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

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


On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 3:19 PM, Michał Buczyński <sand...@o2.pl> wrote:

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

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