
> insofar as the contributions are accurate, relevant, and sincere.
>
> It's a dream worth keeping alive.  I for one would hate one day to look
> back on 1Q 2015 and say to the others with me in the nursing home "Yeah,
> Wikipedia -- it was a sad day back in '15.  The beginning of the end.  I
> was there.  I tried talking them out of it, but... it just didn't work.
> Now we're all stuck with
> www.selected-contributors-only-o-pedia-not-wikipedia.com and that's
> nothing close to what we used to have in Wikipedia."
>
> Of course by then, we may all have computers implanted in our brains that
> tell us anything we want to know just by thinking the question.  Doubt it,
> but who knows.
>
> Thank you for reading.
>
> Matt
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Srikanth Ramakrishnan-3
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder-2
On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.
Need I say anything else?
On 08-Jan-2015 2:45 pm, "FRED BAUDER" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>> That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so long
>> as it's relevant and factual.
>>
>
> That's the point; it would not matter if women contributed so long as it's
> relevant and factual. Half the humans that could contribute are not.
> Actually many more than half, as there are barriers other than gender.
>
> Fred
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Ilario Valdelli
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder-2
I think that the realistic point of view should be another.

There is a potential number of people who can be contributors (contributors
and not readers) but this potential number must be *realistic*.

Anyway these persons should have something to contribute to wikimedia
projects an basically:

a) ability to write (so a sufficient capacity to be "active" users and not
"passive", it means a valid education and knowledge)
b) connection to the network (in order to have a continuous contribution to
the projects)
c) time to spent (volunteers must have time... a woman with children
probably will dedicate her free time to the family)

So there is a digital divide and a gender gap and so on but probably the
barriers cannot be solved within Wikimedia.

For this reason I don't think that "half the humans" could contribute.
There are barriers (education, digital divide, freetime, etc.) that can
only be "partially" solved by Wikimedia.

Please don't do the same simpler association "number of speakers" =
"potential number of contributors" because that strategy will be *surely*
wrong.

Regards


On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 9:56 AM, FRED BAUDER <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>> That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so long
>> as it's relevant and factual.
>>
>
> That's the point; it would not matter if women contributed so long as it's
> relevant and factual. Half the humans that could contribute are not.
> Actually many more than half, as there are barriers other than gender.
>
> Fred
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
>



--
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
Skype: valdelli
Facebook: Ilario Valdelli <https://www.facebook.com/ivaldelli>
Twitter: Ilario Valdelli <https://twitter.com/ilariovaldelli>
Linkedin: Ilario Valdelli <http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6724469>
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by mcc99
Hi there,


> That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so long
> as it's relevant and factual.


>
Who is to decide what is relevant and factual (or indeed, the other
editorial judgements we make in writing aricles)? If the only people doing
that are white North American and European men with (or working towards)
masters' degrees*, then their judgements will inevitably reflect their own
backgrounds and perspectives - and other backgrounds and perspectives will
be missing from those judgements.

That does not and will not result in us fulfilling our mission to build and
share the sum of human knowledge.

In my view our consensus-based decision-making model can only work well
when there is enough diversity of contributions in the first place. It is
easy for a small group of similar people to reach a consensus. However,
they are likely to miss important things in doing so.
Regards,

Chris

* This isn't (quite) a description of the status quo but is pretty close
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Sebastian Moleski-2
In reply to this post by mcc99
Hi Matt,

as thorough as your characterization of the issue at hand is, as
misguided it is as well. The main point of the gender debate isn't the
physical differences between men and women and some purported
difference in authorship flowing from that. That would rightfully be
considered absurd and thus isn't really seriously promoted by anyone.

The gender gap debate is rather an acknowledgment that only a
surprisingly small subset of half the population contribute to
Wikipedia - and the systemic bias that stems from that. In fact, it
seems rather obvious that an encyclopedia that aspires to represent
all of human knowledge must necessarily be written by a representative
subset of humanity - or at least a representative subset of the
scientific community. We, so far, spectactularly fail at that with
respect to gender but also geography, language, and professional
backgrounds and expertise. As a result, it's more than sensible to try
to address that with the gender gap as the most prominent failure.

I also find your argument that focusing on increasing female
participation is devaluing the contribution of the prevalent majority
highly dubious. It's unfortunately a rather unoriginal argument as it
has been used many many times before in the political arean to combat
initiatives aimed at increasing diversity and decreasing
discrimination. The incessant fault of the argument is the premise
that the value of a particular contribution is dependent on the value
of all other contributions rather than viewing it in its own right. To
give an example: when someone writes an outstanding article on the
Great Wall of China and someone else writes an outstanding article on
Jacques Chirac, the value of each of these contributions is completely
separate from one another as well as from the fact whether one of the
authors was "recruited" through a drive to increase female
participation. They've both made excellent additions to Wikipedia and
should be lauded for that. Making moves to increase female
participation does not in any way devalue male participation.

While I have no knowledge whether this focused approach to
grant-making will indeed lead to increased female participation, I
find it sensible to at least try it out. We'll see in the end whether
it was succesful.

Best regards,

Sebastian Moleski
Schatzmeister / Treasurer
-------------------------------------
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24
10963 Berlin

Telefon 030 - 219 158 26-0
www.wikimedia.de

Stellen Sie sich eine Welt vor, in der jeder Mensch an der Menge allen
Wissens frei teilhaben kann. Helfen Sie uns dabei!
http://spenden.wikimedia.de/

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 Nz. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.

