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Meeting with Jon Davies 
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I met Jon Davies (CEO of Wikimedia UK) at the WMUK office yesterday afternoon. Brief summary below.
--------------------------------------------------
The WMUK offices are in the techy part of London near Old Street where little startup e-boutiques have set up shop. The place and the people and the bards and offices are quite different from any other part of London. Young, funky, 'cool' etc.

The office is on the fourth (?) floor of a building set aside for use by small charities. I looked at the boards in the reception before being met by Jon. 'Peace Brigades International', 'Children of the Andes', 'Asian Foundation for Philanthropy', that kind of thing. I was overwhelmed by the worthiness of it all. Jon cycles from Kennington and back every day, so he is a right-on guy too. I liked him. He is shrewd but sympathetic, and has a quiet sense of humour. I also (briefly) met Daria Cybulska (events organiser), Stevie Benton (communications). Richard Symonds (office manager) sat in on the meeting.

The main purpose of meeting (for me) was to carry an olive branch, and make an initiative, or at least make a gesture at improving the horrible relations between 'our' side and WMUK/Wikipedia, which are the worst I can ever remember. I hope some progress was made, and it is in any case a starting point. I said that standard organisational theory holds that email can be a curse as well as a benefit, and that when relations have become embittered by email, it is considered good practice to meet and discuss the issues face to face. Wikimedia was an exception to this because trying to meet face to face is considered stalking or harassment (laughter). They agreed. Jon had been a Wikipedia editor before he joined WMUK, but had not been aware of the bitter war that had been raging between the two camps.

We discussed possible reasons why it had become so sour. Jon felt that Wikipediocracy crowd is too focused on personalities and general maliciousness and malevolence towards Wikipedia. I replied that Wikipediocracy is simply a discussion forum for issues which cannot be discussed freely on Wikipedia, and that there is no controlling body or significant influence function, and that in this respect it is no different from Wikipedia, which is just a website owned by the WMF, over which it has no control. Jon was momentarily distracted by that idea.

They were also distracted by my insistence that WMUK being a charity was important to us. I explained that it was a lever into the real world, that we wanted to continue. For the same reason, we applaud (or at least I do) their efforts to engage with the press, with educational institutions.

I said that there had been discussion at WY about a group which would have specific aims and objectives for improving Wikipedia, but nothing had been settled yet. My three objectives were:

*Fundamental changes that would lead to improvements in the quality of content on Wikipedia
*To have appropriate controls around biographies of living persons, especially marginally notable or non-notable ones.
*To have appropriate controls around crude sexual or non-encyclopedic imagery on Commons

These were just my ideas however. I stressed that there was still a division within the WY community about whether or how to work with Wikipedia. Should we aim high at standards and principles that were unachievable (such as an end to anonymous editing)? Or should we stick to generally accepted rules of negotation, i.e. go for something which is not currently acceptable to Wikipedians, but has a reasonable change of succeeding with a bit of effort and compromise on both sides? Should we be outcome-focused (i.e. concentrate on achieving a desired effect, without regard to cause) or should we aim for root causes of the problems with Wikipedia?

Jon said that the perception of me from within Wikipedia was as an extremely aggressive and hostile individual who would not compromise on anything. However, he was happy to meet me, and had told the board he was meeting me, although there were some people on the board who felt I should be strung up from a lamp post (as it were – I should stress that Jon said this in a jokey way, and did not actually mean that anyone from the board had a rope or a lamp post). I replied that this was a myth and that anyone who actually read my contributions would not think that. He was somewhat sceptical, but we left it there.

I mentioned Greg Kohs, saying that I knew him personally and that the harassment issue had been grossly overblown. Obviously they declined to comment on this, although they were interested in Greg's motivation for his long campaign against Wikipedia. I said I couldn't really comment for certain on another person's motivations, but an apt comparison might be one of those backbenchers like Tam Dalyell, who led a long and bitter campaign for the UK government to reveal the truth about the sinking of an Argentinian battleship during the Falklands war. I thought Greg's criticisms of Wikipedia were insightful and clever as well as provocative, and that Wikipedia would be a worse place if it did not have its independent critics like Greg. They paused for thought again.

Next steps: to keep the dialogue going, and for Jon to feed back the discussion to the board.

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Thu May 03, 2012 6:52 pm WWW
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My considered view is that whether they are members of the WMF, or some chapter they cannot change what WP has become. They are eunuchs, they do not have the ability to impose 'pending changes', nor do they have the ability to do anything about the BLPs, nor any of the other the other problems that beset the site.

