Could we stop catastrophizing the situation to the extent of open discussion of 
project forks, boycotts, etc?

Even if the board of trustees does turn out to have made a horrible mistake, 
there are many steps to remedy that short of ending the world.

So far the best description I can think of is that we have a bunch of people 
who were there struggling to describe the situation without breaching duty to 
the organization or resorting to attacks, the information release results of 
which so far are unsatisfying to concerned external parties such as most of us.

It's responsible to reiterate that we (the community) do need real answers to 
some of these questions, and that existing answers were unsatisfactory.  
Further work is needed.  Delays are not confidence building, but obviously 
these are complicated issues to untangle.  I for one would appreciate the board 
being more explicit.

This ultimately comes down to trust in people and the Board.  Without 
information trust ebbs.

George William Herbert
Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 2, 2016, at 12:37 AM, "Peter Southwood" <> 
> wrote:
> Just as you say.
> No threat to WMF if they don’t care about retaining the editing community.
> If all else fails thy could just sell advertising
> Cheers,
> Peter
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wikimedia-l [] On Behalf 
> Of Tim Landscheidt
> Sent: Saturday, 02 January 2016 8:16 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
> "Peter Southwood" <> wrote:
>> I agree.
>> The situation may well be metastable, in that the WMF may get away 
>> with alienating the crowd for a long time, until it reaches a tipping 
>> point, when the reaction becomes catastrophic and non-reversible. At 
>> which point there will be a large number of people who will say they 
>> told them so, but it may well be too late to reassemble the debris. 
>> Something will survive , but maybe not Wikipedia as we know it. How 
>> far we are from the tipping point is anybody's guess. At present the 
>> vast majority of the crowd are probably totally unaware of the 
>> problems, but I personally would not bet the survival of Wikipedia 
>> against them staying and continuing to produce for free if there was a 
>> major walkout by the volunteers who currently keep the show on the 
>> road. Will the level of donations remain viable if the general public 
>> witnesses a meltdown? Would you bet on it?
>> […]
> That is irrelevant for threatening WMF.  If at some point in time WMF would 
> no longer raise enough funds, its staff would just have to pick new jobs 
> somewhere else (just like all other employees do in a similar situation).  
> Working at WMF probably has some amenities, but noone bases their decisions 
> on fears that as an effect their contract might be termi- nated in ten or 
> twenty years.  Even less so do trustees plan that they can replace their 
> summer holiday with a trip to Wikimania till eternity.
> And it's also irrelevant for writing an online encyclopedia.
> You don't need the current level of funding as only a frac- tion actually 
> goes to expenditures necessary for /that/, and if you have viewers, you will 
> have (more than sufficient) donations.
> So while a reaction may be "catastrophic and non-re- versible", if the 
> possible effect is a minor nuisance at worst, then it cannot be a motivating 
> factor.
> Tim
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