_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Ilario Valdelli
In reply to this post by Chris Keating-2
I partially disagree with this vision.

Without the North American and European men there would not be any
opportunity to say: "we would share the sum of the human knowledge".

Probably Wikimedia would not exist.

It is correct to say that Wikimedia must offer to *all people* any
opportunity without any difference of culture or gender or religion and
probably to "promote" some disadvantaged potential contributors, but
without forgetting that what Wikimedia is now is due to these "neglected
white men".

I agree with your sentence: "In my view our consensus-based decision-making
model can only work well when there is enough diversity of contributions"
but we must be clear that the diversity of contribution and of opinions is
not automatically connected with the race or with the gender. The neutral
point of view has been assured until now, I would not read in your sentence
that this is wrong.

There may be men or women gathered in a key decision committee but having
the same "not neutral point of view" because the gender doesn't assure
automatically the neutrality of point of view.

The risk I see in the association of diversity with the gender or with the
race is that we can say that having people from different countries or
different races or different sex it can assure the neutral point of view.

But that is wrong.

Regards


On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 10:59 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hi there,
>
>
> > That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so long
> > as it's relevant and factual.
>
>
> >
> Who is to decide what is relevant and factual (or indeed, the other
> editorial judgements we make in writing aricles)? If the only people doing
> that are white North American and European men with (or working towards)
> masters' degrees*, then their judgements will inevitably reflect their own
> backgrounds and perspectives - and other backgrounds and perspectives will
> be missing from those judgements.
>
> That does not and will not result in us fulfilling our mission to build and
> share the sum of human knowledge.
>
> In my view our consensus-based decision-making model can only work well
> when there is enough diversity of contributions in the first place. It is
> easy for a small group of similar people to reach a consensus. However,
> they are likely to miss important things in doing so.
> Regards,
>
> Chris
>
> * This isn't (quite) a description of the status quo but is pretty close
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
>



--
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
Skype: valdelli
Facebook: Ilario Valdelli <https://www.facebook.com/ivaldelli>
Twitter: Ilario Valdelli <https://twitter.com/ilariovaldelli>
Linkedin: Ilario Valdelli <http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6724469>
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Liam Wyatt
As this thread demonstrates, what discussions about the massive
gender imbalance in Wikimedia editorship need is more men discussing why it
might or might not be important.

</sarcasm>


--
wittylama.com
Peace, love & metadata
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Ilario Valdelli
Is there any barrier for women to participate?

The discussion is open.

It would be worth if someone attacks a woman for her opinion.

There is more a big barrier in the participation to this thread connected
with a strong level of English to be required to read and to answer to this
thread.

I see more a cultural and linguistic gap that a gender gap.

Regards

On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 11:29 AM, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:

> As this thread demonstrates, what discussions about the massive
> gender imbalance in Wikimedia editorship need is more men discussing why it
> might or might not be important.
>
> </sarcasm>
>
>
> --
> wittylama.com
> Peace, love & metadata
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
>



--
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
Skype: valdelli
Facebook: Ilario Valdelli <https://www.facebook.com/ivaldelli>
Twitter: Ilario Valdelli <https://twitter.com/ilariovaldelli>
Linkedin: Ilario Valdelli <http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6724469>
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Srikanth Ramakrishnan-3
I agree.
Women vs Men has never really stood out as a point of debate before and
ideally shouldn't.
On 08-Jan-2015 4:11 pm, "Ilario Valdelli" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Is there any barrier for women to participate?
>
> The discussion is open.
>
> It would be worth if someone attacks a woman for her opinion.
>
> There is more a big barrier in the participation to this thread connected
> with a strong level of English to be required to read and to answer to this
> thread.
>
> I see more a cultural and linguistic gap that a gender gap.
>
> Regards
>
> On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 11:29 AM, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > As this thread demonstrates, what discussions about the massive
> > gender imbalance in Wikimedia editorship need is more men discussing why
> it
> > might or might not be important.
> >
> > </sarcasm>
> >
> >
> > --
> > wittylama.com
> > Peace, love & metadata
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Ilario Valdelli
> Wikimedia CH
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
> Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
> Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
> Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
> Skype: valdelli
> Facebook: Ilario Valdelli <https://www.facebook.com/ivaldelli>
> Twitter: Ilario Valdelli <https://twitter.com/ilariovaldelli>
> Linkedin: Ilario Valdelli <http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6724469
> >
> Tel: +41764821371
> http://www.wikimedia.ch
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

geni
In reply to this post by mcc99
On 8 January 2015 at 07:07, mcc99 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If you ask any RN the names of the greatest contributors to the nursing
> profession, you'll get a stream of women's names.  To suggest that nursing
> "needs" more men or else it won't be able to achieve its greatest potential
> would be a crass and inaccurate insult to the many thousands of women who
> have made modern nursing what it is.  Of course there have been and will be
> male nurses who stand out as contributors, but only a very small
> percentage, probably in keeping with the ratio of men to women in nursing.
> And yet, despite the high salaries RNs command, are there any
> gov't-sponsored initiatives to get men into nursing?


In fact nurses get paid less than the male national average wage. This is
clearly some definition of high salaries I wasn't previously familiar with



> If so, it'd be news to me and many others.  But I ask, if men by and
> large, for whatever reasons, aren't interested in becoming nurses, why make
> a big deal about it?