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

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Thu May 03, 2012 7:23 pm
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Thank you for talking to them, PD. For once, they had reasoned discussion with a critic, not the usual Wiki-Way of demonizing and abusing critics.
Did you mention anything about books and articles in progress, about WMF problems? If not, don't be hesitant about bringing it up in the future.

They have severe problems. Not least of which is a chronic internal culture based on dishonesty, misdirection and manipulation. Inevitably this
will have to be covered and discussed openly, whether they want to or not.

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Thu May 03, 2012 9:08 pm WWW
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Some more recollections from the meeting.

They have a clock with UK time, San Francisco time and (very Wikipedian) UTC time.

Jon asked about the book I am writing with Eric. I explained that while Andrew Lih's book was good, and largely but not wholly accurate, it omitted many facts about Wikipedia. I gave the analogy of city guide books. Before the Rough Guide series, city guides were largely anodyne lists of monuments, worthy facts about a city, universally positive and upbeat, as though the chamber of commerce had written it. Rough guides had much more - the city's economy, poverty of certain areas, political issues and all that sort of stuff. Our tour of Wikipedia was much in the same spirit. Tell the absolute truth, but shed light on where the money to found Wikipedia actually came from, some of the darker truths about the project, the lies and deception and so on. Pedophile campaigns. Jon was a bit disturbed by this. How would writing these things help the world, how would it help knowledge? I replied that the truth is always knowledge, was he against knowledge? we moved on.

I began by mentioning my earlier contributions to Wikipedia, mostly in the area of logic and philosophy and medieval philosophy. He acknowledged the absurdity of a specialist not being allowed to edit, but asked whether my questions about quality were mere quibbling or hair-splitting - professor versus undergraduate type issues. I said that this was not the issue. Many articles, particularly in the area of humanities and philosophy, were substantially wrong and factually incorrect, and that it was a general public interest problem, given the enormous reach of Wikipedia. I think he genuinely appreciated that concern, and I wasn't hearing the usual reply that I broke some rule or other, and that rules are rules, and that one must never ever upset the 'community'. I heard none of that.

He also expressed the idea at the very end that there was a need for 'healing' in the community. This was positive. On the other hand, he made a vague offer (though I may have misunderstood this, and don't want to get him into trouble with the trustees) of my starting editing again. That was a big misunderstanding of where I was coming from. I think the idea is that if you want to improve Wikipedia, you have to do it from within the 'community'. My view, by contrast, is that proper controls are only imposed from outside, or at least from a watchdog who is relatively independent of what it is watching. Life experience suggests it doesn't work any other way.

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Sat May 05, 2012 10:01 am WWW
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Peter Damian wrote:
I think the idea is that if you want to improve Wikipedia, you have to do it from within the 'community'. My view, by contrast, is that proper controls are only imposed from outside, or at least from a watchdog who is relatively independent of what it is watching. Life experience suggests it doesn't work any other way.


Yes, and there are deep insiders now running it who will fight tooth and nail to prevent any
such imposed reform. They would rather destroy it first.

In certain ways, Wikipedians are akin to obsessive Facebookers---they are junkies,
and this is their drug. No one is allowed to interfere with their drug.

Interesting that Davies was reasonable and willing to listen. Evidently he has not seen
Ashley Van Haeften or David Gerard in full battle mode, blindly lashing out at critics.
They don't do it face-to-face, of course. Junkies like to hide their problem.

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Sat May 05, 2012 8:59 pm WWW
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Quote:
He also expressed the idea at the very end that there was a need for 'healing' in the community. This was positive. On the other hand, he made a vague offer (though I may have misunderstood this, and don't want to get him into trouble with the trustees) of my starting editing again. That was a big misunderstanding of where I was coming from. I think the idea is that if you want to improve Wikipedia, you have to do it from within the 'community'. My view, by contrast, is that proper controls are only imposed from outside, or at least from a watchdog who is relatively independent of what it is watching. Life experience suggests it doesn't work any other way.


Well, it seems to me that the first step is defining "the community". I don't think that what you think is the community, what I think is the community and what they think is the community is the same thing at all.

The point is this: they use their rhetoric to warp reality. The only solution is to not engage with them. That's one of my main problems with these sorts of negociations with WMUK, since obviously they have a loaded agenda which is not going to make these sorts of discussions profitable at all.

(In other word, don't fall for this, PD. You're better than that.)


