Thoughts on the Executive Committee
Thanks for acknowledging the western bias Leigh and your support to eradicate the abusal clauses. I did not refer to you as profiteer as you might have noted although i would like to bring up the issue of wayne giving lame excuses for cancelling my L4C contract AFTER signing it himself posing that COL is out of funds when he is hopping all around the world on his hilarious keynotes and 'international missions' that i think is getting a better job in NZ for himself and his family. We whine about bandwidth costs and other technical problems like implementing FCK and chineese language which are as plain things as one could imagine, and yet we give out thousands of dollars in bounties for l4c workshops? what kind of crippled logic is that ? Isn't WE's responsibility is to fix its infrastructure and bandwidth issues BEFORE trying to market itself in developing countries and ofcourse the big 'peace missions' of the 'ICT Specialist'?
You are right that primary responsibility of new council is to review the draft of the policy that is by no means mutual and drafted by the consensus of community. a review of edits made by the big Mack and 'courtesy' 5 edits by Steve Foerster doesn't make it any better. Our community is powerful than that and don't want itself abused by Mack using its name for something that promotes his interests and agenda. By adding clauses like removal of elected members he wanted to remove the opponents of his ideas. I wonder why people from COL were allowed in first place to contest for elections? Its like opening up a hotel and eating like guests. Then new council members weren't given sysops right so that they can't make modification to 'locked' page of policy, thanks to Mack again. If that wasn't enough lets see his words from a forum post. 'For good or worst we are stuck with this policy and we need to complete our fiduciary responsibilities as per policy that community has made' which is a plain idiotic statement since this policy had no community participation and there are no fiduciary responsibilities of the council except to zip up and see Mack kickin back on cruises all around the world and say 'CHEESE'.
You should get a job in the US presidential election campaigns Minhaaj :) You certainly don't hold back. When I read your post here, I had to work hard to remove the personal insults and the like so that I can see what you are saying. I need to do this for my own sensibilities, which I am sure Randy and Wayne would be dealing with in reading this post too. No doubt it will be hard for many people not to take your posts personally as you certainly write and no doubt feel personally about it. But their is valuable commentary underneath it all. Me and my "western values" I suppose, try to keep it objective and non personal - but I can do that for you when I read you. One way I do this is to imagine myself as the one you are writing about. I also have a job that is paid substantially more than people are paid elsewhere. It is still a far cry from what others that do my work get, but it is certainly in the wealthy class bracket globally speaking. What I mean is, you cause me to reflect on how I go about my work in this very international project we have, and how others may perceive that work. Where as before Wikied, my contact with people online was exclusively with people like me. The Wikieducator project has put me in touch with people of vastly different background and thinking to me, and your post (if I work a bit to read it) helps me see that. I write this in the hope that Wayne and Randy will pause and not let the insult they would no doubt be feeling, affect them too much.
To think of Wayne's take on Democracy as a product of "Western" thought, is, I think, to ignore it's relation to Democratic Centralism (See The Bolsheviks and Workers Control by Maurice Brinton. Wayne's has given a very persuasive argument for accepting that his personal judgement is a better guide to action than formal collective consideration. I think has considerable talents at presenting persuasive arguments, which if he can share with WE by acting as an ambassador, and helping us gain funding. However, WE should not let his talents divert ourselves from our responsibility to facilitate precisely the sort of formal collective consideration which can provide. There are formal points I would like raise concerning Wayne's points:
- I find the term 'fiduciary as involving legal language a little at odds with his generally chatty style. It is certainly an element of company law in the UK. However, Wayne's use of the term is at odds with how that law functions in practice here. Draft policy is not a fiduciary responsibility until its has been formally adopted, i.e. is no longer draft policy, but formal policy. Of course there might be other judicial zones which handle this matter quite differently, and if anyone can cite some examples it would be interesting.
- Wayne also uses a status quo argument which I think is similarly flawed. When considering amendments to a policy which has already been adopted, the status quo argument is that things should stay as they are until an amendment is agreed. However as there only exists a draft policy at the moment, then the status quo is actually that there should be no nominated members except as provided for in any policy which has actually been adopted.
- Wayne also seems to want to privilege those of us who choose to organise on a national basis. Perhaps he could expand on this.
By creating informal groups, whereby Council Members can work with the WE community to practically address the key issues that WE face, progress can be made
- in creating a shared approach for dealing with problems which can be refined into draft policy before being passed onto the formal Council for amendment and adoption.
- in creating shared working processes which constitute an arena in which the participatory democracy Wayne also advocates can be realised.
from these experiences a broader range of people will be able to understand the practical consequences of any policy innovations which are proposed. Then, I would argue, we would have a larger and better informed turn out in future voting processes. It may well be that we find that lots of people are really keen on Wayne's approach . . . or we may find that there is another preferred option.
What I would really to see is how the Council can set up such informal working groups to help cope the problems which WE is currently experiencing. Taking an example form my own personal experience joining 10th Online L4C Workshop. 62 participants from 23 countries. However only 15 participants signed their learning contract, and it appears that only 10 actually developed user pages. The goal of the course was to gain WikiMaster/WikiBuddy recognition. Of those 10, only 2 did so, 3 getting WikiMaster/WikiApprentice Level 2, 4 getting WikiMaster/WikiApprentice Level 1. I found the two people supporting us through the process very friendly and helpful. And it may well be that they are checking to see whether they can upgrade anyone's course work. However I think it is at a structural level that the high drop out level needs to be addressed. I have tried to encourage other people to join WE, but as they have less experience of dealing with wikis than I have, they are finding it impenetrable and are on the point of giving up. Furthermore there are many instances of generic pages being created - take Booklist as a recent example - which simply create more confusion. At various times I have encouraged editors to think more about the titles of the pages they start, whether it is something specific to them or their organisation, or something that is open to the whole community.
So I suppose what I am asking for is that the Council creates a Usability Working Group to start dealing with these issues. I think this would involve a smaller group of council members to self-select to participate in this working group to draft good practice guidelines which can then be discussed, adapted and adopted if acceptable by WE as a whole. If there are WE editors, particularly Council members who would like to discuss this proposal in greater detail, please feel free to contribute to the Usability Working Group proposal for first Community Council Meeting section of User:Leutha/Guidance for the Perplexed. Leutha 13:22, 9 October 2008 (UTC)