Reducing the recruitment pool is less than ideal. However the number of men
training to be nurses has been increasing so it is probably felt the
problem will solve itself.


> Are there gov't-sponsored campaigns to get more women into the relatively
> lucrative job of refuse collection?


Ah you can tell the piece you are recycling from is dated. Post
privatisation refuse collection has ceased to be a particularly lucrative
job.


Or, the likewise lucrative jobs of plumber,


http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/call-more-women-construction-3m-6942911

Although again due to eastern European labour plumbing isn't as lucrative
as it used to be.



> ordnance disposal engineer,



I understand there have been various attempts to recruit women into the
military



> nuclear materials technician, etc.?  No.  But other fields that are a lot
> less dirty and/or dangerous, yes.



Were you under the impression that nuclear materials technician was dirty
and/or dangerous? For very obvious reasons it isn't. However the nuclear
industry has been downsizing of late so I don't think there are significant
programs to recruit anyone.



>  (Think professional STEM fields.)


I'm a chemist you insensitive clod. Depending on what you are doing it can
be dirty or dangerous.



>
>


--
geni
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Ilario Valdelli
Hoi,
Given that a frequent complaint is the male chauvinist piggery that is
alive and well and meets not much sanction, this behaviour it being given
as one of the main reasons why so many people leave. I do suggest that the
hand above the head holding attitude of culprits is why we do so poorly. As
this is not acknowledged enough, it is not on the radar of people who are
not as flawed as some.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 8 January 2015 at 11:25, Ilario Valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I partially disagree with this vision.
>
> Without the North American and European men there would not be any
> opportunity to say: "we would share the sum of the human knowledge".
>
> Probably Wikimedia would not exist.
>
> It is correct to say that Wikimedia must offer to *all people* any
> opportunity without any difference of culture or gender or religion and
> probably to "promote" some disadvantaged potential contributors, but
> without forgetting that what Wikimedia is now is due to these "neglected
> white men".
>
> I agree with your sentence: "In my view our consensus-based decision-making
> model can only work well when there is enough diversity of contributions"
> but we must be clear that the diversity of contribution and of opinions is
> not automatically connected with the race or with the gender. The neutral
> point of view has been assured until now, I would not read in your sentence
> that this is wrong.
>
> There may be men or women gathered in a key decision committee but having
> the same "not neutral point of view" because the gender doesn't assure
> automatically the neutrality of point of view.
>
> The risk I see in the association of diversity with the gender or with the
> race is that we can say that having people from different countries or
> different races or different sex it can assure the neutral point of view.
>
> But that is wrong.
>
> Regards
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 10:59 AM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]
> >
> wrote:
>
> > Hi there,
> >
> >
> > > That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so
> long
> > > as it's relevant and factual.
> >
> >
> > >
> > Who is to decide what is relevant and factual (or indeed, the other
> > editorial judgements we make in writing aricles)? If the only people
> doing
> > that are white North American and European men with (or working towards)
> > masters' degrees*, then their judgements will inevitably reflect their
> own
> > backgrounds and perspectives - and other backgrounds and perspectives
> will
> > be missing from those judgements.
> >
> > That does not and will not result in us fulfilling our mission to build
> and
> > share the sum of human knowledge.
> >
> > In my view our consensus-based decision-making model can only work well
> > when there is enough diversity of contributions in the first place. It is
> > easy for a small group of similar people to reach a consensus. However,
> > they are likely to miss important things in doing so.
> > Regards,
> >
> > Chris
> >
> > * This isn't (quite) a description of the status quo but is pretty close
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Ilario Valdelli
> Wikimedia CH
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
> Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
> Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
> Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
> Skype: valdelli
> Facebook: Ilario Valdelli <https://www.facebook.com/ivaldelli>
> Twitter: Ilario Valdelli <https://twitter.com/ilariovaldelli>
> Linkedin: Ilario Valdelli <http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6724469
> >
> Tel: +41764821371
> http://www.wikimedia.ch
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
>
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Srikanth Ramakrishnan-3
On Thu, 8 Jan 2015 14:53:47 +0530
  Srikanth Ramakrishnan <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.
> Need I say anything else?

I think you've hit the nail on the head. It should not be easier to
dominate a player-killing MUD than to edit an article on Wikipedia. In
other words, one should not need to adopt the persona of a snarling
dog to successfully edit.

Fred


_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Ilario Valdelli
Thank you for this thoughtful response. In the United States, at
least, girls routinely test higher than boys on verbal skills and have
recently surpassed young men in attaining higher education in nearly
all fields. There is a lot of dead time in the lives of many women.
They are all over Facebook. Routine child care and housework give
ample opportunity to research and edit as do many jobs. Objective
factors which might limit editing are minimal.