Sat May 05, 2012 9:22 pm
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oscarlechien wrote:
The point is this: they use their rhetoric to warp reality. The only solution is to not engage with them. That's one of my main problems with these sorts of negociations with WMUK, since obviously they have a loaded agenda which is not going to make these sorts of discussions profitable at all.

Damn right. You can talk to them all you want, but they will not change their position.
They are nuts---living in an alternate reality where down is up and Doctor Who is
the greatest TV show ever made.

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Sun May 06, 2012 4:47 am WWW
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Peter Damian wrote:
Jon asked about the book I am writing with Eric. I explained that while Andrew Lih's book was good, and largely but not wholly accurate, it omitted many facts about Wikipedia. I gave the analogy of city guide books. Before the Rough Guide series, city guides were largely anodyne lists of monuments, worthy facts about a city, universally positive and upbeat, as though the chamber of commerce had written it. Rough guides had much more - the city's economy, poverty of certain areas, political issues and all that sort of stuff. Our tour of Wikipedia was much in the same spirit. Tell the absolute truth, but shed light on where the money to found Wikipedia actually came from, some of the darker truths about the project, the lies and deception and so on. Pedophile campaigns. Jon was a bit disturbed by this. How would writing these things help the world, how would it help knowledge? I replied that the truth is always knowledge, was he against knowledge? we moved on.

Wow, that's a telling response from Jon. Still, I applaud you for engaging with these people. While Wikipedia and its network of related growths might often seem impenetrable as a monolithic whole, there is always the possibility of persuading individuals with reasoned arguments.

I for one would like to see Eric or you start a thread here about the book, giving whatever general thoughts and information you'd like to make public in a forum setting. You've clearly put lots of effort into it, and I'm curious how you intend to distill the various pieces down to a finished publication.


Tue May 08, 2012 12:03 am
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isaan wrote:
I for one would like to see Eric or you start a thread here about the book, giving whatever general thoughts and information you'd like to make public in a forum setting.

Maybe. As soon as we (a) have agreed on a general outline, (b) decided how to treat the early history, (c) decided how to handle the numerous scandals and disasters and crazy people. Especially the latter. How does one discuss 11-year-old boys editing porn articles, or posting nude photos of themselves on their WP userpages, without violating their privacy?

Plus, all of my attempts to talk to any WMF principals, on the record, have been rebuffed. I've got questions for Erik Moeller that will probably not be well-received, nor (I expect) responded to honestly.

You might not believe how much "dirt" we have accumulated. And it's nowhere near a complete collection. Nor is it even a proper coverage of the Story Of Wikipedia. Good things happened along with the bad, and neither types are well-documented.

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Tue May 08, 2012 3:52 am WWW
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EricBarbour wrote:
Plus, all of my attempts to talk to any WMF principals, on the record, have been rebuffed. I've got questions for Erik Moeller that will probably not be well-received, nor (I expect) responded to honestly.

And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.


Edit: Having said that, I have not and will not share information that I was given in confidence - it's just something I don't do.

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Tue May 08, 2012 5:00 am WWW
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Alison wrote:
And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.

We need to have more of these personal meet-ups. I've had very enjoyable meetings with Jon Awbrey and with Larry Pieniazek.

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Tue May 08, 2012 2:03 pm WWW
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thekohser wrote:
Alison wrote:
And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.

We need to have more of these personal meet-ups. I've had very enjoyable meetings with Jon Awbrey and with Larry Pieniazek.


I agree, perhaps I should be more open about it whenever I travel to the US to see if my schedule coincides with anyone else's here.


Tue May 08, 2012 2:24 pm
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EricBarbour wrote:
Especially the latter. How does one discuss 11-year-old boys editing porn articles, or posting nude photos of themselves on their WP userpages, without violating their privacy?


May I suggest the Dragnet approach? The story you're about to hear is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Tue May 08, 2012 4:14 pm
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thekohser wrote:
Alison wrote:
And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.

We need to have more of these personal meet-ups. I've had very enjoyable meetings with Jon Awbrey and with Larry Pieniazek.


Let me know the next time you're in DC. I'm more then happy to meet with most people I know because of WP if I'm free.


Tue May 08, 2012 4:28 pm
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MBisanz wrote:
thekohser wrote:
Alison wrote:
And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.

We need to have more of these personal meet-ups. I've had very enjoyable meetings with Jon Awbrey and with Larry Pieniazek.


Let me know the next time you're in DC. I'm more then happy to meet with most people I know because of WP if I'm free.


Someone is going to be very cross with you posting here. Meanwhile welcome.

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Tue May 08, 2012 5:07 pm
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lilburne wrote:
MBisanz wrote:
thekohser wrote:
Alison wrote:
And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.