Fred

On Thu, 8 Jan 2015 10:47:22 +0100
  Ilario Valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think that the realistic point of view should be another.
>
> There is a potential number of people who can be contributors
>(contributors
> and not readers) but this potential number must be *realistic*.
>
> Anyway these persons should have something to contribute to
>wikimedia
> projects an basically:
>
> a) ability to write (so a sufficient capacity to be "active" users
>and not
> "passive", it means a valid education and knowledge)
> b) connection to the network (in order to have a continuous
>contribution to
> the projects)
> c) time to spent (volunteers must have time... a woman with children
> probably will dedicate her free time to the family)
>
> So there is a digital divide and a gender gap and so on but probably
>the
> barriers cannot be solved within Wikimedia.
>
>For this reason I don't think that "half the humans" could
>contribute.
> There are barriers (education, digital divide, freetime, etc.) that
>can
> only be "partially" solved by Wikimedia.
>
> Please don't do the same simpler association "number of speakers" =
> "potential number of contributors" because that strategy will be
>*surely*
> wrong.
>
> Regards
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 9:56 AM, FRED BAUDER <[hidden email]>
>wrote:
>
>>
>>
>>> That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so
>>>long
>>> as it's relevant and factual.
>>>
>>
>> That's the point; it would not matter if women contributed so long
>>as it's
>> relevant and factual. Half the humans that could contribute are not.
>> Actually many more than half, as there are barriers other than
>>gender.
>>
>> Fred
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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>
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Ilario Valdelli
> Wikimedia CH
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
> Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
> Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
> Wikipedia: Ilario <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ilario>
> Skype: valdelli
>Facebook: Ilario Valdelli <https://www.facebook.com/ivaldelli>
> Twitter: Ilario Valdelli <https://twitter.com/ilariovaldelli>
> Linkedin: Ilario Valdelli
><http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6724469>
> Tel: +41764821371
> http://www.wikimedia.ch
> _______________________________________________
> 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>


_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Ilario Valdelli
On Thu, 8 Jan 2015 11:25:23 +0100
  Ilario Valdelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I partially disagree with this vision.
>
> Without the North American and European men there would not be any
> opportunity to say: "we would share the sum of the human knowledge".
>
> Probably Wikimedia would not exist.

True, but our goal was to make knowledge and the opportunity to
contribute to making knowledge available to everyone.

Fred


_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Liam Wyatt
On Thu, 8 Jan 2015 11:29:57 +0100
  Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> As this thread demonstrates, what discussions about the massive
> gender imbalance in Wikimedia editorship need is more men discussing
>why it
> might or might not be important.
>
> </sarcasm>

Radical feminist notions that men should reduce editing or
participation are counter-productive. The solution is OR not NOT;
anyone should be able to edit without struggle.

Fred


_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Peter Southwood
In reply to this post by mcc99
Hi Matt,
How much actual editing of Wikipedia have you done? I have looked for some indication in your rather lengthy message, but could not find any.  Perhaps I have simply missed it, but maybe you just didn’t mention, thinking that it is not relevant to the point.
Nevertheless, I would be interested to know, as it would be an indication of your exposure to the editing environment. For the same reason, I would like to know which Wikipedia(s) you have edited, they are not all the same.
Cheers,
Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of mcc99
Sent: 08 January 2015 09:07 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Dear fellow Wikipedia devotees,

While I'm new to this list, I've been an avid fan and proponent of Wikipedia and all the great service it gives people since it launched.  People can learn not just all the basics of nearly any topic imaginable, but for a large number, readers can with diligence become expert on more than a few and save themselves the cost of tuition/training.  All this, in addition to satisfying their curiosity about millions of subjects.

That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so long as it's relevant and factual.  Unlike the published, single-authority edited encyclopediae of the past, Wikipedia allows anyone with relevant information to contribute to it.  Their additions or other edits are checked by volunteers to make sure the edit isn't a defacement, irrelevant, patently unfactual, or unverifiable.  They are typically left as written or maybe edited only for grammar/spelling.  Wikipedia is a rare success story in democracy of knowledge.  If one feels moved to contribute, they do.  If not, they don't.  It's like voting in a sense, though it's true people in democracies should perhaps take the opportunity to do so more often.  But it's up to them.

Like voting or anything else, to single out a particular group of people based on their indelible characteristics as being desirable as contributors to any field implicitly devalues the contributions not just of those currently contributing who don't fall into that category, but also says to any other group of a particular identity that you care more about the group you're trying to get more involvement from than them.  "Identity politics" is unfortunately a fact of our current political climate and I hope one day we can, as MLK Jr. hoped, judge one another not by skin color (and I'd add gender, sexuality, and a few others), but by content of character.  In the context of Wikipedia, this would translate to the veracity and applicability of contributions made to the vast Wikipedia knowledge-base -- not who in particular is doing the contributing, nor their indelible characteristics of person.

Because identity politics is today part of general electoral politics doesn't mean it need be for anything else, and especially given how such things as a person's ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc., say nothing about what they know about or can do, I don't see how it's relevant to the veracity and applicability of Wikipedia's knowledge base.  I don't care that, for example, a black person (Charles Drew, MD) came up with the process of creating blood plasma, an innovation that has saved millions of lives.  He was tragically and mortally injured in a car accident, however, and so his potential future achievements were lost to humanity.  (He was not refused treatment for his injuries at the hospital he was taken to because of his ethnicity, as is widely but falsely believed; he was just so badly injured that he died.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_R._Drew#Death ).  I also don't care that Adm Grace Hopper (USN) wad female, only that she wrote the first computer language compiler so programmers of lesser brain power than her (such as myself) could go on to program computers without struggling with binary switches and punch cards.  Her contributions were what was important, not her gender, skin color, or anything else as far as her professional achievements go.

If you ask any RN the names of the greatest contributors to the nursing profession, you'll get a stream of women's names.  To suggest that nursing "needs" more men or else it won't be able to achieve its greatest potential would be a crass and inaccurate insult to the many thousands of women who have made modern nursing what it is.  Of course there have been and will be male nurses who stand out as contributors, but only a very small percentage, probably in keeping with the ratio of men to women in nursing.  And yet, despite the high salaries RNs command, are there any gov't-sponsored initiatives to get men into nursing?  If so, it'd be news to me and many others.  But I ask, if men by and large, for whatever reasons, aren't interested in becoming nurses, why make a big deal about it?  Are there gov't-sponsored campaigns to get more women into the relatively lucrative job of refuse collection?  Or, the likewise lucrative jobs of plumber, ordnance disposal engineer, nuclear materials technician, etc.?  No.  But other fields that are a lot less dirty and/or dangerous, yes.  (Think professional STEM fields.)  This isn't by accident, nor is the fact that the nursing profession with its high salaries (for RNs, anyway) is in no hurry to recruit men simply because they're men.  But why should they?  That one receives care from a female vs. male nurse isn't relevant.  To trumpet a "need" for men in nursing minimizes the huge contributions of women nurses and is a patently false proposition.  Nursing needs competent, dedicated people in its ranks.  The gender of them is irrelevant.

This returns me to my primary point, which I hope you can see.  WMF may think this idea to single out a particular group based on an innate characteristic to encourage them to be Wikipedia contributors is good for some reason, but it rests on false assumptions around a connection between one's gender and their competence at any given task.  Unless the task is inherently tied to a person's sexual biology, it doesn't play a part in whether or not they are good or not at something, nor whether or not they want to do it. (I am for example a good improv-style comedian; many have suggested I go to open-mic nights and share my schtick with the crowd.  Thing is, I don't want to, so I don't.  It's enough for me to know I can keep my friends in stitches when I am so moved.)

As for devaluing current contributors should they happen *not* to be female: WMF, like a political party, needs to be careful, I suggest, not to drop a dozen eggs while going to pick up three.  Also, in the process of telling other identity groups you're focusing on just one, you marginalize them.  "Playing favorites" is a trap the gov't has fallen into and the results have been bad for it.

Like others on this list, I also got an email today from someone who subbed me to a supposed Google Group for lesbian Wikipedia contributors.  While I knew immediately it was a fake [1. I'm not female and thus 2. Cannot by definition be a lesbian], its very existence shows the disaffection with the decision.  It also underscores the hazards of going the identity politics route.  For example, to be extra-inclusive within the target audience (women), would this initiative now need to be tweaked to include a special sub-effort of outreach to gay women?  And what about bisexual women?  They are, arguably, like gay women, a group in need perhaps of specific outreach and encouragement.  But maybe the same can be said of black people (or African-American, if you prefer), Lationos (or Hispanics, again, if you prefer), or maybe people of western Asian descent (i.e., people whose ancestors lived in pre-modern era Asia in countries now named China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan).  And then there are people of Indo-Asian ethnicity (India, Pakistan, etc.).  Polynesians.  Mexicas.  Native Americans (or Indians, depending on who you ask).  Gay men.  Bi men.  Gay Latinos.  Transsexual Polynesian-Indo-Asian women, men, or both.  There's no end of it once the precedent is established, and there'll be no peace for the WMF.

The gov't can get away with using identiy politics and pursuing policies of favortism based on whatever aspects they choose to use.  Age, sex, ethnicity, non-natural personhood (i.e., corporate welfare/punishment), etc., are all open to them because they are the gov't.  Unless people are ready to rebel against them, they have the say about where the taxpayers' bounty goes and who is favored over another.  It may annoy some in the pop'n (esp. those not getting the largesse), but too bad.  Unless you're ready to go rebel, you have to accept it.

Non-profit shoestring volunteer-dependent endeavors cannot afford to be choosy or worse, be or appear to be high-handed. One key to success in the marketplace is recognizing that everyone's money is as green as anyone else's.  In the case of WMF, the currency is contributors of knowledge.  WMF can't afford to alienate them in favor of *maybe* picking up a few more volunteers/contributors.  Again, don't drop a dozen eggs trying to pick up three more.  The risk isn't worth the reward.  The only thing WMF has going for itself is popularity and justifiable faith in what it provides.  Lose either of these things and it's done for.  If you start counting such irrelevancies as the physical or similar aspects of contributors (like their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) as being ipso facto relevant to the value of their contributions, you've lost the second thing (justifiable faith).  If you openly, in fact or in appearance, start playing favorites from among your readers/contributors/volunteers for any reason, you are sure to lose the first (popularity).

WMF would be better-served focusing not on the sex, etc. of its contributors, but on its long-term survival strategy.  At the moment, WMF is living hand-to-mouth and relying on end-of-year micro-donations to keep itself afloat.  This isn't a sustainable model.

Wikipedia is a free web-based teaching and reference service.  It is only a question of when someone with a better mousetrap who has a way to make money from their site comes along.  (Remember the #1 search engine in 1996?  It was called "Alta Vista".  Then came Google.   The rest is history, and the big reason for that is simply Google's AdSense.  If Alta Vista had come up with that idea, maybe they'd still be around.)