We need to have more of these personal meet-ups. I've had very enjoyable meetings with Jon Awbrey and with Larry Pieniazek.


Let me know the next time you're in DC. I'm more then happy to meet with most people I know because of WP if I'm free.


Someone is going to be very cross with you posting here. Meanwhile welcome.

Of course, the solution to offsite discussion, is to introduce such sanity that people can sort things out on site. I think that there is an overarching policy that sits inbetween WP:ALLTHEUSUALCRAP and WP:IAR which is WP:BENORMAL. If people were allowed to say normal things and insist on them being interpreted in normal ways, 90% of the nonsense would disappear. The biggest nonsense on Wikipedia is the alternate universe approach to communication, from which lead so many other nonsensical things.

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Tue May 08, 2012 5:13 pm
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lilburne wrote:
MBisanz wrote:
thekohser wrote:
Alison wrote:
And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.

We need to have more of these personal meet-ups. I've had very enjoyable meetings with Jon Awbrey and with Larry Pieniazek.


Let me know the next time you're in DC. I'm more then happy to meet with most people I know because of WP if I'm free.


Someone is going to be very cross with you posting here. Meanwhile welcome.


BADSITES as policy has been dead over five years, since before I started editing. See link

I know the rules and the best practices. Don't release private information. Don't use this site to say things about people you can't/wouldn't say on-wiki. Don't encourage people to harm other editors.

My views have changed over the years though. Personally, I still think WP editors who export conflicts here should be held accountable on Wikipedia for things like personal attacks made from here. But that's neither here nor there because I don't make policy by fiat.


Tue May 08, 2012 5:21 pm
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MBisanz wrote:
Let me know the next time you're in DC. I'm more then happy to meet with most people I know because of WP if I'm free.

I'll be attending Wikimania 2012 in DC, so I'll probably see you there if you're planning on attending.

Er... maybe I should say, "I'll be attempting to attend Wikimania 2012." It's possible that I'll be barred at the door.

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Tue May 08, 2012 5:43 pm WWW
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MBisanz wrote:
I know the rules and the best practices. Don't release private information. Don't use this site to say things about people you can't/wouldn't say on-wiki. Don't encourage people to harm other editors.

Yep. It's that simple :B' However, some people on WP would rather editors linked their accounts here with their WP names in order that they be tagged with some sort of mark of shame. This will just result in people not linking their accounts, of course so they can comment without fear of reprise on WP. Thank you for being up-front about who you are. Having said that, expect repercussions :rolleyes:

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Last edited by Alison on Tue May 08, 2012 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fixing link



Tue May 08, 2012 5:54 pm WWW
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M.WikiBisanz wrote:
Don't use this site to say things about people you can't/wouldn't say on-wiki.

Ridiculous. There is a need for places which escape the strong-arm tactics of the "trusted" sycophants who support the WMF status quo. There are (somewhat ill-defined) limits of reasonable and ethical discourse which ought to be respected, but the idea of limiting my speech according to your capricious rules is simply unacceptable.


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isaan wrote:
M.WikiBisanz wrote:
Don't use this site to say things about people you can't/wouldn't say on-wiki.

Ridiculous. There is a need for places which escape the strong-arm tactics of the "trusted" sycophants who support the WMF status quo. There are (somewhat ill-defined) limits of reasonable and ethical discourse which ought to be respected, but the idea of limiting my speech according to your capricious rules is simply unacceptable.

I don't think that was what Matt was saying, however. Rather, I think he was just stating his own ruleset.

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Posted (and then removed) from Fae's talk page:
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User:MBisanz and User:thekohser

For those that have been following MBisanz's recent and, in my view, apparently odd behaviour in raising unsuccessful, and out of process, dispute resolution processes against me, may be interested to know that they have publicly approached Gregory Kohs for a personal dialogue. Good luck, hope they become jolly friends and have a good laugh at common views about Wikimedia. I have no issue, so long as MBisanz is transparent and open about their off-wiki dialogues with banned users and any common interests, should they decide to have yet another crack at attempting to get me sanctioned. Fæ (talk) 17:43, 8 May 2012 (UTC)


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Alison wrote:
isaan wrote:
M.WikiBisanz wrote:
Don't use this site to say things about people you can't/wouldn't say on-wiki.

Ridiculous. There is a need for places which escape the strong-arm tactics of the "trusted" sycophants who support the WMF status quo. There are (somewhat ill-defined) limits of reasonable and ethical discourse which ought to be respected, but the idea of limiting my speech according to your capricious rules is simply unacceptable.

I don't think that was what Matt was saying, however. Rather, I think he was just stating his own ruleset.

Perhaps you are correct, though it does appear odd to use the term best practices to refer just to oneself, and especially so when MBisanz goes on to state a personal opinion that others ought to be sanctioned on-wiki for their "violations" here. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have MBisanz posting here rather than on-wiki, as it opens the discussion to many who would be silenced over there.


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Alison wrote:
isaan wrote:
M.WikiBisanz wrote:
Don't use this site to say things about people you can't/wouldn't say on-wiki.

Ridiculous. There is a need for places which escape the strong-arm tactics of the "trusted" sycophants who support the WMF status quo. There are (somewhat ill-defined) limits of reasonable and ethical discourse which ought to be respected, but the idea of limiting my speech according to your capricious rules is simply unacceptable.

I don't think that was what Matt was saying, however. Rather, I think he was just stating his own ruleset.


Right, my ruleset because of my pre-existing duties to Wikipedia. I would hold them out as similar best practices for anyone in a position of authority on Wikipedia to prevent a chilling effect on people seeking out their assistance in their duties to that project.

Moonage Daydream wrote:
Posted (and then removed) from Fae's talk page:
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User:MBisanz and User:thekohser

For those that have been following MBisanz's recent and, in my view, apparently odd behaviour in raising unsuccessful, and out of process, dispute resolution processes against me, may be interested to know that they have publicly approached Gregory Kohs for a personal dialogue. Good luck, hope they become jolly friends and have a good laugh at common views about Wikimedia. I have no issue, so long as MBisanz is transparent and open about their off-wiki dialogues with banned users and any common interests, should they decide to have yet another crack at attempting to get me sanctioned. Fæ (talk) 17:43, 8 May 2012 (UTC)


Interesting. I had two principle purposes in talking to Greg. One, I'm a Comcast customer and recently had a rather lengthy engagement with customer service when my rate got reset to a higher rate. It was resolved by a very pleasant mid-level executive, but there were some rather non-intuitive aspects of their phone system that made interactions very difficult. I don't recall exactly what it is Greg does there, but I would enjoy speaking with him on how customer communications are generally handled. Two, Greg lives in a city that is fairly proximate to me and is a professional at a large corporation in that city. I'm a youthful professional and enjoy meeting people at large corporations with whom I can network. I've encountered a number of such people because of Wikipedia.

I still think Greg's particular approach to Wikipedia may preclude his participation there, for the same reasons I said Cla68 should trouted for his breaching experiment at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2012_May_1, and certainly have no interest in involving him in my own dispute with Fæ, which I had believed until the above was concluded at WQA.


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Yet another thing that struck me later. Like practically any other office building in London, the WMUK building has a concierge who asks you to sign in, asks for a contact name, issues you an ID, and phones up to confirm with the contact. That was Jon Davies, who came down to meet me, took me up in the lift, and let me into the WMUK premisses using a security code. After the meeting he let me out, and even escorted me down to the foyer.

Nothing unusual, and I didn’t even think about it at the time. But it is unusual in wiki world. Wiki principle is that such closed and restricted practices as ‘workplace security’ are the old model of doing things, based on an outmoded concept of human nature. The modern, wiki concept of human nature is that all people are good, and by default we assume good faith in everyone. This was a discovery made by Jimmy, and he never tires of saying this. "Generally we find most people out there on the internet are good, I mean that’s one of the wonderful humanitarian discoveries on Wikipedia is that most people only want to help us build this free, non-profit charitable resource" (CNN Dec 2005, following the John Seigenthaler incident), repeated many times since.

So these artificial restrictive practices of ‘office security’ are part of the old model of human nature, made before we discovered that humans are basically good, and with hindsight I am surprised that WMUK are still living in this old world. I might drop Jon a note about this (actually, perhaps I won’t, let’s forget that).

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Peter Damian wrote:
Yet another thing that struck me later. Like practically any other office building in London, the WMUK building has a concierge who asks you to sign in, asks for a contact name, issues you an ID, and phones up to confirm with the contact. That was Jon Davies, who came down to meet me, took me up in the lift, and let me into the WMUK premisses using a security code. After the meeting he let me out, and even escorted me down to the foyer.