I won't suggest Wikipedia stop being Wikipedia.  Did Google stop being a free search engine after they learned how to make money from it, allowing them to continue being Google (and more)?  No.  Neither should Wikipedia.  But WMF has to figure out how to become able to sustain itself without the kindness of strangers.  Projects like closing the (so-called) gender gap will actually work against the aim of making Wikipedia more atteactive than it is now as a web site for gaining knowledge but without the heaps of embedded editorializing found today in newspapers on- and off-line, in textbooks covering almost anything but the hard sciences, etc.  Still, it can create for itself opportunities to pay its own way and attract donations that people feel good to make.

About a week and a half ago, I asked for input re a project suggestion.  ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiTribute ) To date, I haven't gotten feedback because perhaps the list has been filled with discussion about the exclusivity of the 3-month gender gap project funding.  Already, the topic has distracted people from possibilities that may otherwise have been entertained that could generate income for WMF.  Aside from the idea's merits as such, it is also a way to encourage donations/get fees, and in an ongoing basis rather than principally at one time of the year (December).  But even if WMF thinks it isn't worth pursuing, it needs something else -- something it can charge for that will have broad, on-going appeal to many people and/or business entities.  (AdSense, for example, is used by ordinary people with blogs and large high-traffic commercial web sites alike.)  It has to leave people feeling good about Wikipedia and WMF and be popular broadly and "agnostically".  Does your local gas station care if you're male or female?  Gay or straight or bi or asexual?   Or does the Red Cross decide when there's a blood drive that only certain donors will get the cookies and coffee or be encouraged to get them while telling other donors to wait until that particular group has gotten some first?  If they did, donations'd fall off fast, or blood donors would go directly to hospitals to donate -- assuming they still felt like it.

Maybe my note and/or opinion will be ignored, or denounced, or something else.  Perhaps it'll have no effect at all.  But as a devoted Wikipedia enthusiast, donor to WMF, and pro-knowledge-democracy advocate, I can tell you that raising a fence if even temporarily to full participation in WMF activities for Wikipedians interested in seeing it grow is bad on multiple levels: politically, philosophically, practically, and financially, and most especially, relative to its foundational purpose of allowing others to contribute/participate to this great effort of recording the world's collective knowledge on an on-going basis and without hindrance, except insofar as the contributions are accurate, relevant, and sincere.

It's a dream worth keeping alive.  I for one would hate one day to look back on 1Q 2015 and say to the others with me in the nursing home "Yeah, Wikipedia -- it was a sad day back in '15.  The beginning of the end.  I was there.  I tried talking them out of it, but... it just didn't work.  Now we're all stuck with www.selected-contributors-only-o-pedia-not-wikipedia.com and that's nothing close to what we used to have in Wikipedia."

Of course by then, we may all have computers implanted in our brains that tell us anything we want to know just by thinking the question.  Doubt it, but who knows.

Thank you for reading.

Matt
_______________________________________________
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>

-----
No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2015.0.5577 / Virus Database: 4257/8890 - Release Date: 01/08/15


_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder-2
On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 12:09 PM, FRED BAUDER <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, 8 Jan 2015 11:29:57 +0100
>  Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> As this thread demonstrates, what discussions about the massive
>> gender imbalance in Wikimedia editorship need is more men discussing why
>> it
>> might or might not be important.
>>
>> </sarcasm>
>>
>
> Radical feminist notions that men should reduce editing or participation
> are counter-productive. The solution is OR not NOT; anyone should be able
> to edit without struggle.


I'm not quite sure what you're aiming at here, but Liam's point was that it
was somewhere between unhelpful and downright harmful to have discussions
about the Wikimedia gender gap conducted entirely between men. (It's a bit
like having a discussion about Wikipedia conducted entirely by people
who've never used the internet.)

I would describe this as "common sense" rather than "radical feminism".

Chris
_______________________________________________
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>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why WMF should reconsider the 3-month gender gap project-related decision

Risker
In reply to this post by mcc99
I have one simple question:  if the Grants program was to focus on some
other  key area rather than the gender gap, would we be having this
discussion about how horrible it is to waste time this way?  Would we see
throwing up of hands in this way if the focus was, say, requests from the
Global South? A focus on getting great bots built and working across
wikis?  A focus on events and processes for media collection? (Incidentally
the latter more or less happens anyway with several groups applying for
funding for WLM within a narrow period...)


Frankly, there's not a single thing I've read, or a single objection I've
seen raised, that wasn't about how unnecessary it is to focus on women.  I
don't think we've ever heard that about the global south, or non-European
languages, or a lot of other areas where there are acknowledged biases.