Nothing unusual, and I didn’t even think about it at the time. But it is unusual in wiki world. Wiki principle is that such closed and restricted practices as ‘workplace security’ are the old model of doing things, based on an outmoded concept of human nature. The modern, wiki concept of human nature is that all people are good, and by default we assume good faith in everyone. This was a discovery made by Jimmy, and he never tires of saying this. "Generally we find most people out there on the internet are good, I mean that’s one of the wonderful humanitarian discoveries on Wikipedia is that most people only want to help us build this free, non-profit charitable resource" (CNN Dec 2005, following the John Seigenthaler incident), repeated many times since.

So these artificial restrictive practices of ‘office security’ are part of the old model of human nature, made before we discovered that humans are basically good, and with hindsight I am surprised that WMUK are still living in this old world. I might drop Jon a note about this (actually, perhaps I won’t, let’s forget that).

It's an interesting topic, because up to a certain point what Jimbo says is perfectly true, and an important thing to say. If you approach a person with trust, they are far less likely to abuse that trust; and if you approach them with mistrust, it will come more naturally to them to provide a post-facto justification for that mistrust.

It just doesn't scale all the way to someone with a grudge who couldn't care less about Wikipedia clicking "Edit". (Wikipedia should have flagged revisions.)

And actually, it breaks down spectacularly way before that, especially when combined with anonymity and the removal of the conscientious and social constraints that come along with having to look someone in the eye. Wikipedia is a truly dystopian model for social organisation. I used to believe that people were good, until I started participating in Wikipedia.


Thu May 10, 2012 6:31 pm
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Umm - I can suggest an explanation for the door security thing. The WMF offices in San Francisco were constantly being 'visited' by a certain very-banned editor who kept on trying to get into the building. Same guy who kept visiting me at work, etc. Anyways - after all that, the WMF beefed up their security in order to protect their employees, which they kinda have to. I suspect the UK office just followed suit ...

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Thu May 10, 2012 6:36 pm WWW
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Alison wrote:
Umm - I can suggest an explanation for the door security thing. The WMF offices in San Francisco were constantly being 'visited' by a certain very-banned editor who kept on trying to get into the building. Same guy who kept visiting me at work, etc. Anyways - after all that, the WMF beefed up their security in order to protect their employees, which they kinda have to. I suspect the UK office just followed suit ...

WMUK are by no means the largest tenants in that building. I visited it a few times in the 1990s when it was already full of tenants involved in good causes but can't remember what the security was like then.


Thu May 10, 2012 7:07 pm
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"Office security" and "money" are old-world paradigms. But, since WMUK is principally about accruing money, they have to also stick to the other old-world paradigm of office security. Otherwise, someone could walk off with their money!

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Thu May 10, 2012 7:18 pm WWW
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Just to reinforce the point I was actually making: office security like this is standard in any building in London, it's perfectly normal. It's the 'anyone can edit' thing that's not normal.

There is no 'new paradigm'. The internet has not changed human nature (except make it worse).

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Thu May 10, 2012 7:19 pm WWW
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Peter Damian wrote:
The internet has not changed human nature (except make it worse).

If it's made it worse, it's changed it!

Actually, I don't think it's changed human nature. It's just made it easier to do certain things that were previously difficult or impossible. In particular, it's allowed certain types to gain a sort of power that they could never have dreamt of before. For example, they can become site admins and bully people (no criticism of the mods here of course).


Thu May 10, 2012 7:35 pm
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Willbeheard wrote:
Peter Damian wrote:
The internet has not changed human nature (except make it worse).

If it's made it worse, it's changed it!

Actually, I don't think it's changed human nature. It's just made it easier to do certain things that were previously difficult or impossible. In particular, it's allowed certain types to gain a sort of power that they could never have dreamt of before. For example, they can become site admins and bully people (no criticism of the mods here of course).

Precisely.

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Thu May 10, 2012 8:25 pm
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Willbeheard wrote:
In particular, it's allowed certain types to gain a sort of power that they could never have dreamt of before.

I would say, it gives them the impression of "power". Wikipedia gets a lot of attention and traffic, but it's still viewed as a mess by
people with real power. Especially the academic world and the institutions that support academia.

Power-mongers on WP are only fooling themselves as to their "importance". They are jealously guarding a walled-off garden that is
poorly maintained, and full of weeds and trash. The even bigger fools are the Wikimedia chapters who think they actually "matter".

If WMUK had severe funding problems or other issues, I would expect Sue to just sit there and watch, as they shut down--again.

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Thu May 10, 2012 9:40 pm WWW
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EricBarbour wrote:
I would say, it gives them the impression of "power".

That's all the fuckheads want. They don't know what real power is, wouldn't know what to do with it if they had it, and chances are they'd shit themselves if they had to make a decision that really mattered.