Risker/Anne




On 8 January 2015 at 02:07, mcc99 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear fellow Wikipedia devotees,
>
> While I'm new to this list, I've been an avid fan and proponent of
> Wikipedia and all the great service it gives people since it launched.
> People can learn not just all the basics of nearly any topic imaginable,
> but for a large number, readers can with diligence become expert on more
> than a few and save themselves the cost of tuition/training.  All this, in
> addition to satisfying their curiosity about millions of subjects.
>
> That said, it doesn't matter who writes the content on Wikipedia so long
> as it's relevant and factual.  Unlike the published, single-authority
> edited encyclopediae of the past, Wikipedia allows anyone with relevant
> information to contribute to it.  Their additions or other edits are
> checked by volunteers to make sure the edit isn't a defacement, irrelevant,
> patently unfactual, or unverifiable.  They are typically left as written or
> maybe edited only for grammar/spelling.  Wikipedia is a rare success story
> in democracy of knowledge.  If one feels moved to contribute, they do.  If
> not, they don't.  It's like voting in a sense, though it's true people in
> democracies should perhaps take the opportunity to do so more often.  But
> it's up to them.
>
> Like voting or anything else, to single out a particular group of people
> based on their indelible characteristics as being desirable as contributors
> to any field implicitly devalues the contributions not just of those
> currently contributing who don't fall into that category, but also says to
> any other group of a particular identity that you care more about the group
> you're trying to get more involvement from than them.  "Identity politics"
> is unfortunately a fact of our current political climate and I hope one day
> we can, as MLK Jr. hoped, judge one another not by skin color (and I'd add
> gender, sexuality, and a few others), but by content of character.  In the
> context of Wikipedia, this would translate to the veracity and
> applicability of contributions made to the vast Wikipedia knowledge-base --
> not who in particular is doing the contributing, nor their indelible
> characteristics of person.
>
> Because identity politics is today part of general electoral politics
> doesn't mean it need be for anything else, and especially given how such
> things as a person's ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc., say nothing about
> what they know about or can do, I don't see how it's relevant to the
> veracity and applicability of Wikipedia's knowledge base.  I don't care
> that, for example, a black person (Charles Drew, MD) came up with the
> process of creating blood plasma, an innovation that has saved millions of
> lives.  He was tragically and mortally injured in a car accident, however,
> and so his potential future achievements were lost to humanity.  (He was
> not refused treatment for his injuries at the hospital he was taken to
> because of his ethnicity, as is widely but falsely believed; he was just so
> badly injured that he died.  See
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_R._Drew#Death ).  I also don't care
> that Adm Grace Hopper (USN) wad female, only that she wrote the first
> computer language compiler so programmers of lesser brain power than her
> (such as myself) could go on to program computers without struggling with
> binary switches and punch cards.  Her contributions were what was
> important, not her gender, skin color, or anything else as far as her
> professional achievements go.
>
> If you ask any RN the names of the greatest contributors to the nursing
> profession, you'll get a stream of women's names.  To suggest that nursing
> "needs" more men or else it won't be able to achieve its greatest potential
> would be a crass and inaccurate insult to the many thousands of women who
> have made modern nursing what it is.  Of course there have been and will be
> male nurses who stand out as contributors, but only a very small
> percentage, probably in keeping with the ratio of men to women in nursing.
> And yet, despite the high salaries RNs command, are there any
> gov't-sponsored initiatives to get men into nursing?  If so, it'd be news
> to me and many others.  But I ask, if men by and large, for whatever
> reasons, aren't interested in becoming nurses, why make a big deal about
> it?  Are there gov't-sponsored campaigns to get more women into the
> relatively lucrative job of refuse collection?  Or, the likewise lucrative
> jobs of plumber, ordnance disposal engineer, nuclear materials technician,
> etc.?  No.  But other fields that are a lot less dirty and/or dangerous,
> yes.  (Think professional STEM fields.)  This isn't by accident, nor is the
> fact that the nursing profession with its high salaries (for RNs, anyway)
> is in no hurry to recruit men simply because they're men.  But why should
> they?  That one receives care from a female vs. male nurse isn't relevant.
> To trumpet a "need" for men in nursing minimizes the huge contributions of
> women nurses and is a patently false proposition.  Nursing needs competent,
> dedicated people in its ranks.  The gender of them is irrelevant.
>
> This returns me to my primary point, which I hope you can see.  WMF may
> think this idea to single out a particular group based on an innate
> characteristic to encourage them to be Wikipedia contributors is good for
> some reason, but it rests on false assumptions around a connection between
> one's gender and their competence at any given task.  Unless the task is
> inherently tied to a person's sexual biology, it doesn't play a part in
> whether or not they are good or not at something, nor whether or not they
> want to do it. (I am for example a good improv-style comedian; many have
> suggested I go to open-mic nights and share my schtick with the crowd.
> Thing is, I don't want to, so I don't.  It's enough for me to know I can
> keep my friends in stitches when I am so moved.)
>
> As for devaluing current contributors should they happen *not* to be
> female: WMF, like a political party, needs to be careful, I suggest, not to
> drop a dozen eggs while going to pick up three.  Also, in the process of
> telling other identity groups you're focusing on just one, you marginalize
> them.  "Playing favorites" is a trap the gov't has fallen into and the
> results have been bad for it.
>
> Like others on this list, I also got an email today from someone who
> subbed me to a supposed Google Group for lesbian Wikipedia contributors.
> While I knew immediately it was a fake [1. I'm not female and thus 2.
> Cannot by definition be a lesbian], its very existence shows the
> disaffection with the decision.  It also underscores the hazards of going
> the identity politics route.  For example, to be extra-inclusive within the
> target audience (women), would this initiative now need to be tweaked to
> include a special sub-effort of outreach to gay women?  And what about