Fri May 11, 2012 11:37 am
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Retrospect wrote:
EricBarbour wrote:
I would say, it gives them the impression of "power".

That's all the fuckheads want. They don't know what real power is, wouldn't know what to do with it if they had it, and chances are they'd shit themselves if they had to make a decision that really mattered.


Well... part of the problem actually is that sometimes they DO make decisions that really matter (whether on the practical or abstract level), but because they are so removed from observing the consequences of these decisions, they MAKE THEM as if they DIDN'T matter.


Fri May 11, 2012 3:55 pm
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Human nature hasn't changed. All the Internet did was lower the opportunity cost of being a jackass.

It's very similar to the OWS phenomenon. I've noticed that, now that the initial "fun" aspect of the Occupy Wall Street protests is mostly over and most of the protestors have gone home, what's left is a core of people who are playing at governance. These are people who secretly want to be politicians, but are unwilling to put out the monumental effort that is required to actually achieve elective public office. Instead, they stand around in open spaces and waggle their fingers at one another in parody of deliberative assembly, and pat themselves on the back as they delude themselves into believing they're making a difference.

Anyone who cannot see the parallels with the Wikipedia phenomenon isn't paying attention. Although I haven't figured out who the Occupy Wall Street equivalent of Jimmy Wales is yet.


Fri May 11, 2012 5:36 pm WWW
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Kelly Martin wrote:
Human nature hasn't changed. All the Internet did was lower the opportunity cost of being a jackass.

The Internet did another thing as well: it moved everybody from speech to the written word. Speech fades away, but the written word abides. In terms of pre-Internet days, it's a bit like having everything you ever said – clever or stupid, honest or dishonest – recorded on camera, to be scrutinised ad infinitum.


Fri May 11, 2012 7:19 pm
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Kelly Martin wrote:
Human nature hasn't changed. All the Internet did was lower the opportunity cost of being a jackass.

This statement summarizes at least 90% of the history of Wikipedia.


Sun May 13, 2012 2:39 am
Question to Peter. Peter, you said viewtopic.php?f=8&t=186&p=3397&hilit=embarrassed#p3397 "Indeed I would be embarrassed if anyone knew I was involved with Wikipedia at all. " On the other hand, if you are unbanned, you'll be editing it again. May I please ask you why? I mean what is the point to edit wikipedia at all? What will be left from your edits in a year or two, or in ten years? Even vandalism goes unnoticed for months. Please take a look here http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.ph ... d=26050124 This image's description was vandalized 7 months ago, and nobody have ever bothered to change it back although the image is used in a few articles. I found this one by a pure accident. How many more images with a wrong descriptions there are?


Sun May 13, 2012 8:53 pm
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mbz1 wrote:
Question to Peter. Peter, you said viewtopic.php?f=8&t=186&p=3397&hilit=embarrassed#p3397 "Indeed I would be embarrassed if anyone knew I was involved with Wikipedia at all. " On the other hand, if you are unbanned, you'll be editing it again. May I please ask you why? I mean what is the point to edit wikipedia at all? What will be left from your edits in a year or two, or in ten years? Even vandalism goes unnoticed for months. Please take a look here http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.ph ... d=26050124 This image's description was vandalized 7 months ago, and nobody have ever bothered to change it back although the image is used in a few articles. I found this one by a pure accident. How many more images with a wrong descriptions there are?


It is unlikely I will be editing it again, under the current management. There is nothing stopping me editing it now, after all - I have a dynamic IP that changes daily. I don't even publish errors I find in Wikipedia, as it is used as ammunition for the argument that Wikipedia is self-healing.

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Sun May 13, 2012 8:55 pm WWW
Peter Damian wrote:
mbz1 wrote:
Question to Peter. Peter, you said viewtopic.php?f=8&t=186&p=3397&hilit=embarrassed#p3397 "Indeed I would be embarrassed if anyone knew I was involved with Wikipedia at all. " On the other hand, if you are unbanned, you'll be editing it again. May I please ask you why? I mean what is the point to edit wikipedia at all? What will be left from your edits in a year or two, or in ten years? Even vandalism goes unnoticed for months. Please take a look here http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.ph ... d=26050124 This image's description was vandalized 7 months ago, and nobody have ever bothered to change it back although the image is used in a few articles. I found this one by a pure accident. How many more images with a wrong descriptions there are?


It is unlikely I will be editing it again, under the current management. There is nothing stopping me editing it now, after all - I have a dynamic IP that changes daily. I don't even publish errors I find in Wikipedia, as it is used as ammunition for the argument that Wikipedia is self-healing.


BTW you might be interested to know that, when I was getting banned by wiki's sickos, I got an email from an admin, who urged me to remove my rfc on Meta. In the end that admin wrote:
Quote:
Think about what I said in my last email. What do you want your legacy to be? Do you want to be remembered for those wonderful photos you've contributed, or do you want to go down in wiki-history with Delicious carbuncle, Peter Damian, etc as just another creep who gets their kicks from attacking editors off-wiki? Because the latter is what you're heading for.


Sun May 13, 2012 9:05 pm
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Peter Damian wrote:
I don't even publish errors I find in Wikipedia, as it is used as ammunition for the argument that Wikipedia is self-healing.

Even if you DO publish errors, they might or might not be fixed. That is the wrong approach anyway: instead of studying individual errors that are easily fixed,
one needs to perform quantitative analyses of the database, much as I've been doing.

mbz1 wrote:
BTW you might be interested to know that, when I was getting banned by wiki's sickos, I got an email from an admin, who urged me to remove my rfc on Meta. In the end that admin wrote:
Quote:
Think about what I said in my last email. What do you want your legacy to be? Do you want to be remembered for those wonderful photos you've contributed, or do you want to go down in wiki-history with Delicious carbuncle, Peter Damian, etc as just another creep who gets their kicks from attacking editors off-wiki? Because the latter is what you're heading for.

This is not an unusual occurrence. You need to shame the people who do that, PUBLICLY. They get away with it because they do it in private.

You can always do what PD did: put up your own website, full of rare and valuable information not available anywhere else online.
Don't put anything on Wikipedia, make them come to you. Nothing embarrasses the Wiki-Dinks more.

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Sun May 13, 2012 9:55 pm WWW
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EricBarbour wrote:
This is not an unusual occurrence. You need to shame the people who do that, PUBLICLY. They get away with it because they do it in private.

Yep, name and shame the bastard! This is beyond bad even by Wikipediot standards, which is saying a mouthful.
Quote:
You can always do what PD did: put up your own website, full of rare and valuable information not available anywhere else online.
Don't put anything on Wikipedia, make them come to you. Nothing embarrasses the Wiki-Dinks more.

Fucking lot of good that will do you! They'll either ignore it or reject it as an unreliable source so revert anyone who does use it. Or if they really need it they'll plagiarise.


Mon May 14, 2012 11:38 am
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Retrospect wrote:
Fucking lot of good that will do you! They'll either ignore it or reject it as an unreliable source so revert anyone who does use it. Or if they really need it they'll plagiarise.


The DMCA is your friend. No need to engage with the cretins, just issue a DMCA takedown to the WMF as the hosting service.


If Mbz1 makes all her photos NC. It won't discourage anyone that wants to use them from using them, but it denies them to WP.

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Mon May 14, 2012 11:48 am
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Alison wrote:
And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.


I hope that Eric paid for the lunch! :B'


Thu May 24, 2012 4:40 pm
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lilburne wrote:

If Mbz1 makes all her photos NC.


I would prefer if her photos were NC-17! :evilgrin:


Thu May 24, 2012 4:41 pm
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A Horse With No Name wrote:
Alison wrote:
And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.

I hope that Eric paid for the lunch! :B'

I tried. Note to self: next time there's a meeting with Allie, bring plenty of Red Bull.

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Thu May 24, 2012 8:06 pm WWW
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EricBarbour wrote:
A Horse With No Name wrote:
Alison wrote:
And let me go on record as saying that I met Eric Barbour in person yesterday. We had lunch and a nice, long and productive conversation indeed.

I hope that Eric paid for the lunch! :B'

I tried. Note to self: next time there's a meeting with Allie, bring plenty of Red Bull.

True, that :)

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And welcome to the 'ocracy, Horsie!

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Thu May 24, 2012 8:15 pm WWW
A Horse With No Name wrote:
lilburne wrote:

If Mbz1 makes all her photos NC.


I would prefer if her photos were NC-17! :evilgrin:

Please forgive my ignorance, but what "NC" stands for? Thanks.


Fri May 25, 2012 3:05 am
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mbz1 wrote:
A Horse With No Name wrote:
lilburne wrote:

If Mbz1 makes all her photos NC.


I would prefer if her photos were NC-17! :evilgrin:

Please forgive my ignorance, but what "NC" stands for? Thanks.

non clothing, nc17 is the new XXX rating for films

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Fri May 25, 2012 3:25 am
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