> bisexual women?  They are, arguably, like gay women, a group in need
> perhaps of specific outreach and encouragement.  But maybe the same can be
> said of black people (or African-American, if you prefer), Lationos (or
> Hispanics, again, if you prefer), or maybe people of western Asian descent
> (i.e., people whose ancestors lived in pre-modern era Asia in countries now
> named China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan).  And then there are people of
> Indo-Asian ethnicity (India, Pakistan, etc.).  Polynesians.  Mexicas.
> Native Americans (or Indians, depending on who you ask).  Gay men.  Bi
> men.  Gay Latinos.  Transsexual Polynesian-Indo-Asian women, men, or both.
> There's no end of it once the precedent is established, and there'll be no
> peace for the WMF.
>
> The gov't can get away with using identiy politics and pursuing policies
> of favortism based on whatever aspects they choose to use.  Age, sex,
> ethnicity, non-natural personhood (i.e., corporate welfare/punishment),
> etc., are all open to them because they are the gov't.  Unless people are
> ready to rebel against them, they have the say about where the taxpayers'
> bounty goes and who is favored over another.  It may annoy some in the
> pop'n (esp. those not getting the largesse), but too bad.  Unless you're
> ready to go rebel, you have to accept it.
>
> Non-profit shoestring volunteer-dependent endeavors cannot afford to be
> choosy or worse, be or appear to be high-handed. One key to success in the
> marketplace is recognizing that everyone's money is as green as anyone
> else's.  In the case of WMF, the currency is contributors of knowledge.
> WMF can't afford to alienate them in favor of *maybe* picking up a few more
> volunteers/contributors.  Again, don't drop a dozen eggs trying to pick up
> three more.  The risk isn't worth the reward.  The only thing WMF has going
> for itself is popularity and justifiable faith in what it provides.  Lose
> either of these things and it's done for.  If you start counting such
> irrelevancies as the physical or similar aspects of contributors (like
> their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) as being ipso facto
> relevant to the value of their contributions, you've lost the second thing
> (justifiable faith).  If you openly, in fact or in appearance, start
> playing favorites from among your readers/contributors/volunteers for any
> reason, you are sure to lose the first (popularity).
>
> WMF would be better-served focusing not on the sex, etc. of its
> contributors, but on its long-term survival strategy.  At the moment, WMF
> is living hand-to-mouth and relying on end-of-year micro-donations to keep
> itself afloat.  This isn't a sustainable model.
>
> Wikipedia is a free web-based teaching and reference service.  It is only
> a question of when someone with a better mousetrap who has a way to make
> money from their site comes along.  (Remember the #1 search engine in
> 1996?  It was called "Alta Vista".  Then came Google.   The rest is
> history, and the big reason for that is simply Google's AdSense.  If Alta
> Vista had come up with that idea, maybe they'd still be around.)
>
> I won't suggest Wikipedia stop being Wikipedia.  Did Google stop being a
> free search engine after they learned how to make money from it, allowing
> them to continue being Google (and more)?  No.  Neither should Wikipedia.
> But WMF has to figure out how to become able to sustain itself without the
> kindness of strangers.  Projects like closing the (so-called) gender gap
> will actually work against the aim of making Wikipedia more atteactive than
> it is now as a web site for gaining knowledge but without the heaps of
> embedded editorializing found today in newspapers on- and off-line, in
> textbooks covering almost anything but the hard sciences, etc.  Still, it
> can create for itself opportunities to pay its own way and attract
> donations that people feel good to make.
>
> About a week and a half ago, I asked for input re a project suggestion.  (
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiTribute ) To date, I haven't gotten
> feedback because perhaps the list has been filled with discussion about the
> exclusivity of the 3-month gender gap project funding.  Already, the topic
> has distracted people from possibilities that may otherwise have been
> entertained that could generate income for WMF.  Aside from the idea's
> merits as such, it is also a way to encourage donations/get fees, and in an
> ongoing basis rather than principally at one time of the year (December).
> But even if WMF thinks it isn't worth pursuing, it needs something else --
> something it can charge for that will have broad, on-going appeal to many
> people and/or business entities.  (AdSense, for example, is used by
> ordinary people with blogs and large high-traffic commercial web sites
> alike.)  It has to leave people feeling good about Wikipedia and WMF and be
> popular broadly and "agnostically".  Does your local gas station care if
> you're male or female?  Gay or straight or bi or asexual?   Or does the Red
> Cross decide when there's a blood drive that only certain donors will get
> the cookies and coffee or be encouraged to get them while telling other
> donors to wait until that particular group has gotten some first?  If they
> did, donations'd fall off fast, or blood donors would go directly to
> hospitals to donate -- assuming they still felt like it.
>
> Maybe my note and/or opinion will be ignored, or denounced, or something
> else.  Perhaps it'll have no effect at all.  But as a devoted Wikipedia
> enthusiast, donor to WMF, and pro-knowledge-democracy advocate, I can tell
> you that raising a fence if even temporarily to full participation in WMF
> activities for Wikipedians interested in seeing it grow is bad on multiple
> levels: politically, philosophically, practically, and financially, and
> most especially, relative to its foundational purpose of allowing others to
> contribute/participate to this great effort of recording the world's
> collective knowledge on an on-going basis and without hindrance, except
> insofar as the contributions are accurate, relevant, and sincere.
>
> It's a dream worth keeping alive.  I for one would hate one day to look
> back on 1Q 2015 and say to the others with me in the nursing home "Yeah,
> Wikipedia -- it was a sad day back in '15.  The beginning of the end.  I
> was there.  I tried talking them out of it, but... it just didn't work.
> Now we're all stuck with
> www.selected-contributors-only-o-pedia-not-wikipedia.com and that's
> nothing close to what we used to have in Wikipedia."
>
> Of course by then, we may all have computers implanted in our brains that
> tell us anything we want to know just by thinking the question.  Doubt it,
> but who knows.
>
> Thank you for reading.
>
> Matt
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
_______________________________________________
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>
123